Why was flour allowed as a substitute for a sin offering?


Dear brother in Christ,

I am seeking your kind guidance for the following: When blood was required to be shed for sin as an atonement, how is it that a flour offering can be considered where there is no blood present in it?

Can you please kindly clarify?


For a sin offering, a person was required to offer a female lamb or goat as an offering (Leviticus 5:6). If the sinner could not afford the lamb or goat, then he could offer two turtledoves or two pigeons instead (Leviticus 5:7). If the sinner could not afford even these, he could bring a tenth of an ephah of fine flour (about three quarts -- the amount of food a person might eat in a day (Exodus 16:8,36)) (Leviticus 5:11).

The offering did not vary based on the type of sin a person committed. This emphasizes the fact that to God all sin is the same. It did vary based on the economic status of a person, showing that God wanted forgiveness to be available to everyone.

The writer of Hebrews noted, "And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22). Notice that he said, "one may almost say." While it was generally true, there were a few minor exceptions. For example, in the matter of cleansing or purification, some things were cleansed by fire and some things by water (Numbers 31:22-24; Leviticus 16:26,28). That God chose to make a few exceptions (Numbers 16:46) does not change the general rule (Leviticus 17:11).


Thank you so much brother for your kind clarification.

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