Article Index

The אשׁם (asham-guilt offering) is the fifth qorbanot and is described in Leviticus chapter 5.

He shall also bring his guilt offering [asham] to the LORD for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin. (Leviticus 5:6)

 

The KJV translates this as a "trespass offering".

 

The beginning of the chapter provides some examples of ways that people can become "guilty" [asham] and need a "guilt offering" [asham]:

  • A person fails to testify when he hears a public call for witnesses and he is a witness to a matter (Lev 5:1)
  • A person who becomes unclean by touching some unclean thing unawares (Lev 5:2)
  • A person who becomes unclean by touching human uncleanness unawares and then later becomes aware of it (Lev 5:3)
  • A person who makes a rash vow to do something (either evil or good) and he is not paying attention and later becomes aware of it (Lev 5:4)

It is interesting that this is the first offering (indeed the first place in Scripture!) where confession [ידה (yadah)- confess, give thanks] is required:

"So it shall be when he becomes guilty [asham] in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned [chata]. (Leviticus 5:5)

 

Here are the details of the asham:

Asham
What is
Offered?
Without
Defect?
Slain By
Whom?
Slain Where? Entrails?
A female from the flock, a lamb or a goat- (Lev 5:6) No mention The priest-
(Lev 5:6)
No mention No mention
Two turtle doves or two pigeons (one for a sin offering [chata'at] and one for a burnt offering [olah])-
(Lev 5:7)
No mention The priest-
(Lev 5:8)
The same place as a sin offering-
(Lev 5:9)
No mention
A tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering [chata'at] without oil or incense-
(Lev 5:11)
No mention The priest-
(Lev 5:12)
The memorial portion is burned up on the altar-
(Lev 5:12)
No mention
If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the LORD's holy things then the price of a ram in silver shall be brought to the LORD for a guilt offering [asham], plus the 120% of the value of the holy thing-
(Lev 5:15)

Yes-
(Lev 5:15)
The priest-
(Lev 5:16)
No mention No mention
If a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, he shall bring the price of a ram from the flock for a guilt offering [asham]-
(Lev 5:18)
Yes-
(Lev 5:18)
The priest-
(Lev 5:18)
No mention No mention

 

Leviticus chapter 6:2-6 provides some additional examples of willful sin:

If a person sins and acts unfaithfully [ma'al] against the LORD and:

  • deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him
  • or through robbery
  • or if he has extorted from his companion
  • or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely
  • so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do (Lev 6:2-3)

then it shall be when he sins and becomes guilt, that he shall restore:

  • what he took by robbery
  • or what he got by extortion
  • or the deposit which was entrusted to him
  • or the lost thing which he found
  • or anything about which he swore falsely; (Lev 6:4-5)

and

  • he shall make restitution for it in full
  • and add a fifth (an additional 20%) to it
  • and give it to the person to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt [asham] offering (Lev 6:5)

and

  • he shall bring to the priest his asham: the value of a ram without defect (Lev 6:6)

 

Law for Asham

The "law for asham" is found in Leviticus chapter 7 and includes:

  • The asham is to be slain in the place where the olah is slain. (Lev 7:2)
  • He (the priest) shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. (Lev 7:2)
  • He shall offer these up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire (Lev 7:5)
    • its fat,
    • the fat tail,
    • the fat the covers the entrails (Lev 7:3),
    • the two kidneys and the fat that is on them is on the loins,
    • the lobe of the liver which is removed with the kidneys (Lev 7:4)
  • Every male among the priests may eat of it in a holy place: it is most holy. (Lev 7:6)
  • As is a chata'at so is an asham: there is one law for (both of) them. (Lev 7:7)
  • The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. (Lev 7:7)

 

 

Torah Portion

כּי תבוא (Ki Tavo)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Shishi, 20 Elul, 5779

Friday, September 20, 2019

 

Learn more about this date in history.