The Atonement in the Old Testament

Chapter 47

Why was Abel's sacrifice more acceptable to Yahuwah than Cain's?
"By faith Abel offered unto Yahuwah a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, Yahuwah testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11:4.

To what did his sacrifice point forward?
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of the Anointed, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." 1 Peter 1:18-20.

By his sacrifice, what did Abel obtain?
"By faith Abel offered unto Yahuwah a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, Yahuwah testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11:4.

With what sacrifice did Yahuwah command Abraham to worship Him?
"And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not." Genesis 15:9-10.

How did Jacob manifest his faith in the promised Redeemer?
"And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the Eloah of his father Isaac." Genesis 46:1.

What did Yahuwah command Moses to have made?
"And Yahuwah spake unto Moses, saying," Exodus 25:1.
"And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8. (See also Acts 7:44 and Hebrews 8:5).
"Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them." Exodus 26:1.
"And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make." Exodus 26:7.
"And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins." Exodus 26:14.

How many apartments had the sanctuary?
"And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy." Exodus 26:33.

What was in the first apartment?
"For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary." Hebrews 9:2.

What other article was in the first apartment?
"And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the veil." Exodus 40:26. (See also Exodus 30:1-6).

What was contained in the second apartment, or the most holy place?
"And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant." Hebrews 9:3,4. (See also Exodus 40:20-21).

By what name was the cover of the ark known?
"And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee." Exodus 25:21.

Where was Yahuwah, by the symbol of His presence, to meet with Israel's high priest?
"And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." Exodus 25:22.

What was in the ark, under the mercy seat?
"And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which Yahuwah spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and Yahuwah gave them unto me. And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as Yahuwah commanded me." Deuteronomy 10:4-5.

When this building was completed, for what purpose was it used, and who daily officiated in the first apartment?
"Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of Yahuwah." Hebrews 9:6.

Who only was allowed in the second apartment? How often? And for what purpose?
"But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:" Hebrews 9:7.

How does one commit sin?
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4.

And what is the wages of sin?
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of Yahuwah is eternal life through Yahushua the Anointed, our Master." Romans 6:23.

When one of the common people thus sinned, what must he then do, to save his life?
"And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of Yahuwah concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering." Leviticus 4:27-29.

What was done with the blood?
"And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar." Leviticus 4:30.

How was the body of the sin offering to be disposed of?
"Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before Yahuwah: it is most holy. The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation." Leviticus 6:25-26. See verse 16.

After the accumulation of the sins of the year in this way, what took place on the tenth day of the seventh month?
"And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before Yahuwah." Leviticus 16:29-30.

NOTE: It seems by this that the atonement was not completed till the end of the ceremonial year. Atonement signifies "expiation; satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury." Webster.

After making an offering for himself, what did the high priest next do?
"And he shall take the two goats, and present them before Yahuwah at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for Yahuwah, and the other lot for the scapegoat." Leviticus 16:7-8.

What was done with the goat upon which Yahuwah's lot fell?
"Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:" Leviticus 16:15.

Was it necessary to make this atonement?
"And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness." Leviticus 16:16.

After the high priest came out of the sanctuary with the sins still on him, having atoned for them in the most holy place, what did he next do?
"And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness." Leviticus 16:20-21.

Then who bore the sins of the people, after the high priest had put them off, and the camp was cleansed from them?
"And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." Leviticus 16:22.


The sanctuary in the wilderness was constructed under the direction of Moses, in accordance with the pattern shown him in the mount (Exodus 25:7-8, 40; Hebrews 8:5).

Enclosing this wilderness tabernacle was a Court (sometimes called the Outer Court) which was made of white curtains attached to poles (Exodus 27:9-18) , and was about 75 feet wide by 150 feet long (based on an 18-inch cubit). Within the Court was the Altar of Burnt Offering, the laver and the Tabernacle. This altar was also called the Brazen Altar since there was a second altar, the Golden Altar, inside the Tabernacle. This outside Altar (Exodus 27:1-9) was hollow inside and overlaid with brass, and was 5 feet high and 7 1/2 feet square. Upon this altar were placed the animals that were offered as burnt sacrifice. Just beyond, stood the brass laver (Exodus 30:18-21), where the priests washed before entering the Tabernacle.

The earthly sanctuary (Exodus 26:1-37) was a tent with wooden walls, 4 layers as a roof covering, and gold and beautiful curtaining inside. About 15 by 45 feet in size, this Tabernacle was portable, so it could be taken apart and moved from place to place in the journeys of Israel through the wilderness. Divided by an inner veil into two rooms or apartments, it was the holiest place on earth. The priest entered the First Apartment every day with blood, and went past the seven-branched Golden Candlestick, with its seven lamps of fire (Exodus 25:31-40); past the Table of Shewbread, containing the dedicated bread that stood before the Presence of Yahuwah (Ex. 25:23-30); and on to the Altar of Incense, or Golden Altar (Exodus 30:1-10), from whence the smoke of a specially prepared incense wafted up, over the top of the dividing veil (which did not reach to the ceiling) and into the Holy of Holies beyond. Upon the Golden Altar and dividing veil, the priest sprinkled some of the sacrificial blood (Leviticus 4-5). A partial description of this may be found in Hebrews 9:1-7. All of the furniture within the First and Second Apartments was of solid gold, or covered with gold.

The Second Apartment, or Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:33) contained the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 26:17-22). Between two Cherubim was the glory of the Shekinah the Presence of Yahuwah (Exodus 26: 22; 40:34). Beneath it was the Mercy Seat, a solid gold slab that covered the top of the Ark, wherein lay the foundation of Yahuwah's government: the Moral law of Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) which was written by the finger of Yahuwah on stone (Exodus 24:12) and then placed in the Ark (Exodus 40:20). All of mankind is to be governed by those holy precepts, even down to the end of time (Revelation 12:17; 14:12) and beyond (Revelation 22:14; Isaiah 66:22). Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, did the high priest enter the Second Apartment to cleanse the Sanctuary and the people of sin (Leviticus 16:30,33-34 and all of the chapter; Daniel 8:14).