Vayikro 7 (7) has the expression כַּחַטָּאת כָּאָשָׁם to mean that the אשם is like the חַטָּאת.

The wording האשם כחטאת would seem to express this too and is used by Ramban on Braishis 15 (9).

Is there a special reason (an interpretation) why the basis of the comparison (the chatos) is mentioned before the thing to be compared (the oshom) or is this a normal idiom?

  • Not entirely sure. I looked at it as genus/species: the asham is part of the larger category of chatat. Homo sapiens – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 25 '15 at 22:34
  • @IsaacKotlicky "Taxonomic-ally" speaking, Asham is probably closer to an Olah than to a Chattat. – Double AA Mar 25 '15 at 22:45

I can only assume that this is standard, as the translation of Onkelos, and simple Peshat is:

כְּחַטָּתָא כֵּן אֲשָׁמָא

As the Chattas is, so is the Asham (my very rough translation)

This only makes sense if we first mention that which we know (Chattas was already explained in 6:18), and afterwards extrapolate to the one we don't know (Asham, which we are learning about now).

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