#176. An individual who lies must atone for his sin with a guilt-offering OR suffer the thing that he lied or schemed about? (Lev 5:20-26 vs Deut 19:16-19)

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Concerning the punishment for lying or bringing a false testimony against your brethren, both the Priestly source and the Deuteronomic source offer two contradictory verdicts.

In the Deuteronomic source (Deut 19:16-19) the individual that has lied or has bared false witness against his brethren is to suffer that which he lied about: “yo shall do to him as he schemed to do to his brother. So you shall burn away what is bad from among you.”

Inline with the sacrificial emphasis throughout the Priestly source, the punishment for lying or bringing a false testimony against one’s brethren is that “he shall bring his guilt-offering to Yahweh: an unblemished ram from the flock.”

One thought on “#176. An individual who lies must atone for his sin with a guilt-offering OR suffer the thing that he lied or schemed about? (Lev 5:20-26 vs Deut 19:16-19)

  1. What’s interesting is that when Leviticus 5:20-26 (6:1-7 in many English translations) is compared to Numbers 5:5-10, we see that the latter passage makes allowance for things not considered in the former. It seems strange that the “omniscient” Yahweh wouldn’t have inspired his authors to include these provisions to begin with. Curious, too, is that one of the stipulations in Numbers is that if the wronged party dies and has no living relative, the payment
    –and the meat from the “guilt offering”–go to the priest!

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