Verse 27. "The common people" - ┼rah Á[ am haarets, the people of the land, that is, any individual who was not a priest, king, or ruler among the people; any of the poor or ordinary sort. Any of these, having transgressed through ignorance, was obliged to bring a lamb or a kid, the ceremonies being nearly the same as in the preceding cases. The original may denote the very lowest of the people, the labouring or agricultural classes. The law relative to the general cases of sins committed through ignorance, and the sacrifices to be offered on such occasions, so amply detailed in this chapter, may be thus recapitulated. For all sins and transgressions of this kind committed by the people, the prince, and the priest, they must offer expiatory offerings. The person so sinning must bring the sacrifice to the door of the tabernacle, and lay his hands upon its head, as in a case already referred to, acknowledging the sacrifice to be his, that he needed it for his transgression; and thus he was considered as confessing his sin, and the sin was considered as transferred to the animal, whose blood was then spilt to make an atonement. See on "chap. i. 4". Such institutions as these could not be considered as terminating in themselves, they necessarily had reference to something of infinitely higher moment; in a word, they typified Him whose soul was made an offering for sin, Isa. liii. 10. And taken out of this reference they seem both absurd and irrational. It is obviously in reference to these innocent creatures being brought as sin-offerings to God for the guilty that St. Paul alludes 2 Cor. v. 21, where he says, He (God) made him to be sin (amartian, a sin-offering) for us WHO KNEW NO SIN, that we might be made the righteousness of God - holy and pure by the power and grace of God, in or through him. And it is worthy of remark, that the Greek word used by the apostle is the same by which the Septuagint, in more than fourscore places in the Pentateuch, translate the Hebrew word hafh hattaah, sin, which in all those places our translation renders sin-offering. Even sins of ignorance cannot be unnoticed by a strict and holy law; these also need the great atonement: on which account we should often pray with David, Cleanse thou me from secret faults! Psa. xix. 12.
How little attention is paid to this solemn subject! Sins of this kind-sins committed sometimes ignorantly, and more frequently heedlessly, are permitted to accumulate in their number, and consequently in their guilt; and from this very circumstance we may often account for those painful desertions, as they are called, under which many comparatively good people labour. They have committed sins of ignorance or heedlessness, and have not offered the sacrifice which can alone avail in their behalf. How necessary in ten thousand cases is the following excellent prayer! "That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, to amend our lives according to thy HOLY WORD."-Litany.