Leviticus 16:2
New International Version
The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

New Living Translation
The LORD said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover.

English Standard Version
and the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

Berean Study Bible
And the LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter freely into the Most Holy Place behind the veil in front of the mercy seat on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

New King James Version
and the LORD said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

New American Standard Bible
The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the atoning cover which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the atoning cover.

NASB 1995
The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

NASB 1977
And the LORD said to Moses, “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

Amplified Bible
The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother that he must not enter at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil (the Holy of Holies), before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die, for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

Christian Standard Bible
The LORD said to Moses, “Tell your brother Aaron that he may not come whenever he wants into the holy place behind the curtain in front of the mercy seat on the ark or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he may not come whenever he wants into the holy place behind the veil in front of the mercy seat on the ark or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.”

American Standard Version
and Jehovah said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy-seat which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy-seat.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And LORD JEHOVAH said to Moshe: “Speak with Ahron your brother that he shall not be always entering holiness within the face of the door before the mercy seat of the Ark, that he would not die because I appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the Lord said to Moses, Speak to Aaron thy brother, and let him not come in at all times into the holy place within the veil before the propitiatory, which is upon the ark of the testimony, and he shall not die; for I will appear in a cloud on the propitiatory.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he commanded him, saying, Speak to Aaron thy brother, that he enter not at all into the sanctuary, which is within the veil before the propitiatory, with which the ark is covered, lest he die, (for I will appear in a cloud over the oracle,)

English Revised Version
and the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy-seat which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy-seat.

Good News Translation
He said, "Tell your brother Aaron that only at the proper time is he to go behind the curtain into the Most Holy Place, because that is where I appear in a cloud above the lid on the Covenant Box. If he disobeys, he will be killed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD said, "Tell your brother Aaron that he cannot go into the holy place whenever he wants to. If he goes up to the canopy and stands in front of the throne of mercy on the ark, he will die, because I appear in the smoke above the throne of mercy.

International Standard Version
The LORD told Moses, "Remind your brother Aaron that at no time is he to enter the sacred place from the room that contains the curtain into the presence of the Mercy Seat on top of the ark. Otherwise, he'll die, because I will appear in a cloud at the Mercy Seat.

JPS Tanakh 1917
and the LORD said unto Moses: 'Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the ark-cover which is upon the ark; that he die not; for I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.

Literal Standard Version
indeed, YHWH says to Moses, “Speak to your brother Aaron, and he does not come in at all times to the holy place within the veil, to the front of the propitiatory covering, which [is] on the Ark, and he does not die, for I am seen in a cloud on the propitiatory covering.

NET Bible
and the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron your brother that he must not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil-canopy in front of the atonement plate that is on the ark so that he may not die, for I will appear in the cloud over the atonement plate.

New Heart English Bible
and the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron your brother, not to come at all times into the Most Holy Place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark; lest he die: for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.

World English Bible
and Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron your brother, not to come at all times into the Most Holy Place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark; lest he die: for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.

Young's Literal Translation
yea, Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Speak unto Aaron thy brother, and he cometh not in at all times unto the sanctuary within the vail, unto the front of the mercy-seat, which is upon the ark, and he dieth not, for in a cloud I am seen upon the mercy-seat.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Law of Atonement
1Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of two of Aaron’s sons when they approached the presence of the LORD. 2And the LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter freely into the Most Holy Place behind the veil in front of the mercy seat on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. 3This is how Aaron is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.…

Cross References
Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

Hebrews 9:5
Above the ark were the cherubim of glory, overshadowing the mercy seat. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

Hebrews 9:7
But only the high priest entered the second room, and then only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

Hebrews 9:25
Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.

Revelation 15:8
And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

Exodus 25:21
Set the mercy seat atop the ark, and put the Testimony that I will give you into the ark.

Exodus 25:22
And I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony; I will speak with you about all that I command you regarding the Israelites.


Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD said to Moses, Speak to Aaron your brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is on the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.

he come not

Leviticus 23:27
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Exodus 26:33,34
And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy…

Exodus 30:10
And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.

that he die not

Leviticus 16:13
And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:

Leviticus 8:35
Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.

Numbers 4:19
But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden:

in the cloud

Exodus 40:34,35
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle…

1 Kings 8:10-12
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, …

2 Chronicles 5:14
So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

the mercy seat

Exodus 25:17-22
And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof…









(2) That he come not at all times.--Moses is therefore to warn his brother Aaron, the high priest, that if he wishes to escape a similar fate, he is not to presume to enter the Holy of Holies except on one day of the year, the Day of Atonement. As Aaron here stands for all those who in future are to succeed him in the pontificate, so Moses, who teaches him his duty, stands for his successors who are hereafter to impart instruction to the high priests on these most solemn occasions. Hence during the second Temple the tuition and preparation of the high priest for his functions devolved upon the Sanhedrin, who prescribed most minute rules for his guidance. Seven days before the Day of Atonement he was separated from his wife, and lodged in a chamber in the Temple, lest he should contract defilement, which might unfit him for the performance of his pontifical duties. The elders or the representatives of the Sanhedrin read and expounded to him the ordinances contained in this chapter; which he had to practise in their [presence, so as to make sure that he could rightly perform all the ceremonies. This continued during the whole night previous to the Day of Atonement, when he was kept awake, so as to prevent any pollution arising from a dream or accident by night.

He read, in the silent hours of darkness, the Books of Job, Daniel, Ezra, and Chronicles; and if he was no scholar, and could not read, the elders read them to him. As it was deemed important that he should not fall asleep, the priests who surrounded him alternately snapped their fingers, and made him walk on the cold pavement of the court. When the chief of the thirteen priests who were appointed to perform the ordinary duties in connection with the service in the sanctuary had ascertained that the morning had dawned, that the ashes had been removed from the brazen altar, and that the time of the early sacrifice had arrived, the high priest was conducted to the baptistery, where he immersed his whole body in water.

Into the holy place.--This is here more minutely defined by "within the vail," thus showing that the Holy of Holies is meant. In the succeeding portions of this chapter, however, the expression "holy" is used for "Holy of Holies" without this adjunct. (See Leviticus 16:3; Leviticus 16:16-17; Leviticus 16:20; Leviticus 16:27.)

Before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark.--Or, according to the accents of the received text, nor come to the mercy seat, which, &c. The present text exhibits the view of the Pharisees--that the high priest, though at some distance from the ark, is yet hid through the frankincense on the burning coals in the Holy of Holies itself (see Leviticus 16:12-13); whilst the Sadducees maintained that he must put it on the coals already in the court, because they deemed it improper to work in the presence of the Lord, and because the pontiff would otherwise see the ark. The Authorised Version, therefore, here, as elsewhere, follows the view of the Sadducees, and departs from the received accents, which are an essential part of the traditional text. . . .

Verse 2. - Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not. Nadab and Abihu having died for their rash presumption in venturing unbidden into the tabernacle, it was natural that Aaron, who had as yet but once penetrated into the holy of holies, should be struck with fear, and that he should desire Divine instruction as to the times and manner in which he was to appear before the Lord, lest he should be struck dead like his sons. If the attempt to enter the outer chamber of the tabernacle had been so fatal to them, what might not be the result to him of entering within the vail which hung before the mercy-seat which is upon the ark? The mercy-seat - capporeth, ἱλαστήριον, propitiatorium - formed the top of the ark, and was the place where God specially exhibited his Presence, on the occasions of his manifestation, by the bright cloud which then rested upon it between the cherubim. It was this Presence which made it perilous for Aaron to appear within the vail unbidden or without the becoming ritual; for man might not meet God unless he were sanctified for the purpose (Exodus 19:14, 21-24; 1 Samuel 6:19). The words, for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat, refer to the Divine Presence thus visibly manifested (see 1 Kings 8:10-12), and not, as they have strangely been misinterpreted, to the cloud of smoke raised by the incense burnt by the high priest on his entrance. They do not, however, prove that the manifestation was constantly there, still less that it was continued, according to Jewish tradition, in later times. "The reason for the prohibition of Aaron's entrance at his own pleasure, or without the expiatory blood of sacrifice, is to be found in the fact that the holiness communicated to the priest did not cancel the sin of his nature, but only covered it over for the performance of his official duties; and so long as the Law, which produced only the knowledge of sin, and not its forgiveness and removal, was not abolished by the complete atonement, the holy God was and remained to mortal and sinful man a consuming fire, before which no one could stand" (Keil).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
And the LORD
יְהוָ֜ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

said
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

Moses:
מֹשֶׁ֗ה (mō·šeh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 4872: Moses -- a great Israelite leader, prophet and lawgiver

“Tell
דַּבֵּר֮ (dab·bêr)
Verb - Piel - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

your brother
אָחִיךָ֒ (’ā·ḥî·ḵā)
Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's 251: A brother, )

Aaron
אַהֲרֹ֣ן (’a·hă·rōn)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 175: Aaron -- an elder brother of Moses

not
וְאַל־ (wə·’al-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's 408: Not

to enter
יָבֹ֤א (yā·ḇō)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 935: To come in, come, go in, go

freely
בְכָל־ (ḇə·ḵāl-)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

into
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the Most Holy Place
הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ (haq·qō·ḏeš)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6944: A sacred place, thing, sanctity

behind
מִבֵּ֖ית (mib·bêṯ)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 1004: A house

the veil
לַפָּרֹ֑כֶת (lap·pā·rō·ḵeṯ)
Preposition-l, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 6532: A separatrix, screen

in
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

front
פְּנֵ֨י (pə·nê)
Noun - common plural construct
Strong's 6440: The face

of the mercy seat
הַכַּפֹּ֜רֶת (hak·kap·pō·reṯ)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 3727: Propitiatory

on
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the ark,
הָאָרֹן֙ (hā·’ā·rōn)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's 727: A chest, ark

or else
וְלֹ֣א (wə·lō)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

he will die,
יָמ֔וּת (yā·mūṯ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 4191: To die, to kill

because
כִּ֚י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

I appear
אֵרָאֶ֖ה (’ê·rā·’eh)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's 7200: To see

in the cloud
בֶּֽעָנָ֔ן (be·‘ā·nān)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6051: A cloud, the nimbus, thunder-cloud

above
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the mercy seat.
הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת׃ (hak·kap·pō·reṯ)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 3727: Propitiatory


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OT Law: Leviticus 16:2 And Yahweh said to Moses Tell Aaron (Le Lv Lev.)
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