Lesson 9 — Day of Atonement

Considered the holiest day of the year in Judaism, the Day of Atonement is the only observance on which we are commanded to “afflict our souls.” What this means and what lessons this day presents to the True Worshiper today are an important part of the salvation plan.

The Day of Atonement is five days after the Feast of Trumpets and ten days before the Feast of Tabernacles

b. The Day of Atonement is ten days after the Feast of Trumpets and five days prior to the Feast of Tabernacles. It is observed on the tenth day of the seventh scriptural month, which equates to our September-October (Lev. 23:27).

As a result of Yahshua’s sacrifice, the Day of Atonement is no longer necessary to observe.

b. Yahshua’s sacrifice did not nullify the responsibility to keep the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement was an obligation for Israel anciently as well as on into the Millennial Kingdom (Lev. 23:27-32 and Ezek. 45-46). Therefore, this observance continues to be a requirement today (Rom. 9:4). Yahshua’s sacrifice increased our responsibility to keep the law (Heb. 10:26-29). With Yahweh’s law now in our minds and hearts (Heb. 8:10), we have a better understanding coupled with a greater desire to be obedient. This moed or appointed time is a statute Yahweh established forever, throughout all generations (Lev. 23:31).

The Day of Atonement is absent from the New Testament.

b. The Day of Atonement is fully in force in the New Testament. The “fast” spoken of in Acts 27:9 is referring to the Day of Atonement. “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them.” Strong’s Concordance defines the word fast here as, “abstinence (from lack of food, or voluntary and religious); spec. the fast of the Day of Atonement.” Clearly Paul and the True Worshipers were still keeping a fast on Atonement as the law commanded— long after Yahshua’s death—otherwise it would not be mentioned here.

The Hebrew phrase yom kippur literally means_______.

a. The Hebrew phrase “yom kippur” signifies “the day of expiation.” The word expiation means “making amends, showing remorse, or suffering punishment for a wrongdoing.” On this day Yahweh forgave Israel for their sins.

The Day of Atonement prohibits ________________.

d. The Day of Atonement prohibits eating and drinking (“afflict your souls,” Lev. 23:27); buying and selling (Neh. 10:31), and work of any kind (Lev. 23:30). The word “afflict” is from the Hebrew anah and means to “depress, abase self, weaken.” It is the same word used in Ezra 8:21, where the prophet “proclaimed a fast...that we might afflict ourselves.” While some work is allowed on other Feasts like Unleavened Bread for preparing “that which every man must eat” (Ex. 12:16), there is to be no servile work of any kind on Atonement (Num. 29:7).

The High Priest offered a ______ for a sin offering for himself and his family on the Day of Atonement.

c. The High Priest offered a bull for a sin offering for himself and his family on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:6). Before the High Priest could make atonement for the congregation he first had to make atonement or expiation for himself and his household.

On the Day of Atonement, which goat represented the lot cast for Yahweh?

a. Yahweh’s lot depicted the goat used for the sin offering (Lev. 16:9), which prefigured Yahshua the Messiah. It was Yahweh’s decision or lot that decreed Yahshua’s death and atonement (Isa. 53:10; John 3:16). In addition, as the goat on the Day of Atonement died to atone for the congregation, Yahshua died to atone for the sins of all people (John 3:15; Heb. 10:26).

Who likely is represented by the scapegoat?

b. The scapegoat likely represents Satan the devil. With this Barnes’ Notes agrees: “By this expressive outward sign the sins were sent back to the author of sin himself, ‘the entirely separate one,’ who was banished from the realm of grace.” When the author of salvation, Yahshua the Messiah, returns to this earth he will bind Satan and banish him into the wilderness, symbolized by the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:13). All sin will be put back on the head of Satan, as the High Priest did in a symbolic way in the ritual with the scapegoat (Lev. 16:21). In so doing Yahshua will bring back peace and righteousness by expelling the author of destruction, Satan the Adversary.

The Day of Atonement marks the beginning of the _______.

d. The Day of Atonement marks the beginning of the Sabbatical as well as the Jubilee (Lev. 25:9). During both Sabbatical (every 7th year) and Jubilee (every 50th year) the land under our control is allowed to rest as we neither plant nor harvest (Lev. 25:3-5, 11). On the sabbatical all slaves were to be released and debts forgiven. In addition, at the Jubilee all land was to be returned to its original owners (Lev. 25:1050). Yahshua’s likely return on a Jubilee year will, through the resurrection, set His chosen free from slavery to sin and verify His payment of the death-debt incurred by man’s sin (Isa. 63:4). Ownership and control of all lands will be taken from sinful man and his governments and will revert to the original ownership and righteous control of Yahshua and His saints under Yahweh.

What article(s) of clothing did the High Priest wear on the Day of Atonement?

d. On the Day of Atonement the High Priest had to wear special garments consisting of linen breeches, linen girdle, and linen mitre (Lev. 16:4). These garments were made of pure white linen, which represented holiness and righteousness. Yahshua is our pure and righteous High Priest today. The garments that were worn by the High Priest were not the same as the official dress of the ordinary priests, as the girdle of that dress was colored (Ex. 28:39-40).

The High Priest sprinkled the blood _____ times upon the east side of the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement.

d. The High Priest sprinkled sacrificial blood seven times upon the east side of the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:14). The number seven symbolizes perfection. The mercy seat is the lid that covered the Ark of the Covenant and on which Yahweh was manifest between the cherubim. The name mercy seat is the Hebrew kipporeth, hence the Hebrew name for Atonement, Yom Kippur or “Day of Covering.” It was the propitiatory covering for the sins of man that marked this observance.

Yahweh’s moedim (appointed times) foreshadow future events (Col. 2:16); what might the Day of Atonement foreshadow?

b. The Day of Atonement foreshadows sanctification of the firstfruits at Yahshua’s return, possibly on the Feast of Trumpets. It is also believed that the Feast of Tabernacles depicts the thousand-year period otherwise known as the Millennium in which Yahshua will rule as King. Between the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles are fifteen days. By some, including a portion of the Jews, this period is considered a sanctification period, which if true, would correspond with the conjecture that this moed may represent the sanctification of those who are raised in the first resurrection upon Yahweh’s return.

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