top of page

A STRAIGHTFORWARD LOOK AT THE BIBLICAL MEANING AND PURPOSE OF YOM KIPPUR


When I was young, growing up in San Francisco and the Bay Area, I remember visiting my grandparents' home in Marin County, California, to celebrate the yearly festival of Passover. I also recall attending Synagogue in San Francisco for the services of Yom Kippur. Growing up, this was the extent of my experience with Judaism twice a year. Later, during my teens, I could not relate to Judaism nor any of its Jewish laws and traditions, so I dropped out of all religions to seek a different journey in life, which proved to be a secular path and not a religious one.


As I approached 20, I was already entangled in all the world had to offer. I focused all my energy on doing my own thing. In doing so, my life experience turned sharply from my “anything goes” attitude, which led me to a near brush with death. That woke me up, and as “fate” would have it, I stumbled into the early 1970s California Jesus People hippy movement. At the forefront of that spiritual movement were Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, and Moshe Rosen of Jews for Jesus in San Francisco. I associated with Calvary Chapel. Afterward, in San Francisco, I was involved with Jews for Jesus after I came to be a full-time student at the evangelical Simpson College of San Francisco.


During my years at Simpson, I focused on learning New Testament biblical theology while also studying “Old Testament” biblical Hebrew to read and understand the books of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings of Hebrew Scripture. Judaism refers to this as “Tanach.” Like many in my class of theological lectures, I, too, learned about God’s grace and mercy from a Christian evangelical point of view. At that time in my life, there was no talk of doing God’s Law, meaning the laws of the Mosaic Torah. Instead, I learned to study the Torah only to become more knowledgeable about the teachings of Jesus the Jew, filtered through Christian theology and church tradition.


Many years after my theological education at Simpson College, I celebrated a visit to Israel courtesy of my younger brother. He paid all my expenses to get me to come to check it out, what I would call the visit of a lifetime. While on my expedition to the “Holy Land,” I realized something was seriously missing in my understanding of Christian biblical theology as I learned it through my Christian evangelical point of view. This led me to dig deeper into the written words of Hebrew Scripture, then come to connect to a young but growing Messianic Jewish movement, where I wholeheartedly sought to correct the errors of my Christian theological misunderstandings. Ultimately, I decided to cozy up to Orthodox Judaism and embrace a typical back-and-white lifestyle in the Hebrew Torah (the Law of Moses). As for my beliefs in and about Jesus or Yeshua, I never totally walked away from them. Instead, I adapted them to fit in with the Pharisaic and theological side of Rabbinic Judaism, which I found much more appealing.


Years later, I experienced yet another shift in my theology when I embraced a sect of Judaism referred to as the Karaites. As more time passed, I underwent another radical transformation in my theological paradigm (see my online digital download book “Coming Home”www.cominghome.co.il/online-store) as I began to grasp some new insights into the biblical feasts and festivals mentioned in the Bible.


Within this context, I would now like to take a straightforward look at what I think is the biblical meaning and purpose of the Day of Atonement: Yom Kippur. However, before I delve into this, I want us to look at the current and traditional Jewish understanding of Yom Kippur, which was the paradigm that I embraced for many years.


THE GENERAL ORTHODOX JEWISH PARADIGM OF YOM KIPPUR


Generally speaking, among Jews, regardless of whether one believes in Yeshua (i.e., “Jesus”) or not, as well as Gentiles captivated by the traditional ideas of Rabbinic Jewish theology, Yom Kippur is, of course, thought to be the holiest day of the year because it is understood to be a Day of Judgment. Built into the observance of its religious rituals, it includes a 24-hour night and day of fasting from no food and no drink (in Orthodox Judaism, the fast is extended to 25 hours). The purpose is to humble one’s soul through affliction, as interpreted from Leviticus 23:27-32 (NKJV).

And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying: Also, the tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to Yehovah. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before Yehovah your Elohim. For any soul who is not afflicted on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; a decree forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It will be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.

Every year on Yom Kippur, again meaning “The Day of Atonement,” it is strictly taught in Judaism to gather together (usually in a synagogue) and to attend community services that focus on personal affliction and corporate confession by a recitation of Viddui (which means “confession”) to repent and live as a good Jew. This includes beating our chests and crying to Yehovah to beg Him for his pardon and atonement. These actions are supplemented by a day of numerous work prohibitions, such as what is experienced on the weekly Sabbath, plus

  1. To not eat or drink

  2. To not anoint oneself with perfumes or lotions

  3. To not have marital relations

  4. To not wash oneself (for pleasure)

  5. To not wear leather shoes

This collective Jewish rabbinic mindset is such that it calls on Yehovah to respond and take note of our sincere self-affliction and countless confessions of ahl chayt“for the sin of….”


In the end, we hope he will reward us by writing our name down in his Book of remembrance and sealing our eternal fate in His Book of Life, greeting each other with the words, g’mar chatimah tovah“may you be written down and sealed” (Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 17b). In response, we hope to avoid breaking any of the 613 positive and negative commandments of Jewish Law, as Judaism’s rabbis interpret them from the Mosaic Law.


Ultimately, our Yom Kippur objective is to remain mindful that our good and bad actions tend to accumulate on a judgment scale in Heaven. Therefore, we are taught to be Torah observant to outweigh all the bad that we do by keeping all the good laws of His Torah. Said differently, Judaism’s theology implores Yehovah to mitigate our bad deeds, elevate our good deeds, and tip the heavenly scales into our favor to merit the ‘Olam Haba, that is the World to Come. This is the general Orthodox Jewish view of why we do the yearly rituals of Yom Kippur and why they are so crucial for Jews because our eternal fate depends on Yehovah’s perfect justice and, hopefully, our stored-up merit.


Of course, in spending many years in Judaism, I faithfully believed in and observed these rituals. Repentantly, I admit that I taught many of these ideas in Messianic Jewish circles while engaging in ongoing challenges to accept and understand the testimony of Yeshua, the Messiah, and why it is taught that we needed his atonement. Please know that I remain deeply apologetic for these errors from my past theology. I would now like to explain my current understanding of Yom Kippur and connect my observations to the straightforward teachings of Hebrew Scripture as it was and is taught by Yeshua, the Messiah.


MY CURRENT VIEWS ON THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF YOM KIPPUR


Again, recall the bold statement that Yeshua made to a couple of men while walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus after his third-day resurrection. According to Luke 24:44-45, he said to them:

These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Writings concerning me. And he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

This tells me that the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, etc.) are embedded with clear prophetic signs of a promised Messianic death, burial, and third-day resurrection. Ultimately all this is a testimony of a new covenant Messianic hope in Yehovah’s justification (i.e., His new covenant righteousness) program. Let’s take a look.

Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast and an acceptable day to יהוה? (Isaiah 58:5).

In Hebrew, the explanation about why Yom Kippur is referred to as an affliction is because of the term an “acceptable day to יהוה.” This idea is derived from the Hebrew phrase יום רצון “yom ratzon,” which translates to the day of Yehovah’s pleasure, will, or intention. Yehovah gave Isaiah words about what he was genuinely looking for. Much later, Yeshua taught the same principles in his “beatitudes.”

Matthew 5, Verse 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

The word “poor” in Hebrew comes from the root ענה (anah = ayin nun heh), the same term that Yehovah used in the Hebrew of Isaiah 58:5.

Is it a fast that I have chosen for him, a day of afflictions (becoming spiritually poor) for the soul belonging to him, the man?

Yehovah then goes on to ask a question in the Hebrew of Isaiah 58:5,

Is he called a fast day, the will (intention and pleasure) of (to, towards) יהוה?

The affliction that Yeshua refers to in his beatitudes teaching of Matthew 5:3 appears to be linked to the will, intention, and pleasure of Yehovah in Isaiah 58:5. But then Yeshua goes on to say in Matthew 5, verse 6 –

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Once again, Yeshua establishes a link to the one who holds to hunger and thirst for righteousness, meaning a pang of hunger and thirst for Yehovah’s declaration of justness (i.e., “justification” – see Psalm 42:1-2). Only one man fulfilled this prophecy. He is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53. Therefore, it appears that the Yom Kippur afflictions of bowing one’s head in humility to become spiritually poor or afflicted belong to the man whose soul was given over to Yehovah’s will; the one whose intention was to accomplish redemption for His people by becoming poor and afflicted on their behalf. This is what Suffering Servant appears to be speaking about to each of us in Isaiah 53.


Considering the context of Yeshua’s “beatitudes” teaching, he appears to give us some additional clarity concerning the written Law of Leviticus Chapter 23. Specifically, I want us to look closely at verses 27-32, which speak to Yom Kippur. Again, remember what Yeshua told the two men on the road to Emmaus according to Luke 24:44-45:

These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Writings concerning me. And he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Based on what Yeshua said, it seems that the afflictions of becoming poor, as written about in Leviticus 23:27-32, speaks of Yeshua’s fulfillment in Yom Kippur. Let’s begin with verse 27.


LEVITICUS 23:27


Hebrew (BHS):

אַ֡ךְ בֶּעָשׂ֣וֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ֩ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֨י הַזֶּ֜ה י֧וֹם הַכִּפֻּרִ֣ים ה֗וּא מִֽקְרָא־קֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם וְעִנִּיתֶ֖ם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶ֑ם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֥ם אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַיהוָֽה׃

English (NKJV):

Also, the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to יהוה.

My understanding from a reading of the Hebrew text (above):

Verse 27. Indeed (undoubtedly, absolutely), in (on, with) the tenth toward the chodesh of this, the seventh (chodesh) is the Day of Atonements (coverings, payments). He calls out (summons) an assembly (or congregation) of separation (a set-apart people). He will be to them (he will be to that assembly) as their poor one (as their oppressed one, as their humiliated one), and in him, their souls will unite (unite as a collective singular) in the Messiah as He is the Aleph Tav (the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End). He will come with (he will bring near) the fire that goes to (or towards) Yehovah.

The Hebrew text of verse 27 appears in a construct form and seems to refer to the Word, the Mashiach of Yehovah, He who belongs to the people of the Israel assembly of Elohim (see Galatians 6:16). This Messianic figure appears to have a special relationship with the assembly of those set-apart and spiritually called Israel. These people of spiritual Israel are set apart to Yehovah through the Suffering Servant Mashiach of Israel. He, therefore, draws His assembly or congregation near Yehovah through the Fire of the Word, and in that fire, there is a covering and a payment made in and through the Aleph Tav to make this certain for each of us. Again, it occurs in the Suffering Servant Messiah figure of Isaiah 53. Here, he is referred to as the poor one, the sick one, the humiliated one, and the oppressed one. And interestingly, the Hebrew of Isaiah 53:5 appears to be directly linked to the words of Yeshua in John 15:15. First, take a look at Isaiah 53:5.

Isaiah 53:5. Training unto wisdom’s healing wholeness belongs to us upon him (Heb: musar shlomeinu = training unto wisdom is our healing unto wholeness which is on or through him). And in (with, by) his friendship, we become whole, healed.

Most English versions translate it this way:

"...and by his stripes we are healed."

However, the Hebrew text gives us a deeper nuance:

"And in his friendship, we become whole, healed."

Now, compare this statement to Yeshua’s declaration in John 15:15.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.

One more point of interest: take note that Leviticus 23:27 is written as a Hebrew plural, not as a Hebrew singular.

Therefore, we should read the text as Yom Kippurim or Yom HaKippurim with the definite article. The purpose for the Hebrew plural meaning the Day of Coverings, the Day of Payments, or the Day of Atonements is because of the two ceremonies involving two goats recorded in Leviticus 16:5, 7, 8, 9, and 10. These two goat metaphors explain the required payments, atonements, and coverings dealing with our earthly physicality and Messiah’s heavenly spirituality. We need both to fulfill our healing and wholeness. The truth is, we have no ability to bring about our own repair, healing, and wholeness, represented by the Hebrew word "shalom." This is because when we were born into this world, we came with the embedded DNA inheritance of the Law of sin and death as it was introduced into the creation story in Genesis 3:6. Leviticus 23:27 is about a dual payment that is both physical and spiritual; hence, Yom Kippur cannot be a singular idea. The reality of biblical truth is explained through the shadow image of Messiah Yeshua, while our true salvation and redemption remain unseen to the human eye for now. But with the Last Day resurrection, we will experience the grand reality covering us physically and spiritually in Messiah's paid-for-with-his-life Coverings, Payments, and Atonements, and indeed, in His third-day resurrection, we will then be gloriously transformed on our third-day resurrection (see Hosea 6:1-2).


On our Yom HaKippurim Day of Affliction (when we become spiritually poor in the natural), we are then called to remember The Affliction of The Just One Yeshua the Messiah, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, and what he did for us. This is to be an element of remembrance on the tenth day of the seventh chodesh, an eternal law and decree to recall Isaiah 53. Messiah, the Suffering Servant was rejected and afflicted to bring us healing and shalom. I think this is precisely the basis for understanding Isaiah 58:6, which then answers the questions posed in 58:5.

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness? To undo the heavy burdens? To let the oppressed go free? Then, You (referring to Messiah, the Word) will cause every yoke to be broken.

The afflicting fast that Isaiah speaks about in this passage is our recollection of what Messiah did for us, considering that Yeshua said it plainly in John 4:32-34,

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.”

Later, Paul engages this concept and writes about it in Philippians 3:10-11.

“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Fasting on Yom HaKippurim is an important metaphor calling us to remember Messiah Yeshua’s affliction, the state of becoming poor for us so that we could be healed through him, the one who is called:

"...the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (Revelation 22:13).

The Yom HaKippurim Hebrew text of Leviticus 23:28 then tells us that this Aleph Tav brings us (meaning he takes us up) to Yehovah through the Fire of the Word that ascends up to (or towards) the Name יהוה YHWH. For a well-defined understanding, compare the texts of Judges 13:20-22, Jeremiah 23:29, and Luke 24:32. Now, let us take a close look at the Yom HaKippurim text of the next verse in Leviticus 23:28.


LEVITICUS 23:28


Hebrew (BHS):


וְכָל־מְלָאכָה֙ לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֔וּ בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה כִּ֣י י֤וֹם כִּפֻּרִים֙ ה֔וּא לְכַפֵּ֣ר עֲלֵיכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

English (NKJV):


And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.


My understanding from a reading of the Hebrew text (above):

Verse 28. And (even) all occupational trades, works of business, works of handiwork, works of craftsmanship, tasks, works of service, or required duties, they will not do or make happen on (in, with, or connected to) the core, the essence of this very day! For he is the Atonement (He is the Covering, he is the Payment) for atonement (for a covering, for a payment) unto all of them (unto each one that chooses to identify with Messiah as a member of His set-apart assembly which forms in us a collective singular) in (for, towards) the face of Yehovah your Elohim.

The injunction to do no work on Yom HaKippurim is a core theme that Yehovah wants us to fully understand. But we must ask, why are all of the instructions that follow in verses 28-32 hyper-focused on this no-work prohibition? Why dedicate so many verses and words to the divine decree of this statement coming from The Word? In short, I think it comes down to what Yeshua said in John 4:34.

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.”

There are two different kinds of work in this world.


1) In the Law of sin and death, there is our work in slavery to the master that owns our physical and spiritual labor because of our fallen human condition in this world.


2) In the Law of eternal, abundant life, there is our work in service to a new master that owns our physical and spiritual labor because when we enter into and receive Yehovah’s spiritual redemption gift through the work that Messiah did for us. Yeshua refers to this work:

Do you not say, ‘There are still four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this, the saying is true: “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you have not worked; others have worked, and you have entered into their works’ (John 4:35-38).

On this special set apart day – Yom HaKippurim – we cease our work in the world to help us to enter into and remember the work of Messiah Yeshua, who worked for us, and how He causes us to inherit the blessing of His work in this world and in the world to come. In other words, on Yom HaKippurim, we stop thinking about our own needs and instead shift to thinking about what Messiah Yeshua accomplished for us and what He wants to do for others! But how will they hear unless someone is sent to tell them? I believe this is the backstory to Isaiah 58:5-8 as it is written:

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free? Then, you will cause every yoke to be broken (we – Messiah and each of us work in partnership with Him). Is it not to share your bread with the hungry (the Bread of the Word) and that you bring to your house (the congregation or assembly of the Israel of Elohim) the poor (the Afflicted) who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide from your own flesh? Then your Light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your justness (Yehovah’s decree of justification or righteousness) shall go before you; the glory of Yehovah shall be your rear guard.

We who have been redeemed through the work of Messiah Yeshua are brought into His Messianic Grace of Life and Good, while the world remains mired in the mud of the Law of sin and death from Genesis 3:6. If it were not for what Yehovah reaching out to us and for what He did for us, we, too, would still be in and of the world as slaves to their master of the Law of sin and death. The truth is, what we have is salvation and redemption depending entirely on what he has done for us compared to what we think, or we are told what we must do for him!


On Yehovah’s Day of Yom HaKippurim, Yehovah helps us to remember the work of Messiah Yeshua and, therefore, cease doing all work for ourselves so that we will understand through the natural metaphor of everyday life that our salvation and redemption is 100% an undeserved gift from him and only requires that we reach out to Yehovah with trusting faith in him and nothing more. We can’t earn His salvation, deserve it, trade for it, supplicate for it, beat our bloody chest for it, or make deals with Yehovah in our hopes of tipping the scales of Heaven’s judgment day that hopefully will declare us worthy of the world to come (the 'Olam Haba) once a year. As I previously said, when we were born into this world, we inherited the Genesis 3:6 conundrum of our sinful nature, our fallen human condition. We can do nothing to change this condition in and of ourselves because the condition is baked into our human genome, our DNA humanity. There is nothing that any of us can do to somehow bend biblical theology in our favor or to do shrewd actions to hopefully reverse our curse. All we can do is repent through the confession of our condition and then trust Yehovah to acknowledge our repentance and give to us the benefit of His gift of redemption and salvation through Messiah Yeshua, the one who came to take our sickness and our affliction upon himself as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.


Thus, Yehovah connects this dual theme of Yom HaKippurim, the Day of Affliction, and through the memory of Messiah Yeshua's affliction, our fallen worldly condition is changed into a new condition, which results in eternal life for each of us who will receive Yehovah's gift. Because of this, we take this day to remember his work of Atonement, Covering, and Payment on our behalf, each one who chooses to freely receive the gift. Then in freely receiving it, we are sent out to announce it to others who would also wish to receive it.


The festival/fast of Yom HaKippurim is part of Yehovah’s salvation redemption program to recall and remember the reverse of the curse of Genesis 3:6. He freely grants it, and we freely receive it, period. Let us now go on.


LEVITICUS 23:29


Hebrew (BHS):

כִּ֤י כָל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־תְעֻנֶּ֔ה בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְנִכְרְתָ֖ה מֵֽעַמֶּֽיהָ׃

English (NKJV):

For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.

My understanding from a reading of the Hebrew text (above):

Verse 29. For every soul (all of the soul) that will not be made poor (that is, to refuse to identify with Messiah Yeshua’s affliction and what he did for each of us) in (on, by with) The Day - this very day! Then she (a feminine metaphor referring to our soul) will perish (be cut off, destroyed) from the Soul of Spiritual Israel (the soul of the one collective body who is called the Israel of Elohim or the Israel of God).

Here, in the Hebrew text of verse 29, The Day (of Yom HaKippurim) is understood in Hebrew also to mean “today,” giving us an immediate lesson on repentance from Hebrews 3:7 and Psalm 95:7. Our sick soul needs the Soul of the Spirit of Yehovah which is written about as a feminine comforter for the collective Soul belonging to the assembly and congregation of Spiritual Israel. Here, we learn the fate of all-natural unrepentant souls, referring to every person who adamantly refuses to identify with The Affliction that Messiah Yeshua suffered on behalf of each of us. This, of course, presents each one with a glimpse as to why Yeshua said in Matthew 5:3:

Blessed are the poor (the afflicted) in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Refusing to identify with the affliction of Yeshua, the Suffering Servant Messiah written about in Isaiah 53, and what he did for us (not what we can do for him) is, in fact, a rejection of Yehovah’s salvation/redemption gift. The soul who seeks to build a self-constructed redemption and salvation program; that soul will be deprived of all unification with the One collective Soul of the Spirit and the Bride, as she is collectively referred to in the Bible as one with Messiah Yeshua. Said differently, she (the Hebrew metaphor of our feminine soul or soul-life) can be removed and cut off from her set-apart congregation or assembly as the One Spirit and Bride of Messiah: see Psalm 51:11-12.

Do not cast me away from your face, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and I will be sustained with your excellent Spirit.

This is the essence of the prophecy in Revelation 22:16-17, which says:

“I, Yeshua, have sent My messenger to testify to you these things in the assemblies. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

We are called to come, respond, and enter into the Spirit of Yeshua's death, burial, and resurrection, which is based on his work in the unseen spiritual world and not ours in the physical natural world. A refusal of this will end with a judgment that we will bring upon ourselves. Yom HaKippurim reminds us not to refuse the gift to identify with Messiah’s humiliation, poorness, suffering, oppression, and affliction. So, the Messianic gift does come with a price; that we give up our will to accomplish His will, which of course, gives us a peek into the sayings that Yeshua taught in Matthew 16:24-26.

If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

The implication is that of perishing and being cut off from the assembly and congregation of the Soul of the Spirit and the Bride. Thus, we are shown the truth of John 3:16-18:

For God so loved the world that He gave his unique Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the unique Son of God.

Let us now continue to verse 30.


LEVITICUS 23:30


Hebrew (BHS):


וְכָל־הַנֶּ֗פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר תַּעֲשֶׂה֙ כָּל־מְלָאכָ֔ה בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְהַֽאֲבַדְתִּ֛י אֶת־הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא מִקֶּ֥רֶב עַמָּֽהּ׃

English (NKJV):

And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.

My understanding from a reading of the Hebrew text (above).

Verse 30. And every soul (all of the feminine soul) that will do (or make) work from occupational trades, works of business, works of handiwork, works of craftsmanship, tasks, works of service, or required duties in (by, on, with) the core, the essence of this very day – “The Day” (or “today”), then I will cause him (the soul of him) to perish (the cause of the destruction) by (or through her) – the Soul of the (Spirit of the) Aleph Tav of Messiah; that is, corresponding to the calling out (or the summoning) of the people born from above through her. (Her” means the Holy Spirit who was given as a down-payment redemption gift to the assembly of the congregation of the people who have Messiah’s Spirit of salvation and thus belong to and identify with the Soul of the Bride who is with the Spirit of Yeshua the Messiah.)

In verse 30, we essentially see a reworking of the decree, which was said previously in verse 29. Again, no work of any sort is to be done, whether it is of an occupational trade, the work of a business, the work of one’s handiwork or craftsmanship, or tasks, or works of service, or required duties of any sort. This is all about the metaphor as to what Yehovah wants us to remember on Yom HaKippurim. If we insist on busying ourselves with everyday work on the Day of Atonements, Coverings, and Payments, then we essentially miss the point of entering into and identifying with the afflictions of our advocate Yeshua recalling the physical and spiritual gift of the New Covenant through the metaphor of bread and wine:

“…and when he had given thanks, he broke and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same manner, also the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. As often as you drink, this is in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Master, The Death, till he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

From Yeshua’s perspective, the ceremony of the New Covenant recalls Leviticus 16:5, 7, 8,9, and 10. This is all a teaching metaphor to show us that we cannot save ourselves. The issue is that of showing us that we cannot serve two masters. The master or “lord” of this world is the Serpent, the Nachash, or the Satan of Genesis 3:1. Knowing this, we can better appreciate what might have been going on in the mind of Yeshua during his trial of wilderness temptations, as it is recorded for us in Matthew 4:8-10:

Again, the devil took him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship Yehovah your Elohim, and him only you shall serve (work for).’”

In this, we can further thank Yehovah for the words of Paul, who said in Romans 8:12-14:

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit (the feminine metaphor of the Soul) you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Plainly said, the model of the Yom HaKippurim metaphor is two masters:

  1. Receiving a just wage from Earth’s master of the Law of Death and Bad.

  2. Receiving a free gift from Heaven’s Master of the Law of Life and Good.

In other words, Yehovah essentially asks us, what’s it going to be? Will you choose to receive my free eternal gift of Grace and Justification, or will you rely on your own efforts to earn justification by doing actionable religious rituals to prove that you deserve my justification, which then, of course, would give you something to boast about, right?


Paul understood the Yom HaKippurim principle in Romans 11:5-6. I have quoted it below and inserted some of my personal thoughts into the lines of his statements using a parenthetical offset.

Even so, then, at this present time, there is a remnant according to the election of grace (an undeserved and free gift). And if by grace, then it is no longer of works (of sin and death from Genesis 3:6); otherwise, grace is no longer grace (because to earn our salvation and bend the scales of heaven to deserve divine favor, we then negate Yehovah’s free gift). But if it is of works (the works of the Law of sin and death from Genesis 3:6), it is no longer grace (which is a free justification redemption gift that cannot be earned, traded, or deserved) otherwise, work produces a wage (from the Master of the Law of sin and death) for the benefit of the one who owns us in this world – the serpent – but in grace, it ) is no longer work (or a deserved wage from our servitude, because grace is what it is – a gift, whereas our works from sin and death is something earned which will produce actions of boasting and self-justification and Yehovah rejects all of this straight away).

Thus, Paul concludes his paradigm by saying in Romans 5:18:

Therefore, as through one man’s offense, judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation; even so, through one man’s act of justification or the giving of justness (his righteous act), the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification (or justness) of Life.

This is the principle of the Yom HaKippurim Day of Atonements metaphor. This is why Yehovah is so firmly insistent that we do not introduce worldly work burdens into our life on His Day of remembering what He did for us through Messiah Yeshua's afflictions and suffering. Based solely on his work for us, it is not a wage that we can boast about. Rather, we have justification by His Grace through Yeshua’s Faith and, thus, our faith in Yehovah through Him. In short, He does not want us to look at our actions in a world that is all about making trades and performing paybacks, which essentially equates to negating His gift of Grace in the suffering afflictions of Messiah Yeshua. Thus, Yeshua said in John 8:36:

Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

This teaches us the Yom HaKippurim principle of payments on Earth, and in Heaven that to terminate our inherited judgment from Genesis 3:6 (because we are born into this world with this curse), we need the two goat metaphors, the one that is given over to Azazel (led there into the wilderness by the Suffering Servant role the man in Isaiah 53 and the one for Yehovah (brought to Yehovah through an altar of fire by the Spirit of Messiah who represents a slaughtered Lamb of Yehovah who was for us, the Word made flesh. He represents the Word of Yehovah’s fire of his ascension offering. Again, see Judges 13:20-22, Jeremiah 23:29, and Luke 24:32.


If we approach Yehovah's salvation and redemption program through any other means that we construct using our clever treasury of human wisdom religions, it will be rejected by Yehovah. Then on the Day of Judgment, we will find ourselves with no advocate in Heaven and no justification merit or Messianic atonements, coverings, and payments to our benefit. This will be the proven verdict in a Heavenly legal court of law when Yehovah’s resurrected assembly and congregation are called to exercise judgment with King Messiah in Revelation 20:11-15. Here, we will take up a collective function to rule and reign with Him in the yet-future Kingdom of Heaven on Earth during Messiah's millennial reign. All said, if one does not enter Yehovah's redemption and salvation through the gift of Messiah’s merit (not our own stored-up merit), then that one will not be counted in the roll call of resurrection redemption, freely granted to the Israel of Elohim or Israel of God, when the collective Soul of the Bride of Messiah is summoned to join Him in the Last Day resurrection, as one in a Messianic marriage unity of the bridal chamber during the festival of Succot or Tabernacles (also called “Booths”).


LEVITICUS 23:31


Hebrew (BHS):

כָּל־מְלָאכָ֖ה לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֑וּ חֻקַּ֤ת עוֹלָם֙ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם בְּכֹ֖ל מֹֽשְׁבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃

English (NKJV):

You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

My understanding from a reading of the Hebrew text (above):

Verse 31. Every work (all work) they are not to do; her decree forever! (“Her” refers to the Holy Spirit who dwells in the set-apart assembly of faithful Spiritual Israel, referred to as the Bride of Messiah in metaphor) to their generations in all the places where they sit down and dwell.

Again, this is “her decree,” meaning the decree that belongs to the Holy Spirit of Yehovah, who has freely given us the benefit of Messiah’s redemption price. Our calling is to respond to the Voice of the prompting Spirit of Truth by walking in that Spirit of the Set-Apart One and, thus, receive upon us the new Name of the Israel of Elohim (see Galatians 6:16).


Yom HaKippurim represents Yehovah's remembrance of a divine marriage gift that belongs to the Bride of Messiah. Our redeemed soul is a physical metaphor and shadow image of a collective spiritual Soul of the Bride of Messiah who sits at the right of the King in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth during the reign of King Messiah on Earth. I think this is what Yeshua was driving at when he warned the religious factions in his day who were seeking to earn a place of honor in the World or a place of ruling authority in the World to Come (referred to in Hebrew as the Olam Haba). These religious factions were busy cultivating actions of self-justification or self-righteousness to prove that they had a valid and deserving entrance ticket. But what did Yeshua say about this? Read Luke 13:28-29 —

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the Kingdom of God.

To dwell or “sit down” in the Kingdom of Elohim or the Kingdom of God means to take up ruling leadership with Messiah as members of his divine assembly or congregation of the Israel of Elohim. You can see this in Job 38:6-7.

To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the Sons of Elohim shouted for joy?

This is one of the many benefits of receiving Yehovah's Messianic justification and redemption gift through Yeshua.


LEVITICUS 23:32


Hebrew (BHS):


שַׁבַּ֨ת שַׁבָּת֥וֹן הוּא֙ לָכֶ֔ם וְעִנִּיתֶ֖ם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶ֑ם בְּתִשְׁעָ֤ה לַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ בָּעֶ֔רֶב מֵעֶ֣רֶב עַד־עֶ֔רֶב תִּשְׁבְּת֖וּ שַׁבַּתְּכֶֽם׃ פ

English (NKJV):

It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.

My understanding from a reading of the Hebrew text (above):

Verse 32. A special Sabbath is He unto all of you because each of you is caused to be made poor, humiliated, and oppressed (dependent on the divine gift of redemption) with the Soul of the Aleph Tav – Messiah, the Word made flesh.

This appears to be Paul’s main talking point based on his theological paradigm from Romans 5:18.

Therefore, as through one man’s offense, judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation; even so, through one Man’s righteous act (justification act), the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification (justness) of Life.

This also appears to be what Yeshua was speaking about as absolute truth when he said to his disciples in Mark 2:27-28 —

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is also Master of the Sabbath.”

All the Sabbaths of Hebrew Scripture are an important metaphor and shadow image of a spiritual reality that is baked into Yehovah’s redemption story:

Rags to Riches and Afflictions to Rest

These are the themes of Yom HaKippurim – the Day of Atonements, Coverings, and Payments. All of Yehovah's biblical Festival Sabbaths of rest reflect what is yet future for us at this writing. His Festival Sabbaths are a unified collective metaphor to represent the real Millennium Sabbath that we will collectively inherit because we choose to remember and identify with the Affliction of Yeshua, who showed us and the world that he is the biblical Shabbat Shabbaton (Yehovah's Special Sabbath) from Hebrew Scripture. This is the basis for what we read in Luke 24:44-45 after Yeshua's third-day resurrection,

"...that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Writings concerning me. And he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures."

Yeshua's finished work is that of dying physically and descending spiritually into death, which is his burial into the earth down under, and his third-day resurrection out of death and into life from what is called in New Covenant parlance, “the second death” (see Revelation 2:11 and 20:11-15). All this establishes for us what is yet to be proven in the future, precisely on the tenth day of the seventh chodesh (Yom HaKippurim). On that day, when Messiah Yeshua returns, he will introduce us to the world as his Bride and collective set-apart assembly or congregation. This is the prophetic story of Leviticus 25:1-13 and Exodus 19:9-20. You should read the narratives if you have not done so already. And thus, it was written by Yochanan in Revelation 22: 13-14,

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, Beginning, and End, the First and the Last. Blessed those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city.”

And what city is this referring to? We can see this in Revelation 21:2-3.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying, “Behold, the Tabernacle (Tent) of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. God, himself, will be with them and be their God."

In closing, I hope this article has helped to perhaps inject some fresh, straightforward thoughts of meaning and purpose into your current views about the Yom Kippur paradigm that is written about in scripture. Thanks so much for reading my thoughts on this very important matter.


Avi ben Mordechai

443 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All

3 commentaires


Wayne Borges
Wayne Borges
11 sept. 2023

Thank you for this consise article which brings such clarity to how Yeshua was referencing the Lev 23 Yom Kippurim narrative on the road to Emmaus. This teaching resonates deeply bringing me new understanding regarding the law of sin and death and also leaving off from benevolent acts of service to the impoverished on this qodesh day to rather enter into deep remembrance of what He did for us through Yeshua's afflictions and suffering.

J'aime

I read this and was moved deeply. On the subject of what is Yah's work and what is our work - not only do I think about Yom Kippur much differently, but I think about the 7th day shabbat much differently. I'm honored to not work in recognition of what our anointed one has done for us! Yah says this is one of the signs that we are his!!! Thank you brother and by the way, I look forward to more on the Enochian calendar related to the feasts. Blessings - Mark.

J'aime

kate
kate
16 oct. 2022

Wow, there is so much packed into this article on Yom Kippur, I will need to print it out and read it again. I love the way you have expanded the meaning of the Hebrew....this certainly clarifies the true intentions of the scriptures.

Praise ABBA Yah for giving you this insight, it is truly beautiful..

Much Shalom

J'aime
bottom of page