Yom Kippur (im) – A Day of Wipings & a Future Cleansing.
Firstly, let’s clear up quite a few of those traditional misunderstandings that have accumulated over the millennia regarding Yom Kippur (im).
It’s Plural not Singular:
For one, there is more than one kind of wiping away going on here, a fact, that if not taken into due consideration and implementation will lead to confusion about the meaning and purpose of the day. The plural of the dynamic of the day is provided in the Hebrew text of Lev 23:28.
וְכָל־מְלָאכָה֙ לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֔וּ בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיֹּ֣ום הַזֶּ֑ה כִּ֣י יֹ֤ום כִּפֻּרִים֙ ה֔וּא לְכַפֵּ֣ר עֲלֵיכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם
כִפֶּר actually means to Wipe Away / Off, not to just Cover:
The word kippur is a wiping off or a wiping away, not a mere covering.
The Hebrew root of kippur כִפֶּר means to wipe off or to wipe away and in the Piel stem “makes to be wiped away.”
The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Koehler & Baumgartner, Brill: 2001. Page. 492.
Lexicon In Veteris Testamenti Libros, Brill: 1985, page 452.
Jastrow’s Aramaic dictionary, “to wipe out,” pg. 661.
The Piel stem is causative intensive, the emphasis being conveyed by an infixed passive to emphasize the root idea.
כִפֶּר therefore does not mean ‘to cover’ . . This mis-definition has been used to generate all sorts of misunderstandings. Probably the greatest linguistic and theological mistake of all time was the notion that כִּפֶּר kippūr means “to cover,” and only derives the sense from a superficially similar Arabic root. This sense is found in older BDB Lexicons, which modern researches have now connected the root with an Akkadian root meaning “wipe away,” which makes sense of the word in numerous contexts.
The object of the Sin Offerings was for Aharon and His House, The Altar, the Tent of Appointment and the Holy Place. NOT the Sins of Israel.
|Lev 16:6, 17a.
|A wiping away on behalf of himself and on behalf of his family.
|6. “And A̓harōn will have made come near the bull of the sin offering which is for him, and he will have made to be a wiping ‡ on behalf of himself and on behalf of his house.” (MISB).
17a. And he will have made be a wiping away on behalf of himself, and on behalf of his house. (MISB).
|Lev 16:18, 19, 20.
|A wiping off upon the altar.
|18. And he shall have gone out unto the altar which is at the face of Yăhwēh, and he will have made to be a wiping away upon it, and he will have taken from the blood of the bull, and from the blood of the billy, and he will have put it upon the horns of the altar round about.
|Altar cleansed, made to be holy from the uncleanness of the sons of Israel.
The objects of the wiping away / off that is being implemented on this day is clearly:
The items which have contaminate it are also mentioned:
|19. And he will have made a sprinkling from the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and he will have made it to be cleansed, and he will have made it to be holy from the uncleanness of the sons of Yisra’ēl.
20. And he will have made to be finished, making to be wiped, the holy place, and the tent of appointment, and the altar.
|So it is also pivotal to note here that:
1. the penalty of sins are not being forgiven here.
2. and neither are the people being cleansed of these sins.
The former must have waited for Messiah, and the later can only happen with repentance, and finally only through sanctification by Messiah.
וְכִפֶּר weḳipper = waw + כָפַר. That which is wiped out here by the sin offering is ritual impurity, which have been caused by physical uncleanness, not personal sin. The offerings in Lev. 4-5 would accomplish this. The verb כָפַר simply specifies a clearing off, wiping out, or wiping off / away. It never specifies what is being wiped out which only the context can determine.
Messiah’s death would also not qualify to just “cover” over our sins! The word means to wipe out. And in two senses it will apply.
1. The penalty of sin is wiped out by Messiah (I should note hear that the Hebrew word for sin can also mean the penalty of sin), and
2. sin itself within our lives is being wiped out by our sanctification.
Notice the difference in tense here. The penalty of sin is wiped out. That is past tense. The presence of sin is being wiped out. Thus, כָפַר ḳaphar may mean to wipe out a penalty or to cleanse away sin itself. Misunderstanding of this distinction leads to people claiming they are completely cleansed of sin, in addition to being forgiven. It has also led to great error on the part of Christianity and Judaism pitting Yom Kippurim against Messiah, and Messiah against Yom Kippurim!
We therefore see that the Levitical ceremonies were completely effective for lesser sins and ritual impurity, it made no claims against Messiah, who wipes away both the penalty of transgression, and ultimately all the imperfections of sin and its effects in a person on the final day.
Azzazel – Goat going away – is NOT a place or a desert demon, but the mediator.
|Leviticus 16:8, 10
עֲזָאזֵל a̒za̓zēl. This compounded word should be separated into its parts, and the vowel points restored to their common Hebrew meaning: עֵז ē̒z and אֹזֵל ō̓zēl, from the verb root אָזַל a̓zal. The first word means “goat” and the second means “going away” or “departing”.
The word for goat is עֵז ē̒z, and is used in Gen. 15:9, and in 27:9, and Exodus 12:5.
|8 . . . one lot for Yăhwēh, and one lot for the goat going away.
וְנָתַ֧ן אַהֲרֹ֛ן עַל־שְׁנֵ֥י הַשְּׂעִירִ֖ם גֹּורָלֹ֑ות גֹּורָ֤ל אֶחָד֙ לַיהוָ֔ה וְגֹורָ֥ל אֶחָ֖ד לַעֲזָאזֵֽל׃
|or “for.” It is important here to not read the text as a destination, “to Azazel,” by which reading some suppose that the word must denote a demon and cannot mean the “goat going away.”
The NIV, NASB, KJV, KJV 2000, Websters, WEB, YLT, LXX, read correctly.
The NLT, ESV, HCSB, NET, GWT, Jubilee Bible 200, CJB, JPS, RSV and ASV read incorrectly.
|10. And the billy, which the lot came up on ¹ for the goat of going away, shall be made to stand alive at the face of Yăhwēh, to make to be a wiping away by it, to send ¹ it as ² the goat departing into the wilderness. ‡
|What we should picture here is that the transgressions are wiped out of the camp or cleared away from the sanctuary and the settlement of the people. They are taken outside the camp into the wilderness.
To complete the Messianic typology, the transgressions come to the mediator, the Almighty Son, who was crucified outside the camp.
This is a good reason why it is important not to follow the Azazel tradition. For the past transgressions of the faithful are not destined to end up laid on a demon, but they are laid on Messiah to be forgiven.
The ceremony is good for both the past and the future, as it looks forward to Messiah, so it will also eventually look back to Messiah.
Messiah wipes out the transgressions in two senses, or even four.
1. First he forgives,
|20b. And he will have made draw near the living billy.
21. And A̓harōn will have lain his two hands ¹ upon the head of the living billy. And he himself will have confessed over it all the iniquities of the sons of Yisra’ēl, and all their transgressions, concerning ° all their sins. And he will have put them upon the head of the billy, and he will have sent ² it by the hand of a ready ³ man toward ª the wilderness.
22. And the goat will have carried upon it all their iniquities unto a solitary land. And he will have made to be sent the billy in the wilderness.
Passover and Yom Kippur – Forgiveness and then a future Cleansing.
The first Spring feast relates to the forgiveness that was extended at Passover whereby the destroyer was prevented from punishing Israel along with the Egyptians. The destroyer that went through Egypt typifies the death penalty for sin, and the Passover is the sacrifice which “wipes away” this penalty. When the destroyer saw the blood wiped on the door posts, he did not go in to kill the firstborn. So, in this is a picture of what Messiah did when he died as the Passover lamb. He died so that the penalty for our sin could be wiped out.
The fall fast (not feast) of Yom Kippur (im) relates to cleansing. Forgiveness is a joyful release from guilt and the expectation of life everlasting. The prophetic promise of this day has not yet been fulfilled. There are both subjective reasons, and prophetic reasons to believe this. The subjective reason is that no one thinks they are pure from sin or fault, so then, it is equally obvious that Yahweh has not given us the ultimate cleansing quite yet.
For on this day (v.29), the tenth day of the seventh month he will make a wiping for you to cleanse you; from all your sins before Yahweh you will be clean. (Lev. 16:30).
כִּֽי־בַיֹּ֥ום הַזֶּ֛ה יְכַפֵּ֥ר עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם לְטַהֵ֣ר אֶתְכֶ֑ם מִכֹּל֙ חַטֹּ֣אתֵיכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה תִּטְהָֽרוּ׃
כִּי ki̱ = because, for. Vs. 30 supplies the reason for the perpetual observance of the day. It will be seen that the reason for the day still exists, namely to be cleansed from all sin, and that therefore, it is still to be kept.
It should be very important note that in all that has been described throughout the ceremonies for Yom Kippur (im) that this has not been mentioned yet. In no place described, has the wiping away been upon the people. However, the object of the cleansing is ultimately upon God’s people themselves. The key phrase is “to make you to be clean” לְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם letahēr e̓tḳem. A synonym for כִּפֶּר kipper is used, “to make be clean,” טָהַר, tahar = be clean and the people placed as the direct object.
Further, it is explained, “from all your sins.” This is not just a certain ritual or defiling effects of their sins. It is indeed a statement that God’s people are to be rendered clean from all aspects of sin in themselves. It is clear from this, then, that a promise is being made for this day in the future.
The words are a promise, that the final cleansing of sin, from the personal lives of the people of Yăhwēh, will be on this day, Yom Kippur (im). It will be on this day in some future year, when Messiah Yeshua returns, and he will effect the cleansing. Certain other passages teach this, namely Dan. 12:10; 1Cor. 15:52; Mat. 24:30-31; 1Thess. 4:16; Dan. 12:1. Lev. 25:9-10; Dan. 9:24; Zech. 3:9.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (KJV).
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (KJV).
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the farthest shofar λ, because the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (GNM).
Note on 15:52 from The Good News of Messiah by Daniel Gregg. λ Or “utmost trumpet,”(cf. 1 Yoɦ. 2:18); see that ἔσχατος means “➊ pertaining to being at the farthest boundary of an area, farthest, ➋ last ➌ utmost, finest ” (BDAG, pg. 397), e.g. ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς “unto the far most part of the earth” (Isa.48:20; Acts 1:8; 13:47).
▷ The farthest trumpet is the one that goes throughout all the land תַּעֲבִ֥ירוּ שֹׁופָ֖ר בְּכָל־אַרְצְכֶֽם Lev. 25:9), and not only the land, but throughout all the earth. The Jubilee trumpet was the one that travelled the farthest, to every corner of the land.
▷ It cannot be the last in time, because trumpets are sounded in perpetuity. If it would be the last in a series, then no series is numbered that Paul could have known. One could say it is the last most trumpet pertaining to the Jubilee cycle, and this would be true enough. But this is also the farthest trumpet in the extent of its reach in the land, and this observation should not be overlooked. In fact, it seems paramount.
▷ In Matthew 24:31 this trumpet is identified as the “trumpet of great sound,” (q.v.) which most nearly fits the “trumpet blast” שׁוֹפַר תְּרוּעָה in Lev. 25:9.
▷ It fits that the resurrection and transformation should be on Yom Kippur(im) since it is on this day that final cleansing from sin comes (cf. Lev. 16:30). It also fits the pattern of redemption, since Messiah was born on the day of Trumpets, died when the Passover was offered, and ascended from the grave with the end of the wave offering. And the Holy Spirit was poured out on the following Shavu‘ot. Thus it is fitting that the Most High will make good use of his appointed times in regard to the resurrection.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (KJV).
30 and then the sign of the Sŏn of Man will appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Sŏn of Man coming on the clouds of heaven θ with power and great glory.
31 And he will send forth his messengers with a trumpet δ of great sound and they will gather together ζ his chosen from the four winds, from one boundary of the heavens to the other boundary. (Good News of Messiah)
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout: , with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
If a person was once cleansed of all sin, then they should sin no more at all (except by a wilful and deliberate act), because no causes of sin would remain. Therefore, none have yet been cleansed from all sin. The promise remains to be fulfilled on some future observance of this day.
The Penalty and Forgiveness of Sin.
The Passover teaches us our forgiveness of the penalty of sin, so that we may ultimately be saved. And this is already accomplished.
Yōm Kippūri̱m is itself the final eschatological day for the wiping away of all sin. And this is not such cleanness that is only before men, but it is a cleanness “before the face of Yăhwēh.” It is the cleanness of complete sanctification, the impartation of a sinless nature. And so, of course, it has not happened yet.
The Cleansing of the Person.
The reason given that we observe this day perpetually is “because on this day He will make to be a wiping upon you,” and note that the wiping away is applied to the persons, and not to the penalty. Via Messiah’s death, the wiping away is meant to apply to the penalty. The penalty is wiped away. That is the promise of Passover, that is already fulfilled.
The promise of Yōm Kippūri̱m is that there remains a promise of a total, complete cleansing on this day, which promise, many have failed to enter into, because they believe they themselves have already been fully cleansed from all and every sin, and therefore do not believe they should observe this day in expectation of that complete righteousness.
The Next Yovel Yom Kippurim will be 2035 when the utmost trumpet is blown.
(Note disclaimer, it is not claimed, but a possibility)
The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Koehler & Baumgartner.
Lexicon In Veteris Testamenti Libros.
Jastrow’s Aramaic Dictionary.
MISB – Messianic Israel Standard Bible.
Good News of Messiah.
The Calendar Of Israel Version 5.0