Should Christians Regard Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement?

Is this not the fast I choose: to release the bonds of injustice,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
and to let the oppressed go free,
and tear every yoke to pieces?
 Is it not to break your bread for the hungry?
You must bring home the poor, the homeless.
When you see the naked, you must cover him,
and you must not hide yourself from your relatives.

Isaiah 58:6–7 (LEB)

Yom Kippur starts the evening of October 4th this year and ends the evening of October 5th. A Christian that does not regard this day should really ask themselves “why not?”. Both Judaism and Christianity have their traditions, and Yom Kippur is typically thought of as a “Jewish” holy day; however, it is actually a day commanded by the Father for His people to keep. If one claims to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Yahuah, then why wouldn’t they regard His special days?

Leviticus 23:26–32 (LEB)

26 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Surely the Day of Atonement is on the tenth day of the seventh month; it shall be a holy assembly for you, and you shall deny yourselves, and you shall present an offering made by fire to Yahweh. 28 And you must not do any regular work on this very same day, because it is the Day of Atonement to make atonement for you before Yahweh your God. 29 If there is any person who does not deny himself on this very same day, then he shall be cut off from his people. 30 As for any person who does any work on this very same day, I will exterminate that person from the midst of his people. 31 You must not do any work; it is a lasting statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall deny yourselves on the ninth day of the month in the evening—from evening to evening you must observe your extraordinary Sabbath.”

The oracles of God were handed down to us through Moses and Israel. The gospel has always been that the whole world would be blessed through Abraham’s seed. We know now that this is the Messiah who accomplished this. The oracles of God did not change because of anything Jesus may have done. Anything Jesus, or in Hebrew, Yeshua, did was in perfect agreement with the word given to us through Israel from God, yet Christianity made up their own laws and special days using the special days, traditions and symbols of other gods. Yahuah told us specifically not to do this very thing.

Deuteronomy 12:28–32 (LEB)

28 Be careful to obey all these things that I am commanding you, so that it will go well for you and for your children after you forever, because then you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh your God. 29 “When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you are about to go to, to dispossess them before you, and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land, 30 take care so that you are not ensnared into imitating them after their being destroyed from before you, and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, and thus I myself want to do also.’ 31 You must not do so toward Yahweh your God, because of every detestable thing they have done for their gods Yahweh hates, for even their sons and their daughters they would burn in the fire to their gods. 32 All of the things that I am commanding you, you must diligently observe; you shall not add to it, and you shall not take away from it.”

The church leadership in Jerusalem made this Torah command one of the first, most important commands to regard for new converts coming from the pagan religions.

Acts 15:19–21 (LEB)

19 Therefore I conclude we should not cause difficulty for those from among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but we should write a letter to them to abstain from the pollution of idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses has those who proclaim him in every city from ancient generations, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

The intention here was for the new converts to have a starting point. They will learn the entire instructions of God given to Moses eventually because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every Sabbath”. The intention was that the gentiles would start to observe the Sabbath and learn the words God gave to Moses. Pollution of idols still means do not blend the holy things of God with pagan deities and symbols. These things include evergreen trees, pine cones, mistletoe, holly, eggs and rabbits. These are things that are used to worship other gods and should not be included in the worship of Yahuah. He gives us His own symbols that we can use to honor Him on the days He told us to celebrate. We don’t need to change His days or make up new ones that mirror the pagan holy days and their traditions.

In the religion of Judaism, it is a custom to fast on Yom Kippur. I do not know all of these customs, and how people in that religion observe the day, but I can read the command in Leviticus and it tells us it is a Sabbath and we are to afflict or deny ourselves. The word for afflict or deny is where the fasting tradition comes from. The trappings with this thought process is that one could symbolically fast and put the day in without actually grasping the meaning of the day. The word for deny is “anah” in Hebrew.

Fasting is a way to deny one’s self, but it is not in the meaning of the word. It is a day of solemn reflection. God explains the day through the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 58:3–10 (LEB)

‘Why do we fast, and you do not see it? We humiliate our soul, and you do not notice it?’ Look! You find delight on the day of your fast, and you oppress all your workers! Look! You fast to quarrel and strife, and to strike with a wicked fist. You shall not fast as you do today, to make your voice heard on the height. Is the fast I choose like this, a day for humankind to humiliate himself? To bow his head like a reed, and make his bed on sackcloth and ashes; you call this a fast and a day of pleasure to Yahweh? Is this not the fast I choose: to release the bonds of injustice, to untie the ropes of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and tear every yoke to pieces? Is it not to break your bread for the hungry? You must bring home the poor, the homeless. When you see the naked, you must cover him, and you must not hide yourself from your relatives. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall grow quickly. And your salvation shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh will be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and Yahweh himself will answer. You shall cry for help, and he will say, ‘Here I am!’ If you remove from among you the yoke, the finger-pointing and evil speech, 10 if you offer your soul to the hungry, and you satisfy the appetite of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like noon.

In other words, don’t be a big jerk all of the time then think a fast on Yom Kippur is going to fix everything. I know of people who go to homeless camps on Yom Kippur and ask the people there what they need, then go buy it and bring it to them. One could say that is breaking the Sabbath, but the words in Isaiah, along with our Messiah seem to point in this direction rather than fasting while “oppressing your workers, quarreling, having strife and striking with a wicked fist”.

Yom Kippur also has prophetic implications. Many think this is symbolic of the future judgement day. The ten days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are sometimes referred to as the “days of awe”. The seventh and last trumpet will sound on Yom Teruah and the “day of the Lord” will actually be this time leading up to Yom Kippur.

Revelation 11:15–19 (LEB)

15 And the seventh angel blew the trumpet, and there was a loud voice in heaven saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who are seated on their thrones before God fell down on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God All-Powerful, the one who is and the one who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets and to the saints and to the ones who fear your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant appeared in his temple, and there were lightnings and sounds and thunders and an earthquake and large hail.

The book of Revelation will be closed to anyone who does not study the words of the prophets. This is why there is so much confusion and millions, if not billions, of dollars in book sales on the subject. Obadiah speaks of the day:

Obadiah 15–18 (LEB)

15 “For the day of Yahweh is near against all the nations! Just as you have done, it will be done to you. Your deeds will return on your own head. 16 For just as you have drunk on my holy mountain, all the nations will drink continually. They will drink and they will slurp, and they will be as if they had never been. 17 But on Mount Zion there will be an escape, and it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will take possession of their dispossessors. 18 And the house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; and they will set them on fire and will consume them. And there will not be a survivor for the house of Esau,” for Yahweh has spoken.

God’s wrath will happen to the world,  “But on Mount Zion there will be an escape“. Use this Yom Kippur as a day to reflect on your life. Are you obedient to the eternal covenant? When the ark of the covenant appears in the heavenly temple, will you be able to be at peace? It is through the holy Spirit of grace that we are enabled to please the Father, thanks to Yeshua the Messiah. Grace is divine influence of the heart. This is where His laws are written on our hearts. The laws are not “old Jewish laws”, they are the laws of God that He shared with the world through Israel.

Ezekiel 36:24–27 (LEB)

24 “ ‘And I will take you from the nations, and I will gather you from all of the lands, and I will bring you to your land. 25 And I will sprinkle on you pure water, and you will be clean from all of your uncleanness, and I will cleanse you from all of your idols. 26 And I will give a new heart to you, and a new spirit I will give into your inner parts, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and I will give to you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will give my spirit into your inner parts, and I will make it so that you will go in my rules, and my regulations you will remember, and you will do them.

Learn the ways of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Repent and flee from idolatry!

Featured photo is by BAILEY MAHON on Unsplash.

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Yom Kippur starts the evening of October 4th this year and ends October 5th. A Christian that does not regard this day should really ask themselves “why not?”. Both Judaism and Christianity have their traditions, and Yom Kippur is typically thought of as a “Jewish” holy day; however it is actually a day commanded by the Father for His people to keep. Whether one regards this day or not helps identify the god they serve or do not serve

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6 thoughts on “Should Christians Regard Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement?

  1. The book of Hebrews in the New Testament mainly chapter 8, 9 express that Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant. That the old was not able to make us perfect, but the new one is . Jesus is at the right hand of God for us as mediator. The priests of the Old Testament or law where not able to do this work . They had to repeat offerings for sins and they where replaced because they died . But Jesus the man is ever able to continue as priest in Gods presence for us . A huge difference in the two covenants.


    1. Absolutely. The old covenant was an agreement at Mount Horeb between Israel and God. Israel agreed to do God’s commandments, feasts, sabbaths and festivals, but they broke the agreement. God never changed in the new covenant and said His instructions would be written on our hearts (now through the enabling of His Spirit). The high priest would enter the holy of holy’s to present the yearly sacrifice on the day of atonement, which was a copy of the heavenly tabernacle. Jesus became our sinless, high priest and presented a perfect sacrifice in the heavenly holy of holy’s once and for all, which made the earthly high priest’s sacrifices on Yom Kippur obsolete. In light of our savior’s role as high priest in the heavenly tabernacle, replacing the earthly high priest, I would think this would make the day that much more meaningful to honor now. Lev 23:31, “it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings”. As per Hebrews 8, quoting Jeremiah 31:31, the new covenant is with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. So I think we still need to align ourselves with God’s special days because they are “forever” and the covenant is eternal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hebrews ch 10 explains to me how the Old is replaced by the New Testament. V 9 then said he lo, I come to do thy will O God . He taketh away the first , that he may establish the second .

        I don’t see a problem with God doing something better .

        It says in psalm, what ever God does is forever . But Only God can out do himself . The earth will abide forever too , until God makes a new one even better .

        Can’t lose with God .


  2. Thanks for this, it has been very helpful. I do have one thing for you to put to the test though and that is; according to scripture, the barley harvest and the witnesses to the renewed moon, the Day of Atonement is from sundown the 6th Oct till sundown 7th Oct Gregory Time. This of course is the tenth day of the seventh month in real time. Shalom, I do not mean to be contentious but only speak in love.


    1. It can be a contentious subject, so I usually say “by some people’s calendar the day is” , but I forgot to this time. I am sometimes confused with the different calendars where some use the new moon conjunction, some the full moon, some the sliver moon, etc.. So I think if we went by the sliver moon that would push it to the 6th/7th this year, but I am not certain if that is what you mean. I settled on the Hillel II calendar, not because I think it is the most accurate, but because it came from the last official group that has the authority to proclaim the feasts. It was the duty of the Sanhedrin and priests to tell Israel when the moed’m were, so I took the position if they got it wrong it is on them, not on me. I do not feel like I have the authority by Torah to “proclaim” the days, where that was the job of the Levites and Sanhedrin. I wish we could have barley on the first sighting of the renewed moon where I live, but the ground is usually still frozen. I look forward to the day when we are all on the same calendar in the land!


      1. It is pleasant to get an honest and considered response, thank you. I too look forward to the day when we are all on the same calender in the land!


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