Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection…
It was prescribed in the old Hebrew service-book that when a person brought his sacrifice to the altar, he should lay his hand upon its head, and lean upon it with all his weight. While thus standing, with his hand laid upon the victim, and his face directed to the Temple, he repeated this formula: "O Lord, I have sinned, I have done perversely; I have done thus and thus" (here naming, either mentally or audibly, the specific sins of which he had recently been guilty, and for which he now sought pardon), "I have done thus, and thus, but I return by repentance to Thee, and let this be my expiation." If several persons united in one presentation, each one in succession placed his hand upon the victim, and in turn offered this prayer. On the great day of atonement the high priest did the same thing in the name of all the people whom he officially represented. He placed troth his hands upon the various victims that were to be offered in sacrifice, and more especially upon the "Azazel," the mystical goat, which, as if bearing the sins which had been confessed over it, was then led away from the crowd of watchers, past the last dwelling, past the last tree, until both goat and leader disappeared in the glow of the great white wilderness, that lay like the land of the curse beyond. This laying on of hands was not a mere ceremony, but a sermon. It conveyed a doctrine, and the doctrine was that he who would be saved must, by his own personal act and deed, appropriate the work of Him who is our Saviour by being our Substitute.
(C. Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,