Leviticus 4:23
Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:
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(23) Or if his sin.—That is, if on his failing to see it himself, his sin is shown to him by another person.

A kid of the goats.—The expression here used (sāêr) properly denotes the rough, shaggy-haired he goat, and is distinguished from athud (literally, ready, vigorous), which occurs in conjunction with it (Numbers 7:16-17; Numbers 7:22-23), and which is also translated goat in point of age. The sāêr, or the shaggy or longer haired he-goat, here used is the older buck of the goat, whose hair has become long with age; whilst the athud is the same animal, younger and more vigorous. Hence the former was never killed for food, or used for burnt or thank offerings at the festivals (Leviticus 16:9; Leviticus 16:15; Leviticus 23:19; Numbers 28:15; Numbers 28:22; Numbers 28:30; Numbers 29:5; Numbers 29:11; Numbers 29:16), and at the consecration of the priests and sanctuary (Leviticus 9:3; Leviticus 9:15; Leviticus 10:16), whilst the latter was killed for food (Deuteronomy 32:14; Jeremiah 51:40), and hence, like the bull, the ram, and the lamb, was regularly presented as burnt and thank offerings (Numbers 7:17; Numbers 7:23; Numbers 7:29, &c.; Isaiah 1:11; Isaiah 34:6; Ezekiel 39:18; Pss. 1. 9, 13, Ixvi. 15). It will be seen that the first difference in the sin offering of a prince is that he is to bring a longhaired he-goat, and not a bull.

4:22-26 Those who have power to call others to account, are themselves accountable to the Ruler of rulers. The sin of the ruler, committed through ignorance, must come to his knowledge, either by the check of his own conscience, or by the reproof of his friends; both which even the best and greatest, not only should submit to, but be thankful for. That which I see not, teach thou me, and, Show me wherein I have erred, are prayers we should put up to God every day; that if, through ignorance, we fall into sin, we may not through ignorance abide in it.Or if his sin - Rather, And if his sin.

Come to his knowledge - i. e. when he had become conscious of his sin.

A kid of the goats - A shaggy he-goat, in distinction from a smooth-haired he-goat. It was the regular sin-offering at the yearly festivals Leviticus 16:9, Leviticus 16:15; Numbers 28:15, Numbers 28:22, Numbers 28:30, and at the consecration of the priests Leviticus 9:3; while the smooth-haired goat appears to have been generally offered for the other sacrifices Psalm 50:9; Isaiah 1:11.

22-26. When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments—Whatever was the form of government, the king, judge, or subordinate, was the party concerned in this law. The trespass of such a civil functionary being less serious in its character and consequences than that either of the high priest or the congregation, a sin offering of inferior value was required—"a kid of the goats"; and neither was the blood carried into the sanctuary, but applied only to the altar of burnt offering; nor was the carcass taken without the camp; it was eaten by the priests-in-waiting. The disjunctive or is here put for the copulative and, as it is 1 Corinthians 12:13 13:8 15:11; for it is evident that he speaks of the same person, and of the same sin.

Or if his sin wherein he hath sinned come to his knowledge,.... Or rather, "and if his sin", &c. (m) either by means of others informing him of it, or of himself calling to mind what he has done, and considering it to be a transgression of the law:

he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish; his offering was to be a "kid of the goats", a fat and a large one; because, as Baal Hatturim observes, he ate fat things every day; and to distinguish it from the offering of one of the common people; and "without blemish"; as all sacrifices were, that they might be typical of the offering of Christ without spot.

(m) Sept. "et postea", V. L. & Noldius, p. 3. No. 23.

Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:
23. a goat] lit. a shaggy one of goats, i.e. a hairy goat, an expression used of female goats (Leviticus 4:28) as well as males. The phrase occurs, with the exception of Genesis 37:31, exclusively in Lev. and Ezek. of the animal brought as a Sin-Offering. Whether a particular breed with long hair is meant, or whether the long hair is due to age, seems doubtful, but the rendering of A.V. ‘kid of the goats’ is misleading.

Leviticus 4:23"If (או, see Ges. 155, 2) his sin is made known to him," i.e., if any one called his attention to the fact that he had transgressed a commandment of God, he was to bring a he-goat without blemish, and, having laid his hand upon it, to slay it at the place of burnt-offering; after which the priest was to put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering, and pour out the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar, and then to burn the whole of the fat upon the altar, as in the case of the peaceoffering (see Leviticus 3:3-4), and thus to make atonement for the prince on account of his sin. עזים שׂעיר, or שׂעיר alone (lit., hairy, shaggy, Genesis 27:11), is the buck-goat, which is frequently mentioned as the animal sacrificed as a sin-offering: e.g., that of the tribe-princes (Numbers 7:16., Leviticus 15:24), and that of the nation at the yearly festivals (Leviticus 16:9, Leviticus 16:15; Leviticus 23:19; Numbers 28:15, Numbers 28:22, Numbers 28:30; Numbers 29:5, Numbers 29:16.) and at the consecration of the tabernacle (Leviticus 9:3, Leviticus 9:15; Leviticus 10:16). It is distinguished in Numbers 7:16. from the attudim, which were offered as peace-offerings, and frequently occur in connection with oxen, rams, and lambs as burnt-offerings and thank-offerings (Psalm 50:9, Psalm 50:13; Psalm 66:15; Isaiah 1:11; Isaiah 34:6; Ezekiel 39:18). According to Knobel, עזים שׂעיר, or שׂעיר, was an old he-goat, the hair of which grew longer with age, particularly about the neck and back, and עזים שׂעירת (Leviticus 4:28; Leviticus 5:16) an old she-goat; whilst עתּוּד was the younger he-goat, which leaped upon the does (Genesis 31:10, Genesis 31:12), and served for slaughtering like lambs, sheep, and goats (Deuteronomy 32:14; Jeremiah 51:40). But as the עזים שׂעיר was also slaughtered for food (Genesis 37:31), and the skins of quite young he-goats are called שׂעירת (Genesis 27:23), the difference between שׂעיר and עתּוּד is hardly to be sought in the age, but more probably, as Bochart supposes, in some variety of species, in which case seir and seirak might denote the rough-haired, shaggy kind of goat, and attud the buck-goat of stately appearance.
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