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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Leviticus 16

Verses 1-34

The Scapegoat

Leviticus 16:8-22

Among a primitive people who seemed to have more moral troubles than any other and to feel greater need of dismissing them by artificial means, there grew up the custom of using a curious expedient. They chose a beast of the field, and upon its head symbolically piled all the moral hard-headedness of the several tribes; after which the unoffending brute was banished to the wilderness and the guilty multitude felt relieved. However crude that ancient method of transferring mental and moral burdens, it had at least this redeeming feature; the early Hebrews heaped their sins upon a creature which they did not care for and sent it away. In modern times we pile our burdens upon our dearest fellow-creatures and keep them permanently near us for further use. What human being but has some other upon whom he nightly hangs his troubles as he hangs his different garments upon hooks and nails in the walls around him?

James Lane Allen in The Mettle of the Pasture, pp. 161-162.

The High Priest and the Atonement

Leviticus 16:30

I. There were many priests, but only one high priest. He only could make atonement. Under the gospel all believers are priests. But there is but one high priest, Jesus Christ, called the Great High Priest; He alone can make atonement; He only can forgive sin.

II. The high priest on the day of atonement was an humbled priest. On this day he came out clothed in fine linen only. And Jesus, when He made atonement, was an humbled priest. They stripped from Him even the seamless garment that He wore.

III. The high priest on that day was a spotless priest. Aaron had to be ceremonially purified. We have a spotless High Priest; He needed no atonement for Himself He had no sin to put away.

IV. The high priest on that day was a solitary priest. It is remarkable that no disciple died with Christ. His disciples forsook Him and fled. We owe all our salvation to Him, and to Him alone.

V. The high priest on that day was a laborious priest. Jewish authorities assert that on that day everything was done by Him. Jesus, though He had toiled before, yet never worked as He did on that wondrous day of atonement.

C. H. Spurgeon, Outline Sermons, p. 254.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Leviticus 16". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/leviticus-16.html. 1910.