Tag Archives: Blood Atonement
Leviticus Chapter Seven—Natan’s Commentary Notes
Leviticus 7:6, Every male…may eat it.
The Torah Origins of the Communion Ritual and the Priesthood of All Believers
Why were the priests allowed to eat some of the offerings? What’s this all about? Let’s answer this question with a question. Why do believers in Yeshua eat the communion elements, and what do they represent? Is there a connection between the Levitical priests eating of the sacrifice and the saints eating the communion elements? Now let’s explore this idea.
In Leviticus 6:26 and 29, only the male priests were allowed to eat of the sin offering. Likewise, YHVH commanded the male priests to eat the baked unleavened bread of the minchah offering (Lev 6:16, 18). Yeshua himself not only continued this Levitical practice, but expanded and elevated it to a higher level at his last supper.
When Yeshua initiated communion among his disciples, what in essence was he saying? Simply this. His disciples were all now his holy or set-apart priests. This is the origination of the concept of the priesthood of all believers, or the royal priesthood as Peter terms it (1 Pet 2:9), or a kingdom of priests John calls it who will rule with King Yeshua in his millennial kingdom (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
It was YHVH’s desire that the children of Israel would become such a priesthood even before he called the Levites to be his set-apart priests (Exod 19:6). However, they failed in this mission when they chose to worship the golden calf instead of YHVH (Exod 32). At that time, YHVH chose the faithful Levites to be his priests instead of the firstborn male leaders from all the tribes of Israel (Exod 32:26, 29; Num 3:11–13, 44).
Moreover, Isaiah prophesied about the priesthood of all believers—a priesthood that would extend beyond the confines of the Aaronic priesthood (Isa 66:21 cp. Dan 7:18). This higher level priesthood would extend beyond the patriarchal male leaders, who were the original priests in Israel (Exod 19:22, 24), to include all the Israelites, both male and female (Exod 19:6), as well as Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel through Yeshua the Messiah (Gal 3:28–29; Eph 2:11–19; Rom 11:11–32), which Paul refers to as the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16).
Being a kingdom of priests who will teach the inhabitants of planet earth the ways of Elohim is the role and destiny of all the modern day saints of Elohim who have been washed of their sins (i.e. Torahlessness, 1 John 3:4) in the blood of Yeshua (Rev 1:6), for they will reign with Yeshua on this earth (Rev 5:10) for a thousand years as Elohim’s resurrected and glorified adopted sons and daughters (Rev 20:6; John 1:12 cp. Rom 8:14–15, 23; 9:4; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 4:5–6; Eph 1:5; 1 Jhn 3:1–2; Rev 21:7).
So saints of the YHVH Elohim, encourage yourself with these immutable promises from the Word of Elohim! Are you presently preparing yourselves now for auspicious and lofty role?
Leviticus 7:13, Leavened bread. The Torah prohibited the offering of leavened bread on the altar (Lev 2:11). There are only two instances where leavening in bread was permitted in the tabernacle service. In this verse, leavened bread was offered in conjunction with the peace offering (Lev 2:13), where it was eaten as part of the sacrificial meal. This was not a sin offering, but the peace offering. Therefore the bread of this offering didn’t represent the body of Yeshua. It was merely part of the fellowship meal representing a peaceful and loving relationship between the offerer and the Creator, and was similar to a family picnic, dinner or barbecue. But it wasn’t placed on the altar, nor was it a part of the sacrifice, therefore, it wasn’t a prophetic picture of the sinless Yeshua dying on the cross.
The second instance of leavened bread being offered in a tabernacle service occurred when the Torah instructs the priests to wave two loaves of leavened bread on Shavuot or Pentecost before YHVH (Lev 23:17). These two loaves prophetic and symbolic metaphors for the two houses of Israel (the northern kingdom and southern kingdom)—a spiritual picture of Jews and Christians. In this ceremony, the gracious and merciful Creator was demonstrating his acceptance of his people despite their sin.
Leviticus 7:23, Not eat any fat. All the organ fat of the ox, sheep and goats was used as part of the sacrificial service (Lev 7:30–31).The organ fat was given to YHVH as part of the burnt offering (Lev 1:3), the peace offering (Lev 3:3–4), the sin offering (Lev 4:8–10, 19). Fat is the Hebrew word cheleb/CKJ meaning “fat of humans or animals” or metaphorically, “the choicest, best part, or abundance of the land.” Therefore, the fat as one of the choicest parts of the animal was reserved for sacrifice to YHVH on the altar. But not eating fat, the Israelites in their minds preserved a reverence for YHVH’s altar upon which the fat or the best part was offered to YHVH. To eat the fat was to show irreverence for that best part that belonged to Elohim, which is why the offender was cut off from the nation of Israel. As living sacrifices who have been redeemed or bought with the blood of Yeshua, are we giving YHVH the best part of our lives? After all, he so loved us that he gave us Yeshua, which was the best he had to offer.
Leviticus 7:26, Not eat any blood.
The Supreme Significance of Blood
YHVH revealed in the Torah that the life of flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). Therefore, the blood symbolizes the whole life of the living being. This is why the blood being poured upon the altar made atonement for the souls of men (Lev 17:11–12), since it represented and pointed to the shedding of Yeshua’s blood when he sacrificed his life on the cross in atoning for men’s sins. Respecting the blood is necessary not only because it symbolizes the sanctity of the life of man who was made in the Creator’s image (Gen 1:26 cp. 9:6), but more importantly, because of the blood of Elohim’s Son that was shed for man’s redemption (Lev 17:11). For one to eat the blood showed disdain for what the blood typifies. In times past, this was so important to YHVH that a violation of this prohibition resulted in banishment from the nation of Israel.
The blood was to be reserved for the sacrificial service, where it was used symbolically to represent Yeshua’s shedding his blood on the cross. The blood of a lamb was put on the door posts to protect men from YHVH’s judgment against sin (Exod 12:7, 13). Moses sprinkled the blood of oxen on the people symbolizing their coming into covenantal relationship with YHVH (Exod 24:5–8). Additionally, the blood of sacrificed animals was sprinkled throughout the tabernacle, on Aaron and his sons, and all around the altar to sanctify it. All these acts and uses of the blood were illustrative of the unrestricted cleansing power of the blood of Yeshua (Rev 1:5; 7:14; 12:11; 1 Pet 1:2, 19; Heb 9:12; 10:19–22; 12:24; 1 John 1:7; Matt 26:28), which is why YHVH expected his people to treat the blood with a reverence. Those who didn’t evidenced a heart of indifference for the set-apart or kadosh things of Elohim—an intolerable offence in the Creator’s eyes.
On the dark and satanic side, the blood of humans and animals is profaned through demonic rituals involving drinking it and even cannibalism. This is an abominable perversion of holy communion and was an aspect of ancient heathen religions (Ps 16:4; Ezek 39:17, 19 cp. Num 13:32), and is a practice in which the end time antichrist heathens of the Babylonian whore system will engage (Rev 17:6; 18:13, 24).
The Significance of Blood in the Bible
Leviticus 17:10, Eats any blood. This prohibition is so serious that the Torah repeats it three other places (Lev 3:17; 7:26; 17:14), and the apostles make it one of the four requirements imposed on new Gentile converts before allowed into the fellowship of believers (Acts 15:29). This law was so serious that not only was it imposed on the children of Israel, but upon the strangers that sojourned with them as well (Lev 17:10). The penalty for doing so was basically capital punishment—to be cut off from Israel (vv. 9, 14).Why is the eating of blood so onerous in the eyes of Elohim? The context of this verse involves prohibitions against the demonic practices of the neighboring Baal-worshiping heathens. Eating and then the letting of blood was something that figured prominently in the demonic religious rituals of the heathens and is something YHVH wanted to keep his people from practicing. (For a further discussion of this, see notes on Lev 17:1–14.) In YHVH’s spiritual economy, blood was to be reserved exclusively for the atonement of sin and was to be respected as such.
Leviticus 17:11. The blood. Long before modern science confirmed this in the seventeenth-century, YHVH revealed in the Torah that the life of flesh is in the blood.
Leviticus 17:11 is a crucial scripture theologically regarding the blood atonement. Presently, the Jewish religion offers no hope for its followers in light of this passage, since they deny the only means by which humans can have their sins atoned, namely, through the blood of Yeshua the Messiah. For believers in Yeshua, the message of Messiah and him crucified addresses this issue. The importance of the blood of the Lamb in the atonement for sins as well as in overcoming sin, sickness (1 Peter 2:24) and the powers of hell (Rev 12:11) cannot be over emphasized. How thorough is your understanding of the power of the blood? Do you appropriate this power on a regular basis in your life? The power of the blood is central to the efficacy of the communion elements and specifically to the concept of redemption. The concept of the blood of Yeshua is central to the gospel message with some 50 references to it in the Testimony of Yeshua. Such terms are used as “blood of the Lamb,” “blood of Messiah,” “precious blood of Messiah,” “blood of the everlasting covenant,” “redemption through Messiah’s blood,” “blood of His cross,” “communion of the blood of Messiah,” “faith in his blood,” and “purchased with his blood.” Is the reality of the blood of Messiah central to your faith walk? How so? If not, why not? (Read and ponder Matt 26:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:12, 22; 10:19; 12:24; 1 Pet 1:2, 19; 1 John 1:7; Rev 1:5; 7:14; 12:11.)
A Tithe on War Booty and the Holy Half Shekel — A Memorial Pointing to Yeshua’s Atoning Death
Numbers 31:50, Make atonement.
Exploring the Concept of Atonement as It Relates to the Tabernacle and Salvation
In this verse we read, “We have therefore brought an oblation for YHVH, what every man has gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before YHVH.” In a similar passage in Exodus 30:15–16, we read, “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls. And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls” (emphasis added). The question before us is this: Do these passages in the Torah imply that YHVH grants man absolution based something other than the shedding of blood, and by logical extension, does this call into question our redemption from sin through our faith in Yeshua the Messiah’s blood atonement?
The concept of atonement can be a confusing one. Some in rabbinic Jewish circles teach that the Torah (i.e., the first five books of the Bible) does not require the shedding of blood for atonement of one’s sin to occur. According to the above scripture, this could appear to be the case. Before briefly discussing the subject of atonement, let us not forget the stern warnings of the Apostle Peter when he warned end-time saints against false teachers who would lure people away from the simple truth of the gospel:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not…. But these, as natural Continue reading
Is there a back door around the bloody cross?
Exodus 30:15 and 16, To make atonement for your souls. Some will read these verses and conclude that one can buy their redemption through charitable giving and therefore circumvent the need to place one’s faith in Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross. Does this passage suggest a theology where man can save himself from his sins by acts of charity? Let’s dig a little deeper to see what these verses are really teaching us.
In this passage, YHVH instructed the Israelites to pay an annual half-shekel temple tax. This money went, in part, toward, the service (verse 16) and constructing of the Tabernacle of Moses (e.g., Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the OT, vol. 1, p. 459; Exod. 38:21–31), and later toward the purchase of the animals the priests sacrificed (The Temple and Its Service, by Alfred Edersheim, p. 48). In this way, the people were participating vicariously in the act of sacrificing an innocent animal as an offering or atonement for their sins. Again, the Scriptures reveal that this sacrificial system merely pointed prophetically toward the Greater Sacrifice that would come later in the Person of Yeshua, the Redeemer of Israel. (Read Isa 53.) On the point that the paying the half-shekel was a merely a temporary solution to the problem of man’s sin, Keil and Delitzsch say in their commentary on this passage,
As an expiation [atonement] for souls, it pointed to the unholiness of Israel’s nature, and reminded the people continually, that by nature it was alienated from God, and could only remain in covenant with the Lord and live in His kingdom on the ground of His grace, which covered its sin (Ibid.).
Keil and Delitzsch’s point is further strengthened in Exodus 30:16, which says,
And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls. (emphasis added)
The giving of the half-shekel was a memorial to what? The Hebrew word for memorial is zikrown (Strong’s H2146) meaning “reminder, token, record.”
According to The TWOT, a zikrown is an object or act which brings something else to mind or which represents something else. It reminded them of their sinfulness and pointed prophetically to a Redeemer—Yeshua the Messiah— who would come and take away their sins once and for all (Heb 10:10). For a more detailed study of this subject, please see our teaching article entitled, “The Atonement: Bloody or Bloodless? Understanding the Concept of Atonement in the Torah” located on the Hoshana Rabbah website at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/atone.pdf.