Leviticus 16:18

18 "Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat and 1put it on the horns of the altar on all sides.

Leviticus 16:18 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 16:18

And he shall go out unto the altar that [is] before the
Lord
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
goat;
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.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Yoma, c. 5. Sect. 5.
F19 lbid. Sect. 4.
F20 Ut supra. (Misn. Yoma, c.5. sect, 3.)

Leviticus 16:18 In-Context

16 "He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.
17 "When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel.
18 "Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood 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 it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it.
20 "When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Leviticus 4:25; Ezekiel 43:20, 22