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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 16

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;

After the death. — That others might be warned. Lege historiam, ne fias historia, saith one.

When they offered before the Lord. — A little strange fire might seem a small matter in the eyes of indifferency: and yet it was such a sin as made all Israel guilty, as appears by the sacrifices offered for that sin, set down in this chapter.

Verse 2

And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy [place] within the vail before the mercy seat, which [is] upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

that he come not at all times. — Whensoever he pleaseth, but when I appoint him, i.e., once a year only, Exodus 30:10 and then also with reverence and godly fear. God, as he loves to be acquainted with men in the walks of their obedience, so he takes state upon him in his ordinances, and will be trembled at in his judgments.

Verse 3

Thus shall Aaron come into the holy [place]: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

For a sin offering, — viz., For himself and his family. Leviticus 6:1-30 Leviticus 11:1-47 See Trapp on " Leviticus 14:3 "

Verse 4

He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these [are] holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and [so] put them on.

Therefore shall he wash. — As we must be always holy, so then most when we present ourselves to the holy eyes of our Creator. We wash our hands every day; but when we are to sit with some great person, we scour them with balls. See Leviticus 16:24 .

Verse 5

And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

Two kids of the goats. — Both of them types of Christ: who though he died not for wicked goats, yet he seemed rejected of God, and was reckoned among malefactors. Isaiah 53:9

Verse 6

And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which [is] for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

And for his house. — Whereof a minister must be mainly careful, 1 Timothy 3:4 lest, as Augustus doing justice on others, he be hit in the teeth with his own disordered family. Aaron had lately smarted in his two eldest.

Verse 7

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The two goats. — See on Leviticus 16:5 .

Verse 8

And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

Shall cast lots. — To show that nothing was done for us by Christ but what God’s hand and his counsel determined. Acts 4:28 1 Peter 1:20 See Trapp on " Acts 4:28 " See Trapp on " 1 Peter 1:20 "

For the scape-goat. — Which being a piacular or purging oblation, carried the people’s curse with it: as did likewise those Obominales among the Grecians; who, from this custom of the Hebrews, borrowed their yearly expiation of their cities: the manner whereof, somewhat like unto this. See Trapp on " 1 Corinthians 4:13 "

Verse 9

And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him [for] a sin offering.

The goat. — A type of Christ’s mortal humanity, say some, as the scape goat of his immortal deity: or the one of his death, the other of his resurrection. Others are of the opinion that hereby was signified that the deity of Christ dwelling in light inaccessible gave to his humanity sufficient strength for the enduring of those things, which no other creature could have come near, for the full expiating of our sins. So he telleth the Jews first, and afterwards his disciples, "Whither I go ye cannot come." John 8:22 ; John 13:36

Verse 11

And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which [is] for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which [is] for himself:

An atonement for himself. — That having first made his own peace, he may be in case to atone for the people. This was David’s method. Psalms 25:1-22 Psalms 51:1-19

Verse 12

And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring [it] within the vail:

And bring it within the vail. — So to prepare the way into the holy place. This incense small beaten might prefigure Christ in his agony, praying more earnestly, before he entered with his own blood into the most holy place of heaven.

Verse 13

And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that [is] upon the testimony, that he die not:

May cover the mercy seat. — And so be as a screen betwixt the priest and those everlasting burnings: or as a cloud to darken the glory of their shining, for the high priest’s safety.

Verse 14

And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle [it] with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.

Upon the mercy seat eastward. — This and the following verses signify, saith one, that even heaven itself is defiled unto us by our sins; until it be made clean by the blood and obedience of Christ, who is entered thither, "not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood," and thereby hath "purified the heavenly things themselves." Hebrews 9:12 ; Hebrews 9:23

Verse 16

And he shall make an atonement for the holy [place], because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

In the midst of their uncleanness. — Which did cleave to the tabernacle, as the sins of spiritual Babylon are said to be glued ( εκολληθησαν ) to heaven. Revelation 18:5

Verse 17

And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy [place], until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.

And there shall be no man. — Christ will have no partner, and he needs no assistant. Hebrews 7:25 Isaiah 63:3

Verse 18

And he shall go out unto the altar that [is] before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar round about.

And he shall go out unto the altar. — This signified, saith one, that every church assembly is acceptable to God, only through the blood of Christ, by the remission of all their sins.

Verse 19

And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

From the uncleanness,i.e., The defects and imperfections of their holiest performances.

Verse 20

And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy [place], and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:

Reconciling the holy place. — Defiled in some sort by the sins of the people, in whose behalf the priests there performed their service.

Verse 21

And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:

All their transgressions in all their sins,i.e., In their several circumstances and aggravations: laying open how many transgressions were wrapped up in their several sins. This was to bring out their sins, as they took the vessels of the temple, Ezra 8:34 "by number and by weight."

Verse 22

And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

Shall let go the goat. — The Hebrews say, that he was to throw it down the rock, and so it died. The Grecians had a like custom Aemulus Dei diabolus. in their solemn expiations of their cities. They tumbled the persons devoted from some rock into the sea; sacrificing them to Neptune, saying, Be thou a propitiation for us. Suidas.

Verse 23

And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy [place], and shall leave them there:

Shall leave them there. — As afterwards the priests did, in some of the holy chambers about the sanctuary. Ezekiel 44:16

Verse 24

And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people.

He shall wash his flesh. — See what this taught them and us. Hebrews 10:22 That Epistle to the Hebrews is an excellent commentary upon this Book of Leviticus.

Verse 25

And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar.

Upon the altar. — The brazen altar in the outer court.

Verse 26

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.

Shall wash his clothes. — To show, (1.) That it was for our sins that Christ suffered; (2.) That all that partake of his benefits must wash their hearts from wickedness. Jeremiah 4:14 ; 2 Corinthians 5:15 ; 2 Corinthians 7:1

Verse 27

And the bullock [for] the sin offering, and the goat [for] the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy [place], shall [one] carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung.

Without the camp. — See Hebrews 13:11 ; Hebrews 13:14 .

Verse 28

And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

He that burneth. — Whoever he be whom the priests shall appoint to do it.

Verse 29

And [this] shall be a statute for ever unto you: [that] in the seventh month, on the tenth [day] of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, [whether it be] one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

Ye shall afflict your souls. — With voluntary sorrows for your sins, - as David did, Psalms 35:13 and Daniel, Daniel 10:3 ; Daniel 10:12 - and so dispose yourselves to obtain pardon and reconciliation. The Lord’s supper is with us a day of atonement; at which time both the scape goat was let go, and affliction of soul was called for. This passover must be eaten with sour herbs.

Verse 30

For on that day shall [the priest] make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, [that] ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

That ye may be clean from all your sins. — And so God may turn your fasting into feasting, as Zechariah 8:19 . The joyful jubilee was begun and proclaimed in this same tenth day. Leviticus 25:8-9

Verse 31

It [shall be] a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

It shall be a Sabbath of rest. — An exact and careful rest, such as is described in Isaiah 58:13 , which place of the prophet some understand of this day of atonement, and yearly fast, spoken of in the beginning of that chapter.

Verse 32

And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, [even] the holy garments:

Whom he shall consecrate,i.e., God: or the present high priest, the chief God on earth. See on Leviticus 6:2 .

Verse 33

And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

For the holy sanctuary. — For all the sins of your holy services, it being the manner that either makes or mars an action.

Verse 34

And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

For all their sins once a year. — For whereas in their private sacrifices they durst not confess their capital sins for fear of death, due to them by the law, God graciously provided and instituted this yearly sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the whole people, without particular acknowledgment of any. There are of good note who think, Arch. Ussher, Annales Vet. Test., p. 2. that this anniversary fast, called "the fast" by a specialty, Acts 27:9 was instituted in reference unto, and solemn remembrance of, the fall of Adam; which happened, say they, on the tenth day of the world, answering to the first of November. But how strangely are the Jews at this day besotted, if that be true of them that some Alex. Ross’s View of Religions. report, viz., that at this their feast of reconciliation, they use to bribe Satan, that he may not accuse them for their sins; and that this is one thing for which they do yearly afflict their souls, namely, the translation of the Bible out of Hebrew into Greek, by the Septuagint!

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 16". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/leviticus-16.html. 1865-1868.
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