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Leviticus 16:20-22

Context
The Live Goat Ritual Procedures

16:20 “When he has finished purifying the holy place, 1  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, 2  and thus he is to put them 3  on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man standing ready. 4  16:22 The goat is to bear on itself all their iniquities into an inaccessible land, 5  so he is to send the goat away 6  in the wilderness.

1 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 (baad) 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).

2 tn Heb “transgressions to all their sins.”

3 tn Heb “and he shall give them.”

4 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).

5 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.”

6 tn Heb “and he [the man (standing) ready, v. 21] shall send the goat away.”



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