“In the Seventh Month, on the Tenth Day of the Month . . . Shall the Priest Make an Atonement for You”

See Leviticus 16:5–34.

Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen wrote:

“The tenth day of the seventh month was a special day each year: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Two goats were chosen and brought to the tabernacle, where one was selected by lot as a sacrifice and the other as a ‘scapegoat.’ The symbolism is clear: Aaron laid both his hands upon the head of one goat and confessed over him ‘all the iniquities of the children of Israel, . . . putting them upon the head of the goat,’ and sending the goat away into the wilderness. Symbolically, the goat carried away the iniquities of the people [see Leviticus 16:29–34; 23:26–32].

“The English word scapegoat is not a translation but a substitute for the Hebrew word azazel, which may mean ‘entire removal,’ though it is variously interpreted.”

(A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament [1993], 133–34.)

 

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