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.