Leviticus 16:14
And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) And he shall take of the blood.—Having left the Holy place and returned to the court, where the priest stood with the bowl of the blood of the bullock, stirring it, to prevent it coagulating (see Leviticus 16:11), the high priest took it, and went back to the Holy of Holies, to the same place where he stood on his first entry.

Sprinkle it with his finger.—During the second Temple the high priest sprinkled the blood once upwards and seven times downwards, in such a manner that the eight sprinklings formed a continuous line on the ground. As he sprinkled he was obliged to count one, two, three, &c, lest he should make a mistake.

Leviticus 16:14. He shall take of the blood — He went out of the holy place, and then entered it a second time. We must observe, that as the burning of the incense preceded the sprinkling of the blood, it was hereby signified that he was to be prepared for entering into the most holy place by prayer, and was to enter it in a spirit of prayer, which was figured by incense, and which the offering of incense accompanied, Revelation 8:3-4. A lively emblem this of the intercession of our great High-Priest, and the efficacy of his merits. He shall sprinkle it upon the mercy-seat — To teach us, that God is merciful to sinners only through and for the blood of Christ. With his face eastward, or upon the eastern part, toward the people, who were in the court which lay eastward from the holy of holies, which was the most western part of the tabernacle. This signified that the high-priest in this act represented the people, and that God accepted it on their behalf; before the mercy-seat — On the ground.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.The high priest must have come out from the most holy place to fetch the blood, leaving the censer smoking within, and then have entered again within the veil. He sprinkled the blood seven times upon the mercy-seat, on its east side (not "eastward"), and then seven times upon the floor in front of it. If the mercy-seat may be regarded as an altar, the holiest one of the three, on this one occasion in the year atonement was thus made for it, as for the other altars, with sacrificial blood.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. He shall sprinkle it upon the mercy-seat, to teach us that God is merciful to sinners only through and for the blood of Christ.

Eastward, i.e. with his face eastward, or upon the eastern part of it, towards the people, who were in the court, which lay eastward from the holy of holies, which was the most western part of the tabernacle. This signified that the high priest in this act represented the people, and that God accepted it on their behalf.

Before the mercy-seat; on the ground. And he shall take of the blood of the bullock,.... When the high priest slew the bullock, the blood was received in a basin, and given to another priest, that he might keep stirring it on a foursquare bench in the temple, that so it might not thicken and congeal (n), but by a continual motion might become thin and liquid, and fit for sprinkling; and this was doing, while the high priest was gone into the most holy place to offer the incense; which being done, he came out again and took the basin of blood out of the hand of the priest, and went in a second time, and did with it as follows:

and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat, eastward; with his right finger, or forefinger, as the Targum of Jonathan; and the blood sprinkled with it did not fall upon the mercy seat, as our version seems to intimate, but it was sprinkled over against it, towards the upper part of it. Aben Ezra says, that according to their interpreters, "upon the face of the mercy seat", as the words may be literally rendered, signifies above, between the two bars, and here it was the high priest stood; for, according to the Misnah (o), he went in to the place where he had gone in, and stood in the place where he had stood, and then sprinkled, that is, in the same place where he had been and offered the incense; See Gill on Leviticus 16:13; and here he stood, not with his face to the east, for then his back must have been to the mercy seat, but he stood with his face to the eastern part of the mercy seat, and there sprinkled the blood upwards:

and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times; besides the first sprinkling that was upward, and those downward; so says the Misnah (p), he sprinkled of it (the blood) once above, and seven times below; the same Jarchi observes; and the tradition adds, and he did not look in sprinkling neither above nor below; that is, he did not look to the mercy seat, nor was there any need of it, since the blood did not reach the mercy seat, but fell upon the ground; it was enough that it was done before it, and over against it, and with a respect unto it; or otherwise, had it, fallen on it, it would have been besmeared with it, and would not have been so comely and decent: the mystery of this was to represent the blood of Christ, and perfect purification and atonement by it, and that mercy and justice are reconciled to each other, and agree together in the forgiveness of sinners; and that there is no mercy but in a way of justice, no remission of sin, no justification of persons, no salvation for any of the sons of men, but through the blood of Christ, and the complete atonement made thereby.

(n) Misn. Yoma, c. 4. sect. 3.((o) Ibid. c. 5. sect. 3.((p) Misn. Yoma, c. 5. sect. 3.

And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat {d} eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.

(d) That is, on the side which was toward the people: for the head of the sanctuary stood westward.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 14. - The second entry of the high priest into the holy of holies took place very soon after the first entry. Immediately that he had returned after lighting the incense, and perhaps offering a prayer, he took of the blood of the bullock, which he had previously killed, went back without delay, and sprinkled it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward, that is, on the front of the ark beneath the Presence enthroned upon the mercy seat, and shrouded by the smoke of the incense; and before the mercy seat, that is, on the ground in front of it, he sprinkled of the blood with his finger seven times. In after times, when the ark was gone, the high priest sprinkled upwards once and downwards seven times. With the bullock Aaron was to make atonement for himself and his house. The two he-goats he was to place before Jehovah (see Leviticus 1:5), and "give lots over them," i.e., have lots cast upon them, one lot for Jehovah, the other for Azazel. The one upon which the lot for Jehovah fell (עלה, from the coming up of the lot out of the urn, Joshua 18:11; Joshua 19:10), he was to prepare as a sin-offering for Jehovah, and to present the one upon which the lot for Azazel fell alive before Jehovah, עליו לכפּר, "to expiate it," i.e., to make it the object of expiation (see at Leviticus 16:21), to send it (them) into the desert to Azazel. עזאזל, which only occurs in this chapter, signifies neither "a remote solitude," nor any locality in the desert whatever (as Jonathan, Rashi, etc., suppose); nor the "he-goat" (from עז goat, and עזל to turn off, "the goat departing or sent away," as Symm., Theodot., the Vulgate, Luther, and others render it); nor "complete removal" (Bhr, Winer, Tholuck, etc.). The words, one lot for Jehovah and one for Azazel, require unconditionally that Azazel should be regarded as a personal being, in opposition to Jehovah. The word is a more intense form of עזל removit, dimovit, and comes from עזלזל by absorbing the liquid, like Babel from balbel (Genesis 11:9), and Golgotha from gulgalta (Ewald, 158c). The Septuagint rendering is correct, ὁ ἀποπομπαῖος; although in Leviticus 16:10 the rendering ἀποπομπή is also adopted, i.e., "averruncus, a fiend, or demon whom one drives away" (Ewald). We have not to think, however, of any demon whatever, who seduces men to wickedness in the form of an evil spirit, as the fallen angel Azazel is represented as doing in the Jewish writings (Book of Enoch 8:1; 10:10; 13:1ff.), like the terrible field Shibe, whom the Arabs of the peninsula of Sinai so much dread (Seetzen, i. pp. 273-4), but of the devil himself, the head of the fallen angels, who was afterwards called Satan; for no subordinate evil spirit could have been placed in antithesis to Jehovah as Azazel is here, but only the ruler or head of the kingdom of demons. The desert and desolate places are mentioned elsewhere as the abode of evil spirits (Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14; Matthew 12:43; Luke 11:24; Revelation 18:2). The desert, regarded as an image of death and desolation, corresponds to the nature of evil spirits, who fell away from the primary source of life, and in their hostility to God devastated the world, which was created good, and brought death and destruction in their train.
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