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.
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