What is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur?
The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is the most somber holy day of all the Fall Feasts of the Lord.
In ancient Hebrew, this was an appointed day of repentance when blood was shed to atone for sin. This was fulfilled in Yeshua when His blood was shed, atoning for our sin.
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”—1 John 2:2
What Does Yom Kippur Mean?
Yom: The word Yom is translated as ‘day.’
Kippur: The word Kippur is translated as ‘atonement.’ The Hebrew letters in Kippur are…
- Kaf—to cover, to allow, to atone, palm of the hand
- Pey—to speak, mouth
- Reysh (or Resh)—the head, highest, most important, supreme, master, the top
In short, Yom Kippur literally means, ‘day of atonement.’ It is the day when the Supreme Master or Judge declares judgment on those who have committed a crime or rebelled against the law. But instead of decreeing, “Guilty!” He covers His mouth with His palm and refuses to give a guilty verdict because of the blood sacrifice.
When is the Day of Atonement in the Bible?
It is a day of repentance that falls each year on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei in the Hebraic calendar—beginning at sunset the day prior and ending at sunset on the 10th of Tishrei.
On the Gregorian calendar, this feast falls either in the month of September or October.
The Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur in the Bible…
Leviticus 10 says that Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, “offered a profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1).
As a result, they died.
- “… ‘This is what the Lord spoke, saying: “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.”’”—Leviticus 10:3
- “… ‘Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil… come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering… and make atonement for himself and for his house.’”—Leviticus 16:2, 3, 6 (emphasis added)
In other words, the Lord wanted His people to understand His holiness and the appointed time to come to Him. This isn’t to say we can’t approach His throne at any time…
- “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”—Hebrews 4:16
… but to consider the moeds or appointed times on God’s calendar when He asks us to draw near and to return to Him, repenting and rededicating ourselves to the covenant so that we do not forget His holiness and our relationship with Him.
The Lord instructs the people of God to keep this as a statute forever…
“‘This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments; then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.’ And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.”—Leviticus 16:29-34 (emphasis added)
How to Observe the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur?
Even though this is a somber time, we as Believers know that this symbolizes a time of repentance and remembrance of Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice. We can be filled with joy as we come into more revelation of who we are in Christ and understand that we serve a merciful God.
Often this is a time of immersing in the mikvah, symbolizing the cleansing and revival of our souls as we return.
The Prophetic Significance of the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur?
As you can see from the Hebraic definition and words above, the words God speaks have the power to dismantle accusations that come against you when you call on the blood.
To speak is to prophesy. The blood speaks on your behalf. You can enter the Courts of Heaven and call upon the blood of Yeshua, repenting and returning to the Father with a heart softened by the Holy Spirit.
When you do this during this appointed time on God’s calendar, the Day of Atonement, the blood proclaims your innocence, and your inheritance is released.
Your inheritance is not something you have to wait for, it is something available to you now!
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”—Ephesians 1:3
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”—1 Peter 1:3-4
Peace, provision, promotion, and protection are waiting for you. God asks you to enter His presence, understanding His holiness and power to have this inheritance manifested in your life.
Will you receive it?
Do you want to know more about the Fall Feasts of the Lord?
- Rosh Hashanah—the Head of the Year
- Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement
- Sukkot—the Feast of Tabernacles
Get The Fall Feasts: A Biblical Study of the Fall Feasts of the Lord HERE.