Temple 201-The Ceremonies (Yom Kippur)-Part 29

We will pick up our study of the Yom Kippur ceremony in the Mishnah, Yoma 5.1.

They brought out to him the ladle (this is a censor. While we have standard measurements on Yom Kippur to was different with this censor. It was made specifically for each High Priest according to the size of his hands) and the fire-pan and he took his two hands full of incense and put it in the ladle (censor), which was large according to his largeness of hand, or small according to his smallness of hand; and such alone was the prescribed measure of the ladle. He took the fire-pan in his right hand and the ladle in his left. He went through the Sanctuary until he came to the space between the two curtains (The Parochet) separating the Sanctuary (Ha Kodesh, or Heichal) from the Holy of Holies (Kodesh ha Kodeshim). And there was a cubit’s space between them (There was 39 cubits to the eastern parochet and 40 cubits to the western parochet. The Heichal had to be 40 cubits and the Kodesh ha Kodeshim was 20 cubits. The two “veils” were 8 stories high and three inches thick). R. Jose says, “Only one curtain was there, for it is written, ‘And the veil shall divide for you between the holy place (Ha Kodesh) and the most holy (Kodesh ha Kodeshim).'” The outer curtain was looped (clasped) up on the south side (a gap to enter from that end) and the inner one on the north side (to enter the Kodesh ha Kodeshim). He went along between them (the two parochet’s) until he reached the north side; when he reached the north he turned around to the south and went on with the parochet on his left hand until he reached the Ark (now he is “face to face” with the Lord, which is an idiom for Yom Kippur). When he reached the Ark he put the fire-pan between the two bars (the two poles that carried the Ark. They were low to the ground so he had to step over them. They reached all the way to the inner parochet). He heaped up the incense on the coals and the whole place became filled with smoke (this is seen as a covering for the High Priest). He came out by the way he went in, and in the outer space he prayed a short prayer. But he did not prolong his prayer lest he put Israel in terror (This is how they knew if he was alright. They knew exactly how long all of this took. Some people think that he wore his golden vestments with the bells and pomegranates into the Holy of Holies, and was tied with a rope to pull him out in case anything happened to him and they couldn’t hear the tinkling bells on the hem of his garment. This is a myth. First of all, nobody was in the Sanctuary to hear the bells. Second, he didn’t wear the golden vestments into the Holy of Holies, just his priestly garments. God is not impressed by rank. Third, the bells did not make a sound they could be heard by anyone else except the Lord because they were so small. Fourth, he had to wear what the Lord told him to wear, and if he took a rope around his waist, that would not be in line with the kedusha and he may have died for not being in line with the tavnit (pattern or blueprint) just like the son’s of Aaron).

5.2…After the Ark was taken away (it is hidden in a chamber on the southwest corner of Temple Mount because of it’s kedusha. It could not be taken anywhere else) a stone remained there from the time of the early prophets (of the First Temple), and it was called “Shetiyah” (“foundation stone”). It was higher than the ground by three fingerbreadths. On this he used to put the fire-pan.

5.3…He took the blood (from the bullock) from him who was stirring it and entered again into the place where he entered and stood again on the place whereon he had stood, and sprinkled the blood (with his right index finger) once upwards and seven times downwards, not as though he had intended to sprinkle upwards or downwards, but as though he was wielding a whip (interesting description because Yeshua was whipped and his blood sprinkled everywhere). And thus he used to count: One (lifting his finger upwards), one and one (then downwards), one and two (upwards, then downwards), one and three, one and four, one and five, one and six, one and seven. He came out and put it (the blood) on the golden stand in the Sanctuary (there was a stand there because he could not put the Mizrak down because it was cone-shaped and would fall over).

5.4…They brought him the he-goat (“to the Lord” or “L’YHVH”). He slaughtered it and received its blood in a basin (Mizrak) He then entered again into the place wherein he had entered and stood again on the place whereon he had stood, and sprinkled the blood once upwards and seven times downwards, not as though he had intended to sprinkle upwards or downwards, but as though he were wielding a whip. And thus he used to count: One, one and one, one and two, one and three, one and four, one and five, one and six, one and seven. He came out and put it on the second stand in the Sanctuary. R. Judah says: Only one stand was there. He took the blood of the bullock and set down in its place the blood of the he-goat, and then sprinkled the blood of the bullock on the curtain (parochet) outside, opposite the Ark, once upwards and seven times downwards, not as though he had intended to sprinkle upwards or downwards, but as though he were wielding a whip. And thus he used to count: One, one and one, one and two, one and three, one and four, one and five, one and six, one and seven. Then he took the blood of the he-goat and set down in its place the blood of the bullock, and then sprinkled the blood of the he-goat on the curtain outside, opposite the Ark, once upwards and seven times downwards, not as though he intended to sprinkle upwards or downwards, but as though he were wielding a whip; and thus he used to count: One, one and one, one and two, one and three, one and four, one and five, one and six, one and seven. He emptied out the blood of the bullock into the blood of the he-goat (L’YHVH) and poured the contents of the full vessel into the empty one.

5.5…Then he went to the Altar which is before the Lord (in the middle of the Heichal), that is the golden altar (of incense). When he begins to sprinkle downwards, where does he begin? From the northeast horn (corner), then the northwest, then the southwest, then the southeast. Where he begins the sprinkling of the outer Altar; there he completes the sprinkling of the inner Altar. R. Eliezer (This is R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus. He was a student of Yochanon Ben Zakkai and a contemporary of Paul and a “tanna” of the first century. It is believed that he was a believer in Yeshua through the teaching of either James the Talmid of Yeshua, or James the Lord’s brother. Ben Zakkai said of him, “If all the Sages of Israel were on one side of a scale, and R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus were on the other, he would outweigh them all”-Avot 2.8. He quoted Yeshua on a point of halachah and was called before the court. He was censored and lived out the rest of his life in solitude. His “ex-communication” was later reversed. It is said that when he died, “the Torah scroll was hidden away”-b. Sotah 49b of the Talmud. For more information, go to the article, “The story of Rabbi Eliezer Ben Hyrcanus: Talmudic Sage and a Nazarene” at “nazarenespace.com” by James Trimm) says: He used to stand in the one place and sprinkle, and he sprinkled every horn from below upwards, excepting the horn before which he was standing, which he used to sprinkle from above downwards.

5.6…He then sprinkled the cleansed surface of the Altar (of incense) seven times and poured out the residue of blood at the western base of the outer Altar; and the residue of the blood sprinkled on the outer Altar he poured out at the southern base. Both mingled together in the channel and flowed away into the Kidron. And it was sold to gardeners as manure, and the law of sacrilege applied to it (the Amah that went to Akeldama, where Judas hung himself. This manure could not be sold for profit. If it was sold, the profits had to go back to the Temple).

5.7… Every act of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement here enumerated according to the prescribed order-if one act was done out of order before another act, it is as if it was not done at all. If he sprinkled the blood of the he-goat before the blood of the bullock, he must start anew and sprinkle the blood of the he-goat after the blood of the bullock. And if the blood was poured away before the High Priest had finished the sprinklings within the Holy of Holies, he must bring other blood and start anew and sprinkle afresh within the Holy of Holies. So, too, in what concerns the Sanctuary and the Golden Altar, since they are each a separate act of atonement. R. Eleazar (not the one we just mentioned) and R. Simeon say: At the place where he broke off (made a mistake) there he begins again.

In Part 30, we will pick up with the Yom Kippur ceremony in Yoma 6.1.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, The Temple, Understanding the New Testament

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