Now we are going to talk about Yom Kippur as we go over the concepts needed to understand the New Testament. There are many sources to read about the Yom Kippur Avodah (service), including the Torah, the Mishnah tractate “Yoma”, The Talmud “Yoma”, the book “Yamin Noraim” by B. S. Jacobson, “The Book of our Heritage” by Eliyahu Kitov, “Days of Awe” by S.Y. Agnon and “Yom Kippur and the Coming of Messiah” By Hatikva Ministries available on-line. We also have considerable information on the Temple ceremonies on this site as well. All of these sources together will give you a full picture of not only what was done in the Temple, but what will happen eschatologically with the coming of Yeshua on that day to the earth (Matt 24.29-31). People will need to understand the Temple ceremonies which will be the key to unlocking Bible prophecy. The reason there are so many false prophets giving false teachings and prophecies today (for example that 1993 was going to be the start of the Tribulation taught by Monte Judah, Y2K, Jonathan Cahn and his books, The Four Blood Moons that was taught by John Hagee and Mark Biltz, John Shorey predicting the start of the Tribulation in March of 2016, and much more) is that these people and those who are being led by them do not understand the Festivals, the Temple and its services and just how to understand the Scriptures from a first century Jewish perspective. In this series called “The Torah and New Testament Foundations” we are trying to do something to correct that.
The High Priest is separated seven days prior to Yom Kippur. He stays in the Palhedrin Chamber in Beit Avitnas. The word “palhedrin” means “politicians” and it was called that because the office of High Priest was controlled by politics between the leaders, like Herod, and the Romans in the last few years the Temple stood. The High Priest will practice and make sure he is qualified to do the service (no blemish). The night before they will keep him up all night. The “Kiriat Ha Gever” or the “rooster” is a man who gives a three-fold cry before the morning Tamid. This three-fold cry was referred to by Yeshua when he told Peter he would deny him three times before the “rooster” or the Kiriat Ha Gever gave his three-fold cry. This signaled the Kohanim to go to their posts, the Levi’im to go to their stations and for the Ma’Amad to go to the Court of Israel for prayer. As on all other days, this Tamid service was done before anything else was done, even on Yom Kippur. They will wait for sunrise and when the city of Hebron was lit up, the service would begin. When you read about the Yom Kippur service, take notice of all the words, phrases and idioms used to describe what is going on. You will see these same idioms in the New Testament. Yeshua explicitly stated he will come back to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur.
Now, let’s explain the Azazel goat. There were two goats for the Yom Kippur service and they were called “L’YHVH” or “for the Lord and “L’Azazel” or “for Azazel.” The L’YHVH goat is slaughtered and the blood is taken into the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim. This is a Korban Chata’at, or sin offering. It is killed north of the Altar and is “for the Lord.” L’ Azazel has hands laid on its head and sins are confessed, and then this goat is given to another and led to the wilderness. The person leading the goat does not need to be a priest. There was a ramp going out of the Temple, going southeast to the wilderness. Anciently, the people would pull the hair of this goat to get it out, so they built this ramp. Azazel is not the name of this goat because the goat is “for Azazel” but just who is Azazel?
Azazel was seen as a supernatural being, but not from God. He was seen as being extra-human in character and the name is obscure. We have dealt with this issue before in our Temple Ceremonies series and we gave quotes from the Book of Enoch about who Azazel is. It is believed that Azazel belongs to a class of “Serim” or “devils.” Goat worship is big in paganism. The god “Pan” is pictured as a goat. In northern Israel there was a place called “Banias” and it was believed by some that the “gates of hell” were there. However, originally, it was called “Panias.” The Arabs had trouble pronouncing “p’s” so the name changed. There is a temple there (see the internet) near Caesarea Phillipi and the “gates of hell” can be seen.
The wilderness in Hebrew thought was seen as the domain of Ha Satan and devils, so the idea the Azazel goat is communicating is that when it is taken out into the wilderness it is returning to where Azazel is and the sins of the people are being sent back to Ha Satan, the father of evil and the source of impurity, desolation and ruin. Remember, Yeshua said in Luke 11.24 that “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man it passes through dry places (the wilderness).” Azazel is seen in contrast to the righteous government of the Lord. This goat was seen as the embodiment of evil and equal to the Golden Calf. Satanic churches are called “Azazel” because they grasp the concept of just who this goat is going to (google it). Some sources to use to check out Azazel is the Gesenius Lexicon on Azazel (Strong’s #5799); Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon on Azazel; The Jewish Encyclopedia in “Azazel”; The Dictionary of Dieties and Demons of the Bible; 1 Enoch, Book 1, 8.1, 9.6, 10.5; Chapter 13; Chapter 54.1-6, 55.3-4. Azazel was seen as a wicked spirit, thrown into darkness. There was a belief that there was a hole in the desert which was in Duda’el and he was cast there. Duda’el means “to cut” and this was at Mount Montar. Revelation 19.17-21 records what happens to the false messiah (Azazel) at the coming of Yeshua.
So, Azazel represents not only the false messiah, but also Satan and they are judged together and sent to the same place (Rev 20.7-10). Mount Montar is northwest of the Dead Sea, called the “Lake of Fire” in the first century. We are told that the Dead Sea will be a living sea, with fresh water, in the Kingdom. Sodom and Gomorrah will be eternally cursed and some people believe these cities were in the northern end of the Dead Sea underwater. Now, the Dead Sea is oily and the Nabateans sold the oil that bubbled up on the water. They were in the oil business. When Yeshua returns, there will be an earthquake. The Dead Sea will come up to Mount Montar, also covering Sodom and Gomorrah. This area will remain cursed but the rest of the Dead Sea will become fresh. The false messiah will flee Jerusalem, going southeast and will be captured and thrown alive into the Dead Sea at the same site the Azazel goat was taken during the Temple service. In the first century, the Dead Sea would actually burn or “catch fire” due to the oil. Tar pits are mentioned in the area that would become the Dead Sea in Gen 14. In the past, gases and oil would cause the sea to burn, so that is why it is called the Lake of Fire. The Romans called it “Lake Asphaltus.” The book of revelation has imagery that could potentially happen literally.
What have in the Scriptures is an eschatological picture seen in the festivals. Yeshua was crucified on Passover, buried on Hag Ha Matzah (Unleavened Bread), resurrected on Bikurrim (First Fruits and the waving of the Omer), The Ruach Ha Kodesh sent on Shavuot (Pentecost), then we have a long growing period coming up to the season of Teshuvah (repentance/return), then Rosh Ha Shannah, which teaches the Natzal (the “Gathering” or plucking up of the righteous, both living and dead; the wedding; the judgment and the coronation). The Yamin Noraim begin from Rosh Ha Shannah to Yom Kippur (picturing the days of awe, or the Birth-pains). Then we come to Yom Kippur (picturing the second coming of Yeshua to Jerusalem) and the final festival is Sukkot (picturing the Kingdom of God on earth in a literal kingdom).
In Part 18, we will pick up here with some basics concerning the festival of Sukkot.