Personal Application of Yom Kippur

With Yom Kippur, or more appropriately Yom haKippurim – The Day of Atonements, right around the corner, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some thoughts and insights I have about Yom haKippurim and how it pertains to the individual and local community. Most teachings focus on how the day is a day of covering for all of Israel and how Messiah provides that covering, but this really lacks personal application as to how/why we are to afflict ourselves.

Leviticus 16:29-34
“And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. For on that day he makes atonement for you, to cleanse you, to be clean from all your sins before יהוה. It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict your beings – a law forever. And the priest, who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, the set-apart garments, and he shall make atonement for the Most Set-apart Place, and make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar, and make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be for you a law forever, to make atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl, for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as יהוה commanded Mosheh.

Leviticus 23:26-32
And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim. For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”

The word kippur, translated as atonement in the above verses, is Strong’s H3725.
כִּפּוּר kippur (kip-poor’) n-m.
1. expiation (only in plural)
[from H3722]

כָּפַר kaphar (kaw-far’) v.
1. to cover (specifically with bitumen)
2. (figuratively) to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel

bi·tu·men /biˈt(y)o͞omən/Noun: A black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. Bitumen is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits, it is a substance classed as a pitch.

This covering should bring to mind the following examples:

  • Noah covered the ark with pitch so the water would not enter the ark
  • Moses was placed in an ark covered with pitch so the water would not enter the basket

In both of these examples, this covering separates us from the nations (waters) at a time of death.

Leviticus 16 gives the instructions to the High Priest as to what he is to do on this set-apart day.

Instructions to the High Priest (Leviticus 16)
The High Priest will wash and put on linen garments
The High Priest brings a bull for a sin offering and ram for a burnt offering
Two goats and one ram are taken from the congregation of Israel, one of the goats for a sin offering and one as the Azazel (scapegoat), the ram is for a burnt offering
The High Priest makes atonement for his house using the bull and uses the blood to sprinkle on the east (closest) side of the Ark on the lid of Atonement, the same blood is then used on the altar
The High Priest makes atonement for Israel using the goat and the blood to sprinkle on the east (closest) side of the Ark, on the lid of Atonement, the same blood is then used on the altar
The High Priest confesses the sins and transgressions of Israel on the Azazel and sends the goat into the wilderness by a messenger
The High Priest will wash and put on his normal garments
The High Priest will offer the burnt offerings for himself, his family and all of Israel
The fat of the sin offering will be burned on the altar all the rest will be taken outside the camp and burned

There are also specific offerings that are to be brought for both the High Priest and all of Israel.

Brought By Offering Atones For Lev 16 Lev 23 Num 29
High Priest Young Bull for Sin Offering High Priest and Temple X   X
High Priest Ram for Burnt Offering   X   X
Israel Goat for Sin Offering Israel and Temple X   X
Israel Goat for the Azazel   X    
Israel Ram for Burnt Offering   X   X
Israel Young Bull for Burnt Offering       X
Israel 7 Lambs for Burnt Offering       X

There is a set-apart gathering and Israel is to present an offering to The Father. This is not one of the feasts where all the men are to present themselves, so while these offerings are made for Israel, they are not necessarily made by all of Israel.

The first is a covering for the transgressions of Israel against The Father and the second is a burnt offering showing the submission of Israel to The Father.

While there are specific instructions for the High Priest, there are also instructions for the people.

Instructions to the People Lev 16 Lev 23 Num 29
Statute For Ever X X  
In the 7th Month on the 10th Day, You shall afflict your soul X X X
You shall bring an offering X X X
Do No Work X X X
The High Priest will make atonement for the Children of Israel X    
The High Priest will make atonement for the Tent of Meeting X    
The 10th day is a set-apart gathering   X  
Any being not afflicted, shall be cut off   X  
Any being who does work, shall be destroyed   X  
Instructions to begin on the evening of the 9th day   X  

There are several consistent items in each section that gives instructions on this day. These are summarized as:
On the 10th day of the 7th month you are to bring an offering to the Father and afflict your soul and do no work whatsoever.

As we continue to search and read the Scriptures, we find additional instructions that pertain to the individuals and communities of Israel.

Instructions to the People Lev 25 Others Others
Blow the Shofar during the Yobel X    
Return the land to the rightful inheritor during the Yobel X Lev 27  
Release the Debts of your Brother X   Deu 15
Release the Slaves X Exo 21 Jer 34

These additional instructions are all about restoring the people and the land to their original state. Every year, the High Priest restores Israel and the Temple to their original state and every Sh’mitta and Yobel the people are restored and released from debt and the land is restored to its original inheritor.

In Number 10:1-10, we are instructed to blow a trumpet during the set-apart days of The Father – this trumpet is not a shofar, but is related to the silver trumpets that were used in the Tabernacle and later the Temple.

Numbers 10:1-10
H2689 חֲצוֹצְרָה chatsotsrah (khats-o-tser-aw’) n-f.
1. a trumpet (from its sundered or quavering note)

H2690 חָצַר חֲצוֹצֵר חֲצוֹרֵר chatsar (khaw-tsar’) v.
1. to trumpet, i.e. blow on that instrument

Leviticus 23:23-24

H8643 תְּרוּעָה truw`ah (ter-oo-aw’) n-f.
1. clamor, i.e. acclamation of joy or a battle-cry
2. especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarum

H7321 רוַּע ruwa` (roo-ah’) v.
1. to mar (especially by breaking)
2. (figuratively) to split the ears (with sound)
3. to shout (for alarm or joy)

Yom Teruah, the 1st day of the 7th month, is more appropriately called the “Day of Shouting.” While a shofar can be used for shoting, it is not commanded. There is only one day that a shofar is commanded to be blown in regards to a set-apart day.

Leviticus 25:9
“You shall then sound a ram’s horn to pass through on the tenth day of the seventh month, on the Day of Atonement cause a ram’s horn to pass through all your land.”

Joel 2:1
Blow a ram’s horn in Tsiyon, and sound an alarm in My set-apart mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the earth tremble, for the day of יהוה is coming, for it is near…

The Day of YHVH is associated with Yom haKippurim.

Joel 2:12-15
“Yet even now,” declares יהוה, “turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. And tear your heart and not your garments, and turn back to יהוה your Elohim, for He shows favour and is compassionate, patient, and of great kindness, and He shall relent concerning the evil. Who knows – He might turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for יהוה your Elohim? Blow a ram’s horn in Tsiyon, set apart a fast, call an assembly.

On Yom haKippurim, during the Sh’mitta and Yobel, the playing field is reset:

  • All debts are released (Sh’mita)
  • All slaves are freed (Sh’mita)
  • All lands return to their inheritor (every Yobel)

How difficult would this be to do?

The rich would be humbled releasing the bondservants and providing for them and the bondservant would be humbled by his freedom which he did not earn and the additional gifts of provision from his previous master. Consider also that this releasing is done at a public assembly – but what about the yearly assembly and how do we afflict our soul?

Without going into great detail, the afflicting of one’s soul is associated with fasting as seen in Psalm 35:13 and Psalm 69:10-11. The word fasting in these verses comes from Strong’s H6684.
צּוּם tsuwm (tsoom) v.
1. to cover over (the mouth), i.e. to fast
The צּ is a picture of a man on his side representing the hunt, the ם is a picture of water. Combined these mean “hunt for water”. A fasting from water, or food.

If the root of the word fast means to search for water and then we add a picture of a tent peg, the search becomes a search for the permanent water.
We are to seek The Water of Life – Torah and apply it in our life.

Revelation 21:6-8
And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment. The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son. But as for the cowardly, and untrustworthy, and abominable, and murderers, and those who whore, and drug sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the false, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

There is obviously more to this day than simply fasting. The fast is an abstention of our food so our Father may feed us with His own, the living manna. Our Father desires the restoration of His people through feeding the hungry and removing the bondage of sin.

Isaiah 58:3-10
“They say, ‘Why have we fastedH6684, and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our beings, and You took no note?’ Look, in the day of your fasting you find pleasure, and drive on all your laborers. Look, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wrongness. You do not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his being? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to יהוה? Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loosen the tight cords of wrongness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to exempt the oppressed, and to break off every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, and cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light would break forth like the morning, your healing spring forth speedily. And your righteousness shall go before you, the esteem of יהוה would be your rear guard. Then, when you call, יהוה would answer; when you cry, He would say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of unrighteousness, if you extend your being to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted being, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness be as noon.”

This passage in Isaiah compares our fast or an inappropriate fast to His fast.
Do you see the differences between the two?

Our Fast The Father’s Intent
Action Passage Action Passage
We find pleasure in fasting Isa 58:3 Release the pains of the wrongs Isa 58:6
We make people work (servants) Isa 58:3 Remove that which binds you Isa 58:6
We fast as a contest Isa 58:4 Free the oppressed Isa 58:6
We quarrel about how to  fast Isa 58:4 Break the bondage of man that is upon us Isa 58:6
This is not a fast we have chosen for our own use Isa 58:4 Give bread to those who need it Isa 58:7
  Shelter the needy Isa 58:7
Clothe the naked Isa 58:7
Look deep within and don’t hide from yourself Isa 58:7

The Day of YHVH is a day of judgment against all things that are against our Father.
It is also a day that the Father restores order in His House and removes all that is defiled from it.
How can we restore our own houses to be representations of our Father’s House?
Seek the Father’s will for your own house.
What about the community as a whole?
What types of sin have the greatest communal impact?

  • Innocuous Gossip – rechilut
  • The Evil Tongue – lashon hara
  • Libelous Gossip – motzee shem ra

Psalm 34:13
Proverbs 12:18; 15:2
James 1:26; 3:1-18

The words that proceed from our mouth show what is in our heart.
Matthew 12:31-37
Matthew 15:10-20

Remember that “to fast” in Hebrew means to cover one’s mouth.
This would affect what comes out of our mouth as much as it would what we put into it.
What type of words come out of our mouths?

Are they words of Life or words of death?

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 32:1-5
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom יהוה imputes no crookedness, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones became old Through my groaning all the day. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My sap was turned into the droughts of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my crookedness I did not hide. I have said, I confess my transgressions to יהוה And You forgave the crookedness of my sin. Selah.

Proverbs 28:13
He who hides his transgressions does not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them finds compassion.

As our transgressions would be confessed in public on Yom haKippurim, we must also know how to deal with the transgressions committed against us.

Please also read:
Matthew 6:14-15
Matthew 18:21-35

If we have not dealt appropriately with our brother through the year, Yom haKippurim is the last day to deal with our transgressions.

If our transgressions are not dealt with appropriately and publically so all individuals can be restored to their appropriate status, we will not be able to dwell with our brothers or The Father during the subsequent feast: Sukkot.

Matthew 5:43-48
“You heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those insulting you and persecuting you, so that you become sons of your Father in the heavens. Because He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those loving you, what reward have you? Are the tax collectors not doing the same too? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Are the tax collectors not doing so too? Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.”

In summary, these are the points that I take away from our rememberance of Yom haKippurim:

  • Yom haKippurim is a day where we must account for what goes into our mouth and what comes out of our mouth.
  • The Father desires a holy convocation or gathering on this day as He does on every other feast day He has set apart.
  • This is a day to forgive all the wrongs that have been committed against us if we have not already done so.
  • Yom haKippurim is The Day of YHVH where He gathers His people and restores order within His house.
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