Paintbrush Picture

Ezekiel 40:39 In the portico of the gateway were two tables on each side, on which the burnt offerings, sin [purification] offerings and guilt [reparation] offerings were slaughtered (NIV).

"The text describing Ezekiel's visionary temple refers frequently to the purification offering (Ezek 40:39; 43:19-25; 44:29; 45:17, 18-20, 21-25; 46:20)" (Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, William Foxwell Albright & David Noel Freedman, General Editors, The Anchor Bible (AB), (New York: Double Day, 1991), p.281).

Eze 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths - at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He will provide the sin [purification] offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel. (NIV).

The prince "must provide the victims/produce for all the sacrifices, which are listed in one of the most comprehensive catalogues in the OT: purification offering (hatta't), grain offering (minha), burnt offering ('ola), peace offering (selamim), and libations (nesek). Conspicuous for its absence is the reparation offering ('asam), but this list is not intended to be exhaustive; the frequency with which Ezekiel's Torah refers to the 'asam (40:39; 42:13; 44:29; 46:20) leaves no doubt about is inclusion in the regular cult ritual. [N.B. The reparation offering never appears as a public sacrifice].

"It is evident from these lists that in Ezekiel's new order sin [and ritual impurity] will continue to be a problem for the nation. As he had done through Moses, however, through this prophet Yahweh reveals his magnanimous provision for forgiveness and fellowship with him" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., General Editor, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT), (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998), pp.659-60).

No Purification Offering - No Christ - No Covenant

 Isa 37:16 "O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim [in the Most Holy Place], you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth (NIV).

Lev 16:29 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work - whether native-born or an alien living among you-
Lev 16:30 because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins.
Lev 16:31 It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.
Lev 16:32 The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement. He is to put on the sacred linen garments
Lev 16:33 and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the people of the community. (NIV).

"Behind the veil of the ancient Israelite cultic system is YHWH's role as Israel's King and Judge. The sanctuary where he is enthroned stands for his character, reputation, and authority. Just as a human king's throne is affected by the condition of his subjects, so YHWH's "sanctuary" receives the impact of human imperfections among the surrounding Israelites. Their mortality is incompatible with his holiness. Their sins are incompatible with his righteousness.

"For YHWH to continued dwelling among his faulty people, his reputation must be cleared periodically so that it will not become too seriously compromised. This clearing takes place on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16), when YHWH's honor is absolved of any perceived taint with regard to the physical impurities of the Israelites because they are purified, with regard to the wanton/defiant sins of the disloyal because they are condemned, and with regard to the forgiven sin of the loyal because they have accepted the sacrificial remedies that he has provided and demonstrated their ongoing loyalty and penitence by obediently practicing self-denial and resting from work on the Day of Atonement. While it would be pointless to demand absolute perfection from a people unable to give it; he can require loyalty that includes acceptance of his remedies for imperfection" (Roy Gane, Cult and Character - Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy, (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005), p.379).

This article will look, in a general way, at the 'Purification' offering under the Old and New/Renewed Covenant. Using the Mosaic and Ezekelian Torahs an explanation will be presented for the need of purification offerings to maintain the fellowship between Jesus Christ and mankind during the Millennium.

Atonement/kipper

Lev 8:33 Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days.
Lev 8:34 What has been done today was commanded by the LORD to make atonement for you.

"Verse 34 is of interest because of the way in which it explains and interprets the ritual acts performed by Moses. 'Yahweh commanded the things that have been done today in order to kipper on your behalf'. This verse sums up the whole of these ritual proceedings and speaks against any single interpretation of the kipper-act. It suggests that ... the word already carried a broad meaning which covered several distinct acts: purgation, purification, averting the wrath of Yahweh, institutionalization, passage, maintenance of the sacred, and the solidification of the divine-human relations. Such was ... the case in Leviticus 16. The effecting of kipper, by various means and for various purposes, must be seen as a unifying symbol of the Priestly ritual system" (Frank H. Gorman, Jr., Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology, JSOT Sup 91, (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), p.137).

Lev 17:11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. (NIV).

Ge 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

"Verse 11 may ... be translated as follows: 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have assigned it to you [to put] on the altar in order to kipper on behalf of your lives. For it is the blood, with the life, that kippers.' Such a rendering ... points to the bi-polar value of blood as a symbol for life and death. The ... [life] ... of the flesh is in the blood which has been assigned to the altar to kipper for the ... [life] ... of the people. The life of the people is 'ransomed' by the life of the animal when its blood is properly manipulated. This recognizes the requirement of a 'reckoning' by Yahweh when the life is taken as indicated in Gen. 9:4-6. This blood can only be obtained, however, when the animal is killed. Death is the prerequisite, but, at the same time, the necessary reason for the ritual manipulation of the blood. The blood, with the life of the animal in it, effects life for and communicates life to the human, but it requires the death of the animal in order to obtain the blood. In this way, blood serves as the agent for cleansing from defilement from contact with death and for effecting passage from the realm of death to the realm of life...

Ex 30:12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom [kopher] for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

"While 'ransom' seems to be the key idea of kipper in this verse [Lev 17:11], caution must be exercised... kipper has a broad range of functions in the cult. Thus, the kipper-act involves blood and is concerned with the ritual elimination of sin, and more importantly, the effects of sin. Hence, kipper must be recognized as a word carrying a broad range of meanings which must be identified specifically according to the specific function it has in any given ritual" (Frank H. Gorman, Jr. Ideology of Ritual, p.189).

Lev 12:7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement [kipper] for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.

"... inadvertent sin and major impurity both require sacrifice for atonement. Since both inadvertent sin and major impurity endanger (requiring ransom) and pollute (requiring purgation), sacrificial atonement must both ransom and cleanse. The verb used to describe this dual event is the verb kipper and the power of the kipper-rite to accomplish both is due to the lifeblood of the animal" (Jay Sklar, Sin Impurity, Sacrifice, Atonement - The Priestly Conceptions, p.187).

The Cult

"H. Gese aptly describes "cult" as "worship in ritual procedures" " (Roy Gane, Cult and Character, p.xix).

"In the centuries before the kingship, the cult was the centripetal force that held the tribes together as Israel, the people of God. It was here that the identity and character of Israel was formed. "Cult" refers to every dimension of organized service to a deity. In Israel it included the Tent of Meeting, furniture, artifacts, and priests as well as the rituals, sacrifices, and sacred seasons" (John E. Hartley, Leviticus, Bruce M. Metzger, General Editor, Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992), p.lxvii).

Think Hebraically

Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Heb 10: 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

Three points that the author of Hebrews would agree with:

(1) There has been no change in the priesthood;

(2) There has been no change in the law; and

(3) Sacrifices are still required for sin; that is, animal blood is still required to atone for sin.

"One of the greatest obstacles we face in trying to interpret the Bible is that we are inclined to think in our own cultural and linguistic categories. This is no surprise since our categories are often all that we have, but it is a problem because our own categories often do not suffice and sometimes mislead" (John H. Walton, Genesis, Terry Muck, General Editor, The NIV Application Commentary, (NIVAC), (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2001), pp.67-68).

"The logic of the book [of Hebrews] is based on ancient rhetorical patterns and pre-modern exegetical principles that makes the reader's task exceptionally difficult" (Richard Nelson, Raising Up a Faithful Priest - Community and Priesthood in Biblical Theology, p.141).

The above will be addressed below.

Purification Offerings

Lev 4:3b ... a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a hatta't
Nu 8:7a And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of hatta't upon them
Lev 4:3b ... a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering
Nu 8:7a And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them

"English translations of the Bible use the term "sin offering." Burnt offerings and guilt offerings also atoned for sin. The "sin offering" gets its name from the fact that the Hebrew word from which it is translated is the same as one of the Hebrew words for "sin" (compare Lev 4:3, 14, 23, 26, 28, 35). The offering atoned for certain kinds of sins, which were usually unintentional/inadvertent violations of divine commands (Lev 4:2, 13, 22, 27; 5:1-4; Num 15:22-23). However, the same sacrifice also atoned for serious ritual impurities, which were not sins (Lev 12:6-8; 14:19, 22, 31, 15:30)" (Roy Gane, Altar Call, pp.96-97).

"Becoming ritually impure could be totally involuntary, without any thought at all, as in cases of menstruation (Lev 15:19) and nocturnal emission (Deut 23:10-11). So becoming impure could not be regarded as disobedience to God's law in any sense. Even deliberately becoming impure was permitted, as in cases of sexual intercourse (Lev 15:18) and coming in contact with dead persons (Num 19:11-12), unless God forbade such defilement (Lev 18:19; 21:1-4, 11). Contracting a forbidden defilement or neglecting purification for a ritual impurity (Num 19:13, 20) was sin, not because ritual impurity was sin but because God's command with regard to ritual impurity was violated" (Roy Gane, Altar Call, p.98).

Sin
Ritual impurity
Lev 4:24   ... the goat ... it is a sin offering.
Lev 12:6   a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.
Lev 4:26   In this way the priest
Lev 12:8   In this way the priest
                    will make atonement for the man's sin,
                    will make atonement for her
                    and he will be forgiven.
                     and she will be clean.

"An example of atonement for serious ritual impurity is the case of a woman who had just given birth to a baby. She was required to offer a sin offering (Lev 12:6-8). The translation "sin offering" implies that she had sinned. But she had not sinned by having a baby. She had only fulfilled God's blessing: "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:28). The purpose of her sacrifice in her case was to remove ritual impurity resulting from her flow of blood following childbirth. This impurity was not a moral fault. It came from a natural physical process of a mortal human being..." (Roy Gane, Altar Call, p.97).

Reference
Offering
Blood on altar
Flesh went to:
Lev 1
burnt
sides
the Lord
Lev 2
grain
(no blood)
(no flesh)
Lev 3; 7:11-36
well-being
sides
* priest + offerer
Lev 4:5-13; 6:24-30
sin
horns
* priest
Lev 5:14-19; 7:1-7
guilt
sides
* priest

* except when the offerer is a priest (see for example Lev 4:11-12).

(Roy Gane, Altar Call, p.59).

"The purification offering is the sacrifice in which blood plays the most important role. By contrast with other sacrifices, in which blood is dashed on the sides of the outer altar (Lev 1:5; 3:2; 7:2, etc.), the blood of a purification offering is applied to the horns of an altar, whether the outer altar in the case of an outer-altar offering (4:25, 30, 34), the incense altar in the outer-sanctum offering (vv. 7, 18), or both in the inner-sanctum offering (16:16b, 19). Since horns are the highest part of the an altar, applying blood there makes the blood prominent in a vertical direction, in which smoke of sacrifices or incense goes upward towards the deity in heaven (cf. Ps 11:4). Because a purification offering uniquely emphasizes blood in this way and application of blood to an altar signifies expiation ..., it is clear that a purification offering emphasizes the expiatory value of blood.

"The purification offerings are notable for their expiatory power is shown by the fact that, in the cultic calendar of Num 28-29, the words ... "to effect purgation for you," appears only with regard to the goats sacrificed as purification offerings (28:22, 30; 29:5, etc.), not with the additional burnt offerings" (Roy Gane, Cult and Character, pp.62-63).

Purification Offerings in the Millennium

New Covenant
Old Covenant
Eze 43:20 You are to take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the upper ledge and all around the rim, and so purify the altar and make atonement for it.
Lev 8:15 Moses slaughtered the bull and took some of the blood, and with his finger he put it on all the horns of the altar to purify the altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. So he consecrated it to make atonement for it.
Eze 43:26 For seven days they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; thus they will dedicate it.
Ex 29:37 For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy.
Eze 45:15 Also one sheep is to be taken from every flock of two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel.
Ne 10:32 "We assume the responsibility for carrying out the commands to give a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of our God:
Eze 45:15b These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the people, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Ne 10:33 for the bread set out on the table; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moon festivals and appointed feasts; for the holy offerings; for sin offerings to make atonement for Israel; and for all the duties of the house of our God.
Eze 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths - at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.
1Ch 6:49 But Aaron and his descendants were the ones who presented offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense in connection with all that was done in the Most Holy Place, making atonement for Israel, in accordance with all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.


Eze 45:18a " 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In the first month on the first day
Eze 45:20a You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month
Lev 23:27a "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.

Eze 45:20b so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).
Lev 16:33 and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the people of the community.


The purification of Ezekiel's Temple as prescribed in Ezekiel 45 is either the 'counterpart' to the purification prescribed for Moses' Tabernacle, last box above, or is a supplement to it - one in the spring and one in the fall. See below for a more detailed chart.

Decontaminating God's dwelling place

Ex 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

"The sanctuary was the central place of God's Presence among his people (Exod 25:8). It was the place that God designated for interactions between Himself and His people through ritual. Therefore the sanctuary was called the "tent of meeting" (Lev 1:3)...

"The sanctuary was a special place because of the one who resided there. It provided the setting for the relationship between God and his people to grow..." (Roy Gane, Altar Call, p.46).

"Ritual is a bridging mechanism that spans a gap between persons or things that cannot ordinarily interact with each other. The bridge requires faith in the existence of unseen beings (such as God) and/or other entities (such as sin) and the ability of a particular activity system, correctly performed, to interact with it/him/her. Viewed with the context of a system of beliefs, ritual has power to do things that other kinds of activity cannot do" (Roy Gane, Leviticus, Numbers, Terry Muck, General Editor, The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p.62).

"God is perfectly holy and lives in the tabernacle [and later the temple] among the people, but this holy God cannot dwell in the midst of sin and impurity. The people are called to holiness, so God will continue to be present with them and to give them life. Without God's holy presence holding it together, the community could splinter and lose its distinctiveness. Without the divine presence, Israel has no purposeful identity" (W. H. Bellinger, Jr., Leviticus, Numbers, Robert L. Hubbard Jr, & Robert K. Johnson, Old Testament Editors, New International Biblical Commentary (NIBC), (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2001), p.7).

2Ch 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
2Ch 7:2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.
2Ch 7:3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Christ's 'glory' dwelt in Solomon's Temple. But sin drove Christ out:

Eze 8:6 And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing - the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable."

"For Ezekiel the movement of the divine glory would have had ominous significance. It signaled Yahweh's suspension of rule... the departure of the glory signals the end of a relationship that had existed for almost four centuries. The divine king has abandoned his residence" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapter 1-24, R. K. Harrison & Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., General Editors, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT), pp.306, 326-27).

Christ's 'glory' will once again dwell with Israel:

Eze 43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
Eze 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
Eze 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
Eze 43:5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
Eze 43:6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
Eze 43:7a And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever...

But without the ongoing purification offering, also known as the sin offering, during the Millennium, Christ's Shekinah glory will not be able to 'dwell' in Ezekiel's Temple.

But before continuing on this theme a question is posed:

Why a Millennial Temple and sacrificial system?

Luke 5:33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?
Luke 5:34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
Luke 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Ac 13:1Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Ac 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The analogy of not fasting when Christ was fulfilling the first-half of Daniel's seventieth week type-antitype telescopic prophecy and fasting after those three and a half years provides a type for the second-half of the seventieth week and for after those three and a half years.

Ac 2:2a And suddenly there came a sound from heaven
Eze 43:2a And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east:
Ac 2:2aa  as of a rushing mighty wind,
Eze 43:2b and his voice was like a noise of many waters:
Ac 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Eze 43:2c and the earth shined with his glory.
Ac 2:2b and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Eze 43:5b and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house

Isa 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
Isa 49:6 And he [God] said, It is a light thing that thou [Jesus Christ] shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Zec 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH [Jesus Christ]; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

In the second-half of the seventieth week Jesus Christ raises up Israel and prepares her for her mission to be a light to the Gentiles; He also 'builds' His Temple.

When Christ's mission to Israel the Kingdom is over he leaves the earth, just as He did after the earlier mission to Israel the Church, and His 'glory' enters "the house", just as the Holy Spirit entered "the house" on Pentecost.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye [plural] are the temple [singular] of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

"The imagery of the church as God's temple, which occurs twice more in Paul (2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21), is a pregnant one both for the Jewish Paul and the Gentile Corinthians. The word used (naos) refers to the actuary sanctuary, the place of the deity's dwelling, in contrast to the word hieron, which referred to the temple precincts as well as the sanctuary. For Paul the imagery reflects the OT people of God. Although they are never called God's temple as such, they are his people among whom he chose to "dwell" by tabernacling in their midst. It is possible, although by no means certain, that the imagery also had eschatological overtones for Paul...The present experience of the church as the place where the (eschatological) Spirit dwells would thus be the restored temple of Ezekiel's vision (chaps. 40-48), where God promised "to live among them forever" and out of which flowed the river of fresh water that restored the land (47:1-12)" (Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians,  Ned B. Stonehouse, et.al., General Editors, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICOT), (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1987), pp.146-147).

Sin defiles the Lord's Tabernacle

Lev 20:2 "Say to the Israelites: "Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him.
Lev 20:3 I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled [tame'] my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. (NIV).

Num 19:13 Whoever touches the dead body of anyone and fails to purify himself defiles [tame'] the LORD'S tabernacle. That person must be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean; his uncleanness remains on him. (NIV).

Num 19:20 But if a person who is unclean does not purify himself, he must be cut off from the community, because he has defiled [tame'] the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, and he is unclean. (NIV).

Sin and ritual impurity needs atonement

Lev 6:4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty...
Lev 6:6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD...
Lev 6:7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him...

Lev 12:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed and born...: then she shall be unclean;... according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
Lev 12:4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying...  she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
Lev 12:6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled ... she shall bring ... a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:
Lev 12:7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.

"The House of YHWH is not only the source of holiness, it is also the local point for impurity [that is, sin and ritual impurity]. Since impurity is dynamic and contagious, any impurity in society or cosmos is attracted to this holy place... societal and cosmic well-being needs more than the presence of YHWH. There is also need for a means of cleansing the society and cosmos from the effects of impurity" (Kalinda Rose Stevenson, The Vision of Transformation, pp.40-41).

Sin and ritual impurity are threats to the Covenant

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron ... " 'You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling [tame'] my dwelling place, which is among them' " (Leviticus 15:1 & 31, NIV).

Eze 5:11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled [tame'] my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

Eze 8:6 And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing" the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable."

"... YHWH's sanctuary, the sphere of holiness, survives an incursion of human defilement that accumulates throughout the year...

"YHWH's holiness cannot tolerate an excessive accumulation of defilement. Once per year this sanctuary must be made totally clean..." (Roy Gane, Cult and Character, pp.177-79).

Human-beings, being human-beings, will commit sin and become ritually impure during the New Covenant Kingdom of God. Sin and ritual impurity will be a threat to the covenant. The Millennial sanctuary will have to be "cleansed" annually so that Christ's "glory" will not be driven from Ezekiel's Temple, so ending the Covenant.

Defilement and Purgation

Lev 4:18 And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the LORD...

"In the regulations of the hattat offering in Levitcus 4:1-5:13, the function of the blood rites with the particular modes is not explained as in other sacrificial rituals... an immediate and direct effect of sprinkling or daubing blood on the sancta is not mentioned..." (Gyung Yul Kim, "The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus," p.163).

The sanctuary is defiled by sin and ritual impurity. Two leading theories on how the defilement takes place are noted. 'Theory 1' posits a combination of 'aerial,' and 'direct contact' defilement through blood manipulation; while 'Theory 2 has only 'aerial' defilement.

Lev 5:9a And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar;...
Lev 16:19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

Roy Gane, "Cult and Character - Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy" argues for 'Theory 1' and Gung Yul Kim, "The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus" argues for 'Theory 2'. The difference between the two theories may be summed up on a ritual actitivty premise:

"F. Staal explains the variability of relationship between actions and meanings: the activity itself has no inherent meaning, but it can carry meaning that is assigned to it from a source such as culture of religious authority...

"Recognizing that ritual actions have no inherent meaning aid ritual analysis ... by keeping us from unjustifiably importing meaning from one context to another because we incorrectly assume that the functions of identical actions must be the same. For example, we should not import the meaning of one sevenfold sprinkling of blood (Lev 16:14-16) or another (v.19) from the special Day of Atonement context to Lev 4, assuming that in the latter passage the same kind of activity must also purge or reconsecrate part of the sanctuary. In fact, we will find that it serves another function in Lev 4" (Roy Gane, "Cult and Character - Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy," pp.5-6).

"... the idea must be refused that the 'sprinkling' of blood is performed to remove the offerer's sin by transferring it to the sanctuary in Leviticus 4, whereas the same activity is to purge the sancta of sin in Leviticus 16.

"... a ritual activity cannot have a directly opposite function in the same ritual system... If the function of the hattat blood is to purge the sancta in Leviticus 8 and 16, it must be so in Leviticus 4-5..." (Gyung Yul Kim, "The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus," pp.284, 322).

'Theory 1' argues that blood manipulation transfers atoned sin and ritual impurity from human-beings to the sanctuary throughout the year. 'Theory 2' argues that blood manipulation purges the sanctuary from aerial defilement of sins and ritual impurity that are atoned for during the year.

Lev 16:33a And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar...

Both theories have the sanctuary 'cleansed' on the Day of Atonement/Purgation. What is 'cleansed' depends on the role of blood manipulation during the year. 'Direct' contact defilement has more defilement purged from the sanctuary than 'aerial' defilement, the latter sees only wanton sin and unconscious/unknown sin not remedied through the year purged from the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.

The Mosaic System - Two Stages of Atonement for Sin

"Throughout the year, two basic kinds of purification offering were required to remedy inadvertent sins when the sinners realized what they had done. If the "anointed priest" that is high priest, or the entire community had sinned (Lev 4:3-12, 13-21, respectively), the sacrificial blood was to be manipulated in the outer sanctum of the Sacred Tent (vv. 6-7, 17-18). On the other hand, if a chieftain or commoner had sinned (vv. 22-26, 27-35, respectively), blood was applied to the outer "altar of burnt offering" in the courtyard (vv. 25, 30, 34). Thus we can refer to two kinds of ... [hatta't] ... sacrifices as "outer-sanctum" and "outer-altar" purification offerings.

"Not performed throughout the year was a third kind of purification offering reserved only for the Day of Atonement, during which the high priest applied blood in the inner sanctum, as well as the outer sanctum, and to the outer altar (Lev 16:14-19)... this special sacrifice is termed ... "the purification offering of atonement" (Exod 30:10; Num 29:11)..." (Roy Gane, Cult and Character, pp.45-46).

Lev 4:20b and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.
Lev 16:30 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 the LORD.

1 Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (NASB).


Atonement Phase 1: Through the Year


Blood Applications


Paintbrush Picture


Paintbrush Picture

Blood Cleanses Out   (Theory 2)

Paintbrush Picture


Atonement Phase 2: Day of Atonement


Blood Applications


Paintbrush Picture


Blood Transfers Out  (Theory 1)

Paintbrush Picture

Blood Transfers Out  (Theory 2)

Paintbrush Picture


(Illustrations based on Roy Gane, Altar Call, (Berrien Springs: Michigan, 1999), pp.204-206; and Roy Gane, Cult and Character, (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, pp.282-83; with modifications).


49 Blood Manipulations of Purification offerings on the Day of Atonement

Lev 25:8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
Lev 25:9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

"Why is the blood of the bull and goat mixed together in purging the altar but used separately in purging the adytum and shrine?... First it should be noted that the tripartite purgation rite falls into the following ... arrangement:

adytum
shrine
altar
1 + 7
1 + 7
1 + 7

(Note: The 'shrine/holy place' has been changed from 7+1 to 1+7 following Roy Gane)

"In each sacred space, an object is purged once (Ark, incense altar, sacrificial altar), followed by a sevenfold aspersion (adytum, shrine, sacrificial altar)... when the number of manipulations is actually tabulated, the following is the result:

adytum
shrine
altar
bull
1 + 7
4 + 7
4 + 7
goat
1 + 7
4 + 7

"The differences between this table and the preceding one is twofold; now the manipulations with the blood of the bull and goat are counted separately, and one must figure four blood manipulations on the altar corresponding to its horns. The total number of manipulations adds up to forty-nine, or seven times seven. Seven, the number that stands for completion and perfection, is multiplied by itself" (Jacob Milgrom,  Leviticus 1-16, AB, pp.1038-39).

Right Teaching

Then the LORD said to Aaron... "You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses" (Leviticus 10:8, 10-11, NIV).

... the priests, who are Levites and descendants of Zadok ... are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean (Ezekiel 44:15 & 23, NIV).

"They are to teach my people... Verse 23 is based on Leviticus 10:10-11, which records this teaching function as part of the 'ordination' of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood. Specifically, the content of their teaching was to ensure that ordinary Israelites knew the fundamental differences between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean. These were foundational to Israel's religious worldview. They symbolized within the everyday world of Israelites the holiness of Yahweh and all that was closely associated with him, and the distinctions between themselves and the rest of the nations. These were not merely taboos. They were badges of an identity and a mission which called for holiness of life and behaviour as well. In teaching these distinctions, the priests would have taught the rest of the Torah also, with its clear demand for Israel to live out the ethical responsibilities of their election and redemption..." (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Eekiel, The Bible Speaks Today (BST), Alec Motyer, OT Series Editor, (Leicester, Inter-Varsity Press, 2001), p.350).

The priests in the Millennium will instruct the people in 'holy' and 'clean' living to minimise the defiling effects of sin and ritual impurity and, therefore, to minimise, not do away with, the need for 'purification' offerings.

"There is no longer any sacrifice for sin" - What did the author of Hebrews mean by this?

Hebrews
Jeremiah 31
Jeremiah 33
8:8 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
10:16 ... after those days, saith the Lord,  I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Jer 31:33 ... After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;
33:16 In those days ... Jerusalem shall dwell safely: ...
10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
31:34 .. for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
33:16 ... shall Judah be saved,
Heb 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
Ezekiel
45:17 ... the sin offerings, meat offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel. (AV & NIV).

Ezekiel reveals that there will be atoning sacrifices for sin and ritual impurity during the Millennium, so what does the author of Hebrews mean that "there is no longer any sacrifice for sin". Their positions are not mutually exclusive.

Then the priest is to take some of the blood [of the purification offering] with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar ... In this way the priest will make atonement [kipper] for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven (Leviticus 4:30 & 35b, NIV).

"... kaphar [should be 'kipper/kapper'] has a twofold effect: it removes pollution and it counteract sin... In cultic texts, then, the best rendering for kaphar [should be 'kipper/kapper'] is "expiate," focusing on the removal of sin and its effects" (John E. Hartley, Leviticus, WBC, pp.64-65). (But 'kipper' also focuses on removal of ritual impurity and its effects).

Gyung Yul Kim "suggests that the rendering 'atone/make atonement' [kipper] in the context of hattat [purification offering] comprises both the meaning of 'ransom' and 'purge'..., while it can mean just 'expiation' or 'ransom' [expiation by ransom] in other occurrences without the meaning of 'purgation'..." ("The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus, p.25.

Heb 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

"The repeated statements of the law of Moses on the effects of the sacrifices offered for sin in the Levitical law is "and he shall be forgiven" (Lev 1:4; 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 16).  So effective and so all-embracing was this forgiveness that it availed for such sins as lying, theft, fraud, perjury, and debauchery (Lev 6:1-7)... In fact, in connection with the Day of Atonement, what is implicit in these other lists is clearly stated: "all their sins" were atoned (Lev 16:21, 22; my emphasis). Thus instead of limiting the efficacy of this forgiveness to ceremonial sins, all the sins of all the people who were truly repentant were included. It is important to note that the qualification of a proper heart and attitude is clearly stated in Leviticus 16:29 and 31 where the people asked to "afflict ('anah) their souls" (KJV). Accordingly, only those who had inwardly prepared their hearts were eligible to receive the gracious gift of God's forgiveness (cf. Also 1 Sam 15:22).

"Nevertheless, a major problem appears whenever the Christian introduces the argument of Hebrews 8-10 into this discussion. The writer of Hebrews states in no uncertain terms that:

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming - not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship... because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb 10:1, 4).

"This surely seems to diminish the high claims that we just finished attributing to the writer of Leviticus. In fact, Hebrews 9:9 adds that "the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper." What shall we say then about the forgiveness offered in the Torah? It would be too much to contend that the OT offer of forgiveness repeated so often in the Levitical institution of the sacrifices were only symbolic and offered no actual cleansing from or removal of sin.

"The only solution is to take the OT and NT statements seriously. We conclude then, with Hobart Freeman, that the OT sacrifices were subjectively efficacious, in that the sinner did receive full relief... But it is also clear that the sacrifices of bulls and goats were not in themselves expiatory and efficacious. The most these sacrifices could do was to point to the need for a perfect, living substitute who would, in the timing of God, ransom and deliver all from the debt, guilt, and effects of their sin. Thus, the OT sacrifices were not objectively efficacious; but then neither did the OT ever claim that the blood of these bulls and goats was inherently effective...

"The efficacy of the OT sacrifices, then rested in the Word of God, who boldly announced that sacrifices done in this manner and with this heart attitude (Ps 50:8, 14; 51:16 [Heb 10:8]; Prov 15:8, 21:3; Isa 1:11-18; 66:3; Jer 7:21-23; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:21; Mic 6:6-8) would receive from God a genuine experience of full forgiveness. Of course, everything depended on the perfect payment for this release, payment that would occur sometime in the future. Therefore, not the blood of bulls and goats but the "blood" (i.e., the life rendered up in violent death) of a perfect sacrifice finally made possible all the forgiveness proleptically enjoyed in the OT and retrospectively appreciated in the NT. Only the lamb of God could have provided objective efficacy, even though the subjective efficacy that had preceded it was grounded on the authority and promised work of Christ.

"Until the death of Christ happened, the sins of the OT saints were both forgiven and "passed over" (paresis, Rom 3:25) in the merciful grace of God until the expiatory death of Christ provided what no animal ever could do and what no OT text ever claimed it could do.

"During the OT period, sins were forgiven and remembered against men and women no more (Ps 103:3, 10-12) - in fact, removed as far from the OT confessor as the east is from the west! Thus, the OT saint experienced sins forgiven on the basis of God's Word and sins forgotten (i.e., "remembered against him no more," (Ezek 18:22, my translation) on the same basis" (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Towards Rediscovering The Old Testament, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), pp.133-35).

Hebrew literary style

"It is characteristic of Hebrew literary style to state a preference of one thing over another in terms that sound like an absolute dichotomy to our Western ears (see G. B. Caird, The Language and Imagery of the Bible [Philadelphia: Westminster: 1980], pp.110-7)" (Craig C. Broyles, Psalms, Robert L. Hubbard Jr. & Robert K. Johnston, OT Editors, New International Biblical Commentary (NIBC), (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1999), p.192).

The author of Hebrews and 'relative negation'

Heb 10:5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;

Heb 10:8 First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made).

OT record:

Lev 1:9b to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. (AV).
Lev 1:9b  It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. (NIV).

Ge 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD ... and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Ge 8:21a And the LORD smelled a sweet savour;

"The idea that sacrifices please God is expressed in the phrase characteristic of Lev. 1-3, a food offering for the Lord which has a soothing aroma (e.g., 1:9, 13, 17). The Hebrew word order makes it clear that the sacrificial aroma soothes the Lord, not man. The idea is expressed at its starkest and simplest in the flood story. Before the flood, "the Lord saw that ... every imagination of man's heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). So he decided to destroy mankind. After the flood Noah offered a sacrifice. "And when the Lord smelled the soothing aroma the Lord thought, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth'" (Gen. 8:21). Though man was unchanged in his sinfulness, God's attitude to man altered, thanks to the burnt offering. This is not an isolated example. The idea that man is always in danger of angering God runs throughout the whole Pentateuch. Fierce judgments and sudden death stud its pages. Sacrifice is the appointed means whereby peaceful coexistence between a holy God and sinful man becomes a possibility" (Gordon J. Wenham, The Book of Leviticus, R. K. Harrison & Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., General Editors, The New International Commentary of the Old Testament (NICOT), (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, p.56).

"The Lord receives his food "gift" in the form of smoke by "smelling it." So the smoke functions like incense. In fact, the verb in 1:9 for burning a burnt offering on the altar (Hiphil of qtr, "make smoke") is from the same root as the word for "incense" (qetoret, cf. 16:12-13)...

"Although the Presence of God hovered at the earthly Most Holy Place, smoke from the altar went up to God's heavenly residence, linking heaven and earth" (Roy Gane, Leviticus, Numbers, NIVAC, pp.61 & 69).

"The pleasant, soothing odor of the sacrifice that ascends towards heaven pleases God... Contemporary Western culture tends to overlook the powerful role the sense of smell plays in human life. Smell arouses one's memory and reaches deeply into a person's emotions (B. Gibbons, "The Intimate Sense of Smell," National Geographic 170 [1986] 324-28, 337). It is an especially strong contributing factor to a pleasant experience, or it may stir up strong disgust. This metaphor of "a soothing aroma" is very appropriate, for the sacrifice is offered in order to move God to remember with mercy the one who makes the sacrifice. Usually a whole offering was presented not to cool God's wrath but to seek his goodwill before his wrath may be kindled. Further, this metaphor serves well to say that God himself must accept each offering in order for it to be efficacious without in any way indicating that God is dependent on these offerings for sustenance. De Boer (VTSup 23 [1972] 47] thinks ... ["a soothing aroma"] ... is a technical term indicating "that the divinity accepts the sacrifice" " (John E. Hartley, Leviticus, WBC, pp.22-23).

"8:21 smelled the pleasing aroma. A figurative way of saying that the Lord takes delight in his children's worship of him (see Eph 5:2; Php 4:18)" (Ronald Youngblood, Genesis, Kenneth Barker, General Editor, The NIV Study Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1987), p.17).

Hebrews

Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

"God's dissatisfaction with the conventional sacrificial offerings because they failed to express a corresponding desire to obey his will is a recurring motif in prophetic Scriptures (e.g., 1 Sam 15:22; Ps 40:6; 50:8-10; 51:16-17; Isa 1:10-13; 66:2-4; Jer 7:21-24, Hos 6:6; Amos 5:21-27). The offering that God finds acceptable represents devotion from the heart. In 10:1-4 the writer had referred to animal sacrifices as a means of achieving purgation. The citation of Ps 40:6-8 in vv 5-7 indicates that the focal point of concern has shifted. The point at issue here is the relative value of the prescribed sacrifices as a means of consecration to the service of God. The quotation attests that sacrifices in themselves are powerless to please God or to secure a proper relationship between God and his people" (William L. Lane, Hebrews 9-13, David A. Hubbard & Glenn W. Barker, General Editors, Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), (Nelson Reference and Electronic, 1991), p.263).

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

"The reference to Abel in v.4 shows little interest in the traditional elaboration of the biblical narrative. Taking the Scriptural account at its face value, the writer simply notes the acceptable quality of Abel's offering, using ... ["excellent"] ... in its qualitative sense ("more acceptable";...), without commenting on the basis for the acceptance of the sacrifice. The general tenor of Scripture indicates that the superior quality of Abel's offering derived from the integrity of the heart rather than from the nature of the offering itself. This is the clear implication of Gen 4:7, where the Lord says to Cain, "if you do what is right, will you not be accepted?" For the writer of Hebrews, the fact that Abel offered his sacrifice ... "by faith," is sufficient explanation for the acceptance of his offering by God. His act of worship entailed the thoughtful exposure of his self to the living and holy God.

"It is possible to shed further light on the writer's understanding of the detail that God accepted Abel's sacrifice by observing that the example of Abel forms a pair with that of Enoch in v.5. The first two examples are brought together formally not only by the explicit mention of attestation received from God ... but, more subtly, by a common interest in death. This suggests that it is the responsibility of v 6 to clarify not simply the example of Enoch, but that of Abel as well, precisely because it describes the response of faith to God without reference to the spoken word of God (as in the case of Noah) or the promise of God (as in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). It establishes between faith and divine approval a rigorous connection, and thus furnishes an explanation for the acceptance of Abel's sacrifice (as well as of Enoch's translation). Abel approaches God earnestly with a firm expectation of the reward, in the sense of the share of those who seek God himself. God was pleased with Abel and his sacrifice because Abel fulfilled the conditions set forth in v 6. What fixed the attention of the writer on Abel was that he and his sacrifice were pleasing to God. The comparison of the fate of Abel as a martyr, and Cain as a murderer, did not interest him in itself. Rather, it is the extraordinary fact that a person found access to God and that he received attestation of a favorable welcome...

"God's recognition of Abel's faith and acceptance of his offering is underscored by the clause ... "by which [faith] he received attestation [from God] that he was righteous, God approving of his gifts"...

"The further statement that ... "through [faith] he is still speaking, although he died," is distinguished from the Jewish tradition about Abel because it reflects no interest in the act of fratricide nor in Abel as the proto-martyr... All the emphasis falls on the fact that it is by his faith (and not by his blood) that Abel continues to speak. The allusion is thus not to Gen 4:10, which speaks of the cry of Abel's blood from the ground for retribution or reconciliation... but to the record of God's approval of his integrity and his sacrifice in Gen 4:4. It is significant that the writer does not use the verb ... "to cry out," as in Gen 4:10 LXX, but the verb ... "to speak" which in Hebrews is never used of speaking to God. The writer affirms that Abel's faith continues to speak to us through the written record of his action in Scripture, which transmits to us the exemplary character of his offering" (William L. Lane, Hebrews 9-13, WBC, pp.334-35).

House of Prayer and Sacrifice

1Ki 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
1Ki 8:30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwellingplace: and when thou hearest, forgive.

Mt 21:13a And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer;...

"For the Israelites, the sanctuary was a big help. God had an address on earth to which they could direct their prayers. He was right there in the cloud over the sanctuary (Exod 40:34-38). It is true that God was not limited to the sanctuary; His primary dwelling is in heaven. But His people could reach Him through the sanctuary.

"King Solomon understood the role of the sanctuary for prayer. At the dedication of the temple, he prayed that God would hear when His people would pray towards that place (1 Ki 8:27, 30). From Solomon's perspective, prayers traveled horizontally towards the temple, and from there they went ballistic up to heaven.

"If an Israelite wanted to give something to God or to receive something from Him, he/she could go through the steps of approaching God in a tangible way through a sacrifice. Sacrifices were prayers made visible. Interaction with God was real to the Israelites because they acted it out...

"The sanctuary connected prayer and sacrifice because Israelites brought their prayers as well as their sacrifices to that place. The Bible records specific occasions on which people such as Hannah (1 Sam 1:9-11), Solomon (1 Ki 8:22-53), and Hezekiah (2 Ki 19:14-15) prayed at the sanctuary/temple. Even after the temple was destroyed, Daniel prayed towards that place (Dan 6:10).

"Not only did Daniel pray towards the place of the temple (Dan 9:17, 20); he was praying "about the time of the evening sacrifice" (Dan 9:21; NASB; compare Ezra 9:15ff; 1 Ki 18:36). What was so special about the time of the evening/afternoon offering. It was on behalf of all God's people and it was the last sacrifice of each day. Later Jesus' once for all sacrificial death happened at that time (see Matt 27:46-50)" (Roy Gane, Altar Call, pp.152-153).

Isa 56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
Isa 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

"What are the benefits that God offers to foreigners such as these. He will bring them to his holy mountain (2:3; 11:9; 25:6; 57:13; 65:11; 65:25; 66:20). Not only will they be permitted to come, but the Holy God himself will conduct them, just as he brought his own people back from the land of exile. There he will treat them just as he would any believing Israelite. They will have the privilege of having their sins atone for (whole burnt offerings and sacrifices) and of having instant access to God in prayer. This is what Solomon had envisaged long before (1 Ki. 8:41-43), and what Malachi would see as inevitable (1:11)" (John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah Chapters 40-66, R. K. Harrison & Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., Editors, NICOT, (Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), p.460).

"The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 is a beautiful example of it. This man was both a foreigner and a eunuch [Isa 56:4], and interestingly it was the scroll of the prophet Isaiah that he was reading when Philip the evangelist met him" (Barry Webb, The Message of Isaiah, Alec Motyer, Editor, The Bible Speaks Today (BST), (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, pp.222-23).

Hebrew idiom

Three examples of "relative negation" or "rhetorical negation":

Hos 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice;
               and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

"... Hebrew 'relative negation'. In order to indicate the relative priority of one thing over another, you would affirm one and deny the other: e.g., 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice' (Hos. 6:6; the second line indicates the comparison)" (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Ezekiel, BST, p.291).

Jer 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
Jer 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

"The most controversy centers around this verse because it appears to invalidate the whole sacrificial system. Certain critics have understood it to mean that the law of sacrifices was not given by Moses but was introduced centuries later - a position that is part of the elaborate system that denies the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. In order to treat the question adequately, one must understand the sense of the Hebrew text. In it a rhetorical negation is used to point up anthesis of v.22 and v.23 more emphatically (cf. Deut 5:3). Moreover, the negation in Hebrew often supplies the lack of a comparative - i.e., without excluding the thing denied, the statement implies only the importance of the thing set in contrast to it (Hos 6:6). In short, the Hebrew idiom permits denial of one thing in order to emphasize another (cf. for a NT parallel Luke 14:26). The idiom does not intend to deny the statement but only to set it in a secondary place (so Frost).

"That the OT sacrifices were non-Mosaic cannot be valid... Here Isaiah 1:11-15; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:21-25, and Micah 6:6-8 should be carefully considered. Judah had left out the main element: obedience to God. In view of the passages just cited, and in view of the Pentateuchal legislation, sacrifices were always meant to be of secondary importance to obedience and godliness. Neither Jeremiah nor any other prophet decried sacrifices as such. They meant that moral law is always paramount to the ritual law" (Charles L. Feinberg, Jeremiah, Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, The Expositor's Bible Commentary (EBC), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), Vol. 6, p.431).

Jer 7:22 For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices,

Eze 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

"... Ezekiel here does not literally deny that the restoration was for Israel sake, but affirms that it was much more important to realize that it was primarily for the sake of Yahweh's name" (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Ezekiel, BST, p.291).

It is suggested here, that when interpreting what the writer of Hebrews wrote the Hebrew idiom presented above should be considered.

No change in Levitical priesthood

Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

"The close connection between the Aaronic priesthood and the Law is again stressed. In view of the sanctity of the Law in Jewish minds, there was a real difficulty in accepting any other priesthood than Aaron's, and this is a problem which the writer of Hebrews has in mind in maintaining that a different priesthood involves a different law. Only so could he support the order of Melchizedek. He thinks in a way similar to the argument of Paul in Romans to the effect that the promise to Abraham preceded the giving of the law by some four hundred years. The writer is here arguing hypothetically, for the law itself cannot be changed. He has primarily in mind the law affecting the Aaronic priesthood" (Donald Guthrie, Hebrews, Leon Morris, General Editor, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (TNTC), (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1983), p.161).

Two Priesthoods

Heb 8:3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.
Heb 8:4 If he [Christ] were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.
Heb 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.

"It occurs to the writer that some confusion might arise in his readers' minds over the co-existence of two orders of priesthood. He proceeds, therefore, to show that the priesthood of Jesus was not established on earth. The main point he is making is the impossibility of Jesus fulfilling the conditions either in the matter of genealogy, or in the precise nature of the gifts, which are stipulated in the Mosaic Law. This leads into his thesis that the superior priesthood is that which operates in heaven, not on earth. This line of argument goes a long way towards explaining why Jesus never performed any priestly functions during his ministry. Yet it should be noted that although his high-priestly work is in heaven, his offering took place on earth. The earthly ministry, must be regarded as the preparation for the heavenly. The next verse [v.5] explains the basis of the connection between the Levitical cultus and the work of Christ" (Donald Guthrie, Hebrews, TNTC, p.172).

Levitical Priests in the Millennium

Jer 33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD,...
Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time...

"The Davidic kingdom and the Levitical priesthood were the two pillars and bases of the Old Testament theocracy, on which its existence and continuance depended. The priesthood formed the medium of approach for the people into divine favour. The kingdom assured them of the divine guidance. Both of these pillars were broken with the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple; the theocracy appeared to have ceased to exist. At this time, when the kingdom ... was being dissolved, the Lord, in order to keep His people from despair, declares that these two institutions, in accordance with His people shall not fall to the ground, but shall stand for ever. By this, God own people received a pledge for the re-establishment and renovation of the kingdom of God" (C. F. Keil, Jeremiah, Chapters 30-52, Translated by James Kennedy, Commentary on the Old Testament, (Peabody: Hendrikson Publishers, 1996), Vol.8, p.303).

Jer 33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

"The language of the promise to David is taken over into this announcement of an unbroken line of levitical priests to perform the proper sacrifices. A lack of Levites and legitimate priests was a genuine problem in the early years of the restored Temple (Ezra 8:15). This verse uses the deuteronomic terminology, ... "the levitical priests" (Deut 18:1)" (Gerald L. Keown, Pamela J. Scalise, Thomas G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52, David A. Hubbard, et. al., General Editors, Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), (Dallas: Word Books, 1995), p.174).

"The Levitical priesthood, as well as the Davidic dynasty, is seen as sharing in the same promise. Successors in Yahweh's service in the temple would never be lacking, and burnt offerings ('ola), "cereal" or grain offerings (minha), and sacrifices (zebah) would be offered continually. Jeremiah must have been aware of the possibilities of the destruction of the temple and the dispersal of the priests. But he believed that it was only a temporary disaster. In fact this is the only reference in the book where the revival of the priesthood is mentioned. The text here refers to "the priests, the Levites," an expression, which occurs often in Deuteronomy. The particular way of describing the priests here may be another way of referring to "legitimate priests." Jeremiah was as critical of the priests of his day as he was of the prophets (6:13; 19:1; 26:10-11). The need for a "legitimate" priesthood was as serious as was the need for a "legitimate" ruler" (J. A. Thompson. The Book of Jeremiah, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., General Editor, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT), (Grand Rapids: William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), pp.602-03).

"The second term on the list ... "making offering smoke," is an unusual expression. It may refer to the grain offering that was burned daily with a lamb, oil, and olives (Exod 29:38-46; Num 28:1-8). Snaith (VT21 [1971] 620-22) support another interpretation. He thinks it is the "priest's minha," which was part of the installation rite for priests (Lev 6:16 [Eng 23]; 9:15-17). This reading creates a picture of a continual stream of new priests being initiated into the LORD's service" (Gerald L. Keown, Pamela J. Scalise, Thomas G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52, WBC, p.174).

"But there is another aspect to the promise of continuity with past covenants. Not only will be there be a new David, there will be continuity with the promise to Levi as well. In response to Phinehas' zeal in protecting the purity of Israel, he is given this promise: "He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for Israel" (Num. 25:13). It is on this basis that Jeremiah looks forward to the continuation of the priesthood" (Tremper Longman III, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Robert L. Hubbard Jr. & Robert K. Johnston, OT Editors, New International Biblical Commentary (NIBC), (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2008), p.222).

Unbreakable Promise

Jer 33:20Thus saith the LORD; if ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;
Jer 33:21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
Jer 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.

"The rhetoric of these oracles is argumentative in the sense that it lays out a case to convince the prophet's hearers and readers. The rhetoric is covenantal and argues from the greater to the lesser, from God's covenant with the cosmos (vv.20, 25) to the covenant with a single family. It is similar to the form of argument at the end of 31:35-37. It is a claim about divine fidelity, and it is repeated three times. The surety of the promise to the line of David and to the Levites can be counted upon as surely as day follows night..." (Patrick D. Miller, The Book of Jeremiah, Leander E. Keck, Convener, The New Interpreter's Bible (NIB), (Nashville: Abingdom Press, 2001), , Vol.6, pp.826).

Just as Christ's Melchizedek priesthood does not replace the need for a Levitical priesthood; Christ's sacrifice does not replace the need for animal sacrifices.

The 'subjective' efficacy of animal sacrifices

Lev 5:10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. (AV).

Eze 45:15 Also one sheep is to be taken from every flock of two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel. These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the people, declares the Sovereign LORD. (NIV).

"The majority of dispensationalists have argued that the sacrifices are memorials to the sacrifice of Christ, with no atoning character. However, the idea that these are memorial sacrifices is no where apparent in Ezekiel, and it is specifically claimed by Ezekiel that these offerings will make atonement (45:15, 17, 20)" (Ian M. Duguid, Ezekiel, Terry Muck, General Editor, The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), p.521).

Eze 43:20 You are to take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the upper ledge and all around the rim, and so purify the altar and make atonement for it.

Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.

Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).

"In vv 15 and 17 [of chapter 45] the expiatory significance of the sacrifice is emphatically expressed. In 43:20 and 45:19f it can be seen that the expiatory power is especially attributed to the blood" (Walter Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2 - A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, p.479).

Day of Atonement in the Millennium?

Eze 45:18 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In the first month on the first day you [the "prince"] are to take a young bull without defect and purify the sanctuary.
Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.
Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple.

Two views that follow from the above:

(1) "Ezekiel's instructions regarding sacrificial procedure are quite detailed, but by no means comprehensive. They appear to supplement the instructions in the Pentateuch (especially Leviticus).

"If so, it would appear that Ezekiel's purgation of the temple in the spring is to supplement, rather than replace, the annual Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the 7th month (Lev 16)" (Roy Gane's answer to a hypothetical question asked of him by Future Watch; Roy Gane is the author of Cult and Character - Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy).

(2) "... vv 18-20, announces an annual ritual of decontaminating the inner sanctuary area... it is a counterpart of P's great day of Atonement ceremony in Lev 16, but here the rite takes place in the spring, at the start of the year. As there, the blood of the sin offering has the function of bringing about the regular decontamination of the sanctuary from the accumulation of past sins that had a polluting effect upon it (cf. Lev 16:19 "... sanctify it from the impurities of the people of Israel")..." (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.266).

"It was also the millennial prince's duty to purify the temple sanctuary. On the first day of the first month (Nisan) of the ecclesiastical year, the prince ("you"), as leader, would bring a sin offering of a young bull without defect in order to purify the temple sanctuary (v.18); cf. Lev 16:16, 33; 22:20). This was necessary because of mankind's sin that would defile the temple's holiness (v.20b)... This would be repeated on the seventh day of the month (v.20a)...

"18,20 In both verses the main verbs are in the second person singular, with the exception of ... (kippartem "you are to make atonement"), which is second person plural. This clarifies that it is the prince who actually makes the offering, though in doing so he represents all the people. When he makes atonement for the temple, the people also purify the temple through his representation" (Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, The Expositor's Bible Commentary (EBC), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), Vol.6, p.984).

Ezekiel's "purification ceremonies" of the first, seventh and fourteenth days of the first month will be developed below.

Figure and function go together

Heb 9:7But 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:
Heb 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Heb 10:18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. (NIV).

Unfortunately, the general understanding is that with the sacrifice of Christ the sacrificial system is now obsolete and therefore no longer required.

But when following Walter Kaiser's method of interpretation - "The only solution is to take the OT and NT statements seriously" - this is not true.

Sanctifying and Purging

Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

"A particular proof of the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice is presented in the a fortiori argument of vv 13-14. The arguments is formulated in antithesis to vv 9-10, where the offerings prescribed under the old covenant are stigmatized as insufficient to provide the worship with decisive purgation of the conscious and as provisional regulations imposed until the time of correction [this does not mean that those regulations are not required]. The presumption for the argument is that blood is the medium of purgation... The writer again alludes to the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement with the phrase ... "the blood of goats and bulls," though a broader reference to sacrifices in general may also be intended (e.g. Num 7:15-16, 87).

"With these offerings he associates the occasional sacrifice of a heifer, the ashes of which were to be mixed with water and sprinkled upon any Israelite who had been defiled by contact with a corpse (Num 19:1-22...). Although this rite is designated a "sin offering" (Num 9:9), it essential purpose was the removal of ceremonial defilement (Num 19:11-21). This fact is recognized by the writer's reference to ... "those who have been defiled." The ritual of the red heifer aptly illustrates the external nature of the cultic provisions of the old covenant. It also demonstrates that a state of defilement is a hindrance to worship (Num 19:13, 20). By grouping "the blood of goats and bulls" and "the sprinkled ashes of a heifer," the writer implies that all the sacrifices of the old covenant were able to provide merely an external and symbolic removal of defilement. They sanctify ... "to the extent of the purging of the flesh."

"The concession that blood cleanse from defilement under the old covenant provides the basis for the  ... argument ("how much more!") in v 14. The writer rhetorically contrasts the limited efficacy of "the blood of goats and bulls" with the surpassing efficacy of "the blood of Christ."  The effectiveness of the blood of Christ derives from the qualitatively superior character of his sacrifice. His sacrifice achieved what the old cultus could not accomplish, namely, the decisive purgation of conscience and the effective removal of every impediment to the worship of God...

"The main clause of v 14 summarizes the benefits experienced by Christians as a result of Christ's high priestly offering. The interest in the effect of Christ's sacrifice complements the concern with effect in v 13. In contrast to the limited effectiveness of the old cultic provisions ("sanctifies ... to the extent of the purging of the flesh"), the blood of Christ will purge ... the conscience from acts that lead to death...

" "Conscience" ... is the human organ of the religious life embracing the whole person in relationship to God... It is the point at which a person confronts God's holiness. The ability of the defiled conscience to disqualify someone from serving God has been suspended by the power of the blood of Christ to cleanse the conscience from defilement. The purpose of this purgation is that the community may be renewed in the worship of God... The sacrifice that inaugurated the new covenant achieved cleansing of the conscience that all worshipers lacked under the former covenant and all had sought through prescribed gifts and offerings (10:1-2)... The writer's concern with the different effects of the cultic provisions of the old and new covenants upon worshipers indicates the pastoral orientation of the exposition" (William L. Lane, Hebrews 9-13, WBC, pp.239-41).

Subjective Efficacy
Objective Efficacy
Heb 9:13 ... the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14 ... the blood of Christ ... purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God
temporal, finite, external, and legal
eternal, infinite, internal, and soteriological

The terms from the last line of the box are taken from the article by Dr. John C. Whitcomb, entitled Animal Sacrifices in Israel - Past & Future, whitcombministries.org/ Biblical_Articles/Animal_Sacrifices_In_Israel_Past_And_Future.php.

Whitcomb also argues:

"Though commanded by God, animal sacrifices in Israel could never remove spiritual guilt from the offerer. The Book of Hebrews is very clear about that (10:4,11). But it is equally erroneous to say that the sacrifices were mere teaching symbols given by God to prepare the nation for Messiah and His infinite atonement. Such a view is contradicted by precise statements in Exodus and Leviticus. From God's perspective, this was surely a major purpose in the sacrificial system; but it could not have been their exclusive purpose from the perspective of Old Covenant Israelites...

"Now what does all of this indicate with regard to animal sacrifices in the Millennial Temple for Israel under the New Covenant? It indicates that future sacrifices will have nothing to do with eternal salvation which only comes through the true faith in God. It also indicates that future animal sacrifices will be "efficacious" and "expiatory" only in terms of the strict provision for ceremonial (and thus temporal) forgiveness within the theocracy of Israel. Such sacrifices, then, will not be primarily memorial (like the bread and the cup in church communion services), any more than sacrifices in the age of the Old Covenant were primarily prospective or prophetic in the understanding of the offerer" (ibid.,).

"Dr. Joe Jordan, director of Word of Life Fellowship, writes: "We also observe that the millennial sacrifices will be more than a memorial. In a theocracy (where the government law is God's law - such as Israel had under the Mosaic law), the breaking of the theocratic law brings temporal judgement (Zechariah 14:16-19) - no rain, famine, illness, or disease. In order to escape the temporal judgement, an animal sacrifice is offered to atone for the breaking of the theocratic law. This will be the case during the millennium where the whole world will be under a theocracy" (Joe Jordan, "The Marvelous Millennium", Joe Jordan and Tom Davis, Gen. Eds., Countdown to Armageddon: The Final Battle and Beyond [Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 1999], p. 233), (Animal Sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom, carl-olson.com/correspondence/animalsacrifices_lahaye.html).

Requoting Ian M. Duguid observations above: "The majority of dispensationalists have argued that the sacrifices are memorials to the sacrifice of Christ, with no atoning character. However, the idea that these are memorial sacrifices is no where apparent in Ezekiel, and it is specifically claimed by Ezekiel that these offerings will make atonement (45:15, 17, 20)" (Ezekiel, NIVAC, p.521).

Under the Old Covenant the "figure" looked forward to the sacrifice and work of Christ; and under the New Covenant the "figure" looks back to the sacrifice and work of Christ.

But just as the sacrificial system of the Mosaic Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple was efficacious in the ritual function that God assigned it, so the sacrificial system in the Ezekielian Temple will also be efficacious in the ritual function that God assigns it.

The Figure of the Day of Atonement

Lev 16:32a And the priest, whom he shall anoint...
Lev 16:33 ... shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The "holy sanctuary" of Levitcus 16:33 corresponds to the "holy place" of Hebrews 9:12, in the latter case the NIV reads the "Most Holy Place". The "tabernacle of the congregation" refers to the Holy Place. In Roy Gane's illustrations above the "Most Holy Place" is the "throne room" and the "Holy Place" is the "living room".

Roy Gane also notes that the "multi-faceted magnificence of Christ's sacrifice explains why there were different kinds of animal sacrifices at the Israelite sanctuary (Lev 1-7). It is true that all the ancient sacrifices pointed to Christ's sacrifice (Jn 1:29; Heb 9:25-28). But no one single kind of animal sacrifice could possibly express even the basic aspects of what Christ has done" (Roy Gane, Altar Call, p.58).

In a similar sense, three earthly 'places' are "figures" of the heavenly realms. Mount Sinai could be included.


You were in Eden, the garden of God;...  You were anointed as a guardian cherub,... You were on the holy mount of God (Ezekiel 28:13 &14, NIV).

"The second half of v. 14 locates this cherub on the holy mountain of God... The expression "mountain of God" is familiar from the Sinai and Zion traditions... The statement bears a closer resemblance to Isa. 14:13... But here our prophet seems again to be mixing his metaphors. How can the cherub be in the garden of God and on the mountain of God at the same time. Two possibilities exist. Either the garden is on the mountain, or the former highlights the paradisiacal aspect of his home while the latter reflects his status, viz., he had access to God, the head of the divine assembly. This privilege was necessitated by his role as anointed agent of God, guarding the garden.

"The final line depicts the cherub walking back and forth among stones of fire... Unlike the carved stationary cherubim that decorated ancient hallways or guarded entrances of buildings and grounds, this figure walks back and forth, expressing his freedom and especially his supervisory role within this environment..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapter 25-48, NICOT, p.114).

Christ has 'purged' the heavenly "Most Holy Place" - the inner-room of the heavenly sanctuary; but what about the heavenly "Holy Place"? - the outer-room of the heavenly sanctuary.

Lev 16: 5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering...
Lev 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

The "Day of Atonement/Purgation" falls between the Feasts of Trumpets and the First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

"Trumpets" pictures the return of Joshua son of God to Jerusalem and the Battle of Jerusalem (cp. Joshua son of Nun and the Battle of Jericho that started after the seven marches around Jericho on the seventh day).

The "First Day of Tabernacles" pictures the Millennium. But what does "Atonement" picture?

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:...

The 'figure' of the 'goat for Azazel', along with David/Zion typology, looks forward to the eviction of Satan and the demons from the heavenly holy place and the 'cleansing' of the heavenly 'holy place'.

WordPerfect X5 Document

Compartments and Furniture that Picture God and Jesus Christ in the heavenly Tabernacle/Temple during the Millennium

If the 'figure' and 'function' go together what does this mean for the Day of Atonement, when there is no 'function' to complement the 'figure' of Satan. Will there be a need for 'Atonement' in the seventh month? Will the 'Atonement', on the first and seventh days of the first month, followed by Passover on the fourteenth day complement the 'Atonement' of the seventh month, as Roy Gane suggests, or will the Millennial 'atonement' of the first month be the counterpart of Moses' 'Day of Atonement'?

Eze 46:16 Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance.
Eze 46:17 But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty (deror); after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them.

Lev 25: 8 "Count off seven sabbaths of years - seven times seven years - so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years.
Lev 25:9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.
Lev 25:10a Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty (deror) throughout the land to all its inhabitants... (NIV).

Some questions:

The 'Jubilee' year, the fiftieth year of the agricultural cycle, will be observed in the Millennium. Will that year begin on the Day of Atonement, or some other day? If there is to a 'cleansing' of the Temple in the seventh month what happens to the iniquities, transgressions and sins (Lev 16:21) that are purged from the Temple?  Who bears them? Will there be a "wilderness" in the Millennium?

"... according to rabbinic tradition, in Second Temple times the hapless beast was shoved over a cliff to ensure that it could not bring the nations sins back to haunt the people (m. Yoma 6:6)" (Roy Gane, Leviticus, Numbers, NIVAC, p.274).

What happens to the purged iniquities, transgressions and sins (Lev 16:21) of the first month?

Unfortunately the Bible does not address these questions.

But it does address, the "purgative concern" of the Millennial worship and fellowship system, which is looked at below.

The Purification Ceremonies of the First Month

Eze 45:17a And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts (haggim), and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities (mo'adim) of the house of Israel...

Eze 45:18a Thus saith the Lord GOD...
Eze 46:1a Thus saith the Lord GOD...

"Verse 17 concludes with a reference to the annual festivals (haggim) in Israel's cultic calendar. In 45:18-46:15 the prophet picks up on this theme with instructions regarding some of Israel's national celebrations. These ordinances consists of two segments, each introduced by the citation formula (45:18; 46:1). Beyond this, they share with the preceding a concern for purgation, first of the temple (cf. v.20), then for the worshipers themselves" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, NICOT, p.660).

The first segment contains Passover, the day and the seven day feasts of the first and seventh months - annual ceremonies. Also included in this segment are the purification days of the first and seventh days of the first month, suggesting that they are also annual ceremonies, not once-off ceremonies as argued by Daniel Block.

The following is taken from the booklet "God's Sacrificial System - Old and New/Renewed Kingdom Covenants".

Purifying the Temple and Atonement

Eze 45:18b In the first month on the first day you are to take a young bull without defect and purify the sanctuary.
Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.
Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).

The "cleansing" of the sanctuary will be addressed in two-parts, which necessitates some overlap of material. The first part, according to the heading of this section, is "Purifying the Temple and Atonement"; and the second part "Purifying the Temple and Passover". The first part is preparation for the coming year of worship and phase two of the atonement process; and the second part, as preparation for the Passover.

"... the first segment of this ordinance is framed by a date notice at the beginning and a purpose clause at the end. The prescribed ritual may be summarized as follows. On the first day of the year the prophet is to procure an unblemished young bull to be sacrificed for the ritual decontamination (hitte') of the temple. The officiating priest is to collect the blood and smear some of it on the doorposts (mezuzot) of the temple and the gates, as well as the sides of the altar. The procedure is to be repeated on the seventh day of the month for the benefit of the population and the purgation of the temple" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, NICOT, pp.661-62).

"The reference to the popular benefits of the ritual. 45:20 observes that the benefactors of the decontamination procedure are "those who go astray" (saga) and "the simple-minded" (peti). The former expression refers primarily to livestock, such as sheep, going astray (cf. Ezek. 34:6), but it is used in a derived sense of sin committed in ignorance in Lev. 4:13 and Num. 15:22. The latter, common in the wisdom writings, identifies the naive, gullible person. The present combination holds out the possibility of atonement for all unwitting sin" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, NICOT, p.663).

"The cleansing at the beginning of the year has as its goal, as the extensive ritual for the great Day of Atonement is able to show more fully, the cleansing of the sanctuary (and of the community) from the sin which has accumulated throughout the year" (Walther Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2 - A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, p.482).

"In the preaching of Ezekiel it had become clear how the fire of God's wrath had to consume his people because of their sin. The great vision of chapters 8-11 had shown in particular that this judgment could not bypass Israel's sanctuary either. Indeed, in 9:6 the command was given from the mouth of God himself to the men with the instruments of judgement: "At my sanctuary you shall make a beginning." It is against this background that the ordinance given in Ezekiel 45 for the service of the new sanctuary must be heard. Here God ordains in mercy that at the beginning of each new year, by a specific ritual to be carried out at the sanctuary, the threatening stain of sin [and ritual impurity] may be removed. In this ordinance, however, there is revealed the will of the God who would like to protect himself from having to punish sin with his fire, a will which was also discernable already in the commissioning of the watchman in time of danger (3:17-21; 33:1-9)" (Walther Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2 - A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, p.486).

"... the sin-offerings prescribed for the first and seventh days of the first month are distinguished from the sin-offerings of the Mosaic law, partly by the animal selected (a young bullock), and partly by the disposal of the blood. According to the Mosaic law, the sin-offering for the new moons, as well as for all the feast days of the year, the Passover, Pentecost, day of trumpets, day of atonement, and feast of tabernacles (all eight days), was to be a he-goat (Num 28:15; Num 28:30; Num 29:5, Num 29:11, Num 29:16, Num 29:19, Num 29:22, Num 29:25, Num 29:28, Num 29:31, Num 29:34, Num 29:38). Even the sin-offering for the congregation of Israel on the great day of atonement simply consisted in a he-goat (or two he-goats, Lev 16:5); and it was only for the sin-offering for the high priest, whether on that day (Lev 16:3), or when he had sinned so as to bring guilt upon the nation (Lev 4:3), or when the whole congregation had sinned (Lev 4:14), that a bullock was required. On the other hand, according to Ezekiel, the sin-offering both on the first and seventh days of the first month, and also the one to be brought by the prince on the fourteenth day of that month, i.e., on the day of the feast of Passover (Eze 45:22), for himself and for all the people, were to consist of a bullock and only the sin-offering on the seven days of the feast of Passover and tabernacles of a he-goat (Eze 45:23, Eze 45:25)" (C. F. Keil, Biblical Commentary on the Prophecies of Ezekiel, Trans. James Martin, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970), pp.425-46).

"... evidence for the early provenance of the expiatory burnt offering is detectable in the requirement that all public animal sacrifices must be male. The only reasonable explanation of this fact is that the all-male 'ola was at first the only expiatory sacrifice. When the purification ... offerings were incorporated into the public cult, the male requirement was still retained... the commoner will always bring a female of the flock for his individual purification offering (4:27-35; 14:10; Num 6:14; etc.), whereas the public purification offering is always a male (4:13-21; 9:3; 16:15; Num 28:15; etc.)..." (Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, AB, p.176).

Mosaic Tabernacle Atonement in the Seventh Month


(Diagram from Peter Ennis, Exodus, NIV Application Commentary, Terry Muck, General Editor, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), p.520; with slight modifications and with numbers added).

Lev 16:18b and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat
Lev 16:15b He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.
Lev 16:16b put blood on four horns of incense altar and sprinkle blood before the veil 7 times...
Lev 16:18c and put it upon the horns of the [outer] altar round about.
Lev 16:20 ...making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar...

Notes: (1) The Leviticus verses have been rearranged to parallel with the Ezekiel verses below. Prior to the application of the combined blood of the bull and goat in 16:18b, the applications of the blood of the bull and goat were applied separately in the sanctuary (16:15b & 16:b); (2) 16:16b is in italics as it is implied from the context of 16:15 & 16a - "He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting" (16:16b).

Ezekielian Temple Atonement in the First Month

Paintbrush Picture

Eze 45:19a The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering
Eze 45:19b and put it on the doorposts of the temple
Eze 45:19c on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar
Eze 45:19d and on the gateposts of the inner court
Eze 45:20b ... so you are to make atonement for the temple

Notes: (1) Blood manipulations takes place over two days - the first and seventh days of the first month; (2) numbers placed to parallel the Tabernacle - do the gate posts of the inner court include the north and south gates?

New Covenant - Israel the Church and Israel the Kingdom

Lk 22:15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
Lk 22:20 ... after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (NIV).

Eze 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover...
Eze 45:22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. (AV).

The typology of Israel the Church and Israel the Kingdom suggests that the Kingdom Covenant will be renewed on Passover.

Lev 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
Lev 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

In the plan of God, pictured by the Holy days, the first day of the "feast of tabernacles" looks forward to the Millennium when God would renew the Covenant with Israel, which would include His renewed dwelling with His people - in the Millennial Temple.

Just prior to the "feast of tabernacles" was the Day of Atonement when the Tabernacle/Temple and the people were cleansed. So if the covenant is renewed on Passover, picturing the beginning, or near beginning, of the Millennium, then the counterpart of the Day of Atonement would be the cleansing of the Temple on the first and seventh days of the first month.

Purifying the Temple and Passover

2Ch 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one
2Ch 30:19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
2Ch 30:20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. (AV).

Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.
Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).

"Just as the altar initiation [Eze 43:18-27] unambiguously serves the purpose of purging the altar, so Ezekiel's unique requirement that a purification bull be offered by the ruler (nasi') "on his behalf and on behalf of the people" (v.22) can only be understood as part of a total scheme to purge the temple for the Passover (for a vivid example of the concern for the temple's purity for the paschal sacrifice, see 2 Chr 30:15-20)..." (Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, AB, p.282).

Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts (mezuzot) of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts (mezuzot) of the inner court. (NIV).
Ex 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts (mezuzot) and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. (AV).

"Ezekiel's obsession with purifying the temple in preparation for the Passover is underscored by his instructions that on the first day of the month the blood of a purification offering is to be applied to the doorposts of the temple building, the four corners of the altar's ledge..., and the doorposts of the (eastern, 46:1-5) gate (45:18-19)...The same purification ritual is enjoined "on the seventh day of the month..." (Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, AB, p.282).

"The blood rite here admittedly has its particular shape in that the blood is smeared on the doorposts of the temple (this recalls the Passover custom of Ex 12:7... here the blood has the power to remove sins" (Walther Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2 - A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, p.483).

Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).

Ex 12:3 ... In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb...
Ex 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month... (AV).
Nu 9:6 And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day...
Nu 9:11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it... (AV).
Ex 12:19a Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses:
Ex 12:15 ... even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses... (AV).

"It is assumed that after temple is purged on the first of the month, all of Israel will make a concerted effort to avoid ritual impurity during the following two weeks so that the Passover will be observed in purity. One need but recall that P [read Moses] enjoins the safeguarding of the paschal sacrifice for four days (Exod 12:3-6). Indeed, the period leading up to Passover is characterized by the ritual purification - the removal of leaven - from the home (Exod 12:15, 19-20; 13:7). Ezekiel also demands the simultaneous purification of the temple. He therefore institutes two temple purgation days, the second one on the seventh of the month for those who, despite their precautions, inadvertently or unwittingly contracted a temple-polluting impurity... it must [?] be assumed that Ezekiel's temple purgation on the first of the month effects a ... purpose: all impurity, caused by presumptuous and accidental acts, is cleansed. On the seventh, purgation is repeated lest pollution has recurred through inadvertence or ignorance...." (Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, AB, p.283).

"... it is significant that the holy of holies is not included in the places daubed with blood... V20b may want to relate this second ceremony to the whole temple area (Gese, Verfassungsentwurf79; Koch, Priesterschrift 107)" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.266).

Passover - the Day and the Festival

"The second annual observance in this calendar, and the only one named, is Passover (vv.21-24). This feast does fall where it is supposed to according the Torah, though the offerings differ (compare Num. 28:16-25). Also distinctive is the role the prince played in this festival..." (Steven Tuell, Ezekiel, NIBC, p.319).

Eze 45:21 In the first month on the fourteenth day you are to observe the Passover, a feast lasting seven days, during which you shall eat bread made without yeast.
Eze 45:22 On that day the prince is to provide a bull as a sin offering for himself and for all the people of the land.
Eze 45:23 Every day during the seven days of the Feast he is to provide seven bulls and seven rams without defect as a burnt offering to the LORD, and a male goat for a sin offering.
Eze 45:24 He is to provide as a grain offering an ephah for each bull and an ephah for each ram, along with a hin of oil for each ephah. (NIV).

Eze 45:21 On the fourteenth day of the first month you should hold the passover, after which unleavened bread is to be eaten for seven days. The head of state is to provide on that day a bull as a sin offering for himself and all the people in the land. During the seven days of the festival he is to provide as a holocaust to Yaweh seven bulls and seven rams, unblemished beasts, on each of the seven days; also a young goat as a sin offering each day... (Leslie C. Allen's translation).

"[In] the combined passover and festival of unleavened bread in the spring ... [the] ... sequencing ... [of the] ... two-part celebration in vv 21/22/23-24 represents an AB/A'/B' structure. In each case there is some emphasis upon the sin offering. In particular, the passover sin offering has no parallel in the Pentateuch. This emphasis aligns with v 17b and implies the regular need to purify the sanctuary and so protect its holiness from the people's sins" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.266).

Compare Deuteronomy 16:1-3.

The New Passover - the Day

Eze 45:21a In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover.... (AV).

"The Passover was a zebah, an animal sacrifice to be eaten by the sacrificer. Exod. 12 indicates that the festival originated in Egypt, on the night Yahweh slaughtered the firstborn of the land. The Israelites avoided this fate by having the head of each household procure an unblemished lamb, slaughter it, and smear its blood on the doorposts. The meat of the lamb was to be eaten in haste, with travelling clothes donned and walking stick in hand. The blood on the door served an apotropaic function - to turn away Yahweh. Later Passover celebrations served two purposes: to commemorate Yahweh's deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and to link the participants with that original event, actualizing that deliverance for each generation of Israelites.

"The opening lines of Ezekiel's Passover ordinance (v. 21) resemble the Mosaic prescriptions... In vv. 22-24, however, the form of the ordinance adheres more closely to custom than to statutory law. Several customary features may be noted.

"First, the nasi' is to play a leading role. Whereas Exod. 12-13 presents the original Passover as a family affair, led by the head of the household, Ezekiel charges the national head of state with responsibility for the celebration. The requirement that he provide the sacrificial animals codifies what seems to have been the custom for some time.

"As royal patron of the Passover, Hezekiah had initiated the celebration, resolved problems of timing, issued the decree for national participation and spiritual renewal, interceded on behalf of the people, encouraged the Levities and provided the animals (2 Chr. 30). Cf. Josiah's similar role decades later...

"Second, the sacrificial victim has changed from an unblemished lamb to a bull for the purification offering on the first day, and to bulls, rams and goats on the following seven days. The original instructions on the Passover did not mention these animals (Exod. 12-13), but later Mosaic legislation called for the slaughter of bulls and rams and male goats during the seven-day festival following the Passover proper (Num 28:16-25). The Chronicler identifies the Passover victims in the Hezekian celebration simply as the pesah (2 Chr. 30:15-17, which may be interpreted as the prescribed unblemished lambs. In keeping with Num. 28:16-25, however, the animals slain during the following seven days involved vast numbers of bulls and sheep as well. The issue becomes more complicated in the feast sponsored by Josiah. 2 Chr. 35:7-9 has the king and his nobles providing thousands of bulls and lambs and sheep for the Passover (pesahim)...

"Third, the focus of the celebration has changed. On the day of the Passover, the prince is to provide for himself and the people a bull for a purification offering (hatta't).This shift parallels the change in the nature of the sacrificial victims. Whereas the function of the original Passover was apotropaic, to ward off Yahweh's lethal actions, and subsequent celebrations provided annual reminders of the original event, in the Ezekielian ordinance the memorial purposes of the Passover are overshadowed by the purgative concern. Thus, while the Passover, the most fundamental of all Israelite celebrations, is retained in Ezekiel's new religions order, its nature and significance has been changed...

"Although Ezekiel retains the label of the ancient rite of Passover, his ordinance calls for a dramatic transformation of the festival. Like the original Passover (Exod. 12-13), Ezekiel's celebration has inaugural significance. Through this celebration the nation of Israel becomes the people of God. Whereas the function of the original Passover sacrifice was apotropaic (to ward off Yahweh), however, Ezekiel's is purgative. Like the rest of this prophet's Torah, the cult of the new order is preoccupied with holiness: maintaining the sanctity of the temple (v.20) and of the worshippers (v.22). Before the rituals can be performed, viz., before the new spiritual relationship between Yahweh and his people can be celebrated, the defilement of the building and the people must be purged. Through the Passover celebration, the temple complex becomes sacred space and the Israelites become a holy people. In this newly constituted theocracy the role of the nasi' is pivotal. As the patron and guardian of the cult, he bears the responsibility for the sanctification of the temple and the nation..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.664-66).

The Millennial Concern for the Atonement for Sin

Eze 45:25 In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil. (AV).

"If the Passover feast is still named and recognizable, the festival of the seventh month, which takes place at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, has lost all its original distinctiveness. It lacks any name or description... There is apparently no comparable purification ceremony before it, nor is any ceremony recorded that might correspond to the Day of Atonement ceremony associated with this festival in Leviticus 16. The primary annual ritual purification of the central sanctuary now takes place at the beginning of the year. But Ezekiel's special interest in purification remains clear in the prominent place given to the sin offering of 45:25. Both festivals thereby come to share the same interests in atonement for sin, which is a recurrent theme of Ezekiel's cult" (Iain M. Duguid, Ezekiel, NIVAC, pp.518-19).

For more detail on the Millennial purification offerings and atonement, see "God's Sacrificial System - Old and New/Renewed Kingdom Covenants".

Taking OT and NT statements seriously

Eze 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide ... the sin [purification] offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel. (NIV).

Heb 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (AV).

In light of God's millennial sacrificial system revealed through Ezekiel, whom the author of Hebrews would have been vary familiar with, it does not follow from the latter's argument that animal blood is not required to atone for sin and ritual impurity.

Jn 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

There was only one sacrifice for sin, which no animal sacrifice could do, and that sacrifice is the foundation of the efficacy of Old and New Covenant animal sacrificial blood to make atonement for God's people.

Eze 43:5b ...  and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Eze 43:7a ... "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. (NIV).

Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.
Eze 45:20b ... so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).

Without the regular purification of the Temple, Christ will not be able to live in His earthly dwelling place.

No Purification Offering - No Christ - No Covenant

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