Is the sin offering (Leviticus 4) ever considered a sweet-smelling pleasing aroma to God?
I found your book From Shadow to Reality to be great and have since purchased your book Reasons for Belief. I have a question about a statement you made on page 144 of From Shadow to Reality. I understand the 2 classes of sacrifices… worship/offering and for sin, and how the worship sacrifice is referred to as a sweet aroma. You wrote that the sin sacrifices were not a pleasing aroma to God and are never described in that way. My confusion comes in when I read LEV 4:31 where it talks about the sin sacrifice for a common person, and he refers to it as a sweet aroma and atonement at the same time. Am I missing something here? Another verse about sacrifices I have found confusing is JOB 42:8. I don’t think you refer to this in your book, but it is where God is displeased with the folly of some and tells them to offer burnt offerings. It would seem to me that they should have made a sin offering, not a burnt offering in this situation. I have always understood these offerings the way you wrote of them in your book, but these verses (and there may be more that I just have not noticed) are confusing to me. If you find the time, I would appreciate your comments and help. Thanks
Believe it or not, you are actually the second person to notice this inconsistency. And you are not missing something. It was me who missed something. Apparently, I was too categorical in my description in the book. I should have said something more like “burnt, grain… offerings are foreshadows of what Jesus and what we offer, and are sweet smelling offerings. Sin and guilt offerings are foreshadows only of Jesus’ work and not ours and are generally not described as a sweet smelling sacrifice (with one exception, that being Leviticus 4:31) because they are for sin. When I said never, I simply was wrong. I apologize for my error and when I do another edition of FSTR I am planning on correcting this error.
Job 42:8 represents something done which did not under the covenant of Moses, so it is hard to give clear statements about where it fits, either into the Mosaic system, or as a foreshadow of the ministry of Jesus. Here, the technical term which separates a burnt from a sin offering would not necessarily apply. I do not expect careful use of technical terms such as olah (burnt offering) in Job. The sin and guilt offerings were burned under the Law of Moses, as was the burnt offering, obviously. The fact that the offering in Job 42:8 was burned does not really tell us what kind of offering it was. The instructions are not as complete as in Leviticus because this passage was not intended to give a definite command about a definite sacrifice to be offered in the future. I suppose that, given the context, it seems more like an offering for a sin committed, but it is not called a sin offering. Bottom line, God commanded it and, fortunately, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar did it.