Atonement, in OT
Most Relevant Verses
Moses came and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. Then all the people responded with a single voice, "We will do everything that the Lord has commanded."
"Now if the whole community of Israel errs, and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly, so that they violate any of the Lord's commands and incur guilt by doing what is prohibited, then the assembly must present a young bull as a sin offering. When the sin they have committed in regard to the command becomes known, they are to bring it before the tent of meeting.
"When you sin unintentionally and do not obey all these commands that the Lord spoke to Moses- all that the Lord has commanded you through Moses, from the day the Lord issued the commands and onward throughout your generations- and if it was done unintentionally without the community's awareness, the entire community is to prepare one young bull for a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, with its grain offering and drink offering according to the regulation, and one male goat as a sin offering.read more.
The priest must then make atonement for the entire Israelite community so that they may be forgiven, for the sin was unintentional. They are to bring their offering, one made by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord for their unintentional sin. The entire Israelite community and the foreigner who resides among them will be forgiven, since it happened to all the people unintentionally.
"If a man has sexual intercourse with a woman who is a slave designated for [another] man, but she has not been redeemed or given her freedom, there must be punishment. They are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. However, he must bring his ram as a restitution offering to the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The priest will make atonement on his behalf before the Lord with the ram of the restitution offering for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven for the sin he committed.
The Lord spoke to Moses: "When someone sins and offends the Lord by deceiving his neighbor in regard to a deposit, a security, or a robbery; or defrauds his neighbor; or finds something lost and lies about it; or swears falsely about any of the sinful things a person may do-read more.
once he has sinned and acknowledged [his] guilt-he must return what he stole or defrauded, or the deposit entrusted to him, or the lost item he found, or anything else about which he swore falsely. He must make full restitution for it and add a fifth of its value to it. He is to pay it to its owner on the day he acknowledges [his] guilt. Then he must bring his restitution offering to the Lord: an unblemished ram from the flock, according to your valuation, as a restitution offering to the priest. In this way the priest will make atonement on his behalf before the Lord, and he will be forgiven for anything he may have done to incur guilt."
"But the person who acts defiantly, whether native or foreign resident, blasphemes the Lord. That person is to be cut off from his people. He will certainly be cut off, because he has despised the Lord's word and broken His command; his guilt remains on him."
"Do not defile the land where you are, for bloodshed defiles the land, and there can be no atonement for the land because of the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of the person who shed it.
"Once a year Aaron is to perform the purification rite on the horns of the altar. Throughout your generations he is to perform the purification rite for it once a year, with the blood of the sin offering for atonement. The altar is especially holy to the Lord."
The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of two of Aaron's sons when they approached the presence of the Lord and died. The Lord said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron that he may not come whenever he wants into the holy place behind the veil in front of the mercy seat on the ark or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. "Aaron is to enter the [most] holy place in this way: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.read more.
He is to wear a holy linen tunic, and linen undergarments are to be on his body. He must tie a linen sash [around him] and wrap his head with a linen turban. These are holy garments; he must bathe his body with water before he wears them. He is to take from the Israelite community two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. "Aaron will present the bull for his sin offering and make atonement for himself and his household. Next he will take the two goats and place them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other for Azazel, he is to present the goat chosen by lot for the Lord and sacrifice it as a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot for Azazel is to be presented alive before the Lord to make purification with it by sending it into the wilderness for Azazel. "When Aaron presents the bull for his sin offering and makes atonement for himself and his household, he will slaughter the bull for his sin offering. Then he must take a firepan full of fiery coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense, and bring [them] inside the veil. He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, so that the cloud of incense covers the mercy seat that is over the testimony, or else he will die. He is to take some of the bull's blood and sprinkle [it] with his finger against the east side of the mercy seat; then he will sprinkle some of the blood with his finger before the mercy seat seven times. "When he slaughters the male goat for the people's sin offering and brings its blood inside the veil, he must do the same with its blood as he did with the bull's blood: he is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it. He will purify the [most] holy place in this way for all their sins because of the Israelites' impurities and rebellious acts. He will do the same for the tent of meeting that remains among them, because it is surrounded by their impurities. No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the [most] holy place until he leaves after he has made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole assembly of Israel. Then he will go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement for it. He is to take some of the bull's blood and some of the goat's blood and put [it] on the horns on all sides of the altar. He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse and set it apart from the Israelites' impurities. "When he has finished purifying the [most] holy place, the tent of meeting, and the altar, he is to present the live male goat. Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the Israelites' wrongdoings and rebellious acts-all their sins. He is to put them on the goat's head and send [it] away into the wilderness by the man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on it all their wrongdoings into a desolate land, and he will release it there. "Then Aaron is to enter the tent of meeting, take off the linen garments he wore when he entered the [most] holy place, and leave them there. He will bathe his body with water in a holy place and put on his clothes. Then he must go out and sacrifice his burnt offering and the people's burnt offering; he will make atonement for himself and for the people. He is to burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar. The man who released the goat for Azazel is to wash his clothes and bathe his body with water; afterwards he may reenter the camp. The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought into the [most] holy place to make atonement, must be brought outside the camp and their hide, flesh, and dung burned up. The one who burns them is to wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterwards he may reenter the camp. "This is to be a permanent statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth [day] of the month you are to practice self-denial and do no work, both the native and the foreigner who resides among you. Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute. The priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as [high] priest in place of his father will make atonement. He will put on the linen garments, the holy garments, and purify the most holy place. He will purify the tent of meeting and the altar and will make atonement for the priests and all the people of the assembly.
But the high priest alone enters the second room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
Make a mercy seat of pure gold, 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. Make two cherubim of gold; make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end. Make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends.read more.
The cherubim are to have wings spread out above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and are to face one another. The faces of the cherubim should be toward the mercy seat. Set the mercy seat on top of the ark and put the testimony that I will give you into the ark. I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there about all that I command you regarding the Israelites.
"You are to place the altar in front of the veil by the ark of the testimony-in front of the mercy seat that is over the testimony-where I will meet with you.
The Lord said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron that he may not come whenever he wants into the holy place behind the veil in front of the mercy seat on the ark or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.
When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim. He spoke to him [that way].
For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement.
According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Next he presented the second ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. Moses slaughtered [it], took some of its blood, and put [it] on Aaron's right earlobe, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. Moses also presented Aaron's sons and put some of the blood on their right earlobes, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then Moses sprinkled the blood on all sides of the altar.read more.
He took the fat-the fat tail, all the fat that was on the entrails, the fatty lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat-as well as the right thigh. From the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one cake of unleavened bread, one cake of bread [made] with oil, and one wafer, and placed [them] on the fat portions and the right thigh. He put all [these] in the hands of Aaron and his sons and waved them before the Lord as a presentation offering. Then Moses took them from their hands and burned [them] on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering for a pleasing aroma, a fire offering to the Lord. He also took the breast and waved it before the Lord as a presentation offering; it was Moses' portion of the ordination ram as the Lord had commanded him. Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar and sprinkled [them] on Aaron and his garments, as well as on his sons and their garments. In this way he consecrated Aaron and his garments, as well as his sons and their garments.
For every high priest taken from men is appointed in service to God for the people, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this, he must make a sin offering for himself as well as for the people.
So Aaron approached the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. Aaron's sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and applied it to the horns of the altar. He poured out the blood at the base of the altar. He burned the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe of the liver from the sin offering on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses.read more.
He burned up the flesh and the hide outside the camp.
"You are to make a plate of pure gold and engrave it, like the engraving of a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD Fasten it to a cord of blue yarn so it can be placed on the turban; the plate is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron's forehead so that Aaron may bear the guilt connected with the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate as all their holy gifts. It is always to be on his forehead, so that they may find acceptance with the Lord.
Later, Moses inquired about the male goat of the sin offering, but it had already been burned up. He was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's surviving sons, and asked, "Why didn't you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? For it is especially holy, and He has assigned it to you to take away the guilt of the community and make atonement for them before the Lord.
He will present them before the Lord and make atonement on her behalf; she will be clean from her discharge of blood. This is the law for a woman giving birth, whether to a male or female. But if she doesn't have sufficient means for a sheep, she may take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. Then the priest will make atonement on her behalf, and she will be clean."
What is left of the oil in the priest's palm he is to put on the head of the one to be cleansed. In this way the priest will make atonement for him before the Lord. The priest must sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be purified from his uncleanness. Afterwards he will slaughter the burnt offering. The priest is to offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. The priest will make atonement for him, and he will be clean.read more.
"But if he is poor and cannot afford [these], he is to take one male lamb for a restitution offering to be waved in order to make atonement for him, along with two quarts/ 10 of an ephah of fine flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, one-third of a quart of olive oil, and two turtledoves or two young pigeons, whatever he can afford, one to be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering.
The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me. I will change their honor into disgrace. They feed on the sin of My people; they have an appetite for their transgressions.
Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord or for the priests' share [of the sacrifices] from the people. When any man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling and plunge it into the container or kettle or caldron or cooking pot. The priest would claim for himself whatever the meat fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh.read more.
Even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest [some] meat to roast, because he won't accept boiled meat from you-only raw." If that man said to him, "The fat must be burned first; then you can take whatever you want for yourself," the servant would reply, "No, I insist that you hand it over right now. If you don't, I'll take it by force!" So the servants' sin was very severe in the presence of the Lord, because they treated the Lord's offering with contempt.
For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is gaining profit unjustly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have treated My people's brokenness superficially, claiming: Peace, peace, when there is no peace.
Her priests do violence to My law and profane My holy things. They make no distinction between the holy and the common, and they do not explain the difference between the clean and the unclean. They disregard My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
"A son honors [his] father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is [your] fear of Me? says the Lord of Hosts to you priests, who despise My name." Yet you ask: "How have we despised Your name?" "By presenting defiled food on My altar." You ask: "How have we defiled You?" When you say: "The Lord's table is contemptible." "When you present a blind [animal] for sacrifice, is it not wrong? And when you present a lame or sick [animal], is it not wrong? Bring it to your governor! Would he be pleased with you or show you favor?" asks the Lord of Hosts.
When Ephraim multiplied his altars for sin, they became his altars for sinning. Though I were to write out for him ten thousand points of My law, they would be regarded as something alien. Though they offer sacrificial gifts and eat the flesh, the Lord does not accept them. Now He will remember their guilt and punish their sins; they will return to Egypt.
Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! "What are all your sacrifices to Me?" asks the Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle; I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires this from you- [this] trampling of My courts?read more.
Stop bringing useless offerings. I despise [your] incense. New Moons and Sabbaths, and the calling of solemn assemblies- I cannot stand iniquity with a festival. I hate your New Moons and prescribed festivals. They have become a burden to Me; I am tired of putting up with [them]. When you lift up your hands [in prayer], I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. "Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from My sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow's cause.
One slaughters an ox, one kills a man; one sacrifices a lamb, one breaks a dog's neck; one offers a grain offering, one offers swine's blood; one offers incense, one praises an idol- all these have chosen their ways and delight in their abominations.
This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves, for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. However, I did give them this command: Obey Me, and then I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in every way I command you so that it may go well with you."read more.
Yet they didn't listen or pay attention but walked according to their own advice and according to their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward.