Amplified Bible

Leviticus 16

Law of Atonement

1Then the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who had died when they [irreverently] approached the presence of the Lord. The Lord said to Moses,

“Tell Aaron your brother that he [a]must not enter at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil (the Holy of Holies), before the [b]mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die, for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. Aaron [as high priest] shall enter the Holy Place in this way: with [the blood of] a young bull as a sin offering and [the blood of] a ram as a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be belted with the linen sash, and dressed with the linen turban (these are the holy garments). He shall bathe his body in water and put them on. He shall take from the congregation of the Israelites [at their expense] two male goats as a sin offering and one ram as a burnt offering. Then Aaron shall present the bull as the sin offering for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord, the other lot for the [c]scapegoat. Then Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell for the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement on it; it shall be sent into the wilderness as the scapegoat.

11 “Aaron shall present the bull as the sin offering for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household (the other priests), and he shall kill the bull as the sin offering for himself. 12 He shall take a censer full of burning coals from the [bronze] altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil [into the Most Holy Place], 13 and put the incense on the fire [in the censer] before the Lord, so that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is on [the ark of] the Testimony, otherwise he will die. 14 He shall take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the east side of the mercy seat; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for [the sins of] the people and bring its blood within the veil [into the Most Holy Place] and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place (Holy of Holies) because of the uncleanness and transgressions of the Israelites, for all their sins. He shall also do this for the Tent of Meeting which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness (impurities). 17 There shall be no person in the Tent of Meeting when the high priest goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place [within the veil] until he comes out, so that he may make atonement for himself (his own sins) and for his household and for all the congregation of Israel. 18 Then 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 on all sides. 19 With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on the altar of burnt offering seven times and cleanse it and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.

20 “When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place and the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. 21 Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the wickedness of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat [the scapegoat, the sin-bearer], and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is prepared [for the task]. 22 The goat shall carry on itself all their (the Israelites) wickedness, carrying them to a solitary (infertile) land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

23 “Then Aaron shall come into the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy Place (Holy of Holies), and shall leave them there. 24 He shall bathe his body with water in a holy place and put on his clothes, and come out and offer his burnt offering and that of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people. 25 And he shall offer up in smoke the fat of the sin offering on the altar. 26 The man who released the goat as the [sin-bearing] scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. 27 The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place (Holy of Holies), shall be taken outside the camp; their skins, their meat, and their waste shall be burned in the fire. 28 Then he who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water, and afterward he may come into the camp.

An Annual Atonement

29 “This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month (nearly October) on the tenth day of the month you shall [d]humble yourselves [by fasting] and not do any work, whether the native-born or the stranger who lives temporarily among you; 30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall humble yourselves; it is a permanent statute. 32 So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve and minister as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement: he shall wear the holy linen garments, 33 and make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the Tent of Meeting, and for the altar [of burnt offering in the court]. He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 This shall be a permanent statute for you, so that atonement may be made for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.” So he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Notas al pie

  1. Leviticus 16:2 The high priest was permitted to enter the Most Holy Place only once a year. The Day of Atonement was the most sacred of all the festivals and the prescribed purpose of this inclusive sacrifice was to atone for the sins of both the nation and the individual believer, and in this way reconcile God’s chosen people to Himself. Only by carefully following all of God’s instructions, could the high priest enter God’s presence and live.
  2. Leviticus 16:2 Lit propitiatory.
  3. Leviticus 16:8 Lit goat of removal, or else a name, Heb: Azazel. This goat’s release (v 10) symbolized the carrying away of Israel’s sin.
  4. Leviticus 16:29 It is assumed by many that humbling oneself is a reference to fasting, but if so, there is no reason to limit the idea to that. The rabbis taught that it was forbidden to eat, drink, wash, anoint oneself (with oil for the hair), put on footwear, or have marital relations. Fasting was defined as eating less than the volume of a large date and drinking less than a mouthful of liquid.

New International Reader's Version

Leviticus 16

The Day When Sin Is Paid For

1The Lord spoke to Moses after two of Aaron’s sons had died. They were the sons who died when they came near the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to your brother Aaron. Tell him not to come into the Most Holy Room just anytime he wants to. Tell him not to come behind the curtain in front of the cover of the ark. The cover is the place where sin is paid for. If he comes behind the curtain, he will die. That is because I appear in the cloud over the cover.

“Aaron must not enter the area of the Most Holy Room without bringing a sacrifice. He must bring a young bull for a sin offering. He must also bring a ram for a burnt offering. He must put on the sacred inner robe made out of linen. He must wear linen underwear next to his body. He must tie the linen belt around him. And he must put the linen turban on his head. Those are sacred clothes. So he must take a bath before he puts them on. The community of Israel must give him two male goats and a ram. The goats are for a sin offering. The ram is for a burnt offering.

“Aaron must offer the bull for his own sin offering. It will pay for his own sin and the sin of his whole family. Then he must take the two goats and bring them to me at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He must cast lots for the two goats. One lot is for me. The other is for the goat that carries the people’s sins away. Aaron must bring the goat chosen for me by lot. He must sacrifice it for a sin offering. 10 But the goat chosen by the other lot must remain alive. First, it must be brought in to me to pay for the people’s sins. Then, it must be sent into the desert as a goat that carries the people’s sins away.

11 “Aaron must bring the bull for his own sin offering. It will pay for his own sin and the sin of his whole family. He must kill the bull for his own sin offering. 12 He must take a shallow cup full of burning coals from the altar in my sight. He must get two handfuls of incense completely ground up. The incense must smell sweet. He must take the cup and the incense behind the curtain. 13 He must put the incense on the fire in my sight. The smoke from the incense will hide the cover of the ark where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. The cover is the place where sin is paid for. Aaron must burn the incense so that he will not die. 14 He must dip his finger in the bull’s blood. He must sprinkle it on the front of the cover of the ark. He must sprinkle some in front of the cover. He must do it seven times.

15 “Then Aaron must kill the goat for the sin offering for the people. He must take its blood behind the curtain. There he must do the same thing with it as he did with the bull’s blood. He must sprinkle it on the cover of the ark. He must also sprinkle some in front of it. 16 That is how he will make the Most Holy Room pure. He must do it because the Israelites are not ‘clean.’ They have not obeyed me. They have also committed other sins. Aaron must do the same for the tent of meeting because it stands in the middle of the camp. And the camp is ‘unclean.’ 17 Aaron will go into the Most Holy Room to pay for the people’s sin. While Aaron is there, no one may be in the tent of meeting. No one may enter the tent until Aaron comes out. He will not come out until he has paid for his own sin and the sin of his whole family. He will not come out until he has also paid for the sin of the whole community of Israel.

18 “Then he will come out to the altar for burnt offerings. It is in front of the tent where the ark of the Lord is. He will make the altar pure and clean. He will take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood. Then he will put the blood on all the horns that stick out from the upper four corners of the altar. 19 He will sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times. He will do it to make the altar pure. He will do it to set it apart from the Israelites. They are ‘unclean.’

20 “Aaron will finish making the Most Holy Room pure and ‘clean.’ He will finish making the tent of meeting and the altar pure. Then he will bring out the live goat. 21 He must place both of his hands on its head. While he does that, he must tell me about all the sins the Israelites have committed. He must tell me about all their evil acts and the times they did not obey me. In that way he puts their sins on the goat’s head. Then he will send the goat away into the desert. The goat will be led away by a man appointed to do it. 22 The goat will carry all their sins on itself to a place where there are no people. And the man will set the goat free in the desert.

23 “Then Aaron must go into the tent of meeting. He must take off the linen clothes he put on before he entered the Most Holy Room. He must leave them there. 24 He must take a bath in the holy area. And he must put on his regular clothes. Then he will come out and sacrifice the burnt offering for himself. He will also sacrifice the burnt offering for the people. That will pay for his own sin and the people’s sin. 25 He will also burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar.

26 “The man who sets free the goat that carries the people’s sins away must wash his clothes. He must take a bath. After that, he can come back into the camp. 27 The bull and the goat for the sin offerings must be taken outside the camp. Their blood was brought into the Most Holy Room. It paid for sin. The hides, meat and guts of the animals must be burned up. 28 The man who burns them must wash his clothes. He must take a bath. After that, he can come back into the camp.

29 “Here is a law for you that will last for all time to come. On the tenth day of the seventh month you must not eat anything. You must not do any work. It does not matter whether you are Israelites or outsiders. 30 On that day your sin will be paid for. You will be made pure and clean. You will be clean from all your sins in my sight. 31 That day is a sabbath for you. You must rest on it. You must not eat anything on that day. This is a law that will last for all time to come. 32 The high priest must pay for sin. He must make everything pure and clean. He has been anointed and prepared to become the next high priest after his father. He must put on the sacred clothes that are made out of linen. 33 He must make the Most Holy Room, the tent of meeting and the altar pure. And he must pay for the sin of the priests and all the members of the community.

34 “Here is a law for you that will last for all time to come. Once a year you must pay for all the sin of the Israelites.”

So it was done, just as the Lord commanded Moses.