Leviticus 16 :
The Day of Atonement
Note: In what follows, distinguish between bringing
or presenting or offering the animal instructions
(preparation) from the sacrifice or slaughter
instruction (killing), otherwise there appears considerable repetition.
Because of the complexity of instruction note the following table:
Offering – some blood on atonement cover, rest of animal
burnt outside camp.
Offering - burnt on altar
as sin offering, – some blood of one on atonement cover,
rest of animal burnt outside camp. Other one as scapegoat,
Offering – burnt on altar
Aaron & Entering the Most Holy Place
spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died
when they approached the Lord
said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come
whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place
behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark,
or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement
Step 1: Aaron to bring two offerings FOR HIMSELF
is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring
a young bull for a sin offering
and a ram for a burnt offering.
personal sinfulness to be faced together with heart desire to
Step 2: Aaron to be dressed in linen undergarments etc.
is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments
next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put
on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe
himself with water before he puts them on.
Step 3: To receive 3 animal offerings FROM THE PEOPLE
is to take two male goats for a sin offering
and a ram for a burnt offering. [these
will shortly be used for the ritual]
Step 4: To present the bull as a SIN OFFERING for atonement FOR
“Aaron is to
offer the bull for his own sin offering
to make atonement for himself
and his household. [having
brought it to the Tabernacle, he is to present it to God for use
in this ritual]
Step 5: Presents one SIN OFFERING goat as sacrifice, releases
he is to take the two goats and present
them before the Lord
at the entrance
to the tent of meeting.
is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord
and the other
for the scapegoat.
shall bring the goat whose lot falls
to the Lord
sacrifice it for a sin offering.
the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall
be presented alive before the Lord
to be used
for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.
he gives the two goats over to God for the prescribed ritual that
is about to follow, one to be killed, one to be released, one
making right in God's sight, one carrying away the sin of the
Step 6: He now slaughters HIS bull as the SIN OFFERING
shall bring the bull for his
own sin offering to make atonement
for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter
the bull for his own sin offering.
is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before
and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take
them behind the curtain. [this
is the first time in a year since he has been there]
is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord,
and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover
above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die.
is to take some of the bull's blood and with his finger sprinkle
it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle
some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.
[some of the bull's blood is sprinkled
actually on the atonement cover and some in front of it.]
Step 7: The goat SIN OFFERING Atonement made FOR THE PEOPLE
shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for
the people and take its blood behind the curtain
and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall
sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.
this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place
because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites,
whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the tent
of meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
goats blood is used as the bull's blood had been used – in the
most Holy Place making atonement for the people ]
Aaron, the sole user of the Most Holy Place
one is to be in the tent of meeting from the time Aaron goes in
to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having
made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community
Step 8: The OUTSIDE ALTAR ATONED FOR with bulls & goats blood
he shall come out to the altar that
is before the Lord
atonement for it. He shall take some of the bull's
blood and some of the goat's blood
and put it on all the horns of the altar.
shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times
to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the
point is that this altar is used throughout the year by the priests
on behalf of the people, for a sinful people by sinful people.
It has to be consecrated each year and the sin of those who use
it atoned for.]
Step 10: The Scapegoat sent away
Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the
tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live
is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat
and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion
of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat's head.
He shall send the goat away into the wilderness
in the care of someone appointed for the task.
goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place ;
and the man shall release it in the wilderness.
goat signifies the sin of the people being taken away]
Step 11: Aaron removes his linen undergarments, washes & changes
Aaron is to go into the tent of meeting and take off the linen
garments he put on before he entered the Most Holy Place, and
he is to leave them there.
shall bathe himself with water in the sanctuary area and put on
his regular garments. [Change
of clothes and washing signifies his time going into the Most
Holy Place has come to an end for another year.]
Step 12: Final stage – burnt offerings for himself and the people
he shall come out and sacrifice the burnt offering
for himself and the burnt offering for the people,
to make atonement for himself and for the people.
shall also burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar.
man who releases the goat as a scapegoat must wash his clothes
and bathe himself with water; afterward he may come into the camp.
bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought
into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside
the camp; their hides, flesh and intestines are to be burned up.
man who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe himself with
water; afterward he may come into the camp. [the
ceremony followed through]
is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day
of the seventh month you must deny
yourselves and not do any work—whether native-born or a foreigner
residing among you—
on this day atonement will be made for you, to
cleanse you. Then, before the Lord,
you will be clean from all your sins.
is a day of sabbath rest, and you must deny yourselves;
it is a lasting ordinance.
priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high
priest is to make atonement. He is to put on the sacred linen
make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the tent of meeting
and the altar, and for the priests and all the members of the
is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to
be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”
it was done, as the Lord
The day of Atonement – just once a year – when the High
Priest goes in to the Most Holy Place. First FOR HIMSELF he offers
a bull sin offering and a ram burnt offering, and then FOR THE
PEOPLE, with the blood of the bull for himself, and then with
the blood of the goat for the people.