Day of Atonement Sequence

I am getting ready to preach Hebrews 9 so I was looking at the structure of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. What I found most interesting is that during the process the tabernacle was empty  (Leviticus 16:17). The tabernacle is completely empty and the high priest must go in and do all of this.

  • High priest washed, put on special garments, which were more humble than normal priestly garb.
  • High priest selects five total animals: Two goats, two rams, one bull.
  • High priest casts lots for the two goats to determine which one was sacrifices and which one is sent into the wilderness.
  • High priest kills the bull.
  • High priest brings  incense into the Most Holy Place and creates a smoke covering in the Most Holy Place.
  • High priest sprinkles the blood of the bull seven times on the mercy seat.
  • High priest kills the goat, brings its blood into the Most Holy Place, and sprinkles it on the mercy seat.
  • High priest leaves the Most Holy Place, takes the blood of the bull and the goat and sprinkles it seven times on the horns of altar in the  main part of the tabernacle.
  • High priest brings out the live goat, lays his hands on the goat, confesses the sins of the people, and sends the goat out into the wilderness by the hand of another Israelite.
  • High priest removes special garments, washes, and replaces them with normal priestly garments.
  • High priest offers two burnt offerings (the rams) one for the people and one for himself/the priesthood.
  • The man who took the goat out into the wilderness must wash before returning to camp
  • The bull and the goat of the sin offerings are taken outside the camp and burned.
  • The man who takes the bull and goat outside the camp to burn must wash before returning to camp.

Day in Leviticus

This is the continuation of a study on the word “day” in the Pentateuch. For introductory remarks please refer to the initial post on Genesis.

I have divided these up into three categories: All the uses of day with a number, all the uses of day which in context mean a typical day, and any uses of day which could mean a long period of time.   

Uses of Day with the Number (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
(Lev 7:17)  But what remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned up with fire.

(Lev 7:18)  If any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be credited to him. It is tainted, and he who eats of it shall bear his iniquity.

(Lev 8:35)  At the entrance of the tent of meeting you shall remain day and night for seven days, performing what the LORD has charged, so that you do not die, for so I have been commanded.”

(Lev 9:1)  On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel,

(Lev 12:3)  And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

(Lev 13:5)  And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the disease is checked and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall shut him up for another seven days.

(Lev 13:6)  And the priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the diseased area has faded and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only an eruption. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean.

(Lev 13:27)  and the priest shall examine him the seventh day. If it is spreading in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a case of leprous disease.

(Lev 13:32)  and on the seventh day the priest shall examine the disease. If the itch has not spread, and there is in it no yellow hair, and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin,

(Lev 13:34)  And on the seventh day the priest shall examine the itch, and if the itch has not spread in the skin and it appears to be no deeper than the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean.

(Lev 13:51)  Then he shall examine the disease on the seventh day. If the disease has spread in the garment, in the warp or the woof, or in the skin, whatever be the use of the skin, the disease is a persistent leprous disease; it is unclean.

(Lev 14:9)  And on the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair, and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean.

(Lev 14:10)  “And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish, and a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, and one log of oil.

(Lev 14:23)  And on the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, before the LORD.

(Lev 14:39)  And the priest shall come again on the seventh day, and look. If the disease has spread in the walls of the house,

(Lev 15:14)  And on the eighth day he shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and come before the LORD to the entrance of the tent of meeting and give them to the priest.

(Lev 15:29)  And on the eighth day she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and bring them to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting.

(Lev 16:29)  “And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.
(Lev 19:7)  If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted,

(Lev 22:27)  “When an ox or sheep or goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as a food offering to the LORD.

(Lev 22:28)  But you shall not kill an ox or a sheep and her young in one day.

(Lev 23:3)  “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.

(Lev 23:5)  In the first month, on the fourteenth dayof the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover.

(Lev 23:6)  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

(Lev 23:7)  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.

(Lev 23:8)  But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

(Lev 23:16)  You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.

(Lev 23:24)  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.

(Lev 23:27)  “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD.

(Lev 23:32)  It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”

(Lev 23:34)  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the LORD.

(Lev 23:35)  On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.

(Lev 23:36)  For seven days you shall present food offerings to the LORD. On the eighth dayyou shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

(Lev 23:39)  “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.

(Lev 23:40)  And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

(Lev 25:9)  Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.

Uses of Day Which Are in Context, Typical 24 Hour Days

(Lev 6:5)  or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt.

(Lev 6:20)  “This is the offering that Aaron and his sons shall offer to the LORD on the day when he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening.

(Lev 7:15)  And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.

(Lev 7:16)  But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow offering or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what remains of it shall be eaten.

(Lev 7:35)  This is the portion of Aaron and of his sons from the LORD’s food offerings, from the day they were presented to serve as priests of the LORD.

(Lev 7:36)  The LORD commanded this to be given them by the people of Israel, from the day that he anointed them. It is a perpetual due throughout their generations.”

(Lev 7:38)  which the LORD commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.

(Lev 14:2)  “This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest,

(Lev 16:30)  For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins.

(Lev 19:6)  It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire.

(Lev 22:30)  It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the LORD.

(Lev 23:11)  and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

(Lev 23:12)  And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD.

(Lev 23:14)  And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

(Lev 23:15)  “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.

(Lev 23:21)  And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

(Lev 23:28)  And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.

(Lev 23:29)  For whoever is not afflicted on that very dayshall be cut off from his people.

(Lev 23:30)  And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people.

(Lev 23:37)  “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the LORD food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day,

(Lev 24:8)  Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the LORD regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever.

(Lev 27:23)  then the priest shall calculate the amount of the valuation for it up to the year of jubilee, and the man shall give the valuation on that day as a holy gift to the LORD.

Places Where Day Can Mean a Long Period of Time

There are no texts in Leviticus where “day” means anything other than a typical 24 hour day. 

The research shows the following:
Every time the word day is used in Leviticus with a number it means a 24 hour day.
When it is not used with the number it still points to a specific day in the past, present, or future. 
Nowhere in Leviticus is the word day ever used to mean a long period of time.