Numbers 30 and 31—How good is YOUR word and are YOU fighting Elohim’s enemies?

Numbers 30

Numbers 30:2 (3), Vows. A vow (Heb. neder) is literally “a pledge to do something.” It places upon oneself or others or upon objects of one’s choice a status equivalent to that of a commandment of the Torah (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 900).

One’s word is one’s bond. A neder is so strong that a person violating it can suffer the court-imposed penalty of lashes (ibid.) The Set-Apart One of Israel is not a man that he should lie (Num 23:19). If we are to be set-apart or kadosh as YHVH is kadosh (1 Pet 1:16; 2:9; Heb 12:14), then we must be people of our word not only in large matters, but in the smallest of matters too. Are you too casual with your words? Do you make commitments in order to sound good to others, yet you have no real intention of fulfilling your obligations? Liars will have no part in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:8).

YHVH established order in the family structure. The man, as the head of the family, holds veto power over promises made by those under him in his family. This may be politically incorrect nowadays in a society characterized by egalitarianism, and feminism and children’s “rights,” but the Word of YHVH in the Torah is clear on this matter. This is given because the husband and father holds responsibility for promises made by those in his family (Num 30:15). To what degree are you swayed by the mores of society in this regard as opposed to the Word of Elohim? What rules do you play by in your marriage and family—society’s or YHVH’s?

Numbers 31

Numbers 31:3, Take vengeance on the Midianites. YHVH is vehemently opposed to moral looseness. Midian, through its seductive women, nearly destroyed Israel. The decisive actions of a morally straight leadership prevented Israel from going the way of so many nations that have since collapsed due to moral decay. What can we learn from this ancient account?

Sexual looseness and perversion must not be allowed to gain even a momentary toehold into our lives. Do you aggressively resist and fight against the spiritual Midianites that would destroy your life, your family, your marriage and your spiritual destiny, or do you even slightly countenance the enemies of your soul in the secret or hidden areas of your life just to placate the passions of your carnal and sin-bent nature? The spirit of Midian is to be found everywhere from the magazine rack at the checkout stand to the morning newspaper advertising women’s undergarments, from bumper stickers to billboards, from television ads (not to mention the television shows themselves) to the internet, and among political, religious leaders and entertainment celebrities. How about the modern immodest and decadent clothing styles of our youth, which barely cover the body, and where little is left to the imagination? 

How does one defend oneself against this incessant onslaught of sexual immorality? Remember, the best defense is a strong offense. Resolve and settle in your heart and mind ahead of time how you will react against the darts of the enemy when you suddenly find them aimed at you, and then stick to your defense plan! Set inviolate moral boundaries for yourself that you will not cross. Pull down every mental stronghold and take every thought captive to the mind of Yeshua, and flee all lusts. (Strengthen yourself spiritually by reading the following scriptures: 1 Cor 6:18; 10:14; 2 Cor 10:3–6; 2 Tim 2:22.)

Numbers 31:4, A thousand from a tribe. All the tribes were equally represented in this fighting force to punish Midian for its culpability in causing Israel to fall into the sins of idolatry and immorality resulting in the death of 24,000 Israelites (Num 25:1–9). What can we learn from this? Each person in the spiritual body of Yeshua (or “the camp of Israel”) must take an equal role in fighting wickedness and immorality. What are you actively doing to combat these things around you? Whether you think you will make a difference or not, do you still vote, write letters to your political representatives, pray, take righteous stands against evil when and wherever possible, or support those who do so with your finances? If you are a parent, what is your responsibility to your children in this regard?

Numbers 31:8, Balaam…they slew with the sword. Jude 11 talks about Balaam being greedy for money and indicates that there are those in the end times in the body of Yeshua who will follow after this sin. How is this possible? What will be the ultimate fate of these “tares”? (See Matt 13:40.) Had Balaam believed his own good prophecies concerning Israel and not have sided with Israel’s enemies, would he no doubt would have been spared the sword of YHVH’s justice. What were his motives for siding with them? Greed and materialism blind one from YHVH’s truth and cause one to side with YHVH’s enemies. What is the end result of this action? Balaam was a deceiver and a hypocrite. He spoke one thing and did something else. Are we ever guilty of this? How rampant is the sin of duplicity within the body of believers in Yeshua today? There are people who claim to be prophets in the church who, like Balaam, speak soothing and ear-tickling prophetic words in order to profit from the people. How can we know the difference between true and false prophets? A true prophet is not greedy like Balaam. (Read Deut 18:20–22 and Matt 7:15–20.) Can a true prophet of Elohim prophesy out of the flesh something false, and if he repents, when he finds he was in error, be spared from the death penalty? (Read 2 Sam 7:1–17.)

Numbers 31:7, 17, They slew all the males … every male among the little ones … and kill every woman that has known man by lying with him. Do you suppose that every Midianite who was slain was directly culpable for causing Israel to fall into idolatry and sexual immorality? If not, why were they slain? We see a similar situation with Korah and his malcontents where the earth swallowed up not only Korah, Dathan and Abiram, but their families as well (Num 16:31–33). Even those who are not directly culpable for a particular sin, if they maintain company with sinners they will become morally tainted (1 Cor 5:6; 15:33; Gal 5:9). If the righteous dwell near the wicked is it possible for YHVH’s judgments against the wicked to overlap onto the righteous? If this were not possible then why did YHVH instruct the righteous Israelites to separate themselves from the environs of Korah’s camp (Num 16:23–27), and why does YHVH call his people to come out of Babylon the Great in the end times? (Read Rev 18:4 for the answer.) How do we separate from the wicked? In the examples just cited, we see two kinds of separation from evil: physical and spiritual. We can start by separating spiritually without separating physically, but will there ever come a time when YHVH’s people will have to separate physically? (See Rev 12:14.) How will the spiritual woman of Revelation 14 know when to do this and where to go? Will the Good Shepherd abandon or lead his sheep in the day of trouble? (Note John 10:1–5.) May we always be pressed into Yeshua, our spiritual Shepherd, so that we will always hear his voice concerning what to do and where to go and when.

Numbers 31:49, Not a man of us is missing. The remarkable grace of YHVH is evidenced in the fact that only one-fiftieth of Israel’s fighting force (12,000 of 600,000 men) took part in the campaign to defeat Midian and that not a single man was lost. What promise of YHVH was this a fulfillment of if Israel would walk in Torah-obedience? (See Lev 26:8; Deut 32:30.) What principles can we learn from this when applied to spiritual warfare? When our spiritual battles against evil are just, righteous and in accordance with YHVH’s perfect will what results can we expect? (Look up Mark 16:17–18; Luke 9:1; 10:19; Rom 8:31, 37; 1 John 4:4.)

 

Tend the Garden of Your Life to Be a Place for YHVH to Dwell

When the world all around you is like a toilet swirling and flushing out of control on its way down to hell (literally), and you feel powerless to do anything about it, all you can do is to tend your own garden. Try to make the world a better place where YOU are living.

Tending the garden is a fundamental principle of the Bible. In fact, it is the third command of the Torah that the Creator gave to man at the beginning(Gen 2:15). This command is one of five original key commands that Elohim gave to the first humans and are basic keys to human happiness and to fulfilling man’s godly mission on earth. Fulfilling these commands were the basic keys to maintaining the idyllic state of man’s happiness and to communing with Elohim in the pre-fall world. These five fundamental commands were:

  • Be fruitful and multiply: Sex and procreation (Gen 1:28)
  • Govern or exercise stewardship over the animals (Gen 1:28)
  • Tend and keep the garden (Gen 2:15).
  • Do not eat from the tree of knowledge (Gen 2:17).
  • Marriage and family (Gen 2:24). 

At the exact center of these five commands—between command three and four—was the example Elohim gave us of resting on the Sabbath (Gen 2:2–3). Though not a direct command, it was an implicit command in that man is to follow the Creator’s example by resting on the seventh day. It later became a direct command (Exod 16:23–30 and 20:8–11). What this seems to teach us is that the Sabbath (or Shabbat in Hebrew) is at the center of learning about how to fulfill the other five commands and learning about their higher spiritual implications. In the post-fall world after man had sinned by eating from the tree of knowledge, man corrupted the five basic commands and the Sabbath. Illicit sex, exploitation and abuse of animals, the exploitation and abuse of the earth for greedy and covetous purposes and human attempts to destroy marriage and the family was the result. Satan was then and still is on a mission to kill, steal and destroy these five areas and to get humans away from them by perverting or counterfeiting them.

When humans dedicate themselves to fulfilling these five commands as well as resting on the seventh day Sabbath, there is a basic and deep joy and fulfillment that will occur in one’s life that can be achieved in no other way.

Being in nature and tending the garden of this world is a fundamental key for man to finding Elohim, the Creator, and to discover the deep mysteries about him (Rom 1:20).

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…

Beside tending the physical garden, the Creator gave man four other Torah-instructions or laws as revealed in Genesis chapters one and two. These five laws, along with the Sabbath, are fundamental keys to happiness, joy and blessing in this physical life. They will also bring a person to an understanding of YHVH as well. Orientating our lives around marriage, procreation, family, caring for animals, resting on the seventh day, and abstaining from the tree of knowledge [i.e. secular humanism]) are the keys to a fulfilled life on this earth.

Fulfilling these five laws in one’s life is a key to staying connected to Elohim, staying grounded spiritually and not getting sucked into the technocratic, mind-controlling and enslaving matrix that Satan and his human minions are endeavoring to impose on humanity like an invisible net as the Bible prophesied will come upon the earth in the last days (Rev 13, 17, 18).

As the world becomes more evil spinning out of control around me, all I want to do is to tend my own garden, which is YHVH’s garden—to pull out the weeds and make it a more beautiful place for him to inhabit. It starts with my own life. My life is the garden of YHVH. We are reminded of this in the Song of Solomon,

A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. (Song 4:12–14)

Is my life a garden that YHVH Elohim wants to inhabit? Or am I just an inflated ball of head knowledge filled with facts about him, but the garden of my life is a mess and my heart is who knows where?

Consider this. Elohim planted the first humans in a garden long ago and told them (and us) to take care of it. Our forefather and foremother walked with him in the cool of the day in perfect harmony and unity until they disobeyed him and ate from the tree of knowledge—the first sin. In their minds, they were deceived to believe that his was permissible. O how our own mental reasoning or head knowledge can leads us astray and away from him if we are not careful! 

We started in a garden, and we are going to end up there. The garden from heaven to which we look forward is called the New Jerusalem. In the mean time, Elohim told us to tend our garden—the third command in the Torah (Gen 2:15-16). Ask yourself this: How well am I tending the garden of my life both physically and spiritually? Do we really have a clue what this means or are we so busy filling our heads with facts and satiating the lusts of the flesh and eyes, the pride of life that we forgot about holiness, righteousness, pulling up the weeds out of the soil of our lives, pruning the trees and plants, fertilizing and caring for them so that they will bear fruit for him, and so that Yeshua our Bridegroom wants to visit our garden?

Personally, I want my life to be a resting place for my Creator or a merkabah, which is the Hebrew word for a chariot-throne of Elohim’s presence. The psalmist said that Elohim is enthroned on the praises of Israel, not the head knowledge of Israel (Ps 22:3). Let us worship the King, while tending our garden! When we do this, maybe Isaiah 4:4–5:1 will be fulfilled in our lives:

When Adonai shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And YHVH will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill. (Isa 4:4–5:1)

When this prophecy begins to be fulfilled in the garden of our lives, it will be a glorious day for us, for  those around us and for the world!

Wheelbarrow with Gardening tools in the garden.
 

Where are the true priests of Elohim today both in the pulpit and in the home???

Our society is falling apart. There is little or no fear of Elohim among anyone anywhere anymore. The Bible tells us that the fear of Elohim is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. When there is no fear of Elohim, the opposite prevails: foolishness and ignorance.

Because so many people are refusing to follow even the basic tenets of Elohim’s laws, their lives are a mess. Let me give you an example of this. I own a company and I have employees. One of my employees is a young single father with a child born out of wedlock who is less than two years old. Where is the mother in the picture? The father is struggling to make ends meet financially. He is presently renting a room in a house from a gal whose fiancé—in his early 30s—just died unexpectedly a month ago. The medical authorities ruled it as a drug overdose, but no one knows for sure. My gal and the deceased fiancé both have children from previous relationships. Now the gal is alone trying to raise her children and the guy’s children. She has a medical condition, so presently she can’t work and earn any income to make the house payment. Meanwhile, the house was in the guy’s name, but now he’s dead. Who owns the house now? The guy and the gal weren’t married, so it’s not legally her house. Legally, it should go to his decedents heirs, and now a legal battle is ensuing over this. Meanwhile, my employee’s daughter’s mother just moved into the house. They’re not planning on getting married. What’s going on here? Why does the dad have custody of the baby? Why was the mom not living with them before, but now she is? If the house situation isn’t resolved, then where will they all live? In the mean time, who is paying the house payments? You get the picture…it tangled mess of issues goes on and on.

Most of these problems is a result of young unmarried people hoping into bed with each other with little or no forethought with children resulting from their fling.

The problem is that society now says that such behavior is acceptable. In fact, it’s the norm. If you don’t have sex before marriage, you’re considered bizarre. Everybody is doing it, so it must be okay. Yet no one is thinking of the consequences of sex outside of a legal family structure.

All of this is an example of the lack of the fear of Elohim resulting in foolishness and ignorance with the consequences being broken families and children being raised without moral and spiritual values. Society pays a heavy price for such egregious and thoughtless behavior. Taxes go up so big brother government can help take care of these innocent children and their miscreant parents.

Society’s moral and spiritual compass is broken. Too many people operate by their emotions of the moment without thinking of the long term consequences of their immoral and ungodly actions. And all around them, society, the media, movies, music, the educational systems, the government and their peers are telling them that evil is good and good is evil and that biblical values are ridiculous. The Bible has been thrown out, the church as discredited itself as a relevant purveyor of Truth and righteousness, and the list of the society’s fundamental ills goes on and on. Yet no one can figure out why we have such a mess on our hands!

So what is the answer? It’s time for men and women to step and become the godly priest of their own homes by teaching their children the fear of Elohim and obedience to his Word. The same is true for pastors and Bible teachers. It’s time for them to start teaching the pure word of Elohim instead of watering down the Truth and teaching the unbiblical doctrines and traditions of men. But they won’t. Preaching watered down and ear-tickling doctrines of men has been too lucrative and popular.


Numbers 3

Numbers 2:33, The Levites were not numbered. The Levites were not numbered among the counting of the Israelite warriors. Why was this? There was a likely good reason for this. The Scriptures do not tell us, so we can only speculate why this was so. 

Perhaps the reason is that the Levites were divinely commissioned to minister in the tabernacle before the altar and holy of holies, which was a symbolic earthly representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room. As such, it was their job to act as intermediaries and intercessors between the Israelites and Elohim, even as Yeshua is now fulfilling that role at the right hand of Elohim in heaven as the saints’ Great High Priest. 

In this divinely commissioned role, the Levites were called to engage in spiritual “battle” for Israel by teaching the people to walk in YHVH’s Torah instructions in righteousness, and by spiritually cleansing the people from their sins by offering up sacrifices and incense. If they had had to spend their time fighting Israel’s physical battles, they would have had less time to fight her spiritual battles. 

Moreover, when Israel was in a right relationship with Elohim and walking obediently in his ways thanks largely to the efforts of the Levites’ spiritual leadership and example, then YHVH promised to protect that nation from her physical enemies, and so there would be little need for a physical defensive army. 

The same is true in our day. When the ministers of Elohim, who are leaders of the present day “royal priesthood” of Yeshua (1 Pet 2:9), are preaching the Truth to their people and instructing them in the ways of Torah-righteousness, then YHVH will protect his people from enemies foreign and domestic, and there will be little need for physical militaries. 

Similarly on a smaller scale, the same is true for a righteous father who is called to be the priest of his own home. As such, it is his duty to cover his family spiritually under a protective shield of prayer, intercession, confession of sin and by leading them spiritually in the ways of Elohim, so that they will be less vulnerable or even impervious to the attacks of the world, the flesh and devil.

Numbers 3

Numbers 3:11–13, I myself have taken. Here YHVH chooses the tribe of Levi instead of the firstborn male of each Israelite family to be Israel’s spiritual leaders. When the Israelites exited Egypt, YHVH chose and sanctified the firstborn male of each family to the be spiritual leader of his home in what is called the law of the firstborn (Exod 13:2, 11–16). As it had been the responsibility of the firstborn to lead his family spiritually, and, as the patriarch of his family, to pass down the family legacy and spiritual traditions to the next generation, YHVH now placed this mantle on the shoulders of the Levites. It was now their responsibility to teach the Israelites what YHVH had commanded them to do (Deut 24:8). They became the Torah teachers in Israel (Deut 33:10; Neh 8:7, 9, 13; 2 Chron 30:22) along with the priests (Lev 10:11; Mal 2:7). They were scattered throughout the land of Israel for this purpose (2 Chron 17:8–9). The reason that YHVH gave this responsibility over to the sons of Levi was because the firstborn of each family had failed to lead their families in YHVH’s paths of righteousness, and they failed to prevent the Israelites from golden calf worship (Exod 32). Only Levi remained faithful to YHVH during the golden calf incident, and thus YHVH granted them the blessing of the priestly service (Exod 32:26–29).

Originally, it had been YHVH’s intent for the entire nation of Israel to be a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6) in order to be a light to the nations and lead the nations to YHVH and his Torah by their righteous example (Deut 4:6–8). This is why YHVH placed the land of Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, at the center of the major trade routes of the ancient world between Africa, Asia and Europe.

The Levitical priesthood (along with the elaborate tabernacle sacrificial system) was a temporary institution that YHVH added (Gal 3:19 cp. Jer 7:21–22) to the nation of Israel’s legal system because of the firstborn’s failure to prevent Israel from worshipping the golden calf idol. In a general sense, YHVH didn’t give the Israelites the Torah at this time—the principles of which they and their forefathers already had been given (e.g., Gen 26:5). So what other law was added? At Mount Sinai, the Torah was codified into a legal system (with civil penalties including the institution of a sacrificial system as a penalty for sin) and became the constitution of the nation of Israel, and YHVH also gave them the institution of the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system (Gal 3:19), which (along with the rest of the Torah) pointed them to Yeshua (Gal 4:16, 2). The sacrificial and Levitical systems were completely fulfilled by the Messiah as the writer of Hebrews goes into great detail to explain to us (Heb 5–11).

As already noted, it was YHVH’s intention for all Israel to become a kingdom of priests (not just the tribe of Levi) to teach the nations his spiritual truths. YHVH’s original purpose for Israel is now being fulfilled in the royal priesthood of all redeemed believers to which Peter makes reference in his first epistle (1 Pet 2:9). When the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, the Levitical priesthood along with the sacrificial system ceased to exist. This occurred some forty years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua who, at that time, became man’s sacrifice for sin once and for all and is now in heaven officiating as our Great High Priest as the writer of Hebrews reveals to us. When the temple priesthood was destroyed, YHVH’s royal priesthood of all believers was ready to take its place. In a sense, the present priesthood model defaults to the original priesthood model where the leader of each family was the priest of his home. The only difference is that the patriarchal priesthood model has been expanded and now all redeemed believers have the opportunity to become a priest in Yeshua’s eternal kingdom regardless of gender and family birth order.

Presently, the saints are preparing to be a kingdom of priest as they learn to live out and to teach others YHVH’s Torah truths. This learning process is preparing them to become kings and priests (or a kingdom of priests, Exod 19:6) in Yeshua’s millennial kingdom after his second coming where they will teach the nations the truth of YHVH (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), even as the Levites of old taught the nation of Israel YHVH’s Torah.

 

First Peter 1 and 2 on Holiness and the Priesthood of All Believers

1 Peter 1

1 Peter 1:2, Sprinkling of blood. Also see Matt 26:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:12;10:19–22; 12:24; 1 Pet 1:19; 1 Jhn 1:9; Rev 1:5.

1 Peter 1:5, Salvation…revealed in the last time. Likely Peter has Yeshua in view here, since the name Yeshua means “salvation.”

1 Peter 1:11, Spirit of Messiah…He. This is a faulty if not disingenuous translation. Spirit in the Greek is a neutered gender noun, so He should properly be translated as It. This is not the only place where the NT translators, trying to push the masculine gender of the Ruach haKodesh, have mistranslated Scripture. See also Acts 8:16 and 1 Cor 12:11.

1 Peter 1:16, Be holy, for I am holy. See Lev 11:44; see also Exod 22:31; Lev 11:45; 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:28; 1 Pet 1:16 

How Do YOU Become Holy?

How does a person become holy? Does holy water make you holy? Does a robed priest sporting a goofy headdress and wearing a giant charm around his pencil thin neck while waving his gaunt and delicate hand over you make you holy? Does stepping into a gilded and ornately decorated church and performing some religious mumbo-jumbo exercise make you holy? NO! The Bible declares how a person becomes holy, and it is NOT what most people think! It has to do with lifestyle and obedience, NOT religiosity!

For starters, most well-meaning but deceived folks do not even know what the word holy means. It comes from the Hebrew word kadash, a verb meaning “to be pure, undefiled, unpolluted, set-apart or sanctified.” The Hebrew word kodesh is the biblical adjective to describe Elohim who is totally pure and sinless and without any pollution or defilement. Kodesh also describes those things which YHVH has made holy or declared to be holy such as certain times (such as his Sabbath and feasts), certain places (such as the Tabernacle of Moses), and certain people (such as his priests and saints). No matter how elaborate and convincing the efforts humans cannot make or declare anything holy regardless of the ceremonialism and religious activities. These efforts are merely futile, vain and, quite frankly, laughable! Many unbelieving pagans see this religious charade for what it is and are not convinced. Some even mock and scorn such efforts. Religiosity is NOT the way to bring people to Elohim—to bring unholy man into the presence of a holy Elohim.

Continue reading
 

“Faith without works is dead” explained

James 2:20–24, Faith without works is dead. James is referring here to the works of faith, not the works of the law. No man can live a good enough life to be saved by his Torah-obedience or the works of the law (Rom 3:20, 28; Gal 2:16; 3:11). 

At the same time, faith in Elohim is more than just mental ascent—“a knowing in your heart.” It has to be backed up by action (and we’re not talking about the works of the law). For example, when Elohim told Abraham to leave Babylon or to sacrifice Isaac, he obeyed by leaving that country and moving to Canaan. 

Moreover, many were healed in Yeshua’s ministry because they had faith in the Master and backed that faith up with corresponding action, which was the evidence of their faith. This faith-action continuum had nothing to do with Torah-obedience per se, but had everything to do with “putting your money where your mouth is” by backing up your faith or belief with action. 

It is this kind of faith that James is talking about here, and this in no wise contradicts the teachings of Paul who said that no man is justified by the works of the law. When Paul declares in Ephesians 2:8–9, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Elohim, not of works…,” he was correct and not opposed to James. What’s more, Paul goes on to say in verse 10, “For we are [Elohim’s] workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works…that we should walk in them.” These good works (i.e. obedience to the Torah) are the fruits, evidence or proof of our salvation and are the works that back up our faith. 

So, in summary, the Bible teaches that we need the faith (a heart that believes and wants to obey Elohim) to lead us to salvation, as well as the works of faith after we have received Elohim’s free gift of salvation as evidence that we are saved. This fact in no way contravenes the reality of salvation by grace through trusting belief in Yeshua the Messiah, which is apart from the works of the Torah-law.

 

Leviticus 17 on Blood Drinking and Letting, Human Sacrifice, Tattoos, Cannibalism & Pedophilia

Leviticus 17

Exploring the Concepts of Sacrifice, Blood-Letting and Eating Blood

The sacrificing of animals as an act of worship or for any reason is a foreign concept in our modern, secularized society, but this was not the case in the ancient biblical world. Concomitant with sacrifices is the idea of freewill offerings,which, in the ancient world, were often made together as an act of worship to various deities. 

With regard to sacrifices, man’s first act of worship outside the Garden of Eden was to make offerings and sacrifice to Elohim (Gen 4:1–4). Making a sacrifice to Elohim was also Noah’s first act of worship after the flood (Gen 8:20). The same is true of Abraham upon receiving the covenant from Elohim (Gen 12:6). At key points in his spiritual journey, Abraham repeated this same act of worship (Gen 12:8; 13:3, 18). The same is true of the Israelites who after having received the Torah at Sinai made a sacrifice to Elohim as they entered into a covenantal agreement with him (Exod 24:4). Subsequently, YHVH instructed the Israelites to establish an entire sacrificial system as a means to be reconciled to him. Similarly, animal sacrifices and offerings being made to various deities was an important aspect of the heathen cultures of the biblical world. Even in the first century, the Greeks were still sacrificing animals in their pagan temples to their gods and goddesses (1 Cor 8:1–13; 10:20) as were the Jews prior to the destruction of their temple in A.D. 70 (Acts 21:24 cp. Num 6:13–21).

So, in the mind of the ancients, what was the purpose of sacrifice? The ritual killing and offering of an animal was part of a religious ritual either to appease or to gain the favor of a deity. 

With this concept in mind, several points should be noted. Man’s rebellion and sin against Elohim in the Garden of Eden caused man to be cut off from his Creator and incur his judgment against man’s sin. The Garden of Eden and the fall of man event is part of the mythos of many ancient civilizations (e.g. Mesopotamian, Summerian, Greek, Indians, Moslem and apparently the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians, Mexicans and Chinese as well), and thus this idea of man’s separation from deity because of his sin informed the ancients of their need to be reconciled to a deity or deities. 

However, it stands to reason that as we move forward in human history and away from the original sin of man in Garden of Eden, where YHVH revealed to man his need for an atoning blood sacrifice, the pure worship of Elohim through sacrifice at the same time became blurry in men’s minds and corrupted by demonic incursions and influences (e.g. Gen 6:2–5). Through subversive activities of Satan the Adversary and his minions, the practice of Elohim’s true religion became perverted and even counterfeited. As a result, men began to worship counterfeit deities of their own concoction that ran cross grain to or were in outright antithetical rebellion to the commandments of YHVH Elohim with regard to the making of offering and sacrifices. Instead of men making sacrifices and offerings to be reconciled to Elohim because of sin, the heathens exchanged the worship of the true Elohim for that of Satan and his evil minions. This resulted in men making sacrifices to appease the anger of their false demon-gods and, at the same time, to curry their favor (for fortune, fame, spiritual power and long life). Over time, man’s sin and his need to be reconciled to the Creator was no longer the focal point of the sacrifice or offering at all. The Israelites, under YHVH’s guidance, on the other hand, kept the true purpose of sacrifice in view. It was for the purpose of atonement for sin in order to reconcile sinful and fallen man to his Creator as Leviticus 17:11 states.

As the biblical narrative reveals, the ancient Israelites were all too easily swayed by the heathen, Canaanite, Baal-worshipping cultures around them whose gods had moral stringencies much less demanding than those of Elohim, and who instead of forbidding sinful acts not only tolerated but often promoted them, even incorporating them into their cult rituals (e.g. ritual temple prostitution and other forms of sexual deviancy including homosexuality). This is why YHVH’s Torah included strict commands against Israel’s fraternizing in any way with the neighboring Canaanites or adopting any of their religious rituals—especially those involving blood and sacrifice, since the Creator originally designed these rituals only for worship, atonement and reconciliation purposes. With this historical backdrop in view, it hopefully should be easier to see why YHVH was so adamant that the Israelites adhere to his strict protocols with regard to making animal sacrifices, while at the same time he prohibited them from following the heathen’s perverted versions of these rituals—rituals that had devolved into outright demon worship (Lev 17:7).

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Leviticus Chapters 12 to 15—Natan’s Commentary Notes

Leviticus 12 

Leviticus 12:2, Unclean.One may rightly ask why new life begins in tumah or spiritual impurity? Could this have anything to do with David’s statement in Psalms 51:5, “Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The basic premise of all the false religions and humanistic philosophies of the world is that man is innately good and that any evil attributes he may possess are largely due to his evil environment. Do you believe this? Or have you taken responsibility or ownership of your own sin and the sin nature in you?

Leviticus 12:4, Come into the sanctuary/miqdash. The miqdash referred to the tabernacle or temple and denotes that which has been devoted to the sphere of the sacred. An area was sacred since it was the place where YHVH dwelt among his people (Exod 25:8) and it was not to be profaned (Lev 12:4; 19:30; 20:3; 21:12, 23; q.v. The TWOT). The command that a woman was forbidden from entering the sanctuary when in an impure state begs this question: When then could a woman enter the tabernacle? The ArtScroll Vayikra/Leviticus Commentary doesn’t answer this question nor do Rashi or Hirsch in their commentaries. Keil and Delitzsch suggest that she would have come into the sanctuary to partake of sacrificial meals (e.g. the peach or fellowship offerings (Lev 3:1–17; 7:11–21) although the Torah doesn’t specifically state this. Lev 7:20–21 does state that anyone eating this offering in a ritually impure state would be cut off from Israel, thus implying that this meal might have been eaten within the confines of the tabernacle or temple sanctuary—or at least the outer courtyard where the altar of sacrifice was located. But do we know this for sure? No. For example, in 1 Samuel chapter one, we read that Hannah, after offering her sacrifice, prayed outside the door of the tabernacle where she met Eli the high priest (1 Sam 1:9). Later, in the history of the Jerusalem temple, the Woman’s Court was constructed. This separate court for women, located just outside of the temple itself, was where women prayed and offered their sacrifices, and was, according to Jewish tradition, constructed in the time of King Jehosophat (2 Chron 20:5; Carta’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Temple in Jerusalem, p. 93, by Airel and Richman). Also according to Jewish tradition, women were allowed to go past the Women’s Court and enter the temple sanctuary itself to offer up sacrifices although no scriptures are given to support this assertion (ibid.)

Leviticus 12:5, Two weeks. One may also ask why a woman remains in a state of ritual impurity only seven days for a male child and two weeks for a female child? To some of our minds that may have been “leavened” by the “women’s rights” agenda of the 1960s, this may seem sexist. One thing is certain, YHVH is not a respecter of persons. He does not value one gender above the other. Both male and female were made in his image (Gen 1:27). Therefore, Elohim is both male and female. For Elohim to view women as inferior, he would be showing favoritism to one part of himself over another, and this is not possible. 

One explanation the Jewish sages give for the eight-day compared to the 14-day period of ritual impurity is that a male child has to be circumcised on the eighth day. A brit m’lah is to be a joyous occasion. If a woman were still in a state of ritual impurity she would not be able to participate in her son’s circumcision (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra, p. 187).

Leviticus 12:6, She shall bring. Why did the new mother have to bring a sin offering for her newborn child—after all isn’t childbirth a glorious and joyous event? To answer this question we will ask a question. What was one of the curses Elohim placed on Eve for her part in bringing sin into the world? (Gen 3:16) Labor pains were decreed upon woman for punishment for her part in original sin. The Jewish sages teach that the sin offering Torah demands her to give after giving birth is to atone for that. As believers in Yeshua, we might rather see this offering as pointing to ancient Israel’s need for atonement from sin in the Person of Yeshua the Messiah, who was yet to come. Does this not underscore the seriousness YHVH places on sin and that all have sinned and fallen short of his glory (Rom 3:33), and that we are all in desperate need of a Redeemer who would deliver us from that “certificate of sin debt that was against us” and nail it to his cross (Col 2:14)?

Leviticus 13

Leviticus 13:2, Leprous sore [Heb. tsaraath]. This was an infectious skin disease and not necessarily leprosy.

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