Atonement According to Torah

By Menashe Dovid

©by Menashe Dovid ben Avraham

May 08 2011

A very real reality of this world is the presence of both good and evil. Almost anyone can identify with good and evil in their own lives. Often good and evil are perceived by religions like Christianity for example, in terms of two distinct and separate entities, namely God and the Devil respectively[1]. Jewish understanding has no such basis:

The Jewish tenet of the Unity of God also precludes the belief in any other creative force besides Him. Satan, the power of evil and completely independent of God, plays a very important role in Christianity. Judaism knows of no Satan as a creative force of evil opposed to the benevolent creative power of God. It only knows One Creator, Who made both the light and the darkness and Who created in man the good inclination and the evil inclination together with the faculty of free ethical choice. The Jew, therefore, does not fear Satan for, as a pithy Hasidic teaching has it, if one fears anything besides God, one is guilty of idolatry, fear being a kind of tribute to a power of which one is afraid, and tribute should only be offered to God.[2]

From the human perspective, feelings of guilt and despair in stark contrast to feelings of wellbeing and acceptance, paint the very peculiar picture of human existence we are all too familiar with. How often have we perceived something to have gone wrong, after the process of time, actually turns out right or much better than we would have expected? Similarly, actions which we felt were right to do in the past under a particular set of circumstances in actuality turn out to be wrong? No sooner do we feel that the odds are stacked against us, something happens, which changes our perspective about how things are going! As time progresses, an event such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness or accident forces us to take stock of our lives, to consider how THE END will be and the prospect of giving an account of our life actions or inactions…..our sins to a higher authority. The higher authority being God……the Judge of all!

The Torah relates the events of the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur in the book of Leviticus chapter 16:

6 “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness…

18 And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children ofIsrael. 20 “And when he has made an end of atoning for theHoly Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

The high priest (Aaron) offers a bull for atonement for himself and his household and two goats which make atonement for the sins of the people. For thousands of years The Day of Atonement has been observed even without sacrifices and a temple to offer them in. The Day of Atonement provides atonement for a year’s sins committed by the people. Unlike the regular animal sacrifices offered daily for unintentional sins only (see Lev 4 and Num 15:22-29 cf [v30, 31][3]), the Day of Atonement atoned for intentional sins too!

Sacrifices in Context

Sacrifices of any kind from the time of Cain and Abel to the birth of the nation of Israel emerge in the Torah as man-initiated events, without any reference to sin! One possible exception to man-initiated events is the near sacrifice of Isaac commanded by G-d. Despite heated debate within Judaism about the meaning of the binding of Isaac, Abraham on his own initiative, subsequent to G-d telling Abraham not to sacrifice Isaac, sacrifices a ram (Gen 22:13), even though Abraham tells Isaac that G-d will provide a lamb (Gen 22:8). Either way, both possibilities of lamb and/ or ram are not commanded by G-d! Moreover, in the binding of Isaac there is no mention that the purpose of sacrifice is for atonement of sin either! Additionally, the binding of Isaac, a typology used by Messianics and Christians, attempts to create a correlation between the “Binding of Isaac” (Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac) and God’s sacrifice of Jesus. Unfortunately the correlation breaks down practically before it ever begins. The typology says that God sacrificed His own son just as Abraham would have sacrificed his own son, had God allowed the act to be completed. However, Abraham was sacrificing his son to God, which showed Abraham loved God more than he loved his son Isaac, something that even God acknowledges in the text:

“He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to thelandofMoriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” (Gen 22:2)

So who did God sacrifice Jesus to? Did God sacrifice Jesus to mankind in order to show mankind that He loved mankind more than he loved Jesus? Is mankind God’s god? God needs mankind’s approval in order to be God? Does this make sense? Of course it does not make sense[4].

Whereas, previously before the giving of the Torah, sacrifices where offered in any place, the Torah specifically tells where the sacrifice may be made[5], that blood may not be consumed[6] and persisting in sinful behavior whilst going about performing sacrifices and offerings is not acceptable to Hashem[7]. Indeed persisting in sinful behavior whilst going about performing sacrifices and offerings in any way one pleases, Isaiah[8] likens to be no more acceptable than a human sacrifice. Here Isaiah confirms the Torah’s prohibition against the abominable[9] practice of sacrificing human beings for atonement.

From the above we may conclude that where one does need to bring a sacrifice for sin as commanded in the Torah, a primary prerequisite is teshuva[10] or in the not so accurate English term repentance. Judaism considers the prerequisite teshuva or repentance to achieve atonement and not the idea of a penal human substitutionary atonement which the Jewish scriptures teach against. Without teshuva any sacrifice for sin is worthless otherwise! Whilst a number of Jewish sources point to the suffering of others to bring about atonement, it should be pointed out that atonement is only effected when the observer of the suffering is moved to perform the prerequisite of teshuva or repentance. With the prerequisites of teshuva in place, having the right intentions, performing the sacrifice as commanded and obedience to the word of G-d being preferable than sacrifice, the sacrificial sacrifice aspect of Torah is placed in its proper context. Without the sacrificial sacrifice aspect of Torah in its proper context, Christianity makes Jesus’ sacrifice for atonement the sole basis of its religion without any reference to a personal effort to get closer to G-d.

The Day of Atonement Perspectives

The Day of Atonement as described in the Torah is one event of Jewish History and Jewish identity which probably has received the most speculative theological interpretations and implementations by Christianity. A survey of the Mass performed by Roman Catholicism has a whole kippah (skull cap) clad priesthood ringing bells, waving incense leading up to the grand finale of immolating[11] the victim (Jesus) repeatedly every time Mass is performed. The participants of the Mass according to the doctrine of transubstantiation then literally eat the body and blood of Jesus. The Mass as one of many sacraments of the Church, if observed regularly by a participant, is believed to be beneficial with respect to having ones sins atoned for. The other end of the Christian spectrum, namely Protestantism, repulsed by the mass, insist that Communion or Eucharist (as some wish to call it) is merely a symbolic remembrance of the ‘once and for all’ never to be repeated sacrifice of Jesus, which basically fulfils all of the typology of the Jewish Scriptures which point to Jesus[12]. So according to Protestantism, the two goats of the Yom Kippur service find their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus. The repeated re-sacrifice or immolation of Jesus performed in the Mass, Protestants say, shows a direct parallel to the daily and annual sacrifices of the Jews. Using support from the book of Hebrews, protestants argue that the repeated sacrifices of the daily and in particular the annual Day of Atonement of the Jews do not take away sins[13]….. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. (Heb 10:11).

In contradistinction to Hebrews, the Torah states for unintentional sins both individually and collectively, there is atonement and forgiveness:

‘The priest shall take [some] of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put [it] on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all [the remaining] blood at the base of the altar. ‘He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him. (Lev 4:34, 35)

‘So the priest shall make atonement for the whole congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them, for it was unintentional; they shall bring their offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their unintended sin. ‘It shall be forgiven the whole congregation of the children of Israeland the stranger who dwells among them, because all the people [did it] unintentionally. (Num 15:25, 26)

Concerning the Day of Atonement the Torah says:

6 “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting…..

9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness…

21 “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send [it] away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man…

30 “For on that day [the priest] shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, [that] you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD….

34 “This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.”

Yet another enigma of the interpretation of the events of Yom Kippur is presented by the Seventh day Adventists. According to Seventh day Adventists, when Jesus died on the cross, the old, or earthly, sacrificial system which pointed to His life and death was no longer necessary. As far as God was concerned, the earthly sanctuary service ended. Then, after Jesus’ death, Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to begin his work as the high priest in the heavenly Sanctuary. The Millerites[14], the forerunners to the Adventist movement, using Dan 8:14, at the close of the 2300 days (1844), believed the Sanctuary was to be cleansed by the second coming of Jesus. Jesus obviously did not come back and the prophecy of Dan 8:14 was re-worked by Adventists to say something different:

According to Adventists, the sanctuary of Dan 8 was not the earthly Sanctuary, because the earthly Sanctuary work ended at the cross. Therefore, the Sanctuary needing cleansing must have been the heavenly Sanctuary. In 1844, the time appointed, the great antitypical cleansing, or judgment in the most holy place of the Sanctuary in heaven began. The beginning of cleansing in 1844 as claimed by Adventists is in direct contradiction to verse 14 of Daniel 8 which indicates the completion of the cleansing and not the beginning of cleansing!

Additionally Adventist believe the great antitypical cleansing or judgment in the most holy place of the Sanctuary in heaven is a cleansing of the sins of those who have accepted Jesus and maintained their faith in Jesus. The end of the great antitypical cleansing, or judgment in the most holy place of the Sanctuary in heaven culminates in the 2nd coming of Jesus and the execution of Judgment against those who have not accepted Jesus and the destruction of Satan. The two Goats of the Yom Kippur service, according to Adventist theology, has the goat for the Lord fulfilled in antitype by Jesus and the scapegoat or Azazel fulfilled in antitype by Satan[15].

The use of prophecy, namely Daniel 8:14, is particularly troubling as a number of Adventists have pointed out. Particularly prominent in this area is scholar Dr. Desmond Ford who studied under the famous scholar F. F. Bruce. However, without Dr. Ford, a number of problems or misunderstandings of Daniel 8 may indeed be solved by simply viewing verses/ chapters in context, rather than projecting a whole theory for Jesus not turning up in 1844 onto Daniel and indeed all the other parts of the Jewish Scriptures.

13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.(Dan ch8)

A problem with Daniel 8:14 is that according to the Adventists, the antitypical cleansing or judgment in the most holy place of the Sanctuary in heaven is a cleansing of the sins of those who have accepted Jesus and endure to the end with respect to their faith in Jesus[16]. The sins of those who have accepted Jesus defile the sanctuary. However, verse 14 of Daniel is an answer to a question raised in verse 13, namely that the defilement of the sanctuary is as a result of the activities of the little horn (verse 9) and not the sins of those who have accepted Jesus! It is not readily clear if the sanctuary mentioned in Dan 8:14 is a heavenly sanctuary, an earthly sanctuary or both. Whilst a vast array of beasts, metals and horns are portrayed in Daniel, most scholars are agreed that chapters 2, 7, 8, 9-12 cover in parallel, the same time events with the kingdoms of Babylon, Media/Persia,Greece and Rome. The events of Daniel relate historically to real kingdoms, real exile(s) and also real Sanctuaries/Temples being destroyed, the first Temple being destroyed by the Babylonians for example.

These historical events were no doubt prominent, relevant and recent in the life experience of Daniel. The ongoing historical assault on the people of God (the Jews) and the Temple is a recurring theme in Daniel which also shows the timing of the destruction of the second temple (70CE) too in chapter 9:26, 27. Dan 9 is not the only description Daniel gives us of these events. In chapter 11 verse 31, Daniel describes the violation of the sanctuary using the same terminology that he uses in the passage under discussion (9:26, 27). The violation of the sanctuary is to take place at the close of the 490 years, followed by a refining process (Dan 11:33-35). The refining process represents God’s program for the ultimate expiation of sin and for the salvation of mankind. The refining process by ‘flame, by captivity and by spoil‘ is for ‘many days‘; (verse 33) and continues ‘even to the time of the end‘ (verse 35). Consideration of Dan 9:24-27 and Dan 11:33-35 indicates that the program will only begin at the close of the 490 years (see also Leviticus 26:41, Isaiah 1:25, 40:2, 48:10, Psalm 66:9). The 490 years were decreed in order to pave the way for God’s program to be set in motion.

Jewish Perspectives of the Day of Atonement

The Talmud identifies the goat for Azazel as a classical legal mystery or chuk, just one of five chukim characterized by their illogical nature. With respect to these chukim, the Talmud[17] states that a Jew has no right to question them and must observe them. Indeed details of the dangers of misinterpretation are recorded in the Talmud[18] when a causeway was constructed to counteract the people’s desecration of theTemple service by their literal understanding of the goat for Azazel:


AND THEY MADE A CAUSEWAY FOR HIM etc. Gemara: Rabbah b. Bar Hana said: These were not Babylonians but Alexandrians, and because they [the Palestinians] hated the Babylonians[19], 27 they called them [the Alexandrians] by their [the Babylonians’] name. It was taught: R. Judah said, They were not Babylonians, but Alexandrians. — R. Jose said to him: May your mind be relieved even as you have relieved my mind[20]!

To say that the goat for Azazel as a classical legal mystery or chuk has produced within Jewish literature numerous approaches to gain understanding of Azazel is an understatement! Approaches at one end of the spectrum are rationalistic[21] and at the other end of the spectrum mystical Midrashic ones[22].

What is a Midrash?

To understand what a Midrash is, it is important to understand what Pshat is. Pshat refers to the straightforward explanation of a text, while Drash (from where we get Midrash) refers to the rabbinical commentary which serves as a vehicle for transmission of lessons, ideas and concepts which go beyond the literal narrative of the text. A Midrash in the Talmud Chullin gives a dispute between the moon and God about the sun:

R. Simeon b. Pazzi pointed out a contradiction [between verses]. One verse says: And God made the two great lights[23], and immediately the verse continues: The greater light . . . and the lesser light. The moon said unto the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Is it possible for two kings to wear one crown’? He answered: ‘Go then and make thyself smaller’. ‘Sovereign of the Universe’! cried the moon, ‘Because I have suggested that which is proper must I then make myself smaller’? He replied: ‘Go and thou wilt rule by day and by night’. ‘But what is the value of this’? cried the moon; ‘Of what use is a lamp in broad daylight’? He replied: ‘Go. Israel shall reckon by thee the days and the years’. ‘But it is impossible’, said the moon, ‘to do without the sun for the reckoning of the seasons, as it is written: And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years’[24]. ‘Go. The righteous shall be named after thee[25] as we find, Jacob the Small[26], Samuel the Small[27], David the Small’[28], On seeing that it would not be consoled the Holy One, blessed be He, said: ‘Bring an atonement for Me for making the moon smaller’. This is what was meant by R. Simeon b. Lakish when he declared: Why is it that the he-goat offered on the new moon is distinguished in that there is written concerning it unto the Lord[29]? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, said: Let this he-goat be an atonement for Me for making the moon smaller. (Talmud Chullin 60b)

A moon talking to God cannot obviously be taken literally, rather the rabbis are asking, amongst other things, to consider symbolically, the dangers of jealousy. So what is the literal Pshat meaning of the verse found in Gen 1:16 and how may the contradiction, highlighted in the Talmud be resolved in verse 16? And God made the two great lights[30];… a possible answer to the contradiction is that from our earthly perspective, the sun and the moon are exactly the same size. Sun and moon being the same size is evidenced during a solar eclipse for example. God therefore has placed two spheres of dramatically different size, so precisely, that an observer on earth views them to be equal in size. Once this miraculous physical reality is given in the text, verse 16 goes onto explain, in terms of illumination, one sphere being greater than the other, hence the apparent contradiction is resolved[30a]!

However, despite centuries of anti-Semitism and enforced editing of Jewish literature and even numerous burnings[31] of Jewish literature by the Church; the Church has not stopped the misuse, misquotation and misapplication of Midrashic material in the past to support belief for Jesus. The Church is quite happy to arbitrarily quote and impose that a Midrash is literal or not literal depending on its own theological agenda. Such quoting and imposition of Midrashim as literal or not literal, whilst simultaneously burning Midrashic material, presents a highly schizophrenic and menacing attitude to rabbinic literature and the Jewish Scriptures. More recently, a renaissance in a potential (mis)use of rabbinical literature by both black supremacists, white supremacists and amongst Messianics with a book by Douglas Pyle[32](staff worker at chosen people ministries), entitled “What the Rabbonim say about Moshiac”. The book by Douglas Pyle is a huge resource of rabbinical texts which the user may arbitrarily quote as literal or non-literal, depending how they fit the user’s theological agenda for converting the Jew.

Azazel from Midrashic Perspectives

When considering Azazel from midrashic perspectives it becomes readily apparent where Adventists get the idea that Azazel is a type for the Devil or Satan:

Raba said: The view of him who says they are permitted is more reasonable, for the Torah did not say ‘Send away’! To create [possibility of] offence[33]. Our Rabbis taught: Azazel — it should be hard and rough[34]. One might have assumed that it is to be in inhabited land, therefore the text reads: ‘In the wilderness’. But whence do we know that it [is to be in] a Zok[35]? Therefore the text reads: ‘Cut off’[36]. Another [Baraitha] taught: Azazel, i.e., the hardest of mountains, thus also does it say: And the mighty [ele] of the land he took away[37].The School of R. Ishmael taught: Azazel — [it was so called] because it obtains atonement for the affair of Uza[38] and Aza’el. (Yoma 67b)

In the above passage from tractate Yoma we have a reference to Azazel; meaning strong, irresistible or impudent which along with Yoma 67a would indicate that Azazel is a geographical location. Additionally there is also a reference to two angels[39] Uza and Aza’el, who convince G-d to send them into the corruption of human society to prove their own steadfastness[40]. Instead in their descent to earth, they rebel against G-d and introduce further sexual licentiousness into human behavior. Angels having a free will, an evil inclination to rebel against G-d or an existence independent of G-d is clearly taught against[41]. Even so philosophical problems exist when one considers Leviticus 17:7 alongside the Midrashic material with reference to demons or fallen angels and the offering of a goat to Azazel described in Lev 16.

וְלֹא-יִזְבְּחוּ עוֹד, אֶת-זִבְחֵיהֶם, לַשְּׂעִירִם, אֲשֶׁר הֵם זֹנִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם:  חֻקַּת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶה-זֹּאת לָהֶם, לְדֹרֹתָם.

And they shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices unto the demons (lit. to the goats לַשְּׂעִירִם), after whom they stray. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations (Lev 17:7).

However, Ramban in his citation of the Ibn Ezra says:

The word עוד (no longer) teaches us that the Israelites used to do such things while they where inEgypt. “אשר הם זונים ”  – The term זונים (literally, “act promiscuously or adulterously”, translated as “stray”) is used in the phrase “after whom they stray” in our verse because anyone who seeks out [these demons] and believes in them is “acting adulterously” by breaking away from under the authority of his God, for he thinks that there is one who can cause good and evil other than God, may he be blessed. (Artscroll Ramban on Lev 17:17 page 435.)

Click here for Part 2

[1] I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

[2] Judaism and Christianity the differences, by Trude Weiss-Rosmarin, page 16, Jonathan David publishers, New York.1997.

[3]These verses confirm that intentional sins are not atoned for.

[4] Indeed, sacrifices as man-initiated events are confirmed in the book of Jeremiah 7: 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ So troubling is the above to Christian theology, that the New International Version (NIV) of Jer 7:22, 23, adds an extra word to the translation which the Hebrew does not support: 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. The extra word ‘just’, parachuted into the NIV translation of verse 22 gives the reverse idea that G-d did command the Israelites to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings for sins in stark contrast to the man initiated sacrifices found in the Torah (prior to Sinai) without reference to sin! Moreover, the ‘but’ of verse 23 renders verse 22 in the NIV illogical!

[5] The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: ‘This is what the Lord has commanded: Any Israelite who sacrifices an ox, a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside of it instead of bringing it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord in front of the tabernacle of the Lord—that man shall be considered guilty of bloodshed; he has shed blood and must be cut off from his people.” (Lev.17: 1-4)

[6] 10 “‘I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people. 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. (Lev 17)

[7] “Those who choose their own ways–delighting in their abominations–will not have their offerings accepted. When such people sacrifice a bull, it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice. When they sacrifice a lamb, it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog! When they bring an offering of grain, they might as well offer the blood of a pig. When they burn frankincense, it’s as if they had blessed an idol.” (Isa.66: 3)

[8] ibid

[9] 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God; for every abomination to the LORD, which He hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters do they burn in the fire to their gods. Deut 12

[10] Psalm 51:1-18 includes some background and prerequisites prior to sacrifices and burnt offerings, with perquisites in place, David declares (v19); Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

[11] I.e. killing the victim.

[12]27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord…29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number are dead.” (1 Cor 11)

Now I don’t know about you but if eating and drinking bread and wine without the right perception can lead to a curse, such as falling ill or even worse being cursed with a terminal illness, it goes way, way beyond being merely symbolic. With such a grave statement, if it were true, it is a wonder there are any Christians left alive today! Of course, there is another way to view the text. It may be that Paul meant there were ill people, even terminally ill, who could receive healing when they partook of the Eucharist if only they would perceive the mystical body and blood of Yeshua in it. According to Paul’s imagination there is something surrounding this sacrament that is active however it is to be defined. Not merely symbolic at all! He believed there to be power in the body and blood of Yeshua that could bring about salvation and redemption. This is ancient pagan teaching through and through. (

[13] If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (Heb 7:11)

not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another (Heb 9:25)

so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Heb 9:28)

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Heb 10:14)

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, Hebrews 10:10-12

[14] The Millerites were the followers of the teachings of William Miller who, in 1833, first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second Advent of Jesus Christ in roughly the year 1843. Miller was a prosperous farmer, a Baptist layman and amateur student of the Bible, living in northern New York, in the region of that state which has come to be known as the Burned-over district. Through years of intensive study of prophetic symbolism of the prophecies of Daniel and using the year-day method of prophetic interpretation, Miller became convinced that Christ’s Second Coming was revealed in Bible prophecy.

[15] The other goat, in antithesis, symbolized Satan, who must bear the responsibility not only for his own sins but for his part in all the sins he has caused others, both righteous and wicked, to commit. This live goat, it is to be remembered, was not slain. Questions on Doctrine, page 398

[16] Moreover, as far as an Adventist is concerned with respect to salvation, the beginning of Judgment in 1844 and ending of the Judgment which vindicates those who remain true to Jesus by confessing all of their sins before their name comes up, is according to Desmond Ford in a YouTube video, a salvation which depends on “whether one has good memory or not”.

[17] Talmud Bavli Yoma 67b

[18] Ibid 66a – 66b

[19] This hatred caused them to look down upon the Babylonians as remiss in their religious duties, and to father upon

them other people’s wrongs.

[20] R. Jose was a Babylonian. He welcomes the interpretation, which freed his fellow-countrymen from the charge of

such boorish conduct.

[21] Rambam and Rabbi Shimson Rafael Hirsh

[22] Ibn Ezra and Ramban

[23] Gen. I, 16.

[24] Ibid. 14

[25] Righteous men shall be named ‘the Small’ after the moon which was reduced to become the small luminary.

[26] Cf. Amos VII, 2: How shall Jacob stand? for he is small.

[27] A renowned Tanna of the first century, called ‘the Small’ on account of his humility.

[28] Cf. I Sam. XVII, 14: And David was the youngest (smallest).

[29] Num. XXVIII, 15: And a he-goat for a sin-offering unto the Lord. These words, ‘unto the Lord’, are not found in connection with sacrifices on other festive seasons.

[30] Gen. I, 16.


Bill Nye, the harmless children’s edu-tainer known as “The Science Guy,” managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.

But don’t tell that to the good people of Waco, who were “visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence,” according to the Waco Tribune.

Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College’s Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled “We believe in God!” and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they’d always suspected.

This story originally appeared in the Waco Tribune, but the newspaper has mysteriously pulled its story from the online version, presumably to avoid further embarrassment.

[31]Europe has a shameful history of burning of Jewish books. The first event in the Western world was ordered by Pope Gregory IX, who in 1239 consigned the Talmud to the flames. InToulouse, the Catholic Inquisition burned the books of Rashi in 1319. InVenice 1,000 copies of the Talmud were destroyed in the fire.

[32] Author: Compiled by Douglas Pyle ISBN: 1-882675-09-6 (paperback) Published: December 2008 inNew York City Pages: 108

Rabbinic writings are provided in Hebrew and English. Appendices provide a glossary of sources and biographical information concerning rabbis quoted. An important addition to the study library for any serious student of the Tenach.

[33] It would be an offence for an unwary man who found them to make use of these animals, and the Torah would place no such stumbling-block in the way of the average person. Hence the assumption that the members of the goat’s body are free to be used.

[34] Az and el mean strong, irresistible, impudent.

[35] Zok means a mountain peak; it may be the special name of the mountain whence the he-goat was flung down.

[36] V. Supra p. 315, n. 7.

[37] Ezek 17:13

[38] This is a reference to the legend of fallen angels, based partly on Gen. VI, 4 and also on foreign lore. V. Jung, L. ‘Fallen Angels in Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan literature’.

[39] See also Midrash Rabba Devarim

[40] 1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives, whomsoever they chose. (Gen 6)

cf 6 Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1)

[41] Midrash Rabba Bereishit 48:11, see Deut 4:39

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