“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.” (Leviticus 5:14-16)
God gave special directions relating to who was to eat the holy things, and how they were to be offered, such as the command that every meat offering was to be offered with salt. If a person unwittingly made a mistake in handling these offerings, as for example a priest offering what was intended as a sin offering as a meat offering instead, adding oil or incense to the flour, he was to repay the cost of the sacrifice with an additional twenty percent, as well as sacrificing a ram for his guilt.
“And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity. And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.” (Leviticus 5:17-19)
Guilt is defined as the state of having done something wrong. If you did the wrong, you are guilty, whether you did it knowingly or not. The not guilty by reason of insanity iis only possible by changing the meaning of the English word. God was specific that the meaning was not to be changed.
There are a number of things that are specifically forbidden by the law. Even if a person was unaware of those provisions, if he did them he was still guilty, and was responsible for the consequences of his actions. He was to bring a ram for a trespass offering for having violated God’s command, and money to make restitution for the harm done. And for his ignorance. It was the person’s responsibility to know what God had said, and the failure to learn was itself sin. He didn’t take what God wanted seriously enough to even find out what he was forbidden to do.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.” (Leviticus 6:1-5)
Human nature is such that we instinctively react to protect ourselves. When confronted with a mistake or sin we tend to lie about what happened to hide our guilt. It is not premeditated, but it is still a lie. People find something and take it with them with no thought of stealing it. God recognizes our human frailties and unintentional, even though they are still sin. He made provision for forgiveness for such things. The first step is making restitution for any loss the other person may have suffered. He is to add twenty percent of the value to make up for other losses the loss of the item may have caused.
“And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. “ (Leviticus 6:6-7)
Along with estimated value of the restitution, the person was to bring a good ram for the priests to offer as an atonement for their sin. Any such violation of God’s commandments which was not intentional could be forgiven.