The Sin-Offering -- By: David B. Ford

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 009:33 (Jan 1852)
Article: The Sin-Offering
Author: David B. Ford


The Sin-Offering

Rev. David B. Ford

[The volume from which the following Article is taken, is properly a review of the more extended work of Dr. Baehr: “The Symbology of the Mosaic Cultus.” It is much to be lamented that a work of so profound and varied merit, should yet be defective and erroneous in regard to some important points which the evangelical church holds especially dear. It will be seen by the readers of the following pages that Baehr recognizes nothing of a penal or substitutionary character in the Mosaic offerings. In his view, the imposition of hands signified merely the offerer’s ownership of the animal and his willingness to give it up to Jehovah in death, and this willingness was yet more strongly expressed by his slaying of the victim. In the offering, the death of the animal was not the essential act, but only incidental to the principal thing — the sprinkling of the blood. The sprinkling of the blood (the principle of life) on the altar symbolizes the giving away of the soul or life of the offerer, and was thus an act emblematical of repentance, faith and self-dedication to God. “As the presentation of the blood of the animal is a giving away of the life of the

animal in death, so should also the natural, selfish life of the offerer be given away, i.e., die; but since this is a giving away to Jehovah, it is no more ceasing to be, but a dying which eo ipso becomes life.” And this symbolical character merely, he would in like manner attribute to the death and sacrifice of Christ. Some of these false views are combated, and, we may say, confuted, by our author in the following pages. — Tr.]

“The name of this kind of offering (חַטָּאת, properly, sin) points very distinctly and directly to its design. It has to do with sin, i. e ., it aims at a removal, an expiation of sin. This, indeed, is the design of offerings generally; for the idea of expiation lies at the foundation of all the various kinds of offerings. If, now, any particular offering bears a name expressly derived from this idea, we may infer that it has reference not to sin generally, but specifically, i.e., to individual and distinct offences, and that to atone for these definite, individual offences is its more especial and exclusive aim.” Baehr, Vol. II. p. 386. This view is perfectly accordant with our own previous investigations on this point. The question which now first claims our attention is, whether this expiation is available to every offence and to all sins without exception, or if not, what is the ground of this exception? An answer to these inquiries is found in Num. 15:27–30, “If any sou...

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