Leviticus 16:8

8 He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat.[a]

Leviticus 16:8 in Other Translations

8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
8 And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel.
8 He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the LORD and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel.
8 and cast lots over the two goats, one lot for God and the other lot for Azazel.
8 After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other for Azazel,

Leviticus 16:8 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 16:8

And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats
Which should be slain, and which should be kept alive, and let go: the manner of casting lots, according to the Misnah F1, was this; the high priest went to the east of the court, to the north of the altar, the Sagan (or deputy priest) at his right hand, and Rosh Beth Ab (or the chief of the house of the fathers) on his left hand, and the two goats were there; and there was a vessel (box or urn, called Calphi), and in it were two lots of box tree: the high priest shook the Calphi (or urn) and took out the two lots; one, on which was written, "for the Lord", and the other, on which was written, "for Azazel"; if that came up on the right hand, the Sagan said to him, my lord high priest, lift up thy right hand on high; and if that on the left hand came up, Rosh Beth Ab said to him, my lord high priest, lift up thy left hand on high: he put them upon the two goats and said, a sin offering for the Lord; and they answered after him, blessed be the Lord, may the glory of his kingdom be for ever and ever: now these lots, as Ben Gersom observes, were alike, not one greater than another; and they were of the same matter, for if one had been of stone and the other of wood, they might, have been known by feeling, and so the lots would not have been legal: and the same is observed by Maimonides F2, that though they might be of any matter, of wood, or stone, or metal, yet one might not be great, and the other small, and the one of silver, and the other of gold, but both alike, for the reason before given: one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat:
one had written upon it, as in the above account, "for the Lord"; and the other had written upon it, "for Azazel"; directing that the goat on which the lot for the Lord fell was to be slain and offered up for a sin offering to him; and the other, on which the lot for Azazel fell, was to be kept alive and let go: now, however casual and contingent the casting of a lot may seem to men, it is certain to God, the disposal of it is of him, and according to his determination, ( Proverbs 16:33 ) ; and this, in the mystical sense, here denotes, that the sufferings and death of Christ were according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, and so were foretold in the Scriptures, and came to pass according to his appointment, will, and command, as was also his resurrection from the dead, ( John 10:18 ) ; see ( Acts 1:23 ) ( 4:28 ) ( 1 Corinthians 15:3 1 Corinthians 15:4 ) ; and likewise his conflict with Satan, ( John 14:30 John 14:31 ) .


F1 Misn. Yoma, c. 3. sect. 9. & c. 4. sect. 1.
F2 Hilchot Yom Hacippurim, c. 3. sect. 1.

Leviticus 16:8 In-Context

6 “Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household.
7 Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
8 He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat.
9 Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering.
10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Numbers 26:55,56; Numbers 33:54; Numbers 34:13; Joshua 14:2; Joshua 18:6; Judges 20:9; Nehemiah 10:34; Esther 3:7; Esther 9:24; Psalms 22:18; Proverbs 16:33
  • 2. ver 10,26

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 10 and 26.
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