Questions: Hi guys! Leviticus 16:29 says the people shall “afflict themselves” and have a day of rest. Any insight into what God meant here? How were they expected to afflict themselves?
Answer: Leviticus 16 is the commandments for Israelites on the Day of Atonement. The word for "afflict" here comes from the Hebrew "anah". The affliction talked about here is really about fasting. The Day of Atonement is a sacred day for the Jewish people and God required them to fast. The afflicting themselves meant to fast, even water, to draw them closer to God.
Even today on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jewish people still fast.