Posts Tagged ‘Azazel’

Parashah 29: Acharei Mot (After the death)

Parashah 29: Leviticus 16:1-18:30

(In a regular year, read with Parashah 30;  in a leap year read separately.)

“Adonai spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Adonai and died; Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover” (Leviticus 16:1).

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

After the events with Aaron’s sons, Elohim outlines the regulations for entering the Holy of Holies behind the curtain in front of the Ark of the Covenant.  Aaron was not to come in just any time because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh appears in the cloud over the kapparah  He was only to enter on Yom Kippur, the day of purification of sin for Isra’el, the priesthood and the Tabernacle.  It was to be a solemn day of fasting. 

Aaron was to bathe with water and put on the holy garments of the linen tunic with the linen shorts next to his bare flesh.  He was to wrap the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban.

Linen is worn by anyone who is set apart to Elohim.   Along with the priesthood, kings and angelic beings, the armies of Yeshua and his Bride wear linen (Revelation 19:8,14).   Mordecai was given a linen robe when he was paraded around Susa (Esther 8:15). David danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was brought into Jerusalem wearing a linen ephod (2 Samuel 6:14).  Yeshua was wrapped in linen for burial (John 10:40). 

When Aaron entered the Mishkan, he was to bring one bull, one ram and two male goats.  The ram was sacrificed as as a burnt offering which made atonement for himself and his family.   The two goats were placed at the entrance to the Mishkan. Lots were cast for the goats; one lot for Elohim and the other for Az’azel. The goat on which the lot fell for Yahweh was a sin offering. The goat whose lot fell to Az’azel was presented alive and used for making atonement and sent into the desert. 

The bull was slaughtered as a sin offering for Aaron and his household.   From the burning coals on the Altar, Aaron was to fill a censer.  He was also to fill his hands with fragrant incense and bring it inside the Holy Place.  He was to put the incense on the fire so the cloud from the incense would cover the kapparah and he wouldn’t die when he entered. He was to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it seven times with his finger on the kapparah toward the right and in front of the kapparah.

The entrance to the Mishkan was on the eastern side.  This is where offerings were brought to the cohanim.  The entrance to the Tabernacle also faced east.  When the high priest entered through the veil into the Holy of Holies, he was on the eastern  side of the Ark of the Covenant.  When the high priest put the blood on the eastern  side, it was on the entrance side to the throne room of ‘I AM’.

There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory.  The vision seemed like the vision I had seen when I came to destroy the city; also the visions were like the vision I had seen by the K’var River; and I fell on my face. Adonai’s glory entered the house through the gate facing east” (Ezekiel 43:2-5).

When the Jews pray at what is believed to be the Western Wall of the Temple mount, they face east toward the Mount of Olives.  When Messiah returns, he will put his feet on the Mount of Olives which will split in half from east to west making a huge valley.  They will be the first witnesses of this extraordinary event! (Zechariah 14:4) Yeshua will then enter through the Eastern Gate of Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple. 

No specific instructions are given for the placement of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.  Some speculate that rather than sitting in the middle, it was situated on the northern side facing south.  This is alluded to from the Scripture that Elohim’s judgments come from the north, therefore His throne must be toward north (Job 37:22).  The Temple was also situated in the northern part of the city of Jerusalem. 

If the Ark of the Covenant sat on the northern side of the Holy of Holies, then the eastern side where the blood was sprinkled would be the right side as the priest stood in front of it.  When he sprinkled the blood, it would be at the ‘right hand’ of Elohim’s throne where Yeshua sits in glory (Luke 22:69, Colossians 3:1).  No matter where the Ark of the Covenant sat in the Holy of Holies, Yahweh required sprinkling of blood seven times to enter the throne room in order to complete the process and allowing Aaron to live. 

The high priest also made atonement for the Mishkan and the Altar of Sacrifice with some of the bull’s blood by putting it on the four horns of the Altar.  He was to sprinkle the blood seven times using his finger purifying it from the ‘uncleanness’  of the people of Isra’el.   No other person was allowed to be present in the Tabernacle within the Holy of Holies or the Altar for the atonements of the priest, his family and the  community of Isra’el.

With these regulations on Yom Kippur, the people not only received atonement, but also the objects.  Objects like the Altar,  the Mishkan and the Ark of the Covenant could not sin,  but they needed purification because of the sinful people who ministered there.  They also needed purification from the people of Isra’el because the Altar became defiled through their sins.

In Ezekiel’s vision of the Millennial Temple, is an Altar of Sacrifice.  It will be for the unredeemed people living during the Millennium who need to make offerings.  The same protocol will be used for this Altar of Sacrifice that sits at the center of the world’s government.  It will also need to be cleansed from the sins of the human priesthood and the defilement of humanity.   

The Two Goats

After the priest laid his hands upon the two goats he said, “A sin-offering to HaShem (speaking the Tetragrammaton) and the two men accompanying him replied, “Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.”  He then fastened a scarlet woolen thread to the head of the goat “for Az’azel” and laying his hands upon it again, recited the following confession of sin and prayer for forgiveness: “O Lord, I have acted iniquitously, trespassed, sinned before Thee: I, my household, and the sons of Aaron Thy holy ones. O Lord, forgive the iniquities, transgressions, and sins that I, my household, and Aaron’s children, Thy holy people, committed before Thee, as is written in the law of Moses, Thy servant, ‘for on this day He will forgive you, to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord; ye shall be clean.’”

The first goat was slaughtered as a sin offering for the people of Isra’el.  Its blood was brought inside the curtain and sprinkled on the kapparah as was the blood of the bull, purifying the Holy of Holies because of the ‘uncleanness’ of the people and their transgressions.  The same was done for the Tabernacle and the Altar of Sacrifice to  cleanse it from the defilement.   

The Mishna continues, “Then a man was selected, preferably a priest, to take the goat to the precipice in the wilderness; and he was accompanied part of the way by the most eminent men of Jerusalem. Ten booths had been constructed at intervals along the road leading from Jerusalem to the steep mountain. At each one of these, the man leading the goat was formally offered food and drink, which he, however, refused. When he reached the tenth booth, those who accompanied him proceeded no further, but watched the ceremony from a distance. When he came to the precipice, he divided the scarlet thread into two parts, one of which he tied to the rock and the other to the goat’s horns, and then pushed the goat down.  The cliff was so high and rugged that before the goat had traversed half the distance to the plain below, its limbs were utterly shattered. Men were stationed at intervals along the way, and as soon as the goat was thrown down the precipice, they signaled to one another by means of kerchiefs or flags, until the information reached the high priest, whereat he proceeded with the other parts of the ritual.”

The Scapegoat or  Az’azel

No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves”  (Leviticus 17:7).

In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the name Az’azel is found in the Book of the Giants, a section of the book of Enoch that describes the activities of the fallen angels during the days of Noah.  According to the book, Az’azel was one of the leaders of the rebellious ‘Watchers’ who married human women (Genesis 6:24).

Az’azel taught human men the art of warfare: making swords, knives, shields, and coats of mail.  He taught human women the art of deception through ornamenting the body: dying the hair and painting the face and eyebrows with cosmetics.   He also revealed to the both men and women the secrets of witchcraft  leading them into wickedness and impurity (1 Enoch 8:1–3a).

The corruption brought on by Az’azel defiled the human race until all flesh, including bloodlines, was corrupt except for Noah and his family.  The four archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Phanuel) “saw much blood being shed upon the earth and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth….  The souls of men [made] their suit, saying, ‘Bring our cause before the Most High…. Thou seest what Az’azel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were in heaven, which men were striving to learn’” (1 Enoch 9:1-4).

Elohim sees the sin brought about by Az’azel and has Raphael “bind Az’azel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert – which is in Dudael – and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light” (1 Enoch 10:6).

“And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 6).

Az’azel  means ‘scapegoat’ and ‘rugged and strong’ referring to the cliff from which it would fall and die.  Some commentary suggest that Az’azel was not only a supernatural being, but only second to the Adversary as the most mysterious being in the sacred writings.   In the regulations for Yom Kippur, the ‘scapegoat’ is given the task of removing the wickedness and impurity seemingly brought about by a fallen angel named Az’azel.

“The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin” (1 Enoch 10:8).

There is no mention the Israelites ever sacrificed to goat-demons, only to the ‘god’ of the golden calf. However, Elohim is preparing them to enter and conquer the Promised Land from giants who may themselves worship familiar ‘goat-demons.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Scapegoat or Az’azel – עזאזל – ayin, zayin, alef, zayin, lamed

understand the division from the strong, the separation from the leader

A tradition that developed with the ‘scapegoat’ involved putting a scarlet woolen thread on a rock before taking the goat into the desert.  After the Temple was built, the scarlet thread was tied on the door of the Temple.  When the thread supernaturally turned white, the priests and the people of Isra’el would breathe a sign of relief: the goat had shed his blood and their wickedness had been removed.

The Talmud records that during the forty years that Simon the Just was high priest, the thread on the rock actually turned white as soon as the goat was thrown over the precipice: a sign that the sins of the people were forgiven. In later times the change to white was not invariable: a proof of the people’s moral and spiritual deterioration was gradually on the increase, until forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple (about 30 CE), when the change of color was no longer observed.


The scarlet thread represents the High Priest  who made permanent atonement for sin around 30 CE.

After the scapegoat was set out into the desert,  the high priest returned to the Mishkan where he bathed and changed his clothes.  The remnants of the burnt offering bull and goat were burned outside the camp.  The man who went with the goat had to wash his clothes and bathe in water before he could return to camp.

“Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah…. Don’t let anyone deny you the prize by insisting that you engage in self-mortification or angel-worship [demons].  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he [Yeshua] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:8,15,18)

One Place for Sacrifices

“Adonai said to Moshe, “Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all the people of Isra’el. Tell them that this is what Adonai has ordered: ‘When someone from the community of Isra’el slaughters an ox, lamb or goat inside or outside the camp  without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to Adonai before the tabernacle of Adonai, he is to be charged with blood — he has shed blood, and that person is to be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 17:1-4).

No sacrifice was to be offered except at the entrance to the Mishkan.  If anyone sacrificed an animal anywhere else, whether inside or outside the camp, it was as if they had shed blood.  Because the life of an animal is in the blood, shedding the blood of an ox, ram, lamb or goat anywhere but the Altar was considered murder.  This instruction also kept the Israelites from sacrificing to goat-demons in the fields. This instruction keeps them from sacrificing animals just anywhere in the diaspora.

Some gentiles today have begun to sacrifice a lamb or goat at Passover.  According to Torah, Elohim sees this as idolatry. By trying to keep and guard Torah, these well-meaning people actually break Yahweh’s command and sin.  There is and will only ever be one acceptable place for sacrificial offerings which is at the Altar of Sacrifice in the Temple.  Until there is a Temple in Jerusalem, sacrifices offered elsewhere are an abomination to Yahweh.

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.’ This is why I told the people of Isra’el, ‘None of you is to eat blood, nor is any foreigner living with you to eat blood’” (Leviticus 17:11-12).

Isra’el and foreigners living with themare not to eat or drink blood. Blood is to be drained from any ‘clean’ animal whether it is hunted or caught, whether it’s a mammal or bird.  The blood is to be poured out and covered with dirt. 

From this instruction in Leviticus 17, the priests developed the concept of kosher, meat of  ‘clean’ animals from which all the blood is drained.   Shechita is the Hebrew word for the humane way of slaughtering an animal for dietary consumption that shows respect and compassion for the animal since “its life is in its blood.”

Hebrew Word Pictures

Kosher – כשר – kaf, shin, resh

cover and consume by authority

Shichita (Slaughter) – שחיטה – shin, chet, yod, tet, hey

consume and protect the finished work by twisting revealed

I remember the only time my dad shot a deer.  He hung the animal upside down from a tree in our backyard.  Underneath its head, he had dug a hole that caught the blood which had frozen because  it was very cold.   I asked my dad why he had done that with the deer and he told me that it had to be drained of its blood in order to eat it.  More recently, my son-in-law who is a fishing guide in Alaska told me that when a salmon is caught, it is floated in the river in order to allow the blood to drain from it.  When I explained the Biblical reason for what he was doing, he was intrigued.


Defrosting meat in the refrigerator does not allow the blood to drain. I was taught to defrost meat outside the refrigerator because the warmer temperature would allow the blood to be removed from the meat, thus not consuming blood.

Sexual Immorality

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the people of Isra’el, tell them, I am Adonai your God.  You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws.  You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God.  You are to observe my laws and rulings, if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai’” (Leviticus 18:1-5).

Sexual immorality is practiced many different ways and must have been rampant in Egypt because Elohim refers back to Egyptian practices along with those of the nations they are going to displace in the Promised Land.  Sexual relations with sisters and brothers or incest had not been condemned until this instruction.  The best explanation I have heard for this is that the father away from human perfection in the Garden of Eden, human genetics became more corrupt. Elohim sets up His righteous standard for sexual interaction within the family unit and there  is to be no incest.

“You are not to have sexual relations with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination”  (Leviticus 18:22).

Marriage in the western culture is being attacked every day.  Same sex marriage has become legal because homosexual relations, or sodomy, are no longer illegal and have been accepted as normal.  To call any sexual behavior an abomination to Elohim is considered  judgmental, unloving and full of hate.  Yet, to the One who created us male and female, the practice of sodomy still remains an abomination.  Churches that have succumbed to the tolerance mantra of the culture also accept homosexuals, not only in their fellowship, but as leaders.  Recently,  one main stream ministry that considered itself Bible-based decided to allow homosexuals to be part of their international missions. After an outrage by non-western nations, they had to change their position.

Abomination means ‘to cause hatred or disgust.’  Homosexuality disgusts Elohim and causes Him to hate.  Elohim can and does hate (Proverbs 6:16-19).  He can deny entrance to His eternal Kingdom to those who practice such behaviors (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 22:14-15).  To overcome this sin and be acceptable to Elohim only requires acknowledgement of homosexual activity as sin and repentance from it.  Rafa-El will forgive the sin and begin healing the wounds that caused the sin.

“You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thus become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion” (Leviticus 18:23).

Sex with an animal is called beastiality.  With the premise of same-sex marriage being that people should be able to marry whomever they love, it won’t be long until beastiality becomes an issue.  In Denmark, sex with an animal or zoophilia is already legal and Danish lawmakers are fighting for laws to make it illegal.  Such behavior is not only cruel to the animal, but is another abomination to Elohim.

”STDs in animals and humans have a historical relationship. “Two or three of the major STDs have come from animals,” says Alonso Aguirre, a veterinarian and vice president for conservation medicine at Wildlife Trust. “We know, for example, that gonorrhea came from cattle to humans. Syphilis also came to humans from cattle or sheep many centuries ago, possibly sexually.” The most recent, as well as the deadliest, STD to migrate to humans is HIV, which hunters acquired from the blood of chimpanzees, says Aguirre. The disease became transmissible from one person to another through semen and other bodily fluids after it had spread to the human population.”

If there is truth to the fallen angels having sex with women (and even animals that are depicted in mythology), not only are STDs an issue, but also sterility.  When a horse is mated with a donkey, a sterile animal is born – a mule.  If a similar thing happened with fallen angels and human women, their offspring would be sterile.  Could it be the issues today with gender confusion and identity is evidence  of the sterile Nephilim possessing fathers and mothers who are gender ‘neutralizing’ their children? Young adults take hormones because they can’t accept their gender and the consequence will be sterilization. There are those binary individuals who claim to be both  or many genders.  These abominations are not new because there is ‘nothing new under the sun,’ but they are evidence that we are living as in the ‘days of Noah.’ 

“You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your God; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:21).

Molech, derived from the Hebrew root melek meaning ‘king,’ refers to the god of the Ammonites who is depicted as a bronze statue that was heated with fire and into which human sacrifices were thrown.  Fire-gods were worshipped by Canaanite, Syrian and Arab tribes through burning or sacrificing children in the fire.  According to Jewish history,  an image of Molech made of hollow brass stood in Jerusalem.  Isra’el was warned multiple times by the prophets not to pass their children through the fire to Molech (2 Kings 23:10, Jeremiah 32:35).  Human sacrifice, especially offering children to a god by fire was murder and idolatry, both an abomination to Elohim (Jeremiah 19:4-6).

“Yes, they shed innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to Kena‘an’s false gods, polluting the land with blood” (Psalm 106:38).

Today, abortion could be compared to child sacrifice because the blood of innocent children is being poured out onto the ground (and into garbage cans).   Such murder profanes the name of Elohim who is the Creator of life and instructs His people that no one is to pour the blood of their children out at any altar, including His.  The results of this immoral behavior is a defilement of the land until it vomits the people out of it.

“For the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled.  If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you.  For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people” (Leviticus 18:27-29).

When Elohim says the land will ‘vomit,’ he uses the Hebrew word qo which means ‘to spew out.’   Yeshua tells the Laodiceans that he will ‘vomit’  them out of his mouth.  The Greek word emeo is used for ‘vomit’ and means ‘showing utter rejection.’  The land will ‘spew out’ the Canaanites because of their abominations.  The Israelites, if they imitate the idolatries, like Laodicea, will be spewed out and utterly rejected.

“Throw out the worthless slave [servant] into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

“[But] without [in the other darkness] are the dogs [gentiles] and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating)” (Revelation 22:15 Amplified Bible).

In a recent conversation with some believers, they questioned whether or not Elohim cares what we do.  They supposed He does not care because of His grace, love and forgiveness for everyone. They could not grasp that though Elohim loves us, our disobedience and sin breaks fellowship with Him.  This could be compared to a child who is deeply loved by their parents, but disobeys their parents’ rules.  Until there is correction for the behavior, fellowship between the parent and child remains broken.  The only way to restore fellowship is for the child to understand their sin and repent from it.  The love of a father includes discipline and those who refuse discipline will be utterly rejected by Messiah (Hebrews 12:6).

“You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai our God.  You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:4-5).

Yeshua is The Life

“You keep examining the Tanakh because you think that in it you have eternal life. Those very Scriptures bear witness to me, but you won’t come to me in order to have life!” (John 5:39)

Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life”(John 6:68).

“Yeshua said, ‘I AM’ the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“A man approached Yeshua and said, ‘Rabbi, what good thing should I do in order to have eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why are you asking me about good? There is One who is good! But if you want to obtain eternal life, observe the mitzvot’” (Matthew 19:16-17).

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure” (John 10:10).

“For I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has given me a command, namely, what to say and how to say it. And I know that his command is eternal life. So what I say is simply what the Father has told me to say” (John 12:49-50).

Hafarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Ezekiel 22:1-19

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Romans 3:19-28

Romans 9:30-10:13

1 Corinthians 5:1-13

2 Corinthians 2:1-11

Galatians 3:10-14

Midrash Acharei Mot: Yeshua’s Blood

Discuss Yeshua’s blood in the following verses Matthew 26:28, John 19:24, John 6:53-56, 1 Corinthians 11:27, and Colossians 1:19-20 and how they relate to ‘the life is in the blood.’

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete Torah cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur

“The LORD said to Moshe, ‘The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur, you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to the LORD.  You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.  Anyone who does not deny himself on that day is to be cut off from his people; and anyone who does any kind of work on that day, I will destroy from among his people‘” (Leviticus 23:26-32).

Memorial Candle

Ten days after the Feast of Trumpets is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. The Hebrew word kippur comes from kapparah meaning ‘covering’ or ‘atonement.’ The root of kapparah derives from kofer meaning ‘to ransom’ or ‘atone by offering a substitute.‘ According to Torah, an animal –– a lamb or goat –– was required as a substitute offering for sin. The offerer would place his hands on the head of the animal, called shemicah, and confess his sins over it. The animal was sacrificed and its blood was sprinkled on the Altar by the priest covering the person’s sin.

The Day of Atonement was a day of special rituals and offerings. It was only on this day of the year that the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for himself, the Temple, and for the nation of Israel. His priestly duties were specifically outlined in Torah and it was vitally important that he follow them precisely or he would lose his life. It was also on this day, and only on this day, that the high priest would speak the memorial name of God –– yod-he-vav-hey.

His ‘armor of God’ consisted of a turban with a gold crown with “Holy to Adonai” written on it, a breastplate with stones for the Tribes of Israel, an outer robe decorated with pomegranates and bells, an apron, four linen garments, and a belt and pants. In his holy garments, the high priest would offer a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He would enter the Holy of Holies where he would burn incense that rose in a cloud of smoke enveloping the Ark of the Covenant. On the kapparah or covering of the Ark, he would make atonement. Using his fingers, the priest would sprinkle some of the blood from the burnt offering on the mercy seat between the cherubim and on the ground in front of the Ark. He did this seven times in order to purify the Holy of Holies. According to the commands set out in the Torah and explained in the Talmud (the oral ordinances written down), the high priest made 43 trips between the Outer Court and the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

“God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated God’s righteousness; because, in his forbearance, he had passed over [with neither punishment nor remission] the sins people had committed in the past;  and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yeshua’s faithfulness” (Romans 3:24-25).

The Tabernacle and its system of worship is how God taught Israel that sin hinders access to His presence. Their sacrifices and offerings only covered their outward sins so they had to remain in the Outer Court. The blood of bulls, goats, and sheep on the Altar of Sacrifice could never bring inward purification that would remove the iniquity of sin in their hearts; only when that happened could they enter the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.

Two Goats

Another offering on the Day of Atonement involved two goats. After casting lots, one goat was sacrificed to God and its blood sprinkled on the Altar cleansing it from all of Israel’s sins. The other goat, called the scapegoat, had a different destiny. The priest would lay his hands on the head of the goat as he confessed the sins of Israel. This goat would not be sacrificed, but set free in the wilderness to take the sins of Israel far away. The sacrificed goat’s blood made atonement for their national sins; the scapegoat took their sins far away into the wilderness where it died.

During the day of Passover, Pilate had two prisoners, Yeshua and Barabbas sent to him. According to a Passover tradition, Pilate would offer to set one of the prisoners free. Yeshua who was the ‘Son of the Father’ was chosen as the ‘goat’ to be sacrificed. Barabbas, whose name means ‘son of the father,’ became the ‘scapegoat’ and was released into the world to die a natural death.

The Talmud records that the priest would tie a red wool cord to one of the horns of the scapegoat before it was released. He would also put a red wool cord on the outside of the door to the Temple. When the cord on the Temple turned white, it was a sign that the scapegoat had died and God had forgiven the sins of Israel. If it stayed red, the priests were filled with sorrow for their guilt had not been removed.

Josephus, a Jewish historian, states that 40 years before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, the red wool on the Temple door no longer turned white; it stayed red. The priesthood had not only become completely corrupt, but as Israel’s spiritual leadership, they had rejected Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel. Each year that the red wool remained red, they became increasingly aware that God was no longer accepting atonement for their national sins through the sacrifices of Yom Kippur.

“Come now,” says the LORD, “let’s talk this over together. Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow; even if they are red as crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

Our High Priest

“But when Messiah appeared as High Priest of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tabernacle which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), he entered the Holiest Place once and for all.  He entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever.  For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:11-14).

Yom Kippur reveals valuable truths about Yeshua as a High Priest who made atonement for not only corporate Israel, but also for the world. He entered the heavenly Tabernacle and offered his blood on the heavenly Ark of the Covenant. Because he was a sinless High Priest, he only had to enter the Tabernacle one time for all eternity. His ‘goat’ blood offering brings forgiveness of sin to anyone who trusts in his atonement. His ‘scapegoat’ death also purifies men by removing the iniquity in their hearts, sending their sins “as far away as the east is from the west, so far he has removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

“Unlike the other high priests, he [Yeshua] does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself” (Hebrews 7:27).

“We have this hope as a sure and safe anchor for ourselves, a hope that goes right on through to what is inside the Holy of Holies behind the curtain, where a forerunner has entered on our behalf, namely, Yeshua, who has become a High Priest forever” (Hebrews 6:19).

Books and Eternal Destiny

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

According to Jewish tradition, two books are opened on the Yom Kippur. The destiny of the righteous is recorded and sealed in the ‘Book of Life‘ and the destiny of the wicked is recorded and sealed in the ‘Book of Death.’ Moses, David, Daniel, and Yeshua, acknowledge that these two books exist, and names can be blotted out of the ‘Book of Life’ (Exodus 32:32, Psalm 69:29, Daniel 7:10, Revelation 3:4-6).

The ‘Days of Awe’ are the ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement when Jewish people around the world become introspective. They seek to find whatever sin and rebellion may separate them from God. They look for what has soiled their spiritual garments in unrighteous living so that their names are not blotted out of the ‘Book of Life.’ They spend ten days repenting, immersing themselves, and preparing for Yom Kippur. They do not want face the same judgment as the wicked; they do not want to be thrown into the lake of fire where there is eternal torment (Revelation 20:12-15).

During the ‘Days of Awe,’ and the month before known as Elul, John immersed Jewish men and women in the Jordan River for repentance of sins as they prepared for Yom Kippur. Yeshua arrived at the Jordan River to be immersed on the first day of Elul, spent 40 days in the wilderness, and returned to the Galilee on Yom Kippur proclaiming the gospel message of repentance for salvation (John 4:17).

There is a final Day of Atonement still to be fulfilled. Everyone who has ever lived will appear before the judgment seat of Adonai and give an account of their lives, whether they died in the sea or were kept in Hades for the day of judgment. Those who names are found in the ‘Book of Life’ will be rewarded with crowns; they will not experience the second death. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, or were blotted out, will experience the second death and receive the judgment of eternal torture in the lake of burning fire (Revelation 20:14-15).

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered over; Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD will not reckon against his account” (Psalm 32:1-2, Romans 4:7-8).

Israel’s National Day of Atonement

While numerous Jews accepted Yeshua’s offering of atonement in the first century, Israel as a nation rejected it because of their corrupt leaders. However, Israel will repent as a nation and accept Yeshua’s atonement on a future Yom Kippur.

Zechariah prophesies about this Day of Atonement when Adonai will pour out His Spirit on the nation of Israel. He will lift the veil from their eyes and corporately transform their minds and hearts (2 Corinthians 3:15). They will see Yeshua, the one they pierced, and mourn. They will receive the kapparah of Yeshua and he will become their High Priest. At that time, “All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

“When that day comes, I will seek to destroy all nations attacking Jerusalem; and I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Jerusalem a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced.  They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son; they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a firstborn son ” (Zechariah 12:10).

The Fast of Atonement

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly” (Joel 2:13-15).

The payment for individual sin through Yeshua’s atonement is already settled. However, even as his followers, we can continue to use the ‘appointed time’ of Yom Kippur to remember the nation of Israel and their need to corporately repent of rejecting Yeshua. When they do, they will usher in the Messianic Era. 

‘Denying oneself’ is part of the Biblical command for Yom Kippur. As part of our faith in Yeshua, we can fast for his brothers and sisters around the world. They pack synagogues on Yom Kippur praying and confessing their sins, but they face the consequences for their rejection of Yeshua. Without a Temple, there is no Altar for sacrifice; without a Levitical priesthood, there is no high priest to service the sacrificial system; without bulls and goats, there is no blood. For Jews around the world, the Yom Kippur is a day of sorrow and despair. By fasting and interceding for them, “they may see one they have pierced” before the books are opened. The veil may be lifted and they may see Yeshua, their High Priest and receive the atonement they desire deep in their souls.

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts study guide and the leader’s guide for group learning.