Unintentional Sin

The fourth and fifth chapters of Leviticus have a regulations for offerings in cases of “unintentional sins.”

Lev. 4:2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them,

4:13  “Now if the whole congregation of Israel commits error, and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly”

4:22 “When a leader sins and unintentionally…”

4:27 “Now if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally…

5:15 “If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally …

5:18 “…So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him.”


  • Anyone can become guilty of this type of sin: “a person,” “a leader,” “anyone.” We’d like to that that we, or those in charge, are above such things. Experience shows us that we are not. Only pride, naiveté, or both, makes us think so.
  • Unintentional sin can be done singularly, or in groups: “the whole community.”
  • While the Bible has 17 passages referring to the forgiving on unintentional sins, it does not have any telling about forgiveness of intentional sin.