The service which the High Priest performs in Leviticus 16 is so convoluted in our minds, due to the doctrines and traditions of men, that few have any idea what it is all about.
If you have not read my overview of the Feasts of Yehovah please read them first. In this blog I would like to concentrate on one aspect of the High Priest’s duties on this very special moed. Specifically, what is to be done with the two goats (as identical as possible) taken from Israel’s seed. The instructions outlining the High Priest’s duties for this day are found in Leviticus 16. You must read this chapter to understand my ideas.
And he shall take from the congregation of Israel’s seed two kids of the goats (two goats) as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering. “Aaron shall offer the bull [see verse 3] as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make a covering for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before Yehovah at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for Yehovah and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which Yehovah’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before Yehovah, to make
atonement[a covering] upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:5-10)
Over the last 10 or 11 years I have heard many ideas of what these goats represent, and the most often expressed the idea is that one represents Yeshua and the other Satan. This is so typical for those of us that come from a “Christian” background as they have a very strong inclination to make everything about Yeshua. Doing this, however, shuts down the brain to any alternative views. For Yeshua it was always about Yehovah, not about him.
Leviticus 16 – The Two Goats Represent Two Kinds of Men
I am going to suggest that these two goats represent Israel; some with pure and contrite hearts and some with hidden sins and an unwillingness to lay down their whole life for Yehovah’s kingdom. Both groups look the same on the outside; just like the two goats.
One group (group A) is the shepherds with their sheep, who lead, or are led in their own strength; they honor Yehovah with their mouth but not their actions. These are false shepherds and sheep that will not lead and live in the ways they should. They will perish!
In the book of Yasher, which is mentioned both in Joshua and Samuel, the exodus is discussed; specifically, what happened to Israel during the three days of darkness. It reads:
At that time died many of the people (men) of Israel who had rebelled against Yehovah and who would not hearken to Moses and Aaron, and believed not in them that Elohim had sent them. And who had said, We will not go forth from Egypt lest we perish with hunger in a desolate wilderness, and who would not hearken to the voice of Moses. And Yehovah plagued them in the three days of darkness, and the Israelites buried them in those days, without the Egyptians knowing of them or rejoicing over them. Yasher 80:37-39
The second group (Group B) of shepherds with their sheep, are more mature and respected; they lead Yehovah’s flocks as He desires, by example. This group, like Israel in their first exodus, will be covered by Yehovah and find safety as they transition from one kingdom into the next.
Concerning the two goats that are presented to Yehovah at the door of the tabernacle; we are told that a lot is cast to get His will concerning who will live and who will die. I found an amazing passage in Ezekiel 37 that talks about this separation of the two groups. I believe that Ezekiel 37 and Jeremiah 23 are both important in this context. Here is the verse that I found.
‘And as for you, O My flock, thus says my master, Yehovah: “Behold, I shall judge between goat / שה / seh (group A) and goat / שה (group B), between rams / איל / ‘a-yil (group A – strong male), and goats / עתוד / at-tûd (group B – prepared/mature male goat). (Ezekiel 34:17)
The first word, שה / seh, is a general term for either young sheep or goats.
H7716 שה / seh
A common noun meaning sheep, lamb. It refers to a young lamb of sheep or a young kid of goats, a part of a larger unit of animals, a flock. (WordStudy)
The latter two words are referring to rams / men, those that lead the שה / seh. The first is strong in might and force. And these are the men that lead in the world. They are false shepherds who lead Yehovah’s people in a way they should not go.
H352 איל / ‘a-yil
From the same as H193; properly strength; hence anything strong; specifically a chief (politically); also a ram (from his strength). (Strong’s)
The second word concerns goats / men who are fully mature and lead in wisdom and strength (good shepherds).
H6260 עתוד / at-tûd
From H6257; prepared, that is, full-grown; spoken only (in plural) of he goats, or (figuratively) leaders of the people: – chief one, (he) goat, ram. (Strong’s)
Read the chapter to understand this verse in the context of Yom Kippur rim. Group B goes into the wilderness just like the scapegoat; and, like Noah who was covered in the ark, passes from one world into the next.
Here is another verse that, I believe, is related to this second exodus topic.
“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place. All who found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, because they have sinned against Yehovah, the habitation of justice, Yehovah, the hope of their fathers.’ “Move from the midst of Babylon, go out of the land of the Chaldeans; and be like the rams / עתוד / at-tûd (group B shepherds) before the flocks. (Jer 50:6-8)
I want to be a part of the / עתוד / at-tûd group who have left Babylon and serve only Yehovah!
The last thing that I would like to mention, which troubled me greatly for a time, is this verse.
Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of Israel’s seed, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21-22)
This bothered me because if Israel is covered, why is it still bearing sin?
I later realized that this sin is fully confessed sin, both theirs and their fathers. After Israel came out of Egypt and just before they finally entered the promised land Moses said this about them.
Therefore understand today that Yehovah your Elohim is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as Yehovah has said to you. “Do not think in your heart, after Yehovah your Elohim has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness Yehovah has brought me in to possess this land‘; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehovah is driving them out from before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehovah, your Elohim drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which Yehovah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore understand that Yehovah your Elohim is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people. (Deu 9:3-6)
David, the shadow picture of the 144,000 ish servants of Yehovah who will be brought into the millennial kingdom alive (with their families), said:
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to Yehovah,”and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psa 32:5)
Praise the Creator who always fulfills His word, even for His stiff-necked people, Israel!