Day Of Atonement
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Υom Hakkippurim , Hebrew: "the day of propitiation " or "expiations" ( Exilasmus ), Greek Acts 27:9, "the fast," the great day of national humiliation, the only one enjoined in the law. For the mode of observance compare Leviticus 16:3-10, which sets forth the general ceremonial, Leviticus 16:11-34 details; Numbers 29:7-11, the special victims; Leviticus 23:26-32, how the people were to act. The day was the 10th of Tisri (the seventh month), from the evening of the 9th to that of the 10th, five days before the feast of tabernacles. For this latter feast implied rest in Israel's inheritance; and before rest can be realized atonement must precede. It was kept as a sabbath; but not, as other sabbaths, with joy, but with affliction of themselves, as the day on which the nation's collective sin was brought to remembrance. The mode of affliction was not prescribed, but all work was forbidden on pain of cutting off from the Lord's congregation.
For the one work of atonement by the high priest was to be the all absorbing thought; just as in the case of the work of the great Antitype ( John 6:28-29). Only this once in the year was the high priest to enter the holiest. Having bathed, and dressed, not in his robes "for glory and beauty" (Exodus 28), but in the white linen garments symbolizing the holiness required for admission into God's presence ( Hebrews 12:14), he brought a bullock fern sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, at his own cost, to otter for himself and his priestly family; and two goats for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, at the public cost, to offer for the people.
Then he presented the two goats before the Lord at the tabernacle door, and cast lots upon them, implying that Christ's sacrifice was "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" ( Acts 2:23; Acts 4:28); on one was written "For Jehovah;" on the other "For Azazel." Next he slew the bullock as a sin offering for himself and his family. Taking a censer with burning coals from the brazen altar, and applying a handful of incense, he entered the holiest, where the mercy-seat became enveloped in the cloud of smoke from the incense. Then he took of the bullock's blood (going out probably for it, and coming in again) and sprinkled it with his finger upon the mercy-seat: not on the top, butt on its front, then seven times before the mercy-seat, upon the ground in front of it; "eastward" ( Leviticus 16:14) means the side of the ark toward the veil.
The cloud of incense "covering the mercy-seat upon the testimony, lest he should die," typifies Christ's merits incensing our prayers, so as to make them a sweet smelling savor to God ( Revelation 8:3-4). His meritorious obedience makes His atoning blood acceptable, so that the sinner dies not in the presence of Him who would otherwise be a "consuming fire." The goat "for Jehovah" was then slain, and its blood sprinkled as the bullock's. Going out from the holiest, the high priest purified, by sprinkling seven times with the bullock's and the gent's blood, the holy place and the golden altar; and then outside he poured the rest of the blood round the altar of burnt offering; the places defiled by the priest's and the nation's sins being thus made ceremonially and typically fit for the indwelling of God; compare as to the Antitype Hebrews 9:22-23.
During this no ordinary priest was allowed to be in or about the sanctuary ( Leviticus 16:16-20; Exodus 30:10); teaching that Messiah has a priesthood exclusively His own, and that no work of layman or priest is to be added to His complete work of atonement ( Hebrews 7:24; Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 10:12-18). Then the high priest laid his hands upon the head of the goat "for Azazel," confessing over it all the sins of the people. Next a man chosen for the purpose led it into the wilderness, "a land not inhabited," and there let it loose. The two goats constitute one offering: the slain one typifying Jesus' vicarious bearing of our sin's penalty, death; the scape-goat the complete removal of our sin out of sight to where no witness will rise in judgment against us.
The life after death also points to our being dead with Christ to sin and its penalty and power, and becoming alive unto God by union with Him in His resurrection life ( Romans 6:5-11). In Leviticus 16:10; Leviticus 16:26, instead of "the goat for the scape-goat," which is tautology, translate "the goat for complete sending away" (from the Arabic root 'azal, "to remove completely.") Compare Psalms 103:12; Micah 7:19. Many think Azazel to be the devil, to whom, as the source of sin, "the entirely separate one," the scape-goat, with its lead of sin taken of from the congregation, was sent to the wilderness (the abode of evil spirits) to be given up to, as sin and the wicked shall be hereafter ( Revelation 20:14-15; Matthew 25:41; Luke 16:20): entirely separated from God.
But both goats were presented before Jehovah" as consecrated to Him ( Leviticus 16:7); and both alike in color, height, and value, form but two parts of one complex act of atonement; the one alone could not in the nature of things have expressed the whole truth. The one "for Jehovah," by its death, expresses Christ's life sacrificed instead of our forfeited lives; the "goat for complete sending away" expresses the blessed effect of that sacrifice, "as far as the E. is from the W. so far hath lie removed our transgressions from us" ( Psalms 103:12); the slain goat expresses "Christ was delivered for our offenses," so that in believing union with Him we are dead to sin, and to the law as a condemning power, and to death; the living goat expresses "Christ rose again for our justification" ( Romans 4:25), so that we live by union with His resurrection life, sin being utterly put away in proportion as that life works in us ( John 14:19; Romans 6; Colossians 3). Death and life are marvelously united alike in Christ and His people.
Compare the similar two-fold type, the slain bird and the bird let loose after having been dipped in the blood of the killed bird ( Leviticus 14:4-7). On the analogy between the high priest's entrance in his white garments once a year into the holiest, and the Antitype's entrance into heaven once for all, wherein He so infinitely exceeds the type, inasmuch as He "by that one offering hath forever perfected them that are sanctified," "having obtained, eternal redemption for us," so that "there is no more offering for sin" (which condemns the notion of the Lord's supper being a sacrifice), see Hebrew 9; 10. He needed not. like the type, to atone first for Himself. for He had no sin. The veil was rent at His death, throwing open the holiest heaven continually to all believers through faith in His sacrifice; whereas the veil continued as much after the typical high priest's atonement as before it to preclude access to priests and people alike.
As other offerings arched typically for the sins of the individual, the nation's sins as a whole congregation or church, were expiated on the great day of atonement. As the Passover was the nation's feast of joy, so the day of atonement was its day of penitent humiliation; and the atonement was its indispensable preparation for the joy that followed in the feast of tabernacles or ingathering of fruits. We can only "joy in God" when "through our Lord Jesus Christ we have received the atonement" ( Romans 5:11). After the live goat was sent away, the high. priest returned into the holy place, bathed again, put on his usual official garments, and offered the two rams as burnt offerings, one for himself, the other for the people: the burnt offering after the atonement expressing whole dedication of themselves to Jehovah. He also burnt upon the altar the fat of the two sin offerings, while their flesh was being burned outside the camp.
The entire flesh of the burnt offering was burnt on the altar; but that of the sin offerings, which ordinarily was counted most holy and eaten (type of Christ our holy sin offering, Hebrews 9:14), could not in this case be eaten by the priest properly, as it had been offered for the priests as well as for the people, and was therefore taken and burnt outside ( Leviticus 6:25-27). They who took away the flesh, and the man who had led away the living goat, had to bathe and to wash their clothes afterward. The additional burnt offerings ( Numbers 29:7-11) were a young bullock, a ram, seven lambs, and a young goat. The successive steps in the whole were: the high priest atoned
(1) for himself and his family; then, being purified himself,
(2) for the sanctuary and all in it; then
(3) for the altar of burnt offering outside;
(4) for the whole people.
The Yoma in the Mishna informs us that the high priest on the day of atonement performed all the ordinary duties, as lighting the lamps, offering the daily sacrifices and the incense; then bathed and put on the white linen garments and proceeded with the atonement rites. He went four times into the holiest (which are all regarded as the one "once" entering, Hebrews 9:7):
(1) with the censer and incense;
(2) with the bullock's blood;
(3) with the goat's blood;
(4) after offering the evening sacrifice, to bring out the censer and plate which had held the incense; compare Leviticus 16:12; Leviticus 16:14-15.
The lots were at first of boxwood, latterly of gold, put into an urn, into which he put both his hands and took out a lot in each, while the two goats stood before him, one on the right, the other on the left; the lot in each hand belonged to the corresponding position: when the lot "for Azazel" was in the right, it was a good omen. He then tied a tongue shaped piece of scarlet cloth on the scape-goat. The Gemara says the red cloth ought to turn white as a token of God's acceptance or the atonement; which illustrates Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." No such change took place for 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem; a singular testimony from Jewish authority to Messiah, as His ministry was precisely 40 years before the destruction of the holy city; the type ceased when the Antitype came.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
Atonement, Day Of . The Day of Atonement, with its unique and impressive ritual, is the culmination and crown of the sacrificial worship of the OT. The principal details are given in Leviticus 16:1-34 , supplemented by Leviticus 23:26-32 , Numbers 29:7-11 , Exodus 30:10 , all from the Priests’ Code, though not all, as we shall see, from the oldest strata of the priestly legislation. The date was the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri) reckoning from evening to evening ( Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 23:27 ff.). Not only was this day a ‘sabbath of solemn rest,’ on which no work of any sort was to be done, but its unique place among the religious festivals of the OT was emphasized by the strict observance of a fast. The rites peculiar to ‘the Day’ ( YÃ´mÃ¢ ), as it is termed in later literature, may be conveniently grouped in five stages.
( a ) In the preparatory stage ( Leviticus 16:3-10 ), after the special morning sacrifices had been offered ( Numbers 29:7-11 ), the high priest selected the appointed sin- and burnt-offerings for himself and ‘his house,’ i.e. the priestly caste, then laid aside his usual ornate vestments, bathed, and robed in a simple white linen tunic and girdle. He next selected two he-goats and a ram for the people’s offerings, and proceeded to ‘cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] , and the other lot for Azazel’ (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘scapegoat,’ see Azazel). These preparations completed, the proper expiatory rites were hegun, and were accomplished in three successive stages.
( b ) In the first stage ( Leviticus 16:11-14 ) the high priest made atonement for himself and the priesthood. After slaying the bullock of the sin-offering, he took a censer filled with live charcoal from the altar of burnt-offering and a handful of incense, and entered the Most Holy Place. Here he cast the incense on the coals, producing a cloud of smoke, by which the dwelling-place of the Most High between the Cherubim was hidden from mortal gaze (see Exodus 33:20 ). This done, he returned to the court, to enter immediately, for the second time, the inner sanctuary, carrying a basin with the blood of the bullock, which he sprinkled on the front of the mercy-seat once, and seven times on the ground before the ark.
( c ) In the second stage ( Leviticus 16:15-19 ) atonement was made in succession for the Most Holy Place, the Holy Place, and the outer court. The goat on which the lot ‘for Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] ’ had fallen was slain by the high priest, who then entered the Most Holy Place for the third time with its blood, which he manipulated as before. On his return through the Holy Place a similar ceremony was performed ( Leviticus 16:33 , cf. Exodus 30:10 ), after which he proceeded, as directed in Leviticus 16:18 f., to ‘cleanse and hallow’ the altar of burnt-offering, which stood in the outer court.
( d ) These all led up to the culminating rite in the third stage ( Leviticus 16:20-22 ). Here the high priest, placing both hands on the head of the goat allotted to Azazel, made solemn confession the tenor of which may still be read in the Mishnic treatise YÃ´mÃ¢ of all the nation’s sins. By this ceremony these sins were conceived as not only symbolically but actually transferred to the head of the goat ( Leviticus 16:21 f., see below), which was solemnly conducted to ‘a solitary land’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), the supposed abode of the mysterious Azazel. In NT times the goat was led to a lofty precipice in the wilderness about 12 miles east of Jerusalem, over which it was thrown backwards, to be dashed in pieces on the rocks below ( YÃ´mÃ¢ , vi. 6ff.).
( e ) We now reach the concluding stage of ‘the Day’s’ ceremonial ( Leviticus 16:23-28 ). The fact that the essential part was now accomplished was strikingly shown by the high priest’s retiring into the Holy Place to put off ‘the holy garments’ ( Leviticus 16:23; Leviticus 16:32 ), bathe, and resume his ordinary high-priestly vestments. Returning to the court, he offered the burnt-offerings for himself and the people, together with the fat of the sin-offering. The remaining verses ( Leviticus 16:26-28 ) deal with details, the characteristic significance of which will be discussed presently.
Reasoning from the literary history of Leviticus 16:1-34 , from the highly developed sense of sin, and from the unique prominence given to fasting, as well as on other grounds which cannot be fully set forth here, OT scholars are now practically unanimous in regarding the Day of Atonement as an institution of the post-exilic age. There is good reason for holding although on this point there is not the same unanimity that it originated even later than the time of Ezra, by whom the main body of the Priests’ Code was introduced. The nucleus from which the rites of Leviticus 16:1-34 were developed was probably the simpler ceremonial laid down by Ezekiel for the purification of the sanctuary Ezekiel 45:18 ff.). Other elements, such as the earlier provisions for the entry of the high priest into the Most Holy Place still found in the opening verses of Leviticus 16:1-34 , and perhaps the desire to make an annual institution of the great fast of Nehemiah 9:1 ff., contributed to the final development of the institution as it now appears in the Pentateuch. It is doubtless much older than the earliest reference in Sir 50:5 ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 180). In NT it is referred to as ‘the Fast’ ( Acts 27:9 ), and so occasionally by Josephus. To this day it remains the most solemn and most largely attended religious celebration of the Jewish year.
The dominating thought of Leviticus 16:1-34 is the awful reality and contagion of sin, which affects not only priest and people, but the sanctuary itself. Its correlate is the intense realization of the need of cleansing and propitiation, as the indispensable condition of right relations with a holy God. The details of the ritual by which these relations were periodically renewed are of surpassing interest, as showing how the loftlest religious thought may be associated with ritual elements belonging to the most primitive stages of religion. Thus, in the case before us, the efficacy of the blood, the universal medium of purification and atonement, is enhanced by cessation from labour and complete abstinence from food the latter the outward accompaniment of inward penitence and by the high priest’s public and representative confession of the nation’s sins. Yet alongside of these we find the antique conception of holiness and uncleanness as something material, and of the fatal consequences of unguarded contact with the one or the other. It is only on this plane of thought that one understands the need of the cleansing of the sanctuary, infected by the ‘uncleannesses’ of the people among whom it dwelt ( Leviticus 16:16 , RV [Note: Revised Version.] , cf. Ezekiel 45:18 ff.). The same primitive idea of the contagion of holiness underlies the prescribed change of garments on the part of the high priest. The ‘holy garments’ in which the essential parts of the rite were performed had to be deposited in the Holy Place; those who had been brought into contact with the sacrosanct animals (vv. 26ff.) must bathe and wash their clothes, lest, as Ezekiel says in another connexion, ‘they sanctify the people with their garments’ ( Ezekiel 44:19 ), i.e. lest the mysterious contagion pass to the people with disastrous results. The most striking illustration of this transmissibility, however, is seen in the central rite by which the nation’s sins are transferred to the head of ‘the goat for Azazel,’ the demonic spirit of the wilderness (cf. the similar rite, Leviticus 14:6 f.).
These survivals from the earlier stages of the common Semitic religion should not blind the modern student to the profound conviction of sin to which the institution bears witness, nor to the equally profound sense of the need of pardon and reconciliation, and of uninterrupted approach to God. By its emphasis on these perennial needs of the soul the Day of Atonement played no unimportant part in the preparation of Judaism for the perfect atonement through Jesus Christ. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews in a familiar passage contrasts the propitiatory work of the Jewish high priest on this day with the great propitiation of Him who, by virtue of His own atoning blood, ‘entered in once for all into the holy place’ ( Hebrews 9:12 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), even ‘into heaven itself,’ where He remains, our great High Priest and Intercessor ( Hebrews 7:25 f.).
A. R. S. Kennedy.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
This was one of the most solemn days in the whole year, being, in common with the Sabbath, the only occasion on which the people were commanded to cease from work entirely. On the day of atonement they were also to afflict their souls, and that by a statute for ever. Leviticus 16:29-31 . The time of the year in which the day fell the tenth day of the seventh month is very significant, especially when viewed in connection with the other feasts. See Feasts
The rites prescribed for the Day of Atonement are given in Leviticus 16; Leviticus 23:26-32; Numbers 29:7-11 . In the first we have a detailed account of the peculiar work appointed for the high priest on that day; in the second, we learn what had been shortly expressed in chap. 16, how the people should comport themselves on that day; and in the third we are told of certain sacrifices which were to be offered up besides those spoken of in Leviticus 16 . In this passage we learn that the Day of Atonement was a gracious provision in order that the relationship of the people with the holy God who dwelt among them might be maintained.
The points to be noticed are:
1. The entrance into the holy place. Aaron, on account of the failure of his sons in the priestly office, could not enter there at all times, but, as the representative of the people, once a year on the Day of Atonement, and he must enter alone. Even then he went in not for communion, but for the cleansing of the defilements of a people among whom God dwelt. He must put on the holy linen garments, and must enter with a cloud of incense and with blood, lest he die. For the contrast to this for the Christian, see Hebrews 9:7-12 .
2. Aaron must offer sacrifices for himself and his house: a young bullock for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Aaron and his sons represent the saints who now form the church as a company of priests, and were thus, in the type, distinct from the people (Israel) as an earthly company who formed the camp.
3. For the congregation two goats were taken for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. On the two goats the lot was cast, and the one on whom the lot fell was for Jehovah, and was offered as a sin offering. This, as with the bullock for Aaron and his house, was the atonement offering Godward. The other, after being presented before the Lord, was brought forth: on him Aaron laid both his hands and confessed 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," Leviticus 16:21 , which was then sent away into the wilderness, a land of forgetfulness. In the two goats we have the two sides of atonement, namely, that which meets the character and holiness of God, and that which meets the need of the sinner as to the removal of his sins.* See the preceding article.
* Note there is no scapegoat for the priestly family: they belong to the inside, where God is glorified. The earthly saints will have 'the forgiveness of sins' in the new covenant at the end of days. In connection with them prominence is given to the scapegoat aspect sins remembered no more.
4. Atonement was made for the holy place, for the tabernacle, and for the altar, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
The day of Atonement being once a year once every year, by a perpetual statute stands in strong contrast to the one perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, by which the believer is perfected in perpetuity. See Hebrews 10:1-18 .
The reiterated injunction to afflict their souls in connection with this great day has an important propheticalbearing as to the Lord's earthly people Israel. If the blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month suggests that testimony from the Lord which shall arouse the nation from their long spiritual slumber, the Day of Atonement points to the moral effect produced in them when they shall look upon Him whom they havepierced, and mournfor Him. They will also at this time learn and confess that He was wounded for theirtransgressions.Cf. Zechariah 12:10-14; Isaiah 53; Psalm 51 .
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Acts 27:9 Leviticus 16:3-10 23:26-32 Numbers 29:7-11
It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to sunset. (See AZAZEL .)
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology 
See [[Feasts And Festivals Of Israel]]
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Atonement, Day Of —See Day of Atonement.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
a - tōn´ment :
I. The Legal Enactments
2. Leviticus 16
(1) Contents, Structure and Position
(a) Leviticus 16:1-10
(b) Leviticus 16:11-24
(c) Leviticus 16:25-28
(d) Leviticus 16:29-34
Use of Number Four
Place in Leviticus
(2) Modern Attempts to Disprove Unity of Chapter
II. The Significance of the Day of Atonement
1. The Significance for Israel
2. The Significance from a Christian Standpoint
III. On the History of the Day of Atonement
1. The Long Silence of History
(1) The Facts and the False Conclusions
(2) The Historicity of the Day of Atonement
2. Further Development
I. The Legal Enactments
In addition to the chief passage, Lev 16, which is treated under a separate head, we have the following:
In Exodus 30:10 it is mentioned in the directions that are given for the construction of the altar of incense that Aaron, once a year, is to make an atonement on the horns of the altar, with the blood of the sin offering, which is used for the purpose of an atonement for sin.
In Leviticus 23:26-32 mention is made in the list of festivals of the Day of Atonement, on the 10th day of the 7th month. It is ordered that for this day there shall be a holy convocation at the sanctuary, a fast, an offering by fire, and rest from labor from the 9th day of the 7th month in the evening.
According to Leviticus 25:9 the year of jubilee begins with the Day of Atonement.
Nu 18 speaks of the duties and the rights of the priests and the Levites. In contrast with the latter, according to Numbers 18:7 , Aaron and his sons are to perform the duties of the priesthood in all matters pertaining to the altar and of the service within the veil and shall render this service. We have here doubtless a comprehensive law for the entire priestly order, so that from this alone it cannot be determined that the service within the veil, by which reference is made to the ceremony of the Day of Atonement, has been reserved for the high priest alone, just as in Deuteronomy 10:8; Deuteronomy 33:8 , everything that pertains to the whole tribe of Levi is found combined, without thereby the division into high priest, priests and Levites, being regarded as excluded (compare Ezekiel , II, 2, (1), c).
Numbers 29:7-11 contains in connection with the laws treating of sacrifices also the enactment, that on the 10th day of the 7th month there shall take place a holy convocation at the sanctuary, fasting and rest from labor. In addition to the sin offering, which is brought for the purpose of atonement for sin, and in addition to the regular burnt offerings and the accompanying meal offerings and drink offerings, burnt offerings also are to be brought, namely, one young bullock, one young ram, seven lambs of the first year (all without blemish); then meal offerings, namely, three-tenths (compare Numbers 28:12-14 ) of fine flour mingled with oil for each bullock; two-tenths for each ram; one-tenth for each lamb; then a sin offering, namely, one he-goat.
Ezekiel in his vision of the new temple, of the holy city and the holy country (chapters 40 through 48), in Ezekiel 45:18 , gives a series of enactments for the festivals and the sacrifices. According to these, on the 1st day of the 1st month and on the 7th day of the 1st month (on the 1st day of the 7th month according to the Septuagint), the sanctuary is to be cleansed through a young bullock without blemish, the priest taking some of the blood of the sin offering and putting it on the posts of the temple, on the four corners of the altar and on the posts of the gate of the inner court; and this is to be done for the sake of those who perhaps have sinned through error or ignorance. Further, that sacrifice which is to be brought on the Passover by the princes for themselves and all the people of the land (compare Ezekiel 45:22 ) appears to present a clear analogy to Lev 16. As for the rest, Ezek 40 through 48 cannot without further consideration be put on the same level with the other legal enactments, but are to be regarded as an ideal scheme, the realization of which is conditioned on the entrance of the wonderful future (compare Ezekiel ).
2. Leviticus 16
(1) Contents, Structure and Position
Lev 16:1-28 contains instructions given by Yahweh to Moses for his brother Aaron ( Leviticus 16:1 , Leviticus 16:2 ).
(A) Leviticus 16:1-10
Leviticus 16:1-10 contain presuppositions, preparations and summary statements of the ceremonies on the Day of Atonement. According to Leviticus 16:1 , Leviticus 16:2 , Aaron is not allowed to enter the holy place at any time whatever, lest he may die as did his sons with their unseemly fire offering (compare Leviticus 10:1 ); Leviticus 16:3-5 tell what is necessary for the ceremony: For himself four things: a young bullock as a sin offering (compare Leviticus 16:6 , Leviticus 16:11 , Leviticus 16:14 , Leviticus 16:15 , Leviticus 16:27 ); a ram for burnt offering (compare Leviticus 16:24 ); sacred garments, namely, a linen coat, linen breeches, linen girdle, linen mitre (compare Leviticus 16:23 , Leviticus 16:32 ); a bath. For the congregation: two he-goats as a sin offering (compare Leviticus 16:7 , Leviticus 16:15-22 , Leviticus 16:25 , Leviticus 16:27 , Leviticus 16:28 , Leviticus 16:32 , Leviticus 16:33 ), a ram as a burnt offering (compare Leviticus 16:24 ). The passages in parentheses show how closely the succeeding parts of this account are connected with this introductory part, Leviticus 16:1-10 . In other parts of Lev also it is often found that the materials used for the sacrifices are mentioned first, before anything is said in detail of what is to be done with this material. Compare Leviticus 8:1 , Leviticus 8:2 with Leviticus 8:6 , Leviticus 8:7 , Leviticus 8:10 , Leviticus 8:14 , Leviticus 8:18 , Leviticus 8:22 , Leviticus 8:26 and Leviticus 9:2-4 with Leviticus 9:7 , Leviticus 9:8 , Leviticus 9:12 , Leviticus 9:15-18 . In Leviticus 16:6 Aaron's sin-offering bullock is to be used as an atonement for himself; Leviticus 16:7-10 refer to the two goats: they are to be placed at the door of the tent of meeting ( Leviticus 16:7 ); lots are to be cast upon them for Yahweh and Azazel ( Leviticus 16:8 ); the first to be prepared as a sin offering for Yahweh ( Leviticus 16:9 ); the second, in accordance with the law, to be sent into the desert ( Leviticus 16:10 ).
(B) Leviticus 16:11-24
Leviticus 16:11-24 describe the ceremony itself and give fuller directions as to how the different sacrificial materials mentioned under (A) are to be used by Aaron: Leviticus 16:11-14 speak of the atonement for Aaron and his house; Leviticus 16:11 , of his sin-offering bullock to be killed; Leviticus 16:12 , of burning coal from the altar and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small to be placed behind the veil; Leviticus 16:13 , of the cloud of incense to be made in the Holy of Holies, so that the top covering is hidden and Aaron is protected from the danger of death; Leviticus 16:14 , of some of the blood to be sprinkled once on the front of the top covering and seven times in front of it. Leviticus 16:15-19 prescribe the ceremony with the first sin-offering goat for the congregation: in Leviticus 16:15 , Leviticus 16:16 , the ceremony described in Leviticus 16:14 is directed also to be carried out with the goat, as an atonement for the inner sanctuary, cleansing it from blemishes; in Leviticus 16:16 the same thing is directed to be done in regard to the tabernacle of revelation, i.e. the holy place, in Leviticus 16:17 , no one is permitted to be present even in the holy place when these ceremonies take place; in Leviticus 16:18 , Leviticus 16:19 , the altar too is directed to be cleansed by an atonement, some of the blood of both sin-offering animals being smeared on the horns and sprinkled seven times on the ground. Leviticus 16:20-22 prescribe the ceremony with the second sin-offering goat for the congregation: Leviticus 16:20 directs it to be brought there; in Leviticus 16:21 there takes place the transfer of guilt; Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the goat; shall confess all guilt over him; shall lay them upon the head of the goat; shall through a man send him into the desert; in Leviticus 16:22 , the goat carries the guilt into an uninhabited land; in Leviticus 16:22 , he is not to be let go until he is in the desert. Leviticus 16:23 , Leviticus 16:24 , the concluding act: in Leviticus 16:23 , Aaron takes off his linen garments in the tent of meeting, and in Leviticus 16:23 puts them down there; in Leviticus 16:24 , he bathes in the holy place and again puts on his usual clothing; in Leviticus 16:24 he brings the burnt offering for himself and his people. (The statement 'for himself and his people' at this place concludes the ritual as such.)
(C) Leviticus 16:25-28
Leviticus 16:25-28 are explanatory, with three additional directions. In Leviticus 16:25 , the fat of the sin offering is directed to be consumed into smoke on the altar; Leviticus 16:26 , he who has taken away the second goat must wash his clothes and bathe himself, and only then is he permitted to enter the camp; Leviticus 16:27 , the fat, flesh and dung of the sin-offering animal, and then the blood that was brought into the (inner) sanctuary, are to be burned outside of the camp; Leviticus 16:28 , he who has burned these must wash his clothes, and must bathe, and only after this can he enter the camp. (In this case Leviticus 16:25 and Leviticus 16:27 correspond, and also Leviticus 16:26 and Leviticus 16:28; and in addition Leviticus 16:26 , Leviticus 16:27 , Leviticus 16:28 are united by their reference to the camp.)
(D) Leviticus 16:29-34
Leviticus 16:29-34 : Over against these sections (A)-(C) (16:1-28), which contain the instructions for the high priest, we have a fourth ( Leviticus 16:29-34 ), which already through the address in the second person plural and also by its contents is intended for the congregation. In Leviticus 16:29-31 , the demand is made of the congregation. As in Leviticus 23:26; Numbers 29:7 , a fast and absolute rest are prescribed for the 10th day of the 7th month as the Day of Atonement; in Leviticus 16:32-34 , a number of directions are given in a summary to the congregation on the basis of Leviticus 16:1 , namely, Leviticus 16:32 , how the atonement is to take place: the priest who is anointed; he shall be consecrated; that he perform the service in his father's place; in his linen garments; Leviticus 16:33 prescribes when and for whom the atonement is to take place: for the holy of holies; for the holy place; for the altar; for the order of priests and all the people; in Leviticus 16:34 , the one Day of Atonement in the year for all sins is declared to be an everlasting statute. The statement that Aaron ( Leviticus 16:2 ), according to Yahweh's command, did as Moses directed aptly closes the whole chapter.
Use of Number Four
The number four appears to occupy a predominating place in this chapter, as the bird's-eye view above already shows, and as this can be traced still further in the details of the accounts. But even if this significance of the number four in the division of the chapter is accidental, although this number appears almost as a matter of course, and in Ex 35:4 through 40:38, in Gen 12 through 25, in the story of Abraham, Lev 11 through 15, and Dt 12 through 26 naturally fall into four pericopes with four subdivisions, yet this chapter is, as far as contents are concerned, so closely connected, and so well organized as a whole, that all attempts to ascribe it to different sources, concerning which we shall speak immediately, must come to naught in view of this fact.
Place in Leviticus
At this point we first of all draw attention to the fact that Lev 16 has its well-established place in the whole of the Book of Lev (compare Leviticus ). The whole book has as its purpose to regulate the dealings of the Israelites with their God, and it does this in such a way that the first part (Lev 1 through 17) removes the hindrances that have been caused by sin. In this the ordinances with reference to the Day of Atonement (Lev 16), and with reference to the significance of the blood (Lev 17), constitute a natural acme and excellent conclusion, while this prepares for the positive sanctification, which is discussed in Lev 18ff. In Leviticus 15:31 we find in addition a clear transition to the thoughts of Lev 16, for in this passage mention is made of the uncleanness of the Israelites, which contaminates the dwelling-place of Yahweh that is in their midst.
(2) Modern Attempts to Disprove Unity of Chapter
A large number of attempts have been made to destroy the unity of this chapter, which has been demonstrated in division (1) above. Thus Stade separates Leviticus 16:3-10 as the original kernel from the echplanatory and changing details that were added in 16:11-28. But we have already seen that Leviticus 16:3-10 are the preparation for all that follows, so that these verses demand Leviticus 16:11 as a necessary complement. Again Oort separates Leviticus 16:1-4 , Leviticus 16:11 , Leviticus 16:14 , Leviticus 16:16 , Leviticus 16:18 , Leviticus 16:19 , Leviticus 16:23 , Leviticus 16:24 , Leviticus 16:25 , Leviticus 16:29 from the rest, by using the purification of the sanctuary and the atonement of the people as the measure for this separation; but above all it is proved by Ezekiel 45:18-20 that just these two thoughts are inseparably united. In recent times it has become the custom, following the leadership of Benzinger, to divide the text into three parts. Baentsch divides as follows: (a) Leviticus 16:1-4 , Leviticus 16:6 , Leviticus 16:12 f, 34b contain a single pericope, which on the basis of the fate of the sons of Aaron, described in Lev 10, determines under what circumstances Aaron alone is permitted to enter the Holy of Holies; (b) Leviticus 16:29-34 contain "an older, relatively simpler law in reference to the yearly day of penitence and atonement"; (c) Leviticus 16:5 , Leviticus 16:7-10 , Leviticus 16:11 , Leviticus 16:14-28 are a "later enlargement of this ritual, with a more complicated blood rite," and above all with "the rite of the sin goat." Of these three pieces only (a) is thought to belong to the original Priest Codex, as proved especially by its reference back to Lev 10; (b) is regarded as belonging to the secondary parts, because the day of repentance is not yet mentioned in Neh 8ff; compare III, 1; at any rate the anointing of all the priests is there not yet presupposed (compare Leviticus ); (c), however, is declared to be very late and its separate parts are regarded as having originated only after the others (Thus recently also Bertholet). It is impossible here to enter into all the minor parts eliminated by the exegetes; and in the same way we do not intend in our examination to enter into all the incorrect views found in these criticisms. We confine ourselves to the chief matter. The very foundation of the criticism is wrong. What Aaron's sons experienced according to Lev 10 could very easily have furnished a connecting link for that ritual which is introduced in Leviticus 16:2 , but could never have furnished the occasion for the composition of the pericope described above (a); for Nadab and Abihu had not entered into the Holy of Holies at all. Just as little justifiable is the conclusion drawn from chapter 10, that chapter 16 originally followed immediately on chapter 10. For who could possibly have conceived the thought of inserting chapters 11 through 15 in an altogether unsuitable place between chapters 10 and 16 and thus have split asunder a connection so transparent? In general, the different attempts to break the unity of this chapter show how subjective and arbitrary these attempts are. They are a characteristic example of the manner in which the Priest Codex is now being further divided (compare Leviticus ). In general, sufficient material for the positive refutation of such attempts has been given above.
II. The Significance of the Day of Atonement
1. The Significance for Israel
The significance of the day is expressed in the name "Day of Atonement" Yōm ha - kippurı̄m ̌ : Leviticus 23:27 f; Leviticus 25:9 ) in the same manner as it is in the fast which was enjoined on the congregation as a sign of sorrow for their sins (this fasting being the only one enjoined by the law: Leviticus 16:29 , Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 23:26; Numbers 29:7 ), as also finally and chiefly in the entire ritual ( Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 23:28; Numbers 29:11; Lev 16; compare also Ezekiel 18:20 , Ezekiel 18:22 ). Then, too, the atonement takes place for the sanctuary which has been defiled by the contamination of the Israelites ( Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:16-20 , Leviticus 16:33; compare also Ezekiel 45:18-20 ). In particular, mention is made of the Holy of Holies ( Leviticus 16:33 , called Miḳdash ha - ḳōdhesh ; otherwise in Lev regularly ha - ḳōdhesh ), then of the holy place ( Leviticus 16:16 , Leviticus 16:20 , Leviticus 16:33 ), and then of the altar ( Leviticus 16:18 , Leviticus 16:20 , Leviticus 16:33 ). In the last-mentioned case it is a matter of discussion whether the altar of incense is meant, as is claimed by Jewish tradition, on the basis of Exodus 30:10 , or the altar of burnt offerings, for which reference could be made to the additional statements in Leviticus 16:18 , to those of Leviticus 16:16 , and to the conclusion in Leviticus 16:17 . The altar of incense ( Exodus 30:10 ) would then be included in the atonement of the tent of meeting. The somewhat remarkable position of Leviticus 16:17 would then at the same time find its motive in this, that, while Leviticus 16:6 and Leviticus 16:11 mention an atonement only for Aaron and his house, the atonement of the Holy of Holies and of the holy place in Leviticus 16:17 is for Aaron, his house, and the whole congregation, while the atonement of the burnt-offering altar in the forecourt ( Leviticus 16:18 ) would be intended only for the sins of the congregation. The atonement, however, takes place for all the transgressions of the congregation since the last Day of Atonement (compare Leviticus 16:21 f, 30, 34). In reference to the significance of what is done with the second goat of sin offering, compare Leviticus 16:8 , Leviticus 16:20 , and Azazel , II, 1. In this way Delitzsch has correctly called the Day of Atonement "the Good Friday of the Old Testament." How deeply the consciousness of sin must have been awakened, if the many otherwise commanded private and congregational sacrifices did not make such an institution superfluous, and if even the high priest himself stood before God as a sinner ( Leviticus 16:6 , Leviticus 16:11 ). On this day, with the exception of the mitre, he does not wear the insignia of his high-priestly office, but wears white garments, which in their simplicity correspond to the earnestness of the situation. The repetition of the bath, both in his case and in that of the other persons engaged in the ceremony ( Leviticus 16:4 , Leviticus 16:24 , Leviticus 16:26 , Leviticus 16:28 ), was necessary, because the mere washing of the hands and feet ( Exodus 30:19 f) would not suffice on this occasion (compare Numbers 19:7 , Numbers 19:19 , Numbers 19:21 ). The flesh of the sin-offering animals was not permitted to be eaten but had to be burned ( Leviticus 16:27 ) because it was sacrificed also for Aaron's sin, and its blood was carried not only into the holy place but also into the Holy of Holies (compare Leviticus 16:27 with Leviticus 6:23; Leviticus 4:11 f, 21; Exodus 29:14; Leviticus 8:17; Leviticus 9:11; Leviticus 10:19 ). And in comparison with the consciousness of sin that had been aroused, how great must on the other hand God's grace appear, when once in each year a general remission of all the sins that had been forgiven was guaranteed.
2. Significance from a Christian Standpoint
"The Day of Atonement, the good Friday of the Old Testament" - these words express not only the highest significance of the day but also its limitations. As the tabernacle, the sacrificial system, the entire law, Thus too the Day of Atonement in particular contained only the shadow of future good things, but not these things themselves ( Hebrews 10:1 ), and is "like in pattern to the true" ( Hebrews 9:24 ). Christ Himself entered into the holy place, which was not made with hands, namely, into heaven itself, and has now appeared before God, by once for all giving Himself as a sacrifice for the removal of sin ( Hebrews 9:23 ). By this act the purpose of the Old Testament sacrificial cult and its highest development, namely, the Day of Atonement, understood in its typical significance, has been fulfilled, and at the same time surpassed and thereby abrogated (compare Leviticus ). Accordingly, our hope, too, like an anchor - ( Hebrews 6:19 ), penetrates to the inner part of the veil in the higher sense of the term, i.e. to heaven.
III. On the History of the Day of Atonement
1. The Long Silence of History
(1) The Facts and the False Conclusions
The Day of Atonement is stated to have been instituted in the times of Moses ( Leviticus 16:1 ); the ceremony takes place in the tabernacle (tent of meeting); the people are presupposed to be in the camp ( Leviticus 16:26 ); Aaron is still the high priest. Very remarkably there is but little evidence of the observance of this prominent day in the later history of Israel. Down to the time of the Exile there is found a deep silence on this subject. The days of atonement in Ezekiel 45:18 (compare under I, 1) differ in number and observance from that in Lev 16. According to Zechariah 3:9 , God in the Messianic future will take away the guilt of the land in a single day; but this too presents no more than an analogy to the results of the Day of Atonement. On the other hand, there is no reference made to the day where we could expect it. Not only 2 Chronicles 7:7-9 in connection with the consecration of Solomon's temple, and Ezra 3:1-6 , in the account of the reintroduction of the sacrificial services after the return from the Exile, are silent on the subject, which fact could possibly be explained in an easy manner; but also Neh 8 f. According to Nehemiah 8:2 f, Ezra begins on the 1st day of the 7th month in the year 444 bc to read from the law; on the 2nd day of the 7th month remembrance is made of the ordinance treating of the feast of tabernacles, and on the 22nd day of the 7th month ( Nehemiah 8:13 ), this festival is observed; on the 24th day of the 7th month a day of penance is observed ( Nehemiah 9:1 ); but of the Day of Atonement coming in between Nehemiah 8:1 and Nehemiah 9:1 , namely, on the 10th day of the 7th month, which would seem to make the day of penance superfluous, nothing is said. From these facts the Wellhausen school has drawn the conclusion, in accordance with its principles elsewhere observed, that all those legal enactments that have not in the history a sufficient evidence of having been observed, did not exist until the time when they have such historical evidence; that therefore the Day of Atonement did not originate until after the year 444 bc. It is claimed that the day originated in the two days of atonement mentioned in Ezekiel 45:18-20 (compare under I, 1); in the four national fast days of Zechariah 7:5 , and Zechariah 8:19 , and in the day of penance of 444 bc, just mentioned, on the 24th day of the 7th month, which is said to hav e been repeated on the following New Year's day, the 10th day of the 7th month; and that by the sacred character of its observance it soon crowded the New Year day upon the 1st day of the 7th month (compare Leviticus 23:23; Numbers 29:1; contrary to Leviticus 25:9 and Ezekiel 40:1 ). In this way it is thought that Leviticus 16:29 first originated, and that at a still later time the complicated blood ritual had been added (compare under I, 1, 2). But it is to be observed that in still later times there is found no more frequent mention of the Day of Atonement than in the earlier, although it is the custom of modern criticism to place a much larger bulk of Biblical literature into this later period. It is only when we come to Jesus Sirach (Ecclesiasticus 50:5ff) that the high priest Simon is praised, when he came forth from behind the veil; and this is certainly a reference. to the Day of Atonement, although no further mention is made at this place of the ceremony as such. Then there is a further silence on the subject down to Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews (6:19; 9:7, 13ff; 10:1ff; compare under II, 2). It is probable too that the fasting mentioned in Acts 27:9 is based on the Day of Atonement. We have in this manner a characteristic example to show how carefully we must handle the argument from silence, if we do not want to arrive at uncomfortable results.
(2) The Historicity of the Day of Atonement
Since Lev 16 constitutes only one part of the Levitical legislation, the question as to the original and historical character of the day cannot be fully discussed at this place (see Leviticus ). At so late a period, naturally all the data that would lead to an explanation of the origin of such a fundamental institution as the Day of Atonement are lacking. It is all the more impossible to separate Lev 16 from the other priestly ordinances, because the name of the lid of the ark of covenant hakappōreth ̌ : Exodus 25:17; Exodus 26:34 ) stands in the clearest relation to the ceremony that takes place with this ark on the Day of Atonement. The impossibility of splitting up Lev 16 as is the manner of critics, or even as much as separating it from Lev 11 through 15, has been sufficiently demonstrated above (compare under I). Against the view which forces the Priest Codex down at least to the Exile and to claim the tabernacle as the product of imagination and as a copy of the temple of Solomon (see Exodus ), we have still the following to add: If the ark of the covenant was no longer in existence after the Exile and if, according to Jeremiah 3:16 , the Israelites no longer expected its restoration, then it would have been absolutely impossible in the ritual of the Day of Atonement to connect the most important ceremony of this ritual with this ark and on this to base the atonement. In the second temple, as is well known, the incense pan was placed on the "foundation stone" in the Holy of Holies, because there was no tabernacle. Against these facts the counter-arguments mentioned above cannot stand. Even those who deny the existence of the Day of Atonement do not lay much stress on 2 Chronicles 7:1-9 and Ezra 3:1-6; but Neh 8ff also does not deserve mention, since in this place the emphasis lies on the purpose of showing how the congregation was to declare its adherence to the law, and how the Day of Repentance, which had been observed since the beginning of the history of Israel, was instituted to be observed on the 24th day of the 7th month for all sins ( Ezra 9:1 ), and was not made superfluous by the celebration of the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the 7th month, on which day only the sins of the last year were taken into consideration. But Ezekiel changed or ignored also other pre-exilic arrangements (compare Ezekiel ), so that he is no authority in deciding the question as to the earlier existence of the Day of Atonement. Finally, attention must be drawn to the fact that the Passover festival is mentioned in prophetic literature, in addition to the mere reference in Isaiah 30:29 , only in Ezekiel 45:21; the ark of the covenant only in Jeremiah 3:16; the Feast of Tabernacles only in Hosea 12:9; Ezekiel 45:25; and that in its historical connection the Feast of Weeks is mentioned incidentally only in 2 Chronicles 8:13 , and possibly in 1 Kings 9:25 , and is not at all found in Ezek (compare Ezekiel 45:18 ), although the existence of these institutions has for a very long time been called into question.
2. Further Development
The Day of Atonement, in accordance with its purpose in later times, came more and more into the foreground and was called "the great fast" or "the great day," or merely "the day." Its ritual was further enlarged and the special parts mentioned in the law were fully explained, fixed and specialized. Compare especially the tract "Yoma" in the Mish; and for the further elaborations and stories in poetry and prose on the basis of the Talmud, see, e.g. Delitzsch's translation from Maim, Ha - yādh ha - ḥăzāḳāh , in the supplement to his Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews , 1857. According to these accounts, e.g. the high priest had to be a married man. Already seven days before the beginning of the Day of Atonement he was ordered to leave his house and had to submit to a series of purifications and had to practice for the performance of the different purification ceremonies, some of which were difficult. The last night he was not allowed to sleep and had to spend his time in studying the sacred writings. On the Day of Atonement he took five baths and ten washings. Four times he enters the Holy of Holies (with the incense), with the blood of both sin offerings, and when he brings out the utensils used with the incense he makes three confessions of sins (for himself, for himself and his house, for Israel); 10 times in all he utters the name of Yahweh; 43 times he sprinkles; in addition he must read certain sections of the Scriptures or repeat them from memory (compare also Azazel ). When he returns home he celebrates a festival of rejoicing, because he has without harm been able to leave the sanctuary. In addition, he had performed severe physical work, and especially difficult was the manipulation of the incense. The modern estimate put on the Day of Atonement appears from the following citation of Wellhausen: "The rite and the sacrifice through the unfavorable circumstances of the times have disappeared; but it has retained the same sacred character. He who has not yet entirely broken with Judaism observes this day, no matter how indifferent he may be otherwise to old customs and festivals."
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( יוֹם הִכַּפֻּרַים , Yoma Hakkippurim', Day Of The Expiations; Sept. Ἡμέρα Ἐξιλασμοῦ , Vulg. Dies Expiationum or Diespropitiationis), the Jewish day of annual expiation for national sin. In the Talmud this day is called תִּעֲנַית גְּדוֹלָה , Great Fasting, and so in Philo, Νηστείας Ἑορτή (Lib. De Sept. v. 47, ed. Tauchn.); and in Acts 27:9, Ἡ Νηστεία . The Talmudical writers, however, often designate it merely as יוֹמָא , THE Day; a circumstance which has suggested to some commentators the notion that by Ἡμέρα ( Hebrews 7:27) the apostle intended this Atonement Day. Though perhaps originally meant as a temporary day of expiation for the sin of the golden calf (as some would infer from Exodus 33), yet it was permanently instituted by Moses as a day of atonement for sins in general; indeed, it was the great day of national humiliation, and the only one commanded in the Mosaic law, though the later Jews, in commemoration of some disastrous events, especially those which occurred at and after the destruction of the two temples, instituted a few more fast days, which they observed with scarcely less rigor and strictness than the one ordained by Moses for the purpose of general absolution (Hottinger, Solen. expiationum diei, Tirur. 1754). (See Fast).
I. The Time. — It was kept on the tenth day of Tisri, that is, from the evening of the ninth to the evening of the tenth of that month, five days before the Feast of Tabernacles. (See Festival). This would correspond to the early part of October. (See Calendar (Jewish).) This great fast, like all others among the Jews, commenced at sunset of the previous day, and lasted twenty-four hours, that is, from sunset to sunset, or, as the rabbins will have it, until three stars were visible in the horizon. — Kitto, s.v. See DAY.
II. Commemorative Signification. — Some have inferred from Leviticus 16:1, that the day was instituted on account of the sin and punishment of Nadab and Abihu. Maimonides (More Nevochim, 18) regards it as a commemoration of the day on which Moses came down from the mount with the second tables of the law, and proclaimed to the people the forgiveness of their great sin in worshipping the golden calf (q.v.).
III. Scriptural Prescriptions Respecting It. — The mode of its observance is described in Leviticus 16, where it should be noticed that in Leviticus 16:3-10 an outline of the whole ceremonial is given, while in the rest of the chapter certain points are mentioned with more details. The victims which were offered, in addition to those strictly belonging to the special service of the day, and to those of the usual daily sacrifice, are enumerated in Numbers 29:7-11; and the conduct of the people is emphatically enjoined in Leviticus 23:26-32. The ceremonies were of a very laborious character, especially for the high-priest, who had to prepare himself during the previous seven days in nearly solitary confinement for the peculiar services that awaited him, and abstain during that period from all that could render him unclean, or disturb his devotions. It was kept by the people as a solemn sabbath. They were commanded to set aside all work and "to afflict their souls," under pain of being "cut off from among the people." It was on this occasion only that the high-priest was permitted to enter into the Holy of Holies.
1. Having bathed his person and dressed himself entirely in the holy white linen garments, he brought forward a young bullock for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering, purchased at his own cost, on account of himself and his family, and two young goats for a sin-offering with a ram for a burnt-offering, which were paid for out of the public treasury, on account of the people. He then presented the two goats before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle and cast lots upon them. On one lot the word לִיהוָֹה (i.e. For Jehovah) was inscribed, and on the other לִעֲזָאזֵל (i. e For Azazel). He next sacrificed the young bullock as a sin-offering for himself and his family. Taking with him some of the blood of the bullock, he filled a censer with burning coals from the brazen altar, took a handful of incense, and entered into the most holy place. He then threw the incense upon the coals and enveloped the mercy-seat in a cloud of smoke. Then, dipping his finger into the blood, he sprinkled it seven times before the mercy-seat, eastward. (See Leviticus 16:14. The English version, "upon the mercy-seat," appears to be opposed to every Jewish authority. [See Drusius in loc. in the Critici Sacri.] It has, however the support of Ewald's authority. The Vulgate omits the clause; the Sept. follows the ambiguity of the Hebrew.
The word eastward must mean either the direction in which the drops were thrown by the priest, or else on the east side of the ark, i.e. the side toward the vail. The last clause of the verse may be taken as a repetition of the command, for the sake of emphasis on the number of sprinklings: "And he shall take of the blood of the bullock and sprinkle it before the mercy-seat, on the east; and seven times shall he sprinkle the blood with his finger before the mercyseat.") The goat upon which the lot "for Jehovah" had fallen was then slain, and the high-priest sprinkled its blood before the mercy-seat in the same manner as he had done that of the bullock. Going out from the Holy of Holies, he purified the holy place, sprinkling some of the blood of both the victims on the altar of incense. (That the altar of incense was thus purified on the day of atonement we learn expressly from Exodus 30:10. Most critics consider that this is what is spoken of in Leviticus 16:18; Leviticus 16:20. But some suppose that it is the altar of burnt- offerings in which is referred to in those verses, the purification of the altar of incense being implied in that of the holy place mentioned in Leviticus 16:16. Abenezra was of this opinion [see Drusius in loc.]. That the expression "before the Lord" does not necessarily mean within the tabernacle, is evident from Exodus 29:11. If the golden altar is here referred to, it seems remarkable that no mention is made in the ritual of the cleansing of the brazen altar. But perhaps the practice spoken of by Josephus and in the Mishna of pouring what remained of the; mixed blood at the foot of the large altar was an ancient one, and was regarded as its purification.) At this time no one besides the high-priest was suffered to be present in the holy place. The purification of the Holy of Holies, and of the holy place, being thus completed, the high-priest laid his hands upon the head of the goat on which the lot "for Azazel" had fallen, and confessed over it all the sins of the people. The goat was then led, by a man chosen for the purpose, into the wilderness, into "a land not inhabited," and was there let loose.
2. The high-priest after this returned into the holy place, bathed himself again, put on his usual garments of office, and offered the two rams as burnt-offerings, one for himself and one for the people. He also burnt upon the altar the fat of the two sin-offerings, while their flesh was carried away and burned outside the camp. Those who took away' the flesh and the man who had led away the goat had to bathe their persons and wash their clothes as soon as their service was performed.
The accessory burnt-offerings mentioned Numbers 29:7-11, were a young bullock, a ram, seven lambs, and a young goat. It would seem that (at least in the time of the second Temple) these were offered by the high- priest along with the evening sacrifice (see below, V, 7).
3. The ceremonies of worship peculiar to this day alone (besides those which were common to it with all other days) were:
(1.) That the high-priest, in a simple dress, confessed his own sins and those of his family, for the expiation of which he offered a bullock, on which he laid them;
(2.) That two goats were set aside, one of which was by lot sacrificed to Jehovah, while the other (AZAZEL), which was determined by lot to be set at liberty, was sent to the desert burdened with the sins of the people.
(3.) On this day, also, the high-priest gave his blessing to the whole nation; and the remainder of the day was spent in prayers and other works of penance.. It may be seen that in the special rites of the Day of Atonement there is a natural gradation. In the first place, the high- priest and his family are cleansed; then atonement is made by the purified priest for the sanctuary and all contained in it; then (if the view to which reference has been made be correct) for the brazen altar in the court; and, lastly, reconciliation is made for the people. (See Sin- Offering).
IV. Statement Of Josephus. — In the short account of the ritual of the day which is given by this Jewish writer in one passage (Ant.3, 10, 3), there are a few particulars which are worthy of notice. His words, of course, apply to the practice in the second Temple, when the ark of the covenant had disappeared. He states that the high-priest sprinkled the blood with his finger seven times on the ceiling and seven times on the floor of the most holy place, and seven times toward it (as it would appear, outside the vail), and round the golden altar. Then, going into the court, he either sprinkled or poured the blood round the great altar. He also informs us that along with the fat, the kidneys, the top of the liver, and the extremities ( Αἱ Ἐξοχαι ) of the victims were burned.
V. Rabbinical Details. — The treatise of the Mishna, entitled Yoma, professes to give a full account of the observances of the day according to the usage in the second Temple. The following particulars appear either to be interesting in themselves, or to illustrate the language of the Pentateuch.
1. The high-priest himself, dressed in his colored official garments, used, on the Day of Atonement, to perform all the duties of the ordinary daily service, such as lighting the lamps, presenting the daily sacrifices, and offering the incense. After this he bathed himself, put on the white garments, and commenced the special rites of the day. There is nothing in the Old Testament to render it improbable that this was the original practice.
2. The high-priest went into the Holy of Holies four times in the course of the day: first, with the censer and incense, while a priest continued to agitate the blood of the bullock last it should coagulate; secondly, with the blood of the bullock; thirdly, with the blood of the goat; fourthly, after having offered the evening sacrifice, to fetch out the censer and the plate which had contained the incense. These four entrances, forming, as they do, parts of the one great annual rite, are not opposed to a reasonable view of the statement in Hebrews 9:7 (where the apostle tells us that the high-priest entered only once on that day, since the expression, Ἃπαξ Τοῦ Ἐνιατοῦ , may refer to the One Day in the year when such a service alone took place), and that in Josephus (War, 5, 5, 7). Three of the entrances seem to be very distinctly implied in Leviticus 16:12; Leviticus 16:14; Leviticus 15:3 . It is said that the blood of the bullock and that of the goat were each sprinkled Eight times — once toward the ceiling, and seven times on the floor. This does not agree with the words of Josephus (see above, IV).
4. After he had gone into the most holy place the third time, and had returned into the holy place, the high-priest sprinkled the blood of the bullock eight times toward the vail, and did the same with the blood of the goat. Having then mingled the blood of the two victims together and sprinkled the altar of incense with the mixture, he came into the court and poured out what remained at the foot of the altar of burnt-offering.
5. Most careful directions are given for the preparation of the high-priest for the services of the day. For seven days previously he kept away from his own house and dwelt in a chamber appointed for his use. This was to avoid the accidental causes of pollution which he might meet with in his domestic life. But, to provide for the possibility of his incurring some uncleanness in spite of this precaution, a deputy was chosen who might act for him when the day came. In the treatise of the Mishna entitled "Pirke Aboth," it is stated that no such mischance ever befell the highpriest. But Josephus (Ant. 17, 6, 4) relates an instance of the high-priest Matthias, in the time of Herod the Great, when his relation, Joseph, took his place in the sacred office. During the whole of the seven days the high-priest had to perform the ordinary sacerdotal duties of the daily service himself, as well as on the Day of Atonement. On the third day and on the seventh he was sprinkled with the ashes of the red heifer, in order to cleanse him in the event of his having touched a dead body without knowing it. On the seventh day he was also required to take a solemn oath before the elders that he would alter nothing whatever in the accustomed rites of the Day of Atonement. (This, according to the "Jerusalem Gemara" on Yoma [quoted by Lightfoot], was instituted in consequence of an innovation of the Sadducean party, who had directed the high-priest to throw the incense upon the censer outside the vail, and to carry it, smoking, into the Holy of Holies.)
6. Several curious particulars are stated regarding the scape-goat. The two goats of the sin-offering were to be of similar appearance, size, and value. The lots were originally of boxwood, but in later times they were of gold. They were put into a little box or urn, into which the high-priest put both his hands and took out a lot in each, while the two goats stood before him, one at the right side and the other on the left. The lot in each hand belonged to the goat in the corresponding position; and when the lot "for Azazel" happened to be in the right hand, it was regarded as a good omen. The high-priest then tied a piece of scarlet cloth on the scape-goat's head, called "the scarlet tongue" from the shape in which it was cut. Maimonides says that this was only to distinguish him, in order that he might be known when the time came for him to be sent away. But in the Gemara it is asserted that the red cloth ought to turn white, as a token of God's acceptance of the atonement of the day, referring to Isaiah 1:18. A particular instance of. such a change, when also the lot "For Azazel" was in the priest's right hand, is related as having occurred in the time of Simon the Just. It is farther stated that no such change took place for forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem. The prayer which the highpriest uttered over the head of the goat was as follows: "O Lord, the house of Israel, thy people, have trespassed, rebelled, and sinned before thee. I beseech thee, O Lord, forgive now their trespasses, rebellions, and sins which thy people have committed, as it is written in the law of Moses, thy servant, saying that in that day there shall be an atonement for you to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord'" (Gemara on Yoma, quoted by Frischmuth). The goat was then goaded and rudely treated by the people till it was led away by the man appointed. As soon as it reached a certain spot, which seems to have been regarded as the commencement of the wilderness, a signal was made by some sort of telegraphic contrivance to the high-priest, who waited for it. The man who led the goat is said to have taken him to the top of a high precipice and thrown him down backward, so as to dash him to pieces. If this was not a mistake of the writer of Yoma, it must have been, as Spencer argues, a modern innovation. It cannot be doubted that the goat was originally set free. Even if there be any uncertainty in the words of the Hebrew, the explicit rendering of the Sept. must be better authority than the Talmud ( Καὶ Ὁ Ἐξαποστέλλων Τὸν Χίμαρον Τὸν Διεσταλμένον Εἰς Ἄφεσινκ . Τ . Leviticus 16:26).
7. The high-priest, as soon as he had received the signal that the goat had reached the wilderness, read some lessons from the law, and offered up some prayers. He then bathed himself, resumed his colored garments, and offered either the whole or a great part of the necessary offering (mentioned Numbers 29:7-11) with the regular evening sacrifice. After this he washed again, put on the white garments, and entered the most holy place for the fourth time, to fetch out the censer and the incense-plate. This terminated the special rites of the day.
8. The Mishna gives very strict rules for the fasting of the people. In the law itself no express mention is made of abstinence from food; but it is most likely implied in the command that the people were "to afflict their souls." According to Yoma, every Jew (except invalids, and children under thirteen years of age) is forbidden to eat anything so large as a date, to drink, or to wash from sunset to sunset.
VI. On the Scape-Goat, (See Azazel).
VII. Modern Observance Of The Day . — The day previous to the day of expiation, the strict class of Jews provide a cock, which they send to an inferior rabbi to be slain; the person whose property it is then takes the fowl by the legs, and with uplifted hands swings it nine times over the heads of himself and his company, and at the same time prays to God that the sins they have been guilty of during the year may enter into the fowl. This cock, which they call כִּפָּרָה (pardon, atonement), seems to be substituted for the scape-goat of old. They then take the fowl and give it to the poor to eat, with a donation according to their means. On the same evening, one hour before synagogue service, they partake of a sumptuous feast, which they call taking their fast, after which they go to the synagogue. In the great synagogue in London, the clerk stands up in the midst, where a large stage is erected for the accommodation of the singers, who chant the customary prayers. The clerk offers up a blessing, and afterward the free-gift offering. Every man, according to his capacity (but it is not compulsory), gives a sum, which is offered up, and inserted in a book kept for that purpose. Most of the Jews endeavor on this occasion to provide themselves with the best apparel, as they say they appear before the King of kings to have their final doom settled upon them. Then begins the evening prayer of the fast, when the reader and chief rabbi, and many of the congregation, are clad with the shroud in which they are to be buried, continuing in prayer and supplication for upward of three hours. There are many who will stand upon one spot from the ninth day (of Tisri) at even until the tenth day at even; and when the service is ended on the ninth eve, those who return home to their dwellings come again in the morning at five o'clock, and continue until dark, observing the following order: First are said the morning prayers, which commence as soon as they come to the synagogue. After saying the usual prayers and supplications peculiar to the day, they then take forth the Law, and read the portion Leviticus 16; the mophter (a certain portion of the Law so named by the Jews) is Numbers 29:7-11; the portion from the prophets from Isaiah 57:14, to the end of chap. 58. They then say the prayer for the prosperity of the government under which they dwell, and then put the Law into the ark again, which ends the morning prayer, after having continued for six hours without intermission. They next say the prayer of the Masoph (i.e. " Addition"), which makes mention of the additional sacrifice of the day ( Numbers 29:7), and supplicates the Almighty to be propitious to them. They finally say the offering of the day from Numbers 29:7-27. They abstain from food altogether during the day. For many more ceremonies observed among the present Jews on the Day of Atonement, see Picard, Ceremonies Et Coutumes Religieuses, etc. t. i, c. 6, p. 18.
VIII. Typical Import Of The Entire Observance. — As it might be supposed, the Talmudists miserably degraded the meaning of the Day of Atonement. They regarded it as an opportunity afforded them of wiping off the score of their more heavy offenses. Thus Yomar (cap. 8) says, "The day of atonement and death make atonement through penitence. Penitence itself makes atonement for slight transgressions, and in the case of grosser sins it obtains a respite until the coming of the Day of Atonement, which completes the reconciliation." More authorities to the same general purpose are quoted by Frischmuth (p. 917), some of which seem also to indicate that the peculiar atoning virtue of the day was supposed to rest in the scapegoat. Philo (Lib. de Septenario) regarded the day in a far nobler light. He speaks of it as an occasion for the discipline of self-restraint in regard to bodily indulgence, and for bringing home to our minds the truth that man does not live by bread alone, but by whatever God is pleased to appoint. The prayers proper for the day, he says, are those for forgiveness of sins past and for amendment of life in future, to be offered in dependence, not on our own merits, but on the goodness of God. It cannot be doubted that what especially distinguished the symbolical expiation of this day from that of the other services of the law was its broad and national character, with perhaps a deeper reference to the sin which belongs to the nature of man. Ewald instructively remarks that, though the least uncleanness of an individual might be atoned by the rites of the law which could be observed at other times, there was a consciousness of secret and indefinite sin pervading the congregation which was aptly met by this great annual fast. Hence, in its national character, he sees an antithesis between it and the Passover, the great festival of social life; and in its atoning significance, he regards it as a fit preparation for the rejoicing at the ingathering of the fruits of the earth in the Feast of Tabernacles. Philo looked upon its position in the Jewish calendar in the same light.
In considering the meaning of the particular rites of the day, three points appear to be of a very distinctive character:
1. The white garments of the highpriest.
2. His entrance into the Holy of Holies.
3. The scape-goat. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews ( Hebrews 9:7-25) teaches us to apply the first two particulars.
The high-priest himself, with his person cleansed and dressed in white garments, was the best outward type which a living man could present in his- own person of that pure and holy One who was to purify His people and to cleanse them from their sins. But respecting the meaning of the scape-goat we have no such light to guide us, and (as may be seen from the discussion under the word Azazel) the subject is one of great doubt and difficulty. — Of those who take Azazel for the Evil Spirit, some have supposed that the goat was a sort of bribe or retaining fee for the accuser of men. Spencer, in supposing that it was given up with its load of sin to the enemy to be tormented, made it a symbol of the punishment of the wicked; while, according to the strange notion of Hengstenberg, that it was sent to mock the devil, it was significant of the freedom of those who had become reconciled to God. Some few of those who have held a different opinion on the word Azazel have supposed that the goat was taken into the wilderness to suffer there vicariously for the sins of the people. But it has been generally considered that it was dismissed to signify the carrying away of their sins, as it were, out of the sight of Jehovah. (In the similar part of the rite for the purification of the leper [ Leviticus 14:6-7], in which a live bird was set free, it must be evident that the bird signified the carrying away of the uncleanness of the sufferer in precisely the same manner.) If we keep in view that the two goats are spoken of as parts of one and the same sin-offering, and that every circumstance connected with them appears to have been carefully arranged to bring them under the same conditions up to the time of the casting of the lots, we shall not have much difficulty in seeing that they form together but one symbolical expression. Why there were two individuals instead of one may be simply this — that a single material object could not, in its nature, symbolically embrace the whole of the truth which was to be expressed. This is implied in the reasoning of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews on the office and sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 9). Hence some, regarding each goat as a type of Christ, supposed that the one which was slain represented his death, and that the goat set free signified his resurrection (Cyril, Bochart, and others, quoted by Spencer). But we shall take a simpler, and perhaps a truer view, if we look upon the slain goat as setting forth the act of sacrifice, in giving up its own life for others "to Jehovah," in accordance with the requirements of the divine law; and the goat which carried off its load of sin "to an utter distance" as signifying the cleansing influence of faith in that sacrifice. Thus, in his degree, the devout Israelite might have felt the truth of the Psalmist's words, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." But for us the whole spiritual truth has been revealed in historical fact in the life, death, and resurrection of Him who was made sin for us, who died for us, and who rose again for our justification. This Mediator it was necessary should, "in some unspeakable manner, unite death and life" (Maurice, On Sacrifice, p. 85). See Journ. Sac. Lit. Jan. 1849, p. 74 sq.
IX. Literature. — Josephus, Ant. 3, 10, 3; the Talmud (Mishna, tract Yoma, ed. by Sheringham [Franeq. 1696, 17108], also with notes in Surenhusius, 2:5), with the Jerus. Gemara thereupon; Maimonides הכפורים עבדות יום (Worship of the Day of Atonement); also in Crenii, Opusc. Ad Philol. Sacr. Spect. 7, 651 sq., 819 sq.; Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 216 sq.; Spencer, De Legibus Hebrcebrum Ritualibus, lib. 3, diss. 8; Lightfoot's Temple Service, c. 15; Buxtorf, Synagoga Judaica, cap. 20; Ugolini Thesaur. 18; see Reland, Antiq. Sacr. 4, 6; Carpzov, Appar. p. 433 sq.; Moller, De Ritib.Festi Expiat. (Jen. 1689); Hochstetter, Defesto Expiat.
(Tub. 1707); Hottinger, De ministerio diei erpiationis (Marb. 1708; Tur. 1754); Danz, in Menschen's Nov. Test. Talm. p. 912; BShr, Symbol. 2, 664 sq.; Langenberg, De pontif. in expiationis die vicario (Greifsw. 1739); Michaelis, Num esp. dies sub templo secundo fuerit celebratus (Hal. 1751); Danzere's two Dissertationes de Functione Pontificis Maximi in Adyto Anniversario; Kraft, De mysterio Diei inaugurationum (Marb. 1749); Cohn, Bedeutung und Zweck des Versihnungstages (Lpz. 1862); Ewald, Die Alterthuimer des Volkes Israel, p. 370 sq.; Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses, on Leviticus 16 (English translation); Thomson's Bampton Lectures, lect. 3, and notes. (See Expiation).
- Day Of Atonement from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Day Of Atonement from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Day Of Atonement from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Day Of Atonement from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Day Of Atonement from Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
- Day Of Atonement from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Day Of Atonement from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Day Of Atonement from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature