A Literary and Ritual Analysis of Leviticus 16

  • Yaw Adu-Gyamfi University of the Western Cape Ghana Baptist University College
Keywords: Literary, Ritual, Leviticus 16, Analysis, Atonement


Leviticus 16 is an important text in the book of Leviticus and the entire Pentateuch. The rituals in Leviticus 16 were central to the religious life of ancient Judah. It provided the means of atonement for the sins of the household of the high priest and the people annually. The text shows the seriousness of sin in the sight of YHWH. The various rituals in the text together reveal YHWH’s way of atoning for the sins of his people annually. The rituals of both the slayed and live goats meant the removal of categories of evil – impurities, sins and transgressions – from the community. Leviticus 16 shows that on the Day of Atonement, purification was meant not only for the people but also for cultic objects.


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