Leviticus 16:11
And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:
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(11) And Aaron shall bring the bullock.—Having formally dedicated the bullock for his own sin offering (see Leviticus 16:6), and after the two goats which constituted the people’s sin offering had been presented and their lots decided (Leviticus 16:7-10), Aaron comes back to his own sin offering a second time. He again laid both his hands on the victim and repeated the confession for himself, for his house, and for the whole priesthood, as given in Leviticus 16:6.

And shall make an atonement for himself.—His own sins had first to be expiated before he could offer the atoning sacrifices for the people. (Comp. Hebrews 5:3; Hebrews 9:7.)

And shall kill the bullock.—Being a sacrifice offered up for himself the high priest, like any layman, had to slaughter the victim, and could not delegate this work to anyone else. (See Leviticus 1:5.) He received the blood in the sprinkling bowl, which he handed over to a priest to stir the blood lest it should coagulate while he performed the fumigation.

Leviticus 16:11. The bullock — Mentioned in general, Leviticus 16:6; the ceremonies respecting which are here particularly described. This was a very different sacrifice from that of the red heifer spoken of Numbers 19., as evidently appears upon comparing the two places. He shall kill the bullock which is for himself — Here we may clearly see, as the apostle to the Hebrews argues, the utter insufficiency of the Jewish dispensation to “make the comers thereunto perfect,” or to furnish those who were under it with every thing necessary for their complete justification and salvation. It made nothing perfect, because it made men priests that were sinful creatures like others, and had need to offer year after year for their own sins; for “there was a remembrance made again of sins every year.” But in Christ we have a very different high-priest and intercessor, who is, and when on earth was, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, and higher than the heavens, who needeth not daily (as the Jewish high-priests) to offer up sacrifices first for his own sins and then for the people’s: for this he did; he offered for the people’s sins, having none of his own to expiate, once when he offered up himself. For “the law made men priests which had infirmity, but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore, and is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

16:1-14 Without entering into particulars of the sacrifices on the great day of atonement, we may notice that it was to be a statute for ever, till that dispensation be at an end. As long as we are continually sinning, we continually need the atonement. The law of afflicting our souls for sin, is a statue which will continue in force till we arrive where all tears, even those of repentance, will be wiped from our eyes. The apostle observes it as a proof that the sacrifices could not take away sin, and cleanse the conscience from it, that in them there was a remembrance made of sin every year, upon the day of atonement, Heb 10:1,3. The repeating the sacrifices, showed there was in them but a feeble effort toward making atonement; this could be done only by offering up the body of Christ once for all; and that sacrifice needed not to be repeated.It is important, in reference to the meaning of the day of atonement, to observe the order of the rites as they are described in these verses.11-19. Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself, &c.—The first part of the service was designed to solemnize his own mind, as well as the minds of the people, by offering the sacrifices for their sins. The sin offerings being slain had the sins of the offerer judicially transferred to them by the imputation of his hands on their head (Le 4:4, 15, 24, 29, 33); and thus the young bullock, which was to make atonement for himself and the other priests (called "his house," Ps 135:19), was killed by the hands of the high priest. While the blood of the victim was being received into a vessel, taking a censer of live coals in his right hand and a platter of sweet incense in his left, he, amid the solemn attention and the anxious prayers of the assembled multitude, crossed the porch and the holy place, opened the outer veil which led into the holy of holies and then the inner veil. Standing before the ark, he deposited the censer of coals on the floor, emptied the plate of incense into his hand, poured it on the burning coals; and the apartment was filled with fragrant smoke, intended, according to Jewish writers, to prevent any presumptuous gazer prying too curiously into the form of the mercy seat, which was the Lord's throne. The high priest having done this, perfumed the sanctuary, returned to the door, took the blood of the slain bullock, and, carrying it into the holy of holies, sprinkled it with his finger once upon the mercy seat "eastward"—that is, on the side next to himself; and seven times "before the mercy seat"—that is, on the front of the ark. Leaving the coals and the incense burning, he went out a second time, to sacrifice at the altar of burnt offering the goat which had been assigned as a sin offering for the people; and carrying its blood into the holy of holies, he made similar sprinklings as he had done before with the blood of the bullock. While the high priest was thus engaged in the most holy place, none of the ordinary priests were allowed to remain within the precincts of the tabernacle. The sanctuary or holy place and the altar of burnt offering were in like manner sprinkled seven times with the blood of the bullock and the goat. The object of this solemn ceremonial was to impress the minds of the Israelites with the conviction that the whole tabernacle was stained by the sins of a guilty people, that by their sins they had forfeited the privileges of the divine presence and worship, and that an atonement had to be made as the condition of God's remaining with them. The sins and shortcomings of the past year having polluted the sacred edifice, the expiation required to be annually renewed. The exclusion of the priests indicated their unworthiness and the impurities of their service. The mingled blood of the two victims being sprinkled on the horns of the altar indicated that the priests and the people equally needed an atonement for their sins. But the sanctuary being thus ceremonially purified, and the people of Israel reconciled by the blood of the consecrated victim, the Lord continued to dwell in the midst of them, and to honor them with His gracious presence. The bullock, mentioned in general Leviticus 16:6; the ceremonies whereof are here particularly described. This was a differing bullock or heifer from that Num 19, as appears by comparing the places.

And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself,.... In the same manner, and is to be understood in the same sense as in Leviticus 16:6,

and shall make atonement for himself and for his house: by a confession of words, as the Targum of Jonathan adds, and which Jarchi calls the second confession; for the same was made, and in the same words as before; see Gill on Leviticus 16:6,

and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself; which was a type of Christ; the creature itself was, being strong for labour, and patient in bearing the yoke; Christ had a laborious service to perform, the work of man's redemption, and he was strong for it, able to go through it, and did not only readily take upon him the yoke of the law, and became obedient to every command of his divine Father, but even to death itself, the death of the cross; the kind of sacrifice was a sin offering, and such Christ in soul and body was made for his people; in order to which, as this sacrifice, he was put to death, the use of which was, to atone for all the sins of his mystical self, his body, the church; for all his family, his children, the priests of the Lord.

And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:
11. According to the Mishna (Tal. Bab. Yoma), the high priest on presenting his bullock (Leviticus 16:6) made a confession of sin to which the people answered ‘Blessed be the Name of the glory of His Kingdom for ever and ever.’ He cast lots upon the goats, and declared which was for the Lord, and they answered ‘Blessed be the Name, etc.’ (fol. 39 a). He put a tongue-shaped piece of scarlet wool upon the head of the goat to be sent away, and came beside his bullock (Leviticus 16:11) the second time and repeated his confession, and they answered ‘Blessed be the Name, etc’ (41b). He killed the bullock, and caught the blood in a bowl; he took the censer and put burning coals from the altar in it (43b). They brought him the cup and the censer; he filled his hands with incense and put it into the cup; he took the censer in his right hand and the cup in his left (47a), and went into the temple, and when he came to the altar, he heaped the incense on the burning coals and the whole house was filled with smoke; he returned, and offered a short prayer in the outer house, but did not prolong it, lest (by a lengthy absence) he should cause terror in Israel (51b, 52b). In the second temple the high priest placed the censer on a stone in the Holy of Holies, called ‘foundation, which was three fingers high. [There was no altar in the second temple.] He took the blood of the bullock and returned within the veil, and sprinkled of it once upwards and seven times downwards; he went out and placed the bowl on a column in the sanctuary. He then killed the goat, and brought the blood within the veil, and sprinkled it as he did with the blood of the bullock; he went out and placed the bowl on a column in the sanctuary [tradition varies as to whether the column was the same as that on which the bowl containing the bullock’s blood had been placed]; he then sprinkled the blood of the bullock on the veil on the outside, and afterwards the blood of the goat, both sprinklings being once upwards and seven times downwards, as he sprinkled the blood within the veil; he then mixed the blood of the bullock with that of the goat (53b), and went out to the altar that is ‘before the Lord,’ the golden altar [but cp. note on Leviticus 16:18], and began cleansing it; he sprinkled on the middle [the clean place] of the altar seven times, and some of the remainder of the blood he poured out on the western base of the outer altar [the altar of Burnt-Offering] and the remainder of the blood he poured out on the southern base of that altar (58b). If the high priest did not perform the work of the Day of Atonement in the prescribed order, it was invalid (60b). Concerning the two goats for the Day of Atonement, it is commanded that they should be alike in colour, height, and price, with provision in the event of one of the goats dying (61b). The high priest placed his two hands on the goat to be sent away, and said (Tal. Bab. Yoma, 66a): O Lord, Thy people the house of Israel have committed iniquity, and transgressed, and sinned before Thee. O Lord pardon now the iniquities, the transgressions, and the sins which Thy people, the house of Israel, have iniquitously done, transgressed, and sinned before Thee, as it is written in the law of Moses Thy servant, ‘For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the Lord’ (Leviticus 16:30).

And the priests and the people when they heard the Name from the mouth of the priest, bowed, and worshipped, and fell on their faces and said, ‘Blessed be the Name, etc.’ (66a). The goat was conducted to a place called Ẓôḳ, about 12 miles from Jerusalem (66b), where it was thrown backwards from the edge of a cliff. Booths were placed at the end of each of the first ten miles; the nobles of Jerusalem accompanied the goat to the first booth, and the rest of the people as far as the last booth from which they watched the actions of the man who took charge of the goat. Watchmen made signals when the goat arrived at the edge of the wilderness, and its arrival was thus made known to the high priest (67a, 68b).

This treatise, though it contains many additional directions not found in Scripture, throws light on some parts of the Biblical account. It makes clear the occasions on which the high priest enters the Most Holy place: (1) he goes in with the censer and the incense as ordered in Leviticus 16:12-13; (2) after going out to fetch the blood of the bullock he enters the Most Holy place the second time (Leviticus 16:14); he then kills the goat, the Sin-Offering of the people; and (3) enters the Most Holy place the third time with the blood of the goat (Leviticus 16:15). It also mentions the mixing of the blood of the bullock with that of the goat, which seems implied in Leviticus 16:18. The text of Leviticus 16:14-15 ordains sprinkling upon the mercy-seat, according to EVV, and the generally accepted meaning of the Heb. But according to the Jewish tradition the sprinkling was in front of the mercy-seat, and the mercy-seat itself was not touched with the blood.

Verse 11. - After having offered the bullock for his own sin offering, and presented the two goats, which constituted the sin offering of the people, and offered one of them, Aaron kills the bullock for the sin offering. A considerable interval had to elapse before he could make use of the bullock's blood for purposes of propitiation, and during this interval, occupied by his entrance into the holy of holies with the incense, the blood was held by an attendant, probably by one of his sons, and prevented from coagulating by being kept in motion. Leviticus 16:11He was then to slay the bullock of the sin-offering, and make atonement for himself and his house (or family, i.e., for the priests, Leviticus 16:33). But before bringing the blood of the sin-offering into the most holy place, he was to take "the filling of the censer (machtah, a coal-pan, Exodus 25:38) with fire-coals," i.e., as many burning coals as the censer would hold, from the altar of burnt-offering, and "the filling of his hands," i.e., two hands full of "fragrant incense" (Exodus 30:34), and go with this within the vail, i.e., into the most holy place, and there place the incense upon the fire before Jehovah, "that the cloud of (burning) incense might cover the capporeth above the testimony, and he might not die." The design of these instructions was not that the holiest place, the place of Jehovah's presence, might be hidden by the cloud of incense from the gaze of the unholy eye of man, and so he might separate himself reverentially from it, that the person approaching might not be seized with destruction. But as burning incense was a symbol of prayer, this covering of the capporeth with the cloud of incense was a symbolical covering of the glory of the Most Holy One with prayer to God, in order that He might not see the sin, nor suffer His holy wrath to break forth upon the sinner, but might graciously accept, in the blood of the sin-offering, the souls for which it was presented. Being thus protected by the incense from the wrath of the holy God, he was to sprinkle (once) some of the blood of the ox with his finger, first upon the capporeth in front, i.e., not upon the top of the capporeth, but merely upon or against the front of it, and then seven times before the capporeth, i.e., upon the ground in front of it. It is here assumed as a matter of course, that when the offering of incense was finished, he would necessarily come out of the most holy place again, and go to the altar of burnt-offering to fetch some of the blood of the ox which had been slaughtered there.
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