The Day of Atonement, one of the most somber and important of Yahweh's set-apart days, is to be observed on the tenth day of the seventh month. This is found in Leviticus 23:26-27, which reads,
And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh."
Note that in verse 27, it also says that the people should afflict their souls. The Day of Atonement is a day to afflict our souls before Yahweh, a day of fasting and prayer. A second witness to this is found in Leviticus 16:29, 31:
And this shall be a statute forever 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. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
The Day of Atonement is to be observed as a Sabbath of complete rest, no work is to be done on that day.
And ye shall do not work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim. 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 doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Only the high priest was to enter the Most Holy Place one time during the year. There were very stringent rules that he had to follow, and the order of the sacrifices are laid out very precisely.
The Day of Atonement is serious business. On this day, once a year, the high priest entered into the holy place, wearing only the linen garments (after making atonement for himself and his household [Leviticus 16:11; Hebrews 9:7]). He then sprinkled the blood of the bull on the mercy seat to cleanse it.
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 the blood with his finger seven times, Leviticus 16:14. (See also Exodus 30:10.)
Then the high priest made atonement for the whole congregation of Israel (Leviticus 16:17, 24, 23:28; Hebrews 9:7).
Leviticus 16:21 tells us that the sins of all of the congregation of Israel were confessed and placed onto the head of the second goat, the azazel, and it was taken into the wilderness and released.
Again, the Day of Atonement is serious business. Leviticus 23:29-30 tells of the punishment for not observing and keeping this day.
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 doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
The Jubilee year is pronounced and begins on the Day of Atonement with a trumpet blast.
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family, Leviticus 25:9-10.
Hebrews 9:8, 24-26 explains the atonement that the Messiah Yahshua made for His people:
The Holy Spirit is signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while the first tabernacle was yet standing. For the Messiah is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, n ow to appear in the presence of Elohim for us: Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Why not plan on joining us the next Day of Atonement where we gather for services followed by a Bible study and a light meal after sunset (at the conclusion of this very special day)? May Yahweh bless all striving to do His will!
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