WAYYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 14:1-15:33 – METZORA – “THE ONE WITH TZARA’AT”

This Torah portion is called “Metzora” from the term: הַמְּצֹרָע - ‘ha-m’tzora’ – ‘the leper’ or ‘the one with leprosy’. This is the torah for the one with leprosy for the day of his cleansing. This torah portion continues with the theme of leprosy and highlights the clear instructions for the proper process of cleansing an infected one from leprosy and this chapter contains great insight for us in understanding יהוה’s clear instructions for us in keeping ourselves in line with his instructions for daily living and how we are to remain in and walk and walk in His provisions and blessing for life. This Chapter 14 carries great lessons and pictures for us, on how we are to be cleansed from all sin/lawlessness and therefore helps us understand how important it is for us that we are a called out and set apart royal priesthood that must walk in Messiah, being able to clearly discern between the profane and the set-apart and between the unclean and the clean.

Verse 2 – In this verse we see the words, “of his cleansing”, speaking of the one defiled of course, and this phrase in the Hebrew is the word – טָהֳרָת – ‘taharath’ - ‘his cleaning’; and the root word in Hebrew for ‘cleansing’ is טָֽהֳרָה tahorah – Strong’s H2893 meaning, ‘purifying, cleansing, becomes clean, purification’ and comes from the primary root verb טָהֵר taher – Strong’s H2891 meaning, ‘to be clean or pure, pronounce clean, purge, become cleansed, brightness’. Leprosy would, in essence, bring about a discolouration of the skin and reflect the need for a cleansing, and in one sense it speaks to us of how sin ‘darkens’ us, so to speak, and how through the proper cleansing we are brought back to the ‘bright’ state in which we are to remain in and walk in as true children of light!

The one to be cleansed had to be brought to the priest who would instruct the one being cleansed as to what he should do to get rid of the impurity, or ‘darkness’, that has caused the blemish and how to correct the behaviour that caused the ‘appearance’ of the leprosy. This is a clear picture of how we are to come to our High Priest, יהושע Messiah, and confess our sin, so that He can ‘pronounce us clean’ and then we have the responsibility to listen to His clear instructions (Torah) as to how to walk right and turn away from the path that caused the sin, revealing true repentance.

As we look at the Hebrew word טָֽהֳרָה tahorah we see a wonderful picture in this word alone that speaks of our need to come to Messiah who cleanses us form all sin. Why I say this is because when we look at the ancient symbols of these letters we get a clearer picture of this very message of this Torah of cleansing contained in just one word!

טָֽהֳרָה tahorah – read from right to left are the letters: ט -tet; ה -hay; ר -resh; ה hay, and when you see this word as written in the ancient pictograph script we see the message clearly – let me show you:

The original pictograph of these letters (from right to left):

 heyreshheytet

Tet – ט:

The original pictograph for this letter is tetwhich is pictured as “a container, vessel or basket made of wicker or clay”. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meaning of this letter is “basket, contain, store and clay”.

Hey –ה:

The original pictograph for this letter is heywhich is pictured as “a man standing with his arms raised out”. The Modern Hebrew and original name for this letter is “hey”. The Hebrew word “hey” means “behold, look”, as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean “breath” or “sigh” and “reveal or revelation from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out”. It also carries for us the meaning of “surrender” as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

 

Resh - ר:

The Ancient picture for this letter is reshwhich is pictured as “the head of a man”. This letter has the meanings of “head or man as well as chief, top, beginning or first”.

Now in terms of the cleansing process we see through this pictograph lettering of טָֽהֳרָה tahorah :

   heyreshheytet the following message:

We, as ‘clay baskets’ come and surrender and ‘raise our hands’ in acknowledgement and confess our sins/lawlessness before our ‘head’ and High Priest, יהושע Messiah, and put our lives in the hands of Him who ‘lifts us up’ from the miry clay and makes us clean and purifies us from all unrighteousness!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 18:6 “O house of Yisra’ĕl, am I not able to do with you as this potter?” declares יהוה. “Look, as the clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, O house of Yisra’ĕl!

Iyo/Job 10:9 “Remember, please, that You have made me like clay. And would You turn me into dust again?

 

Verse 3 – And the priest shall go out of the camp – יהושע went outside of the city and in the process was able to bring healing to us as He came down from heaven and also went out of the camp – for in our sin we were not able to enter in – but now that the Priest has come out and inspected us, we are able to receive the necessary cleansing, and ‘enter in’ with boldness by the blood of Messiah!

 

Verse 4 – we see the components used in the cleansing process – and they are:

2 live and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop

The cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop are used in the sanctifying of the red heifer which was the only way the high priest could be sanctified in order to begin making others set-apart:

Bemiḏbar/ Numbers 19:6 “And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and throw them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer.

 

The Cedar - אֶרֶז erez – Strong’s H730. In Tehillim/Psalm 92 Dawiḏ tells us that the righteous will grow like the cedars of Leḇanon. It is a strong and firm tree and a cedar tree is in itself a wonderful illustration of bringing us a picture of a person who is טוֹב to (good) and fully functional in Messiah. They have been known to grow up to 12 meters in circumference! The roots grow down extremely deep and wrap around rocks for anchorage, and grow upwards in heights of up to 45 meters!!! The fragrance of a cedar tree acts as a great defence against being attacked by insects and pests and it is ‘knot’ free and rot resistant, known for their longevity and are perennial evergreen trees. Cedar, as we know, is used in Scripture for the process of the cleaning of a leper – it is used is the Red Heifer sacrifice; Shelomoh used cedar wood to build the Temple. The cedar speaks of us being strong and trustworthy in Messiah and being the fragrance of Messiah, which to some will be death and to others life. It also speaks of trusting in יהוה and obeying the command of יהושע Messiah to not worry! The cedar also represents for us ‘storing up treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy’ and so as we do the good works prepared in advance for us we repel the need to store up the fleshly desires that are like pests that cause rot!

The use of the hyssop plant was a prophetic picture of the impaling of Messiah and the ‘application’ of His Blood upon our heart:

Yoḥanan/John 19:29-30 “A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth. 30 So when יהושע took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Dawiḏ also used the term ‘hyssop’ as a picture of cleansing and forgiveness by the Blood of Messiah:

Tehillah/Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I am clean; wash me, and I am whiter than snow.

The 2 doorposts that were to be struck with the blood using hyssop can also represent the 2 houses of Yisra’ĕlYehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl (Ephrayim), being brought together by the Blood of the Lamb – our Messiah!

Shemoth/Exodus 12:22 “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin, and you, none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

Without the applying of the Blood of Messiah in our lives we have no cleansing and forgiveness!

hyssop

Hyssop - A woody Eurasian plant (Hyssopus officinalis) having spikes of small blue flowers and aromatic leaves used in perfumery and as a condiment. The Hebrew word for hyssop - אֵזוֹב ezoḇ – Strong’s H231 and was used for sprinkling in some of the sacrifices and purifications of the Yisra’ĕlites. In consequence of its detergent qualities, or from its being associated with the purificatory Services, Dawiḏ makes use of the expression, "Purge me with ezoḇ."   (Tehillah/Psalm 51:7). It is described in Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 4:33 as growing on or near walls. Besides being thus fit for sprinkling, having cleansing properties and growing on walls, the true hyssop should be a plant common to Mitsrayim, Sinai and Yisra’ĕl, and capable of producing a stick three or four feet long, since on a stalk of hyssop the sponge of vinegar was held up to Messiah on the stake. Yoḥanan/John 19:29 “A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.

 

Scarlet - תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – Strong’s H8439 being ‘worm’. This scarlet (red) colour came from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attaches itself to a tree, lays eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then dies, having emptied itself out for them--a wonderful picture of יהושע. The insect ‘coccus ilicis’ is related to the cochineal insect and found on the twigs and branches of evergreen oaks in Southern Europe and North Africa. 

They belong to the family of insects known as Coccidae or Scale-insects. When the female of the species is ready to lay eggs, she attaches her body firmly to the tree. The eggs are laid beneath her body and following the egg laying the insect dies. Thus the eggs are protected by the insects body until the larvae  are hatched. It was from the dead bodies of these insects that the scarlet dyes used in ancient times were extracted. Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

And while scarlet typically refers to blood atonement and sacrifice, we also note how the harlot whore of Baḇelon rides on a scarlet beast and is dressed in purple and scarlet causing many to become drunk on here adulteries and twisted counterfeit teachings!!! We are to be on guard against false messages and be able to rightly divide the Truth, as the enemy certainly tries to mimic the Truth and causes many to fall for her falsehood!

The root word for the cleansing of the leper טָהֵר taher carries at its root meaning what we have described; and in summary – there is only One who can cleanse us and that is Messiah and so as we come before Him and confess our sins to Him, our Head and High Priest, then He lifts us up and delivers and cleanses us from our sin/dirt. 

  reshheytet 

What we can also see being pictured in this root word is the fact that the Blood of Messiah is for all! The clay basket can, in essence, represent the whole basket, meaning the entire body or community. An ĕphah basket would carry 10 omers, and typically as we have seen in Scripture that an omer represents an individual and 10 represents a quorum or whole and therefore an ĕphah basket speaks of the whole house of Yisra’ĕl; and it is by the Blood of Messiah that all who were once far off are now brought near and grafted in to the Covenants of Promise by the Blood of Messiah! There is no other blood that cleanses – only by the blood of the Lamb - יהושע Messiah!

Verse 5 – Bird killed over running water

The word for running here is the Hebrew word חַיִּים ḥayyı̂m meaning ‘life’ from the root word חַי ay – Strong’s H2416 meaning, ‘alive, living, fresh, running, renewed, living thing’. As a verb, this root appears in three stems in Hebrew. The Qal tense conveys the basic meaning “to live or have life” whereas the two derived stems overlap in their meaning of “giving or restoring life.” One of the meanings of the word ḥayyı̂m is ‘endless life’. And so the great picture or foreshadowing of the work of Messiah that we see in this procedure of killing the one bird in an earthen vessel over running water is a clear representation of יהושע Messiah whose blood was shed in ‘an earthen vessel’ – that being His mortal body as the Word became flesh – and over running water pictures for us the purification/cleansing of the House of Yisra’ĕl, and the endless life that He has come to give us – abundant eternal life by the washing of the Word who died for us!!!

What we must guard against is the looking to the ‘letter of the Torah’ only; as we must recognise that the Torah without Messiah contains no life – but it is only in Messiah that true life of the Torah becomes something that can and does sustain us.

 

Tehillah/Psalm 36:9 “For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.

The Hebrew word for fountain is - מָקוֹר maqor – Strong’s H4726 meaning, a spring, fountain and comes from the root - קוּר qur – Strong’s H6979 which means, to dig and we know we are to dig and seek out His kingdom and His righteousness – the question is whether people have found the True well of LIFE and are sitting and learning at it or is it a muddied counterfeit?

With יהוה is the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE!!!

Tehillah/Psalm 68:6 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.

When we come to the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE and gather when we should, as an obedient flock who know His voice, then that Water of Life becomes a fountain in us as our lives are changed and our speech is renewed enabling us to bring life and healing to the nations!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wrong.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:14 “The Torah of the wise is a fountain of life, turning one away from the snares of death.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of יהוה is a fountain of life, to turn away from the snares of death.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:22 “Understanding is a fountain of life to him who has it, But the disciplining of fools is folly.

יהושע is The Living Torah and our source of Life, or rather He is the Life of the Torah - and when we drink of Him – the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE begins to flow out of us as we gain understanding, and walk in the fear of יהוה by walking in the Torah, and our speech becomes a flowing source of life!!!

In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE LIFE! This word - חַי ḥay in the ancient script look like this:

yadchet

et חַ

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall.

Yod – י

The ancient script has this letter as yad which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

From this ancient pictographic lettering of the word for LIFE we are clearly able to see how by the work of Messiah – the outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, we as living stones, are built up in Him as the Dwelling Place of the Living Elohim!

What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master, is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:45-47 “And when Mosheh ended speaking all these words to all Yisra’ĕl, 46 he said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. 47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.

Verse 6 – The Live bird

The priest would then take the live bird, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop and dip them in the blood of the bird that was slain over running water. The two birds being as identical as possible would certainly picture for us the two goats that were brought on the Day of Atonement, where one was for יהוה and the other live goat was sent into the Wilderness to Azazel symbolising the taking away of sin. So now here this live bird would be dipped in the blood with the scarlet die and hyssop plant. The scarlet was possibly used to permanently colour the live bird that would be set free, as the blood of the other bird over time would become darker and possibly even fade, whereas the scarlet dye would permanently mark the live bird showing that atonement had been made!

We also see the picture here that how the blood of bulls and goats could only ‘cover’ until the real Blood of Messiah would come and be shed once for all – His Blood never fades!!!

Verse 7 – Pronounced Clean!

In Mattithyahu/Matthew 8:3 we read of the account where יהושע healed some lepers and told them to go and follow the rest of these instructions that we are reading in this chapter of Wayyiqra/Leviticus 14 and offer the gifts that Mosheh prescribed. What we must note at this point here is that on this account in Mattithyahu/Matthew 8, יהושע could certainly heal them; yet as He was not yet High Priest it was not yet His role to ‘pronounce’ someone clean and so He sent them to go to the priest and He gave them the command “BE cleansed”. After His death and resurrection יהושע became our High Priest in the order of Malkitseḏeq, and when we come to Him and confess our sins, he not only heals us from our iniquities but also ‘pronounces’ us clean as He cleanses us form all unrighteousness!

The sprinkling of 7 times on him who is to be cleansed speaks of a complete cleansing; and so we see how 7 meaning completion or fullness as well as rest, shows how we are fully cleansed by the Blood of Messiah and are now able to enter His rest (His completed work) and continue walking in Him as we continue to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling!

The live bird being let loose in the open field can also be a picture of us, the body of Messiah, who being cleansed and ‘marked’ forever by the Blood of The Lamb must go out into the harvest field and bring in a bountiful harvest of souls to Messiah! In Tehillah/Psalm 51 Dawiḏ prays to be cleansed with hyssop and cries out for restoration and asks that he, in a cleansed state, would be sent to teach sinners the ways of יהוה so that they turn back to יהוה.

Being cleansed and restored carries a great responsibility for us and we recognise our need to call others to repentance as we teach them the ways of יהוה.

Verse 8 – first inspection

Part of the cleansing process required that the one being cleansed would shave off his hair and wash his garments, wash in water and then he would be clean and then be able to come into the camp but stay outside of his tent for 7 days! Here we see a wonderful picture of cleansing oneself and acknowledging who is Master and head of your life. By shaving all the hair off of your head you would be recognising that you have been walking in disobedience to the headship of יהוה and His instructions over your life and show that you strip away all selfishness and pride and is a great picture of putting off that which ruled over us, be it our own attitudes of selfishness and pride or lustful walking in the flesh or even the following of others in the error of their ways! Washing clothes speaks of cleaning up our lives and our daily living ways that are contrary to Torah and putting on clean garments of praise and worship. Defiled or dirty garments are a picture of sin and cleaning one’s garments is also a picture of taking responsibility to go and make right those things that within our ability and power to do; be it restoring broken relationships, paying or restoring back that which was done wrong in the error of our own sinful ways. The washing of water, as we have learned over and over is the picture of the washing of the Word and being immersed in the Word that cleanses and teaches us how to live straight and upright before יהוה. For a sinner coming to repentance of walking in disobedience and falsified worship practices, this cleansing or washing of water can also symbolise the immersion/mikvah into Messiah for a putting off of the old and a putting on the new. In all these shaving and cleansing of clothes and body we see how this shows that we surrender and submit to Messiah our Head and allow His Word to clean us up; and so what we see already being portrayed in this chapter thus far is the simple fact that this very torah of cleansing is very much alive and applicable to us today! This cleansing speaks of a dying to self and a putting away what should not be part of us and being dressed in clean garments of righteousness.

Verse 9 – on the 7th day

Again, we see the instruction to shave, but this time it is all the hair of his body – head, beard, eyebrows – all his hair and wash his garments and body again. This is a picture of a total stripping away, as one has undergone initial repentance and immersion it is clear that as one grows in the Word there is a deeper cleansing and stripping away that tales place as one learns of that which needs to be cleaned up and stripped away and so we see a greater maturing taking place. What is very interesting to note here is that this procedure in verse 9 is the same procedure as for a Nazirite vow, when one who has taken a Nazirite vow finishes his period of separation he would do the same as that which is required by the leper on the 7th day! So, what we see from this is that through this cleansing process and procedure both the leper and the Nazirite and in the ‘same position’ after being ‘separate’ for different reasons!

For one, the Nazirite, for the reason of a vow of separation being set-apart for a particular task for the Kingdom; and for the other, the leper, for being separated and cleansed from selfishness, sin and pride.

Now both are through this process restored to being an ordinary member of the community/body!!! So what we learn from this is that salvation/deliverance does not stop at accepting Messiah as Saviour and Redeemer, but rather calls for a further cleansing and separation for the path to the cleansing of a leper is to become more like a Nazirite, meaning that he is to become one who makes a greater commitment to the Kingdom and becoming totally set-apart; having fully recognised where he was lacking and does something about it in becoming more and more set-apart!

Having to live outside of his tent but still be in the community for 7 days is a picture of ‘complete’ cleansing and witness to all of one’s true repentance. This is a ‘cleansing of the inner parts’ that Dawiḏ refers to in a sense, where everything done in secret will be published on the rooftops and is a reflection of one’s actions living up to the confession of repentance!

I see these two cleansing procedures as a picture of the two comings of Messiah. At His first coming He poured out His life and by His Blood we have access to the body and as High Priest He has pronounced us clean; yet on the 7th day when He comes again will He find a people who are, like the Nazirite, been totally set-apart for the Kingdom? On the 7th day is the final day of our total cleansing in Messiah when our deliverance will be made complete, however if we have not undergone the first cleansing then we are unable to be counted for the 7th day cleansing!

Verse 10 – count the cost

On the 8th day the leper who was cleansed had to take 2 lambs, 1 ewe lamb and three tenths of an ĕphah of flour mixed with oil and a log of oil to the priest. Now even in today’s economy that is an expensive task!!! 8th day speaks of complete and lasting cleansing, which by the Blood of Messiah we have the assurance of eternal/everlasting life!

Being purified is an expensive task and we are told to count/consider the cost. Messiah has paid the price – a price we should not take lightly or push aside but rather be found to be surrendered to Him as Master having become His bondservant, as He paid for our ‘leprosy’ becoming all that was required by Torah for cleansing!

Luqas/Luke 14:33 “So, then, everyone of you who does not give up all that he has, is unable to be My taught one.

The deliverance that He has worked for us came at a price – His own life – and now we are His and therefore we must give up all that we have and follow our Master יהושע, our High Priest!!!

Verse 14 – application of Blood – sets us apart as priests!

In this verse, we see the instruction given for the leper who has been cleansed to have blood put on the tip of his right ear, the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. Now we understand how this process speaks of sanctification and shows how the application of the blood sanctifies his ear for listening that he may begin to clearly hear the Word of Truth with clarity; and the right thumb sanctifies his service – that is his doing of the Word that he is a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only; and the toe of his right foot sanctifies his walk and we are to walk humbly with our Elohim:

Miḵah/Micah 6:8 “He has declared to you, O man, what is good. And what does יהוה require of you but to do right, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?

What does יהוה require of us? Well as we see – that it is to do right, love kindness and walk humbly with our Elohim!

Walk’ in Hebrew is the word הָלַךְ hā∙lǎḵ - Strong’s H1980 meaning, ‘to walk, to live, manner of life, cause to live’ and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life. We are to actively and continually be walking in Messiah, and as Miḵah tells us that we are required to walk ‘humbly’ with Elohim. The root word used here for humble is צָנַע tsana – Strong’s H6800 meaning, ‘to be modest or humble’. In Miḵah/Micah 6:8 it is expressed as follows: וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת ve-ha-ts’nea leḵet’ which literally expresses ‘a making humble to walk’ or ‘showing a humble walk’, again emphasising that our humility is seen in our walk – that is our walk of obedience as we clearly see and understand the words in:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.

The Greek word for ‘walk’ is περιπατέω peripateō – Strong’s G4043 and carries the same meaning and that is, ‘to walk, behaviour, to conduct one’s self, to make one’s way, to tread with the feet, to make one’s life’.  Why all the definitions? To clearly reiterate that to walk as Messiah walked involves action and that action is to be in complete line with His walk and that is a walk of total obedience – the greatest expression of humility!

What is important for us to understand in this application of blood to the right ear, thumb and toe is that the one being cleansed is not only cleansed but is cleansed and lifted up to a place of service!!!

The Hebrew word used here for ‘ear’ is the word אֹזֶן ozen – Strong’s H241 which means, an ear, hear, attentive, closely, recite, reveal and comes from the root verb אָזַן azan – Strong’s H238 which means, to give, ear, listen, pay attention, perceived by ear, and while this also carries the meaning to listen and listen attentively, it literally means to ‘cup the ear’ – in other words give your complete attention and be obedient to take it all in.

The word translated as ‘hand’ is - יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, hand, command, authority, power, tenon, side, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform functions of man’s will.” We understand in the Hebraic mind-set that one’s hand symbolises what one does or one’s ‘works’ and so to extend the hand to יהוה can carry with it a dual purpose of firstly a confession of the wrong works that have been done in disobedience to His commands and at the same time also can render a thanksgiving for us being His workmanship, created in Messiah יהושע unto good works, in restoring to us the ability to walk in and do the good works that were prepared beforehand for us to do! This speaks of an acknowledgement and a total surrender of self in complete submission to guard to do the clear instructions of Elohim as we are guided by His Mighty Right Hand – יהושע, and so in everything we can give thanks as we ‘do’ it in Messiah:

Qolasim/Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.

In all that we do – we do according to His Word and give Him thanks as we confess and surrender our own ways to submit to His!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘foot’ as in ‘right foot’ is רֶגֶלregel’ Strong’s H7272 – means ‘a foot/feet or to walk, and in Scripture this often speaks of one’s obedience to walking according to the commands of יהוה and obeying His call to keep His feasts as commanded; as this same word is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and translated as ‘times’ in reference to the 3 times a year all males were to appear before Elohim at Yerushalayim which would collectively cover all 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of Elohim, marking out the clear need to walk according to His word and guard the Appointed Times or Feasts of יהוה!

The Word teaches us how to walk and guides us in paths of righteousness and helps us in recognising the need to guard and keep His Feasts, as opposed to man-made feasts that are rooted in pagan worship practices!

With the right foot toe the blood of the guilt offering being applied to it we recognise the clear instruction to walk in Messiah and walk as He walked:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.

In understanding that ‘life is in the blood’, we can see how this ‘cleansing of the leper’ shadow pictures our ‘cleansing’ and in Messiah, who by His sinless Blood cleanses our lives causing us to be a ‘hearing, guarding and doing’ people, as a set-apart and royal priesthood!

This procedure of applying the blood was the same procedure for the consecration of the priests into service of The Tabernacle! So, what we see form this is that the leper who is cleansed is cleansed to serve; and as we understand the greater picture here we see that we as a chosen and set-apart royal priesthood have been cleansed to serve as priests before Elohim. The Blood of Messiah sets us apart for service!!! Are you hearing, doing and walking as such?

Verse 15-18 – oil

In the next step, we see that once the leper has had the blood applied to his right ear, thumb and toe, oil is also put on the tip of his right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, with the rest of the oil being put on his head. Not only is the leper cleansed and set-apart for service; he is also anointed to serve. Cleansed and anointed – that is what we are in Messiah!!!

Here we see the two-fold process of our being set-apart in Messiah: First the blood cleanses us and then the Spirit anoints us and teaches us!!!

Tehillah/Psalm 45:7 “You have loved righteousness and hated wrongness; therefore Elohim, your Elohim, has anointed you With the oil of gladness more than your companions.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:20 “And you have an anointing from the Set-apart One, and you know all.

Titos/Titus 3:3-7 “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, led astray, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in evil and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of Elohim our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 He saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His compassion, through the washing of rebirth, and renewal by the Set-apart Spirit, 6 which He poured out on us richly through יהושע Messiah our Saviour, 7 that having been declared right by His favour we should become heirs according to the expectation of everlasting life.

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 1:21-22But He who establishes us with you in Messiah and has anointed us is Elohim, 22 who also sealed us, and gave the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

Verse 19-20 – offerings

The priest then makes the sin offering and then the ascending offering. When asked why in this order or what is the difference between the two; one of the ways to understand it is as follows:

The sin offering deals with how one violated the Torah and the ascending offering is the recognition of what we have done and acknowledge and accept יהושע as King and Redeemer and have done something about our sin and submit every area of our lives to Messiah! יהוה cares about how we relate to one another and how we live according to His Torah; so that we do not make light of His gift of deliverance. Many tend to say they accept יהושע as Master while they continue to sin and live a lawless life before Him. This process of sin offering first then ascending offering is very important and יהושע makes it very clear too when He says:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:23-24 “If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go, first make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

If we do not deal with our sin and confess, we can never truly confess Him as Master of our lives!

We first must come and confess our sin and then offer up our lives as a living sacrifice to Him as we proclaim Him as Master and Sovereign over us!!!

The Hebrew word for ‘the sin offering’ is הַחַטָּאת haḥata’t which comes from the root חַטָּאָה ḥatta’ah – Strong’s H2403. This word is often used to refer to the condition of sin, and appears many times alternating in meaning between sin: the reality of disobedience to יהוה, and sin-offering: the means of removing the guilt and penalty of sin before יהוה through the required sacrifice. When understanding the ‘sin offering’ we can see that the sacrifice removes the guilt, but it does not remove the possibility of repeating the offense! Being disciplined in our thoughts and deeds will keep us from doing sin again and the place to start is confession!

The ‘sin offering’ is made so that the priest can make atonement for the one to be cleansed, after which he slays the ascending offering, which is them offered up with the grain offering.

The Hebrew word for make atonement is כָּפַרkaphar- Strong’s H3722 which means: to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone. As a noun, it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour. It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship. Therefore ‘kaphar’ or atonement means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’! Wow – we are ‘covered’ – Atoned for by His Blood!!!

In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the very word we have been looking at, ‘kaphar’ is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times in the entire book! 39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system where the other times are regulation instructions for the Day – this is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!! By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!

In the ancient script the word כָּפַרkaphar’ is pictured as:

reshpeykaph

Kaphכָּ:

The ancient script for this letter ‘kaph’ is – kaph – and pictures ‘an open palm of a hand’, and can have the meaning of ‘bend, curve’ which is seen in the shape of the hand. It can also be understood to have the meaning of the ability to ‘tame, subdue’, as in the ‘bending of the will’, as an ‘open hand’ signifies ‘submission’.

Peyפַ :

The ancient script for this letter ‘pey’ is – pey – and is pictured as an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can also have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. In representing the mouth it can also picture the lips of a mouth, which are the ‘edges of the mouth’, and can also refer to things with edges, such as a sword or beard!

Reshר :

The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – resh – 

and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.

When we understand these pictures in reference to a ‘covering’ as well as the ability to be afforded security and protection, we are able to see how we, who submit to our Master and Messiah, and acknowledge that He is our Head and chief and that He is the Beginning and the End, realise how by the Word of His mouth, that He has revealed to us in His own flesh, covers us as He has us written in the palm of His Hand, as His treasured possession!

The Hebrew word for ‘ascending offering’ is עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 and means, ‘whole burnt offering, i.e., an offering of the entire part of a sacrifice that was clean and acceptable for sacrifice’.  This עֹלָה olah offering speaks of that which ‘goes up’ or ‘ascends’ and in the essence of these offerings unto יהוה this carries the meaning of, ‘to cause to ascend up to יהוה as a flame and smoke ascent by burning’.

The עֹלָה olah offering symbolises complete dedication and a giving of our all as we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice, so that we can be pleasing in presenting to Him our reasonable worship that is due:

Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.

In the ancient pictographic script the Hebrew word for ‘ascending offering’ - עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 – looks like this:

heylamedayin

Ayin - עֵ:

The original pictograph for this letter is ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.

Lamed - לַ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

Hey – הָ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

When considering the ascending offering and the clear Torah of this offering that requires the fire to never be put out we are able to recognise the clear lesson portrayed in the pictograph rendering of this word עֹלָה olah, which teaches us how we are to have our eyes continually fixed upon our Shepherd who is to be praised!

In terms of the ascending offering, these letters can render the meaning:

LOOKING TO THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO IS TO BE PRAISED

With the eye representing knowledge and experience we can also see how this can render our need to continually experience the staff as we lift our hands in surrendered praise, and this ought to be reflected in our lives being a daily living offering that is well pleasing to our Master and Good Shepherd!

What we see here in the application of this cleansing process is clear: We are cleansed by the Blood of Messiah, as we come before Him and confess our sins; after which we are now enabled and equipped to give Him our all, as the requirement of the ascending offering, which Messiah Himself became for us, causes us to have no excuse but to live as a daily living sacrifice unto Elohim! And this we can do as our ears, hands and feet have been cleansed and set-apart for service unto Him as a royal priesthood!

 What is worth taking note of here is that the ascending offering is offered with the grain offering!!!

The grain offering in the Hebrew is known as מִנְחָה minḥah – Strong’s H4503 and means, ‘a gift, tribute, meal offering, present. This is a picture of something that a bride brings to please her husband! There is no blood in this offering and therefore does not represent atonement for sin, however it does still represent the one bringing it and is symbolic of the work of our hands, as it is prepared by the one bringing the offering. Once we accept the atoning work of Messiah, we must not stop there, but must rather continue daily in bringing Him our all as we recognise clearly that what we do daily does count. This offering was brought with fine flour, oil and frankincense, and the priests would take from his hand filled with fine flour and oil and all the frankincense a remembrance portion and burn it on the slaughter place as an offering made by fire, a sweet fragrance to יהוה.

The grain offering also represents community and the reality that we are all part of the body of Messiah, and are therefore called to walk in unity with one another and not neglect our duties, responsibilities and service toward one another, as we love complete set-apart lives!

In the ancient Hebrew script the word מִנְחָה minḥah is pictured as:

heychetnunmem

The letters are, from right to left, ‘mem, nun, ḥet, hey’:

The ‘memמִ -  mem    is pictured as water;

The ‘nunנְ -      nun     is pictured as a sprouting seed;

The ‘ḥetחָ -  chet        is pictured as a tent wall;

They ‘heyה - hey       is pictured as a man with his arms raised.

As we look at this word in the understanding of a gift offering or tribute, we can see how this can represent our joy in bringing our lives daily before our Master and Redeemer, as a daily living sacrifice; for here in the ancient script we can see by this word the truth of how we, who are immersed in Messiah, having died to self, and are raised to new life in Him to become a part of His body, His Tabernacle as pictured by the tent wall, in order to offer up the daily praise due to His Name!!!

Verses 21-32 deal with the leper who is poor and unable to afford all the requirements for cleansing. What is noted and is very important for us here is that no matter how poor a leper was he would still have to take a lamb as a guilt offering and one tenth of an ĕphah for a grain offering and a log of oil. This is absolutely critical for us to see that no matter how poor you are – the Lamb and bread and oil is still required. There is no other way to be cleansed other than by the acceptance of the Sacrifice of Messiah. The Lamb and the omer of bread picture Messiah; as both the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world and the Bread of Life; and the oil speaks of His sealing us with His spirit.

In other offerings such as a dedication of a male or female child if one was poor they could bring two birds; but here in the Torah of cleansing from leprosy a lamb was still required. Salvation/Deliverance comes at a price – for which יהושע paid the full price and there is no other that can save!!! One’s circumstances does not dictate another approach to accepting and receiving the gift of salvation/deliverance as there is only one way – Messiah is the Way, the Truth and the Life and this clear passage confirms this that even the poor had to ‘count the cost’.

What is also worthy of taking note of is that the application of the blood first and then the oil on the ear, thumb and toe shows how, as we have already said – first cleansing and then anointing (sealing). You cannot get the oil first and then the blood – the blood would not stick so to speak, whereas when the oil is placed over the blood it seals in the blood. Many today claim to be filled with ‘a spirit’ while not having accepted the True Blood of Messiah and this can only mean that they are in fact filled with a false spirit or anointing!

The House

The next section in this chapter deals with leprosy in a house as it moves from the individual to the house and this is a great picture for us for today too; as we can clearly see that the House of Elohim is made up of living stones being built together. First the individual gets cleaned up and then becomes part of the House built up in Messiah and so now we take a look at when there is leprosy in the House, speaking of when one or more of the Living Stones have become corrupted by sin.

The Hebrew word for ‘house’ is בַּיִת Bĕyth – Strong’s H1004 meaning, house, armoury, building’.

In the ancient pictographic script בַּיִת Bĕyth looks like:

tawyadbeit

Bĕyth:

-          בֵּ – This is the letter ‘beyt’, which in the ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.

-          י – This is the letter ‘yod’, which in the ancient script is pictured as yad - ‘arm and hand’, and the meaning of this letter is to work, make, throw – the functions of the hand and arm and well as the gestures of the hand – ‘thanksgiving’, and also pictures for us the ‘outstretched Arm and hand of Elohim’.

-          ת – this letter is called ‘taw (tav)’ and the ancient form of this letter is taw - meaning two crossed sticks. It was a type of a mark as being displayed by two crossed sticks and has the meaning of mark, sign or signature or identification, used as a marker to identify people, places or things. It can also carry the meaning of ‘seal’ or ‘covenant’.

In the context of us being a House of living stones built up in Messiah, we recognise how we are to ‘keep our house clean’, as this House that יהוה is building, is according to His design and ‘tent floor plan’, which he does through His ‘outstretched Arm and Hand’, as it is through his Atoning work in His own Blood that He is able to bring the two sticks (Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl) together, in the Renewed Covenant in His Blood, and seal us with his Spirit as a sure pledge of our inheritance. It is יהוה who builds His House, and it is He who cleanses out that which does not belong!

Tehillah/Psalm 127:1 “If יהוה does not build the house, its builders have laboured in vain. If יהוה does not guard the city, the watchman has stayed awake in vain.

This Torah of leprosy of a house teaches us to make sure that we are not laboring in vain, but are rather always excelling in the work of our Master:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Master, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Master.

Verse 34יהוה makes it clear that He is the one who puts a plague of leprosy in a house!!! The nations who occupied the land did not necessarily cause leprosy in a house, but rather it would be the result of disobedience by Yisra’ĕl once in the Land and so we see the need to ‘keep our House clean’!

The leprosy put there by יהוה is certainly not something that He does for fun, but rather He does it in order to teach us something that we need to learn. After having been accustomed to living in tents, when they would settle in the Promised Land and live in houses the did not build, there was a responsibility to keep the house clean and if there was any sign of leprosy in the house (mildew) then certain steps had to be followed.

4 – step Summary of the torah of the house with leprosy:

Step 1 – The owner of the house, after seeing a leprosy in the house (plague/mildew) breaking out, he would come to the priest and confess the problem of the spreading plague; and he could in no way attempt to hide or ignore the problem but rather had to admit it.

Step 2 - the house was to be emptied and anything that would encourage further growth was to be taken out and put out of the city and taken to an unclean place.

Step 3 – The problem was to be treated by repair and replacement. After the inspection by the priest, the infected stones were to be removed and the walls scraped down clean and the removed stones and scraping were to also be and plaster spread over them.

Step 4 – After this the house would again be inspected by the priest and would be in a sense ‘purified’ or cleansed if the problem of leprosy was resolved. If the leprosy was still in the house then the house would be broken down, and all its stones, timber, and plaster would be taken to an unclean place outside the city. If the leprosy had been cured and there was no further growth, then the cleansing of the house would take place and the same procedure as described earlier in this chapter in regards to a leper would be performed by taking 2 clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop and the house would be cleansed in the same manner as the one bird would be slain in an earthen vessel over running water and all the other elements would be dipped in the blood of the slain bird and the house sprinkled 7 times and the live bird let loose in the field and the house pronounced clean by the priest.

What lessons can we take form the torah of the house with leprosy?

Well firstly we know that in Scripture the word ‘house’ is often used to describe more than a physical house.

 

1 - It is used to describe a nation:

Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 7:3 “And Shemuʼĕl spoke to all the house of Yisra’ĕl, saying, “If you return to יהוה with all your hearts, then put away the foreign mighty ones and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts for יהוה, and serve Him only, so that He delivers you from the hand of the Philistines.

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 4:6 “And when you have completed them, you shall lie again on your right side and shall bear the crookedness of the house of Yehuḏah forty days, a day for a year. I have laid on you a day for a year.

 

2 – it is used to describe a family:

Ma’asei/Acts 18:7 “And having left there he came to the house of a certain man named Justus, who worshipped Elohim, whose house was next to the congregation.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:7 “By belief, Noaḥ, having been warned of what was yet unseen, having feared, prepared an ark to save his house, through which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to belief.

 

3 – It is used to describe the assembly of believers – the body of Messiah:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:14-15 “I am writing you this, expecting to come to you shortly, 15 but if I delay, that you might know how you should behave in the House of Elohim, which is the assembly of the living Elohim – a strong support and foundation of the truth.

 

In Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10 we see that the House of Elohim has a High priest over it – יהושע Messiah:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10: 19-22 “So, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Set-apart Place by the blood of יהושע, 20 by a new and living way which He instituted for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the House of Elohim, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.

 

The House of Elohim has a High Priest and the One who is able and worthy to inspect and cleanse and pronounce clean that which is defiled!

In Scripture, we are also told that we are ‘living stones’ being built up as a spiritual house of Elohim:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2: 4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.

 

Now when we read in this Torah portion that Elohim is greatly concerned with the cleanliness of the House, then we must understand that he will not tolerate any leprosy, that is sin/lawlessness, in His House – that is us being built together in Messiah!

Within the greater body of Messiah there is ‘leprosy’ in the House and by inspection of the High priest, many stones may be removed due to their sin and lawless living! Sha’ul echoes the seriousness of maintaining a clean house when he instructs that the ‘immoral brother be removed:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:9-13 “I wrote to you in my letter not to keep company with those who whore. 10 And I certainly did not mean with those of this world who whore, or with the greedy of gain, or swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone called ‘a brother,’ if he is one who whores, or greedy of gain, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But Elohim judges those who are outside. And put away the wicked one from among you!

What is very interesting about the whole of Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5 is that the language Sha’ul is speaking of is centred around the Pěsaḥ/Passover and Matzot/Unleavened Bread Feast, and as we know that no unclean person/foreigner may partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal, and understanding then that this is the feast that is twice described as being the sign on our hands and foreheads, we see that no unclean person shall enter in to the House of Elohim and shall be plucked up and thrown out in to an unclean place, unless the defiled one repents and is cleansed by the Blood of Messiah and grafted back in to the Covenants of Promise.

The root word for ‘remove’ in verse 40 is חָלַץ ḥalats – Strong’s H2502 and means, ‘to draw out, plunder, remove, tear out’. And so what we see here is that ‘removed stones’ are like branches that are ‘cut off’ from the olive tree and replaced by engrafted ones; and being taken outside of the city to an unclean place is a picture of the "outer darkness" in the kingdom, where there is a weeping and gnashing of teeth that shall be heard as those who are pulled out and removed, will be in remorse for what they never made right in this age as they stand before the Judgement seat of Messiah – the priest who pronounces clean or unclean!

Verse 41 speaks of the need to scrape inside and all around the infected area and remove all the dust of the scrapings – this is a picture of cleaning out the leaven from our homes and how we are to make sure all leaven is out. Each year we do this before Matzot and ‘clean house’ so to speak as we even remove the crumbs from the toaster and this is a lesson in inspecting our lives and getting rid of sin and lawlessness as we come before our High Priest, the Passover Lamb and allow ourselves to be inspected by the Living Word and remove that which should not be!

A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatiyim/Galatians 5:9)!!!

יהושע told His disciples to beware of the yeast/leaven of the Pharisees and was speaking about their twisted and false doctrines of tradition based laws that burden and break down rather than build up the body!

They had made longs lists of do’s and don’ts that made it very hard to actually walk in the Torah of Freedom – they added to the Torah, and in so doing they added their ‘leaven’ or yeast to it and taught it as biding law.

Their teachings and doctrines were like yeast that works in slowly and secretly. Sin/Lawlessness is like tooth decay – it may go unnoticed at first, but if not treated will result in a rotten tooth that causes discomfort and pain and robs one of joy and pleasure!

One of the clear dangers we must guard against is the yeast of rabbinic teachings that claim to explain the Torah in a mystical way – this will only bring in a bad yeast that will cause a ‘puffing up’ and will cause a House to be simply filled with nothing but ‘hot air’ and lack the true simplicity of the Torah of Freedom!

Please see the sermon notes on a message called, EXTERMINATE THE LEAVEN AND NEVER LACK SALT!’ from our website (http://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2014 /2015 menu or by simply clicking the following link:

http://atfotc.com/~atfotc/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2014-2015/544-exterminate-the-leaven-and-never-lack-salt-a-brief-look-at-the-feast-of-unleavened-bread

Plastering only allowed once!

When new stones were put in the place of the old infected ones that were taken out, new plaster and mortar was used. Plastering for an infected house was only allowed to be done once and here we see the clear picture of how, as we read in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews, that the blood of bulls and goats could never fully remove the sin but only ‘atone’ or ‘kaphar’ – that is cover over for a short time until the real and true atoning Blood of Messiah came to bring everlasting deliverance and cleansing, once for all. If the House that was plastered after an infection did not heal, it was torn down.

We also see the reality of this in the account of the fruitless tree that was also given a second chance so to speak in:

Luqas/Luke 13:6-9 “And He spoke this parable, “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 “And he said to the gardener, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down, why does it even make the ground useless?’ 8 “And he answering, said to him, ‘Master, leave it this year too, until I dig around it and throw manure. 9 ‘And if indeed it bears fruit, good. But if not so, you shall cut it down.’

Here we see that after the first inspection it was given another chance and if no fruit was found after it had been cultivated for a year it would be cut down. As mentioned earlier, the first coming of Messiah has brought about His first inspection and when He comes again He shall inspect His House and the leprosy (those infected stones) shall be removed!!!

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:5 “So remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else I shall come to you speedily and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

This verse is self-explanatory in light of what we have been discussing – get cleaned up or your out, and risk the light of Messiah in you being removed!!! This was the warning given to the assembly in Ephesos, who had lost their first love – and that is a reality of the picture of those who have lost their ability to walk in the Torah of Elohim as love for Him is to guard His commands which are not heavy. And so what we see today is the urgent need for many to repent and return to walking in the Torah so that the House can get cleansed up by the Blood of Messiah and be pronounced clean on that Day!!!

What we need to realise is that we all are part of the House, and as stated already, the Torah of cleansing from leprosy speaks of the individual first and then the House, We have an individual responsibility to ensure that our lives are being cleaned up from any leprosy/sin/lawlessness and then by His Blood be grafted in the His House where we each do our part and not be found to be one that has allowed leprosy to set in as those who have come to the knowledge of Messiah, been cleaned up and grafted in and return to lawless ways will be plucked up and thrown out:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10: 23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy. 24 And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near. 26 For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins, 27 but some fearsome anticipation of judgment, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents.

We are the Temple/Dwelling Place of Elohim and as long as there are things among יהוה’s people that is not of יהוה then there is צָרַעַת tsara’ath – ‘leprosy’ in His House which must get cleaned up before He returns to once again inspect, and each of us are responsible to ensure that the House gets cleaned up and stays clean as we work out our deliverance with fear and trembling and urge one another on to good works and not forsake the assembling as a House in obedience to His Torah!

And so, when understanding the Torah of cleansing of leprosy we see that this clearly applies to us as we have a High Priest to whom we come to be inspected and repent and confess our sin/lawlessness or rather leprous acts to Him and allow His Blood to cleanse us form all unrighteousness, being pronounced clean by the only High Priest who can,  יהושע – praise His Name and let us be reminded to get clean if need be and stay clean!

CHAPTER 15

Discharges that cause uncleanness!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:16 “Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.

Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life – these are not from the Father and these things can cause uncleanness!

In this chapter 15 of Wayyiqra/Leviticus we see the Torah of the one who has a discharge, one who emits semen and the woman who is sick in her monthly separation. All of these would render the person unclean and the process of being cleansed we again see that through the Blood of Messiah we find our cleansing and are set-apart so that we do not defile the Dwelling Place of Elohim, which we are!

A key word in this chapter that is used 24 times is the word ‘discharge’ or also translated in other translations as ‘issue’, is the Hebrew root word זוּב zuḇ – Strong’s H2100 meaning, ‘to flow, gush, discharge, issue’ and the basic idea is a movement of liquid, flowing from one location to another. This word is used to describe the land ‘flowing’ with milk and honey; it is also used in reference to the water that ‘gushed’ out of the Rock in The Wilderness; and here we see the reference to the intensity of a discharge or flowing from the body which pictures for us that which comes forth in an unclean manner. Whether the discharge comes spewing out or just causes a swelling (like a boil or pus-filled pimple) because it has come to the surface but not come out, there is something hidden beneath the flesh that we or others will eventually encounter. Either way it causes trouble, so we must deal with it. This physical ailment is not nearly as harmful as what it pictures for us metaphorically; for example, when we find ourselves saying things that are of no profit or spreading things to people who have no reason to know, we may be in a manner of speaking having an ‘unclean discharge’.

 

Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:2-6 “For we all stumble in many matters. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the entire body. 3 Look, we put bits in the mouths of horses, for them to obey us, and we turn their body. 4 Look at the ships too: although they are so big and are driven by strong winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot intends. 5 So too the tongue is a little member, yet boasts greatly. See how a little fire kindles a great forest! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the world of unrighteousness. Among our members the tongue is set, the one defiling the entire body, and setting on fire the wheel of life, and it is set on fire by Gehenna.

Our tongue can be guide or misguide our lives on a daily basis. That which we have stored up inside of us will come out as we speak and express ourselves; and so we are to guard our lips at all costs making sure that what comes out is pure and clean and in no way and unclean discharge!

 

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge good, but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.

In speaking of his enemies, Dawiḏ says in:

Tehillah/Psalm 59:7 “See, they belch out with their mouth, swords are in their lips, for who is listening?

The words of Messiah in speaking to the Pharisees said:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:34-37 “Brood of adders! How are you able to speak what is good – being wicked? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. 35 “The good man brings forth what is good from the good treasures of his heart, and the wicked man brings forth what is wicked from the wicked treasure. 36 “And I say to you that for every idle word men speak, they shall give an account of it in the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you shall be declared righteous, and by your words you shall be declared unrighteous.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:28 “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wrong pours out evil.

Unforgiveness, gossip and slander are the enemy’s tools. Satan’s name means slanderer and accuser of the brethren. If we gossip, slander or argue and in the process cause disagreements and dissension, what does this say about us? We not only contaminate ourselves but others at the same time. In so doing we actually speak for Satan; where we are called to be ambassadors of Messiah and have living waters flowing from within and having praise burst forth from our lips!

I truly feel that the great lesson we can take from the unclean discharge is a warning we must heed to watch what we say and think before we speak; as what we see all too often is how many of us speak too quickly without thinking and in the process ramble on if given half a chance and end up saying things we regret and need to get cleaned up. Not all are lepers, but all of us do have some nasty ‘discharges’ from time to time that may cause us to be defiled and risk defiling others in the process.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, transgression is not absent, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

A ‘free flow of words’ can often be words that defile, revealing the overflow of a defiled heart!

Here in verse 2 we are told that a man who has a ‘discharge’ from his flesh is ‘unclean’. The Hebrew word translated as ‘unclean’ is טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2931 meaning, unclean, defiled and comes from the verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure and when written in the ‘piel form’ which expresses an “intensive” or “intentional” action, it can render the following meaning, to defile: sexually, religiously, or ceremonially; to pronounce or declare unclean; profane the Name of Elohim.

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘unclean’ is ἀκάθαρτος akathartos – Strong’s G169 which means, unclean, impure, and we are told to not ‘touch’ that which is unclean but come out and be separate:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.

An adjective derived from this word is the Greek word ἀκαθαρσία akatharsia – Strong’s G167 which means, uncleanness, impurity – physically and in the moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant and self-indulgent living; which we are told should not even be named among us:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:3 “But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.

In verse 3 we see that one’s flesh can also be ‘stopped up’ by his discharge and what we can learn from this is how many times we see that people build up a lot of anger and hatred and bitterness inside as a result of harbouring unforgiveness and left alone can fester a discharge that is stopped up, ready to explode in a very inappropriate manner! Being stopped up in the flesh can also speak of holding back from or failing to reprove or rebuke a brother when necessary. What happens is that the ‘flow’ of communication with יהוה and others gets ‘stopped up’ and may just eventually burst in a very unclean way! We are to take note of what may be ‘building up’ or ‘stopping up’ inside of us and ensure that we keep our lives free from possible unclean discharges that will defile not only ourselves but possibly others too! Silence can often affect others more than what words can, and how true it is that it is so sad when people who have an issue or ‘discharge’ that needs to be cleansed simply do not speak and reconcile, but rather refuse to communicate making matters exceedingly worse and then Messiah clearly warns us that we cannot offer our gift at the altar if the is an un-dealt with issue or a harbouring of a stopped up ‘discharge’ with another!

Being affected when touching a bed of one who has a discharge or sitting on a chair they sat on or touching the one who is unclean, speaks of the clear lesson for us in that when we are closely connected with one who is unclean; be it our spouse, or friends and colleagues or even the company we find ourselves in at work we will be affected!!!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.

In verse 4 the Hebrew word translated as ‘lies’ is שָׁכַב shaḵaḇ – Strong’s H7901 which means, to lie down, lie on (as in sexual relations); lie down in death, and what we can learn from this is the picture of becoming unclean through sexual relations with one who has a discharge!

Touching the chair where the unclean one sat did not render you unclean, but rather only when you actually sat where they sat! This speaks of when we take the same view or opinion as the wrong one and are in agreement with their wicked and wrong ways or words; when clearly we are told that blessed is the man who does not sit in the seat of scoffers!!!

Tehillah/Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers

The Hebrew word translated as ‘sits’ in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 15:4 is - יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 meaning, sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still’, and a modern word derived from this word which is translated as school is ‘yeshiva’.

And ‘sitting’ in the Hebraic min-set is an idiom for learning; and it is at the Master’s Feet that we come and sit and drink of His Pure and Clear Living Water and get great clarity and insight and strength to sojourn with joy! The idea of sitting in the Hebrew mind-set here is to learn, and not to simply sit and vegetate but rather sit and pay attention to the instructions of their teacher. What we can learn from this passage in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 15 is very clear – we are not to ‘abide in’ or subject ourselves to learning unclean ways, and we should not sit under the uncleanness of rebellion and lawless teachings, for by doing so we too shall become unclean!

In verse 5 the root word for touch/touches is נָגַע naga – Strong’s H5060 and means, ‘to touch, strike, reach, cause to touch, join’ and is also translated as, ‘lay a hand upon’ as a euphemism for ‘lying with a woman’, which carries greater meaning than a simple accidental ‘touch’. It bears the meaning of actually stretching forth one’s hand to engage in interaction with the object. This speaks of actively engaging in that which is unclean, which is not fitting for a set-apart believer!

When one became unclean through contact with the one who had a discharge, a simple brushing of the clothes was not enough – you had to wash, and once again the warning for us here is that we must not just simply ‘brush off’ our association with compromise but rather repent and be cleansed through the washing of the Living Water of the Word!

We are also to be on our guard against what others may leave behind in their uncleanness – by that I mean we should also be careful not to attach ourselves to simple rumours that may become more and more unclean and poisonous when spread further; and we also must be on our guard not to leave behind bad attitudes when leaving a room or company of people – do not leave on a bad note as they say and carries a lot of sense, for if you do the effect of it can be damaging to many!

In verse 13 we see that the one who has ‘washed’ himself from his discharge must count off 7 days and wash again in running water. The word used here for running is חַי ḥay- Strong’s H2416 as we have discussed in the previous chapter on verse 5 speaks of life and the giving of life and so we see the clear picture of being cleansed in the life-giving water – that is the Word made flesh – by the Blood of Messiah! But it is on the 7th day that He is to bath in running water and I see a wonderful picture of how we are to bath continually in the water of the Word, yet when Messiah comes on the 7th day our cleansing shall be made complete.

On the 8th day he still must bring to the priest the sin and ascending offering for the priest to make atonement for him, and here we see a wonderful picture of the complete work of Messiah that will be completed in us when He returns and He satisfies the fullness of the Appointed Times giving us eternity with Him!

In verse 16-18 in regards to the emission of semen, one must understand that proper intercourse with one’s spouse does not result in one becoming a sinner or that one commits an act of sin; on the contrary this is an act given by Elohim for intimacy between a husband and a wife and this uncleanness is not speaking of becoming morally unclean but rather ceremonially unclean and no sacrifice was necessary but only a washing was required, and this Torah encourages the husband and wife to spend the time of intimacy together beyond the physical and so prohibited them from engaging in Temple duty for that day.

Verse 19-30 – Separation – Niddah

Whenever a woman goes through her monthly menstrual cycle she is to be in the time of her separation for 7 days. This is her normal menstrual period. Again, there is a death of her egg, as well as the impurity of shed blood. A potential pregnancy has passed away. But there is more emphasis on her being set apart unto יהוה than on her being unclean per se. This is also a ‘cleaning time’ for her body and anyone who would engage physically with her would become unclean. There is a discipline expected here as she is not affected by another touching her during her flow of blood. What we must realise here is that this is not a law of isolating a woman from all contact, for if she ‘touched’ her children they would not be made unclean and to consider keeping a woman’s children away from her for 7 days would be unrealistic and a huge burden. What we must understand from this law of Niddah (separation) is that it primarily has to do with not engaging in any sexual intercourse or else it would render the other unclean.

Two realms are in the woman’s monthly flow. Life and death. This time is called niddah in Hebrew- נִדָּה niddah – Strong’s H5079 meaning, ‘separation, isolation, uncleanness, menstruation, unclean, impurity, filthiness’.

יהוה says that the woman is to be separated from intimate relations with her husband for a full seven days during this time. This separation is as much for the man as it is for the woman and carries prophetic imagery of the millennial Kingdom as seven days also represents 7000 years. Honouring the woman during her week is very important while she dedicates her separation time to יהוה. This is not legalism, for salvation or man’s teaching, but a commandment from יהוה for our health and blessing. Just as we learned about clean and unclean foods, the niddah time has a clean and unclean side to it also. The blood carries life-giving properties to the womb and also flushes out the woman’s egg which if it is not fertilized, has died.

The woman’s monthly flow is that flushing and cleansing process to keep the reproductive system clean and healthy. יהוה commands the man and woman not to have marital relations during the seven days of cleansing. It is a consecration time. In marriage, if this process is violated it can lead to contamination that can spread not only through the woman’s reproductive system but into the man’s reproductive system as well. Breaking this commandment may result in such diseases as ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.

Once again, we see the clear warning given to anyone who touches or lies with a woman during here time of separation! The Hebrew word for ‘touches’ is verse 19 is נָגַע naga – Strong’s H5060, and the word for ‘lies’ in verse 20 is שָׁכַב shaḵaḇ – Strong’s H7901, as already discussed above! 

Normal menstrual cycle versus abnormal blood flow!

As we have considered the verses from 19-30, we need to make it very clear the obvious distinction that is made between the discharge a woman has in her normal monthly menstrual cycle versus an abnormal flow of blood that occurs outside of her normal cycle. In verse 19 it is very clear that when a woman has a discharge of blood, she has to be in her separation for 7 days, and on the 8th day she is no longer ‘separated’, meaning that her husband is now free to engage sexually with her! In verses 25-29 we are then given the torah for a woman who has a discharge of blood that occurs outside of her normal monthly cycle. In the event that a woman has a flow of blood that happens outside of her regular cycle, she is deemed unclean and on the day that the flow of blood stops (no matter how long the bleeding lasts), she then has to count 7 days, after which she will then be clean. During these days of the abnormal blood flow, she will be in the state of one who is during her time of separation. That means that no man may engage sexually with her during her time of abnormal flow! After an abnormal flow of blood, a further 7 days of cleansing are needed, which tells us that a man cannot engage sexually with her until the 7 days of cleansing are completed!

While this may sound confusing, it is actually very simple! What has made the understanding of these verse difficult to interpret is the centuries of Rabbinic traditions that have been enforced, and by Rabbinic tradition they claim that a woman remains in her separations for a minimum of 12-14 days each month, as they teach that a woman must also count 7 clean days after here regular monthly cycle stops, which is not what this Torah teaches us!!!

They claim that some woman can have a monthly flow of 5 days and then they need to add the 7 clean days, rendering the Rabbinic law that says a husband and wife may not have any sexual intimacy for 12-14 days per month! Here the Torah is clear – for a normal monthly menstrual cycle or flow of blood for a woman, she has to be in her separation for 7 days, even if her flow only lasted 5 days – she remains 7 days in her separation!

Some may argue that it is ok to have sex with a woman before the 7 days of here separation have ended as they think that they are only ‘unclean until evening’, yet the following verse makes it very clear to us:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 18:19 “And do not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness in her monthly separation of uncleanness.

The command is clear – do not go to a woman to uncover her nakedness, in other words to have sex with her, in her monthly separation (of 7 days)!!!

If a woman’s flow continues past the normal period of separation of 7 days, then this is deemed as an abnormal flow, and when the flow stops she is to count for herself 7 days after which she will be cleansed!

The purpose for me emphasising these details regarding the ‘niddah’ of a woman in her monthly flow, is to nullify any erroneous teaching that prohibits a man and wife to have sexual intimacy for 2 weeks of the month, but that the clear command that is given tells us that under normal cycles a man and women would not be permitted sexual intercourse for 7 days a month! An abnormal flow of blood could vary in the length of days, and some could have an abnormal flow for days, month and even years. In the event of an abnormal discharge of blood, sexual intimacy would only be able to resume 7 days after the abnormal discharge has ended! The other time a woman is to remain in the time of here ‘separation’ or ‘niddah’ is after child birth, as discussed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 12, where she remains in her separation for 40 for a male child and 80 days for a female child.

In Luqas/Luke 8:43-48 we are given the account of the woman who had an issue/discharge of blood for 12 years and how she risked her life in pressing through the crowds and touched the tzitzit of יהושע and thus being healed of her flow:

And a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who, having spent all her livelihood on physicians, was unable to be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the tzitzit of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. 45 And יהושע said, “Who touched Me?” And when all denied it, Kěpha and those with him said, “Master, the crowds throng You and press upon You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 46 But יהושע said, “Somebody did touch Me, for I knew power went out from Me.” 47 And the woman, seeing that she was not hidden, came trembling, and falling down before Him she declared to Him in the presence of all the people why she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. 48 And He said to her, “Take courage, daughter, your belief has healed you. Go in peace.

 

This is a wonderful lesson and picture for us of how יהושע, our High Priest heals and cleanses us from all discharges, and just as the separation is for 7 days we see that on the 7th day (7th Millennium) we, The Bride, will be presented ‘cleansed’ from all discharges and ready for our Bridegroom!

Many have tried to argue that this desperate woman who had an abnormal flow of blood for 12 years caused Messiah to become unclean by her touching Him, yet this is not the case. יהושע Messiah is the Set-Apart One, and when we study the entire Tabernacle and its design and function we are able to see how each set-apart object pictures the complete set-apartness of Him who sets us apart in His own blood.

Shemoth/Exodus 30:29 “And you shall set them apart, and they shall be most set-apart. Whatever touches them is to be set-apart.

This was in regard to all the parts of the Tent of Meeting, the Ark of the witness, the lampstand, the showbread table, the altar of incense, the slaughter place, the wash basin and all the utensils. This woman touched the Anointed and was ‘set-apart’ and made clean!

In our desperation to be set-apart, we too need to come with great urgency and ‘touch’ the tzitzit of the garments of our Redeemer and King, and by ‘touching’ I mean ‘clinging’ to His commands and walking wholeheartedly in them, for then we too shall be set-apart and He is set-apart, ready to be completed cleansed on the 7th day (7th Millennium) when he comes for His ready set-apart Bride, who has cleansed herself in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love!

Cleansed and Set-Apart!!! Are you living like it?

Shalom!