Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Name of God-Part 4

We don’t need to go to Gnostic, Christian, Pagan or Latin sources because the Jews had rabbis who knew the name.
There is another source that confirms this, written in 1450 AD. It was written by a rabbi named Joseph Ibn Tsayach. He wrote a book that was never printed or copied. There is only one book, the one written by Ibn Tsayach. In this book he is answering a series of questions through letters. Question 43 says, “A certain sage has been uttering the name according to its letters and a certain rabbi rebuked him for this. But the sage was stubborn in his actions.” That tells us that someone knew how to say the name openly, and others recognized it as being correct, in the 15th century.

But scholars say, “The Jews didn’t know the name” but that is not true. There are 16 rabbis who have said the name is Yehovah. These 16 rabbis are from all over the Jewish world, from Spain to Israel, Poland to Egypt. Some go back to 1300 and some to the 20th century. One is Ovadia Yosef, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983. In one of his books he states that the name of God is Yehovah.

When you search the same data bases of Jewish writings, you will not find the name Yehovah (100,000 books from Bar Elon University). Now, if 16 rabbis say the name is Yehovah, and the tens of thousands of other rabbis don’t, that means the name was intended to be a secret and never meant to know this. If you read 100,000 books we would probably never know this, but thanks to computers and certain programs, these can be searched.

One of these 16 rabbis is Menachem Tziyon in the 14th century and he said in a commentary on Gen 3.15, “This is my name forever” (Exo 3.15). There is also a secret here received by tradition in the words of ‘This is my name forever (L’Olam), for they are the vowels of the Great Name.'” Is this a hint? Did God mean that when he spoke this to Moses? Probably not, but this rabbi in the 14th century is saying he knew the secret and it was passed on to him as a way to remember the name. The vowels of “forever” in Exo 3.15 (“Le Olam”) were the vowels for the Name of God. Then Rabbi Tziyon goes on to say, “It’s mnemonic ‘Who in the sky (shachak) can measure up to you'” (Psa 89.6). A mnemonic is an acronym that helps us remember something. The mnemonic is the word “shachak” for sky. Shachak is an acronym for the vowels Sheva, Cholam and Kamatz, the vowels in YHVH (Yehovah). In other words, if you take the first letters of the vowels markings (SH,CH,K) it forms the acronym Shachak (sky).

So, this rabbi has told us that it is the vowels of “Le’Olam” (forever) and its the vowels represented by the word SHaCHaK (Sheva, CHolam, Kamatz). Rabbi Tziyon says later that these are the words of the man who revealed the secret to him. Now, we don’t know if he stood ankle deep in the water as in the ceremony we discussed earlier, but he participated in the trail of transmission of the name. The “devices” that were taught to him will help remember how to say YHVH (Yehovah). There is no way to get it wrong when you have the same vowels in Le’Olam that are in God’s name (Le’Olam/Yehovah). This is just one rabbi out of at least 16 that say the name is Yehovah.

Another rabbi is Rabbi Sofer, and he is considered the greatest grammarian of the 17th century. Rabbi Tziyon was a “mystic” but Sofer is a grammarian. He wrote a letter to Meir Maharam of Lublin saying that when YHVH is read in the World to Come its vowels will be “Shachak.” Remember what we said previously on Psa 89.6 and the word for sky. This tells us YHVH is pronounced “Yehovah” and not Yahweh, Yahveh, Yehuah or anything else. Those names have not been found. This is saying that YHVH is pronounced with the Sheva (e), the Cholam (o) and the Kamatz (a) vowel markings, pronounced Yehovah.

In a response to Rabbi Sofer in a letter, Meir Maharam of Lublin said, “Know, my beloved, how extremely difficult it is to put things like this in writing and even more so a letter sent about from place to place….concerning the vowels of the Tetragrammaton, which are Sheva, Cholam, Kamatz” (Meir Maharam of Lublin, 1608). He openly states it and he isn’t even disputing this fact. He doesn’t know who will read this letter, so it is hard to say this, but you say the name of God as Yehovah. That’s what he is saying.

He goes on to say, “I found in the words of my grandfather…our teacher Rabbi Asher (Lemel), head of the Beit Din of Krakow…he wrote a holy book called “Emek Ha Brachah” but because of its immense holiness it was never printed…that it not be used by those who are not worthy.” This is what it says in Chapter 34, “Concerning the Tetragrammaton…its vowels received from Sinai are Sheva, Cholam Kamatz.” There is no room for Yahweh, Yahveh or anything else according to these men.

The book, “Emek Ha Brachah” was never printed and we only have the quotes from the authors grandson. Meir Maharam of Lublin ends his letter by saying, “I have one request, that you hide this letter in a pure and holy place and not allow it to be passed around here and there.” When he died in 1616, his talmidim printed the letter and that is how we have it today. We were never meant to see this letter, it was to remain a secret.

There is a rabbi named Rabbi Jacob Bachrach in 1896 who wrote, “If the vowels in the Tetragrammaton were indeed the vowels of Adonai, precision would have required putting a chataf-patach under the yod for the aleph of Adonai.” The vowels of YHVH are not the vowels of Adonai, and this rabbi says that teaching is nonsense. He continues, “According to the rulings that have come down to us, there is no prohibition from the Torah to speak the name the way it is written. However, the custom not to pronounce the name the way it is written is very old…thus…it is not right to pronounce the name, but there is no prohibition from the Torah. There was a time, and there shall again be a time (a time when all peoples, all of them, will call on the name of Y”Y, and Y”Y will be one and his name one)…for this tradition of reading what is not written (1.e. Adonai) will be completely abolished and then we will all read it the way it is written (Yehovah).”

In Part 5 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Name of God-Part 3

The most important verse to the Jewish people is Zech 14.9 where it says, “Yehovah shall be king over the whole earth and on that day Yehovah will be one and his name one.” The meaning is, in the end times, all mankind will call on that name. Another verse is Zeph 3.9, “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips (a pure language and belief, confession), that all of them may call on the name of Yehovah, to serve him shoulder to shoulder (as with a yoke).” In the Talmud (Pesachim 50a) it says, “This world is not like the World to Come. In this world the name is written Yehovah and read Adonai, but in the World to Come, it will be one, written Yehovah and read Yehovah.”

Let’s look at Acts 2.21 where Peter says, “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This is a very important verse and part of the narrative of what happened at Shavuot. In the context of that event 53 days after the death of Yeshua, what does “the Lord” mean? How do we know what he means? Does he mean Yeshua? Does he mean YHVH? We could have lengthy debates on this if we only had this verse in Acts 2.21 to go on. However, we have another verse in Joel 2.32 that says, “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of Yehovah will be delivered.” That is the name Peter is saying to call on, he is quoting this verse and speaking in Hebrew. This is 100 or so years before Rabbi Teradion was killed for speaking the name in public by the Romans.

Where did the pronunciation of God’s name as Yahweh (or Yahveh) come from? Some say the “vav” is a “wa.” They say there is no “v” sound in Hebrew and somehow the “v” comes from German. Where do they get that idea? Many people who were Jews in Europe spoke Yiddish (“Yid” in German is Jewish). It is a dialect that is eighty-percent German, ten percent Hebrew and five percent from other languages. So, some think that is why.

But, how do we know how to pronounce anything in Hebrew? So, in the 1800’s scholars went around to the Jewish world and documented how they pronounced every letter. This was before there was communication among these communities. They didn’t even know the other communities existed and this was before the Internet. They found that the pronunciations were identical. It didn’t matter if they were from France, Germany or Kurdistan. They all pronounced Hebrew the same.

When they got to the “vav” there were two traditions. One said the vav was a “v” sound and the other said it was a “wa” sound. Most said “v” and the “wa” basically came from Arabic speaking Jews. When the Arab speaking Jews read Hebrew they said “v” however. The “v” sound exists in the letter “bet.” An example of this is “Jacob” in English. In Hebrew it is “Ya’acov” with a “bet” at the end (“v” sound). The only dispute is the sixth letter “vav” and there is no question that Jews pronounced it as a “v.” God’s name was never Yahweh. Nehemiah Gordon in his book “Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence” says on Page 69, “Yahweh is based on a second-hand Samaritan tradition reported by a 5th Century Christian author named Theodoret of Cyrus who didn’t know Hebrew and was writing in Greek.” So, some say Yahweh is a Christian view. No Jew ever said the name that way and it is never spelled that way in the manuscripts. But, what do the rabbis say the name is?

There is a conspiracy among the rabbis to hide the pronunciation and that is the premise for the book,”Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence” by Nehemiah Gordon. and this conspiracy is mentioned in the Talmud. It says that “the Sages transmit the four-letter name to their disciples once in a seven-year period” (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 71a, Rabbah Bar Bar Chanah-250-300 AD). By the year 250 AD, Jews were no longer speaking the name. It had been forbidden by the Romans and there was an interval. The prohibition was also to prevent people from healing in the name.

There are rabbis in Jewish literature who have written that the name is Yehovah (“God’s name is not Yahweh” video by Nehemiah Gordon, minute 8:15). The vowel marks for Yehovah are the “sheva” (“e” sound); the cholam (“o” sound) and the Qamatz (“a” sound). The reason the rabbis don’t look for these things but continue saying “Our rabbis didn’t know how to pronounce the name” is because there is a rabbi around 1750 that said, “The vowels of the name itself are hidden…its vowels are the secret of the tetragrammaton” (Elijah of Vilna). The consonants are known (YHVH), but he is saying the vowels are the secret, and hidden.

As a result, people assume they didn’t know the vowels, but is that what he is saying? No, it isn’t. He is saying they are “hidden” and he doesn’t say he doesn’t know what they are. So, sources interpret Elijah of Vilna as saying people don’t know how to pronounce the name because the vowels are hidden. When you look at what Elijah of Vilna is saying, it doesn’t claim to say nobody knew, or he didn’t know. He said the vowels were “hidden.” If that was all you had, you could argue back and forth about whether they knew or didn’t know. Is there a trace about this ceremony of transmitting the name every seven years in Jewish literature somewhere?

There is a book called “The Book of the Divine Name” by Eleazar of Worms. It was written in 1226 AD but the book was never printed, but it was copied in 2014. This book was considered so secret it remained in handwritten form even after it could have been printed (13th to the 21st century). The book describes the exact same thing described in the Talmud, but a thousand years after Rabbi Bar Bar Chanah said the name was transmitted to disciples every seven years in 250 AD.

Eleazar describes an elaborate ceremony where a rabbi and a talmid (disciple) go through a purification process. They fast and then go into a mikvah of water. They then put on white clothes and then do something that seems a little strange at first. They will stand up to their ankles in water. Then it says the rabbi opens his mouth in awe and says, “Blessed are you, Yehovah, God of Israel. You are one and your name is one.” That is referring to Zech 14.9 which we have discussed earlier. Now, there comes a time when in the life of a believer that you realize the name of God is all over the Bible, but you didn’t know how to pronounce it. This verse is one of those verses.

Then the rabbi says, “You commanded us to hide your great name.” But, where did God ever command that? He didn’t, but it can be found in the Oral Law, which isn’t oral anymore because it has been written down. After this there were several blessings and then it says the rabbi and his disciple would place their eyes on the water and then speak the name together, quoting Psa 29.3, “The voice of Yehovah is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, Yehovah is over many waters.” They understand this verse as saying, “The sound of Yehovah is upon the waters.” At that moment, the rabbi has spoken his name and the talmid (student) heard it and now they speak it together to make sure the talmid heard it correctly.

This was something the rabbis were doing in 1226 AD. So, the idea that the Jews may have known the name in ancient times, but not anymore, is false. That idea is not consistent with Jewish sources. Most scholars don’t know about these sources because they are “buried” somewhere. Joseph Dan is a professor who wrote about “The Book of the Divine Name” in a 6000 page series. In Vol 6, p. 561, he says that this isn’t just some theoretical thing but this is something Rabbi Eleazar did. This is an actual ceremony this rabbi participated in. What this tells us is we don’t need to go to Gnostic, Christian, Pagan or Latin sources. The Jews had rabbis who knew the name.

In Part 4 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Name of God-Part 2

YHVH has been found in over 1000 Hebrew manuscripts as of 2018, with the full vowels (more on that later). The point is, the scribes knew the name, have always known the name, and were intent on hiding how to pronounce the name. Every once in awhile, a scribe would “slip up” and put in the full vowels (sheva, cholam, kamatz), which is an easy mistake to make. Over time, they started putting the missing vowel “o” (cholam) all the time, especially when it was being printed, like the Rabbinic Bible of 1524, where it appears most of the time with full vowels.

Now, there are some who will say, “The Jews were so meticulous in transcribing the Scriptures that to say they deliberately left out the vowels is far fetched.” Well, first of all, the way the name normally appears in the Masoretic text is with the vowels missing. That’s just the way it is. The common explanation is by Gesenius who says that the vowels in YHVH are actually the vowels in the Aramaic word for HaShem, but there is no evidence for that, he made it up.

They were meticulous, but if the name YHVH is used over 1000 times and only a couple of times it had the full vowels (like in the British Oriental 4445 manuscript), that is still very meticulous. If you look at human DNA, it has mutations more frequently than what these scribes did in copying the name.

However, in the Leningrad Codex, in a verse in Psalms, it says, “YHVH” and in the Aleppo Codex it is “Adonai.” That is a huge difference. That is why YHVH is used 6,828 times in the Leningrad Codex and 6827 times in the Aleppo Codex. We are not talking about vowels but four consonants. It happens. So, a vowel is missing, except once in awhile it has full vowels (sheva, cholam, kamatz). Those full vowels always spell “Yehovah.” Those full vowels are never Yahweh, Yahveh, Yehowah, Yehuah or whatever name people think it is.

Even in Rabbinic literature the name has “slipped out.” There are over eleven rabbis today who say the name is pronounced Yehovah. But, the manuscript evidence now is more important than what the rabbis say, in our opinion. Individual rabbis have other pronunciations. The fact is, the rabbis are hiding the name and they are not proclaiming it from the mountain tops.

The name Yehovah (YHVH) means, “Who was, who is, who is to come.” It is a combination of three forms of this Hebrew root: Hayah (he was), Hoveh (he is) and Yihyeh (I will be). Heb 13.8 and Rev 1. 4, 8, 19 says this. Yeshua actually says he is Yehovah. He existed in the past, exists now ans always will exist. This idea is combined in the Gospels and Epistles with the phrase “Alpha and Omega” (Aleph-Tav in Hebrew), meaning the “first and the last” and so on. This is a Hebraic way of saying “eternal.”

Exo 3.14-15 tells us that God said in Hebrew, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” or “I will be.” It is an explanation for his name YHVH in verse 15 (Yehovah). There are those who say, “God told me in a dream (or a vision, etc) his name is Yehvah (or Yahuah, or Yahweh).” Who are we to dispute that, but, based on the information we have in the ancient Hebrew manuscripts, solid logic on the Hebrew language by people who know, and reasoning within the rules of Hebrew, we believe the name is Yehovah. We don’t have a recording of Moses on Mount Sinai, but we do have is a transcript of that conversation. If God speaks to you and he says it is something else, don’t listen to us. But you must discern that it was truly God speaking.

In the Lord’s Prayer, it says in Hebrew “Yishkadesh Shimcha.” It means, “May your name be sanctified.” It is a call to do something. If we are to sanctify the name of God, what is his name? When you ask people, “What is his name” you will get El Shaddai, El Elyon, and many other titles, very beautiful. However, he only has one name. That is the name he gave to Moses in Exo 3.15.

The forefathers of the Hebrews worshiped many gods. Abraham’s father Terah did. In Egypt there were many gods and Pharaoh even said he did not know the God Moses was speaking about. So, Moses really wanted to know “What name should I say?” (Exo 3.13). The answer was in Exo 3.15, “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel; “YHVH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, this is my memorial-name to all generations.” That name is Yehovah. If you have another way of saying his name search it out for yourself. According to the Hebrew manuscripts it is Yehovah. How do we know that name is relevant today? Exo 3.15 says, “forever.” Are we still in “forever?” L’Olam in Hebrew means for the duration of the universe. Olam also has the same vowels as Yehovah. Good way to remember if one ever forgot, forever! This name is for everyone (Psa 148.11-13).

In the original 1611 King James Version, the title page has the name written with the vowel markings at the top of the page in Hebrew. It is preserved in seven places in the KJV. The translators said if they write “Lord” it won’t make any sense. One example is Psa 83.18. Most other translations have “the Lord.” This changes the meaning. In most bibles, the name Yehovah is written as “the Lord” in all caps. This name appears 6,828 times. That is more than all the titles of God put together. So, we know this name is important. The reason we don’t see the name in our bibles is the English translators learned how to translate Hebrew from the rabbis. They told the English translators about the tradition that said whenever you see the name of God (YHVH), you read it as “Lord” (Adonai). However, in Hebrew the name is there. This is tradition, not Scripture.

There is an older tradition that predates the current tradition that says, “A man is required to greet his fellow using the Name” (Mishnah, Berachot 9.7). So, this was the original Jewish tradition and it predates not using the name. This tradition of using the name in a greeting is based on Ruth 2.4 where it says, “Behold, Boaz was coming from Bethlehem and he said to the harvesters, ‘Yehovah (YHVH) be with you!’ And they said to him, ‘Yehovah bless you!'” That was the tradition in ancient Israel. Yeshua will be coming in that name, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (Yehovah)!”

There is a tomb in Galilee of a man named Rabbi Hananiah Ben Teradion. It is not marked on any maps, it is not a secret, but you have to look for it. This rabbi was murdered during the reign of Hadrian and burned at the stake. He was wrapped in a Torah scroll and burned. The Talmud says it was because he spoke the name of God the way it was written. When he was teaching and he came upon the name YHVH, he proclaimed Yehovah. The Romans had banned the speaking of the name.

R. Teradion had a daughter named Beruriah (we have mentioned her before in other teachings). She was the wife of Rabbi Meir, and she was a sage and a scholar, and is quoted in the Talmud (Berakot 10a; Eruvin 53b; Pesachim 62b). She is also mentioned in the Tosefta (Keilim Kamma 4.9; Keilim Metzia 1.3). She is credited for the saying, “Hate the sin but love the sinner” among other wise sayings. The prohibition of the name came shortly after this. They saw a threat and adapted. They did not think this would last forever, but just till Messiah comes, which could be next week, they thought. Well, Messiah has come and the prohibition does not apply.

In Part 3 we will pick up here.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Name of God-Part 1

Before we move on in the Tanak, our next study in Tanak Foundations will be a study of the personal name of God or Tetragrammaton (four-lettered name of God). We are going to begin with the proper pronunciation of this four-lettered name (YHVH) based on current scholarship and the discovery of the name in over 1000 Hebrew manuscripts with full vowels. This will get us off to a good start in this teaching, leaving no doubt as to what the proper pronunciation is. The reasons why this is important will be brought out later in the teaching.

We will be using various sources in this series, but primarily Nehemiah Gordon’s videos on the name of God on YouTube. Mr. Gordon has also written several books on the subject. One is called “The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus” and another one is called “Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence.” Another book called “A Prayer to Our Father: The Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer” also touches on it and it is co-authored by Keith Johnson. Mr. Johnson also has a book called, “His Hallowed Name Revealed Again” and is a good source.

Nehemiah Gordon is a Karaite Jewish scholar and a graduate of Hebrew University. He has a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology. He has worked as a translator on the Dead Sea Scrolls and a researcher deciphering ancient Hebrew manuscripts. He is a prominent individual in the Karaite Jewish community and is active in the Hebrew origins of Christianity and interfaith dialogue. He is also a speaker in churches and synagogues all over the world and leads tours to Israel. Keith Johnson has a Maters of Divinity degree and was the former chaplain for the Minnesota Vikings and a United Methodist pastor. We are going to look at the evidence found so far and make a decision based on that evidence. We are not going to “gerrymander” the evidence to say what we want it to say like they do in politics.

The rabbis have many traditions, and one of them is that Jews are forbidden to speak the name of God. They will say “Adonai” or “Hashem.” Then the people grow up thinking that way. It is the same way in the Messianic Community because they follow Jewish tradition for the sake of following Jewish tradition. They don’t know any better at first. The rabbis also teach that it may be forbidden now to speak the name, but when Messiah comes it will be permissible. Well, the Messiah has come and so we are going to pronounce it. This prohibition on speaking the name cannot be found in the Torah, but it is a late tradition. In fact, there are verses that show that people greeted each other pronouncing the name (Ruth 2.4) and a blessing was done saying the name (Nun 6.22-27). A Rabbi was burned at the stake by the Romans in the Second Century for speaking the name. His name was Haninah Ben Teradion. Emperor Hadrian did not want the Jews speaking the name or following and teaching Torah.

The plan was to get everyone to say “God” so that they could pull a “bait and switch” and say everyone is following the same “God.” Like today, everyone says “God” or “Lord” and think that is the name of God. However, any title can apply to any “god” of today. But, when you use the personal name of God (Yehovah), then everyone knows who you are referring to. The word “Lord” can apply to any God (example “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison is about a Hindu god), but Yehovah can only apply to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So, Jewish tradition said that people were forbidden to say YHVH for internal reasons. By 250 AD or so it was well understood that you did not say the name. However, not everyone agreed with that or complied with it. A document from the 1500’s says a rabbi was rebuked for speaking the name. The assumption is Jews don’t know the name, but in reality they do. The Jewish sources have it but they won’t speak it, but it is there.

The name is pronounced “Yehovah” with the accent on the third syllable (“His Hallowed Name Revealed Again” page 151). This name appears in the Tanak 6,827 times, so it appears more than all the titles of God combined (Elohim, Adonai, El Shaddai, etc). So, we can see right off it is an important name. Even the Gospels and Epistles reveal it was important. The prohibition of later times is often “projected backwards” to the time of Yeshua when there was no prohibition.

There is a term called “Theophonic Names.” This is where a name has the name of God in it. For instance, Yehoshaphat (Yehovah is judge), Yehoram (Yehovah on high), Yehoahaz (Possession of Yehovah) are theophonic names. This has the name of God at the beginning. There are also theophonic names with it at the end, like Yeshayahu (Isaiah meaning “Yehovah saves”). It is similar to Yehoshua (Joshua) only switched around. The name “Yeshua” is a shortened form of “Yehoshua.” Names with Yehovah in them will have “Yeho” at the beginning and
Yahu” at the end.

There are exceptions. Judah is “Yehovah Odah.” Most languages have what is called “Dissimilation.” It is the opposite of “Assimilation.” Dissimilation is when you have two similar sounds, and it creates a difference to avoid having two sounds. So, Yeho-odah becomes Yehudah. The name Yeshua is an example of this (Yehoshua). In the Second Temple period the “”Hey” (H sound) was not pronounced very hard, so Yehoshua became “Yoshua” and Hebrew doesn’t like “o” and “oo” clusters. So, Yoshua by dissimilation becomes “YeSHUA” with a shortened “e” sound. Yehu is another one. His full name never appears (Yehohu) so it becomes “Yohu” but Hebrew doesn’t like the “o” or “oo” clusters, so it becomes Yehu. In English we basically have the same thing. Do not is “don’t” and can not becomes “can’t” and so on.

What most of us don’t realize until you study a language at a university is that dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive. In other words, they describe what scholars find. It wasn’t like somebody was writing a biblical book and so they said, “I am looking for a word that means such and such and so I am going to a dictionary.” There were no dictionaries or lexicons anciently. They wrote what they wrote. Later, people will go to look at a word in its context and don’t always get it right. When we look at a concordance or lexicon we can’t assume the definition found there is correct. Their definition is the end process of interpreting the verse. Here is a problem. We will go to these sources not realizing that and we think we have the definition and the meaning of a verse. That is backwards and the opposite way to do it.

What the author of a concordance or lexicon was supposed to do was to go to the verse, figure out what the word means, and compare it with the same word in other verses (and there may be other meanings), then give a definition in a lexicon. Concordances pull definitions out of nowhere, the same with lexicons. The reason there is a question on how to pronounce the name of God is because Jewish tradition going back 1800 years had a prohibition to speak that name. The name was preserved, but it was preserved “underground.” When someone did speak it in the 1500’s they were condemned.

The name Yeshua is a shortened form of the name Yehoshua (Joshua). Because Joshua the son of Nun and Yehoshua the son of Yehozadak is called “Yeshua” there has never been a question on how it was pronounced. There are verses in the Tanak with the name Yeshua (Jeshua in English) in it such as: 1 Chr 24.11; 2 Chr 31.15; Ezra 2.6; Ezra 3.2; Neh 7.11; Ezra 2.40; Neh 7.43; Ezra 8.33; Neh 3.19; Neh 10.9; Neh 8.7, 9.4-5; Neh 12.8; Neh 8.17 and Neh 12.24. You can see right there in English how to say it. When people say that Yeshua should be pronounced “Yahshua” or “Yahushua” don’t know what they are talking about. They are inventing a name. Anyone in the First Century knew how to say his name, and it was Yeshua. We have already given you a list of Scriptures where Yeshua (“Jeshua” in English Bibles) is written. So, the name Yehoshua becomes Yeshua in the First Temple period.

So now we come to the Greek period and Hellenistic Jews in Galilee said “Yesua” because there is no “sh” sound in Greek. In Greek, names end in “ou” or “us.” So, Yesua becomes “Yesous” or “Yesus.” This name has nothing to do with Zeus. They have found ossuaries with the name “Yeshua” on the side and “Yesus” on the other. There is no “J” sound in Greek either. When it was written with a “J” nobody said “Jesus” but “Yesus.” But, over time, people who didn’t know Greek or Latin said “Jesus” like it is said today. It is the Greek form of the Hebrew Yehoshua.

When the English bible came along they were copying the German, and in the German today the “J” is pronounced with a “Y” sound, so “Jehovah” was “Yehovah.” Some people teach that the name “Jesus” is related the Greek god “Zeus” but it has nothing to do with the name Zeus. They aren’t even spelled the same in Greek. Only in the made up language found in the Sacred Name movement is “Jesus” related to “Zeus.”

In Part 2 we will begin to take an extended look into the name Yehovah (YHVH).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Conclusion

The last Torah portion in Leviticus is called “B’Chukatai” meaning “in my statutes” (Lev 26.3 to 27.34). There are several Torah portions that strike “terror” in the heart of every believer and this is one of them because it deals with the blessing and the curse. This portion and the one at the end of Deuteronomy takes on the style of a rebuke.

This last portion in Leviticus calls on man to walk in the Torah in spirit (essence) and in deeds. God will reward those who walk in “my statutes” (26.3-13), but will also punish disobedience (26.14-39). The blessings begin with an aleph in Hebrew and end with a tav (the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet). The curses begin with a vav and ends with a heh, the last two letters of God’s name Yehovah (YHVH). God is a judge and demands judgment. We have a choice.

There are reasons things happen. This is a basic understanding of any “god.” Reward and punishment is related to the truth and its consequences. There are blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. That is why these verses and those in Deut 28.6 to 29.8 strike fear in the hearts of any believer in this God.

Christianity gets around all that by saying “We aren’t under the law anymore. We have been set free from the curses and we have all the blessings under Jesus.” But, that is not what the Scriptures teach. It is very easy to understand and God has not changed. The basic proposition in verses 14-39 is, “If you do not obey me, I will curse you.” Now, there is a word used here seven times (26.21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 40, 41) and nowhere else in the Torah. That word is “keri” and it means “against me” or “contrary.” God is personally involved here.

When a person believes God is merely “there” but not actively involved in their life, they feel less responsible to him and his plans. However, if we believe he is there and plays a role in the events of our life, we will be more inclined to “work” with him, which means we first “hear” and “obey.” The only manual that claims to know and teach that is the Torah. God’s providence is not a concept but a reality. The biggest curse of all is to have no sense at all of being part of a curse!

The First Temple was destroyed and the people were exiled, but they returned after 70 years. Then the Messiah came, the rightful heir to the throne of Israel, and they killed him. The Second Temple was destroyed and the people exiled. Some were taken to Egypt in ships by orders of Titus. This began a cycle of inquisitions, pogroms, persecutions and the Holocaust. Only in recent times have we seen the Jewish people come back to the land. In the middle of all this is the blessing. The land will not accept the presence of our enemies and will not produce. This is yet another proof of God’s divine hand on the land. No nation has been successful working the land. But when the Jewish people began to return, it began to flourish again. Here is an application of God’s hand in eschatology based on this portion in Leviticus.

The Babylonian Captivity ended in 536 BC, with 360 years remaining of the judgment in years (430 years total). These years are based on Ezek 4.3-6 (390 years for the north and 40 years for the south). The Lord says if they do not repent they will be punished “seven more times” in Lev 26.21-28. So, the captivity began in 606 BC and ended in 536 BC after 70 years (Jer 25.11). 360 years remain of the 430, multiplied seven times because they did not repent and rejected Yeshua, equals 2520 years (2520 times 360 years is 907,200 days). Now, take 907,200 and divide it by 365.25 and it comes out to 2483.8 years. Subtract 536.4 (when Israel returned) from 2483.4 and it comes to 1947.4. Adjust for no year (“0”) between 1 BC and 1 AD and you come to 1948.4, or May 1948 when Israel became a nation again.

But, we hear “God rejected Israel” because of unbelief. However, their religious instruction is baased in Replacement Theology. If you believe the commandments in the Torah as spoken by Moses, you will not believe in Replacement Theology. However, sooner or later, you will meet opposition. They will hold you responsible for their unbelief. The Torah teaches us about God and we are to know him (Jer 9.23). These commandments will separate you from the world (Deut 4.1-8).

The more you know him, the more you want to keep the commandments. Legalism is defined as keeping man’s commandments. Keeping God’s commandments is called obedience. The purpose of the commandments is to know the Lord (1 John 2.1-4). They do not make you righteous or justify you before God, that is another work of God. If the commandments separate us from the world to God, then not keeping them separates you from God to the world.

Do we want to get “exiled?” Then don’t keep the Torah and say “we aren’t under the law.” Do we want to be “confused?” Then don’t keep the commandments of God. Do we want to be “lawless” and have Yeshua say to us, “I never knew you?” Then don’t keep them (Matt 7.21-23). Truth be told, we resist authority. Remember how we felt when we first believed? Then we heard about “commandments” and we didn’t like the “obey” part. People are told all that “has been done away with” and all we had to to is “love.” But, we can’t say we love the Lord and disobey his commands. We can’t say we love the Lord and disregard his Sabbath. He is Lord of the Sabbath! We can’t say we love our neighbor and steal from him, lie about him and hate him.

1 John 2.3-4 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. The one who says ‘I have come to know him’ and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.” Now go to Matt 7.21-23 and read where it says, “Not everyone who says to me on that day (when Messiah comes) ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father (Torah) who is in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness (Greek word for lawlessness here is “anomos” meaning “against or no Torah”).”

We don’t keep the commandments if we don’t know him. Something happens to us when the presence of God comes into our hearts-it changes us. We want to obey and our nature changes. We see the blessings and we want life, and we are motivated to learn. But, most people give the Lord “lip service.” How do we know we know the Lord? We keep and teach the commandments of the Lord. If we teach “church” commandments, you know the church. If we teach man’s commandments, we know man. Religious people and religions want us to keep their commandments.

Two thousand years ago there was a conflict between the Jewish religious leaders (in particular the Pharisees from Beit Shammai) and God/Yeshua. These religious leaders were not following Moses, but they had new commands called the “Oral Law” (tradition). Yeshua said in Matt 22.29, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures or the power of God.”

Rabbinical Judaism didn’t start until after Yeshua. The architect for it was a man named Yochanon Ben Zakkai, who was 63 years old when Yeshua died, meaning he knew Yeshua and rejected him as Messiah, and his teachings. Ben Zakkai died in 90 AD (120 years old). The oldest known documents on what was done in the First Century is the Gospels and Epistles. They are older than the Mishnah and the Talmud. And just like Rabbinical Judaism, you won’t find “the faith” in many Christian churches either because they changed the nature of God, the covenants, the Messiah, the Basar (gospel), the commandments, the festivals, the dietary laws and much more.

Jer 31.31-34 contains what is known as the “new covenant.” Verse 31 says that the Torah will be written on the heart of a believer. This will be written so deep down in our hearts that we will know the Lord. If we want too to know someone, walk with them and spend time with them. We need to listen to what they say and be interested in what they are doing. If you are reading this and you are not sure you know “this God” because your behavior and beliefs do not match up with the Torah, and you realize you are not obeying him, here is what you should do.

Ask yourself, “How is my Mishkan set up?” Have you met the priest (Yeshua) at the door? Is there a fire (the cross/redemption) on your altar? Does your Menorah have light (understanding of the word)? Is there bread on your table (the Word of God)? Is there incense (prayer) on the golden altar? Are the commandments of God (Torah) in your ark (heart)? If not, confess your sins and iniquities and turn (“teshuvah”) to the Lord and begin to walk with him through his commandments. Show your faith (emunah) by your works (Hebrew “mitzvot” meaning commandments).

In closing, there is a tradition (not all tradition is bad if it does not violate a commandment) that after a portion of Scripture is studied, the following is recited: “Chazak, chazak, venit’chasek” which means, “Be strong, be strong, let us be strengthened.” We have received instruction from the Book of Leviticus. It is to make us stronger in the Lord, so stand up in that strength and rise up to the next level.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 23

Now we are going to look at some prophetic applications for the Smemitah and the Yovel. In Gen 6.3 it says that God will not always strive with man, but his years will be 120 years. We know that the Yovel is every 50 years (Lev 25.10). If you multiply 50 times 120 you have 6000. This alludes to the 6000 years of the Olam Ha Zeh, which is followed by the 1000 years of the Atid Lavo/ Day of the Lord.

When Yeshua came and read from Isa 61.1-2 (Luke 4.16-20) in the synagogue, many do not realize that this portion of Isaiah is the haftorah for the Torah reading “Nitzavim” (Deut 29.9-30.20). These verses from Isaiah talk about the Yovel, which is described as a complete rest. The captives (slaves) were set free, all debts were cancelled and liberty was proclaimed. The land rests during the seventh and the eighth years (49 and 50). Yeshua stopped reading in Luke 4.19 where it says, “to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” This portion would not be fulfilled in his first coming, but will be when he comes the second time.
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Isa 37.30-32 says, “This will be the sign for you: you shall eat this year (seventh year) what grows of itself, in the second year (eighth year) what springs from the same, and in the third year (the first year of the new shemitah) sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.” The context here is Assyria had invaded Israel, and they were coming into Judah to Jerusalem. Nothing could stop them but the Lord had promised to defeat them so that not even an arrow would fall on Jerusalem. This is a promise that Assyria would be defeated by Yom Kippur, when the Yovel 50 year period ended.

This is a picture of the Russian invasion of Israel and tells us that Russia will be defeated by Yom Kippur, and the nation will accept Yeshua as the Messiah because they cried out to him in their distress and he delivered them from Russia. Israel is set free as they enter into the fourth year of the Birth-pains and they will never turn away from the Lord again (Ezek 39.22; Isa 10.12).

We know Yeshua returns on a Yom Kippur to Jerusalem, at the sound of the great trumpet (Shofar Ha Gadol) that is blown on Yom Kippur. In the first century, Israel had lost track of the Yovel years due to the Babylonian Captivity when the tribes were taken out of the land. Because of that, the ram’s horn (yovel) was blown every Yom Kippur by the first century to make sure it was blown on the Yovel as commanded in the Torah. As a result, the “great trumpet” became an idiom for Yom Kippur and that is why we know that Yeshua will return to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.29-31). These verses are a picture of the “release” when the Messianic Kingdom arrives on earth.

Yehovah is also telling us in Lev 25 that we can’t just suck the land dry (or ourselves), but rest is very important and a key issue. One of the concepts for the Sabbath is rest, or no work. This alludes to the fact that we enter the rest of the Lord in Yeshua without works, it is a free gift, by his grace, through faith (emunah). It is not a work of our own (no work).

One of the concepts alluded to in the word “rest” is the Hebrew “Menuchah” which also means rest. It carries the idea of “completion.” To rest on the Sabbath does not necessarily mean physical rest. It means to have a sense of completion. When the Sabbath comes, be complete in what you need to have done. Don’t leave things “hanging” and then stress about it. However, rest can also allude to our physical lives. Even the animals we use for work were to rest.

One of the main things people deal with today is stress. Stress is the inability to feel a sense of completion or rest. The commandments are given to promote life (Deut 30.6). Have you ever heard, “Hard work never killed anyone?” But it does. The problem is we need to learn how to have “menuchah” (rest). If we don’t, stress can cause indigestion, dreariness, fatigue and strain. It can kill us.

If a man has to sell his property due to debt, his family, friends or brothers were supposed to buy the land back and give it back to him. They were to “redeem” him. The blood relative who did this is called the “goel” or “kinsman redeemer.” The Book of Ruth deals with this concept.

If you lived in a walled city, this didn’t apply because it was considered a permanent dwelling, except for the Levite. They were commanded to live in 48 cities throughout the land called “Levitical cities.” If they sold their house it could be redeemed because they had to live in those cities. At the Yovel, it comes back to the Levite, plus they had 2000 cubits of pasture land all around the city walls to graze their animals. If a house did not belong to a Levite in a walled city, you could buy it and own it forever. It did not revert back at the Yovel.

This put a lot of pressure on the people to dispense and spread out through the land and not live in a walled city. It caused them to take responsibility for one another when someone got into some financial issues. Let’s look at Exo 21.1-6.

A person sells his land, but he can’t redeem the land because he hasn’t, or can’t, save the money. You could sell yourself into “servitude” and your value was determined up to the next shemitah (sabbatical year). If the sabbatical year was five years away, you could sell yourself for five years. You surrendered all your decision making about finances to your “master.” You come under the control of your master.

Now, the biblical concept of a “slave” is that of a hired man or woman. They were not to be mistreated or abused. You were not to be severe (Exo 21.20-21). The master had to treat you the same way as his own children. You ate the same food and he housed you as his own. You could choose who you wanted to serve and this took you out of the economic system, paying back your debt. When the sabbatical year came, you were free to go. But if the master gave you a wife you could not take her with you, or any of your children (Exo 21.4).

If you thought this was a good arrangement, and you liked serving this master, the Torah allowed to you to make the decision to stay because of love for your master. This is called the “Law of the Bond Servant.” The Torah (and the Scriptures) is a book of “boundaries and declarations.” If the servant wanted to stay, they made a public declaration that he loved his master and chose to stay with him on his own (not forced). His ear was pierced with an awl to the doorpost of the master’s house. What is this telling us spiritually?

We owe a debt to the Lord we can’t even begin to pay. He has given us everything (family, wife, children, house, job, etc). We recognize this and we realize this is a good situation, and the household of Yehovah is a good household to belong to. He is a good master. All our debts are paid, so we choose to be a bond servant of Yeshua.

When Messiah comes, the great shofar will be blown on Yom Kippur because it is like the Yovel. The dead have come to life and all debts have been cancelled. The whole concept of the Messianic Kingdom is consistent with this system. In the Torah, this applied only in the land. In the future it will apply worldwide. The whole economic system will be different under Yeshua. This will lead to “menuchah” (rest) and there will be less stress and indebtedness.

In Part 24 we will pick up in the next Torah reading called “B’Chukatai” (in my statutes).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 22

With the background we have established in Part 21, let’s look at Lev 25. The people are getting ready to come into the land and the owner (God) is putting restrictions on it (the land). Every seven years the land was to rest from cultivation (if you were a farmer). This is called a “Shemitah” (release). Israel was “evicted” out of the land to Babylon for neglecting that command.

Every fifty years all debts were cancelled and the land rested two years (year 49 and 50). A great shofar (Shofar ha Gadol) was blown on Tishri 10 (Lev 25.9, or Yom Kippur) and this is called the Yovel (ram’s horn). One could move back to ancestral lands again. This will have a role when Yeshua returns at the sound of the great trumpet (shofar) in Matt 24.29-31. The exiles will return back to their ancestral lands from all over the world.

Every generation could be debt free every fifty years and the wealth was redistributed and the poor were elevated. Now, you could sell your property but you were only selling the number of harvests expected from the land to the next Yovel (Lev 25.16). For example, if you sold the land and you made ten thousand dollars off the land a year, and there were 10 years left to the Yovel, the price of the land was one hundred thousand dollars. This was the system that the Lord set up. It was really a form of leasing rather than selling. At the end of the Yovel, the land went back to the ancestral owners.

Economic deprivation is the source of many of the problems we have today. Every fifty years in Israel those problems were solved. The books were cleared and the next generation was not strapped with debt like today. In the spiritual, we don’t belong to ourselves. The Lord created us and chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph 1.4) and called us to him and gave us life. We belong to him. He has put restrictions on us to prove ownership and these restrictions are called Torah commands.

One of those restrictions concerned what to eat in Lev 11. These are food laws just like in Eden. Another restriction was rest on the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath designated who your God is. It is called “sign” in Exo 31.12-17. This sign of the Sabbath says that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the creator, including us. Our life is not ours because we were created by God. Recognizing his authority over us is why we follow the Torah. His position is God and our position is we are his created beings. If we don’t follow the Sabbath we are not sending forth the “sign.”

For example, Yeshua said, “You claim to follow God, however, you reject the Son. Therefore, you don’t believe the Father. If you reject me, you reject the Father (Luke 10.16; Matt 10.33). In fact, he said that one cannot claim to follow the commandments and make up new ones. That means they were following a different God with different commandments. You can’t serve two masters (Matt 6.24) and Elijah said the same thing (1 Kings 18.21). If we claim to follow the Son, but reject the Father’s commandments, you have rejected the Son. The Torah commands are the commandments of Yeshua.

These six year cycles of days and years, with a seventh day or year as a Sabbath, is alluding to the seven thousand year plan of God (Psa 9.4; Talmud, Sanhedrin 97a; 2 Pet 3.8). Lev 25.20-22 is one of those verses that prove that the Bible is the word of God, and is true. If we wrote the Scriptures, would we put these verses in there? These verses, read, “But you say ‘What are we going to eat on the seventh year of we do not sow or gather in our crops?’ Then I will so order my blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in.”

One cycle with a lack of food and that was it, starvation. Letting the land rest every seventh year was not done to replenish the soil. If you wanted to do that, you would plant for two years and let it rest one year. After six years it yielded the greatest crop and harvest, enough for three years. That just doesn’t make sense in modern agriculture, but that proves that this was written by a God who rules over nature. Let’s look at another angle to this. Israel is God’s down payment on the earth. A contract is in place (Torah) and we have evidence he runs it. Payment has been made to redeem it through the kinsman redeemer, the Goel, named Yeshua. Those that recognize that he is the rightful owner will recognize he is the master of the house. Those that do not recognize this does not recognize he is their master and their God.

That is the fundamental issue here. The Sabbath is the ongoing proof who owns us and the creation. It is an ongoing sign or ownership. So, how could one prepare for the seventh and eighth year (v 18-21) if you can’t work? The Lord will provide three crops the sixth year. They had to trust God to feed them. God promised to give us out continual daily bread. He will cause the increase to be enough to cover that period.

But we dispute his ownership. We don’t like the idea that he has a right to put restrictions on us. We want him to be like us, we want to “negotiate.” What it really comes down to is either there is a God or there isn’t, and both cases are frightening. Most of us turn God “on or off” depending on when we need or not need him. But things don’t work that way. The concept of Teshuvah (repentance) is “turning to God. We need to turn the switch on to God and leave it there.

What we do ripples through other people. Exo 20.5-6 says our iniquities will ripple through the third and fourth generations and if we love him his lovingkindness will ripple to the thousandth generation. We would like to think that we are a plant, but we are a branch. We came from someone else to produce fruit. If it is a bad tree, the branches produce bad or no fruit. If it is a good tree, the branches produce good fruit.

There are things bigger than us. A person may only see one Yovel in his entire life, two if you were born at the right time. These periods are miraculous cycles, on a miraculous land for a miraculous people brought about by a miraculous God. We must understand who is supplying our needs, who owns the and controls the land and who controls our lives.

In Part 23, we will look at some prophetic applications for the Shemitah and the Yovel.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 21

The Lord’s commandments make it clear who we follow. The Sabbath is seen as a building block to all the commandments. The Sabbath is how we know what God we follow. The seven day week is a “constant” all over the world and every calendar operates on that premise. The communists tries to change the seven day week into a ten day week, but it didn’t work. The word “week” in Hebrew is “shavuah” meaning a “seven.” God, through Moses, through the Jewish people, authenticated what was already understood in creation and mankind.

Replacement Theology Christianity (which covers most denominations) has decreed that it doesn’t apply. It’s ironic that they advocate the great principles of God and that he is the creator, and yet they themselves disregard “the sign” that he is the creator, the Sabbath (Exo 31.12-17). We are not taking issue with Replacement Theology Christianity or Sunday keepers, but if we don’t come to terms with the Sabbath we don’t have the building block to observe anything else God has. We must know what a “Shabbat” (Hebrew for Sabbath) is so that we can understand the Scriptures.

We complain all week that we need “rest” and then when the Sabbath comes, we don’t rest, or have that sense of “completion.” People will say, “I’m under grace” and then turn another day into their “sabbath” and one that God never intended. Islam has Friday, Judaism and Torah-based believers have Saturday, and Christians have Sunday. Now, if anyone took a look at all three, and then looked at the Scriptures, which day is in line with what God said?

Remember the definition of “blasphemy?” It is calling something “holy” (has a kedusha) when it isn’t, and calling something “unholy” (without a kedusha) when it is. The first thing the Lord called holy (has a kedusha) was the Sabbath (Gen 3.1-3). Christianity says it isn’t, and that is blasphemy. These festivals are blueprints for the Redemption. Whose voice are we going to listen to, the rabbis and pastors or to God? Because we don’t understand the writings of Moses (Torah), we don’t understand the words of Yeshua (John 5.39-47).

In a church, you can attend for fifty years and not be required to do anything. Not so with the Lord and his Torah (instruction). We need to listen to what the Lord “speaks” (Emor). You can look at Christians and not see much of a difference with what the world does. They keep the same festivals the world does, they eat the same foods the world does, and they do not observe the Sabbath and the world doesn’t either. One fast food restaurant closes on Sunday and the Christians think this is great and virtuos, but how does the Lord see it? They are wide open on the day he said to cease from your labors. But when you follow the Lord as instructed in the Torah (Torah means instruction, not law), people know exactly what God we serve and whose commandments we follow and what voice we are listening to. We don’t have to say a word.

These festivals in Lev 23 teach prophecy and eschatology. Pesach (Passover) teaches his burial, Hag Ha Matzah (Unleavened Bread) teaches his burial. Hag Ha Bikkurim (First Fruits) teaches his resurrection. Shavuot (Pentecost) teaches the coming of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) upon the Kahal (the promised eschatological congregation of the Messiah). Counting the Omer teaches about the journey to Sinai. Yom Teruah (day of the awakening blast of the shofar, also called Rosh Ha Shannah, or head of the year) teaches the coming of Yeshua in the Natzal (plucking up, the “rapture” or the gathering). Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) teaches about the coming of Yeshua to the earth and Jerusalem and the defeat of the False Messiah. Sukkot (Booths) yeaches about the Messianic Kingdom.

For more detail on these festivals, go to “All Teachings” on the menu of this website and scroll down to all the teachings listed there on the festivals, the seven thousand year plan of God and any eschatological teaching you may find there. You will find much more information on how these festivals apply to prophecy and eschatology, and in more detail.

Lev 25.1 to 26.2 is the Torah portion called “Behar” which means “in the mountain (Sinai).” Moses is on the mountain and something is agreed to up there. This is the shortest Torah portion and the Lord is telling Moses “this is how it is.” It is short because Moses has no input and God wasn’t interested in his opinion. Right off we see a system of “sevens” (sabbaths) continued from Lev 23. We have the Sabbatical year and the Yovel after forty-nine sabbatical years. During the Sabbath year (seventh), the land was to lie fallow and no cultivation. This tells us that the land was not an absolute possession of man.

This is going to be hard to believe but the sabbatical year (Lev 25.1-7) and the Yovel (Fiftieth year, called “jubilee” in most Bibles-Lev 25.8-55) is related to God as creator, and it related to our role as mankind to that creator. So, let’s look at these verses a little closer.

The Sabbath originated in creation (Gen 2.4) and so does man, marriage, life, animals, plants, matter, the land, energy, the universe and so on. If those apply today, then so does the Sabbath. When God “rested” it carries the idea in English that he was tired, but that is incorrect. It carries the idea of “completion.” God wasn’t tired, he was “done.” That concept is very important and must be kept in mind when observing the Sabbath. We should have the sense of “completion.” We know the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2.27) and it is man and the land that needs rest.

Whoever is the owner of the land can put restrictions on it. If you lease your house to someone, you can put whatever restrictions you want on the tenants (no pets, no smoking, etc). God gave Adam restrictions in Gan Eden and he told them not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (a food law by the way). This showed Adam that he was not the owner of the garden. But Adam did eat from that tree, and he was evicted from the garden for violating the restrictions of the property.

With that as a background, we will pick up here in Part 22 with Lev 25.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 20

Lev 21.1-5 tells us that the kohanim were not to touch a corpse or participate in the mourning practices of the pagans (v 5). Their service was to a living God and they were to minister to the living, to promote life. This standard was even higher for the High Priest (Kohen Ha Gadol). You will notice in Lev 21.7, 13-14 we have marriage laws for the priests and High Priest. The Catholic Church see their “priests” as a continuation of these priests and changed these laws to say that their priests cannot marry. Again, the traditions of men.

Now, if you rejected Yeshua you rejected the Father as well (LUke 10.16). What if you believed in Yeshua’s words, but not the Father’s words? Then you don’t believe Yeshua either. You believe another gospel, with another God. Priests were given a higher standard because they were to speak God’s words and instruct the people (Ezek 44.23).

Lev 21.10-15 gives us restrictions for the High Priest and v 16-24 gives the physical blemishes for a priest. This would disallow any participation in the Temple services. However, they could serve other ways, like inspecting wood for the altar. Lev 22.1-9 gives us the regulations for priests who share in a sacrificial meal and insisting on physical purity as a condition in which they could handle the korbanot. A non-priest (layman) was not to eat a sanctified thing under most circumstances, but there were exceptions (v 10-16).

Lev 22.17-25 gives the regulations concerning the faultlessness of the korbanot and Lev 22.26-33 gives further directions in regard to the korbanot. Lev 22.32-33 says they were not to profane the name of God, but to sanctify his name in what they do. Yeshua said the same thing in Matt 6.9.

Lev 23.1-44 gives an overall instruction about the festivals and the festival seasons. These are called the “Lord’s appointed times” in Lev 23.2. They are not “Jewish appointed times” or festivals. The Hebrew word for “appointed times” is “Moed” meaning “appointment.” They are also called “convocations” which is the Hebrew word “mikrah” meaning “rehearsals.” These appointed times were rehearsals for a specific prophetic event. The Sabbath was listed first (v 3) and it says the Sabbath was to be kept (in all your dwellings” and not in synagogues and churches). The Church Fathers changed all of this because they thought they had replaced Israel in God’s plan and that they had more authority than God. They serve a different God, primarily themselves.

If Yeshua were here today (and he is) he would be saying the same thing to the religious leaders of today. The main concern we have with all this is not whether one keeps the Sabbath, etc, but that they have the wrong God! The people today are not following the God who spoke from a mountain to Moses. Synagogues and churches have changed his character (who he is, his goals, what he is trying to communicate). Their God would not bring sickness or judgment on you. The Jewish people refuse to even contemplate that the Holocaust was the result of divine judgment, and Christianity isn’t much better. The God of 70 AD is the same God of the Holocaust (see Deut 28).

How do you know you have the right God and are not being misled? Follow Moses and look at the covenants. Let the Lord (through Moses) speak for himself. Pay attention to what Yeshua said about the commandments and Moses. You will find out that they are exactly the same (John 5.39-47). Religious leaders today (Jewish, Christian and “Messianic”) not only plug up their own ears, but they plug up the ears of all who listen to them (Matt 23.13). Why can’t people see these things, or hear this instruction? They don’t listen, read or obey. They are blind and deaf like the god they serve.

Who do we belong to? Who is our God? We need to read the Scriptures and follow what God said. See what applies to us today and to obey him. Most people do it the opposite way. They look at others and say, “I like how they do this” and “I like their minister and they have a great children’s program.” They look to see if they “sprinkle” or “immerse” at baptisms or whether they dance or not. If they raise their hands they say, “Well, that’s for me and my family.” But that is not how you judge whether or not a synagogue or church is right. You should be asking, “Are they teaching what God means in his word?” Churches teach and quote Scriptures but here is a concept you must know. Anybody can tell you what God said, but can they tell you what he means? Usually not, and there is a difference.

What the Lord has said is real clear, especially about these festivals. Can we “keep” these festivals today? Most Torah-based believers on Yeshua think they can, but is that what the Lord says in his word? The answer is, “No.” For more information on this concept, please go to our teaching “Can You Keep the Festivals Outside of Jerusalem and the Temple” on this website for a real eye-opener on this.

We know that people will struggle on this subject alone. People think what we present on this is wrong, but do your homework. Certain things we thought applied today doesn’t, and vice versa. Commandments apply at different times and for different people. There are commandments for Jews and commandments for non-Jews. There commandments for men and commandments for women. Some commands depend on whether or not you live in the land. Many commandments depend on whether there was a Temple or not. Not everything applied to everyone at the same time, but we have the same God, the same Messiah and the same Torah. Don’t make the mistake of serving the wrong God mixed into this whole thing. We need to get the right God first.

We discussed earlier that this Torah portion is called “Emor” which means to “say or speak.” This one way God communicates to us. The festival appointed times is God’s “mechanism” for us to move together and to learn together. God’s commandments make it very clear who we follow. The Sabbath is the first building block. The Sabbath is how we know what God we have. In Part 21, we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 19

We have another interesting verse in Lev 19.23 where it says that when a tree is planted, the fruit is “forbidden” to eat for three years. The word “forbidden” is the word for “uncircumcised” (arlah). Why is the word for uncircumcised used and the other words in Hebrew for forbidden? Fruit tress in Israel produce little or no fruit until the fourth year, so they are unfruitful (uncircumcised). This is a metaphor for the relationship between God and Israel. It is planted by the Lord (Jer 11.16; Psa 44.3, 80.9-12; Isa 5.2).

In Mark 11.11-33 we have the story of the cursing of the fig tree. It was Yeshua’s fourth year of ministry and he expected to find fruit on the tree (belief in him as the Messiah). He expected to find fruit on the tree of Israel to the Lord. No figs alluded to “no people.” It also alluded to the fact that Israel was going into exile and the land would not produce with Israel out of the land (Jer 24.1-10, 8.13, 9.26; Hab 3.16-17; Isa 5.5-6; Luke 13.6-9). To fulfill their calling, Israel needed to corporately accept Yeshua, not one out of six (according to one estimate). One million people in the first century was high but not good enough. The leaders thought they had fruit, but it lead to destruction (Luke 19, Luke 21).

We also learn from Lev 19.27-28 that “kedusha” is not rounding off of the corners of the head nor harming the edges of the beard. They were not to make any cuts in the body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks for the dead. These are forbidden mourning practices (Deut 14.1-2; Lev 21.5). These are not general prohibitions for all occasions. For instance, a Nazarite can shave because it is not an act for the dead (Num 6.5). A metzora (leper) is required to shave as an act of purification. Levites (Num 8.7) shave and it is seen as an act of purification. The things listed in v 27-28 were pagan customs associated with the dead (Isa 15.2; Jer 47.4, 48.37-38) and for mourning (Ezek 5.1, 27.30-31; Amos 8.9-10; Jer 9.26, 25.23, 49.32; Job 1.20). These practices were done to change the appearance of the mourner to the “spirits” hovering around (2 Sam 10.1-5). Lev 19 and 20 have been called the “Kernal (of wheat) of the Torah” and it is from these verses that Acts 15.20 was taken, in addition to Ezek 33.23-26, 44.31. Lev 20.1-27 deals with false worship, the occult and immorality. This portion ends with an exhortation to kedusha.

Now, here is an issue that must be considered. God’s commandments are what sets the Lord apart from other gods. It is what makes him different (Deut 4.6-8). Replacement Theology Christianity rejects the Torah commands and they teach their people that they are not “under the law.” Our greatest fear is Christianity has the wrong God! They don’t know what days have a kedusha, what foods are allowed or forbidden, they don’t know what commandments have a kedusha and many other things like that.

Blasphemy is calling something “unholy” (no kedusha on it) when it has a kedusha, or calling something “holy” (having a kedusha on it) when it doesn’t have a kedusha. Christian doctrine has done this with many Torah commands. They are keeping the commandments of men. For instance, one of the first things that God said had a Kedusha on it was the seventh day, or Sabbath (Gen 2.1-3). Christianity says that is not true anymore, that Sunday is the Lord’s Day. They just changed the kedusha, and that is blasphemous. The problem is they do not know the Lord so they have no concept of kedusha. They have changed the person of God, but he hasn’t changed. The commandments have a kedusha on them and to not walk in them is to not walk in holiness. They are doing the opposite of kedusha.

The next Torah portion is called “Emor” and it means “to say or speak. It goes from Lev 21.1 to 24.23. It carries on with the theme of kedusha exhibited in the kohanim (priests), the Korbanot (offerings), the Moedim (festivals) and time. Lev 21.1-9 deals with the ordinary priest. Whatever comes “near” or is presented to the Lord must be perfect (whole). Priests must be free from physical defects or ritual impurity (something that prohibits contact with the Mishkan/Temple or holy things). The korbanot must be without blemish.

We are in the heart of what is called the kernal of the Torah and we know that many have never had anyone teach them on these things before. They will say, “Aren’t we under the new covenant now?” They will say, “What is it with all these commandments” and “We have Yeshua now, not all this.” It sounds like “two Gods” doesn’t it? The “old testament” God is mean, bloody, a killer, sends disease, plagues, war and serpents. The “new testament” God is loving, friendly, forgiving, peaceful and full of grace. The problem with this is that there aren’t “two Gods.” He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13.8). That is the meaning of God’s name Yehovah.

When Yeshua came, he did an outrageous thing. He came to the religious leaders of his day and explained God’s plan of redemption. It would come by the grace and mercy of God through the “servant of God.” We all know that, but he was also going to bring justice and judgment, and we forget about that. Yeshua shows up and admonishes them, even brings predictions of gloom and doom. He rebuked the Pharisees (from Beit Shammai usually) and the people for obeying the commandments of men. This portion called Emor, which means to say or speak, alludes to the fact that we should always speak the truth of the Torah and not the words and teachings of men.

In Part 20 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 18

Lev 17.14 is the key verse in understanding Lev 17.11. That verse says that “As for the life of all flesh its (blood) is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life (nefesh) of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.'” Blood is not alive, but any creature beyond a certain size requires a circulatory system to stay alive.

As we have said before, the blood transports oxygen and nutrients to the body. When all the blood leaves the body, that creature dies because life cannot be sustained. Dr Mitchell explains that the Bible never really defines what life is, but neither does science. We can be alive one minute, and dead the next. The characteristics of life can be described but what that unidentified thing is that makes something alive has not been discovered.

The Torah uses the word “nefesh” to refer to “life” and “soul” of humans and animals, but not in regards to plants and insects. Life comes from God, and the blood sustains that life. Creatures continue to live because they have blood, but the blood does not make them alive. That is a big difference. We can die from something other than loss of blood. We are still dead even though there is still blood in their bodies. So, the presence of blood in an embryo beyond a certain size is needed in order to maintain life, but it already possessed life before that from God.

In the case of a human embryo, that gift includes being made in God’s image. So, based on Lev 17.14 as it elaborates on Lev 17.11, the life of all flesh is in the blood because it sustains life in the flesh. From the third week forward, a human embryo develops blood and a system to circulate it through the body to maintain life to already possesses. When the egg is fertilized the gift of life is imparted by God, just like when God breathed into Adam in Gen 2.7.

The genetic blueprint at the time of fertilization marks the moment when a human life begins. Even if there will be twins (Like Jacob and Esau), God provides the resources for creating two (or more) individual souls in the womb (Psa 139.16). DNA may be similar, but they will have individual personalities because there is more to a person than the blueprint. When three weeks have passed, that life (or lives) will begin to produce the blood and circulatory system that is needed to sustain that life (which is already there) until death. As a result, life begins at fertilization but the blood does not make them alive, it keeps them alive and that is what Lev 17.11-14 is all about.

Lev 11 through 17 dealt with ritual uncleanness and purification. Lev 18.1-30 talks about the subject of moral uncleanness and punishment. Lev 18.6-18 discusses forbidden marriages. Lev 18.19-23 discusses immoral practices and Lev 18.24-30 is an exhortation to remember what happened to the Canaanites, whose customs were a perversion to social morality. If Israel followed these practices it would lead to their destruction.

The next Torah reading is called “Kedoshim” (holiness) and it covers Lev 19.11 to 20.27. First, you can see that the name of this Torah portion is related to the word “kedusha.” Kedusha means, “to designate and to set apart something or someone for the service of God by formal and legal restrictions and limitations. The kedusha of time (like the Sabbath, etc) is marked by limits and restrictions on man’s activities concerning work and construction.” This Torah portion is a course on “Kedusha.”

Kedusha will not be found “on a mountain” but in the little things, like in Lev 19.1-37. It can be found in leaving the corners of your field for the poor and the hungry, reproving your neighbor and leaving the gleanings for the poor. This was seen as charity (v 9). The rabbis viewed this portion of the Torah as the “kernal of the Torah (law)” because the essentials of the Torah are summarized. So, Lev 19 and 20 is a short course on kedusha, and the definition we gave is important to understand because kedusha is misunderstood.

When you read these verses say “kedusha is” then read the verse. For example, when you read Lev 19.9 say, “Kedusha is…When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.” Lev 19.11 should be read, “Kedusha is…You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” For Lev 19.17 say, “Kedusha is…You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but, shall not incur sin because of him.”

Lev 19.19 says that we are to keep the statutes of the Lord (as they apply, of course). We are not to breed together two kinds of cattle; we are not to sow our fields with two kinds of seed nor wear a garment with two kinds of material mixed together. Spiritually, this alludes to the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan and the false Messiah (Gen 3.15). These two “seeds” will have enmity with each other. The word “Babylon” means “confusion, a mixture.” Gen 1.11 says that vegetation and and plants will yield seed that bear fruit after its own kind.

Dan 2.31-45 talks about a statue. The toes and the feet of that statue were “mixed” with iron and clay (the Hebrew “erev” means “mixed”). In other words, they will combine with common man but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay. Satan’s “head” tried to overtake God’s “heel” trying to reverse Gen 3.15, Hab 3.13 and Isa 14.12. Satan has tried to mix his “word” (false teaching) into God’s word (Torah), but the Torah is only good when it is unmixed. Yeshua brought this concept out in his parables in Matt 13.1-33.

We will pick up here in Part 19.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 17

We are going to talk about a very important concept in Lev 17.1-16 on “the blood.” We are going to spend a lot of time on this because it is a major doctrine in the Scriptures but it is never taught. Songs have been sung and much has been said about the blood based on what the Scriptures have said about it, especially the Book of Leviticus. It is a major concept, so we need some information on it.

Gen 2.7 says that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the “breath of life” and he became a living soul. Gen 9.4 says that we are not to eat flesh with its life-the blood. Why is this? Lev 17.11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…for it is the blood by reason of the life (nephesh) that makes atonement.” Medical science has demonstrated a significance to the blood. We can submit a blood sample and have blood work done and it will come back with all sorts of information on health. Blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to the body, it can also remove impurities. Blood is the highway to pathogens that can make a person sick, or to help and heal. So, let’s take a look at some of the concepts associated with the phrase “life is in the blood” and Lev 17.11.

The “nefesh” is Hebrew for “soul” and is seen as the individual person or human life (Gen 2.7). We know that emotions start in the womb and the sinful Adamic blood-line is passed from generation to generation. Sin is in our life and flesh. We are created in our parent’s blood and we are “flesh of their flesh.” It is as if their voices are out there. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is our programming data. RNA (ribonucleic acid) carries the instructions from our DNA. Thoughts and emotions impact our will, the action part of the nefesh. So, the voices of our parents cry out through the memory of the blood.

If we listen we become one with them. We can “inherit” their mindset, fears and anger. These are unrighteous “roots.” If we repeat these long enough it becomes our nature. God’s nature is found in his word where we learn strength, love, forgiveness and mercy. Here are some Scriptures for consideration: Heb 4.12-13; 1 John 4.18; Neh 8.10; 1 John 1.8-9; 2 Cor 10.5; Rom 7.16-18, 22-23, 25; Rom 8.1-2; 1 John 5.1-2; 2 Cor 7.1; Rom 5.1-2; Prov 17.22; 1 John 4.18; Isa 35.3-6; Psa 51.10; Prov 23.7; Phil 4.6-7; James 1.14, 19-22.

The will of the person is the action part of the person, based on thoughts and emotions. The feelings are sensory data, where we “see, hear and feel.” These are the result of what we believe about sensory data, or in other words “perception.” Perception is how we relate to the world around us through our senses. If emotions drive bodily functions and fuel feeling with a belief system that has been programmed with negative data, the bodily functions are negative rather than positive.

Emotional roots of fear, anger, sorrow come from our memory part of the nefesh.
Any thoughts we have that do not match how the Lord thinks and speaks cause “blockages” to peace and healing. As a result, that is the root of many diseases. The ultimate purpose of the Torah is life (Deut 11.26, 30.6; Prov 3.1-18; Acts 10.35). So, let’s look again at Lev 17.11

Many say “life is in the blood” without really thinking about that statement. If it is, why do people say that life begins before there is blood? There is an article in “Answers in Genesis.Org” called “Flesh and Blood” and it is written by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, Oct 14, 2011. It is a very balanced article on Lev 17.11 and will answer the above question.

Just about every believer has gotten into a discussion about when life begins and abortion. Traditionally, conception has been defined as the moment when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Medicine has redefined “conception” as a synonym for “implantation” that occurs several days after fertilization. Fertilization is when the sperm fertilizes the egg, combining their genetic information, producing a “zygote” with full DNA. The new “person” only needs to develop from that point.

The earliest blood cells and cardiovascular systems develop during the third week of development. Does that mean a human’s life does not begin until there is blood? Lev 17.11 says “life is in the blood.” But we need to understand that verse to answer the above question, so we need to look at some context.

In Lev 17.1-10, we learn that while in the wilderness, Israel was instructed to slaughter their animals at the Mishkan to make sure that nobody was sacrificing to idols in secret. They were to pour out the blood instead of eating it. Blood was special to the Lord and to remember that the blood of the korbanot had a “kedusha” and was to be poured out on the altar. To eat it would diminish the kedusha and the meaning.

In Part 18, we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 16

Lev 14.33-54 clearly alludes to what happened with the destruction of the First and Second Temples (“house”). Now, why did the Lord give such elaborate ceremonies concerning zara’at? First of all, they clearly teach us about the work of the Messiah and the cleansing from sin. A metzora (leper) is a picture of the “walking dead.” When they are cleansed, they are “born again” and they have a new life. Another reason this is so elaborate is it was to be a sign that the Messiah had come. Many lepers being cleaned, and the ceremonies, at one time would have been noticed by the kohanim (priests) and a sign that the Messiah had come because the cleansing of lepers was associated with the Messiah (Matt 11.2-6; Luke 5.12-14). Ten metzorim (lepers) were cleansed at one time, but only one came back to thank Yeshua (Luke 17.11-19). All believers have been cleansed, but have we thanked him?

We are an unclean people living in an unclean land, like Isaiah (Isa 6.5). It is very hard to get “clean” in a mud puddle. The Torah tells us who God is, and who we are, and what we need to do. Some people know the concept of tahor and tamai (clean and unclean), but not the concept of forgiveness. Others know the concept of forgiveness, but not the concept of tahor and tamai. We need to know both.

Lev 15 1-33 deals with the concept of bodily discharges male and female. These, too, will prevent one from having contact with the Mishkan and the Temple. Remember, the Mishkan and the Temple were seen as a miniature Eden, and Mount Sinai. That is why one went to a ritual cleansing before entering into the courts. A man with a discharge is called a “Zav” and the ritual is described in Lev 15.1-15. Lev 15.16-18 talks about a man with a seminal discharge.

In Lev 15.19-24 we have the the concept of a woman who has her menstrual cycle. She is unclean ritually for seven days. This concept is called “Niddah.” The monthly cycle is a picture of what happened in Eden, and the expulsion of Adam and Chava (Eve). The body is seen as Eden, the unfertilized seed “dies” and is expelled by the blood. The words “womb” and “grave” in Hebrew is the same (“kever”). We know that the “sun” is a picture of the Messiah and the “moon” is a picture of the believer. The moon has no natural light but it reflects the light of the sun. As the moon turns towards the sun, it gets brighter. As it turns away from the sun the light diminishes. This called the “waxing and the waning” of the moon.

Likewise, the wife does the same on a monthly basis. The prophetic imagery is the blood is life and it flushes “death” out of her for her health. The body is like Eden, the unfertilized egg is death and it must be expelled for seven days (7000 years eschatologically). After that, there has been a cleansing and relations can resume between the husband and wife, alluding to relations in the Olam Haba between Messiah and his bride. Things have been restored to the way it was before the cycle began, and things will be restored to the way it was before the fall in Eden. So, the seven days in our passage alludes to the 7000 years (the 6000 years of the Olam Ha Zeh and the 1000 years of the Atid Lavo). The eighth day alludes to the Olam Haba.

Lev 15.25-33 talks about a discharge of blood many days, a chronic continuation, called a “Zavah.” Neither the Niddah (v 19-24) or the Zavah can go into the Mishkan/Temple or touch anything without making it ritually unclean. Everything she sits on and anyone who touches her will become ritually unclean until sunset. If a husband has relations with her he is unclean for seven days. The Zavah can become clean. After the chronic issue stops, she counts seven more days. On the eighth day she takes two doves or pigeons, and brings them to the doorway of the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting). One bird is a Korban Chata’at (sin offering) and the other is a Korban Olah (15.30).

Now, did the Zav and the Zavah sin? If not, why did they need to bring a Korban Chata’at (v 15, 30)? Remember, this is a ceremony and it doesn’t mean they sinned. Did the woman who had a child sin? If not, why did she offer a Korban Chata’at (12.6,8)? Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, offered them in her ceremony after she had Yeshua (Lev 12.1-8; Luke 2.22-38).

These ceremonies teach that we must present Yeshua as the Korban Chata’at so that we can enter the sanctuary and come into the presence of God. The Lord uses ceremonies to teach about the Redemption, Messiah, Kedusha, meals consecrated to God (Lord’s Supper) and many other concepts. When the instruction stopped, then the korbanot seemed brutal. It had to be administered and done in an almost perfect atmosphere. Only a people with the highest moral and spiritual character could be worthy to do it. It must feel very different (Matt 23.23; Psa 51.17; Rom 10.4; 1 Tim 3.4; Isa 58; Luke 10.30-37).

When the Temple was destroyed, the people were missing the point, they were failing the course of instruction, which was the Messiah (Rom 10.4). It is not going through the ceremonies that is important, it is what you put into them from the heart. It is also what you derive out of them. The essence is what you want. What is the Lord saying to me in this ceremony? Here is the issue. The mundane performance of the commandments, void of their essence and deeper meanings of love, mercy and justice, is without the Messiah. That is why God said in Isa 1.10-15 that he took no pleasure in their korbanot. They were missing the point of the instruction.

The next Torah portion is called “Achare Mot” meaning “After the death.” It goes from Lev 16.1 to 18.30. The phrase “after the death” refers to the death of Nadab and Abihu in Lev 10.1-8, and Lev 16.1-34 deals with the ceremony of Yom Kippur. We are not going to deal with this service in detail here because it has been dealt with in the Temple 101 and 201 series on this website, but this service is a picture of the second coming of Yeshua.

On Yom Kippur, all things culminated in this ceremony in the Temple (the kedusha of the land, the city, the site of the Temple, the person of the High Priest, the language). We don’t have enough space to give a full explanation of this service, but we do recommend that you read “The Coming of the Messiah and Yom Kippur” by Hatikva Minsitries. You can read it on-line. You can also read the tractate “Yoma” (The Day) in the Mishnah.

There are many prophetic aspects to this festival. The concepts of the Wedding, Coronation, Resurrection and Judgment involving the Messiah is taught in the festival of Rosh Ha Shannah (Yom Teruah). The wedding of the Messiah will have a “Shavuah” (a seven) of seven years when the Bride will be in Heaven. This is called the “Seven Days of the Chuppah” and it corresponds to the seven years of the Birth-pains (Tribulation) on earth. These seven years will run at the same time that the believers are in Heaven after the Natzal, or the Gathering.

Yeshua and his bride will come out of the “wedding chamber” (chuppah) in Heaven and return to earth to make a home (Joel 2.15-17). Another name for Yom Kippur is the “Shofar ha Gadol or “great trumpet” (Matt 24.29-31). One part of the ceremony centers around two goats and two lots. On none lot it is written “L’YHVH” (To Yehovah) and on the other it was written “L’ Azazel” (To Azazel).

The High priest is between the two goats. He reaches into a box called a “Kalphi” and pulls out one of the lots. The lot “L’YHVH” is placed on the head of the goat to the right of the High Priest. The lot “L’Azazel” is placed on the head of the goat to his left. The Azazel goat is taken to the wilderness, the other goat is slain and the blood used in the ceremony. In the Gesenius Lexicon, it says that the name “Azazel” is the name of a demon. The wilderness is seen as the abode of demons in the Scriptures. The High Priest is standing between the two goats facing west towards the Holy of Holies. L’Azazel was turned around with his backside to the Holy of Holies, facing east (showing rejection of the Lord. You don’t turn your back on the King-Ezek 8.15-18). This goat was eventually taken to a cliff about 12 miles southwest near the Dead Sea (Lake of Fire) and killed. L’YHVH remained in place, facing west. What does all this mean?

Yeshua will return on a Yom Kippur at the end of the seven years of the Birth-pains. He will return to Jerusalem and he will capture the False Messiah (Azazel) and cast him into the Lake of Fire (Rev 19.20). Another name for the Dead Sea in the First Century was the Lake of Fire because of the oil there, and occasionally it would catch fire. The Romans called it “Lake Asphaltus.”

The book of First Enoch, which is quoted in the epistle of Jude, mentions Azazel and its relationship to the coming Messiah (1 Enoch 54.1-6, 55.3-4). There are many other verses in the Scriptures that describe the fate of the False Messiah. For more information on the False Messiah see our teaching called “The Greatest Delusion Ever Told” on this website. The Yom Kippur service is a wonderful picture and a rehearsal for what will happen at the end of the Birth-pains and Yeshua’s return to Jerusalem to set up the kingdom on earth.

We will pick up here in Part 17.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 15

We have an interesting concept in Lev 13.12-13, so we are going to touch on it briefly. It says, “And if the leprosy breaks out farther on the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of him who has the infection from his head even to his feet, as far as the priest can see, then the priest shall look and behold, if the leprosy has covered all of his body, he shall pronounce clean him who has the infection; it has all turned white and he is clean.”

When Messiah comes, he will find Israel in a similar state (Ezek 39.22). When Israel acknowledges her sin completely, and admits by confession they are completely guilty, then they can be saved and pronounced “clean” by the priest (Yeshua-John 13.10). This concept applies to ourselves as well. Only when we acknowledge we are completely guilty can we be pronounced “clean.”

Lev 13.40 has another concept for us. The verse says, “Now if a man loses the hair of his head, he is bald; he is clean.” Baldness without a reddish white infection (v 42) is a prophetic sign. The process of sin and death is the uncovering of man for God’s judgment. Adam’s sin was a headship issue. It is either Adam or Yehovah through the Messiah who is the “head.” A relationship with God is headship issue. It is man who reflects the uncovered headship in the flesh, not woman (Rom 5.12). When the Lord saved and “recovered” man, he had to smite his head (Messiah). Balding is a testimony to this fact. It is a reminder that we are uncovered before the Lord through Adam’s sin, and in need of redemption.

Lev 14.1 through 15.33 is the Torah portion called “Metzora” meaning “Leper.” When someone has “Zara’at” (leprosy) they are called a “Metzora” (leper). This portion contains the purification ceremony of one described as being afflicted with zara’at, plus other things. This ceremony is similar to the consecration ceremony of a kohen (priest), and the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer).

The kohen will go out of the camp to examine the metzora. If it has been healed, he will give orders to take two live birds, cedar wood (it is red, like blood), a scarlet thread (blood) and a hyssop (alludes to cleansing and healing, also called the “striking plant” and this also alludes to the whip used when scourging Yeshua) to the Mishkan/Temple. Then the kohen will slay one bird in an earthenware vessel (type of our humanity-2 Cor 4.7, 5.1) over running water (being washed by the water of the Word-Eph 5.26).

Then the live bird, with the cedar wood, scarlet thread and the hyssop, would be dipped in the blood of the bird that was slain. The priest shall sprinkle the metzora seven times and shall pronounce him ritually clean, and will let the live bird go free (Like Azazel in the Yom Kippur ceremony, this is seen as ridding themselves of the burden of sin). Then the metzora will was his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe in water. After this, he can enter the camp, but stay outside of his house for seven days. On the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair. He shall shave his head (pride), his beard (mouth, where gossip and slander came forth) and his eyebrows (covet, jealous). He will wash his clothes in water and bathe, and be tahor (clean).

On the eighth day he takes two male lambs and a yearling, ewe lamb, three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a Korban Minchah, and one log of oil. The priest who pronounced him tahor (ritually clean) will present him “before Yehovah” at the doorway to the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting). The kohen takes one male lamb for a Korban Asham (guilt) with a log of oil, and presents them as a wave offering. He then slaughters the lamb where they slaughter the Korban Chata’at (sin) and the Korban Olah (burnt). It is “kodshai kodeshim” (most holy) and to be eaten by the priest.

The priest takes some of the blood of the asham and puts some on the right ear of the metzora (don’t listen to gossip), the right thumb (plug our ears to gossip), and the right big toe (don’t walk to gossip). Then the priest shall take some of the oil (Ruach Ha Kodesh/ Holy Spirit) into his left palm, and with his finger shall sprinkle some of the oil seven times before the Lord. The remaining oil shall be put on top of the blood on the right ear, right thumb and the right big toe. The rest of the oil (Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit) on the palm shall be put on the head (seat of the intellect, reason, a renewed mind) of the metzora, and the priest shall offer the Korban Chata’at and make atonement for the metzora. Then he slaughters the Korban Olah and offers it with the Korban Asham on the altar (giving thanks).

If the metzora is poor and his means are insufficient, then he is to take one male lamb for an asham as a wave offering, to make atonement, one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a Korban Minchah and a log of oil. Two turtledoves or two young pigeons (instead of two lambs) shall be the Korban Chata’at and Korban Olah. Then they go through the same procedure as if it was with the two lambs.

Lev 14.33-54 deals with zara’at on a house, and this is very revealing and prophetic also. The word “house” is another word for the Mishkan/Temple. It also alludes to the Kahal” (the people/congregation) and how “sin” affects these things. These verses are very eschatological concerning the coming of the Messiah and the Redemption. This law applies when they enter the land of Canaan, so let’s take a look at these verses.

These laws apply when one is living in the land, there is a Mishkan/Temple, and a functioning priesthood and holy things (with a kedusha). You will notice in verse 34 that it says that the Lord will put a mark of zara’at on the house. It is God who will expose the shady workings of a “house.” Then the owner must tell the priests about the mark of zara’at. Then the priest orders that the house is emptied so that everything in the house not become unclean. This clearly shows that we are not talking about a communicable disease.

The priest will look at the mark and if it has a greenish (life of sin and vigor) or reddish (Hebrew “adam dam”-the presence of sin) the priest quarantines the house for seven days. After seven days, if it has spread, then the house is torn down, and the stones removed and thrown away. Eschatologically, this relates to the First Temple period. Sin was alive (greenish) and reddish (“adam dam”) and spreading, so the Lord had the Babylonians tear down the “house.” Then the house can be rebuilt with other stones.

But if the house breaks out again after it has been torn down, then the priest makes another inspection. This is what happened in the days after the return from Babylon to 70 AD. Zara’at broke out again and the Temple became a “den of thieves.” The priest (Yeshua) made an inspection of his Father’s house in Matt 21.12-13, and declared it unclean. Then the owner of the house (God) comes and tears down the house and throws the stones away (Matt 24.2). Stones will also allude to the people (1 Pet 2.4-5). These stones will be taken to an unclean place, and the people were taken and driven into the nations of the world for two thousand years so far. God vented his anger on the house. If the house has not had its mark spread, and the mark has not reappeared, then Lev 14.48-57 tells us about the ceremony to cleanse the house. This alludes to the house of Israel being cleansed once again (Zech 12.10, 13.1). These verses clearly allude to what happened with the destruction of the First and Second Temple (house). Now, why did the Lord give such elaborate ceremonies concerning zara’at? In Part 16, we will pick up here and look into that very question.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 14

We are going to take a look at the concept of Lashon Hara (evil tongue) a little deeper. Keep in mind, this is going to be associated with Zara’at (leprosy) and the Metzora (the one with Zara’at). Lev 19.16 says that we are not to “go about as a talebearer among your people.” Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18.21) and when a person speaks or listens to lashon hara, thirty-one commandments may be violated. Even though one does not generally violate them all at once, it is important to remember how carelessness can lead one into deeper trouble. Besides lashon hara, there is another concept called “Rechilut” (gossip) which is any communication that generates animosity between people.

Rechilut is often done when repeating lashon hara. For example, John tells Sam that Steve is ugly (John spoke lashon hara), and then Sam tells Steve what John said about him. Sam probably made Steve angry with John, which rechilut.

The Torah does give different situations and conditions, and identifies when speech is forbidden, permisable, and even desirable. One type of lashon hara, speaking lies and slander is called “Motzi Shem Ra” (spreading a bad name). It’s very easy to imagine how lies, and even exaggeration, can unfairly damage someone’s reputation. However, sometimes we speak lashon hara because we forget that in many cases, truth can be subjective (like beauty is in the eye of the beholder) or elusive, in that we don’t always know thew whole picture. We never know the circumstances he has had to deal with. Lev 19.15 says, “In righteousness shall you judge your kinsmen.”

That verse commands us to give the benefit of the doubt. We should always judge other people fairly, believing that there may have been factors that we are not aware. Don’t judge other people unless you find yourself in their situation. As we judge others, you will also be judged. In other words, we should think before we speak and judge. We should try to judge on the side of virtue.

We are going to give some negative commandments found in the Torah relating to Lashon Hara. These include, “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people” (Lev 19.16; “You shall not utter a false report” (Exo 23.1); “Take heed concerning the plague of Zara’at (leprosy)” (Deut 24.8); “Before the blind do not put a stumbling block” (Lev 19.14); “You shall not profane my holy name” (Lev 22.32); “You shall not hate your brother in your heart” (Lev 19.12); “You shall not take vengeance nor bear any grudge against the children of your people” (Lev 19.18); “One witness shall not rise up against a man for iniquity or for any sin” (Deut 19.15); “You shall not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exo 23.2); “You shall not act similar to Korah and his company” (Num 17.5); “You shall not wrong one another” (Lev 25.17); “You shall rebuke your brother and you shall not bear sin because of him (Lev 19.17); “Any widow or orphan you shall not afflict” (Exo 22.21); “You shall not curse the deaf” (Lev 19.14).

Next we are going to give some of the positive commandments relating to Lashon Hara. They include, “Remember what Yehovah your Elohim did to Miriam by the way as you came forth from Egypt” (Deut 24.9); “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19.18); “In righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” (Lev 19.15); “If your neighbor be poor and his means fail him when he is with you, then you shall uphold him” Lev 25.35); “You shall rebuke your neighbor” (Lev 19.17); “Before the gray-haired you shall rise up, and you shall honor the face of the old man” (Lev 19.32); “Honor your father and your mother” (Lev 20.12); “From a false matter you shall keep yourself far” (Exo 23.7). In other words, we are to guard our tongue.

What people try to do to another will come upon them, the slanderer themselves. This is called “Middah K’neged Middah” or “Measure for Measure.” There are many instances in Scripture where this happened. For example, Miriam spoke against the wife of her brother Moses in Num 12.1-16 and she was struck with zara’at. The hand of Moses turned white with zara’at after being placed next to his heart in Exo 4.6-7. This showed the evil in man’s heart, and Moses did speak evil against the people and he doubted them. King Uzziah spoke against the lord and offered incense in the Heichal of the Temple when he was not allowed to do that.

The application is this: we all are guilty of this sin. We gossip and slander against someone almost daily. We insult and do harm to others. We think we have the right to walk right into the Temple and before the Throne of God. Like King Uzziah, we offer “incense” and try to “blow a little smoke” of our own against a brother, and facts don’t matter. The one with lashon hara must bear before everyone else what they tried to do to someone else. Let’s go a little deeper.

Peter, and the Jews in general, were instructed in Acts 10 “not to call any man unclean” just because they were non-Jews. That was lashon hara, but this goes for anyone. When we do it, it is like putting the rules of zara’at (leprosy) on someone. Zara’at never really kills you, you have to live with it and it is like slander. You are depressed, isolated, can’t go out in public, and the person feels of no value to anyone. It is a living death and a person is devalued. The person feels like a metzora (leper). They struggle to find self-worth. The Lord told Abraham in Gen 12.1-3, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” Do we want life and goodness? Proper speech is part of that (Psa 34.12-14). Exo 23.1 tells us that listening to gossip makes us just as guilty as the gossiper. Why are our fingers shaped like pegs, and wider at the bottom and more slender at the top? So that when we hear something evil against someone, we can plug up our ears!

There are many reasons why the Second Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were cast out of the land, and we know they relate to Yeshua. However, the Jewish people and the rabbis asked that question and we can learn the answer in these verses on zara’t and the metzora. Lev 14.33-45 tells us that a leprous house (one with zara’at) is to be torn down. The answer the rabbis came up with as to why the Temple was destroyed and the people scattered was because “We hated without a cause.” They don’t say who they hated exactly, but they know the reason. There is a tradition that says it was because Ya’akov Ha Tzaddik was killed. Don’t know who he was? He is known in Christianity as “James the Just” and the brother of Yeshua (Talmud, Yoma 9b).

The instruction about Lashon Hara is very clear, ‘Don’t do it.” If we are ostracizing someone, or casting insults, or hating a brother, we must “Stop.” Don’t put zara’at on someone, or it will come back on us. The Lord knows how it feels to be seen as “unclean” by others. He has the power to make you clean and take the “zara’at” of of us. Don’t go before the Lord “unclean” or you could get zara’at. Worshipers went to be ritually washed before entering the Temple. When a Metzora purified himself, he would bring two birds. One was offered and the other was set free (Lev 14.7). Why are birds used? Could it be because of their constant “chirping?” It is our constant chirping (chatter) that gets us into trouble.

Why are there two birds? In order to speak evil you need a partner. When we encounter gossip, we should “fly away” or what happened to the first bird will come upon us. To say, “I was only listening” is not an excuse. The listener is just as guilty. That is why the ear of the metzora is anointed with oil and blood (Lev 14.14-17). When we come into the presence of the Lord we should ask ourselves “Have we been involved in lashon hara today?”

These concepts also challenge us to go out and see these people, examine them and understand their lives instead of believing what other people say about them. Look for some way to guide them through the process of being dismissed and to try and ease them back into fellowship with others again. Like the kohanim, we are to be people of peace, love, mercy and compassion. We are not to turn away in fear from such people. We are not to “wash our hands” of any sense of responsibility. People will speak against you, ostracize you, “cut you off” from themselves, treat you as though you were leprous, but don’t get caught up in that. If they don’t repent, what they tried to do to you will come upon their own heads, measure for measure. Just be willing and ready to fellowship with them again after the Lord deals with them, but don’t respond with evil against them, but “fly away” like the second bird (Lev 14.17).

There are “bad times” when danger to the community happens and it requires banishment or being isolated, but we should be open to the grief that accompanies such an event. The “metzorim” or “lepers” today can be prisoners, refugees, immigrants, the poor, disabled, sick, elderly or people with divorces or who have had abortions. They can also be those who have committed a “sin or transgression” that our congregation frowns upon (dancing, drinking, wearing too much make-up, long hair, tatoos or whatever). People with zara’at were not put into “leper colonies” because what we call “leprosy” today is not what we see in the Scriptures. Biblical zara’at is totally different. The metzora lived among everyone else. As a kingdom of priests, we should not harden our hearts and turn away. We should look some painful and ugly realities in the face and help. We should repent of our own sins and imperfections so that we can treat and support those who have been “afflicted” so that they can rejoin us in fellowship again.

In Part 15 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 13

Ritual impurity prevents a person or object from coming into contact with the Mishkan/Temple and any items with a kedusha. Lev 11.1-8 teaches us about the clean (tahor) and unclean (tamai) four-legged creatures. Lev 11.9-12 tells us about the clean and unclean creatures in the water. Lev 11.13-19 tells us about birds that are prohibited and Lev 11.20-23 tells us about which winged insects that walk on all fours is “detestable” and which may be eaten. Lev 11.24-28 teaches us about defilement through contact. Leviticus 11.29-43 tells us about the creeping things on the earth and finally Lev 11.44-47 tells us about the spiritual purposes for these laws.

The question that sometimes is asked is, “What about a clean animal that dies?” Leviticus 11.39-40 tells us that whoever touches its carcass becomes unclean ritually until evening. If he eats some of the carcass, then he shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. The one who picks up its carcass shall wash his clothes and be ritually impure until evening.

Now, here is a concept. If hygienic uncleanliness is meant here, how could a person be “uncontaminated” simply by the setting of the sun? Here is another concept about an animal that “dies of itself.” That would ruin the type of the Messiah. He did not, nor could not, die of natural causes and be our Passover Korban Shelem. Deut 14.21 says, “You shall not eat anything that dies of itself. You may give it to an alien who is in your town that he may eat it, or may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people (with a kedusha) to the Lord your God.”

Again, this has nothing to do with health. The alien or the foreigner was allowed to do this because they will not be entering the Mishkan/Temple or come in contact with holy things (with a kedusha). Remember, that is the reason for all these laws on ritual impurity. Quoting again from the Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p. 459, “Most laws of purity and impurity apply only in reference to the Sanctuary, and the holy objects connected with it. They did not apply in ordinary life, or to persons who did not intend to enter the Sanctuary.”

Lev 12.1 to 13.59 is another Torah portion called “Tazria” meaning “Conceived.” As a side note, the Torah portions are usually named after a word in the first verse of a portion. This made it easy to keep in mind where you were in the Torah because a Torah scroll did not have chapter and verse like our Bibles. This dates back to the time of the Babylonian Captivity and the portions followed an annual cycle. Some Jewish communities followed a triennial (three year) cycle where where only a third of a given portion was read in a given year. These portions are called a “Parsha” (divide) and are also known as a “Sidra” (order-see “Weekly Torah Portion” on Wikipedia).

This portion describes various states of ritual purity and impurity that can come on a person. Lev 12.1-8 begins to describe the Laws of Family Purity called “Tahor ha Mishpochah.” This portion begins with childbirth and a ceremony called the Law of Separation. The birth of a child is a joyous event, but in the human life cycle there are points of transition. Gaining something new denotes and end to something else.

For a mother this can be particularly dramatic. There is a well known psychological syndrome called “Postpartum Depression.” This may be seen as a pathological form of loss and separation. The Torah recognizes the reality and importance of separation and mourning, and seeks to sensitize the mother to it be commanding that she participate in this ceremony. She is given the status of “Niddah” (12.2,5). She cannot enter the Temple, no sexual relations and she cannot touch holy things until the days of her purification are completed.

In Lev 12.4 it says she is to remain in her “blood of purification” for thirty-three days if she gives birth to a male. Why thirty-three days? If the child was a female, she is to remain in the “blood of purification” sixty-six days. Why sixty-six days? This is a picture of the Messiah and it is eschatological. Yeshua was a male, and he died at thirty-three and was rejected and “cut off” (Dan 9.26). In 66 AD, Israel (seen as female) finally rejected the testimony of the Jewish believers in the Kahal (the eschatological congregation) and it was a “double uncleanliness.” The Jewish war with the Romans was begun resulting in the destruction of the land, the city and the Temple. The people were driven from the land. But, when the days of her purification are completed she must present a lamb as a Korban Olah and a pigeon as a Korban Chatat. Israel will reach the time of her purification and she must present Messiah as her Korban Olah and Korban Chatat. This will allow her to come into the presence of God and touch the things with a kedusha again (12.6-7).

The state of tamai (unclean) does not work according to the rules that we would assume applies. Animals have no “tamai” during their lifetime, but humans do. Believers have a greater level of tamai than unbelievers because to whom much is given, much is required. Tamai is brought on when a “vacuum” is caused by the absence of a previously existing kedusha. The greater the kedusha, the greater the tamai that fills the void. Man was made in the image of God and had a kedusha. It was lost when man sinned in the garden. Yeshua came to restore that kedusha and that is called the Redemption. That is when we will be in the image of God again. After childbirth, the physical status of kedusha is diminished. A “vacuum” is formed and she becomes tamai, unable to enter the Mishkan/Temple (12.4).

Lev 13.1-59 deals with the Laws of Zara’at (Leprosy). Again, clean and unclean here (tahor and tamai) is never used to designate physical clean or unclean. It is a ritual clean and unclean before the Lord and applies only if you plan on coming before him in his “house” (Mishkan/Temple). We learn in Lev 13 that one of the functions of the priesthood was to diagnose zara’at. There is no mention anywhere of going to a doctor if you came down with zara’at (leprosy) in these verses. So, there is something else going on. The word “infection” in 13.2 is the word “neguah” and it means “to touch, strike, a blow.” The question is, by who?

God has the ability to punish our social behavior. There is no escape from Yehovah, a lesson Jonah learned. This not only applies to prayer (we can pray anywhere and he hears us), but it also applies to what we do (he sees us anywhere). Zara’at was a public, physical manifestation for attitudes concerning what is called “Lashon Hara” or the “evil tongue.” This is when one gossips, ostracizes someone, spurns, insults another or slanders another.

This was not an infectious disease, but a physical manifestation of Divine judgment. If you notice in this chapter, the kohen (priest) was the one that made the determination of something was zara’at, not a physician. This was just one of the functions of a priest when he was not on his week-long and scheduled duty in the Mishkan/Temple. If this disease was contagious, why was it allowed to remove articles from your house before the kohen inspected it (14.36)? The quarantine of a person or object depended on the kohen’s ruling. If the kohen did not get a chance to see the infected person, the person could continue to be in contact with others. During a festival, even if there were indications of zara’at, the kohanim would not investigate the person till after the festival. A kohen will not declare a bridegroom “tamai” until after the wedding week. Zara’at needed “spiritual” confirmation from a kohen. When the zara’t covered the whole body, he is declared “clean” by the kohen (13.12-13). Only when Israel (and us) confesses and comes before the priest (Yeshua), admitting that they (and us) are completely guilty and “covered” in sin can we be pronounced clean by the priest (Yeshua). The lesson for us is this.

When we see a “blemish” we have no right to declare it so until we have a spiritual confirmation. This is a lesson in negativity. We can use a bad experience to grow. It may be troublesome, even a handicap, but it isn’t. The only true handicap is in the mind.

There is a term we need to know and the concept is seen throughout the Scriptures. The term is “Middah K’neged Middah” and it means “measure for measure.” This is when justice is served as the slanderer and the gossip are publicly exposed for the destructive force they have become by their tongue. In other words, since you wanted to make another person feel “like a metzora (leper)” God says “I will make your life like a metzora (leper) in judgment.” Just like the metzora (one with zara’at) was asked to leave the camp and was separated from others, their family, their jobs and their normal life, gossips and slanderers try to do the same thing. They try to separate other people from others, their family, their jobs and their normal life by lashon hara, an evil tongue.

With that said, we will pick up here in Part 14 and begin to discuss the concept of Lashon Hara, the evil tongue.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 12

Leviticus 11 is a very well known chapter. It tells us about the permissible and unpermissible creatures related to consumption. The terms “clean” (tahor) and “unclean” (tamai) are never used to describe physical uncleanness, but are related to the concept of ritual purity. Ritual purity only applies if one was planning to enter the Mishkan/Temple, or was going to have contact with objects with a kedusha (Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p. 459). These laws will have nothing to do with salvation but are ritual in nature.

Col 2.16-17 tells us that the dietary laws teach us about things to come. But how can food teach about eschatology? The clean creatures teach us about the Kingdom of God, and the unclean creatures teach us about the Kingdom of Ha Satan and the False Messiah. Unclean creatures are never considered “food” in the Scriptures, except for unbelievers.

The Torah is a book about boundaries and declarations, and kedusha relates to what we eat. Israel has a kedusha as a “holy” (set apart) people. They were to be different than the rest of the world. It was the duty of the priest (Ezek 44.23) to teach the difference between the “holy” (what had a kedusha) and the common (“chol”=what didn’t have a kedusha).

Modern research has found that eating “kosher” animals lead to better health, but that is because, for the most part, that the Lord said if we do what he has commanded he would not put any of the diseases of Egypt on us (Exo 15.26). The ultimate motive for these laws is kedusha. Many have died rather than transgress these laws because they wanted to obey the Lord. There is a good book called “None of these Diseases” by Sim McMillen and it is a good source if you want to look at this chapter.

Leviticus 11 can be broken down into two parts. Lev 11.1-23 tells us what creatures are permissible to eat and what isn’t. It does not directly address whether eating an unclean creature will make a person unclean so that they cannot enter the Mishkan/Temple, it simply forbids eating them. Lev 11.24-47 discusses the transmission of “tamai) (contamination/uncleanness) as a practical matter. Contamination affects only the entering of the central sanctuary, eating the kodshai kodeshim (most holy) or kodshai kelim (holy) food, or the touching of items that have a kedusha. It is not a sin or forbidden to become unclean if they will not be entering the Mishkan/Temple or touching items with a kedusha, except for the priests who were never to touch the dead except for certain relatives (Lev 21.1-3). The High Priest was not to ever touch a dead body, not even his father or mother (Lev 21.10.11).

We are not going to discuss these creatures at this time, but we are giving concepts that will help us relate to the Tanak and this chapter, but we will give you some examples of clean animals to give you an example on what can be gleaned about these creatures, conveying concepts associated with the Kingdom of God, and unclean creatures conveying concepts about the Kingdom of Satan and the False Messiah. For example, we are allowed to eat creatures that have cloven hoofs and chew the cud. The cloven hoof teaches us about being sure footed, like deer. Chewing the cud produces milk, which is a type of the Word of God (1 Pet 2.2). The biblical word for “meditate” is “hagah” and it means to “mutter, speak, murmur.” Biblical meditation means to “chew the cud (speak aloud, mutter) God’s word, producing milk.” The rabbit chews the cud (appears to be speaking the word) but it does not have cloven hoofs (does not walk in the Torah), so it is unclean. It is no secret that the rabbit is a symbol of sexual fertility and being promiscuous. A pig divides the hoof (appears to walk in Torah), but it does not chew the cud (produce the pure milk of the Word of God=teaches false doctrine). A clean fish has scales (the armor of God-Eph 6.10-17) and fins (gives direction). A water creature that does not have scales and fins is unclean and called “detestable” (Lev 11.10), which is how we should feel about the Kingdom of Satan and the False Messiah. These are just a few examples of what the Lord is trying to convey here. God has told us what to do and what eat. The same Torah that says, “Love your neighbor” and wants justice, mercy and kindness is the same Torah that tells us what we can eat and not eat. It teaches us to discipline our appetites.

These laws teach us about eschatology , which is the study of the Messiah and the Redemption. It also teaches us about the Kingdom of God as opposed to the Kingdom of Satan and the False Messiah. They teach us to make a distinction between the clean and the unclean creatures, what has a kedusha and what doesn’t , good and evil, right and wrong (Lev 11.46-47). In a sense, the permissible list is like “spiritual food” like in Gen 2.16-17. Isn’t it interesting that the first sin related to food?

What happened with this chapter? Most people have read about these laws, or have heard of them. Just tell some people that you don’t eat pig and see what they say. They will immediately say, “Are you Jewish?” They know exactly who gave these laws. The problem is they have been taught different.

There is a story in the Talmud that illustrates this point. It is called the “Kosher Stove” in Baba Mezia 59a and it goes basically like this. A rabbi declares that a stove was “clean” for woman who asked. Other rabbis said it wasn’t and the first rabbi was devastated because he gave the woman wrong counsel. He should know whether a stove is “kosher” or not, that’s his job. In prayer, the Lord speaks to the rabbis and says, “The stove is clean” and he quickly tells the others. The chief rabbi says, “Brother, it may well be that the Lord spoke to you, but there is no sign to confirm this, so our ruling stands.” So, the rabbis goes back and asks the Lord for a sign. God says, What sign?” He says, “Replant the tree across the street to right in front of the synagogue.” A whirlwind comes along and does it.

All of this was right in front of the other rabbis, they witnessed it, and it went exactly as the rabbi predicted. The chief rabbi says, “Well, we have the sign that God truly spoke to our brother here, but as you can see, this tree has nothing to do with stoves. Therefore, our ruling stands.” So the rabbi goes back and prays, and he says, My brothers will not believe me until you plainly tell them yourself that it is not kosher.” So, the Lord says, SO be it.” He goes back and tells the rabbis that they will hear from God himself. All of a sudden the roof lifts off the synagogue and God speaks in a booming voice, “The stove is kosher.” The chief rabbi says, “Surely we have heard the Lord plainly, but he has also spoken and has given us the authority to make rulings, and we have ruled that the stove was not kosher.” And the voice of God says, “Oh, that’s right. The stove is not kosher!”

The moral of this story is, “Even if a voice from heaven spoke, we don’t believe because we have the right to decide.” This concept is also found in Replacement Theology Christianity which believes that the plain word of God has been “overruled” by Apostolic Authority, which means they believe that God gave the Church Fathers and others (like Popes) the authority to make rulings, even if they contradict the written word of God. For example (and there are many), you can eat the forbidden creatures Of Lev 11, and Sunday is now their “sabbath” and the “Lord’s Day.” Both are clearly contrary to the Word of God.

This concept is what Yeshua was talking about in the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16.19-31). The rich man says to Abraham after he dies that he wants to warn his brothers about this place he was in so that they could avoid it. But Abraham says to him that they have Moses (Torah) and the Prophets (Nevi’im), let them hear them. But the rich man says, “No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” But he said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses (Torah) and the Prophets (Nevi’im), neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.”

That is how we think. How does forbidden animals enter into a person’s body? It is only possible when one either does not know or one denies these words from heaven in Leviticus 11. We want to decide what is right and what is wrong. A voice from heaven did come down and tell us what to to do in regards to what is kosher and what is not. They are called “commandments.” A voice did come down from heaven and say, “This is my beloved Son, my chosen one, listen to him” (Luke 9.35). But people in the First Century (and now) said, “We want to choose who the Messiah is and we want to choose what he looks like, what he said and what he believed.” In other words, they want to to pick out certain things they like about what he said and did, and leave out the things they don’t like about what he said and did.

In Part 13 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 11

Ezra 3.1-6 tells us that the korbanot that we have been looking at were reinstituted after the return from captivity. However, in Neh 7.64-65, some claimed to be kohanim but were unable to prove it. Having searched for verification and none were found, individuals were considered “tamai” (unclean ritually) for the priesthood, and were excluded. Then the governor said to them that they should not eat from the most holy things (kodshai kodeshim could only be eaten within the azarah/courtyard) until a priest arose with the Urim and Thummim, This tells us that by the time of the return from captivity, the Urim and Thummim was lost. This allowed the priest to inquire directly to the Lord for an answer to a question. That meant that they were not used in the Second Temple.

Eschatologically, this will happen again when the coming Third Temple is built. Only people who can be positively identified as kohanim will serve in that Temple. After the Birth-pains, Ezekiel’s Temple will be built and Jews from all over the world will come back to the land. The consecration ceremony in Lev 8.1-36 will be done again very soon, and done again with Ezekiel’s Temple. Isa 66.21 says that the Lord will “take some of them for priests and for Levites.” Of course, Yeshua will not need the Urim and Thummim because he will know who they are and who are of priestly descent. Now, let’s go back to Ezek 3.1-6 and pick up some very important eschatological information. We believe this passage is very prophetic.

The catching away of the believers (or the Natzal seen in 1 Thes 4 and 1 Cor 15) will happen on Yom Teruah (day of the awakening shofar sound), also known as Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation. Ezra says that the altar was set up but the foundation of the Temple had not been laid yet. They began to offer korbanot on the first day of the seventhe month (Rosh Ha Shannah). That means the kohanim had to be consecrated at least seven days prior (Elul 24).

Likewise, we believe that it possible that before the catching away of the believers, priests will begin to be consecrated seven days prior in order to begin to offer the korbanot on Tom Teruah, or Rosh Ha Shannah. The Temple does not need to be rebuilt yet based on our passage in Ezra, but they will need to have control of the Temple Mount in order to have an altar. That means that believers will have a “heads up” before the Natzal (rapture) by at least seven days. This happens to be the time needed to consecrate the Temple Mount, the vessels and the priests.

Even before that, the Temple Mount must return to Jewish control. The Dome of the Rock must be removed also. We believe that this will come about through a massive earthquake, like in the days of King Uzziah (the days of King Uzziah is a picture of the days leading up the Birth-pains). That means that the Dome of the Rock and all the other buildings that are there right now will come down. Nobody will be able to blame Israel for such an earthquake, and the situation will be such that Israel will take advantage of it. So, Lev 8.1-36 and the consecration of the priests will play an important role in Bible prophecy. We have additional information on these concepts in other teachings on this site.

The next Torah portion is called “Shemini” (“eighth”) and it goes from Lev 9.1 to 11.47. It is a continuation of the previous portion (Tzav) where Aaron and his sons are consecrated as priests. Lev 9.1 tells us it was the “eighth day” after the consecration ceremony and the number “eight” means a “new beginning.” These passages refer back to what the Lord said in Exo 29.43-46.

Lev 9.22-24 tells us that at first Aaron got it right, and the Lord will appear to them (Lev 9.24). Lev 10.1-7 then continues and it tells us that his two eldest sons die because they will offer “strange fire” with the incense before the Lord. They did not follow the pattern of worship given by God in the Torah. They offered the right incense but they did not do it at the appointed time and not by the appointed people. Remember the definition of “kedusha” and “keep and observe?” The definition of kedusha is “to designate or to set apart for the service of God. This is done by formal and legal restrictions and limitations. The kedusha of time is marked by limits on man’s actions in regard to work and construction.” The definition of “keep and observe” means “to incorporate the things of God into our lives, and staying true to the blueprint (tavnit) God has given in his word. This is done by doing specific things, at a specific time, at a specific place, by specific people.”

Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, tried to do something “which he had not commanded them (Lev 10.1-3.” This was not part of the service. Did they consult their teachers about this (Moses and Aaron)? No, they did not. Independent thought and inspiration must be channeled through what God has already said. No “freelancing” was allowed in the worship of God in the Mishkan and temple if God has already told them what to do. And it doesn’t take two people to offer the incense. The services, festivals, and so on cannot be changed by any human authority, not even the sons of the High Priest. This is the basis as to why we can’t keep the festivals (and many other things) today. People are “freelancing” and not keeping and observing the blueprint set down by God. They are trying to “keep” a festival, or do something else, by not doing specific things, at a specific time, at a specific place, by specific people. That violates the very definition of “keep and observe.”

In Lev 10.17-20 we learn that Aaron was asked by Moses why he did not eat of the korban chata (sin offering). The kohanim were leaders and teachers now (Ezek 44.23) and they must “stomach” the mistakes, failures and suffering of the congregational community (the Kahal). The people were to share in the grief of the priests as well. Aaron did not have the right attitude to eat of the korban chata. Lev 10.19-20 says that Aaron answered Moses by saying, “Behold, this very day they presented their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord. When things like these happened to me, if I had eaten a sin offering today, would it have been good in the sight of the Lord? And when Moses heard that, it seemed good in his sight.”

Now, the Torah said that it should have been eaten but Moses had sympathy for his brother, and his shock and grief, and did not press his brother any further. He understood. Tragedies happen and difficult questions have no simple answers, but, faith in the Lord as the true judge must be repeated. There are no fast answers. Aaron knew what happened and why it happened, nothing more can be said. It was a hard lesson to learn. What should have been a happy day in his life turned out to be tragic.

Leviticus 11.1-47 is a very well known chapter, especially in the Messianic Movement. It tells us about the creatures that we are allowed to eat, and those that we are not allowed to eat. This part of what has been called the “Dietary Laws.” For a good teaching on the dietary laws, go to the Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs on Leviticus 11. The terms “clean” (tahor) and “unclean” (tamai) are never used to denote physical uncleanness, but these terms relate to ritual purity. These laws will only apply if one is going to enter the Mishkan or the Temple, or have contact with objects that have a kedusha (p. 459 of the Hertz Pentateuch).

In Part 12, we will pick up here and discuss these laws in Leviticus 11. We will pick up some valuable concepts here that will give us more clarity about this chapter and these concepts will help apply these laws into our lives.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 10

In Ezek 44.23 we learn that the priests had instruction to “teach my people the difference between the holy (kodesh) and the common (chol), and cause them to discern between the unclean (tamai) and the clean (tahor).” The priest was to mold the people and their daily life to satisfy the requirements and expectations of Yehovah, not the religious needs of the people.

Now, the concept of tamai and tahor (unclean and clean), or what most people understand as the Laws of Purity and Impurity, apply only in reference to the Mishkan and the Temple, and the holy objects connected with it. They do not apply in ordinary life, or to persons who do not intend to enter the Mishkan or the Temple (Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p.459). There is a future context to all these laws because a Temple is coming and described in Ezek 40-48 (See also Isa 2.2-3, 66.21; Micah 4.1-3; Zech 14.16-21). Now, let’s discuss some additional concepts concerning the korbanot.

There are many people who work as a volunteer to collect and distribute clothing to the poor. There are many organizations that do this. Experience teaches us that it would not simply do to hand out clothing, sadly, for many of the indigent such an arrangement would be too embarrassing. Instead, much of the clothing is “sold” for quite nominal sums, freeing the poor (or the buyer) of shame. The condition of the clothing was also critical. Many of the poor were far more sensitive to the way their clothing looked than a person in the average wage bracket. Often a respectable looking piece of clothing would be rejected by these people because it did not appear brand new. Some people would have had no such compunction wearing comparable items, but for many of the poor embarrassed by their status, such clothing was unacceptable.

A sensitivity to the feelings of the downtrodden is evidenced throughout the Torah in ways both bold and subtle. The Torah discusses the regimen of the korbanot brought to the Temple and it displays this concern for the disadvantaged. The Torah allowed different types of korbanot to be brought, permitting each person to bring a korban according to their means. Thus, a wealthy person could bring a bull while a poor person could bring a mincha, a flour or bread offering.

This in itself demands an explanation, for instead of allowing a wealthy person to bring an animal korban and the poor person to bring a korban mincha or flour offerings, one might have expected the Torah to simply suggest that everyone present a korban mincha. This arrangement, however, would have had a number of negative aspects associated with it. First, it would prevent the rich from providing what to them would be a more significant korban to Yehovah. More importantly, there was a tremendous psychological process associated with the korbanot. When a person brought an animal korban chata (sin offering), he would confess his sin (vidui) while placing his hands in the head or neck of the animal (semicha). Then, he would watch the animal being slaughtered (shochita). Thus, the highly distasteful experience of watching an animal die would be associated in the sinner’s mind with their sin, and hopefully, they would be deterred from sinning. It had to feel different than just slaughtering an animal for food.

So, the people were allowed to present different types of korbanot according to their financial situations. However, there was a problem that remained, which was, how to alleviate the embarrassment of the poor when they brought their korban mincha. To help lessen their embarrassment, the Torah goes out of its way to change its phraseology concerning the korbanot of the poor. While in other instances, when the Torah speaks of a person offering a korban, such an individual is termed a person. In the instance of the poor man bringing his korban mincha, such a person is called a “soul” (nefesh). Rashi explains that this change in terms was to remind people that in the view of Yehovah, it was not the korban itself but the dedication associated with the korban that mattered. Thus, it was quite possible that the simple korban mincha of the poor was greater than the bull by the rich. Yeshua confirms this concept in Mark 12.41-49.

But, if the poor might have a problem with their status, those who were bringing their korban chata might well have still a greater problem. The activities in the Temple were quite a public event, and to bring a korban chata was like telling everyone that they had sinned or transgressed. To minimize this embarrassment, the Torah insists that both the korban chata and the korban olah (burnt) be slaughtered in the same place in the azarah (courtyard). The korban olah was brought as a korban of devotion and total submission to Yehovah so it lacked negative connotations. When a spectator watched a person bring a korban chata to the slaughtering area (Beit Ha Mitbechaim=”house of/to life”) it would be unclear as to the true status of the korban, whether it was a korban chata or a korban olah. As a result, the worshiper was spared the embarrassment. We learn that the Torah emphasized in both bold and subtle ways the need to avoid causing the pain of embarrassment.

Lev 8.1-36 deals with the Consecration of the Kohanim. This is a seven day process and this procedure will be done again very soon because preparations for a coming Temple are being made right now and this will need to be done before any type of worship can begin there. This coming Temple will be used during the first half of the birth-pains, so this chapter is also very eschatological. Priests will need to be identified and there is a DNA test for that. However, there will be some of the same difficulties in identifying these priests that they had when the Jewish people returned to the land after the Babylonian Captivity.

In Part 11 we will examine some of the eschatological aspects to the consecration of the priests and Ezra 3.1-6, Isa 66.21 and other verses. We will see how all of this fits into the eschatological expectations related to the coming Third Temple, the Temple Mount, the priesthood, the consecrated vessels, the altar and the korbanot.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Leviticus-Part 9

The deep underlying objection to the korbanot comes from Greek and Roman ideology, not the Torah, which is given by God. Paganism, as we have already discussed in Concepts in Exodus, is man’s way of making sense of the world. Mankind saw that there were violent forces and he needed them not to do harm to him, so these forces (powers) were given names and called “gods.”

When you were a farmer, you wanted the earth god to favor you. You didn’t want any trouble from the river god that caused floods. So, pagan sacrifices were given to appease these gods who had control (they thought) over these forces. Humans could avoid the wrath of these gods by given them what they wanted or needed. If that didn’t work, you appeased another god to help. The Torah korbanot were different. They were not “for” God because he doesn’t need them. They were for the people. They taught concepts about the Messiah and the Redemption. The animal was part of the ceremony that taught the worshiper about themselves, sin and mercy. It taught that the worshiper deserved death, but God has spared them. It teaches mercy and the blood was real, and it shakes a person. But the korbanot are also related to the concept of a “Lord’s Supper” and a meal consecrated to God. They were a meal that renewed the covenantal bond that was established at Mount Sinai between the Lord and Israel.

Kirk Douglas is an actor. In 1991 he survived a helicopter crash with an airplane in a “near death experience.” He couldn’t understand why he survived. He realized he had more to give to the world. Up till then, he played games but now he began to study the Torah and take life more serious (He is Jewish). Likewise, in the Temple, the scene of blood and the “near death experience” there was meant to get the person to think “this could have been me except for the mercy of God.” The korbanot were designed to by God to have an impact on the worshiper.

Some korbanot were given and it had nothing to do with sin, but it taught about sin and death. A “near death experience” was meant to move the worshiper to a higher spiritual level. The worshiper was to “slaughter” their animal instincts. It is interesting to note that the place for the slaughtering in the Temple was called the “Beit ha Mitbechaim” which means “the house of/to life.” The korbanot taught life.

The name of God used in the korbanot is Yehovah. We will have a teaching on this name and how to pronounce it at the end of Concepts in Leviticus. This name transcends time because it means “I existed in the past, I will be now, and I will be in the future.” The title “Elohim” is not used because this refers to Yehovah as a “judge.” If Yehovah used that title in the Temple it would lead one to think that a “bribe” was possible, like in paganism. Yehovah refers to God as existing outside of time. We will have more on this name later.

This will help us understand how forgiveness takes place. If a man sinned “yesterday” and repented “today”, how can that undo what he did yesterday? If we understood that Yehovah exists outside of time, then time is not an issue. The korban was to “spill over” into secular life when people “compartmentalized” religious concerns, placing “ritual” above social and moral issues, and the Temple became a hindrance (Hos 6.6). The korbanot remind us of our mortality on one hand, and our mission to “repair” (tikun) the world.

Lev 6.8 to 8.36 is the Torah portion called “Tzav” meaning “Command.” It is interesting to note that God doesn’t tell Moses to “Speak” to Aaron and his sons, or “teach” Aaron and his sons, but “command” Aaron and his sons. Why does it say command? This is connected to the Korban Olah (burnt offering) which is totally consumed on the altar. The worshiper derived no benefit from it, not even a few “bites.” People need to be commanded so that it counter-balances the evil desires of the heart. People are willing to obey God as long as it doesn’t cost them.

Lev 6.9-13 tells us about the command to offer the Tamid, or “continual” offering in the morning and the afternoon, everyday without excuse. We have a command here to “take up the ashes.” We must realize that the menial work in human eyes may be seen y God in the highest esteem. Little, unglorified acts yield a great reward from the Lord. We should never demean the simple chores. So, we learn that the first task that Aaron and his sons are commanded to do is the removal of the ashes from the altar. We can learn a spiritual lesson from “taking out the garbage” so to speak here. With all the loftier duties in the Mishkan and Temple, this is also a lofty work. We should not let things “go to our heads.” It would be natural for Aaron and his sons to think that they were “special” but they are told that the first thing they must do everyday it to “take out the trash.”

Another command we are told is that they were not to let the fire go out on the altar. That means when it rained, snowed, or had high winds or whatever, that fire was not to go out. In the same way, we must also guard against letting the fire go out in our hearts when the hard rain, snow or high winds of life come. This is having a complacent heart, neither hot nor cold (Zeph 1.12; Prov 20.27; Rev 3.16). The kohanim were to watch this fire and to make sure the Tamid was totally consumed on the altar.

Sometimes the High Priest or his designate would come before sunrise to check the altar fire. If a priest was not awake and watching over this fire he would take coals from the altar and set his garments on fore (Rev 16.15). The Tamid ceremony itself is discussed at length in the Mishnah tractate “Tamid.” The services in the Mishkan/Temple is a “continuation” of what began on Mount Sinai and the covenant and continues with Yeshua.

The fire on the altar began by the hand of God in Exo 3.1-2 at Sinai, then Lev 9.24 in the Mishkan, and later in the First Temple in 2 Chr 7.1. The Temple was eventually destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. When the Second Temple was built, the fire on the altar was not started by Yehovah. It remains to be seen whether the the altar fire in the Third Temple (during the Birth-pains) will be started by the hand of God. The lesson is, we should not let the fire that was started by the Lord go out in our lives.

In Lev 6.14 to 7.38 discussed the “Torah” or “Law” of the Korban Mincha (bread) offering, Korban Chinnuch (ordination offerings), the Korban Chatat (sin offering), the Korban Asham (guilt offering) and the Korban Shelem (peace offerings). We have gone over these previously. For more information, go to our Temple 101 and Temple 201 series on this site.

In Part 10 we will pick up here by discussing the role of the kohanim in relation to the concepts of Tahor and Tamai (ritually clean and unclean).

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