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Leviticus 15:31

Context
Summary of Purification Regulations for Bodily Discharges

15:31 “‘Thus you 1  are to set the Israelites apart from their impurity so that they 2  do not die in their impurity by defiling my tabernacle which is in their midst.

Leviticus 16:5-19

Context
16:5 He must also take 3  two male goats 4  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 5  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, 6  one lot for the Lord and one lot for Azazel. 7  16:9 Aaron must then present the goat which has been designated by lot for the Lord, 8  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 9  before the Lord to make atonement on it by sending it away to Azazel into the wilderness. 10 

The Sin Offering Sacrificial Procedures

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 11  and a full double handful of finely ground fragrant incense, 12  and bring them inside the veil-canopy. 13  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, 14  so that he will not die. 15  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, 16  and in front of the atonement plate he is to sprinkle some of the blood seven times with his finger. 17 

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, 18  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 19  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, 20  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 21  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 22  he is to go out to the altar which is before the Lord and make atonement for it. He is to take 23  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 24  from the impurities of the Israelites.

Leviticus 16:29-34

Context
Review of the Day of Atonement

16:29 “This is to be a perpetual statute for you. 25  In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you must humble yourselves 26  and do no work of any kind, 27  both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides 28  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. 29  16:31 It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must humble yourselves. 30  It is a perpetual statute. 31 

16:32 “The priest who is anointed and ordained to act as high priest in place of his father 32  is to make atonement. He is to put on the linen garments, the holy garments, 16:33 and he is to purify 33  the Most Holy Place, 34  he is to purify the Meeting Tent and the altar, 35  and he is to make atonement for 36  the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 16:34 This is to be a perpetual statute for you 37  to make atonement for the Israelites for 38  all their sins once a year.” 39  So he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 40 

1 tn Heb “And you shall.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV, NRSV).

2 tn Heb “and they.” Here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) indicates a negative purpose (“lest,” so NAB, NASB).

3 tn Heb “And he shall take.”

4 tn Heb “he-goats of goats”; CEV “two goats, both of them males.”

5 tn Heb “the two he-goats,” referred to as “two he-goats of goats” in v. 5.

6 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 Lord” on the head of the goat to be sacrificed and the one marked “for Azazel” on the head of the one to be released in the wilderness in order to avoid confusing them later in the ritual sequence.

7 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term עֲזָאזֵל (’azazel, 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 (shÿirim), 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 Lord” and the one “for (לְ) Azazel” here in v. 8. The rendering as a proper name has been tentatively accepted here (cf. ASV, NAB, NRSV, TEV, CEV). Perhaps a play on words between the proper name and the term for “goat” has occurred so that the etymology has become obscure. Even if a demon or the demonic realm is the source for the name, however, there is no intention here of appeasing the demons. The goal is to remove the impurity and iniquity from the community in order to avoid offending the Lord and the repercussions of such (see esp. vv. 21-22 and cf. Lev 15:31).

8 tn Heb “which the lot has gone up on it for the Lord.”

9 tn The LXX has “he shall stand it” (cf. v. 7).

10 tn Heb “to make atonement on it to send it away to Azazel toward the wilderness.”

11 tn Heb “and he shall take the fullness of the censer, coals of fire, from on the altar from to the faces of the Lord.”

12 tn Heb “and the fullness of the hollow of his two hands, finely ground fragrant incense.”

13 tn Heb “and he shall bring from house to the veil-canopy.”

14 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.).

15 tn Heb “and he will not die,” but it is clear that the purpose for the incense cloud was to protect the priest from death in the presence of the Lord (cf. vv. 1-2 above).

16 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).

17 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.

18 tn Heb “and he shall bring its blood into from house to the veil-canopy.”

19 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative or even inferential force here.

20 tn Heb “to all their sins.”

21 tn Heb “And all man shall not be in the tent of meeting.” The term for “a man, human being” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2) refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female.

22 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) indicates the sequence of events here.

23 tn Heb “And he shall take.”

24 tn Heb “and he shall purify it and he shall consecrate it.”

25 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).

26 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).

27 tn Heb “and all work you shall not do.”

28 tn Heb “the native and the sojourner who sojourns.”

29 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 Lord”; see the MT accents as well as J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 221, and recent English versions, e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV).

30 tn See the note on v. 29 above.

31 tn Compare v. 29a above.

32 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).

33 tn Heb “to atone” (also later in this verse); see the note on “purifying the holy place” in 16:20.

34 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.

35 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).

36 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).

37 tn Heb “And this shall be for you to a statute of eternity” (cf. v. 29a above). cf. NASB “a permanent statute”; NIV “a lasting ordinance.”

38 tn Heb “from”; see note on 4:26.

39 tn Heb “one [feminine] in the year.”

40 tn The MT of Lev 16:34b reads literally, “and he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.” This has been retained here in spite of the fact that it suggests that Aaron immediately performed the rituals outlined in Lev 16 (see, e.g., J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 224 and 243; J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1059; note that Aaron was the one to whom Moses was to speak the regulations in this chapter, v. 2). The problem is that the chapter presents these procedures as regulations for “the tenth day of the seventh month” and calls for their fulfillment at that time (Lev 16:29; cf. Lev 23:26-32 and the remarks in P. J. Budd, Leviticus [NCBC], 237), not during the current (first) month (Exod 40:2; note also that they left Sinai in the second month, long before the next seventh month, Num 10:11). The LXX translates, “once in the year it shall be done as the Lord commanded Moses,” attaching “once in the year” to this clause rather than the former one, and rendering the verb as passive, “it shall be done” (cf. NAB, NIV, etc.). We have already observed the passive use of active verbs in this context (see the note on v. 32 above). The RSV (cf. also the NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT) translates, “And Moses did as the Lord commanded him,” ignoring the fact that the name Moses in the Hebrew text has the direct object indicator. Passive verbs, however, regularly take subjects with direct object indicators (see, e.g., v. 27 above). The NIV renders it “And it was done, as the Lord commanded Moses,” following the LXX passive translation. The NASB translates, “And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did,” transposing the introductory verb to the end of the sentence and supplying “so” in order to make it fit the context.



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