In Acts 21.21 he is saying that they have been told that Paul was not teaching the highest level of Jewish law (Moses/Torah) or even the lowest level (customs/ethics). Acts 21.23 says that there were four believers who “are under a vow.” This was a Nazarite vow, just like Paul. So, in other words, now we have five believers in Yeshua who have taken a Nazarite vow. Acts 21.24 says that Paul was to take them and “pay their expenses.” These “expenses” are listed in Num 6.13-15, and these would be the korbanot that went along with coming out of a Nazarite vow. These expenses were paid at the Chamber of Tokens where Paul would have been given a receipt to be given to a Levite who whould then go get the following items: 5 lambs for an Olah (burnt offering); 5 ewe lambs for a Chata’at (sin offering); 5 rams for a Shelem (peace offering); 5 baskets of Matzah Solet; Challot for five and Minchah Rekikin wafers for five.
This, as you can see, would have been very expensive. All of these were being offered in the Temple by believers 28 years after Yeshua. How can people believe the nonsense that Yeshua cursed the Temple? How can people believe the nonsense that the Temple was “done away with” and that Yeshua was the “final sacrifice” for a believer? Paul, James, the elders (who wrote the New Testament), the four other believers in Yeshua didn’t believe that. The fact is these animals, bread offerings and wine never took away sin in the first place. They were ceremonies. In fact, Paul payed for the four others to show that he was Torah observant and that the rumors about him “forsaking Moses” and the “customs” were untrue. In fact, that is exactly what Christianity teaches and says Paul is teaching in his writings. That is nothing but a lie. Paul went to great expense to show that these rumors were untrue. Paying for the expenses of these four others made a point to establish that fact. Yet churchmen teach it about Paul today. To what extent do you think he would go to to prove it otherwise? Maybe people don’t really understand the korbanot (sacrifices, which actually means “to draw near”) because they have been taught wrong from the beginning.
Acts 21.24 goes on to say that these believers went on to “shave their heads” which immediately tells you this was a Nazarite vow. They were coming out of their vow just like Paul cut his hair in Acts 18.18, coming out of his vow. Paul was asked to do this “to show that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you also walk orderly (keeping the customs/halachah), keeping the Torah (did not forsake Moses).” This proves that Paul and every Jewish believer kept the commandments. Peter says in Acts 10.14 that he ate kosher food so that he would not be ritually unclean and could enter the Temple. So, Paul went the next day and purified himself (immersed in the mikvah on the Temple Mount), along with the four others. They went into the Temple and gave notice to the kohanim )priests) that he was there because he was coming out of a Nazarite vow, and the sacrifices were offered.
Paul said in Acts 24.17 that offering the korbanot was one of the reasons he came to the Temple. The word “offerings” in that verse is #4376 and “prosphora” in Greek. This can be bloodless (bread, wine) or bloody (lambs, ewes, rams, birds, bullocks, goats). Korbanot is the Hebrew equivalent. Believers continued in the Temple until 70 AD. We read in Acts 6.7 that many kohanim (priests) became believers, and they served in the Temple.
Did Yeshua ever become unclean? Yes! To be ritually unclean does not mean “in sin.” A woman that has a baby is ritually unclean but not in sin. The woman with an issue for 12 years (Mark 5.25-34) is ritually unclean, and she touches the tzitzit of Yeshua’s garment, and that would make Yeshua unclean. A 12 year old girl died, and Yeshua takes her by the hand and raised her from the dead (Mark 5.35-43). That made Yeshua unclean for several reasons, and that would go for anyone that he raised from the dead. Did Yeshua ever offer korbanot? Yes! He couldn’t be the Messiah with all the different commandments if he didn’t obey all the commands, including the korbanot.
Will Yeshua ever bring a chata’at (sin offering) for himself in the future? Ezek 37.24-25 says “And my servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in my ordinances, and keep my statutes, and observe them. And they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers lived; and they shall live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.” Now, the terms “David my servant” and “prince” are idioms for the Messiah. With that in mind, let’s go to Ezek 45.22, where it says, “And on that day the prince (Messiah) shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering (chata’at).” A sin offering can be offered by someone who has sinned, but it doesn’t always mean that. Again, a woman who has had a baby has fulfilled the commandment to be fruitful and multiply, a mitzvah or a “good work.” But, she also brings a sin offering during her purification ceremony (Lev 12.6). Why does she bring a sin offering? Because sin and death entered the world. Lev 17.11 says that the life is in the blood. A birth sheds blood, or a “loss of life” because sin came into the world. So, as a remembrance (a “zekor”) that sin entered the world, she brings a sin offering (chata’at). In Lev 15.25 we learn about a woman with a discharge not at her monthly time. She is called a “Zavah.” When she becomes ritually clean on the eighth day, after seven days of separation, she offers a sin offering (Lev 15.30).
What is the difference between the five korbanot? What is the difference between a sin offering and a guilt offering? What does korban mean? Sins against heaven are sins against God, so they required a sin offering. Sins against man required a guilt offering. Korban means “to draw near” and it is related to the word “karav” which can mean sexual intimacy with a husband and wife (Isa 8.3). So. the korbanot were ways to
“draw near” to God in an intimate way. Believers continued in the Temple after Yeshua and attended the daily services (Acts 2.46, 3.1); they offered korbanot (Acts 21.24-26, 24.17) and attended the festivals (Acts 20.16).
In Part 3, we will continue with this study and take a look at the story of Cornelius in Acts 10 and see how his story relates to believers and the Temple.