3 “‘If the high priest[a] sins so that the people are guilty,[b] on account of the sin he has committed he must present a flawless young bull to the Lord[c] for a sin offering.[d]
Leviticus 4:3tnHeb “the anointed priest” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). This refers to the high priest (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
Leviticus 4:3tnHeb “to the guilt of the people”; NRSV “thus bringing guilt on the people.”
Leviticus 4:3tnHeb “and he shall offer on his sin which he sinned, a bull, a son of the herd, flawless.”
Leviticus 4:3sn The word for “sin offering” (sometimes translated “purification offering”) is the same as the word for “sin” earlier in the verse. One can tell which rendering is intended only by the context. The primary purpose of the “sin offering” (חַטָּאת, khattaʾt) was to “purge” (כִּפֶּר, kipper, “to make atonement,” see 4:20, 26, 31, 35, and the notes on Lev 1:4 and esp. Lev 16:20, 33) the sanctuary or its furniture in order to cleanse it from any impurities and/or (re)consecrate it for holy purposes (see, e.g., Lev 8:15; 16:19). By making this atonement the impurities of the person or community were cleansed and the people became clean. See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:93-103.
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