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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Reversing the Curse—The Exalted Place of Wives and Mothers

1 Timothy 2:15, Saved in/through childbirth. 

Saved is the Greek verb sozo meaning “to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger, save from suffering or perishing.” The word in or through (depending on one’s Bible version) is the Greek preposition dia, which can have several meanings. In the Greek genitive case (possessive case) dia means “through, in the course of, during or throughout.” In the Greek accusative case (indirect object case), dia means “by reason or means of.” Seldom is dia found in the accusative case in the NT; usually it is used in the genitive case, as is the case here. David Stern, in his Jewish NT Commentary, says of this passage that here Paul has Gen 3:16 in view where YHVH put the curse of a painful child (among other things) upon Eve because of her sin at the tree of knowledge. Admittedly, Stern continues, Paul’s previous seemingly dismissive and condescending statements about women and their place in the church (vv. 8–14) doesn’t appeal to the modern, Western, mind. But in light of the curse that Elohim placed on women, Paul goes on to mitigate his previous statements about women by saying that Elohim would save a saintly woman from the curse of a painful childbirth by lessening the physical and emotional pain of this ordeal and, by implication, that of motherhood and rasing children. This is because the curse, in a sense, has been reversed through her faith in Yeshua the Messiah and his work at the cross as the one who bore upon himself the curse of man’s sin. By her godly demeanor (as Paul spells out in the previous several verses), and raising godly children, much of the pain and suffering to befall most ungodly women will be lifted from her, which is a great blessing. Stern goes on to point out that this verse in no way indicates a woman is saved or redeemed spiritually through the process of childbirth. Were this the case, the act of childbirth would offer an alternate plan of salvation making faith in Yeshua unnecessary. This is obviously not true according to Scripture.

Moreover, there is another glorious truth to be deduced from this passage of Scripture—a truth that exalts a woman from being a curse-causer to a curse-reverser. As a result of a godly woman’s place in Yeshua, the curse placed on her for introducing sin into the world resulting in her offspring being cut off from Elohim can now be undone. How is this? By raising godly children she now has the divine role of bringing her children back to Elohim. Who has more influence over a  child then a mother? Who spends more time teaching and training a child than a mother? The saying that “the hand that rocks the cradle moves the nation” exemplifies this truth. A saintly mother has the inimitable and glorious role of helping to turn a nation from enslavement to the world, the flesh and the devil back to Elohim and his Word as revealed in the Bible. 

In this passage (1 Tim 2:8–15), Paul is in no way demeaning or denigrating women, but exalting them. 

Not only this, but Gen 3:15 speaks of the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent, which is a prophecy that was clearly fulfilled by Yeshua’s death and resurrection resulting in the defeat of Satan, the serpent, and his defeat of death and the grave. When a godly woman raises up righteous, Elohim-loving children, she will be further reinforcing Yeshua’s defeat of the serpent and helping to expand the kingdom of heaven at the devil’s expense. Through Eve sin entered the world (1 Tim 2:14), now through a saintly women, righteousness can enter the world. This occurred through the birth of Yeshua through the virgin Mary, with the process continuing when a mother births children and brings them to faith in Yeshua.

Another aspect of the curse that came on woman when she sinned in the garden was her innate rebellion against authority—especially that of her husband (Gen 3:16b). When a woman demonstrates her willingness to submit not only to the authority of her husband (Eph 5:22), but to church leadership as well by conducting herself in modest and discreet manner (1 Tim 2:8–12), heaven’s blessing of an easier childbirth awaits her along with the further glories and exalted position of motherhood as previously noted above. 

Is it any wonder, then, that in our modern society there is an all-out war against woman, marriage and the family? Whether it be the political, educational, economic, entertainment or media establishment, they all seem to be hellbent on destroying the traditional family, marriage and the role of women as mothers and wives. We see this in the secular humanists pushing of abortion (the murder of children), pornography (the perversion of sex), pedophilia (the sexual exploitation of children), the sexualization of children (which undermines the family unit), homosexuality (the diminishing of childbirth), transgenderism (the destruction of the family and marriage), the women’s lib movement (engendering hatred for men and for motherhood) and the list goes on. When the traditional, Elohim-ordained role of mothers and families is undermined, if not obliterated, the process of the family acting as the means to help redeem mankind back to Elohim comes to a stop. Whose spiritual kingdom does this benefit the most? That of Elohim or the devil? The answer should be obvious. Therefore, who is the author of and driving spiritual force behind these ungodly, anti-biblical agendas? Satan the devil!


Dealing With the Fungus Among Us

Overview of Parshiot Tazria-Metzora (Lev 12–13 and 14–15)

Often these two parshiot are combined in the yearly Torah reading cycle depending on how the biblical calendar falls for the year. Their combining is likely due to the fact that each is relatively short and deals with related subjects: namely, the ritual purity laws. As we shall see, the causes of ritual impurity involve sin issues. The Torah prescribes procedures that the afflicted person had to follow in order to be deemed cleansed and thus be readmitted into the camp of Israel after having been temporarily expelled. All the rituals prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross.

Sin is like a disease.

Sin is like a disease.

These two parshiot dealing with diseased and unclean persons immediately come after the laws concerning clean and unclean meats (Lev 11). What the Israelites ate as well as the state of their physical bodies was an important aspect of holiness in the eyes of YHVH.

From these two parshiot, we learn that an unclean person could only become clean through the atoning blood of a sacrificed animal or through ritual cleansing of water by which he was reconciled to Elohim and brought back into the camp of Israel. What can we learn from the juxtapositioning of these subjects (i.e., the laws pertaining to unclean meats and unclean people) in the Torah? Simply this. Man can easily become impure and defiled because of his innately depraved, crooked, and wicked heart that is at enmity with the laws of Elohim (Jer 17:9; Rom 8:7). Since the fall of Adam, man has been in a state of impurity from Elohim. Thus, sin separates him from the presence of Elohim and from his fellow Israelites. Only the sin-atoning blood of Yeshua can bring him to a place of purity where he can be reconciled to the Kadosh (Holy) One of Israel, and become part of the camp (i.e., the congregation of the saints or kadosh ones) of YHVH.

Leviticus 12:1–8 deals with the purification of women after childbirth. Adam Clarke in his commentary states that when a woman has to bring a sacrifice after the birth of her child, Elohim keeps up the remembrance of the fact that through woman, sin entered the world. He also keeps up the memorial of sacrifice to show that the state of a sinner, howsoever deplorable, is not hopeless. In every ceremony, we may see both the justice and the mercy of Elohim. Hence, while we have the knowledge of our spiritual impurity, we have also the knowledge of our cure—the sacrifice of an innocent animal, which always points to Yeshua who once and for all, in his sacrificial death, cleansed us from sin’s impurity.

Leviticus 13–14 deals with the disease of tzara. The noun tzaarath means Continue reading