“It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins. It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves.”-Leviticus 16:29-31
When is YOM KIPPUR-The Day of Atonement to occur?
We’re told on the 10th day of the 7th month of the year.
We’re also told that this day is to be a Shabbat for us.
This confuses some people.
This is NOT the weekly 7th day Shabbat.
This is another and different Shabbat and it is for a different purpose.
While the weekly shabbat is to be a joyful day of rest and enjoyment and spending time with your family, YOM KIPPUR is to be a day where we are to “deny” or “afflict” ourselves.
Understand that this does not mean we are to harm ourselves.
It is talking about DEPRIVING oneself, not harming oneself.
The clearest difference between this day and the 7th day weekly Shabbat is that the depravation begins with fasting.
It is typically custom for a big and delicious meal to be served on the 7th day Shabbat but not so on YOM KIPPUR.
I’m aware some will argue that the Scriptures don’t specifically say one should fast on YOM KIPPUR.
Yet it is the most obvious form of self-denial I would think.
Here’s what Robert Alter says:
“afflict yourselves. The evident meaning is fasting, though some have contended that the idiom is not restricted to fasting but could also represent other forms of self-denial.”-Alter, Robert (2008-10-17). The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.
Whether you decide to fast or not on YOM KIPPUR is your choice, but understand that the operative principle here is “denying” oneself which I would argue by definition means to abstain from the things you would normally enjoy such as food, drink, sex or playing Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker all day.
Now there are those who will argue that YOM KIPPUR was only for Israel.
First, as I’ve said already about 20 billion times, the one non-negotiable principle firmly laid down in Scripture is that YOU ARE GRAFTED INTO ISRAEL through your faith in Messiah.
So yeah, technically, you’re right, YOM KIPPUR is only for Israel, but if you’ve been grafted into Israel, then you are also part of Israel.
Second, check out verse 29.
“It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you.”
It clearly says that even the non-native folks (and this includes slaves!) are to observe AND BENEFIT from YOM KIPPUR.
This also means that the foreigners’s UNCLEANNESS and sins have been atoned for on this momentous once-a-year day.
In fact, I shouldn’t even call them foreigners, because from God’s perspective they are part of the community of Israel.
Oh and one more point, check out verse 34.
“This is a permanent regulation for you,
to make atonement for the people of Isra’el
because of all their sins once a year.”
Moshe did as Adonai had ordered him.”
This is an ordinance that stands for the ages.