New Defender's Study Bible Notes
16:6 an atonement. The annual Day of Atonement was the most important of all the Jewish festivals, with the possible exception of the Passover (see notes on the seven “feasts of the LORD” in Leviticus 23). The word “atonement” (Hebrew kaphar) essentially means “covering,” and is first used in connection with the waterproofing of Noah’s ark (see note on Genesis 6:14). The concept was that of a temporary “covering” of sin until Christ could come as the final “Lamb of God” to “[take] away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The word “atonement” is used only in the Old Testament (the word in Romans 5:11 should have been translated “reconciliation”; the Greek word does not mean “a covering”). In the Old Testament the word occurs more in Leviticus than in all the other books.
16:7 the two goats. In this unique annual ceremony, one animal was insufficient to picture the entire lesson to be gained by the people. One animal was to be offered for a sin offering, thereby demonstrating the fatal consequences of sin. The other was the “scapegoat” (that is, “goat of removal”), which would be carried into the wilderness. This would demonstrate that their sins, once the atonement was provided, would indeed by carried away and forgotten. Christ, of course, fulfilled both types in Himself, being offered as a sacrifice for sins, and also removing our sins and giving us His righteousness (Hebrews 9:7,25-26; 10:14-17).
16:11 for himself. Before the high priest could make an atonement for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:24), he first had to make an atonement for himself and then for the holy place and the whole tabernacle (Leviticus 16:16).
16:26 the scapegoat. The Hebrew word for “scapegoat” is asazel and means “the goat of departure.” Certain theologians and others have thought of asazel as some kind of desert demon, but there is no Biblical warrant for this idea.
16:34 make an atonement. This annual “day of atonement” is still observed by the Jews as Yom Kippur (see Leviticus 23:26-32). Ever since the destruction of their temple by the Romans in A.D. 70, however, their required sacrifices have been arbitrarily eliminated, so that the observance of this day can have no “atoning” value for them in reality (note Hosea 3:4).