Atonement in the Pentateuch

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at
Wed Sep 30 14:10:45 EDT 1998

Today's Tiorah portion in the synagogue was Leviticus 16, the Yom Kippur
purgation ritual, and there I found support for the claim that kipper
be'ad means "puify, c;eanse, purge" and not "atone for".
     In :ev. 16: 19. wetihero weqiddesho is used in similar context,
like word sequence, and with the same connotation as wekhipper 'al
haqqodesh in Lev. 16: 16. Also, don't forget Akkadian kuppuru. I don't
have RLA in front of me, but if I remember correctly, it occurs in the
context of the akitu festival. Correct me, please, if I am wrong.
As Y. Kaufmann pointed out long ago, the type of sacrifice known as
hattat, of which several are offered in Lev. 16, has nothing to with
sin, put is instead a "purification offering; Heb. hitte', in the pi'el,
means to purify, and indeed it is used in Modern Hebrew as "disinfect".
Chag Sukkot Sameach, to those of you who celebrate Sukkot.

Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Beit Berl Post Office

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