Yom HaKippurim

יום כפור

The moed of Yom HaKippurim is known in English as the Day of Atonement. It occurs nine days after Yom Teruah/The Feast of Trumpets on the tenth day of the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar.

As we examine this moed and discover what Scripture says about it, we should consider that the same very same Elohim Who granted favour and mercy by sending the Messiah to die for our redemption will also send that same Messiah again to defeat His enemies, separate “the wheat from the tares”, “the sheep from the goats”, and provide the ultimate atonement for those who are His.

What does Scripture tell us about this set-apart day and its related commandments? What are we supposed to do and see and hear? As we study Scripture regarding this special appointment, we pray once more in the words of King David: “Oh, YaHuWaH, please “open our eyes that we might behold wonderful things from your Torah” and discover our returning Messiah in this moed. Scripture was given to mankind to speak of Him and we should seek to hear its voice… His voice… especially during His appointed times.

What Scripture Says About Yom HaKippurim

Yom HaKippurim (יום כּףּר, Strong’s #3117 + Strong’s #3725) means “day [of] atonement”.

Atonement

Atonement should not be equated with the payment for the penalty of sin but it, instead, relates to the cleansing of the spiritual uncleanness that is the consequence of sin and death.

Consider these verses:

“For seven days you shall make atonement for the slaughter-place, and set it apart. And the slaughter-place shall be most set-apart – whatever touches the slaughter-place is to be set-apart.” Shemoth/Exodus 29:37

“And he shall make atonement for the Set-apart place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Yisra’El, and because of their transgressions in all their sins. And so he does for the Tent of Appointment which is dwelling with them in the midst of their uncleanness.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:16

In these passages the altar and the tabernacle are receiving atonement.

Did the altar sin? No.

Did the tabernacle sin? No.

They are, however, unclean as a result of the spiritual impurity associated with sin and death.

“And he shall bring it before YaHuWaH, and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the Torah for her who has given birth to a male or a female.”

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 12:7

Did she sin by giving birth? No.

There is, however, uncleanness associated with both birth and death (e.g. Leviticus 11:31, 12:7).

“These are unclean to you among all that creep. Anyone who touches them when they are dead becomes unclean until evening.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 11:31

“And he shall bring it before YaHuWaH, and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the Torah for her who has given birth to a male or a female.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 12:7

The Hebrew word kippur comes from the word kaphar which means “to cover”. Consider a pair of pants that has become especially dirty. You would immerse them (cover them) in soap and water in order to remove the stains and the dirt. In a similar way, the blood of atonement was used to cover and cleanse the spiritual uncleanness of Yisra’El.

Hebrews 10:4 tells us that the blood of bulls and goats will not take away sins. Numerous passages in the Torah, however, tell us that the blood of bulls and goats will make atonement.

“For it is impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Ibrim/Hebrews 10:4

Hebrews 9:22 confirms that almost all things are cleansed with blood (other things are cleansed by immersing them in water or fire). We should not fall into the trap of equating the removal of the penalty of sin with the removal of the uncleanness that result from sin.

“And, according to the Torah, almost all is cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Ibrim/Hebrews 9:22

Particulars of the moed

Who:

The sons of Yisra’El. (Leviticus 23:24)

“Speak to the children of Yisra’El, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you have a rest, a remembrance of Teru‛ah,” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:24

What:

Special commands

It is a day for a set-apart convocation (Leviticus 23:27)

“On the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom HaKippurim. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27

It is a day to “humble your souls” [Heb:ועניתם את נפשׁתיכם (v’initem et napheshoteykhem)] (Leviticus 23:27)

“On the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom HaKippurim. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27

You shall do “no work” [Heb: וכל-מלאכה לא תעשו (v’kal melakhah lo taasu) literally: “and all ‘work’ not shall you do”] (Leviticus 23:25)

“‘You do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH.’ ” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:25

You shall present an “offering by fire” [Heb: אשּׁה (isheh)] to YaHuWaH (Leviticus 23:27)

“On the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom HaKippurim. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27

It is a day of “complete rest” [shabbat shabbaton] (Leviticus 23:32)

“It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:32

The commandments regarding the casting of lots for the “scapegoat” (Leviticus 16)

“And YaHuWaH spoke to Mosheh after the death of the two sons of Aharon, as they drew near before YaHuWaH, and died. And YaHuWaH said to Mosheh, “Speak to Aharon your brother not to come in at all times to the set-apart place inside the veil, before the lid of atonement which is on the ark, lest he die, because I appear in the cloud above the lid of atonement. “With this Aharon should come into the set-apart place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as an ascending offering. “He should put on the set-apart linen long shirt, with linen trousers on his flesh, and gird himself with a linen girdle, and be dressed with the linen turban – they are set-apart garments. And he shall bathe his body in water, and shall put them on. “And from the congregation of the children of Yisra’El he takes two male goats as a sin offering, and one ram as an ascending offering. “And Aharon shall bring the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. “And he shall take the two goats and let them stand before YaHuWaH at the door of the Tent of Appointment. “And Aharon shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for יהוה and the other lot for Azazel. “And Aharon shall bring the goat on which the lot for YaHuWaH fell, and shall prepare it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot for Azazel fell is caused to stand alive before YaHuWaH, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness to Azazel.” “And Aharon shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall slay the bull as the sin offering which is for himself, and shall take a fire holder filled with burning coals of fire from the slaughter-place before YaHuWaH, with his hands filled with sweet incense beaten fine, and shall bring it inside the veil. “And he shall put the incense on the fire before YaHuWaH, and the cloud of incense shall cover the lid of atonement which is on the Witness, lest he die. “And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the lid of atonement on the east side, also in front of the lid of atonement he sprinkles some of the blood with his finger seven times. “And he shall slay the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, and shall bring its blood inside the veil, and shall do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the lid of atonement and in front of the lid of atonement. “And he shall make atonement for the set-apart place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Yisra’El, and because of their transgressions in all their sins. And so he does for the Tent of Appointment which is dwelling with them in the midst of their uncleanness. “And no man should be in the Tent of Appointment when he goes in to make atonement in the set-apart place, until he comes out. And he shall make atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the assembly of Yisra’El. “And he shall go out to the slaughter-place that is before YaHuWaH, and make atonement for it. And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the slaughter-place all around. “And he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and set it apart from the uncleanness of the children of Yisra’El. “And when he has finished atoning for the set-apart place, and the Tent of Appointment, and the slaughter-place, he shall bring the live goat. “Then Aharon shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and shall confess over it all the crookednesses of the children of Yisra’El, and all their transgressions in all their sins, and shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man. “And the goat shall bear on itself all their crookednesses, to a land cut off. Thus he shall send the goat away into the wilderness. “Aharon shall then come into the Tent of Appointment, and shall take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the set-apart place, and shall leave them there. “And he shall bathe his body in water in the set-apart place, and shall put on his garments, and shall come out and prepare his ascending offering and the ascending offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people, and burn the fat of the sin offering on the slaughter-place. “And he who sent away the goat to Azazel washes his garments, and shall bathe his body in water, and afterward he comes into the camp. “And the bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the set-apart place, is brought outside the camp. And they shall burn their skins, and their flesh, and their dung with fire. “And he who burns them washes his garments, and shall bathe his body in water, and afterward he comes into the camp. And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh new month, on the tenth day of the new month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. “For on that day he makes atonement for you, to cleanse you, to be clean from all your sins before YaHuWaH. “It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict your beings – a law forever. “And the priest, who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, the set-apart garments, and he shall make atonement for the Most set-apart place, and make atonement for the Tent of Appointment and for the slaughter-place, and make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. “And this shall be for you a law forever, to make atonement for the children of Yisra’El, for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as YaHuWaH commanded Mosheh.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:1-34

Offerings

As with the other moedim, the book of Numbers provides us with the list of required offerings:

“And on the tenth day of this seventh month you have a set-apart gathering, and you shall afflict your beings, you do no work. And you shall bring near an ascending offering to YaHuWaH, a sweet fragrance: one young bull, one ram, seven lambs a year old, perfect ones they are for you, and their grain offering: fine flour mixed with oil, three-tenths of an ĕphah for the bull, two-tenths for the one ram, one-tenth for each of the seven lambs, one male goat as a sin offering, besides the sin offering for atonement, the continual ascending offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings.” Bemidbar/Numbers 29:7-11

The olah [burnt offering] for Yom HaKippurim:

One bull (+ 3/10 ephah fine flour mixed with oil + 1/2 hin of wine)

One ram (+ 2/10 ephah fine flour mixed with oil + 1/3 hin of wine)

Seven male lambs one year old without defect (+ 1/10 fine flour mixed with oil + 1/4 hin of wine for each lamb)

One male goat for a sin offering

The continual olah (Numbers 28:3-8):

Two male lambs one year old without defect, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (+1/10 ephah fine flour mixed with 1/4 hin of oil + 1/4 hin of “strong drink” for each lamb)

“And you shall say to them, ‘This is the offering made by fire which you bring to YaHuWaH: two male lambs a year old, perfect ones, daily, a continual ascending offering. The one lamb you prepare in the morning, and the other lamb you prepare between the evenings, with one-tenth of an ĕphah of fine flour as a grain offering mixed with one-fourth of a hin of pressed oil, a continual ascending offering which was offered at Mount Sinai for a sweet fragrance, an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH, and its drink offering, one-fourth of a hin for each lamb. Pour out the drink to YaHuWaH as an offering in the set-apart place. And the other lamb you prepare between the evenings. As the morning grain offering and its drink offering, you prepare it as an offering made by fire, a sweet fragrance to YaHuWaH.” Bemidbar/Numbers 28:3-8

When:

In the seventh month on the tenth day of the month (Leviticus 23:27) beginning on the ninth of the month at evening (i.e. just before sundown), from evening until evening (Leviticus 23:32).It is a permanent statute (Leviticus 16:29).

“On the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom haKippurim. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to YaHuWaH.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27

“It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:32

“And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:29

Where:

Everywhere.

This applies both inside and outside the Land of Yisra’El.

“And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:30

“You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:31

Other Traditional Observations

The thanksgiving offerings described in Leviticus 7:15 cannot be brought on the day of Yom haKippurim because they must be eaten on the day they are offered (Leviticus 7:15) and Yom HaKippurim is a day of fasting.

This is one of two places where YaHuWaH says He personally will kill or destroy someone if they violate His commandment (Leviticus 23:30). [The other is in Exodus 22:24 where YaHuWaH says He will kill those who afflict the widow or the orphan.]

Contrary to a commonly held belief, the high priest did not wear bells on the corners of his garment or have a rope tied around his leg on Yom HaKippurim. The robe of the ephod (where the bells are) is not worn into the most set-apart place. Only plain linen garments are worn by the high priest on Yom HaKippurim.

Humble Your Souls

One of the unique commandments of this moed is that we should “humble our souls” ועניתם את נפשׁתיכם (Leviticus 16:29-31, Leviticus 23:27). Some translations treat this as “afflict your souls [nephesh]”. If anyone does not humble himself on this day that person shall be cut off from among his people (Leviticus 23:29). It is an incredibly serious penalty to be cut off from Yisra’El so we should strive to understand what is meant by “humbling our souls”.

There are two passages in the Tanakh that use the same phrasing. The first comes from King David in the Psalms:

Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know. They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. (Tehillim/Psalm 35:11-14)

The second comes from the prophet Isaiah:

‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to YaHuWaH? (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:3-5)

Looking at the fast as described above I would like to propose a different interpretation of the fast that ABBA would want.  This was given to me from a dear friend and it brings us to a different conclusion about the ‘fast’ in context.

What About Yom HaKippurim…? Are We Choosing His Way?

Without context, you have pretext, and that will lead to false conclusions. It’s the difference between exegesis and eisegesis. When it comes to Scripture, context truly is key and needs to always be employed in our studies. Many examples could be given…such as Colossians 2:16…when read in context, who the ‘judging man’ is becomes glaringly clear when the entire chapter is read; an outsider and not part of the body. We have to deal with one verse, out of context attempts all the time…maybe we should also reexamine this verse and not rip it loose from the context:

Isa 58:13  “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath***, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words…”

The entire context of the chapter concerns Yom HaKippurim/Day of Atonement; including the above verse; the Sabbath spoken of is right here:

Lev 23:32 ‘It is a Sabbath*** of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”

For many years I have been seeing this ordained Sabbath of Kippurim confused with the weekly 7th Day Sabbath. Recently I have witnessed a ministry (who invited me to join, but when questioned about what they were teaching folks, blocked me) that told some folks that you cannot be married on Sabbath, and told one lady she couldn’t attend her Mother’s funeral because it was on Sabbath! This is the same problem Messiah had with Pharisees…adding to the Word, and running with Jewish traditions. Not finding any alternative source for their error, Is. 58:13 was used to justify this nonsense. Enough of that…let’s get to the meat of the topic…

This is one we really, REALLY need to get right. The blessings for doing the ‘fast’ that He has chosen and how we ‘afflict’ ourselves is paramount. I can’t recall a chapter in Scripture that has so many wonderful CONDITIONAL promises that are assured by simply doing the things He said to do…and actual FASTING doesn’t have much to do with it at all. Fasting CAN be a type of affliction, but is that what He is after? Let’s see if we can glean how we are to AFFLICT ourselves with those promises in mind:

Lev 23:27-32 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And YOU SHALL AFFLICT your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. “And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim. “For any being WHO IS NOT AFFLICTED on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people.   “And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. “You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. ‘It is a Sabbath of REST to you, and you shall AFFLICT your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”

Isa 58:1-14  “CRY ALOUD, do not spare. LIFT UP YOUR VOICE like a ram’s horn. DECLARE to My people their transgression, and the house of Yaʽaqoḇ their sins. “Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know My ways, as a nation THAT DID righteousness, and DID NOT forsake the right-ruling of their Elohim. They ask of Me rulings of righteousness, they delight in drawing near to Elohim. They say, ‘WHY have we fasted, and You have not seen? WHY have we afflicted our beings, and You took no note?’ “Look, in the day of YOUR fasting you find pleasure, and drive on all your laborers. “Look, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wrongness. You do not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. “IS IT A FAST THAT I HAVE CHOSEN, a day for a man to afflict his being? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Do YOU call this a fast, and an ACCEPTABLE DAY to יהוה?

“IS THIS NOT THE FAST THAT I HAVE CHOSEN: to loosen the tight cords of wrongness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to exempt the oppressed, and to break off every yoke?  “Is it not to SHARE YOUR BREAD with the hungry, and that you BRING TO YOUR HOUSE the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, and COVER HIM, and NOT HIDE YOURSELF from your own flesh? “THEN (IF you do those matters) YOUR LIGHT would break forth like the MORNING, your healing spring forth speedily. And your righteousness shall go before you, the esteem of יהוה would be your rear guard. “THEN (IF you do those matters), when you call, יהוה would answer; when you cry, He would say, ‘Here I am.’ “IF you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of unrighteousness,  IF you extend your being to the hungry and satisfy THE AFFLICTED BEING, THEN (IF you do those matters) YOUR LIGHT shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness be AS NOON.  “THEN (IF you do those matters) יהוה would guide you continually, and satisfy your being in drought, and strengthen your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. “And those from among you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. And you would be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. “IF you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Yaʽaqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!”

If someone wants to fast on Kippurim, that’s fine…fast any time, but I believe the fasting on Kippurim is more based on tradition than Scriptural evidence…but to get the promises MUCH more is involved…and to be frank, the true affliction He is talking about means digging in to a place that seems to afflict us most…our pockets…” IF you extend your being to the hungry and satisfy THE AFFLICTED BEING”…food, clothes, shelter, undo the wrongs, break the yokes of oppression, do righteousness! We SHOULD be doing this at all times, but most assuredly the pattern begins right here. And the timing of this makes perfects sense…right before we spend what we have saved up for our big party of Sukkot!

For the last several years, our fellowship has been doing our best to meet His terms to not only help the afflicted with their needs, but to access these extraordinary CONDITIONAL promises. That’s the thing with His “ifs” and “thens”. If you DON’T do these matters as He lays them out, don’t expect to reap the rewards. I mean, c’mon…who wouldn’t want these in their life? Also notice the progression:

Light breaks forth like the MORNING sunrise…speedy healing…your righteousness precedes you…YHUH will have your rear guard…when you cry out, YHUH says “HERE I AM”…then light breaks forth as NOONDAY (the brightest light available)…YHUH promises continual guidance…satisfied in drought…strengthen your bones…be as a watered garden, a spring of water that NEVER fails…builders of the old waste places; repairers and restorers…pure delight in YHUH…ride on the heights of the earth, fed with the inheritance of Ya’aqob—“ For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!”

Personally, I want ALL those promises! Who wouldn’t? Our group simply pools our money, then heads out to the homeless camps with paper and pen to record their needs. We don’t purchase any frivolous items, and to be honest, we are never asked for non-essentials. Tents, sleeping bags, food, clothing, toiletries, butane, etc…these people are preparing for Winter! Previously, I never could understand how to find this “delight” spoken of by going without food or water for a day. We have now found the delight in this most extraordinary feast day!

Shalom and Chag Sameach!  TM (AKA Stew)

The Most Set-Apart Day

Yom HaKippurim is considered to be the most set-apart of YaHuWaH’s appointed times. On the most set-apart day of the Biblical calendar, the most set-apart man (the high priest) enters the most set-apart place (the set-apart place of the tabernacle/temple) on the most set-apart mountain (Mt. Zion) in the most set-apart city (Jerusalem) in the most set-apart nation (Yisra’El) and performs the unique rite of atonement:

YaHuWaH said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the set-apart place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. Aaron shall enter the set-apart place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the set-apart linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be girded with the linen sash and attired with the linen turban (these are set-apart garments). Then he shall bathe his body in water and put them on. He shall take from the congregation of the sons of Yisra’El two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. Then Aaron shall offer the bull for the sin offering which is for himself, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household.”

“Then Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household, and he shall slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. He shall take a firepan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before YaHuWaH and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil. He shall put the incense on the fire before YaHuWaH that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the ark of the testimony, otherwise he will die.

Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. He shall make atonement for the set-apart place, because of the impurities of the sons of Yisra’El and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.

When he goes in to make atonement in the set-apart place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Yisra’El. Then he shall go out to the altar that is before YaHuWaH and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar on all sides. With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Yisra’El consecrate it.”

“Then Aaron shall come into the tent of meeting and take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the set-apart place, and shall leave them there. He shall bathe his body with water in a set-apart place and put on his clothes, and come forth and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people. Then he shall offer up in smoke the fat of the sin offering on the altar.”

“But the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the set-apart place, shall be taken outside the camp, and they shall burn their hides, their flesh, and their refuse in the fire. Then the one who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water, then afterward he shall come into the camp.” (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:2-6, 11-19, 23-25, 27-28)

The Scapegoat

One of the other unique commandments of this moed is the “scapegoat”. Leviticus 16 also provides the details which are interspersed with the sacrifice of the bull offering and the goat offering:

He [Aaron, the high priest] shall take the two goats and present them before YaHuWaH at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for YaHuWaH and the other lot for the scapegoat. Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for YaHuWaH fell, and make it a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before YaHuWaH, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.

When he finishes atoning for the set-apart place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Yisra’El and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

The one who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water; then afterward he shall come into the camp. (Leviticus 16:7-10, 20-22, 26)

The word translated as “scapegoat” is the Hebrew word עזאזל (azazel, Strong’s #5799). This word is only used to describe the “scapegoat” in Leviticus 16. There is some debate among scholars about the literal meaning of the word.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon translates it as “for absolute removal”.

Strong’s translates it as “goat of departure”.

The NAS Concordance translating it as “entire removal”.

The Septuagint, an early Greek translation of the Old Testament, took the Hebrew as ez ozel [“the goat that departs”] and translated it as tragos apopompaios [“goat sent out”]. This translation was used by the Latin Vulgate, which rendered the word as caper emissarius, or “emissary goat”. William Tyndale rendered the Latin as “(e)scape goat” in his 1530 Bible and his translation was later used by the authors of the King James Version in 1611.

Since we know that bulls and goats cannot remove sin (Hebrews 10:4) we should understand the purpose of the “scapegoat” was to somehow take the uncleanness associated with sin away from the camp. Please take note of the person who releases the goat has to bathe to remove the “stain” of being in contact with the goat.

Finding Messiah in Yom HaKippurim

The Blood of Messiah

In order to better understand this moed and how it pictures the (as yet to be completed) work of Messiah, we should understand the Scriptural meaning of atonement.

As noted previously, the Day of Atonement is for cleansing by blood from the physical impurity that accompanies life, death, and sin.  The writer of the letter to the Hebrews tells us:

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Ruach offered Himself without blemish to YaHuWaH, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim? (Hebrews 9:13-14)

There are two interesting facts found in this passage.

First, the author of the book of Hebrews affirms the fact that the blood of goats and bulls does sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh… our outer self.  He uses that truth to illustrate the greater truth that the blood of Messiah cleanses our conscience… our inner self.

Second, the Greek word translated as “conscience” is συνειδησις (suneidesis, Strong’s #4893).  This word is not limited to mean our “inner sense of what is right and wrong”.  Its full meaning refers to our complete consciousness or the collective sum of our thoughts.  Suneidesis comes from Greek words that means “to see together” meaning the whole of our thoughts.  This sounds very similar to the words of Paul:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of YaHuWaH is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romiyim/Romans 12:2)

The way we think changes once we become talmidim [disciples] of the Messiah Yahusha.  Our minds are actively being renewed each day as we grow in faith and in the knowledge of our Savior and His Word.  How much more so will we be changed upon His glorious appearing?

If we consider that Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) will mark the return of Messiah (Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:52), what can we expect nine days later?  We will be given new bodies, He will cleanse our minds from all impurity, we will be washed spotless to be His Bride clothed in white linen (Hazon/Revelation 19:7-8).

Consider also the words regarding cleansing that John gave us:

but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahusha His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Yohanan Aleph/1 John 1:7-9)

The Body of Messiah

Paul tells us in Qolasim/Colossians 2 that nobody should act as our judge in regard to food or drink or “in respect to a festival” or a new moon or a Sabbath day.  These things are a shadow of “what is to come” [present tense!] and the substance (or the body) belongs to Messiah (Qolasim/Colossians 2:16-17).  If Messiah is casting a shadow that looks like the food laws, the moedim, new moon festivals, and the Sabbath then they are all pointing towards Him and are an outline of Who He is.

Yom HaKippurim pictures Messiah:

He is the Great High Priest (Ibrim/Hebrews 4:14) who will bring about atonement and cleansing for His people.

“Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, יהושע the Son of Elohim, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who was tried in all respects as we are, apart from sin. Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of favour, in order to receive compassion, and find favour for timely help.”‭‭ Ibrim/Hebrews‬ ‭4:14-16

He is the One Who “stands in readiness” to lead away our uncleanness with the scapegoat, the goat of removal.

He is the “scapegoat” that will bear our sins and take them away (Ibrim/Hebrews 9:28).

“For Messiah has not entered into a set-apart place made by hand – figures of the true – but into the heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of Elohim on our behalf, not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters into the set-apart place year by year with blood not his own. For if so, He would have had to suffer often, since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the offering of Himself. And as it awaits men to die once, and after this the judgment, so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to those waiting for Him, unto deliverance.” ‭‭Ibrim/Hebrews‬ ‭9:24-28

As we celebrate this moed, He is ever present in the words of Scripture, in our minds, and in our hearts.

Chag Sameach Yom HaKippurim!

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rYm Covenant

To the Torah and to the witness! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because they have no daybreak [light]. Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 8:20

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