Leviticus 16

The Day of Atonement

1The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of two of Aaron’s sons when they approached the presence a of
LXX, Tg, Syr, Vg read they brought strange fire before; Nm 3:4
the Lord and died. c
2The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he may not come whenever he wants into the holy place d behind the veil e in front of the
mercy seat: Or place of atonement; the gold lid on the ark of the covenant, first used in the tabernacle and later in the temple
mercy seat g on the ark or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud h above the mercy seat. i

3 “Aaron is to enter the most holy place j in this way: with a young bull for a
sin offering(s): Or purification offering, the sin offering was the most important OT sacrifice for cleansing from impurities. It provided purification from sin and certain forms of ceremonial uncleanness.
sin offering and a ram for a
burnt offering(s): Or holocaust, an offering completely burned to ashes; it was used in connection with worship, seeking God's favor, expiating sin, or averting judgment.
burnt offering. m
4He is to wear a holy linen tunic, and linen undergarments are to be on his body. He must tie a linen sash around him and wrap his head with a linen turban. n These are holy garments; he must bathe his body with water before he wears them. 5He is to take from the Israelite community two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. o

6 “Aaron will present the bull for his sin offering and make
atone/ atonement: A theological term for God's provision to deal with human sin. In the OT, it primarily means purification. In some contexts forgiveness, pardon, expiation, propitiation, or reconciliation is included. The basis of atonement is substitutionary sacrifice offered in faith. The OT sacrifices were types and shadows of the great and final sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
atonement for himself and his household.
7Next he will take the two goats and place them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8After Aaron casts lots q for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other for azazel,
Perhaps a term that means “for the goat that departs,” or “for removal,” or “for a rough, difficult place,” or “for a goat demon”; Hb obscure
9 he is to present the goat chosen by lot for the Lord and sacrifice it as a sin offering. t 10But the goat chosen by lot for azazel
Perhaps a term that means “for the goat that departs,” or “for removal,” or “for a rough, difficult place,” or “for a goat demon”; Hb obscure
is to be presented alive before the Lord to make purification with it by sending it into the wilderness v for azazel.

11“When Aaron presents the bull for his sin offering and makes atonement for himself and his household, he will slaughter the bull for his sin offering. 12Then he must take a firepan full of fiery coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense, w and bring them inside the veil. x 13He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, so that the cloud y of incense covers the mercy seat that is over the
testimony: A reference to either the Mosaic law in general or to a specific section of the law, the Ten Commandments, which were written on stone tablets and placed in the ark of the covenant (also called the ark of the testimony)
testimony, aa or else he will die. ab
14He is to take some of the bull’s blood ac and sprinkle it with his finger against the east side of the mercy seat; then he will sprinkle some of the blood with his finger before the mercy seat seven times. ad

15“When he slaughters the male goat for the people’s sin offering and brings its blood inside the veil, he must do the same with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood: he is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it. 16He will purify the most holy place in this way for all their sins because of the Israelites’ impurities and rebellious acts. ae He will do the same for the tent of meeting that remains among them, because it is surrounded by their impurities. 17 No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the most holy place until he leaves after he has made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole assembly of Israel. af 18Then he will go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement for it. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on the horns on all sides of the altar. 19He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse and set it apart ag from the Israelites’ impurities. ah

20“When he has finished purifying the most holy place, the tent of meeting, and the altar, he is to present the live male goat. 21 Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess ai over it all the Israelites’ wrongdoings aj and rebellious acts – all their sins. ak He is to put them on the goat’s head and send it away into the wilderness al by the man appointed for the task.
Lit wilderness in the hand of a ready man
22The goat will carry on it all their wrongdoings into a desolate land, an and he will release it there.

23“Then Aaron is to enter the tent of meeting, take off the linen garments ao he wore when he entered the most holy place, and leave them there. 24He will bathe his body with water in a holy place ap and put on his clothes. aq Then he must go out and sacrifice his burnt offering and the people’s burnt offering; he will make atonement for himself and for the people. 25He is to burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar. 26The man who released the goat for azazel
Perhaps a term that means “for the goat that departs,” or “for removal,” or “for a rough, difficult place,” or “for a goat demon”; Hb obscure
is to wash his clothes and bathe his body with water; afterward he may reenter the camp.
27The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought into the most holy place to make atonement, must be brought outside the camp as and their hide, at flesh, and dung burned up. au 28The one who burns them is to wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may reenter the camp.

29“This is to be a permanent statute av for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month you are to practice self-denial
Traditionally, fasting, abstinence from sex, and refraining from personal grooming
ax and do no work, ay both the native and the foreigner az who resides among you.
30Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, ba and you will be
clean: When something is clean, it is holy or acceptable to God. When it is unclean, it is unholy (such as an unclean spirit). The term can be used in a ritual sense to apply to moral standards for living.
clean from all your sins before the Lord.
31 It is a Sabbath bc of complete rest for you, bd and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute. 32The priest who is anointed and ordained
Lit and will fill his hand
bf to serve as high priest bg in place of his father will make atonement. He will put on the linen garments, the holy garments,
33and purify the most holy place. He will purify the tent of meeting and the altar and will make atonement for the priests and all the people of the assembly. 34 This is to be a permanent statute for you, to make atonement for the Israelites once a year bh because of all their sins.” And all this was done as the Lord commanded Moses.
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