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The institution of the yearly day of atonement for the whole nation.
The whole service is committed to the high - priest, who is,
- Then only to come into the holy of holies,
in his linen garments with a young bullock, ver. 1 - 4.
- To offer a goat, and a bullock for a sin - offering, ver. 5 - 13.
- To sprinkle the blood before the mercy seat, and upon the altar,
ver. 13 - 19.
- To confess over the scape - goat, the sins of the people, and
then send him into the wilderness, ver. 20 - 23.
- To offer the burnt - offerings, ver. 24 - 28. And,
- To appoint this day to be a solemn fast, by a statute for ever,
ver. 29 - 34.
2: At all times - Not whensoever he pleaseth, but only when I shall
appoint him, namely, to take down the parts and furniture of it upon every
removal, and to minister unto me once in the year. Lest he die - For his
irreverence and presumption. In the cloud - In a bright and glorious
cloud, over the mercy - seat, as a token when I would have him come.
3: With a young bullock - That is, with the blood of it; the body of
it was to be offered upon the altar of burnt - offerings. A sin - offering
- For his own and family's sins; for a goat was offered for the sins of the
4: The linen coat - It is observable, the high - priest did not now use
his peculiar and glorious robes, but only his linen garments, which were
common to him with the ordinary priests. The reason whereof was, because
this was not a day of feasting and rejoicing, but of mourning and
humiliation, at which times people were to lay aside their ornaments.
These are holy - Because appropriated to an holy and religious use.
8: For the Lord - For the Lord's use by way of sacrifice. Both this
and the other goat typified Christ; this in his death and passion for us;
that in his resurrection for our deliverance.
11: The bullock - Mentioned in general, (Le 16:6).
The ceremonies whereof are here particularly described. This was a
different bullock or heifer from that (Nu 19:2,5,9,10,17),
as appears by comparing the places.
12: Within the veil - That is, into the holy of holies,(Le 16:2).
13: Upon the fire - Which was in the censer, (Le 16:12).
14: Upon the mercy - seat - To teach us, that God is merciful to
sinners only through and for the blood of Christ. With his face
east - ward, or upon the eastern part, towards the people, who were in
the court which lay east - ward from the holy of holies, which was the most
western part of the tabernacle. This signified that the high - priest in
this act represented the people, and that God accepted it on their behalf.
Before the mercy - seat - On the ground.
15: Then shall he kill the goat - He went out of the holy of holies,
and killed it, and then returned thither again with its blood. And whereas
the high - priest is said to be allowed to enter into that place but once
in a year, that is to be understood, but one day in a year, though there
was occasion of going in and coming out more than once upon that day.
16: Because of the uncleannesses of Israel - For though the people
did not enter into that place, yet their sins entered thither, and would
hinder the effects of the high - priest's mediation on their behalf if God
was not reconciled to them. In the midst of their uncleanness - ln the
midst of a sinful people, who defile not themselves only, but also God's
sanctuary. And God hereby shewed them, how much their hearts needed to be
purified, when even the tabernacle, only by standing in the midst of them,
needed this expiation.
17: In the tabernacle - ln the holy place, where the priests and
Levites were at other times. This was commanded for the greater reverence
to the Divine Majesty then in a more special manner appearing, and that
none of them might cast an eye into the holy of holies, as the high - priest
went in or came out.
18: The altar before the Lord - That is, the altar of incense, where
the blood of sacrifices was to be put, particularly the blood of the
sin - offerings offered upon this day of atonement, and which is most properly
said to be before the Lord, that is, before the place where God in a
special manner dwelt. His going out relates to the holy of holies, into
which he was said to go in, (Le 16:17).
19: Seven times - To signify its perfect cleansing, (seven being a
number of perfection) and our perfect reconciliation by the blood of Christ.
21: All the iniquities - He mentions iniquities, transgressions,
and sins, to note sins of all sorts, and that a free and full confession
was to be made, and that the smallest sins needed, and the greatest sins
were not excluded from, the benefit of Christ's death here represented.
On the head - Charging all their sins and the punishment due to them upon
the goat, which tho' only a ceremony, yet being done according to God's
appointment and manifestly pointing at Christ upon whom their iniquities
and punishments were laid, (Isa 53:5,6), it was available for this end.
And hence the Heathens took their custom of selecting one beast or man, upon
whom they laid all their imprecations and curses, and whom they killed as an
expiatory sacrifice for their sins, and to prevent their ruin. A fit
man - Heb. a man of time, that is, of years and discretion, who may
be trusted with this work. Into the wilderness - Which signified the
removal of their sins far away both from the people, and out of God's sight.
And here the goat being neglected by all men, and exposed to many hazards
from wild beasts, which were numerous there, might farther signify Christ's
being forsaken both by God and by men, even by his own disciples, and the
many dangers and sufferings he underwent. The Jews write, that this
goat was carried to the mountain called Azazel, whence the goat is so
called, (Le 16:10), and that there he was cast down headlong.
24: He shall put on his linen garments - Not his ordinary priestly
linen garments, for he was to leave them in the tabernacle,(Le 16:23), but the high - priestly garments, called
his garments properly, and by way of distinction. And this change of
his garments was not without cause. For the common priestly garments were
more proper for him in the former part of his ministration, both because he
was to appear before the Lord in the most holy place to humble himself and
make atonement for his own and for the people's sins, and therefore his
meanest attire was most fit, and because he was to lay his hands upon that
goat on which all their sins were put, by which touch both he and his
garments would be in some sort defiled, and therefore as he washed
himself, so we may presume his linen garments were laid by for the washing,
as the clothes of him who carried away the scape - goat were washed,(Le 16:26). And the high - priestly garments were most proper for the
latter part of his work, which was of another nature.
29: The seventh month - Answering part to our September and part
to our October; when they had gathered in all their fruits, and were
most at leisure for God's service: This time God chose for this and
other feasts, herein graciously condescending to men's necessities and
conveniences. This feast began in the evening of the ninth day, and
continued till the evening of the tenth. Your souls - Yourselves, both
your bodies, by abstinence from food and other delights, and your minds by
grief for former sins, which though bitter, yet is voluntary in all true
penitents, who are therefore here said to afflict themselves, or to be
active in the work.
31: A sabbath - Observed as a sabbath - day from all servile works,
and diligent attendance upon God's worship.
32: He - The high - priest, who was to anoint his successor.
34: This shall be an everlasting statute - By which were typified
the two great gospel privileges; remission of sins, and access to God,
both which we owe to the mediation of the Lord Jesus.