Willful Sin Vs. Presumptuous Sin

Numbers 15:27–31, Two types of sin are delineated in this passage. They are the sin of ignorance and the sin of presumption (i.e., willful sinning, or literally, “sinning with a high hand”). For the first sin there is an offering or atonement. For the second sin, the penalty is death as illustrated by the example of the Sabbath-breaker in verses 32–36. It is interesting to note that breaking the Sabbath is the example the Torah uses to illustrate willful or presumptuous sin. Why is this? Likely, YHVH in his prescience realized that Sabbath observance would be a great bone of contention and point of struggle for his people. Indeed, even to this day, the idea of resting on the seventh day Sabbath still raises the antagonism of many in the church.

Numbers 15:30–36, The person who does anything presumptuously. Here we see an example of presumptuous sin with regard to the Sabbath. Presumptuous sinners despise the Torah-commands in YHVH’s Word thinking themselves to be above the laws of Elohim thus refusing to be ruled by it. The act of gathering the sticks on the Sabbath was an affront both to the law and the Lawgiver says Matthew Henry.

Here are some word definitions:

Presume means “to assume, to undertake without leave or clear justification, dare.”

Presumptuous meansaudacity; overstepping due bounds, taking liberties.”

The Hebrew word for presume is ruwm/ OuR /resh-vav-mem sofit (Strong’s H7311) meaning “to rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted, to exalt oneself, magnify oneself, to be rotten, and to be wormy.”

Reflect on your own life. Are there areas of disobedience in your life of which you need to repent? Many times we sin out of human weakness, not willful disobedience. Can such sin, if not eliminated, lead to presumptuous sin? Can we become so callous to sin that we become brazen and willful in our disobedience to YHVH’s laws? Paul talks about those whose consciences have become seared (1 Tim 4:2). What does this mean? In the Testimony of Yeshua, willful or presumptuous sin is often known in common parlance as the unpardonable sin. Note what the writer of Hebrews has to say about this (see Heb 6:6–7 and 10:26–31).


Unintentional Sin Vs. Willful Sin

Leviticus 4:1–33, Atonement for unintentional sin.

Listed in this chapter are the steps priests (verses 3–12), the people (verses 13–21) and the leaders (verses 22–26), or people of the land (verses 27–35) had to take to deal with sin. These four categories cover all people on earth: the priests, the Israelites, the leaders of Israel, and everyone else (all the Gentiles). Yeshua’s blood atonements is sufficient to cover all humans. The steps to make atonement for unintentional sin prophetically point to Yeshua’s death as a sin offering for man. They include offering a young bull on the altar (i.e., Yeshua’s death on the cross), the sinner laying his hands on the bull (i.e., confession of one’s sins and transferring those sins to Yeshua), sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice before the veil of the holy of holies (i.e., a picture of Yeshua’s blood being presented before the throne of Elohim on man’s behalf), sprinkling blood on the altar of incense (i.e., Yeshua interceding on the sinner’s behalf before the throne of Elohim, and the sinner himself worshipping YHVH and offering up prayers of repentance), the blood is then sprinkled on the ground at the base of the altar of sacrifice (i.e., the earth is cleansed from defilement because of man’s sin.


Leviticus 4:2, Sins unintentionally.

This chapter deals with the sin offering for unintentional or inadvertent sins that occur through carelessness. By contrast, there is no animal offering to atone for an intentional sin (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra Commentary, p. 72). Elsewhere, the Torah spells out the fate for those who sin presumptuously or intentionally. They were to be cut off from Israel, which is tantamount to a death sentence (Num 15:30). YHVH pronounced such a harsh sentence on the willful sinner because he had defiantly despised the word of YHVH—the Torah (Num 15:31). After this exhortation in Numbers, the Torah then gives an example of one who had sinned willfully. The penalty for this was death (Num 15:32–36). The Testimony of Yeshua discusses this type of sinful behavior as well in what has become known as the unpardonable sin (Heb 10:26 cp. 6:4–6).