A burnt offering (olah), described as “sweet smelling” food for YHWH, always includes grain and wine libation “side-dishes,” constituting a complete meal. A purification offering (chattat), however, is a cleansing ritual. Should it also have an accompanying libation? The Masoretic Text of Numbers 28-29 offers an inconsistent answer that differs from that of the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch.
In the Priestly texts, observing the divine commandments became an end in itself while the unique meaning or purpose of the particular mitzvah took on less significance. Concomitantly, P asserted the need for personal atonement through a chatat (sin offering) for even unintentionally violating God’s commandments.