Essays in Honour of Dr. Norman H. Young
Edited By Kayle B. de Waal and Robert K. McIver
Goats, Calves, Bulls, and Heifer’s Ashes: Heb 9:12–13 and the Day of Atonement in the Epistle to the Hebrews
ROBERT K. MCIVER
This chapter explores in detail one of the major interpretive decisions facing an interpreter of Hebrews 9 and 10—the place of the Day of Atonement in the author’s argument. In particular it examines the linking of tra,gwn (male goats) and mo,scwn (calves, young bulls, oxen) in Heb 9:12, and tra,gwn kai. tau,rwn (bulls) together with the spodo.j dama,lewj (ashes of a heifer, young cow) in Heb 9:13.
At first sight the place of the Day of Atonement in Heb 9:12–13 seems secure. Hebrews chapter nine starts by giving a brief description of the layout of the wilderness tabernacle of the first covenant, and follows this by highlighting the daily and yearly services. Only the high priest goes into the second apartment, the holy of holies, and at that, only once a year, and not apart from blood (Heb 9:7)—a direct reference to the Day of Atonement ritual outlined in Lev 16. At this point the argument then moves abruptly to a consideration of how this should be compared with the achievements of Jesus. Thus the context of 9:12–13 has highlighted the Day of Atonement, and consequently one might well expect further reference to it.
Indeed, several aspects of the phrasing of Heb 9:12 suggest the Day of Atonement. Firstly, the goat and the calf may indeed refer to the two...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.