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Atonement

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: No
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Atonement

This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New Testament except in Romans 5:11, where in the Revised Version the word "reconciliation" is used. In the Old Testament it is of frequent occurrence.

The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows from the death of Christ.

But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences (Exodus 32:30; Leviticus 4:26; 5:16; Numbers 6:11), and, as regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his behalf.

By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word "satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement." Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God. Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now consistent with his justice to manifest his love to transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about. Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so that consistently with the other attributes of his character his love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.), and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to guilty men (John 3:16; Romans 3:24, 25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved, there is no other way than this which God has devised and carried out (Exodus 34:7; Joshua 24:19; Psalms 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6; Romans 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is enough for us to know.


Naves Topical Index
Atonement

Miscellany of minor sub-topics

For tabernacle and furniture
Leviticus 16:15-20; Leviticus 16:33

In consecration of the Levites
Numbers 8:21

For those defiled by the dead
Numbers 6:11

Made for houses
Leviticus 14:53

By meat offerings
Leviticus 5:11-13

By jewels
Numbers 31:50

By money
Exodus 30:12-16; Leviticus 5:15-16; 2 Kings 12:16

By incense
Numbers 16:46-50

Day of:

Time of
Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 23:27; Leviticus 25:9; Numbers 29:7

How observed
Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:2-34; Leviticus 23:27-32; Numbers 29:7-11; Acts 27:9; Hebrews 5:3; Hebrews 9:7; Hebrews 9:19; Hebrews 9:22

Made by animal sacrifices
Exodus 29:36; Exodus 30:12-16; Leviticus 1:4; Leviticus 4:20; Leviticus 4:22-35; Leviticus 5:6-10; Leviticus 6:7; Leviticus 9:7; Leviticus 10:17; Leviticus 12:6-8; Leviticus 14:12-32; Leviticus 16:6; Leviticus 16:10-11; Leviticus 16:15-19; Leviticus 16:24-34; Leviticus 17:11; Leviticus 19:22; Numbers 15:22-28; Numbers 28:30; Numbers 28:22; Numbers 29:5; Numbers 29:10-11; Hebrews 9:22

Made by Jesus:

Made by Jesus:
Luke 2:30-31; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:3-12; Ephesians 1:17-22; Ephesians 2:4-10; Colossians 1:19-20; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8

A mystery
1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Peter 1:8-12

Made but once
Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:24-28; Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 3:18

Redemption by
Matthew 20:28; Acts 20:28; Galatians 3:13; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 9:12; Revelation 5:9

Typified
Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4; Genesis 22:2; Hebrews 11:17; Hebrews 11:19; Exodus 12:5; Exodus 12:11; Exodus 12:14; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:20; Leviticus 16:30; Leviticus 16:34; Hebrews 9:7; Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 9:28; Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22
Salvation, Plan of

Unclassified scriptures relating to
Psalms 40:6-8; Isaiah 53:4-12; Daniel 9:24-27; Zech 13:1; Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; Luke 24:46-47; John 1:29; John 1:36; John 6:51; John 11:49-51; Acts 17:2-3; Acts 20:28; Romans 3:24-26; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:1-2; Romans 5:6-11; Romans 5:15-21; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18; 1 Corinthians 1:23-24; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Galatians 1:3-4; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13-18; Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 1:14; Colossians 1:19-22; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 9:12-15; Hebrews 9:25-26; Hebrews 10:1-12; Hebrews 10:18-20; Hebrews 12:24; Hebrews 13:12; Hebrews 13:20-21; 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 3:5; 1 John 4:10; 1 John 5:6; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11
Blood; Jesus, The Christ, Death of; Jesus, The Christ, Mission of; Jesus, The Christ, Sufferings of; Redemption; Salvation


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Atonement

ATO'NEMENT, noun

1. Agreement; concord; reconciliation, after enmity or controversy. Romans 5:11.

Between the Duke of Glo'ster and your brothers.

2. Expiation; satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury, or by doing or suffering that which is received in satisfaction for an offense or injury; with for.

And Moses said to Aaron, go to the altar, and offer thy sin-offering, and thy burnt-offering, and make an atonement for thyself and for the people. Leviticus 9:7.

When a man has been guilty of any vice, the best atonement he can make for it is, to warn others not to fall into the like.

The Phocians behaved with so much gallantry, that they were thought to have made a sufficient atonement for their former offense.

3. In theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings of Christ.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Atonement, Day of

The great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins of the nation, "the fast" (Acts 27:9), and the only one commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is described in Leviticus 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Numbers 29:7-11.

It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to sunset. (See AZAZEL.)


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Atonement, the Day of

I. The great day of national humiliation, and the only one commanded in the Mosaic law. [FASTS] The mode of its observance is described in Levi 16, and the conduct of the people is emphatically enjoined in (Leviticus 23:26-32) II. Time.

It was kept on the tenth day of Tisri, that is, from the evening of the ninth to the evening of the tenth of that month, five days before the feast of tabernacles. Tisri corresponds to our September-October, so that the 10th of Tisri would be about the first of October. [FESTIVALS] III. How observed.

It was kept by the people as a high solemn sabbath. On this occasion only the high priest was permitted to enter into the holy of holies. Having bathed his person and dressed himself entirely in the holy white linen garments, he brought forward a young bullock for a sin offering, purchased at his own cost, on account of himself and his family, and two young goats for a sin offering, with a ram for a burnt offering, which were paid for out of the public treasury, on account of the people. He then presented the two goats before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle and cast lots upon them. On one lot "For Jehovah " was inscribed, and on the other "For Azazel ." A phrase of unusual difficulty. The best modern scholars agree that it designates the personal being to whom the goat was sent, probably Satan. This goat was called the scapegoat . After various sacrifices and ceremonies the goat upon which the lot "For Jehovah " had fallen was slain and the high priest sprinkled its blood before the mercy-seat in the same manner as he had done that of the bullock. Going out from the holy of holies he purified the holy place, sprinkling some of the blood of both the victims on the altar of incense. At this time no one besides the high priest was suffered to be present in the holy place. The purification of the holy of holies and of the holy place being thus completed, the high priest laid his hands upon the head of the goat on which the lot "For Azazel " had fallen and confessed over it all the sins of the people. The goat was then led, by a man chosen for the purpose, into the wilderness, into "a land not inhabited," and was there let loose. The high priest after this returned into the holy place bathed himself again, put on his usual garments of office, and offered the two rams as burnt offerings, one for himself and one for the people. IV. Significance. In considering the I. meaning of the particular rites of the day, three points appear to be of a very distinctive character.

  1. The white garments of the high priest.
  2. His entrance into the holy of holies.
  3. The scapegoat. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Hebrews 9:7-25) teaches us to apply the first two particulars. The high priest himself, with his person cleansed and dressed in white garments, was the best outward type which a living man could present in his own person of that pure and holy One who was to purify his people and to cleanse them from their sins. But respecting the meaning of the scapegoat we have no such light to guide us, and the subject is one of great doubt and difficulty. It has been generally considered that it was dismissed to signify the carrying away of the sins of the people, as it were, out of the sight of Jehovah. If we keep in view that the two goats are spoken of as parts of one and the same sin offering, we shall not have much difficulty in seeing that they form together but one symbolical expression; the slain goat setting forth the act of sacrifice, in giving up its own life for others "to Jehovah;" and the goat which carried off its load of sin "for complete removal" signifying the cleansing influence of faith in that sacrifice.