- Be careful when entering the holy place. If you come at the wrong time, God will kill you.
After God killed Aaron's sons, he told Moses to tell Aaron not to just walk into the holy place anytime he feels like it. God likes his privacy, and if Aaron comes uninvited, God will kill him, just like he did his sons, Nadab and Abihu.
Although the commandment seemed specific to Aaron, Maimonides included it on his list (#324), so I guess it still applies today.
And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. Leviticus 16:1-2
- Perform each year's Yom Kippur sacrifices.
Jewish people consider Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) to be the holiest day of the year. But neither they nor any other modern Bible believers obey the sacrificial procedures that God required in this commandment "as a statute forever" each year "in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month." So I'm giving the complete instructions here.
First of all, Aaron (and the priests that succeed him) must bring a young bullock for a sin offing and a ram for a burnt offering into the holy place.
Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. Leviticus 16:3
The priest must put on the holy linen coat, linen breeches, linen girdle, and linen mitre. These are holy garments, so he must take a bath before putting them on.
He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. Leviticus 16:4
In addition to the bullock and ram that he previously brought, the priest must also bring two young goats and a ram from members of the congregation for a burnt offering.
And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.Leviticus 16:5
First he kills the bullock that he brought for himself as a sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household.
And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. Leviticus 16:6
Then he selects one of the two goats by lots; one will be killed for God, the other will be the scapegoat.
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. Leviticus 16:7-8
The priest kills the goat on which the Lord's lot fell and offers him for a sin offering.
And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. Leviticus 16:9
The other goat, the one on which the Lord's lot didn't fall, is the scapegoat. It is presented alive to the Lord to make an atonement by releasing it into the wilderness.
But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. Leviticus 16:10
After releasing the scapegoat, the priest will kill the bullock that he brought for himself as a sin offering.
And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: Leviticus 16:9
Then he'll burn some sweet incense over the mercy set. If he does it right, God won't kill him. (Like he did Aaron's sons.)
And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: Leviticus 16:12-13
The priest will take some of the bullock's blood and sprinkle it eastward with his finger seven times upon the mercy seat.
And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Leviticus 16:14
Then he'll kill the goat for a sin offering and sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat like he did with the bullock's blood.
Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: Leviticus 16:15
By killing the bullock and goat and sprinkling and wiping their blood in this carefully prescribed way, God will forgive all the sins and uncleanness of his people.
And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. Leviticus 16:16-19
But now back to the live goat -- the scapegoat. The priest lays his hand on the scapegoat's head and confesses all of the peoples' sins (must take a while), putting them all on the head of the goat. The he sends the goat away into the wilderness.
And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:20-22
After releasing the scapegoat, the priest takes off his sacred garments, takes a bath in the holy place, puts on his street clothes, and offers the burnt offerings, both for him and the people.
And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there: And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. Leviticus 16:23-24
Then the priest burns the fat of the sin offering on the altar, and the person that released the scapegoat must wash his clothes, take a bath, and come into the camp.
And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. Leviticus 16:25-26
Then the skins, flesh, and dung of the bullock and goat are burned. And the person who burns them must wash his clothes, take a bath, and come into the camp.
And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp. Leviticus 16:27-28
This whole Yom Kippur procedure is a statute forever. It shall be performed on the tenth day of the month of the seventh month of the year. You shall do no work and be afflicted (usually understood to mean: no eating, drinking, sex, or baseball on Yom Kippur).
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. ... And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. Leviticus 16:29-34
11 July 2014
EJ&T: Leviticus 16: The safe way to burn incense and the Yom Kippur scapegoat
In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.
Posted by Steve Wells