Yom Kippur Print
Written by Victoria Radin   



Please note that this article is very long due to the importance of this Festival and so many prophetic references corresponding to the L-rd’s return.

Leviticus 16 +Lev. 23:26-32 & 25:8-12

“And the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: The feasts of the L-rd, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts’… Also, the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the L-rd. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the L-rd your G-d… It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest… on the ninth day of the month of Tishrei at evening, from evening to evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath.”

The Strong’s Concordance defines ‘convocation’ as a ‘rehearsal’. Each Feast is a prophetic ritual that is designed to teach us a truth or many truths from the Word of G-d. We are not justified by the Feasts of the L-rd, by Sabbaths, or by the Law, but we are AMPLIFIED by them.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year and provides prophetic insight into the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus) when Israel will be restored to its original design and the final judgment of the world will take place at Armageddon.

“And He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

Passover is the prophetic picture of personal salvation for individuals, each in their particular sins against G-d and His laws. It is the first of the Festivals and the first step in the restoration of mankind. Yom Kippur, on the other hand, is at the end of the festival cycle (being the 6th Feast) and is a picture of the national salvation of the nation of Israel.

Rosh HaShannah or Judgment Day sets in motion the beginning of the end of all things (the Ketz). On the other hand, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), ten days later, concludes it with the L-rd’s return at Armageddon. The ten Days between these two Feasts, known as the Days of Awe (Yom Noraim) are described by the Hebrew sages as the birthpangs of the Messiah.



‘Kippur’ is the Hebrew word that denotes 'ransom by means of a substitute' coming from the root word for ‘redeem’. Yom Kippur is the day when ransom will be made by means of a substitute: Israel’s enemies instead of Israel (Ezekiel 39:1-11) (Zech. 12:1-9). This is the means by which G-d will redeem Israel.

Tradition says Yom Kippur is the day Moses came down from Mt. Sinai following his 3rd 40-day stay when he got a new set of tablets from G-d.

  • 1st – He went up to get original stone tablets (Ex. 24:12-18).
  • 2nd – He went up to make intercession (Ex. 32:30; Deut. 9:18, 25) after golden calf incident.
  • 3rd – He went up to get a second set of tablets to give the Israelites a second chance (Exodus 34:28). This day, it is taught was Yom Kippur.

On Yom Kippur in the temple service, a prayer from an ancient prayer book was recited, which has been removed in newer editions of the prayer book.

“Our righteous anointed is departed from us: Horror hath seized us and we have none to justify us. He hath borne the yoke of our iniquities and our transgression. He beareth our sins on his shoulder that he may find pardon for our iniquities. We shall be healed by his wounds at the time that the Eternal will create him as a new creature.” (Otz M’lifnai B’reshit)

Yom Kippur is only time Jews prostrate themselves with foreheads touching ground – the position taken in the Divine presence - when the name of G-d was uttered ten times on Yom Kippur. It is written about the Yom Kippur service: “And the Kohanim and the people standing in the courtyard - when they would hear the glorious, awesome Name, the Ineffable one, emanating from the Kohen Gadol’s mouth, in holiness and purity, they would kneel and prostrate themselves, give thanks and say, ‘Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity.’” (Kohen Gadol is the High Priest)

The rabbis say, “On the holiest day of the year, in the holiest place on earth, the holiest man on the planet, uttered the holiest word in the universe....such was the task of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur.”

Paul makes reference to this custom:

“That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Yeshua Christ is L-rd, to the glory of G-d the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

And Paul reminds us of Isaiah's reference to this event in quoting the L-rd:

It is written, ‘As surely as I live,’ says the L-rd, ‘Every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to G-d.’ (Romans 14:11)

And G-d Himself speaks the same word through Isaiah in reference to this Yom Kippur ritual:

“By Myself I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked. Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear.” (Isaiah 45:23)

On Yom Kippur, at the end of the service at sundown, the last shofar blast is blown and the gates of heaven are closed, each person’s fate being sealed for the coming year. Prayers during the Days of Awe accelerate from “remember us” to “seal us in the Book of Life” begging for mercy on Yom Kippur.

The sages teach that G-d saved the horns from the ram that was substituted for Isaac in Abraham’s sacrifice. One was used to call the people at Sinai. The other will be blown at the resurrection of the dead, pointing, once again, to the celebration of Yom Kippur.

It is also considered the happiest day of the year. A day with mystical qualities:

“…a day whose setting sun is like no other sunset of the year, when the light and the sky and the winds and the prayers all assume different reality because it’s a day promising forgiveness and purification.” (Rabbi Soloveichik - Halakhic Man)

This also should call to mind Zechariah 14:6:

“On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime–––a day known to the L-rd. When evening comes, there will be light...”

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin says of this day: “We have to seize the day before its light fades, before the day of Atonement turns into the Night of Extinction.”  This is an obvious reference to Armageddon, connecting it with Yom Kippur.

At sundown young men choose their brides. It is interesting to recall that John was baptizing the baptism of repentance, which traditionally would have been during the month before Yom Kippur during Elul. Yeshua probably went into the wilderness at the start of the Hebrew month of Elul at the beginning of the Season of Repentance, returning 40 days later on Yom Kippur to select His bride as is pictured in the calling of the disciples (Mark 1: 13-17).

At the end of the five services of Yom Kippur, the first nails are hammered into the Sukkah (temporary shelter) beginning the days of “Setting up the Household of G-d” in preparation for the Festival of Joy [Feast of Tabernacles].

“They will build houses and dwell in them...My chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands...for they will be a people blessed by the L-rd, they and their descendants with them.” (From Isaiah 65:21-23)


KOL NIDREI SERVICE The “All Vows” Service during which a general confession of sins (the viddui) was repeated ten times (one time for each time the name of G-d was pronounced by the High Priest). Today it is repeated only three times, each time in a louder voice, nullifying previous vows taken under duress. It emphasizes the importance in keeping vows, because violating an oath is one of the worst sins. Since community and unity are an important part of Jewish life, the confessions are said in the plural (i.e. ‘we are guilty’). They say the sin of the individual is born by the community – Yom Kippur, being the atonement for the Nation.

There is a general list of sins, such as “we have been treasonable”, “we have been aggressive”, “we have been slanderous” and some longer, more particular sins such as “we have sinned before you willingly”, “we have sinned by acting callously”, etc.

As each sin is confessed, the worshiper beats his heart with his fist, mirroring an ancient custom of submitting to the flogging of criminals (39 times) and reciting Psalm 78:38 and Jeremiah 31:19:

“Yet He was merciful: He atoned for their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time He restrained His anger and did not stir up His full wrath.” (Psalm 78:38)

“After I strayed, I repented: after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” (Jeremiah 31:19)

The rabbi sprinkles congregation saying: 

“For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you from all your sins you shall be clean before G-d.” (Lev. 16:30)

“See My servant.........[will] sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.” (From Is. 52:13-15)

SHAHARIT – The Morning Service

Isaiah 57:14-58:16 is read which denounces those who fast out of ritual for what G-d really desires is justice and mercy. There are also Torah readings about the Temple service.

MUSAF (additional service)

It is the longest service of year, devoted to the details of the original temple service. In commemorating it, they hope to receive the atonement that the ritual symbolized. The ritual was to purge the defilement from the temple as well as from the people of Israel collectively, i.e. the Nation.

The High Priest would have to bathe and change his clothes five times during ritual. Ornate clothes were worn in front of congregation (elaborate clothing which set him apart as holy before the people) - but wore only a white linen garment in Holy of Holies to make atonement for himself, the priesthood, and the nation of Israel.

Yeshua removed His heavenly glory to become a man. The garment He wore on the night of His betrayal was a seamless garment, woven from top to bottom, just like the garment worn by the High Priest.

The High Priest sacrificed a bullock as a sin offering for himself, the priesthood and to cleanse the Holy Place. He took with him the coals from the altar of incense and incense into Holy of Holies. 

Yeshua needed no sin offering (Heb. 4:15). He is High Priest selected from among men and appointed to represent them in matters related to G-d and to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (Hebrews 5:1,6,7,10)

The High Priest changed back into his ornate garments to cast lots for the two goats before the people. Great care was taken to assure the goats were identical since it was said to be one sacrifice. (It should be noted here that a goat head is used in Satanism to depict the Evil One. See notes on Azazel below)

  • The goat whose lot was for Adonai symbolizes the sacrifice that will be made at Armageddon where ransom will be made by means of a substitute: Israel’s enemies instead of Israel. (Ezekiel 39:1-11) (Zech. 12:1-9)
  • The goat that was chosen for Azazel (Satan) depicts the fact that the weight of all sin will eventually be fully carried by Azazel when he will be cast away out of the sight of man eventually to face his final fate in the Lake of Fire.

With the goats’ back to the people, the High Priest faced the people to cast the lots. He held two stones, one for Adonai, one for Azazel. The goat that fell to the L-RD was slain as a sin offering for the Nation. But the goat that fell to Azazel, known as the ‘scapegoat’, was made the subject of a more elaborate ceremony.

The goat that was to be sent away was turned towards the people and stood facing them, waiting to carry the sins of the Nation into ‘a land not inhabited.’ The Sin Offering was slaughtered and the blood taken into Holy of Holies and sprinkled before the Ark. When the High Priest emerged - a shout when up from the congregation.

The High Priest tied a tongue-shaped piece of scarlet cloth to the horn of Azazel and another around the throat of the goat for Jehovah, to be slain. The scarlet ‘string’ on the sin offering was tied near the hall of court where it could be seen by congregation. It was said that the scarlet thread turned white if the Yom Kippur repentance was accepted by G-d.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the L-rd: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

The Jewish historian, Josephus stated that although it had always turned white in the past, it did not turn white for the 40 years leading up to the temple’s destruction in 70 AD, ie. since 30 AD.

The High Priest (changed into ornate clothing again) would lay his bloody hands (representing the full weight of sin) on the Scapegoat, Azazel, confessing over it, with the people, the iniquities, transgressions, and collective sin of the people of the nation of Israel. It is interesting to note that the epistle of Barnabas [The Apostolic Fathers] records that the congregation pulled hair from the goat’s beard, slapped it and spat upon it, which is, we know, symbolic of the torment Yeshua suffered in proxy for Satan before He was crucified.

“The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities (guilt) unto a land not inhabited and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” (Leviticus 16:22)

This is the only service performed between the porch and the altar. The prophet Joel spoke of the second coming of the Messiah in relationship to this service: 

“Blow the Shofar in Zion… Gather the people, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people…Let the priests, the ministers of the L-rd, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, ‘Spare thy people, O L-rd, and give not thine heritage to reproach that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, ‘Where is their G-d?’” (Joel 2:15-17)


The Book of Enoch [1st book] gives much information about a renegade angel named Azazel. The Book of Enoch was widely known and used by early believers. It's apparent that Jude considered his quote from Enoch to be genuine as well as Peter in his epistles: Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4 and 1 Peter 3:20. Regarding the origin of the Books of Enoch, The Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary says of First Enoch:

Portions of the work were well known in Christian circles. 1 Enoch 1:9 is quoted explicitly in the Epistle of Jude (vv. 14-15) . . . The work was accepted as Scripture in various early Christian writings (e.g., Barn. 16:5; cf. 4:3; Clement of Alexandria Ecl. ii; Irenaeus Adv. haer. iv.16.2) . . (p. 337)

The story of the angels mating with women of the earth (Genesis 6) and giving birth to giants is elaborated upon in Enoch 6:1, which says that they descended on the summit of Mount Hermon. These ‘sons of G-d’ are identified by Enoch as angels, and he names the chieftans of the rebellion.

In Enoch 54:4, Azazel is shown to be the ruler of the host of rebellious angels. There was a stiff punishment decreed for Azazel. He was imprisoned for teaching men how to create weapons to destroy one another through warfare. It seems that Abaddon and Apollyon (both mean destroyer in Rev. 7:2-8) may be synonymous with Azazel. He also revealed to the people the secrets of witchcraft and led them into wickedness and impurity. The early Church ‘father’ Origen also identified Azazel with Satan.

The Scapegoat was led thru eastern gate over an arched bridge to the Mt. of Olives into the wilderness where it would be led to a cliff & forced over to its certain death. We know that Satan has been set free for a time but will eventually be cast into a pit and then the Lake of Fire.

THE MINHAH SERVICE – The shortest Service Of Day (Afternoon)

This service focuses on Leviticus 18, which enumerates sexual sin, describing all unlawful sexual relations. Those that participate in such defilement will be cut off from G-d.

“For all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled...everyone who does any of these detestable things--such persons must be cut off from their people...do not defile yourselves with them, I am the L-rd your G-d.” (Leviticus 18:27-30)

It is remarkable to note the New Testament correlation to this Minhah Service. 1 Thessalonians 4 begins with an admonition against sexual sins (verses 4-8) just before describing the coming of the L-rd in the clouds and the ‘catching away’ of the Body of Christ in verses 15-17.

“For G-d did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore, he who rejects this does not reject man, but G-d, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8)

 The Book of Jonah is read as a reminder that Gentiles can have a second chance also.

The story of Jonah is an allegory. The world is often represented by water in the Word such as in Jeremiah 46:7, 8. The whale is a large powerful creature whose only enemy is man.

The allegory:  G-d had chosen Jonah [a type of the Jewish people] to become a universal voice, a man for all nations of the earth. He was told to go to Ninevah [a type of the people of the world] to preach against evil and call them to repentance. Instead, Jonah went to Tarshish [away from G-d]. G-d sent a violent storm [persecution] that grew worse and worse until Jonah ‘woke up’ to his rebellion when he was thrown into the sea [attacked by the nations of the world] and expected to die. G-d sent a whale [a type of Goshen where the Israelites were protected during the Plagues of Egypt] to swallow him [protect him]. Jonah repented and was spit onto the shores of Ninevah where he preached G-d’s message. The people repented and turned to G-d. Jonah was the only successful prophet in the Bible.

The apostle Paul said in Romans 11:11-12 “...If their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!”

Each prayer is followed by a request that G-d’s Temple should be called a house of prayer for all nations. They believe the entire universe will be elevated if Israel carries out its mission [described in the story of Jonah] and it is debased if it does not.

The renowned social philosopher, Eric Hoffer in 1968 said: I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel, so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the holocaust will be upon us.

The rabbis say that each year Yom Kippur asks:

“Which shall it be, Tarshish or Nineveh? Darkness or Light? Death or Life?"

 NEILAH SERVICE – Concluding Service

The concluding service of Yom Kippur is unique in that the Ark (a cabinet where the scrolls of the Torah are kept) is kept open throughout this service, thus the congregation must stand throughout the hour-long service. It signifies that the gates of heaven are open until the end of the service when ‘the gates of heaven’ are closed and the final shofar blast is heard. There is a tone of desperation in the prayers, knowing that one’s fate is sealed in either the Book of Life or the Rashim (Book of Death) after this time. The Shemah is recited (Deut. 6:4) before the final trumpet blast that signifies the gate is closed.

This service, during which the Ark is kept open, corresponds to the time after the seventh trumpet is blown (Revelation 11: 15) and the Bible declares that “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our L-rd and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Verse 19 of this chapter says, “Then the temple of G-d was opened in heaven and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple.” What follows this event is the out-poured wrath of G-d on unrepentant mankind (Revelation 14), their fate hanging in the balance until Armageddon when their final outcome will be sealed.

Every 50 years, the Great Shofar blast of Jubilee is sounded on Yom Kippur, announcing freedom of slaves and reversion of all land to its original owners. Yeshua will remain in Heaven until that day:

“...whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which G-d has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)

The renowned rabbi, Mamonides taught that Yom Kippur repentance could “turn one who had been despised by G-d into one who is loved by Him. Yom Kippur can enable us to gain eternity.