0 The scapegoat, Yom Kippur, and sacrificing to devils (Lev 16-17)

Episode 49: The scapegoat, Yom Kippur, and sacrificing to devils

(Leviticus 16-17)

God's warning to Aaron

16 1 God said to Moses after he burned to death two of Aaron's sons,

2 Tell Aaron not to come into the holy place any that he chooses -- or he will die.

I will appear in a cloud on the mercy seat.

Aaron's holy garments

3 Here is how Aaron must come into the holy place: 4 he must wear the holy linen coat, linen breeches, a linen girdle, and a linen miter. These are holy garments, so he must wash his flesh with water before putting them on.

The scapegoat

7 Aaron will bring two goats to God at the door of the tabernacle.

8 He will cast lots upon the two goats: one for God, and the other for the scapegoat.

9He will bring the goat upon which God's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.

10 The other goat, the scapegoat, will be let go into the wilderness.

15 Then he will kill the goat of the sin offering and sprinkle its blood upon the mercy seat as an atonement for the uncleanness of the people.

18 Aaron will then take the blood of the bullock and the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar round about.

19 He'll sprinkle its blood upon the altar seven times with his finger.

20-21 Then Aaron will bring the live goat, put the sins of the people on the head of the goat, and send the goat away into the wilderness. And the goat will bear all of the people's iniquities.

The Scapegoat, by William Holman Hunt, 1854

The day of atonement: Yom Kippur

29 This shall be a statute forever. In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you will afflict your souls and do no work.

30 On that day shall the priest make an atonement for you.

God forbids do-it-yourself sacrifices

17 1 God said to Moses,

2 Say this to all the Israelites,

3 Don't kill an ox, lamb, or goat outside the camp and then bring it to the door of the tabernacle.

4 Whoever does this is guilty of shedding blood and will be cut off from his people.

5 Instead of killing and sacrificing your animals yourself, bring them to the priest, who will kill and sacrifice them to me as peace offerings.

6 The priest will sprinkle blood on my altar and burn the fat for a sweet savor to me.

Sacrifices to devils

7 Don't offer sacrifices to devils, after whom you have gone a whoring. This is a statute forever.

Eating blood

11 The life of the flesh is the blood. 12 Don’t eat it.

A few more words about this episode

God ... burned to death two of Aaron's sons (16:1)
See Episode 45 and DWB: God burned Aaron's sons to death for the details.
The seventh month, on the tenth day of the month (16:29-30)

This is the day of atonement - or Yom Kippur - the holiest day in Judaism. It is related to Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which occurs ten days before it. Together they make up the "High Holy Days" of Judaism. The Bible says that on this day you should afflict your soul and do no work (v.29), but the rabbis have come up with a few more things you're not supposed to do on this day:

  1. No eating and drinking
  2. No wearing of leather shoes
  3. No bathing or washing
  4. No using of perfume or ointments
  5. No sex.

Wikipedia: Yom Kippur

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