Atonement vs Redemption

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at
Fri Aug 17 09:34:20 EDT 2001

An excellent discussion of kipper (which is usually translated atonement)
be found in Jacob Milgrom's Anchor Bible Commentary on Leviticus Vol 1.
He is the authority on the subject, to my way of thinking anyway.

The word translated redeem is pdh. YHWH redeemed the Jews from
Egyptian bondage. Redeem doesn't have anything to do with sin.

Kipper does, but the meaning of sin, HT), is completely different from
the CHristian notion.

It must be remembered that it is the altar that is atoned for.
The sin of the individual (such as when she menstruates) affects
the altar. The altar is then kippered by the blood of the sacriffice.
It is only by constantly purging the altar with sacrificial blood is
YHWH willing to remain in the temple. When the sins become
so great that the altar cannot be purged, then he leaves the temple,
and it becomes vulnerable to destruction. This is what happened
in 586 bce, and again in 70. Ezekiel describes YHWH leaving the
temple, and causing it to be destroyed. Later prophets describe
his return: Isaiah 40-55, Ezekiel 40-48, Zechariah 1-8.

When there is no altar, as now, there is nothing to kipper, the
issue is really moot.

Liz Fried
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