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Additional Sin-Offering Regulations

“‘When a person sins[a] in that he hears a public curse against one who fails to testify[b] and he is a witness (he either saw or knew what had happened[c]) and he does not make it known,[d] then he will bear his punishment for iniquity.[e]

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  1. Leviticus 5:1 tn Heb “And a person when he sins.” Most English versions translate this as the protasis of a conditional clause: “if a person sins” (NASB, NIV).sn The same expression occurs in Lev 4:2 where it introduces sins done “by straying unintentionally from any of the commandments of the Lord which must not be done” (see the notes there). Lev 5:1-13 is an additional section of sin offering regulations directed at violations other than those referred to by this expression in Lev 4:2 (see esp. 5:1-6), and expanding on the offering regulations for the common person in Lev 4:27-35 with concessions to the poor common person (5:7-13).
  2. Leviticus 5:1 tn The words “against one who fails to testify” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied to make sense of the remark about the “curse” (“imprecation” or “oath”; cf. ASV “adjuration”; NIV “public charge”) for the modern reader. For the interpretation of this verse reflected in the present translation see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:292-97.
  3. Leviticus 5:1 tn The words “what had happened” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.
  4. Leviticus 5:1 tn Heb “and hears a voice of curse, and he is a witness or he saw or he knew, if he does not declare.”
  5. Leviticus 5:1 tn Heb “and he shall bear his iniquity.” The rendering “bear the punishment (for the iniquity)” reflects the use of the word “iniquity” to refer to the punishment for iniquity (cf. NRSV, NLT “subject to punishment”). It is sometimes referred to as the consequential use of the term (cf. Lev 5:17; 7:18; 10:17; etc.).

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