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Leviticus 4:3-12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

For the Anointed Priest. If it is the anointed priest[a] who thus does wrong and thereby makes the people guilty, he shall offer to the Lord an unblemished bull of the herd as a purification offering for the wrong he committed. Bringing the bull to the entrance of the tent of meeting, before the Lord, he shall lay his hand on its head and slaughter it before the Lord. [b]The anointed priest shall then take some of the bull’s blood and bring it into the tent of meeting, where, dipping his finger in the blood, he shall sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord, toward the veil of the sanctuary. The priest shall also put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense which stands before the Lord in the tent of meeting. The rest of the bull’s blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar for burnt offerings which is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. He shall remove all the fat of the bull of the purification offering: the fat that covers the inner organs, and all the fat that adheres to them, as well as the two kidneys, with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is removed with the kidneys, 10 just as the fat pieces are removed from the ox of the communion sacrifice. The priest shall burn these on the altar for burnt offerings. 11 [c]But the hide of the bull and its meat, with its head, shanks, inner organs and dung, 12 that is, the whole bull, shall be brought outside the camp to a clean place[d] where the ashes are deposited and there be burned in a wood fire. At the place of the ash heap, there it must be burned.


  1. 4:3 The anointed priest: the chapter presents four cases of inadvertent wrong, arranged in descending order according to the status of the wrongdoer: high priest (vv. 3–12), entire community (vv. 13–21), tribal leader (vv. 22–26), and general populace (vv. 27–35). The higher one’s position, the more deeply the sin affects the sanctuary (vv. 5–7, 17–18 versus vv. 25, 29, 34). See note on 16:6. Purification offering: the Hebrew verb ḥiṭṭē’ means “remove sin, purify” (Lv 8:15; Ez 43:20–23; 45:18–19; cf. Ex 29:36). The offering cleansed the various places to which the blood was applied or the rooms in which it was sprinkled.
  2. 4:5–7 On the structure of the sanctuary, see Ex 26–27.
  3. 4:11–12 See note on 6:17–23.
  4. 4:12 Clean place: i.e., ritually “clean” or pure. It has nothing to do with the presence of dirt or waste. See 6:4.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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