Leviticus 16:1-10, 29-31


How We Learn Holy Reverence from the Day of Atonement Ceremony
Leviticus 16:1-10, 29-31


Why was the Day of Atonement instituted?

Lev 16:1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the LORD, and died; 
Lev 16:2 and the LORD said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

God’s holiness was being profaned, and the fear of the LORD was being ignored.

Lev 10:1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 
Lev 10:2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 
Lev 10:3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’” So Aaron held his peace.


What was needed to carry out the ceremony?

Lev 16:3 “Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. 
Lev 16:4 He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired. These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water, and put them on. 
Lev 16:5 And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.

(1)    different clothes for the high priest – (white linen, non-ornate); special bath
(2)    animals for the various sacrifices and procedures – (bull, ram, two goats, another ram)


What steps were taken for the Day of Atonement ceremony?

VV.6-10 provide a summary of the steps taken by the high priest on the Day of Atonement.

Lev 16:6 “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 
Lev 16:7 He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 
Lev 16:8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. 
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 
Lev 16:10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

(1)    High priest makes a purification offering for himself, his family, the Sanctuary, the people
(2)    Two goats presented before the Lord with the lot cast
(3)    High priest makes a purification offering of the LORD’s goat
(4)    Scapegoat ritual


What was the people’s duty on the Day of Atonement?

Lev 16:29 “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. 
Lev 16:30 For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 
Lev 16:31 It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. 

All in Israel was commanded to participate in the holy ritual from their homes by observing a solemn sabbath day.