And he shall go out unto the altar that [is] before the
The golden altar, the altar of incense, which stood in the holy place without the vail, over against the most holy place, where Jehovah dwelt, and so is said to be before him; of this altar the Misnah F18 understands it, and so do Jarchi and Ben Gersom; and, according to ( Exodus 30:10 ) ; once a year Aaron was to make an atonement on the horns of it, with the blood of the sin offering, which plainly refers to this time, the day of atonement; but Aben Ezra is of opinion, that the altar of burnt offering is meant; and Bishop Patrick is inclined to think so too, because he supposes the high priest's going out signifies his coming from the sanctuary, where the golden altar was, and which had been cleansed, ( Leviticus 16:16 ) ; and because, if the altar of burnt offering is not here meant, no care seems to be taken of its cleansing; but it should be observed, that the holy place, ( Leviticus 16:16 ) , means the holy of holies, and not the holy place where the altar of incense stood; and that the altar of burnt offering was atoned for and cleansed, when the tabernacle of the congregation was, in which it stood, and from which, this altar is manifestly distinguished, ( Leviticus 16:20 ) ; wherefore the reason given for the altar of burnt offering holds good for the altar of incense, since if that is not intended, no care is taken about it; add to this, that the last account of the high priest was, that he was in the most holy place, and not the holy place, ( Leviticus 16:17 ) ; out of which he now came into the holy place, where the altar of incense was:
and make an atonement for it;
where incense was daily offered up, signifying the prayers of the saints, which having many failings and imperfections in them, yea, many sins and transgressions attending them, need atonement by the blood of Christ, of which this was a type:
and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the
mixed, as the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it; and so Jarchi asks, what is the atonement of it? he takes the blood of the bullock, and the blood of the goat, and mixes them together: the account given of this affair in the Misnah F19 is; he poured the blood of the bullock into the blood of the goat, and then put a full basin into an empty one, that it might be well mixed together: and having so done, he did as follows,
and put [it] upon the horns of the altar round about;
upon the four horns which were around it; and it is asked in the Misnah F20, where did he begin? at the northeast horn, and so to the northwest, and then to the southwest, and (ended) at the southeast; at the place where he began with the sin offering on the outward altar, there he finished on the inward altar, and as he went along he put the blood on each horn, which was the atonement for the altar.
F18 Yoma, c. 5. Sect. 5.
F19 lbid. Sect. 4.
F20 Ut supra. (Misn. Yoma, c.5. sect, 3.)