Day of Atonement (Part 2)

Published on by simon weston

“And you shall do no work in that same day; for it is a day of Atonement, to make an Atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a Sabbath of rest and you shall afflict your souls in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you celebrate your Sabbath.” (Leviticus 23 v28-32)

Today, the nations are rebelling against God and His ways because they have been deceived. In His wisdom and infinite mercy, God has made all human beings free moral agents. He knew that mankind would desperately want to try to do things his own way before finally learning that GOD’S way is right. Therefore, God has allowed humanity to be deceived—to be mainly "cut off" from God through these past 6,000 years of human history.

Christians who observe it note the parallels between the first of the two goats with Jesus and the second of the two goats with Satan (the Azazel goat).

The Slain Goat Represents Christ

The slain goat represents Christ who actually dies for our sins (Leviticus 16 v15-19).

“Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, 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.

“So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

“There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel.

“And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around.

“Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel”  

Christ's sacrifice is an atonement sacrifice to reconcile us to God. Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

The Live Goat Represents Satan

Although many commentators seem to misunderstand these passages in Leviticus, the live goat does not also somehow represent Jesus Christ. Notice what happens immediately after the atoning from the death of the first goat;

“And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness...And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp” (Leviticus 16 v 20-22,26).

Notice that the atonement is over after the first goat is sacrificed. The atonement is not part of the symbolism of the second goat. While many commentators either do not know what the Azazel goat represents or think it represents the physical life of Christ, the latter explanation would not seem to be consistent with the statements in Leviticus 16 v26 (bolded above).


Because notice that it is a fit man that takes the goat into the wilderness and he has to wash himself after he has released the aza'zel goat. If the second goat represented Christ, the fit man would have to wash BEFORE touching the goat and not AFTER releasing it.

What happened to the live goat in Leviticus chapter 16 is symbolic of Satan for two basic reasons:

  1. The term scapegoat is an inappropriate translation into English, as it implies that blame is being placed where blame is not due. The Hebrew term is actually aza'zel. This is a term that some Jewish people have historically ascribed to a Satanic adversary.
  2. What happens with the Azazel goat and what happens to Satan is quite similar, if one compares (Leviticus 16 v 20-22,26) to (Revelation 20 v 1-3).

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20 v 1-3)

Notice that it is a fit man that places the Azazel goat which bares blame for sins into the wilderness, and an angel that places Satan, who brought sin into the world, into the wilderness of the bottomless pit. Contrary to the claims of those who do not take this portion of Revelation literally, this 1000 year binding of Satan has certainly not taken place since John was inspired to pen Revelation.The generally accepted dates for the Day of Atonement will occur on the following dates

28th September 2009

18th September 2010

8th October 2011

Prepare yourself for the forthcoming season of Jubilee! The children of Israel knew when the feasts and Jubilee was coming and therefore prepared themselves accordingly to participate. They also looked forward in anticipation to what God would do, but I take this opportunity to remind every reader that there is a greater celebration awaiting all of us, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shall return.  Prepare yourself for the ultimate season of jubilee. For many people it will be a gnashing of teeth and for others it will be a time of rejoicing.  On that glorious day the trumpet shall sound and every knee shall bow and confess that He is KING OF KINGS, and LORD of LORDS.

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