There’s a Hebrew word (kaphar) in Ezek 16:63 which the ESV translates as “atone.” The word can also be translated as “cover over, pacify, propitiate.” (BDB) I found it very interesting that the same word is used in Gen 6:14 when the Lord commands Noah to cover the ark with pitch. Strangely enough, the same root is used for the word which means “pitch.” Unfortunately, Gen 6:14 is the only occurrence of the word. But the image of God covering over sins with pitch is a powerful one, not that Gen or Ezek actually says that. The Ezek passage is referring to a future time when God will kaphar Judah’s sins. I suppose it also has theological implications, but I don’t want to take this too far. The point is that we can compare Ezek 16:63′s use of kaphar with Gen 6:14 and come up with the image of God covering our sins with pitch. Cool.
(Check out the picture of the guy with pitch in Trinidad.)