And he shall make an atonement for the holy [place]
Even the holy of holies, as Aben Ezra interprets it, into which the high priest entered with blood for that purpose; the Targum of Jonathan adds, by a verbal confession, that is, of sin; but atonement was not made in that way, but by the blood of the bullock and goat, which was sprinkled towards the mercy seat, above and below: and this was made
because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of
their transgressions in all their sins;
which heap of words shows how many and heinous the sins of the people of Israel were, being defections from God, rebellions against him, transgressions of his law, and which brought pollution and guilt upon them, which could only be expiated by blood; and though the people of Israel did not enter so much as into the holy place, where the priests at times went, and much less into the holiest of all, yet their sins in some sense entered there, and came before the Lord that dwelt there; as the sins of men do even reach up to heaven itself, and cry for wrath and vengeance: and so made the Israelites unworthy of such a favour as for the Lord to dwell among them in that most holy place, in so solemn a manner; and for their high priest to enter there, and consult the oracle of God for them, and make intercession on their account, to which atonement was necessary; even as men by their sins render themselves unworthy of entering into the heavenly state, nor can they, without the atonement and sacrifice of Christ; and to this purification of the patterns of heavenly things; and of the heavenly things or places themselves, the apostle refers, ( Hebrews 9:23 Hebrews 9:24 ) :
and shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation that remaineth
among them, in the midst of their uncleanness;
that is, the court of the tabernacle where the Israelites were admitted, and where they often came in their uncleanness, either ignorantly or presumptuously, and yet notwithstanding the tabernacle remained among them; but, it was necessary that atonement should be made for the uncleanness in it, and around it, that it might continue, and they might have the privilege of coming into it, and worshipping in it. This shows that there are sins of holy things, and which attend the most solemn service, which are committed in the sanctuary of the Lord, and while waiting upon him in his house and ordinances; which must be expiated and removed. The same rites were observed, in making the atonement for this part of the sanctuary, as for the most holy place, particularly by sprinkling the blood in like manner, only, elsewhere; so says Jarchi, as he sprinkled of them both within, that is, of the blood of the bullock, and of the goat, within the vail, once above, and seven times below; so he sprinkled, by the vail without, of both of them, once above, and seven times below.