16:1 The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons when they approached the presence of the Lord 1 and died, 16:2 and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother that he must not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil-canopy 2 in front of the atonement plate 3 that is on the ark so that he may not die, for I will appear in the cloud over the atonement plate.
16:3 “In this way Aaron is to enter into the sanctuary – with a young bull 4 for a sin offering 5 and a ram for a burnt offering. 6 16:4 He must put on a holy linen tunic, 7 linen leggings are to cover his body, 8 and he is to wrap himself with a linen sash 9 and wrap his head with a linen turban. 10 They are holy garments, so he must bathe 11 his body in water and put them on. 16:5 He must also take 12 two male goats 13 from the congregation of the Israelites for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 16:6 Then Aaron is to present the sin offering bull which is for himself and is to make atonement on behalf of himself and his household. 16:7 He must then take the two goats 14 and stand them before the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, 16:8 and Aaron is to cast lots over the two goats, 15 one lot for the Lord and one lot for Azazel. 16 16:9 Aaron must then present the goat which has been designated by lot for the Lord, 17 and he is to make it a sin offering, 16:10 but the goat which has been designated by lot for Azazel is to be stood alive 18 before the Lord to make atonement on it by sending it away to Azazel into the wilderness. 19
16:11 “Aaron is to present the sin offering bull which is for himself, and he is to make atonement on behalf of himself and his household. He is to slaughter the sin offering bull which is for himself, 16:12 and take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord 20 and a full double handful of finely ground fragrant incense, 21 and bring them inside the veil-canopy. 22 16:13 He must then put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the cloud of incense will cover the atonement plate which is above the ark of the testimony, 23 so that he will not die. 24 16:14 Then he is to take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the eastern face of the atonement plate, 25 and in front of the atonement plate he is to sprinkle some of the blood seven times with his finger. 26
16:15 “He must then slaughter the sin offering goat which is for the people. He is to bring its blood inside the veil-canopy, 27 and he is to do with its blood just as he did to the blood of the bull: He is to sprinkle it on the atonement plate and in front of the atonement plate. 16:16 So 28 he is to make atonement for the holy place from the impurities of the Israelites and from their transgressions with regard to all their sins, 29 and thus he is to do for the Meeting Tent which resides with them in the midst of their impurities. 16:17 Nobody is to be in the Meeting Tent 30 when he enters to make atonement in the holy place until he goes out, and he has made atonement on his behalf, on behalf of his household, and on behalf of the whole assembly of Israel.
16:18 “Then 31 he is to go out to the altar which is before the Lord and make atonement for it. He is to take 32 some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it all around on the horns of the altar. 16:19 Then he is to sprinkle on it some of the blood with his finger seven times, and cleanse and consecrate it 33 from the impurities of the Israelites.
16:20 “When he has finished purifying the holy place, 34 the Meeting Tent, and the altar, he is to present the live goat. 16:21 Aaron is to lay his two hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of the Israelites and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins, 35 and thus he is to put them 36 on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man standing ready. 37 16:22 The goat is to bear on itself all their iniquities into an inaccessible land, 38 so he is to send the goat away 39 in the wilderness.
16:23 “Aaron must then enter 40 the Meeting Tent and take off the linen garments which he had put on when he entered the sanctuary, and leave them there. 16:24 Then he must bathe his body in water in a holy place, put on his clothes, and go out and make his burnt offering and the people’s burnt offering. So he is to make atonement 41 on behalf of himself and the people. 42
16:25 “Then he is to offer up the fat of the sin offering 43 in smoke on the altar, 16:26 and the one who sent the goat away to Azazel 44 must wash his clothes, bathe his body in water, and afterward he may reenter the camp. 16:27 The bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought to make atonement in the holy place, must be brought outside the camp 45 and their hide, their flesh, and their dung must be burned up, 46 16:28 and the one who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may reenter the camp.
16:29 “This is to be a perpetual statute for you. 47 In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you must humble yourselves 48 and do no work of any kind, 49 both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides 50 in your midst, 16:30 for on this day atonement is to be made for you to cleanse you from all your sins; you must be clean before the Lord. 51 16:31 It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must humble yourselves. 52 It is a perpetual statute. 53
16:32 “The priest who is anointed and ordained to act as high priest in place of his father 54 is to make atonement. He is to put on the linen garments, the holy garments, 16:33 and he is to purify 55 the Most Holy Place, 56 he is to purify the Meeting Tent and the altar, 57 and he is to make atonement for 58 the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 16:34 This is to be a perpetual statute for you 59 to make atonement for the Israelites for 60 all their sins once a year.” 61 So he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 62
1 tn Heb “in their drawing near to the faces of the
2 tn Heb “into the holy place from house to the veil-canopy.” In this instance, the Hebrew term “the holy place” refers to “the most holy place” (lit. “holy of holies”), since it is the area “inside the veil-canopy” (cf. Exod 26:33-34). The Hebrew term פָּרֹכֶת (parokhet) is usually translated “veil” or “curtain,” but it seems to have stretched not only in front of but also over the top of the ark of the covenant which stood behind and under it inside the most holy place, and thus formed more of a canopy than simply a curtain (see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:687-89).
3 tn Heb “to the faces of the atonement plate.” The exact meaning of the Hebrew term כַּפֹּרֶת (kapporet) here rendered “atonement plate” is much debated. The traditional “mercy seat” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV) does not suit the cognate relationship between this term and the Piel verb כִּפֶּר (kipper, “to make atonement, to make expiation”). The translation of the word should also reflect the fact that the most important atonement procedures on the Day of Atonement were performed in relation to it. Since the
4 tn Heb “with a bull, a son of the herd.”
7 sn The term “tunic” refers to a shirt-like garment worn next to the skin and, therefore, put on first (cf. Exod 28:4, 39-40; 29:5, 8; 39:27). It covered the upper body only. For detailed remarks on the terminology for the priestly clothing in this verse (except the “linen leggings”) see the notes on Lev 8:7-9 and the literature cited there.
8 tn Heb “shall be on his flesh.” As in many instances in Lev 15, the term “flesh” or “body” here is euphemistic for the male genitals (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1017, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 222; cf. the note on Lev 15:2), which the priest must be careful not to expose during such ritual procedures (see Exod 20:26 with 28:42-43).
10 tn Heb “and in a turban of linen he shall wrap.”
sn The turban consisted of wound up linen (cf. Exod 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6; 39:31; Lev 16:4). It is usually thought to be a “turban,” but it might be only a “turban-like headband” wound around the forehead area (HALOT 624 s.v. מִצְנֶפֶת).
11 tn Heb “and he shall bathe….”
12 tn Heb “And he shall take.”
13 tn Heb “he-goats of goats”; CEV “two goats, both of them males.”
15 tn Heb “and Aaron shall give lots on the two he-goats.” See the note on Lev 8:8 for the priestly casting of lots in Israel and the explanation in B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 102, on Lev 16:8-9. J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:1019-20, suggests, however, that the expression here signifies that, the lots having been cast, the priest was to literally “place” (Heb “give”) the one marked “for the
16 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term עֲזָאזֵל (’aza’zel, four times in the OT, all of them in this chapter; vv. 8, 10 [2 times], and 26) is much debated. There are three or perhaps four major views (see the summaries and literature cited in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1020-21; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 102; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 237-38; D. P. Wright, The Disposal of Impurity [SBLDS], 21-25; M. V. Van Pelt and W. C. Kaiser, NIDOTTE 3:362-63; and M. S. Moore, NIDOTTE 4:421-22). (1) Some derive the term from a combination of the Hebrew word עֵז (’ez, “goat”; i.e., the word for “goats” in v. 5) and אָזַל (’azal, “to go away”), meaning “the goat that departs” or “scapegoat” (cf., e.g., the LXX and KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT). This meaning suits the ritual practice of sending the so-called “scapegoat” away into the wilderness (vv. 10, 21-22, 26). Similarly, some derive the term from Arabic ’azala (“to banish, remove”), meaning “entire removal” as an abstract concept (see BDB 736 s.v. עֲזָאזֵל). (2) Some see the term as a description of the wilderness area to which the goat was dispatched, deriving it somehow from Arabic ’azazu (“rough ground”) or perhaps עָזָז, (’azaz, “to be strong, fierce”). (3) The most common view among scholars today is that it is the proper name of a particular demon (perhaps even the Devil himself) associated with the wilderness desert regions. Levine has proposed that it may perhaps derive from a reduplication of the ז (zayin) in עֵז combined with אֵל (’el, “mighty”), meaning “mighty goat.” The final consonantal form of עֲזָאזֵל would have resulted from the inversion of the א (aleph) with the second ז. He makes the point that the close association between עֵז and שְׂעִירִים (shÿ’irim), which seems to refer to “goat-demons” of the desert in Lev 17:7 (cf. Isa 13:21, etc.), should not be ignored in the derivation of Azazel, although the term ultimately became the name of “the demonic ruler of the wilderness.” The latter view is supported by the parallel between the one goat “for (לְ, lamed preposition) the
17 tn Heb “which the lot has gone up on it for the
19 tn Heb “to make atonement on it to send it away to Azazel toward the wilderness.”
20 tn Heb “and he shall take the fullness of the censer, coals of fire, from on the altar from to the faces of the
21 tn Heb “and the fullness of the hollow of his two hands, finely ground fragrant incense.”
22 tn Heb “and he shall bring from house to the veil-canopy.”
23 tn The text here has only “above the testimony,” but this is surely a shortened form of “above the ark of the testimony” (see Exod 25:22 etc.; cf. Lev 16:2). The term “testimony” in this expression refers to the ark as the container of the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them (see Exod 25:16 with Deut 10:1, 5, etc.).
25 tn Heb “on the faces of the atonement plate toward the east.” Some have taken this to mean that the ark was stationed just behind the veil-canopy on the eastern side of the most holy place. Thus, the high priest would need to enter and walk toward the west end of the most holy place and then turn eastward in order to face the ark and sprinkle the blood in an eastward direction. The rendering here, however, requires that the ark was stationed on the western end, or perhaps in the middle of the area, so that as the priest entered he was already facing the ark and would sprinkle the blood on the eastern face of the atonement plate, in a westward direction (see, e.g., J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 239 versus J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1032).
26 sn Presumably in this case the blood was sprinkled seven times on the ground in front of the ark on which the atonement plate was mounted.
27 tn Heb “and he shall bring its blood into from house to the veil-canopy.”
28 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative or even inferential force here.
29 tn Heb “to all their sins.”
31 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) indicates the sequence of events here.
32 tn Heb “And he shall take.”
33 tn Heb “and he shall purify it and he shall consecrate it.”
34 tn Heb “And he shall finish from atoning the holy place.” In this case, the “holy place” etc. are direct objects of the verb “to atone” (cf. v. 33a below). In this case, therefore, the basic meaning of the verb (i.e., “to purge” or “wipe clean”) comes to the forefront. When the prepositions עַל (’al) or בֲּעַד (ba’ad) occur with the verb כִּפֶּר (kipper) the purging is almost always being done “for” or “on behalf of” priests or people (see the note on Lev 1:4 as well as R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:698, the literature cited there, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 110, for more details).
35 tn Heb “transgressions to all their sins.”
36 tn Heb “and he shall give them.”
37 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term עִתִּי (’itti) is uncertain. It is apparently related to עֵת (’et, “time”), and could perhaps mean either that he has been properly “appointed” (i.e., designated) for the task (e.g., NIV and NRSV) or “ready” (e.g., NASB and NEB).
38 tn The Hebrew term rendered “inaccessible” derives from a root meaning “to cut off” (cf. NAB “an isolated region”). Another possible translation would be “infertile land” (see HALOT 187 s.v. *גָּזֵּר and cf. NRSV “a barren region”; NLT “a desolate land.”
40 tn Heb “And Aaron shall enter.”
41 tn Heb “And he shall make atonement.”
43 tn Heb “And the fat of the sin offering he is to offer up.”
45 tn Heb “he shall bring into from outside to the camp.”
46 tn Heb “they shall burn with fire”; KJV “burn in the fire.” Because “to burn with fire” is redundant in contemporary English the present translation simply has “must be burned up.”
47 tn Heb “And it [feminine] shall be for you a perpetual statute.” Verse 34 begins with the same clause except for the missing demonstrative pronoun “this” here in v. 29. The LXX has “this” in both places and it suits the sense of the passage, although both the verb and the pronoun are sometimes missing in this clause elsewhere in the book (see, e.g., Lev 3:17).
48 tn Heb “you shall humble your souls.” The verb “to humble” here refers to various forms of self-denial, including but not limited to fasting (cf. Ps 35:13 and Isa 58:3, 10). The Mishnah (m. Yoma 8:1) lists abstentions from food and drink, bathing, using oil as an unguent to moisten the skin, wearing leather sandals, and sexual intercourse (cf. 2 Sam 12:16-17, 20; see the remarks in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1054; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 109; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 242).
49 tn Heb “and all work you shall not do.”
50 tn Heb “the native and the sojourner who sojourns.”
51 tn The phrase “from all your sins” could go with the previous clause as the verse is rendered here (see, e.g., B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 109, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1011), or it could go with the following clause (i.e., “you shall be clean from all your sins before the
54 tn Heb “And the priest whom he shall anointed him and whom he shall fill his hand to act as priest under his father.” Imperfect active verbs are often used as passives (see, e.g., v. 27 above and the note on Lev 14:4).
56 tn Heb “the sanctuary of the holy place.” Although this is the only place this expression occurs in the OT, it clearly refers to the innermost shrine behind the veil-canopy, where the ark of the covenant was located.
57 tn Heb “and the tent of meeting and the alter he shall atone.” The repetition of the verb כִּפֶּר (kipper, “to atone”) at the beginning and end of the sequence appears to be strange, but the MT accents suggest that only “the Most Holy Place” goes with the verb at the beginning of the verse. Of course, the purging of “the Most Holy Place” has been the main emphasis of this chapter from the start (see vv. 2-3 and 11-17).
58 tn At this point in the verse the verb כִּפֶּר (kipper, “to make atonement”) takes its object with the preposition עַל (’al, “for”; literally, “upon”; contrast the first part of the verse and cf. the notes on Lev 1:4 and 16:20 above).
61 tn Heb “one [feminine] in the year.”
62 tn The MT of Lev 16:34b reads literally, “and he did just as the