Leviticus 16:26
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And he who lets the goat go to Azazel shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.

King James Bible
And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp.

American Standard Version
And he that letteth go the goat for Azazel shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But he that hath let go the emissary goat, shall wash his clothes, and his body with water, and so shall enter into the camp.

English Revised Version
And he that letteth go the goat for Azazel shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he that let go the goat for the scape-goat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp.

Leviticus 16:26 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After 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.

Leviticus 16:26 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he that

Leviticus 16:10,21,22 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him...

wash

Leviticus 16:28 And he that burns them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

Leviticus 14:8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean...

Leviticus 15:5-11,27 And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even...

Numbers 19:7,8,21 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp...

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw near to God.

Cross References
Leviticus 11:25
and whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening.

Leviticus 11:40
and whoever eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. And whoever carries the carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening.

Leviticus 16:8
And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel.

Leviticus 16:25
And the fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar.

Numbers 19:7
Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest shall be unclean until evening.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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