Leviticus 16:20
And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
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(20) And when he hath made an end.—Having finished the expiation for himself, his fellow priests, and the sanctuary with its utensils, the goat destined by lot for Azazel, which was standing in the court before the Lord, was now brought to the high priest, that he might complete the sin-offering for the Israelites.

16:15-34 Here are typified the two great gospel privileges, of the remission of sin, and access to God, both of which we owe to our Lord Jesus. See the expiation of guilt. Christ is both the Maker and the Matter of the atonement; for he is the Priest, the High Priest, that makes reconciliation for the sins of the people. And as Christ is the High Priest, so he is the Sacrifice with which atonement is made; for he is all in all in our reconciliation to God. Thus he was figured by the two goats. The slain goat was a type of Christ dying for our sins; the scape-goat a type of Christ rising again for our justification. The atonement is said to be completed by putting the sins of Israel upon the head of the goat, which was sent away into a wilderness, a land not inhabited; and the sending away of the goat represented the free and full remission of their sins. He shall bear upon him all their iniquities. Thus Christ, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world, by taking it upon himself, Joh 1:29. The entrance into heaven, which Christ made for us, was typified by the high priest's entrance into the most holy place. See Heb 9:7. The high priest was to come out again; but our Lord Jesus ever lives, making intercession, and always appears in the presence of God for us. Here are typified the two great gospel duties of faith and repentance. By faith we put our hands upon the head of the offering; relying on Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, pleading his satisfaction, as that which alone is able to atone for our sins, and procure us a pardon. By repentance we afflict our souls; not only fasting for a time from the delights of the body, but inwardly sorrowing for sin, and living a life of self-denial, assuring ourselves, that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. By the atonement we obtain rest for our souls, and all the glorious liberties of the children of God. Sinner, get the blood of Christ effectually applied to thy soul, or else thou canst never look God in the face with any comfort or acceptance. Take this blood of Christ, apply it by faith, and see how it atones with God.The order of the ceremony required that atonement should first be made for the most holy place with the mercy-seat, then for the holy place with the golden altar, and then for the altar in the court. See Leviticus 16:20, Leviticus 16:33. The horns of the brazen altar were touched with the blood, as they were in the ordinary sin-offerings. Leviticus 4:25, Leviticus 4:30, Leviticus 4:34.

Of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat - Some of the blood of the two victims was mingled together in a basin.

20-22. he shall bring the live goat—Having already been presented before the Lord (Le 16:10), it was now brought forward to the high priest, who, placing his hands upon its head, and "having confessed over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins," transferred them by this act to the goat as their substitute. It was then delivered into the hands of a person, who was appointed to lead him away into a distant, solitary, and desert place, where in early times he was let go, to escape for his life; but in the time of Christ, he was carried to a high rock twelve miles from Jerusalem, and there, being thrust over the precipice, he was killed. Commentators have differed widely in their opinions about the character and purpose of this part of the ceremonial; some considering the word "Azazel," with the Septuagint and our translators, to mean, "the scapegoat"; others, "a lofty, precipitous rock" [Bochart]; others, "a thing separated to God" [Ewald, Tholuck]; while others think it designates Satan [Gesenius, Hengstenberg]. This last view is grounded on the idea of both goats forming one and the same sacrifice of atonement, and it is supported by Zec 3:1-10, which presents a striking commentary on this passage. Whether there was in this peculiar ceremony any reference to an Egyptian superstition about Typhon, the spirit of evil, inhabiting the wilderness, and the design was to ridicule it by sending a cursed animal into his gloomy dominions, it is impossible to say. The subject is involved in much obscurity. But in any view there seems to be a typical reference to Christ who bore away our sins [Heb 10:4; 1Jo 3:5]. No text from Poole on this verse.

And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place,.... That is, the holy of holies, by carrying in the blood of the bullock, and of the goat there, and sprinkling them as before observed:

and the tabernacle of the congregation; the great court where the people met, and where the altar of burnt offering stood:

and the altar; the altar of incense in the holy place; and so all the parts of the tabernacle were reconciled and atoned for, even the holy of holies, the holy place, and the court of the people: all the work the day of atonement, we are told (w), was done according to the order prescribed, and that if anything was done before another, it was doing nothing: thus, for instance, if the blood of the goat went before (or was sprinkled before) the blood of the bullock, he must return and sprinkle of the blood of the goat after the blood of the bullock; and if before he has finished the puttings (of the blood) within, the blood is poured out, (that is, at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering,) he shall bring other blood, and return and sprinkle anew within, and so in the temple, and at the golden altar, for every atonement is by itself:

he shall bring the live goat; that which remained alive after the other was slain, as it was to do, according to the lot that fell upon it, Leviticus 16:10; this was brought to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, whither the high priest went, and performed the following rites.

(w) Yoma, c. 5. sect. 7.

And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
20. when he hath made an end of atoning] The three things mentioned here indicate the order in which the atonement was made—for the holy place (i.e. the Holy of Holies); the tent of meeting (the outer part of it) and the altar (outside the tabernacle)—and the course of the high priest was from W. to E.

Verses 20, 21. - The second part of the ceremonies of the day now commences. It was not enough that the defilement of the sanctuary should be covered, and the sins of the priests and people atoned for by the blood of the sacrifices. There remained a consciousness of sin. How was this to be taken away? To effect this, Aaron proceeds to the unique ceremony of the day by which the utter removal of sin from the reconciled people is typified. He shall bring the live goat; this should be translated offer the live goat. It is the word used above for the offering of the goat that was slain, and it is the word always used for offering sacrifices to the Lord. The first goat had been offered in the usual manner, the offerer laying his hand on his head and perhaps praying over him. Now the second goat is offered, the high priest having to lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel,... putting them upon the head of the goat. The confession of sins, at first extempore, would naturally, as time progressed, become stereotyped into a liturgical form, as it is found in the Mishna: "O Lord, they have committed iniquity; they have transgressed; they have sinned, - thy people, the house of Israel. O Lord, cover over, I entreat thee, their iniquities, their transgressions, and their sins, which they have wickedly committed, transgressed, and sinned before thee, - thy people, the house of Israel. As it is written in the Law of Moses thy servant, saying, ' For on that day shall it be covered over for you, to make you clean; from all your sins before the Lord ye shall be cleansed'" (Edersheim, 'Temple Service '). During this confession of sins the people remained prostrate in humiliation and prayer in the court of the tabernacle, and it was the custom of the high priest to turn towards them as he pronounced the last words, "Ye shall be cleansed." At the conclusion of the confession, the high priest handed over the goat to a fit man, that is, to a man who was standing ready to take charge of him, and sent him away by his hand into the wilderness. Leviticus 16:20After the completion of the expiation and cleansing of the holy things, Aaron was to bring up the live goat, i.e., to have it brought before the altar of burnt-offering, and placing both his hands upon its head, to confess all the sins and transgressions of the children of Israel upon it, and so put them upon its head. He was then to send the goat away into the desert by a man who was standing ready, that it might carry all its sins upon it into a land cut off; and there the man was to set the goat at liberty. עתּי, ἁπάξ λεγ. from עת an appointed time, signifies opportune, present at the right time, or ready. גּזרה, which is also met with in this passage alone, from גּזר to cut, or cut off, that which is severed, a country cut off from others, not connected by roads with any inhabited land. "The goat was not to find its way back" (Knobel). To understand clearly the meaning of this symbolical rite, we must start from the fact, that according to the distinct words of Leviticus 16:5, the two goats were to serve as a sin-offering (לחטּאת). They were both of them devoted, therefore, to one and the same purpose, as was pointed out by the Talmudists, who laid down the law on that very account, that they were to be exactly alike, colore, statura, et valore. The living goat, therefore, is not to be regarded merely as the bearer of the sin to be taken away, but as quite as truly a sin-offering as the one that was slaughtered. It was appointed עליו לכפּר (Leviticus 16:10), i.e., not that an expiatory rite might be performed over it, for על with כּפּר always applies to the object of the expiation, but properly to expiate it, i.e., to make it the object of the expiation, or make expiation with it. To this end the sins of the nation were confessed upon it with the laying on of hands, and thus symbolically laid upon its head, that it might bear them, and when sent into the desert carry them away thither. The sins, which were thus laid upon its head by confession, were the sins of Israel, which had already been expiated by the sacrifice of the other goat. To understand, however, how the sins already expiated could still be confessed and laid upon the living goat, it is not sufficient to say, with Bhr, that the expiation with blood represented merely a covering or covering up of the sin, and that in order to impress upon the expiation the stamp of the greatest possible completeness and perfection, a supplement was appended, which represented the carrying away and removal of the sin. For in the case of every sin-offering for the congregation, in addition to the covering or forgiveness of sin represented by the sprinkling of blood, the removal or abolition of it was also represented by the burning of the flesh of the sacrifice; and this took place in the present instance also. As both goats were intended for a sin-offering, the sins of the nation were confessed upon both, and placed upon the heads of both by the laying on of hands; though it is of the living goat only that this is expressly recorded, being omitted in the case of the other, because the rule laid down in Leviticus 4:4. was followed.

(Note: The distinction, that in the case of all the other sacrifices the (one) hand is ordered to be laid upon the victim, whilst here both hands are ordered to be laid upon the goat, does not constitute an essential difference, as Hoffmann supposes; but the laying on of both hands rendered the act more solemn and expressive, in harmony with the solemnity of the whole proceeding.)

By both Israel was delivered from all sins and transgressions; but by the one, upon which the lot "for Jehovah" fell, it was so with regard to Jehovah; by the other, upon which the lot "for Azazel" fell, with regard to Azazel. With regard to Jehovah, or in relation to Jehovah, the sins were wiped away by the sacrifice of the goat; the sprinkling of the blood setting forth their forgiveness, and the burning of the animal the blotting of them out; and with this the separation of the congregation from Jehovah because of its sin was removed, and living fellowship with God restored. But Israel had also been brought by its sin into a distinct relation to Azazel, the head of the evil spirits; and it was necessary that this should be brought to an end, if reconciliation with God was to be perfectly secured. This complete deliverance from sin and its author was symbolized in the leading away of the goat, which had been laden with the sins, into the desert. This goat was to take back the sins, which God had forgiven to His congregation, into the desert to Azazel, the father of all sin, in the one hand as a proof that his evil influences upon men would be of no avail in the case of those who had received expiation from God, and on the other hand as a proof to the congregation also that those who were laden with sin could not remain in the kingdom of God, but would be banished to the abode of evil spirits, unless they were redeemed therefrom. This last point, it is true, is not expressly mentioned in the test; but it is evident from the fate which necessarily awaited the goat, when driven into the wilderness in the "land cut off." It would be sure to perish out there in the desert, that is to say, to suffer just what a winner would have to endure if his sins remained upon him; though probably it is only a later addition, not founded in the law, which we find in the Mishnah, Joma vi. 6, viz., that the goat was driven headlong from a rock in the desert, and dashed to pieces at the foot. There is not the slightest idea of presenting a sacrifice to Azazel. This goat was a sin-offering, only so far as it was laden with the sins of the people to carry them away into the desert; and in this respect alone is there a resemblance between the two goats and the two birds used in the purification of the leper (Leviticus 14:4.), of which the one to be set free was bathed in the blood of the one that was killed. In both cases the reason for making use of two animals is to be found purely in the physical impossibility of combining all the features, that had to be set forth in the sin-offering, in one single animal.

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