Leviticus 22:14
And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof to it, and shall give it to the priest with the holy thing.
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(14) Eat of the holy thing unwittingly.—Or, through ignorance, as it is rendered in the Authorised version in all the other five passages where this expression occurs in this book. (See Leviticus 4:2; Leviticus 4:22; Leviticus 4:27; Leviticus 5:15; Leviticus 5:18.) That is, when he ate of the things he was ignorant that they were holy.

He shall put the fifth part thereof unto it.—To make the people more careful, the offender though ignorant of the offence at the time when he committed it, had to pay the fifth part of the value of the holy property which he had eaten, in addition to the principal. For the way in which this was estimated see Leviticus 5:16.

And shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing.—Better, And shall give back the holy thing to the priest. “Holy thing” denotes here the equivalent of the holy thing which he has eaten. This he has to return to the priest with the fifth part. As eating holy things through ignorance was not so great an offence as withholding them altogether, or not delivering them up, restitution with a small fine was deemed a sufficient caution, whilst the case of ignorantly keeping them back was more serious, and hence the offender had also to bring a trespass offering. (See Leviticus 5:14-17.)

Leviticus 22:14. The fifth part unto it — Over and above the principal, and besides the ram to be offered to God, Leviticus 5:15. And shall give unto the priest the holy thing — That is, the worth of it, which the priest was either to take to himself or to offer to God, as the nature of the thing was.22:1-33 Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices. - In this chapter we have divers laws concerning the priests and sacrifices, all for preserving the honour of the sanctuary. Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord's table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.Unwittingly - Inadvertently, or "through ignorance." Compare Leviticus 4:2 note. 14. if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly—A common Israelite might unconsciously partake of what had been offered as tithes, first-fruits, &c., and on discovering his unintentional error, he was not only to restore as much as he had used, but be fined in a fifth part more for the priests to carry into the sanctuary. The fifth part, over and above the principal, and besides the ram to be offered to God, Leviticus 5:15.

Shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing; or, and shall give unto the priest the holy thing; i.e. the worth of it, which the priest was either to take to himself or offer to God, as the nature of the thing was. And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly,.... Either not knowing that it is an holy thing, or the heave offering, or any thing of that kind; or else is ignorant of the punishment of such an action, as Gersom observes; and this is to be understood of any man that was not a priest, or was not of the priest's family, even any common Israelite; so the Targum of Jonathan, a man of Israel, or an Israelite, one of the common people:

then he shall put a fifth part thereof unto it; a fifth part of the value of what he has eaten, to an equivalent for the whole, that is, he shall pay the full value for what he has eaten, and a fifth part besides:

and shall give it to the priest with the holy thing; the meaning is, that he shall give the fifth part to the priest, with the equivalent for what he has eaten; for he could not give the holy thing itself, but a compensation for it; according to Gersom, he was to give the principal to the priest, whose the holy thing was he ate of, and the fifth part he might give to what priest he would. The Jewish canon, concerning this matter, runs thus; he that ignorantly eats the heave offering pays the principal, and the fifth part; and the same, either he that eats, or drinks, or anoints; and whether the heave offering be clean or unclean, he pays the fifth, and the fifth of the fifth; and he does not pay the heave offering but of common things, rightly ordered, and they become an heave offering, and the compensation of it; and if the priest would forgive, he may not (p).

(p) Misn. Trumot, c. 6. sect. 1.

And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the {g} fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing.

(g) He shall give that and a fifth part over.

14. unwittingly] Cp. Leviticus 4:2. We are reminded by the directions here (‘the fifth part’ to be added) of ch. Leviticus 5:14-16; but the case there is quite different. It had to do with unintentionally keeping back from the Lord His dues. Here the man has unwittingly eaten of consecrated food, although not belonging to those who, in accordance with the preceding regulations, were privileged in that respect. The penalty in the former case was naturally a heavier one, viz. a Guilt-Offering.Verse 14. - As the sacrificial meals made a part of the stipends of the priestly body, any one who inadvertently took a share in them by eating of the holy thing unwittingly, when he had no right to do so, had to refund the value of the meat, with one fifth, that is, twenty percent, added to it. He thus acknowledged that he had "committed a trespass in the holy things of the Lord," the case falling under the rule given in chapter Leviticus 5:15, 16, "And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest." In the fifth chapter a trespass offering of a ram is also ordered, which, though not specified, is probably understood here also. In this connection the command given to all the Israelites, not to eat anything that had fallen down dead or been torn in pieces (Leviticus 17:15-16), is repeated with special reference to the priests. (On. Leviticus 22:9, see Leviticus 8:35; Leviticus 18:30, and Leviticus 19:17). יחלּלהוּ, "because they have defiled it (the sanctified thing)."
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