The Day of Cleansing
1Now two of Aaron’s sons had died while offering incense to the Lord, and after that time the Lord spoke to Moses. 2The Lord said to him, “Tell your brother Aaron that there are times when he cannot go behind the curtain into the Most Holy Place where the Ark is. If he goes in when I appear in a cloud over the lid on the Ark, he will die.
3“This is how Aaron may enter the Most Holy Place: Before he enters, he must offer a bull for a sin offering and a male sheep for a whole burnt offering. 4He must put on the holy linen inner robe, with the linen underclothes next to his body. His belt will be the cloth belt, and he will wear the linen turban. These are holy clothes, so he must bathe his body in water before he puts them on.
5“Aaron must take from the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one male sheep for a burnt offering. 6Then he will offer the bull for the sin offering for himself to remove sins from him and his family so they will belong to the Lord.
7“Next Aaron will take the two goats and bring them before the Lord at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. 8He will throw lots for the two goats—one will be for the Lord and the other for the goat that removes sin. 9Then Aaron will take the goat that was chosen for the Lord by throwing the lot, and he will offer it as a sin offering. 10The other goat, which was chosen by lot to remove the sin, must be brought alive before the Lord. The priest will use it to perform the acts that remove Israel’s sin so they will belong to the Lord. Then this goat will be sent out into the desert as a goat that removes sin.
11“Then Aaron will offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, to remove the sins from him and his family so they will belong to the Lord; he will kill the bull for the sin offering for himself. 12Then he must take a pan full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of sweet incense that has been ground into powder. He must bring it into the room behind the curtain. 13He must put the incense on the fire before the Lord so that the cloud of incense will cover the lid on the Ark. Then when Aaron comes in, he will not die. 14Also, he must take some of the blood from the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the lid; with his finger he will sprinkle the blood seven times in front of the lid.
15“Then Aaron must kill the goat of the sin offering for the people and bring its blood into the room behind the curtain. He must do with the goat’s blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the lid and in front of the lid. 16Because the people of Israel have been unclean, Aaron will perform the acts to make the Most Holy Place ready for service to the Lord. Then it will be clean from the sins and crimes of the Israelites. He must also do this for the Meeting Tent, because it stays in the middle of unclean people. 17When Aaron makes the Most Holy Place ready for service to the Lord, no one is allowed in the Meeting Tent until he comes out. So Aaron will perform the acts to remove sins from himself, his family, and all the people of Israel, so they will belong to the Lord. 18Afterward he will go out to the altar that is before the Lord and will make it ready for service to the Lord. Aaron will take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on the corners of the altar on all sides. 19Then, with his finger, he will sprinkle some of the blood on the altar seven times to make the altar holy for the Lord and clean from all the sins of the Israelites.
20“When Aaron has finished making the Most Holy Place, the Meeting Tent, and the altar ready for service to the Lord, he will offer the living goat. 21He will put both his hands on the head of the living goat, and he will confess over it all the sins and crimes of Israel. In this way Aaron will put the people’s sins on the goat’s head. Then he will send the goat away into the desert, and a man who has been appointed will lead the goat away. 22So the goat will carry on itself all the people’s sins to a lonely place in the desert. The man who leads the goat will let it loose there.
23“Then Aaron will enter the Meeting Tent and take off the linen clothes he had put on before he went into the Most Holy Place; he must leave these clothes there. 24He will bathe his body in water in a holy place and put on his regular clothes. Then he will come out and offer the whole burnt offering for himself and for the people, to remove sins from himself and the people so they will belong to the Lord. 25Then he will burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar.
26“The person who led the goat, the goat to remove sins, into the desert must wash his clothes and bathe his body in water. After that, he may come back into the camp.
27“The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make it ready for service to the Lord, must be taken outside the camp; the animals’ skins, bodies, and intestines will be burned in the fire. 28Then the one who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe his body in water. After that, he may come back into the camp.
29“This law will always continue for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month, you must deny yourself and you must not do any work. The travelers or foreigners living with you must not work either. 30It is on this day that the priests will make you clean so you will belong to the Lord again. All your sins will be removed. 31This is a very important day of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. This law will continue forever.
32“The priest appointed to take his father’s place, on whom the oil was poured, will perform the acts for making things ready for service to the Lord. He must put on the holy linen clothes 33and make the Most Holy Place, the Meeting Tent, and the altar ready for service to the Lord. He must also remove the sins of the priests and all the people of Israel so they will belong to the Lord. 34That law for removing the sins of the Israelites so they will belong to the Lord will continue forever. You will do these things once a year.”
So they did the things the Lord had commanded Moses.