Occasions and features of guilt offerings include:
I. A witness to a matter who failed to testify or report after hearing public adjuration; one who had unwittingly become unclean by reason of a dead body or another unclean person; one who rashly or thoughtlessly made an oath to do or not to do something. (Lev. 5:1-4): First, he had to make confession as to the way in which he had sinned. (Lev. 5:5) The guilt offerings varied according to financial circumstances (Lev. 5:6-10); if it was a grain offering, no oil or frankincense was included, because it was a sin offering and was a required grain offering, not a voluntary one, which was a joyful offering of one in good standing with God. (Lev. 5:11-13)
II. One who sinned unintentionally against holy things of Jehovah (for example, one who unwittingly appropriated grain set aside as tithe to the sanctuary, and used it for himself or his household [for a common use, profaning the sanctified thing]) (Lev. 5:15a; compare Leviticus 22:14-16): Compensation plus one-fifth was to be given to the sanctuary. (Lev. 5:16) A ram was presented as a guilt offering. (Lev. 5:15)
III. A person who unwittingly did something (probably through negligence) that Jehovah commanded not to be done: A ram “according to the estimated value” was to be offered. (Lev. 5:15-17)
IV. A person who deceived his associate by taking valuables committed to his care, robbery, defrauding, keeping something found and lying, or swearing falsely (Lev. 6:2, 3; compare Exodus 22:7-13, and note that this does not include testifying falsely against one’s fellowman, as at Deuteronomy 5:20): First, confession of the wrong was to be made. Then he must make full compensation plus one-fifth, to the injured person. (Lev. 6:4, 5; Num. 5:6, 7) If the wronged person had died, the nearest male relative got the compensation; if there was no near relative, the priest received it. (Num. 5:8) Then he was to offer a ram for his guilt offering.
Grain offerings were made along with communion offerings, burnt offerings, sin offerings, and as first-fruits; at other times, independently. (Ex. 29:40-42; Lev. 23:10-13, 15-18; Num. 15:8, 9, 22-24; 28:9, 10, 20, 26-28; chap. 29) These were in recognition of God’s bounty in supplying blessings and prosperity. They were often accompanied with oil and incense. Grain offerings could be in the form of fine flour or ring-shaped cakes or wafers baked, griddle-cooked or from the deep-fat kettle, or roasted grain. Some of it was put on the altar of burnt offering, some was eaten by the priests, and in communion offerings the worshiper partook. (Lev. 6:19-23; 7:11-13; Num. 18:8-11) None of the grain offerings presented on the altar could contain leaven or “honey” (apparently referring to the syrup of figs or juice of fruits) that might ferment.—Lev. 2:1-16.
Drink offerings were presented along with most of the other offerings, especially after the Israelites had settled in the Promised Land. (Num. 15:2, 5, 8-10) This consisted of wine, “intoxicating liquor,” and was poured out on the altar. (Num. 28:7, 14; compare Exodus 30:9; Numbers 15:10.) The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi: “If I am being poured out like a drink offering upon the sacrifice and public service to which faith has led you, I am glad.” Here he used the figure of a drink offering, expressing his willingness to expend himself in behalf of fellow Christians. (Phil. 2:17) Shortly before his death he wrote to Timothy: “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the due time for my releasing is imminent.”—2 Tim. 4:6.
In the wave offerings the priest evidently put his hands under the hands of the worshiper, who was holding the sacrifice to be presented, and waved them to and fro; or the thing offered was waved by the priest himself. (Lev. 23:11a) Moses, as mediator of the Law covenant, also seemingly did this for Aaron and his sons when consecrating them to the priesthood. (Lev. 8:28, 29) This action represented a presenting of the sacrificial things to Jehovah. Certain wave offerings went to the priests as their portion.—Ex. 29:27.
The presentation of a sheaf (or omer measure) of the firstfruits of the barley harvest on Nisan 16 was a wave offering carried out by the high priest. It was on this date in the year 33 C.E. that Jesus Christ was resurrected, “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.” (1 Cor. 15:20; Lev. 23:11b; John 20:1) On the day of Pentecost two leavened loaves of the firstfruits of wheat were waved. (Lev. 23:15-17) This is the day that Jesus, as High Priest in the heavens, was able to present to Jehovah the first of his spiritual brothers of the Christian congregation, taken from among sinful mankind and anointed by the pouring out of the holy spirit.—Acts 2:1-4, 32, 33; compare James 1:18.
Sacred portions (heave offerings)
The Hebrew word teru·mahʹ is sometimes translated “sacred portion” when referring to the part of the sacrifice that was lifted up or heaved off the sacrifice as the portion belonging to the priests. (Ex. 29:27, 28; Lev. 7:14, 32; 10:14, 15) The word is also frequently rendered “contribution,” when referring to the things given to the sanctuary, which, with the exception of that which was sacrificed on the altar, also went to the priests for their sustenance.—Num. 18:8-13, 19, 24, 26-29; 31:29; Deut. 12:6, 11.
The Hebrew word ʼad·deʹreth (from a root meaning wide, great, noble) describes that which is “majestic” (Ezek. 17:8; Zech. 11:3) and, in its references to a garment, evidently refers to a wide cloak or robe, perhaps worn over the shoulders and made of skins, or of cloth woven from hair or wool.
Evidence that the term describes a hairy garment is seen in the description of Isaac’s firstborn Esau. At birth, he “came out red all over like an official garment of hair; so they called his name Esau.” (Gen. 25:25) His resemblance to an official garment was likely not his reddish color but his hairiness.
The Septuagint uses the Greek word me·lo·teʹ (meaning sheepskin or any rough woolly skin) when translating ʼad·deʹreth, for the official garment used by Elijah and Elisha. (1 Ki. 19:13) This suggests that the garment was made of skins with the hair left on, similar to the garb worn by certain bedouins. Paul’s description of persecuted servants of God who “went about in sheepskins, in goatskins,” may refer to the dress of such prophets of Jehovah. (Heb. 11:37) John the Baptist wore clothing of camel’s hair, though it is not stated that this was his official garment as a prophet.—Mark 1:6.
However designed, these official garments of hair appear to have been an identifying mark of certain prophets. When King Ahaziah heard the description of “a man possessing a hair garment, with a leather belt girded about his loins,” he immediately recognized that it was the prophet Elijah. (2 Ki. 1:8) This official garment served as the anointing instrument that was thrown upon Elisha when he was ‘called’ to leave the plow and follow Elijah. (1 Ki. 19:19-21) Later, at the time Elijah went up in the windstorm, this garment was left for his successor, who soon used it in dividing the Jordan River, just as his master had done. (2 Ki. 2:3, 8, 13, 14) False prophets,