The assembly of Israel (Lev 4:13-4:21)

“If the whole congregation of Israel errs unintentionally and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly, that is if they do any one of the things that by Yahweh’s commandments ought not to be done, they incur guilt.   When the sin that they have committed becomes known, the assembly shall offer a bull of the herd for a sin offering and bring it before the tent of meeting.  The elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before Yahweh.  The bull shall be slaughtered before Yahweh.  Then the anointed priest shall bring some of the blood of the bull into the tent of meeting.  The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before Yahweh in front of the curtain.  He shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before Yahweh in the tent of meeting.   The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.   He shall remove all its fat and turn it into smoke on the altar.  He shall do with the bull just as is done with the bull of sin offering.  He shall do the same with this.  The priest shall make atonement for them. They shall be forgiven.  He shall carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull.   It is the sin offering for the assembly.”

 This refers to anyone in the community who unintentionally incurs guilt, and it becomes known.  Their sacrifice will be a bull also.  In this case, the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull.  Other than that, the same requirements for the priestly sin offering occur here.  Just like the unintentional sin offering of a priest, the bull’s blood is sprinkled, its fat is burned on the altar, and the whole bull is burned outside the camp. The priest makes atonement for the whole community as this is a sin offering for the assembly.  Then they shall be forgiven.


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