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teaches us that all our worship in the sanctuary must be offered with inward purity, as well as outward. We must be conscious to ourselves of having been cleansed. To come while aware of unremoved pollution, is to defile the tabernacle and expose ourselves to immediate curse. “ The Lord our God is holy.” “Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably.” (Heb. xii. 28.)
The Day of Statement.
WHO HIS OWN SELF BARE OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY ON THE TREE, THAT WE,
BEING DEAD TO SINS, MIGHT LIVE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS.”—1 Pet. ü. 24.
Vers. 1, 2, " And the Lord spake unto Moses after the death of the
two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the Lord, and died; and the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy-seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will
appear in the cloud upon the mercy-seat." All the laws about uncleanness that disqualified worshippers from coming to the sanctuary, may have been delivered after the death of Nadab and Abihu, on purpose to show, at such a solemn time, how holy is the Lord, and that he must be approached with fear and reverence. So now also, while that event is still fresh in Aaron's remembrance, this command is given, ver. 2. The event was thus made useful to qualify Aaron more fully for his solemn duties; he learns, and all generations after him, how profound must be the reverence where with the Lord is approached. A minister's afflictions are not in vain; they affect his office; they prepare him for it, as Paul wrote (2 Cor. i. 4) to the Corinthians in his day. It is, at the same time, significant, that before the Day
of Atonement is spoken of, there should be a spreading out of sin, and of death, which is its desert.
Aaron must enter within the veil only at appointed times; for within the veil the cloud of glory rests at these appointed times,* and Jehovah is there, as it were, in his inaccessible light. He that comes in must be led in by God himself. “For by him we have access, through one Spirit to the Father.”
Vers. 3, 4. “ Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place; with a young
bullock for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering. 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 sball he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, aud so put them on."
Here is Aaron's personal preparation. After the usual morning sacrifice (see Num. xxix. 11), and a sacrifice of seven lambs at the same time—to indicate the complete offering up to God that was that day to be made, and the complete dependence on atoning blood that day to be shown in all that was done-Aaron approached the holy place; for ver. 3, says, “come to the holy place.” In so doing, he led along a bullock for his sin-offering, and a ram for his burnt-offering—both of these for himself, as an individual, and for his household. On these he was to lay his sins. But ere he did this, he retired, and put off his golden garments, and put on the plain linen ones -pure, but unadorned—like Jesus on earth, holy, yet in a servant's form. The priest must put aside both ephod and breastplate; he appeared simply as head of the peo
* It is doubtful if this cloud of glory rested there all the year round, or only occasionally.
Some think “his house" (ver. 6), means “ the house of Aaron,” in its widest sense, namely, all the body of priests and Levites, as in Ps. cxv. 12.
ple. He washed himself in water ere he put them on, that holiness might still be proclaimed by him, though putting on this unattractive dress; even as our Surety, in entering Mary's womb, was declared to be " that Holy One that shall be born of thee."
Ver. 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.” These were brought to him by the people after he had put on his linen robes; and they were for themselves. It was these that were to be specially typical of Christ's work; for wherein Aaron offered for himself he could not resemble Jesus, as Heb. vii. 26–28 declares.
It is to be remarked, that no details are given respecting any of the burnt-offerings of this day. The details are all confined to the sin-offerings. Hence, though " seven lambs"* are mentioned, besides “the continual burnt-offering,” yet nothing more about them is recorded. The ram of Aaron's is mentioned as to be offered, yet no particulars are given ; and the ram of the people is also specially noticed, but its offering up is not described. The reason is, all these were “burnt-offerings.” Now, on this day the Lord wishes to fix the attention of all upon the sin-offerings, as it was a day of expiation for the confessed, defined, specified sins of Israel.†
Vers. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. “ And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin-offer
ing, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and
* Perhaps there was also a bullock and a ram along with these, see Num. xxix. 8.
+ This seems to me the true reason for the omission. On this point I can find nothing satisfactory in any of the commentators. Their accounts of these rites are very confused on the whole.
for his house. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin-offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him,
and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” These verses describe no more than the order and manner of arranging the transactions of the day-Aaron's bullock first; then the lot to be cast on the two goats, whose different destinations are determined.
There is little ground for doubting that the rendering, scape-goat," is the best. But two other views have been vigorously maintained; one, that the word () means the devil, the other, that it was the Jewish people in their state of apostasy and rejection. Among the maintainers of the former view, Faber is by far the most powerful, for he repudiates the idea of any offering to Satan, and considers the transaction as intended to signify Christ handed over to Satan for the bruising of his heel. Hengstenberg also maintains this, but applies it differently.* The latter view is held by Bush, who tries to show that it was appropriated, on an occasion that showed forth Christ's death and atonement so fully, to introduce his rejection by Israel as one of the accompaniments of that momentous transaction.
The objections urged to the common rendering “scapegoat,” however, are, after all, quite unsatisfactory. It is evidently the most natural meaning. The word 79, for “a goat," had just been used, ver. 5, and bus," to depart, go away,” was likely enough, even on account of its sound, to be the term employed to express the fact of the
* See “ Egypt and Books of Moses."