LEVITICUS 16


A CLEAN NATION THROUGH

ANNUAL ATONEMENT

The sin and untimely deaths, of Nathan and Abiram on the very day that the Tabernacle was set up for worship, illustrates the limitations of the Aaronic priesthood, and its failure to effectively mediate to take away sin. To emphasise that lesson, a yearly Day of Atonement is instituted,during which the existing High Priest, once a year, atoned for his sins, those of his house, and finally, those of the people.

The repetition of this, year after year, brought home a constant remembrance of sins, so that they were never completely blotted out. Thus the tenth day of the seventh month of every year is set aside as a special day of re-consecration to Yahweh: a Day of Atonement, of solemn gathering, in which the people are to refrain from ordinary occupation, and concentrate their minds upon God in penitence through fasting and meditation.

The elaborate details of offerings made this day are meticulously set out in this chapter: They provide sacrifices for the High Priest, his associate priests, and finally the people. This chapter, therefore, is an appropriate conclusion to the laws of purification which precede it. It describes how that a cover is available for sins of omission or commission of which Israelites have been guilty.

Consequently, it is one of the most important chapters in the Book of Leviticus, it forms the basis of the Epistle to the Hebrews as illustrating the more perfect offering of the Lord Jesus Christ. In short, the ordinances relating to the Day of Atonement comprise a prophecy of Christ's work of redemption. - Expositor



Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement


The Jews have been observing this event for over 3,000 years—more than half the time since Creation. This is the central, most important, most solemn day in the whole Israelitish cycle. It is the great yearly occasion of cleansing and reconciling to God.

Natural man is a selfish, foolish, lustful animal—of no value, interest or pleasure to God. But training, and development, and discipline, and divine help can make man fit to become part of the eternal spiritual order.

This is the whole lesson of the Mosaic Law. Law is beautiful. God is a God of order. Law is the training of the mind and character to follow a pattern of harmony and beauty. The High Priest was the apex and embodiment of the Law. His garments, we are told, were

"for Glory and for Beauty."

That sums up the Law—for Glory and for Beauty—the glory of God and the beauty of holiness. Christ's law is but a further, deeper development of the eternal principles taught in Moses' Law.

The ordinance of the Day of Atonement is recorded in Lev. 16. It is no accident that the first verse tells us that these instructions were given following the sudden destruction of Aaron's two eldest sons by God for offering strange fire to Him.

Let us note why they were destroyed. They had not forsaken God. They were not serving other gods. They were not even neglecting God's service to follow their own pleasures. In fact, they were actually serving God at the very moment they were struck down.

What, then, was their sin? Careless, presumptuous service. Not following God's instructions. Doing it as they saw fit. God must be honored, and presumptuous service—using our own faulty, human judgment instead of following instructions—dishonours Him. They had been chosen from the world to serve and glorify God in His holy Temple.

"Ye are the Temple of the living God"

—each one of us, personally and individually, and the lesson is as much for us as for Israel of long ago.

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



2 And Yahweh 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.

Aaron is told never to enter the Most Holy except on the divinely-appointed occasions, and in the divinely-appointed way. Only the High Priest could go into the presence of God; and he only once a year, and then only with solemn and elaborate ritual.

If God wants man to draw near to Him, why did He set up this complicated and burdensome system of barriers and restrictions? Why did Christ-sent forth to man because "God so loved the world" - keep saying such harsh, penetrating things that the vast majority-all but a mere handful-turned against him?

Before man can have intimate companionship with God, he must be indelibly impressed with his own worthlessness and God's dreadful holiness and majesty. Let us remember with humility and reverence the rigid, lifelong obedience, and the terrible, agonizing death of Christ, which God considered necessary to manifest the requirements of His holiness and to establish a basis of approach. 

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

The priestly position was high ranking requiring a superior sacrifice - bullock and ram.


The Day of Atonement was the center and climax of the last and greatest ceremony of the year. And every 50 years this Day of Atonement marked the beginning of the joyful Jubilee year of freedom and release. On this day the High Priest made two separate sacrifices and two visits into the Most Holy-first for himself and then for the people. For himself, the sacrifice was a young bullock-for the people, it was two goats. What is the difference between these two offerings?

In the first place, the bullock was a much more important and valuable sacrifice than the goat. Then the bullock has no implications of waywardness and disobedience, as has the goat. Goats symbolize those on the left hand-the sinners. The bullock, or ox, stands for strength, labour and productiveness.

As befits its greater importance, the bullock is usually considered as an individual unit, but the goat in herds. While the goat symbolizes the waywardness of the flesh, the ox represents the faithful leaders and laborers in the Truth. Isaiah (7:25; 32:20) uses the figure of the plowing ox as the Truth-proclaimer, and Paul likewise brings it out when he speaks of the prohibition of muzzling the ox that treads out the corn and applies it to those who devote their lives to preaching the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:9).

So we see that it was fitting that the High Priest (representing Christ) should first offer for himself a single bullock, then a plural number of goats for the people. 

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27




4 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.


On this occasion (v. 4) the High Priest was not to put on his usual ornamental garments "for Glory and for Beauty," but plain white linen-for on this day he was to offer for himself. The "Glory and Beauty" came later - after the offering - but they would be out of place in this time of humiliation and atonement.

But we notice in this v. 4 that he must first wash himself before putting on the white linen. And this washing, we are told in Ex. 30:20, is "THAT HE DIE NOT." It meant death if he failed to cleanse himself personally before taking on the Christ-righteousness. All these ordinances are to emphasize eternal principles.

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before Yahweh, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

It will be noticed that for "scapegoat" the margin has "azazel"-the original Hebrew word. All dictionaries and concordances agree on the general meaning of this word-"sending away, getting rid of, averting, departure, removal, separation."

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



The Scapegoat

The iniquity of all believers was laid upon him when crucified. He was then "the goat for the Lord;" but when raised from the dead, he became "the scape-goat presented alive before the Lord to make an atonement."

Being raised, his relations were changed. He then became the High Priest destined to enter alone into the Most Holy to make an atonement "for his own household" with his own blood.

He is there now; and will remain there, until all who shall constitute "his house" shall have come in and been reconciled. Till then no man can be where he is. When he shall have finished making atonement for his household, "He will come out," and "make an atonement for all the congregation of Israel."

"His house are we, if we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."

The household of the Lord Jesus appears in the temple of the kingdom, "holy, unblameable, and unreproveable," as the sons of Zadok, performing service before the Lord as his priests.

But when the household of the Lord Jesus shall be reconciled, their judgment or acceptance, still remains to be pronounced, and the secondary reconciliation for the nation of Israel effected. These particulars of the Mosaic typical atonement are yet unaccomplished.

Some of us who believe the gospel of the kingdom are looking for him. We are anxiously waiting for him to come out of the Most Holy place that we may be clothed with salvation, and enter the kingdom with him. "After death the judgment." Judgment on the members of the king's household; and judgment on the nations.

Will the dead in Christ-will the living in him-be accepted, or shall we not? That remains to be seen. Who but God's High Priest can tell; for He only knows whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Until He come out of the Most Holy, the consummation of the reconciliation of the faithful dead, the living believers, and the Twelve Tribes, will be in abeyance. But when He appears in his kingdom, the first will rise, the next be changed, and reconciliation be made for the whole house of Israel, as described above, in the purging and purifying the altar, and the reconciling of the house, in the first seven days of the first month.

When this is accomplished, the Mosaic representative atonement will be lost in the substance. There will be no more remembrance of sins once a year. Therefore the atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month forms no part of the annual service of the temple in the Age to Come.

The Herald of the Kingdom and Coming Age, Sept 1851.




11 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:

The only other object in the "Holiest of all" was the golden censer (Heb. 9:4), which Aaron used on the day of atonement in the manner prescribed as follows...


12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before Yahweh, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail:

We know the symbolic meaning of fire-consuming judgment. Coals of fire seem to carry the more particular meaning of controlled, useful fire-a regulated purging and trying with a view to cleansing and purifying. For example in Isa. 6:7 (after Isaiah speaks of his unclean lips) an angel lays a coal of fire on the prophet's mouth saying,

"This hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."

Beside the censer of coals (which probably hung by a chain from his arm) the High Priest was to take his hands full of sweet incense beaten small (v. 12). The incense of the Mosaic service had to be made exactly as God specified. It was offering strange (incorrect) incense that caused the death of Aaron's two sons. And this special kind could not be made or used for any other purpose than the properly-ordained worship of God. Two hundred fifty men of the company of Korah presumed to offer incense contrary to the Law, and were destroyed by fire for their presumption.

In the plague that followed, Aaron (the true, God-appointed priest ran out with a censer of incense and made atonement-standing between the living and the dead-and the plague stayed. From all this we see that incense is a God-ordained form of atonement and intercession. In the Revelation (5:8; 8:3) incense symbolizes intercession and prayer.

The High Priest had to have his hands full (v. 12)-all he could hold. There were to be no limits or half-measures in Christ's intercessory work. Paul says,

"He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, 

seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

On our part the full hands mean there must be "prayer without ceasing." Our hands, or activities, must be filled with prayer.

It was, we note, "sweet" incense. The process involved in preparing the incense, both for Christ and his brethren, is often far from sweet at the time. But patient endurance is a sweet savour to God, and in the ultimate will produce

"fullness-full hands-of joy for evermore."

Then, the incense had to be "beaten small." To be beaten small is to be humbled by affliction. All the lumps of human pride and self-assertion must be pounded to fine powder, so that the whole mass can mix and blend smoothly, and the resultant aroma be a pleasant, balanced harmony of all the elements.*


Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before Yahweh, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:

Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's two sons, diverged so far from these directions, as to get the "burning coals of fire" somewhere else than from the altar of burnt-offering: and they were struck dead on the spot--a sharp lesson of obedience that was not soon forgotten. The spiritual significance of the incense we ascertain from Rev. 8, where John records having seen an angel with a golden censer, who took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar:

"And there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand"

Prayer, then, is indicated by the presence of the golden censer in the Holiest of all. It is on this basis that mercy is dispensed: "the cloud of the incense" was to "cover the mercy-seat"--"that he (Aaron) die not". For a prayerless man there is no mercy.

But the incense had to be of the sort prescribed: prayer in harmony with the truth alone is acceptable. Prayer bawled out presumptuously in the utterance of things that are not true, and in the making of requests that are inconsistent with the revealed purposes of God...is not the sweet incense of the sanctuary, but the rank compound of heathenish art.

And the right incense had to be "beaten small"--not offered in lumps. Some people neglect God in daily habit, and seem to think they can make up for lost time by being specially religious at certain times. This must be as odious to God as intermittent friendship would be unsatisfactory to man. The will of God is that we "pray always" (Luke 18); "in everything give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18), be exercised in His fear all the day long (Prov. 23:17).

The incense had to be vaporized by fire taken off the altar. The use of other fire brought death, as we have seen. There is a deep import in this. The altar is Christ (Heb. 13:10)--the fire, his sufferings.

...The employment of incense to symbolize prayer is a proof that prayer is a source of pleasure to God--provided the conditions are right.

...that "the great and the terrible God who made heaven and earth" should find pleasure in the feeble recognitions of mortal man, however sincere, is a revelation which we require. It is a revelation which we have received,

 "The prayer of the upright is his delight" (Prov. 15:8).

Law of Moses Ch 13



With the censer on his arm and his hands full of incense (v. 13), the High Priest reverently passed beyond the veil into the Divine presence. Then the carefully prepared incense is placed on the purifying fire, and a cloud of incense-vapor fills the room and covers the cherubim mercy-seat above the ark-"THAT HE DIE NOT" says the record (v. 13).

Here again, we are reminded that it was a matter of life and death. Without the purging, purifying fire, the incense-cloud with its sweet odors would not arise and the High Priest-unshielded-would die before the terrible majesty that dwelt between the cherubim above the ark. This is why Paul said he "gloried in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience," and causes the sweet prayer-incense to arise acceptably and protectively before God.


Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



15 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:

Blood spinkled mercy seat in the Most Holy


The saints who constitute the antitypical Holiest of all, in the age to come, will have attained to their position through the shed blood of Christ. This is prominent in their song of glory as heard by John in vision:

"Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood... and hast made us unto our God kings and priests" (Rev. 5:9-10).

The bloodstains on the pure gold coverlid of the ark find their antitype in the memory of the shed blood of Christ in the immortal hearts and minds of those who shall have attained to the golden state through

"the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world."

That this is no strained or unnatural interpretation will be apparent to all who can realize how essential an element in the joy of the perfect state--in regard to the Father, and Christ, and the Saints --must be the constant recollection and recognition of the means by which salvation has been accomplished.

If the angels veil their faces in the presence of Eternal Glory, how much more an assembly of men and women, who, though their equals, have to remember with a sense of humiliation that they were originally sinners under condemnation, and that they owe it entirely to the appointment of God's mercy in Christ that they stand there in the strength and honour and gladness of immortal life.

If the object of the Father's methods now is that no flesh may glory in the Father's presence, we may be sure that that object will be attained to its fullest then, and that consequently thanksgiving only, in the memory of a humiliating past, will be the sentiment inspiring the bosoms of those who ascribe

"Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving to him that sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever."

Law of Moses Ch 13




16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place [within the vail before the mercy seat v2], 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.



Sin in the Flesh

"What do you mean by 'sin in the flesh,' which some speak of as a fixed principle?".

Answer.—Job, speaking of "man that is born of woman," says,

"Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?"

and David, by the Spirit, says, in Psalm 51:5:

"Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."

Furthermore, the annual atonement under the law (Lev. 16.) was appointed even "for the holy place," because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, besides their "transgressions in all their sins."—(verse 16.)

"Sin in the flesh," which is Paul's phrase, refers to the same thing. It is what Paul also calls

"Sin that dwelleth in me" (Rom. 7:17),

adding,

"I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing."

Now, what is this element called "uncleanness," "sin," "iniquity," &c.?

The difficulty experienced by some in the solution of this question, arises from a disregard of the secondary use of terms. Knowing that sin is the act of transgression, they read "act of transgression" every time they see the term sin, ignoring the fact that there is a metonymy in the use of all words which apply even to sin.

Suppose a similar treatment of the word death. Primarily, death means the state to which a living man is reduced when his life ceases. Now we read of one of the sons of the prophets saying,

"There is death in the pot."

Does this mean there was a corpse in the pot? No, but that which makes a corpse of any living man. "Death" literally meant "that which would lead to death." Again, "death hath passed upon all men," means the condition that leads to death. So, "Let the dead bury their dead," means, "Let those who are destined to be numbered with the dead, bury those who are actually dead." "Passed from death unto life," means, "Passed from that relation that ends in death, to that which leads to life." A disregard of metonymy and ellipsis in such statements, has led to most of the errors of the apostacy; and is leading some back to them who had escaped.

There is a principle, element, or peculiarity in our constitution (it matters not how you word it) which leads to the decay of the strongest or the healthiest. Its implantation came by sin, for death came by sin; and the infliction of death and the implantation of this peculiarity are synonymous things.

God's sentences are not carried out by hangmen's ropes and executioners' axes, but by the inworking of His appointed law. Because the invisible, constitutional, physical inworking of death in us came by sin, that inworking is termed sin. It is a principle of uncleanness and corruption and weakness—the word and experience conjoining in this testimony. For this reason, it is morally operative: for whatever affects the physical, affects the moral.

If no counterforce were brought into play, its presence would subject us to the uncontrolled dominion of disobedience, through the constitutional weakness and impulse to sin. The enlightenment of the truth helps us to keep the body under. Still we are not thereby emancipated. Our experience answers to Paul, and leads us to sympathise exactly with his exclamation,

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death."

The body of the Lord Jesus was this same unclean nature in the hand of the Father, that deliverance might be effected by God on His own principles and to His own glory. Condemnation has been called a cage; and it has been asked how one prisoner can liberate another? The answer is that God never allows His locks to be forced or His prisoners to be unlawfully set free.

The doors must be opened legitimately, and the opening of the prison must be for a reason among the prisoners as in the closing. God accepts no compromise. He provided a prisoner furnished with the key of obedience who could open the door for all who should name themselves after Him.

The Christadelphian, Feb 1874



How forcibly this taught the etiquette of acceptable worship showing that no fellowship of man with God was possible except upon the basis of atonement for his sin.

Yet, once such atonement had been effected, fellowhip was possible, and eternal fellowship at that, for that was what the Most Holy Place symbolized. In the Holy Place everything was suggestive of mortal life; the Oil, coals, Incense, Loaves and Drink Offering, each had constantly to be replenished or replaced in keeping with the figurative value of the Holy Place as a symbol of mortal Israel in fellowship with God.

In the Most Holy Place, on the contrary, everything was of an abiding nature - the uncorrupting manna (hence Rev. 2 : 17) ; the dead stick sprung to life, its unfading buds, blossom and fruit (symbols of the spiritual life of the Priestly People now at last come to fruition) serving as a perpetual token: the enduring tables of stone; and finally (as the counterpart of the two piles of Loaves without ?) the Cherubim typifying the ideal Israel now having achieved its destiny (since from between them shone forth the effulgence of God's glory).

It was this sacred place that beckoned Israel forward and stood as the goal of its priestly calling: here was the very heart of the Sanctuary, the Presence of Yahweh Himself, that condition of perfect and permanent fellowship with Him who had redeemed Israel specifically to manifest His glory in and through them.

Law and Grace Ch 5



17 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.

Why did these holy things need atoning for? "Because" (we read) "of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions."

Here are two distinct things (though of course related). The original word for uncleanness (tumah) means any kind of defilement, regardless of actual sin, and it is applied throughout the Law to death, disease, unclean animals and childbirth. It is constitutional uncleanness-uncleanness that is the result of being part of an unclean system of things. Natural man is naturally unclean before God. There is defilement in the very process of being born.

Beside their uncleanness, there were also their "transgressions" to atone for. This word means (beside 'sin') "rebellion." Any act contrary to the Word and Will of God, however well-intentioned or however good it may seem to the doer, is-in God's sight-rebellion. "To obey is better than sacrifice," Saul was told. Saul, in mistaken and presumptuous 'mercy,' saved Agag-and lost his kingdom and his life. Man's proper-and only-course is to obey the commands of God and not presume to use his own fleshly understanding.

This word "atonement" has taken on a hazy, ecclesiastical meaning, but the basic idea is very simple. The regulations speak in v. 18 of making atonement for the altar. V. 19 says the High Priest shall-by sprinkling the altar with blood-cleanse it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. "Atonement," scripturally, is simply cleansing. In v. 30 the whole ordinance of the Day of Atonement is summed up,

"On that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to CLEANSE you, that ye may be CLEAN from all your sins."

Any sin-anything out of harmony with God's eternal will-is a form of filthiness, infection and defilement; and it clings offensively and corruptingly to a man in God's sight until it has been properly washed away. Cleansing and cleanness make up the great theme of the Scriptures.

Beside the basic meaning of "cleanse," the Hebrew word translated "atone" (kippur, kaphor) also carried the idea of "cover." The shadowy atonements of the Law were a cleansing by covering, a provisional cleansing, but the true atonement is a true cleansing-

"How much more shall the blood of Christ CLEANSE your conscience from works of death" (Heb. 9:14).

"He hath washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Rev. 1:5).

"The blood of Christ CLEANSETH us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



The high priest alone

Verse 17 describes a very significant and unusual fact on this great yearly Day of Atonement—All this time there must be no man in the tabernacle. The usual bustle of priestly activity in the Tabernacle and its court are strangely stilled. Alone and in silence the white-clad High Priest goes about his solemn tasks in the otherwise deserted building. How clearly is foreshadowed the passing away of the Mosaic service, and the lonely, single-handed work of the great High Priest to come!

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



21 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:

For the offerer, therefore, to "put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering" was to transfer himself to the sacrifice, as it were, and to acknowledge himself justly dealt with in whatever should befall the animal. He was then to "kill the bullock", and the priests were to sprinkle the blood upon the altar, and to cut up the body and place the severed pieces on the altar for consumption.

Paul says (Heb. 10:4): "The blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sin", but "it was a figure for the time then present" of the "one offering" that could and did, even "the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (10:10) memorialized in the breaking of bread' "My body given for you ..... My blood shed for the remission of the sins of many".

We identify ourselves with "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" when we are "baptized into his death". We confess our sins, and offer ourselves to God in him, and are forgiven for his sake, in whose crucifixion "sin was condemned in the flesh" in the shedding of whose blood, "the righteousness of God was declared".

The testimony of the apostolic word is that it was so (Rom. 8:3; 25-26); and the fact that Jesus was the seed of David according to the flesh shows us how it could be so. Here we should rest in "faith in his blood". There is a danger of men reasoning themselves out of the verities of the Gospel by using their own thoughts as natural men against the appointments of God.

Law of Moses Ch 23.



22 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.

When everything had been typically cleansed (v. 20), then the High Priest turned his attention to the living goat that remained. He lays both his hands (indicating completeness) on the goat's head (v. 21) and confesses over it all the sins, transgressions and iniquities of the children of Israel, thus symbolically placing these sins on the goat. Then the goat is sent away into the wilderness by the hand of a "fit" (that is, a "ready" or "prepared") man.

It will be noted there is no scapegoat for the High Priest, to carry away his sins, iniquities and transgressions—there was just the single bullock for him. It would seem, then, that one aspect of the double-goat symbol was to distinguish between constitutional uncleanness and actual transgression, and to foreshadow that he whom the High Priest typified was free from the latter.

This is the only place in all the sacrificial ordinances that sins are carried away outside the camp. It is very fitting, on this yearly occasion when the great typical cleansing of the camp is enacted, that all sins are—in a figure—taken completely from the nation.

But there seems more to the double-goat ordinance than this. If we think upon it, we shall be struck by the fact that—while there are a great multitude of symbols of Christ's death in the Law of Moses—there are practically no symbols of resurrection, or of life after death. This is not out of harmony, for the Law was (as Paul says—2 Cor. 3:7-9) a "ministration of death"—a "ministration of condemnation."

The Law ended with Christ's crucifixion. Resurrection was a step beyond the Law—"beyond the camp," so to speak. The Law could not, of itself, bring resurrection, so it is in keeping that this should not be a prominent feature of its symbols.

But still, as a foreshadowing of Christ, it is to be expected that the Law would in some way portray resurrection. Two chapters earlier (Lev. 14) there is something similar to the double-goat arrangement, in the law concerning the cleansing of leprosy, which we believe gives us a clue. In this ordinance two birds are used. One is killed, then the other is dipped in the first one's blood (identifying it with it) and then SET FREE in the open field OUTSIDE THE CITY. Here clearly is a figure of life after death—life from the dead.

Leprosy was the most spectacular and dreaded form of physical uncleanness. The term "unclean" is always applied to it, and the expression "cleansing" is used of leprosy, while "healing" is used of all other diseases. Leprosy was regarded as a living death. It is understandable, then, that we find very similar symbols in the cleansing of leprosy and the great national day of cleansing from sin and death.

Christ's resurrection is essential to the cleansing efficacy of his death—he was "delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25). So Christ's death did not in itself complete the redeeming work. Therefore somewhere in the shadows of the Law (and most appropriately on this great Day of Atonement) there is needed a symbol showing the taking away of sins by the risen Christ. This we see in the second, living goat taking over where the sacrificed goat ended, and departing to a "land of separation" OUTSIDE THE CAMP.

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



27 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.

Now, if these things were indicated (as Paul says they were) by the carrying out and burning outside of the dead bullock and goat, how much more the shameful departure of the living goat shows them! The Jews would regard the scapegoat (upon whom all their sins were symbolically laid) exactly as Isaiah 53 indicates they would regard Christ—as cursed, and rejected, and banished from God.

As the goat was driven forth (we are informed by historians), they lined the way to heap curses and abuse upon it. In this chapter in Isaiah there is a remarkable parallel with the scapegoat—"We esteemed him smitten of God...the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

How fitting then that—of all the types of the Law—this despised, rejected, sin-laden goat should foreshadow the glorious resurrection that is the keystone of all our hopes!

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.27



34 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. And he did as Yahweh commanded Moses.


The Day of Atonement

"Behold, now is the Time of Acceptance; now is the Day of Salvation."

The day of atonement, its numerous sacrifices, and the various rites enjoined, all deserve our most careful attention; not only from the supreme importance attached to them under the Mosaic Law, but from their frequent mention in the New Testament, and from their typical bearing on the events of our own time, or those which will shortly come to pass.

By the Jews, it is called emphatically The Day.‭ ‬It is the day of condemning,‭ ‬avenging,‭ ‬and coverings of Sin yom hak-kiphpurim—a Day of Coverings: on it the sins of the whole Jewish nation were covered over; on it the High Priest performed all the functions of ordinary priests; and on this day only, he entered the Holy of Holies, or the most holy chamber, or division, of the temple beyond the Veil.

This day was considered as a Sabbath, or rest, a festival, and the strictest of fasts; and it concentrated in itself the solemnities proper to each of these, and it had a longer period of preparation preceding it than any other holy day required.

The High Priest performed all those services appointed for the Tabernacle—the daily, the sabbatical, and the festival services, as well as those peculiar to this day, and he finished by reading to the people.

Tisri was the first month of the Civil Year, and the seventh of the Ecclesiastical Year, and the 10th of Tisri was the Day of Coverings, termed in the English Version, "the Day of Atonement." From the first to the seventh are called days of conversion; because in them they turned to Yahweh in preparation for the 10th. The 8th and 9th were styled terrible days,

On these they clothed themselves with sackcloth, and began to afflict their souls. At sunset on the 9th Tisri, the fast began. No food was allowed, except in cases of extreme necessity, and even then the quantity was limited to what a date shell could hold.

Seven days before the fast, the High Priest took up his abode in the temple, purifying himself, and practising those various sacrifices, and other offices which he would have to perform on the 10th. On the 9th he fed sparingly, concluding before sunset; during the night he was attended by the younger priests, who read to him, and prevented his sleeping, lest his dreams should be unholy.

Others watched for the approach of day, and at the first streak of dawn, they roused the High Priest to the arduous duties of the day. There were fifteen victims which he must slay, divide, wash, and offer in sacrifice, as far as possible with his own hands.

He must wash his whole body five times; wash his hands and feet ten times; and change his garments six times during the day; and the fast must be as strictly observed by him as by the rest of the people. He went into the Holy of Holies four times during the day;

1. With the Incense;

2. With the Blood of the Bullock;

3. With the Blood of the Goat;

4. At the conclusion of the sacrifices to bring out the Incense.

When the Day of Coverings dawned, the High Priest put off his ordinary garments, immersed his whole body, and five times washed his hands and feet; he then put on the holy golden garments, and addressed himself to the service of the day.

He first slew the daily sacrifice, a lamb, burnt its members, offered the morning incense, trimmed the lamps, and went through the ordinary morning service. He then offered the bullock, and seven lambs, appointed for extraordinary significant days, and again washed his hands and feet. He then put off the golden garments, bathed himself, and put on the linen garments appropriate to the day—Lev. 16:4; and now began the service peculiar to it.

***

He first went to his own bullock, Lev 16: 6, which was between the temple and the altar, and putting both hands upon his head, confessed his sins. Leaving the bullock in the hands of a keeper, he went to cast lots for the two goats in the northeast quarter of the Court below the altar.

The lots were inscribed, the one "For Yahweh;" the other, "For Scapegoat." After drawing them, he tied a scarlet fillet on the horns of the Scapegoat, when it was taken to the east gate of the temple, which looked towards the Mount of Olives, whence it was to be sent into the wilderness in due time, the victim-goat remaining where it was.

He returned to his bullock, and confessing again over him his own sins, and those of the sons of Aaron and of the holy people, he slew the bullock, and gave the blood to a priest, who stirred it up to prevent coagulation.

He now took the censer, filled it with burning coals from the Brazen Altar; then took a handful of incense from a vessel which was brought to him, and threw it into another dish. He took the censer of coals in his right hand, the dish of incense in his left, and entering the first time into the Holy of Holies through the Veil, placed the burning censer in front of the Ark of the Covenant, poured the incense into his hand, scattered it on the coals, waited till the place was filled with smoke, and then came out backwards, his face being towards the Ark.

On reaching the Court of the Priests, he took the blood of the bullock, which had been kept stirred, and sprinkled it upon the Mercy Seat, eastward; and before it seven times. Coming out again from the Most Holy, he left the remaining blood in the Holy Place. He now went out, and slew the victim-goat, and going with his blood into the Holy of Holies a third time, sprinkled it also before the Mercy Seat.

Coming out, he set it down in the Holy Place, and sprinkled the blood of the bullock before the Veil, then the blood of the goat also. He then mingled both bloods in one vessel, and sprinkled the Golden Altar, and vessels of the sanctuary; and going out, poured the remaining blood under the Brazen Altar.

These things transacted, he next sent away the Scapegoat, having laid his hands on his head, and confessed the sins of the people. While the Scapegoat was being conveyed away, the High Priest went on with the service of the day.

He divided the bullock and goat he had slain, and whose blood he had taken within the Veil: he burnt their fat and inwards upon the Brazen Altar, but sent their carcasses to be burnt without the camp or city. By this time the Scapegoat had reached the wilderness, which event, they say, was known by the whitening of the scarlet fillet on the door-post.

The High Priest then read certain sections of the Law, recited eight prayers, washed his hands and his feet, put off the linen garment, bathed, put on his golden garments, and washed his hands and feet. He then offered a Ram for himself, another for the people, and seven lambs as extra oblations for this day.

At length he offered the daily evening sacrifice, washed his hands and feet, put off the golden garments, bathed, put on the linen garments, washed his hands and his feet, and going a fourth time into the Holy of Holies, brought out the censer and the dish, which he had left there at the beginning of the service of the day.

Washing his hands and feet, he put off the linen garments, bathed, put on the golden garments, washed his hands and feet, offered the evening incense, and trimmed the lamps. Then finally washing his hands and feet, he put off the golden garments, resumed his ordinary dress, and went home, followed by the people, and congratulated by his friends.


***

In solving the enigma of this Mosaic Day of Coverings, it should be remembered, that Christ's person, Christ's office, Christ's sacrifice, and one time of offering it, the Eternal Spirit in Flesh, or Christ alone could fill—to show forth any one of these, several types combined; and as each type requires its own time, there must be for each one of Christ's offices several times in the types.

The Christ, in his single person, embodies, the paschal lamb and its blood of sprinkling; the victims of the Day of Coverings and their blood of sprinkling; the bodies burnt without the camp; and the High Priest who entered the Holy of Holies.

All the types concenter in the Eternal Spirit Incarnate—the Christ; and therefore in applying them to him, we are under the necessity of giving our whole attention to the meaning of the emblem, not to its circumstances. We must stop, in our application of the types to Christ, at that point where they foreshow his person or offices, and not apply to the Great Antitype the various times, places, and circumstances which are only meant to give necessary locality to the several types.

But when the finished work of the Christ comes to be applied to the faithful, or to successive generations; or when we endeavor to trace out the course of his future manifestations, the time and order observed in the type become important features in our inquiry, and an attention to this distinction removes some difficulty in the case.

The Day of Coverings was a day of sacrifice in a preëminent degree—a day of death, of burning, and of blood—"A day of blood and fire, and cloud of smoke." It was a day also of confession of sin, tribulation, and pardon; so that it became "a time of acceptance, and a day of salvation." This was the character of the Mosaic Pattern; of a single day in every year of the Times of the Ages; and it foreshadowed a day of like character—"Now," which, Paul says, is the time of acceptance and the day of salvation—2 Cor. 6:2.

This Antitypical Day of Coverings has already continued for many centuries. Its preparation began with the entrance of the Eternal Spirit into its personal Temple (Jno. 2:21) when he descended on Jesus in the form of a dove; the slaying of the bullock and the goat; the burning of their carcasses without the camp; and the carrying of the burning censer into the Holy of Holies—has been fulfilled in the death and resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, who, like the Scapegoat is absent from the camp of Israel.

The handful of incense, the prayers of the little flock, still smokes before the Ark. The censer remains there; yea, and must remain there till the day is terminated, and its service complete. While it is smoking before the Ark, blood flows and the fire burns. Sin has been condemned in the flesh; and the household or sanctuary of the Eternal Spirit reconciled; but all its members have not yet been brought in.

When these are complete, "the Hour of Judgment," the last hour of the day of atonement will have come. The law will then be proclaimed from Zion by the High Priest in his golden garments. The Jubilee trumpet will sound, and Israel shall return. In this terrible crisis, Babylon falls, the harvest is reaped, the vintage gathered, the winepress trodden, and the times of the Gentiles fulfilled.

Their kingdoms become the kingdoms of Yahweh; Israel is pardoned; the nations blessed in Abraham and his Seed; the Day of Atonement consummated; and the Feast of Tabernacles, the feast of the 15th of Tisri, inaugurated to the joy of all the earth.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Sept 1861