Atonement, in OT
Most Relevant Verses
Moses came and told the people all that the Lord had said and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, All that the Lord has spoken we will do.
And Moses said to Aaron, Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people; and offer the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded.
If the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally, and it be hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done what the Lord has commanded not to be done and are guilty, When the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the congregation shall offer a young bull for a sin offering and bring it before the Tent of Meeting.
When you have erred and have not observed all these commandments which the Lord has spoken to Moses, Even all that the Lord has commanded you through Moses, from the day that the Lord gave commandment and onward throughout your generations, Then it shall be, if it was done unwittingly or in error without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, for a pleasant and soothing fragrance to the Lord, with its cereal offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering.read more.
And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the Israelites, and they shall be forgiven, for it was an error and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord for their error. And all the congregation of the Israelites shall be forgiven and the stranger who lives temporarily among them, because all the people were involved in the error.
And if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave betrothed to a husband and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, they shall be punished [after investigation]; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free; But he shall bring his guilt or trespass offering to the Lord to the door of the Tent of Meeting, a ram for a guilt or trespass offering. The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt or trespass offering before the Lord for his sin, and he shall be forgiven for committing the sin.
And the Lord said to Moses, If anyone sins and commits a trespass against the Lord and deals falsely with his neighbor in a matter of deposit given him to keep, or of bargain or pledge, or of robbery, or has oppressed his neighbor, Or has found what was lost and lied about it, or swears falsely, in any of all the things which men do and sin in so doing,read more.
Then if he has sinned and is guilty, he shall restore what he took by robbery, or what he secured by oppression or extortion, or what was delivered him to keep in trust, or the lost thing which he found, Or anything about which he has sworn falsely; he shall not only restore it in full, but shall add to it one fifth more and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day of his trespass or guilt offering. And he shall bring to the priest his trespass or guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued by you to the amount of his trespass; And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for anything of all that he may have done by which he has become guilty.
But the person who does anything [wrong] willfully and openly, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one reproaches, reviles, and blasphemes the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people [that the atonement made for them may not include him]. Because he has despised and rejected the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.
So you shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood shed in it, but by the blood of him who shed it.
Aaron shall make atonement upon the horns of it once a year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once in the year shall he make atonement upon and for it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.
After the death of Aaron's two sons, when they drew near before the Lord [offered false fire] and died, The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron your brother he must not come at all times into the Holy of Holies within the veil before the mercy seat upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat. But Aaron shall come into the holy enclosure in this way: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.read more.
He shall put on the holy linen undergarment, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his body, and be girded with the linen girdle or sash, and with the linen turban or miter shall he be attired; these are the holy garments; he shall bathe his body in water and then put them on. He shall take [at the expense] of the congregation of the Israelites two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. And Aaron shall present the bull as the sin offering for himself and make atonement for himself and for his house [the other priests]. He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the Tent of Meeting. Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats -- "one lot for the Lord, the other lot for Azazel or removal. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord's lot fell and offer him as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel or removal shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over him, that he may be let go into the wilderness for Azazel (for dismissal). Aaron shall present the bull as the sin offering for his own sins and shall make atonement for himself and for his house [the other priests], and shall kill the bull as the sin offering for himself. He shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the [bronze] altar before the Lord, and his two hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil [into the Holy of Holies], And put the incense on the fire [in the censer] before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon [the ark of] the Testimony, lest he die. He shall take of the bull's blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the front [the east side] of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering that is for [the sins of] the people and bring its blood within the veil [into the Holy of Holies] and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleanness of the Israelites and because of their transgressions, even all their sins; and so shall he do for the Tent of Meeting, that remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. There shall be no man in the Tent of Meeting when the high priest goes in to make atonement in the Holy of Holies [within the veil] until he comes out and has made atonement for his own sins and those of his house [the other priests] and of all the congregation of Israel. And he shall go out to the altar [of burnt offering in the court] which is before the Lord and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his fingers seven times and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleanness of the Israelites. And when he has finished atoning for the Holy of Holies and the Tent of Meeting and the altar [of burnt offering], he shall present the live goat; And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over him all the iniquities of the Israelites and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat [the sin-bearer], and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is timely (ready, fit). The goat shall bear upon himself all their iniquities, carrying them to a land cut off (a land of forgetfulness and separation, not inhabited)! And the man leading it shall let the goat go in the wilderness. Aaron shall come into the Tent of Meeting and put off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy of Holies, and leave them there; And he shall bathe his body with water in a sacred place and put on his garments, and come forth and offer his burnt offering and that of the people, and make atonement for himself and for them. And the fat of the sin offering he shall burn upon the altar. The man who led the sin-bearing goat out and let him go for Azazel or removal shall wash his clothes and bathe his body, and afterward he may come into the camp. The bull and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy of Holies, shall be carried forth without the camp; their skins, their flesh, and their dung shall be burned with fire. And he who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. It shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month [nearly October] on the tenth day of the month you shall afflict yourselves [by fasting with penitence and humiliation] and do no work at all, either the native-born or the stranger who dwells temporarily among you. For on this day atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the Lord. It is a sabbath of [solemn] rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves [by fasting with penitence and humiliation]; it is a statute forever. And the priest who shall be anointed and consecrated to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments; He shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, for the Tent of Meeting, and for the altar [of burnt offering in the court], and shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.
But into the second [division of the tabernacle] none but the high priest goes, and he only once a year, and never without taking a sacrifice of blood with him, which he offers for himself and for the errors and sins of ignorance and thoughtlessness which the people have committed.
And you shall make a mercy seat (a covering) of pure gold, two cubits and a half long and a cubit and a half wide. And you shall make two cherubim (winged angelic figures) of [solid] hammered gold on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on each end, making the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat, on the two ends of it.read more.
And the cherubim shall spread out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, facing each other and looking down toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony [the Ten Commandments] that I will give you. There I will meet with you and, from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the Testimony, I will speak intimately with you of all which I will give you in commandment to the Israelites.
You shall put the altar [of incense] in front and outside of the veil that screens the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony (the Law, the tables of stone), where I will meet with you.
The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron your brother he must not come at all times into the Holy of Holies within the veil before the mercy seat upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.
And when Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was upon the ark of the Testimony from between the two cherubim; and He spoke to [Moses].
For the life (the animal soul) is in the blood, and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life [which it represents].
[In fact] under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins.
And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration and ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And Moses killed it and took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aaron's right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the great toe of his right foot. And he brought Aaron's sons and Moses put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears, and the thumbs of their right hands, and the great toes of their right feet; and Moses dashed the blood upon the altar round about.read more.
And he took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat that was on the entrails, the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, and the right thigh; And out of the basket of unleavened bread, that was before the Lord, he took one unleavened cake, a cake of oiled bread, and one wafer and put them on the fat and on the right thigh; And he put all these in Aaron's hands and his sons' hands and waved them for a wave offering before the Lord. Then Moses took these things from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering as an ordination offering, for a sweet and satisfying fragrance, an offering made by fire to the Lord. And Moses took the breast and waved it for a wave offering before the Lord; for of the ram of consecration and ordination it was Moses' portion, as the Lord commanded Moses. And Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and upon his sons and their garments also; so Moses consecrated Aaron and his garments, and his sons and his sons' garments.
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in things relating to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to exercise gentleness and forbearance toward the ignorant and erring, since he himself also is liable to moral weakness and physical infirmity. And because of this he is obliged to offer sacrifice for his own sins, as well as for those of the people.
So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was designated for himself. The sons of Aaron presented the blood to him; he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the altar's base; But the fat, the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses.read more.
And the flesh and the hide Aaron burned with fire outside the camp.
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in things relating to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
And you shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, holy to the lord. You shall fasten it on the front of the turban with a blue cord. It shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may take upon himself and bear [any] iniquity [connected with] the holy things which the Israelites shall give and dedicate; and it shall always be upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord [in the priest's person].
And Moses diligently tried to find [what had become of] the goat [that had been offered] for the sin offering, and behold, it was burned up [as waste]! And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left alive, and said, Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the Holy Place? It is most holy; and God has given it to you to bear and take away the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord.
And he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female child. If she is unable to bring a lamb [for lack of means] then she shall bring two turtledoves or young pigeons, one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering; the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him who is to be cleansed and make atonement for him before the Lord. And the priest shall offer the sin offering and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness, and afterward kill the burnt offering [victim]. And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the cereal offering on the altar; and he shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.read more.
If the cleansed leper is poor and cannot afford so much, he shall take one lamb for a guilt or trespass offering to be waved to make atonement for him, and one tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a cereal offering, and a log of oil, And two turtledoves or two young pigeons, such as he can afford, one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering.
The more they increased and multiplied [in prosperity and power], the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of My people and set their heart on their iniquity.
The sons of Eli were base and worthless; they did not know or regard the Lord. And the custom of the priests with the people was this: when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came while the flesh was boiling with a fleshhook of three prongs in his hand; And he thrust it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh with all the Israelites who came there.read more.
Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant came and said to the man who sacrificed, Give the priest meat to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw. And if the man said to him, Let them burn the fat first, and then you may take as much as you want, the priest's servant would say, No! Give it to me now or I will take it by force. So the sin of the [two] young men was very great before the Lord, for they despised the offering of the Lord.
For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness (to greed for unjust gain); and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed also the wound of the daughter of My people lightly and neglectfully, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.
Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the sacred and the secular, neither have they taught people the difference between the unclean and the clean and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the [reverent] fear due Me? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name. You say, How and in what way have we despised Your name? By offering polluted food upon My altar. And you ask, How have we polluted it and profaned You? By thinking that the table of the Lord is contemptible and may be despised. When you [priests] offer blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Present such a thing [a blind or lame or sick animal] now to your governor [in payment of your taxes, and see what will happen]. Will he be pleased with you? Or will he receive you graciously? says the Lord of hosts.
For Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning; yes, to him altars are intended for sinning. I wrote for him the ten thousand things of My law, but they are counted as a strange thing [as something which does not concern him]. My sacrificial gifts they sacrifice [as a mere form]; yes, they sacrifice flesh and eat it, but the Lord does not accept them. Now He will [earnestly] remember their guilt and iniquity and will punish their sins. They shall return to [another] Egypt [Assyria].
Hear [O Jerusalem] the word of the Lord, you rulers or judges of [another] Sodom! Give ear to the law and the teaching of our God, you people of [another] Gomorrah! To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me [unless they are the offering of the heart]? says the Lord. I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts [without obedience]; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats [without righteousness]. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you that your [unholy feet] trample My courts?read more.
Bring no more offerings of vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory, and futility); [your hollow offering of] incense is an abomination to Me; the New Moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure -- "[it is] iniquity and profanation, even the solemn meeting. Your New Moon festivals and your [hypocritical] appointed feasts My soul hates. They are an oppressive burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread forth your hands [in prayer, imploring help], I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil, Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
[The acts of the hypocrite's worship are as abominable to God as if they were offered to idols.] He who kills an ox [then] will be as guilty as if he slew and sacrificed a man; he who sacrifices a lamb or a kid, as if he broke a dog's neck and sacrificed him; he who offers a cereal offering, as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense [to God], as if he blessed an idol. [Such people] have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations;
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the flesh [if you will. It will avail you nothing]. For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing I did command them: Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you.read more.
But they would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels and the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs and went in reverse instead of forward.