על חטאתו אשר חטא. כָּאן שִׁנָּה הַכָּתוּב, שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּעֲשִׁירוּת וּבְדַלּוּת נֶאֱמַר מֵחַטָּאתוֹ, וְכָאן בְּדַלֵּי דַּלּוּת נֶאֱמַר עַל חַטָּאתוֹ, דִּקְדְּקוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ מִכָּאן, שֶׁאִם חָטָא כְּשֶׁהוּא עָשִׁיר וְהִפְרִישׁ מָעוֹת לְכִשְׂבָּה אוֹ שְׂעִירָה וְהֶעֱנִי, יָבִיא מִמִּקְצָתָן שְׁתֵּי תּוֹרִים, הִפְרִישׁ מָעוֹת לִשְׁתֵּי תּוֹרִים וְהֶעֱנִי, יָבִיא מִמִּקְצָתָן עֲשִׂירִית הָאֵפָה, הִפְרִישׁ מָעוֹת לַעֲשִׂירִית הָאֵפָה וְהֶעֱשִׁיר, יוֹסִיף עֲלֵיהֶן וְיָבִיא קָרְבַּן עָשִׁיר, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר כָּאן עַל חַטָּאתוֹ: אשר חטא על חטאתו [AND THE PRIEST SHALL MAKE EXPIATION ON HIS BEHALF] FOR THE SIN THAT HE HATH SINNED — Here Scripture varies the expression, for in the case of affluence (v. 6) and narrow means (v. 10) it is stated, “[and the priest shall make expiation for him] מחטאתו”, whilst here, in the case of utter destitution, it is stated מחטאתו) על חטאתו may mean: something from his sin-offering, i. e., a part of it, whilst על חטאתו implies something in addition to his sin-offering)! Our Rabbis from the niceties of the text derived from here the law that if one sinned whilst he was a rich man and set apart money for a she-lamb or a she-goat (the sacrifice prescribed for a well-to-do person; cf. v. 6), but then became impoverished somewhat, he has only to bring (purchase) from a part of it (the money) two turtledoves (or two young pigeons, the offering prescribed for the poor) and may retain the balance for his own use: if, being a poor mạn, he has set apart money for two turtledoves and then was reduced to even greater poverty, he has only to bring from a part of it a tenth of an ephah of flour; hence the use of the word מחטאתו in the sense explained above. If, on the other hand, being only of moderate means, he has set apart money only for a tenth of an ephah of flour, but became rich afterwards, he must add to it and bring the offering prescribed for a rich man. For this reason it is stated here על חטאתו — in addition to what was intended for his sin-offering (Keritot 27b).
מאחת מאלה. מֵאַחַת מִשָּׁלוֹשׁ כַּפָּרוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בָּעִנְיָן — אוֹ בַּעֲשִׁירוּת אוֹ בְּדַלּוּת אוֹ בְּדַלֵּי דַּלּוּת; וּמָה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר? שֶׁיָּכוֹל הַחֲמוּרִים שֶׁבָּהֶם יִהְיוּ בְּכִשְׂבָּה אוֹ שְׂעִירָה, וְהַקַּלִּין יִהְיוּ בְּעוֹף, וְהַקַּלִּין שֶׁבַּקַּלִין יִהְיוּ בַּעֲשִׂירִית הָאֵפָה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר מֵאַחַת מֵאֵלֶּה, לְהַשְׁווֹת קַלִּין לַחֲמוּרִין לְכִשְׂבָּה וּשְׂעִירָה אִם הִשִּׂיגָה יָדוֹ, וְאֶת הַחֲמוּרִין לַקַּלִּין לַעֲשִׂירִית הָאֵפָה בְּדַלֵּי דַּלּוּת (ספרא): מאחת מאלה [AND THE PRIEST SHALL MAKE EXPIATION FOR HIM] BY MEANS OF ONE OF THESE — i. e. by means of one of the three expiating sacrifices mentioned in this section: either by means of the offering prescribed for affluence or by that for poverty or by that for utter destitution (i. e., in the case of the offerings brought for each of the three sins mentioned above (vv. 1, 2—3 and 4) the offering must be brought according to the circumstances of the wrong-doer). But why is this stated? (i. e., why does it not merely state אשר חטא ונסלח לו חטאתו הכהן על וכפר עליו since the different sacrifices have been mentioned previously)? But Scripture uses this term “by means of one of these”, because I might think that the most serious sins amongst them (i. e. those mentioned in vv. 2—3, which, if done wilfully, are subject to the penalty of כרת) should be atoned for by a she-lamb or a she-goat: the lighter ones (v. 1) by a fowl, and the lightest of all (v. 4) by a tenth part of an ephah of flour! Scripture, however, states, “[and he shall make expiation for him] by one of these” — in order to put on the same level the light sins with the most serious with regard to the duty of offering a she-lamb or a she-goat, if he (the offender) possesses the means. And, on the other hand, to put on the same level the most serious sins with the lighter in respect to the duty of bringing a tenth part of an ephah of flour as an offering in case of utter destitution (Sifra, Vayikra Dibbura d'Chovah, Chapter 19 10).
והיתה לכהן כמנחה. לְלַמֵּד עַל מִנְחַת חוֹטֵא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׁיָרֶיהָ נֶאֱכָלִין, זֶהוּ לְפִי פְּשׁוּטוֹ; וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דָּרְשׁוּ: "וְהָיְתָה לַכֹּהֵן" — וְאִם חוֹטֵא זֶה כֹּהֵן הוּא, תְּהֵא כִּשְׁאָר מִנְחַת נִדְבַת כֹּהֵן, שֶׁהִיא בְּכָלִיל תִּהְיֶה לֹא תֵאָכֵל (ספרא): והיתה לכהן כמנחה AND IT SHALL BE THE PRIEST’S, JUST AS A MEAL-OFFERING — This is intended to teach with regard to the meal-offering of a sinner (i. e. a meal-offering brought as an expiation for the sins mentioned above) that what is left of it after the קמץ has been burnt may be eaten by the priests just as the remains of the free-will offering (cf. Leviticus 2:3). This is what the statement means according to its literal sense. Our Rabbis, however, explained והיתה לכהן to imply: that if this sinner be a priest, then it shall be as any other meal-offering brought as a free-will offering by a priest which comes under the law: (Leviticus 6:16) “[For every meal-offering of the priest] shall be wholly burnt; it shall not be eaten”. (The words are to be construed thus:והיתה לכהן, but if it be a priest’s, כמנחה then it shall be exactly like any voluntary meal-offering that he brings) (cf. Sifra, Vayikra Dibbura d'Chovah, Chapter 19 11; Menachot 73b).