Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy.…
The trespass-offering may be considered as a variety of the sin-offering. The distinguishing characteristic of the trespass-offering proper was restitution. The offences for which it was offered were such as admitted of restitution, and the distinction from the sin-offering cannot be better expressed than in the words of Prof. Cave: "The sin and trespass-offerings were both sacrifices for sins; but in the former the leading idea was that of atonement, the expiation of sin by a substituted life; in the latter the leading feature was that of satisfaction, the wiping out of sin by the payment of a recompense." It is well worthy of note that in the trespass-offering for sins against God, the ritual prescribed was sacrifice first, restitution following; while in those against man the order was reversed: restitution first, followed by sacrifice on the altar. The appropriateness of the difference will be readily seen. In the former case, where the sin consisted in withholding from God that which was His due, it was not really God that lost anything, it was the sinner. Giving to God is not regarded as a debt which a man must pay, but rather as a privilege which he may enjoy; and, accordingly, before a man can enjoy the privilege of which he has foolishly deprived himself, he must come and offer his sacrifice upon the altar. But when the sinner has been withholding from his fellow-man that which is his due, the delinquency is regarded in the light of a debt, and he is not allowed to go to the altar of God until he has paid his debt, and not only discharged the principal in full, but added one-fifth part thereto.
(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy.