WAYYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 16:1-18:30 - AḤAREI MOTH – ‘AFTER THE DEATH’

This portion is called “אַחֲרֵי מוֹת” ‘aḥarei moth’ – from the two root words: 1) אַחַר aḥar – Strong’s H310 which means, the hind or following part, afterwards, subsequent and  comes from the root אָחַר aḥar – Strong’s H309 which means, to remain behind, tarry, delay, defer, slack, hesitate, and 2) מָוֶת maveth – Strong’s H4194 which means, death, plague and comes from the root verb מוּת muth – Strong’s H4191 which means, to die, bring about my death, put to death. Therefore we see this portion beginning with the events that took place ‘after the death

– the death of the two sons of Aharon, Naḏab and Aḇihu, who brought strange fire before יהוה and were consumed by fire.

What is interesting to take note of here is the fact that there are 5 chapters in between the events that took place in Chapter 10 where the two sons of Aharon were killed and this chapter, where it says clearly that יהוה spoke to Mosheh after the death of the two sons of Aharon! What is clear, as you see and understand the contents of Chapters 11 to 15, as speaking of the dietary and purity laws, we recognise our need to be set-apart, as יהוה is set-apart, and learn from the error of Naḏab and Aḇihu. We therefore are able to learn how we are to be and how we are not to be, which is even to be reflected in us, right down to what we eat – we are not to be like ‘pigs’ to one another, that simply bit and devour one another until there is nothing left of us; but rather we are to be sure-footed and able to handle rightly the Word of Truth and love one another as self! We are to be like the animals we can eat, which process what they take in on different levels, then use it to feed others, just as El Shaddai (the all-sufficient One) nourishes us.

Clearly we see that יהוה makes it loud and obvious that He does not want us to worship and live the way the other nations live, and so the process of separation is made very clear in the 5 chapters leading up to this one. Come out and be separate!!!  The preceding chapters before this one shows us clearly the Torah regarding the correct manner and state one is to be in in order to be able to come near or approach יהוה. And so while it may seem odd that 5 chapters are given before this, it is a lesson for us to clearly learn how we are NOT to approach יהוה and be found being consumed in His wrath, but rather we are to ensure that we follow His prescribed manner of approaching Him and ensure that we are in a set-apart cleansed state, so that we are able to come before Him as pleasing and acceptable in His sight!

And while the protocols for drawing near have been clearly laid out for the congregation of Yisra’ĕl, now we are given the instructions for Aharon, the high priest, in how He was to approach יהוה; and just as the preceding 3 chapters have shown how others may not the Tabernacle/Temple/Dwelling Place in an improper way, now we also see that Aharon too may not enter improperly, but is given clear and strict instructions as to how he was to enter and serve in the Dwelling Place. This shadow pictures for us the work of Messiah, our High Priest, who fully met all these prescribed requirements of the Torah, allowing us the freedom to come boldly to the Throne of Elohim through the Blood of Messiah!

Verse 2 – 4 – Aharon was not allowed to enter behind the veil at all times, or else he would die. He was then instructed as to how he would be able to enter – by the blood of a young bull and a ram! He would have to put on the set-apart garments of service that were set-apart for this purpose.

What we need to take careful note of here is that this entire chapter contains the instructions given to Aharon in regards to how he was to enter in to the Most Set-Apart Place, only once a year on the Day of Yom Kippur, in order to make atonement for himself and the people. All of this shadows the wonderful work of Messiah fulfilling these tasks and how he will fully complete this work in atoning for the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl at His second coming when he comes out of the Most Set-Apart Place on this Day of Yom Kippur.  

Aharon was not allowed to come in at all times to the Set-Apart Place inside the ‘veil’. The Hebrew root word translated here as ‘veil’ is פָּרֹכֶת paroḵeth – Strong’s H6532 which means, curtain, veil, and as we study further these proceedings, we are farther able to see the great work of our Master, redeemer, High Priest and King, in that we are able to come boldly into the Set-Apart Place, for Messiah made a new and living way for us through His flesh:

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 Greek word for ‘veil’ is καταπέτασμα katapetasma – Strong’s G2665 meaning, to spread out (a curtain), a curtain (the inner veil of theTabernacle), and this is the word used in the LXX (Spetuagint – Greek Translation of the Tanak)) here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:2.

What we also see from this, on an individual basis, is that we who are ‘in’ Messiah now have access to the throne of Elohim each and every day, as the veil was torn at the death of Messiah and by His Blood He has satisfied the requirements of this Torah of entering in to the presence of Elohim, giving us – His Body – access to the Most set-apart place.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, יהושע the Son of Elohim, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who was tried in all respects as we are, apart from sin. 16 Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of favour, in order to receive compassion, and find favour for timely help.

This chapter is often greatly misunderstood by so many as they fail to see the fullness of the perfect shadow picture of the Good things to come in that it is on this day of Yom Kippur that we shall see יהושע coming for His Bride. It is on Yom Teruah (trumpets) that the sounding of the alarm and the Trumpets will greatly resound and we will see the wrath of Elohim being poured out upon the nations and His set-apart ones are called to endure and stand firm in the faith. However it is on this day (Yom Kippur) that Messiah, our High Priest who intercedes daily for us before the Throne, shall come out, as a conquering King and separate the sheep from the goats and trod the winepress of His wrath!

This is the day when final atonement for the prepared Bride (the whole house of Yisra’ĕl) will be completed!

 

Verse 3 – Aharon was only allowed to enter by the blood of a young bull as a sin offering and the blood of a ram as an ascending offering. Both the blood of a bull and a ram shadow picture for us the redemptive work of יהושע Messiah, by whose Blood we now have access into the presence of Elohim.

The term ‘with a young bull’ in Hebrew is:  בְּפַר בֶּן־בָּקָר – ‘b’phar ben-baqar’  - ‘with a bull, a son of the herd.

The root words here are: 1) פַּר par – Strong’s H6499 which means, bull, young bull, steer, heifer; 2) בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, son, grandson, child, member of a group; 3) בָּקָר  baqar – Strong’s H1241 which means, herd, cattle, ox, oxen, bulls’.

As we consider these words we are able to see how the blood of these animals was to be a clear shadow picture of the coming redemption of Yisra’ĕl through the Blood of Messiah; and we are further able to see this by looking at the ancient pictographic script in regards to these key words.

Let us take a brief look at these words we have just highlighted above, in the ancient pictographic form and see how each are clearly able to reveal to us the work of Messiah, when used in terms of this access into the Most Set-Apart Place inside the veil, being spoken of here.

1) פַּר par – Strong’s H6499 which means, bull, young bull, steer, heifer’:

reshpey

Peyפַּ:

This letter in the ancient script is pictured as  pey, which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!

Resh - ר:

The Ancient picture for this letter is resh, the head of a man. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or ‘man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.

2) בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, son, grandson, child, member of a group

nunbeit

Beyt - 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.

Nun - ן:

This is the letter ‘nun’ (נֵ), which in the ancient text is pictured as nun a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.

3) בָּקָר  baqar – Strong’s H1241 which means, herd, cattle, ox, oxen, bulls

reshquphbeit

Beyt - בָּ:

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.

Quph – קָ:

this is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as – quph –  a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity.

Resh - ר:

The Ancient picture for this letter is resh, the head of a man. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or ‘man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.

 

As we consider the ram for the ascending offering we can also see a powerful shadow picture of the fullness of the work of our Mighty Redeemer

The Hebrew root word used for ‘ram’ here is אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352 which means, terebinth, chief, pillar, door post, ram’. The ram is a grown male sheep and is head of the flock. A shepherd may have one or two rams in a flock of ewes to promote uniformity. The ram is forever in the eyes of the Hebrew as the substitute animal, faithful unto death. This is of course because יהוה provided a ram as a substitute for Yitsḥaq on that day when Aḇraham’s faith was revealed.

Berěshith/Genesis 22:12-14 “And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor touch him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 And Aḇraham lifted his eyes and looked and saw behind him a ram caught in a bush by its horns, and Aḇraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Aḇraham called the name of the place, ‘יהוה Yireh,’ as it is said to this day, “On the mountain יהוה provides.

The blood of a ram as an ascending offering clearly depicts for us the complete provision of יהוה for us, through the Blood of Messiah who would be lifted up as an ascending offering.

As we look at the ancient script and the letters that make up this word, we are further able to see the clear message being given, in the context of this needed blood that would give us access into the presence of our Master and Elohim.

Ram - אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352 which means, terebinth, chief, pillar, door post, ram’.

lamedyadaleph

Aleph - אַ:

This is first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is called ‘aleph’ and in the ancient script is pictured as aleph, ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

Yod - יִ:

This is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as yad, ‘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!

Lamed – ל:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as lamed, a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and 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.

 

As we consider these pictographic letters we are able to recognise the power of the substitutionary sacrifice that is provided for us:

The Aleph (Head of all Creation) through His Mighty Revealed Outstretched Arm and Hand has caused us to be able to draw near to Him, under the clear Authority of The Good Shepherd, יהושע Messiah!

What is also worth noting is that this word אַיִל ayil, when used in its prolonged form is often translated as, terebinth, which is the Hebrew word אֵלוֹן eylon – Strong’s H436 which means, terebinth, oak, mighty (prolonged form of ayil). Another word that is also used for ‘terebinth’ is אֵלָה eylah – Strong’s H424 which also means, terebinth, oak and is the feminine of אַיִל ayil. Why I am mentioning this is simply to illustrate that the terebinth tree, in Scripture, gives us a clear reference to a very strong and very durable tree, that has a sturdy structure as well as an extensive root system that enables the tree to remain green, even during a drought! This strong tree is known to grow up to 12m high and due to its root system can sprout up from a stump after having been cut down which, as we will see, is used as a picture in Scripture! When we see the relation of this word being closely identified with ram, we are further able to glean a great deal regarding the strengthening work that the Blood of Messiah has in our lives, as we become a planting of יהוה, in Messiah, to be adorned!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:3 “to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.

the Hebrew word translated as ‘trees’ is אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘righteousness’ is צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664 which means, righteous, just, righteousness. The word translated as ‘planting’ is מַטָּע matta – Strong’s H4302 which means, a place or act of planting, plantation, where it was planted, and comes from the root verb נָטַע nata – Strong’s H5193 which means, to plant, establish, fix, fasten. When Messiah comes again and His reign is established here in earth, we who are in Him, shall be firmly planted and called trees of righteousness! As ambassadors of the Kingdom to come, we recognise how we are to be firmly planted in His word as strong trees of righteousness. In Scripture we find many agricultural word pictures that are used to describe man, and Dawiḏ tells us what the faithful, who meditate on the Torah day and night, will be like:

Tehillah/Psalm 1:3 “For he shall be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.

Through the atoning work of the Blood of Messiah, we are able to be firmly planted as trees of righteousness, and in Him we are now called to be a daily living sacrifice – that is we are to be a complete ascending offering through set-apart obedience to His commands!

For more on an overview of the Terebinth Trees in Scripture, please see the notes from a message called, “TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS! – An overview of the Terebinth” at:

http://atfotc.com/~atfotc/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=521:trees-of-righteousness-an-overview-of-the-terebinth&catid=35&Itemid=326

The ascending offering in the Hebrew 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’.

Verse 4Set-Apart Linen

The Hebrew word used here for ‘linen’ is בַּד baḏ – Strong’s H906 which means, white linen and we see this word also being used in Hebrew in reference to separation: בַּד baḏ – Strong’s H905 which means, alone, besides, apart, separation and comes from the primitive root word בָּדַד baḏaḏ – Strong’s H909 which means, to be separated, isolated, lonely. One thing we are able to clearly see here is that the work of Aharon, as high priest, was a work that he had to perform alone, when going into the Most Set-Apart Place, and pictures for us that Messiah alone, our High Priest, is fully able to redeem us! Now that we are grafted in by His Blood, we too need to recognise that this path of righteousness that we walk can be a very lonely road, for the Way is narrow and few find it!!!

We are to be dressed in ‘fine linen’ , and as we are told in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.

Aharon had to ‘bathe’ his body in water before putting on the fine linen, and the Hebrew word used for ‘bathe’ is רָחַץ raḥats – Strong’s H7364 and means ‘to wash, wash off, bathe, wash away’, and this also teaches us that we need to constantly keep ourselves clean through the washing of the Word, for it would be at the bronze laver where Aharon would bathe himself.

Some other interesting points to take note of in this chapter are:

Verse 12 – Aharon was to take coals from the slaughter place – not as his sons had done in bringing their own strange fire!!! Hands filled with the sweet incense speaks of how the role of the High Priest is that his hands are filled with that which is pleasing and sweet before Elohim and has no other works occupying His hands. יהושע said that He only does what the Father has commanded and only does that which He was sent to do, and only spoke that which HE was commanded to – His hands were full of the ‘sweet incense’ beaten fine in order to fully satisfy the Torah of atonement!

Verse 13 – put incense on the fire before יהוה , is another wonderful picture of how יהושע Messiah is the One who intercedes for us day by day, as the incense represents the prayers of the Set-Apart ones (Ḥazon/Revelation 8:3) and we have a great High Priest who intercedes for us:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore He is also able to save completely those who draw near to Elohim through Him, ever living to make intercession for them.

Verse 14 – Sprinkle on the east side! What is significant for me here is the blood of the bull is sprinkled on the east side and on the lid; and for me it pictures perfectly the work of Messiah. We are told in Yeḥezqěl that the ‘east gate’ is the gate by which יהוה Elohim enters and it is shut – and we see from Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 40-48 which clearly pictures the ends days and the Millennial reign and gives repeated reference to the east gate in referencing the gate by which יהוה enters and is shut until His return. This is a picture once again that יהושע, the gate of the sheep, is the only means of deliverance, and there is no other way into the Covenants of Promise except through His atoning Blood sprinkled on the east, redeeming us as a people who may enter in Him. East can also mean ‘ancient’ and shows the picture of a restoration of the most ancient ‘Aḏam’ and also pictures for us how the Keruḇim guard the east gate to the garden of Eḏen.

In verse 17 we are told that no man should enter in the Tent of Appointment when Aharon, the high priest, goes in to make atonement, and tis fits perfectly into the words of Messiah to His Talmidim in:

Yoḥanan/John 13:36 “Shimʽon Kěpha said to Him, “Master, where are You going?” יהושע answered him, “Where I am going you are unable to follow Me now, but afterwards you shall follow Me.

Only יהושע could go into the Set-Apart place in order to make atonement and His talmidim could not go in while He was making atonement for us all!!!

In verse 23-24 Aharon would take off his normal clothes and put on the set-apart linen clothes, we see in these verses that he takes of the set-apart linen clothes which he put on when going in to the Set-Apart Place and he leaves them there and puts on His own clothes and comes out. This is a wonderful shadow picture of Messiah who took on the form of a servant and humbled Himself and clothed Himself in Priestly garments of righteousness and having fulfilled His duty as our High Priest, when He does come out, He will leave the priestly garments in the Set-Apart place and He will come out as He is with His own garments on – and that as King and Creator of all!!! We shall finally see Him as he is and not only in part and we shall know Him fully. As Sha’ul says that now we see in a mirror (that is His Word) dimly but we shall see Him face to face as our Redeeming King!!!

Let us briefly look at this Day of Yom Kippur in a little more detail:

Yom Kippur – the purification of the Bride – the Day of Atonement. One might ask why do we have this day separate from Pěsaḥ – isn’t that when we were redeemed? This is a good question, yet יהוה’s appointed times are perfect shadow pictures for us and so in understanding these great shadow pictures, it could best be explained as Pěsaḥ symbolising for us personal redemption – it was on that day we were bought at a price and received atonement for our personal sins. Pěsaḥ symbolises for us the personal deliverance from bondage to slavery, as each household would put the Blood of the Lamb on their doorposts, so would they be saved. We each must accept, receive and apply the Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb personally in our lives. The Day of Atonement speaks of the national redemption of a nation. The day in which the Covenant will be confirmed according to Dani’ěl 9, and a time when Yisra’ĕl will no longer doubt that יהושע is the Messiah.

Atonement means ‘to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins’. The English word Atonement was derived when the translator wanted best to describe what ‘kippur’ meant as there was not a definitive English word to describe or translate the meaning of this and so what he translated it to was – ‘At-One-Ment’ – therefore later being called ‘Atonement’. This was the best way he could express what this day carries for us – it is when we are made to be ‘one’ with יהוה – be ‘at one with’ Him and finally be fully restored unto Him as a washed and purified body together as ‘one’! So this is also a day where we truly come and remember the ransom that was paid for us by the shed Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb – יהושע Messiah, once and for all and reflect on our lives as to how we are living out our covenant relationship with our Saviour.

The Hebrew word for atonement  is כִּפֻּרkippurH3725 and comes from the root word כָּפַרkapharH3722 and 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!!!

Noaḥ was commanded by יהוה to cover the ark inside and out with pitch – he was told to ‘Kaphar’ (cover) the ark with ‘Kopher’ - כֹּפֶר H3724 (pitch):

Berěshith/Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with tar.

Kaphar’ also means to ransom – and so we know that יהושע has paid our ransom and atoned for us.

It also means to reconcile with someone who has the power of death over you, and to pacify the one who has the power to do you harm! We must realise that the punishment for sin is death, and no sin goes unpunished. Through the Atonement of יהושע for our sins we are reconciled to the One who has the power to put us to death!

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!

Scripture clearly teaches us that atonement involves something which is lacking (or leaking in respect to a boat not sealed), and is in danger of judgement (or sinking) – then having that lack (which is caused by sin) covered with something that will restore and keep it from sinking or being destroyed, just as the pitch applied to ancient boats would keep them from sinking!

It is only by the favour and loving-kindness granted by יהוה, who has the power of life and death over us, that His liberal smearing or covering us inside and out, covering the soul of man with His favour and loving-kindness through the blood of יהושע, our High Priest, that man can be kept from sinking in a relationship with his Creator. When sin occurs, a price must be paid.

Yom Kippur is the day when יהוה will be reconciled with His creation – a day set aside and appointed for Him to pardon, to cleanse and to forgive. It was only on this one day of the year that ‘one’ among the children of Yisra’ĕl were able to come ‘face to face’ so to speak with יהוה and live! – This occurred when only the high priest in office entered the Most Set-Apart place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. And as we read, Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 gives for us the entire ceremony, and the high priest was required to bathe/wash -  רָחַץ raḥats – Strong’s H7634 himself a couple of times during the Day of Atonement ceremony and carries the wonderful picture of cleansing and how our High priest has too cleansed His Body by the washing of His Blood! This day was also known as the day of redemption as this day foreshadows a time when Messiah would return and the day of redemption and reconciliation would be fully complete.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, as I also have been known.

Sha’ul was saying here that we are not yet face to face with our Father, but the time will come as pictured by this day, where we will see Him face to face and then we will know Him fully as He knows us now!

For what we see of Him, dimly, we see in the ‘mirror’ of His Word, and Ya’aqoḇ/James encourages us to not forget what we look like when we look into the mirror of His Word – for we look into the perfect Torah – that of freedom and continue in it, being blessed in the doing of the Torah. We all have a choice when we look into the mirror of His Word – ‘Will we do what it says and remember to guard and do, or simply ignore?” – It is everyone’s individual choice – but that choice will certainly determine whether this Day will be a day of joy and gladness at the fullness of time as the works of our faith are proven to be genuine mirrored by the Truth of His Word through obedience in action, or simply a very sad and painful day when the consuming fire shows up your dead works!

As we see from the instructions given to Aharon as recorded in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16, we see great shadow picture of the work of יהושע:

1 - The work had to be done alone – Aharon had no help from the other priests – only He could perform the required duties on this day, except for the ‘fit man’ who would send the scapegoat into the wilderness by the hand and the one who would burn the skins and flesh of the sin offering outside the camp. This is a wonderful picture of יהושע, for only He alone could pay the price for our sin, once and for all – for He alone is worthy. There is only One that saves – יהושע, there is no other way!!!

2 - The high priest put off his normal clothes – Aharon had to wash himself and change his clothes and put on the set apart linen as a picture of being washed and clothed in righteousness. For these duties Aharon did not wear his usual High Priest garments (the ephod and breastplate) but wore set-apart linen. This is also a wonderful picture of יהושע who came to earth as a man and laid aside His deity. He laid aside His garments of esteem and took upon Himself the form of a servant. His sinless life allowed Him to enter into the Most Set-Apart Place and make atonement for us. In one sense He set aside His deity as described in Philippians, yet being the King of Righteousness who knew no sin and clothed in Majesty was able to enter into the Most Set-Apart place. The linen garments speaks of sinless humanity of the Messiah and His Righteousness, and we know that as we are clothed in Him, we have become the righteousness of Elohim in Messiah, and the fine linen are the righteous garments of the set-apart ones.

And so ‘in Him’ we have access to the Most Set-Apart place! We too must put off self and put on Messiah as we daily live our lives as a living sacrifice, clothed in righteousness – doing His will, obeying His commands!

3 - The high priest washed – As I said, Aharon had to wash before putting on the set apart linen and wash again before putting on His garments and offering the ascending offering in making atonement for the people. For the priest this meant getting rid of any defilement and setting themselves apart for service in the set apart place. יהושע tells us in Yoḥanan/John 17:19 that He set Himself apart that we may be set apart in truth. For us as believers this means we are to be washed by the Water of His Word as we approach Him. It is through the Word we are washed and we need to have the Word cleanse us from all impurity and sin!

4 - The high priest offered a sin offering for himself – Aharon did this so that he could be worthy to offer up the atoning sacrifice for the people. יהושע did not have to offer any sacrifices for Himself – for He was blameless, pure, set apart and exalted above the heavens.

5 – The high priest entered the Most Set-Apart Place – high priest entered once a year:

1 – First with the golden incense of burning coals and hands filled with sweet incense and put fire on the incense to cover the lid of the atonement.

2 – Next he took the blood from the sacrifice of the bull for himself and for his house and sprinkled it on the east side of the lid of atonement and in the front of the lid seven times

3 – He then took the blood of the goat - the sin offering for the people and did the same as with the blood of the bull

The censer represents for us the esteem of יהוה and it also represents the prayers of the set-apart ones, so Aharon typifies the ministry of mediator and intercessor. יהושע is our High Priest and Mediator and lives to make intercession for us.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:12-13 “But He, having offered one slaughter offering for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of Elohim, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being set apart.

The Day of Atonement is all about Messiah, the loving Husband presenting to himself a spotless Bride:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.

Let us briefly take a look at the 2 goats and the ram:

The first goat is the goat for יהוה, which is commonly called the elevation offering and represents יהושע's righteousness being imputed to us as he makes payment for our sin with His Blood. The second goat is the goat for Azazel or the scapegoat. The sins of the people are placed upon it and it is sent into the wilderness, representing for us יהושע taking our sin upon Himself and taking it away. The two goats are a twofold picture that by the Blood of יהושע, יהוה forgives our sin and removes (forgets) our sin for He remembers our sin no more. The sacrificial goat provides the covering for our sin and the scapegoat provides the removal of our sin and the ram offering is the ascending atoning sacrifice for us all. It is also a picture of sin being defeated and Satan being sent into the Wilderness and bound, unable to trouble the Bride anymore!

Now we know that we are “Covered” – by His Blood. But what this Day of Atonement also signifies for us is a time of restoration of the two houses – a reuniting of a Groom with His ready Bride – not half a Bride! And this day calls for us to afflict our beings, to kill the flesh so to speak and so too pray and intercede for the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl. As Iḇ’rim clearly states that this Renewed Covenant will be concluded with the house of Yisra’ĕl and the house of Yehuḏah (It is not with the ‘church’)!

What is also interesting to take note of is the Hebrew terms used here in referring to the two male goats that were to be brought on Yom Kippur.

In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:7 the Hebrew word used for ‘goats’ is שְּׂעִירִם  - s’ayrim which in in the plural form of the word שָׂעִיר sa’yir – Strong’s H6183 which means, male goat, buck, hairy, shaggy, and also has the meaning of, satyr, demon.

The first time we see this word being used in describing Ěsaw as a ‘hairy’ man:

Berěshith/Genesis 27:11 “And Ya’aqoḇ said to Riḇqah his mother, “See, Ěsaw my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man.

We again see this word being used in reference to the male goat that the brothers of Yosĕph before dipping his robe in its blood:

Berěshith/Genesis 37:11 “So they took Yosĕph’s robe, killed a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood”

The Hebrew word שָׂעִיר sa’yir – Strong’s H6183 is used in referring to the goat as a male goat, and the Hebrew word for ‘goat’ here is עֵז ez – Strong’s H5795 which means, female goat, young goat. It is from this account that we are able to see a shadow picture of the atonement that Messiah would bring on Yom Kippur through His own blood.

Now while this word שָׂעִיר sa’yir is used a number of times in referring to a male or he goat, we do see something interesting in its reference to false worship. This word is translated as ‘demons’ in:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 17:7 “And let them no longer slaughter their slaughterings to demons, after whom they whored. This is a law forever for them throughout their generations.

This word is also used in describing the false and abominable worship that was set up by Yaroḇ’am, in:

Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 11:15as he appointed for himself priests for the high places, and for goats, and the calf idols which he had made.

The KJV translates this word as ‘devils’, while other translations have it as ‘goat idols’, and what we see here is the term being used in referenced to that which represents the unacceptable abominable worship that is strictly forbidden!

The day of Atonement – Yom Kippur is a day of the separation of sheep and goats, and goats are often a picture in Scripture of stubbornness and rebellion, representing those who seek their own desires and whatever suits their own individual fleshly needs rather than staying close together and eat as the rest do, like a flock of sheep. With this word for male goat - שָׂעִיר sa’yir – being associated with Ěsaw, we are able to see the clear distinction of those who walk after the flesh and those who walk after the Spirit, and it is through the Atoning work of our Master and Messiah that we are able to put to death the deeds of the body, and make sure that no abominable worship is seen in our lives!

Romiyim/Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:18 “Because even Messiah once suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to Elohim, having been put to death indeed in flesh but made alive in the Spirit

While a goat in itself is a clean animal, what we are able to see and recognise today is how the symbol of the goat or goat head is representative of a wicked, evil and abominable worship. From historical writings we are also able to see that goats, or more specifically ‘he goats’ were worshipped in Mitsrayim, and coming from this false worship the worship of the mythical ‘Pan’ (a half man-half goat) was birthed, along with a whole host of imaginary beings, fauns, satyrs, dryads, etc. that were later held in veneration by the Greeks and Romans.

The ‘goat for Azazel’ – the Hebrew word עֲזָאזֵל Azazel – Strong’s H5799 means, entire removal, scapegoat, and is constructed form two words: 1) – עֵז ez – Strong’s H5795 which means, female goat, young goat, and 2) – אָזַל azal – Strong’s H235 which means, to evaporate, to go, gone, to go away, and in many the literal rendering for עֲזָאזֵל Azazel could best be described as ‘the scapegoat’ or ‘the goat that got away’ or ‘the goat that has gone’. Now when we understand this is the context of this representing the clear work of redemption and atonement through the blood of Messiah, we are able to see how this picture for us a complete removal of sin from the House!

This ‘scapegoat’ has been so far removed that it no longer has any effect on those in the House!

Tehillah/Psalm 103:12 “As far as east is from west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and remember your sins no more.

In other writings such as the Book of Ḥanoḵ portray Azazel as the leader of the ‘watchers’ (fallen messengers) who taught mankind secrets of the heavens that would lead to more sin such as weaponry and alchemy and cosmetics as a means of deception and trickery; and in the Apocalypse of Aḇraham Azazel is described as one of the birds that tried to disturb the Covenant making process recorded in Berěshith/Genesis 15.

What we can also see from these accounts here is the complete removal of the live goat, picturing for us how Satan will be bound for 1000 years when Messiah comes out of the Most Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur when He has finished making atonement.

Turn with me to Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 37:15-28 (read)

This passage speaks of a reuniting of Ephraim and Yehuḏah, and from this passage we can see 4 clear pictures that the fulfilment of Yom Kippur brings to us as the body or Bride of Messiah. The 4 pictures not only represent for us the fulfilment of the Bride being made whole, but also what the work of Atonement has done for us individually in our own lives as we earnestly follow יהושע Messiah:

1 – Reconciliation – from division to unity (15-22)

It will be at this time that יהוה will bring the two houses together as ‘one’ in Him and so there will no longer be division, but unity, where once the fullness of the nations has come in, that יהוה will open the eyes of Yehuḏah and they will see the one they have pierced and accept Him as Messiah. We know that by His Blood we are reconciled to Him, and we are to no longer be divided but walk in unity of the Spirit of יהוה!

2 – Redeemed – from rebellion to obedience (23-24)

Rebellion was the root cause for the house to be divided into two – rebellion against יהוה in their worship, and both houses departed from true obedience to His Torah. He is restoring obedience, where Ephrayim who has rebelled by worshipping after the world’s ways are being restored to Torah obedience – this will provoke Yehuḏah to jealousy and will cause them to turn themselves from tradition and accept יהושע as Messiah and the Bride will no more walk in rebellion but in obedience to יהוה. The Torah is for our own good – it is the guide on how to live a fruitful life and walk in His protection. Living in obedience to Torah was the way which יהוה’s people were to distinguish themselves from the nations with the purpose of bringing esteem to Elohim. A restoration to obedience will cause the Bride to be a light to the nations in the millennial reign all for His esteem! Being Atoned for brings about a change – a washing that causes us to no longer rebel against His Torah but to walk in obedience to it as a great expression of our love for Him!

3 – Restored – from bareness to fruitfulness (25-26)

Yo’ĕl/Joel 2 speaks of the restoration of all the years that the locust had eaten and Amos 9 speaks of the harvest that is so plentiful. We can only be fruitful if we remain in the True Vine, and Yom Kippur is the day of fruitfulness being restored unto Yisra’ĕl. It is also true that when we as individuals come to the fullness of what He has done for us and allow His Word to wash us that as we abide in Him, we bear much fruit that lasts. We go from being barren to being fruitful – restored!

4 – Reposed – from distress to rest (27-28)

It is after these events that we will enter His rest - reign with Him and rest in Him fully forever! And so we will find rest by pursuing a relationship with יהוה!

Covered and Reunited – that is the theme of Yom Kippur! Yom Kippur is a time of remembering what our High Priest has done for us and what He will fulfil in the future, where we are now covered forever in His Atoning Blood and will one day soon be with Him forever. This is certainly a time to reflect on where your walk is with Him.

In verse 23 יהוה says that He will save Yisra’ĕl from the dwelling places where they have sinned and He shall cleanse them and they will be His people and He will be their Elohim! This is speaking of this very Day of Yom Kippur. There is a cleansing and a restoring of a lost Bride!

This Hebrew word for cleanse is טָהֵרtaherH2891 and means the following: “to be clean; to cleanse; purify’ made clean”, “properly to be bright; to be pure – that is physically sound, clear, unadulterated, morally innocent”, “to be purged, purify, to declare something or someone clean.

You get the picture; He makes us clean – really clean – by His Blood! This Word ‘tâhêr’ is also used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:19 where the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sin offering on the horns of the altar and all around, seven times – 7 as we know signifies perfection and so there is a perfect cleansing, and our perfect reconciliation by the Blood of יהושע!

And so we can clearly see how the picture of Atonement is fully met by His sacrifice and with Him coming again to present to Himself a clean bride.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:11-14 “But Messiah, having become a High Priest of the coming good matters, through the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 entered into the Most Set-apart Place once for all, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, having obtained everlasting redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?

It is through the one time atoning sacrifice of Messiah that He will ‘tâhêr’ His Bride.

Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.

He has cleansed us for Himself – we are His.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 1:7-9  “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 33:6-16 “‘See, I am bringing to it relief and healing. And I shall heal them and reveal to them the riches of peace and truth. 7 ‘And I shall turn back the captivity of Yehuḏah and the captivity of Yisra’ĕl, and shall build them as at the first, 8 and shall cleanse them from all their crookedness that they have sinned against Me. And I shall pardon all their crookedness’s that they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9 ‘And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and a pride before all nations of the earth, who hear all the good I am doing to them, and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the peace I am doing to it.’ 10 “Thus said יהוה, ‘In this place of which you say, “It is dried up, without man and without beast,” in the cities of Yehuḏah, in the streets of Yerushalayim that are deserted, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, there shall once again be heard 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who are saying, “Praise יהוה of hosts, for יהוה is good, for His kindness is forever,” of those who are bringing the offering of praise into the House of יהוה. For I shall turn back the captivity of the land, as at the first,’ declares יהוה. 12 “Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘In this place which is dried up, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall once again be a home of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 ‘In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the low country, and in the cities of the South, and in the land of Binyamin, and in the places around Yerushalayim, and in the cities of Yehuḏah, the flocks once again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ declares יהוה. 14 ‘See, the days are coming,’ declares יהוה, ‘when I shall establish the good word which I have promised to the house of Yisra’ĕl and to the house of Yehuḏah: 15 ‘In those days and at that time I cause a Branch of righteousness to spring forth for Dawiḏ and He shall do right-ruling and righteousness in the earth. 16 ‘In those days Yehuḏah shall be saved, and Yerushalayim dwell in safety. And this is that which shall be proclaimed to her: ‘יהוה our Righteousness.

Hoshěa/Hosea 1:10 tells us that where it was said to them that you are not His people, they shall be called sons of the Living Ěl!

I have quoted a number of Scriptures that clearly speak of a gathering of the Bride – the Great Reunion which will be fulfilled through the feast of Yom Kippur. ‘Kaphar’ and ‘tâhêr’ – we have been covered and cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and we will soon be with Him forever. Yom Kippur is a time for us to reflect and remember what our High Priest has done for us and that we are to walk as His spotless Bride as He cleanses us through the washing of His Word. This is a day to afflict your beings – why? Well it is a day to realise and remember that we are to lay down our lives – to put to death the flesh and intercede for the rest of the lost Bride, as we embrace His work of salvation that will be made complete on this Day of Yom Kippur, and so as we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, may we not take lightly the importance of this Great Day where יהושע took His Blood into a temple not made with human hands and offered His Blood on the altar perfecting for all time those who are set apart.

Therefore let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water and hold on to the hope we have for he who promised is trustworthy, amen!

In understanding the command to ‘afflict our beings’ as a law forever we see in the Hebrew words the greater meaning behind this, than simply a fast day.

The Hebrew words used here are:

For ‘afflict’ it is the word עָנָה anah – Strong’s H6031 meaning, ‘to be bowed down, afflicted, humbled’ and also means, ‘to be busy with, occupied with’ as well as having the meaning of ‘to answer, respond, bear witness, give an account’; and the word used for ‘beings’ is נֶפֶשׁ nephesh – Strong’s H5315 meaning, ‘soul, living being, life, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion’. So what we are to be doing on Yom Kippur in the command to afflict our beings is in fact the command to be ‘busy with our inner being’, that is we are to humble ourselves and take account of our lives and reflect on where we are and are we walking as we should. Now this we ought to do on a daily basis, just as Aharon only could go once a year into the Set-apart Place to atone for the people, but now messiah who has gone once for all and given us access, we now have the responsibility to daily come and reflect on our walk of belief in Him! However each year we, as an entire body come together and humble ourselves and lay aside the ‘flesh’ (carnal nature) and reflect on that which needs to be dealt with and give an account, for it is on this day when we each will give an account before our King and our works will be tested through fire. It is a day when give an answer for what we have done with what He entrusted us with, and so each year we come as a family/body together and reflect on our true status as a Bride who ought to be prepared and ready for our Bridegroom!

What is also worth noting is that this day is the only other day, outside of the weekly Sabbath that is actually called a Sabbath! שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן  Shabbat Shabbaton is the term used here – which mean ‘a Sabbath of Rest’.

שַׁבָּת Sabbath - Strong’s H7676 which comes from the root word שָׁבַת shâḇath - Strong’s H7673 meaning rest – that is to desist from exertion. The difference between ‘shabbâthשַׁבָּת  - Strong’s H7676 and ‘shâḇathשָׁבַת - Strong’s H7673 is that shabbâthשַׁבָּת  - Strong’s H7676 is the intensive form coming from H7673 which means to rest or observe and the intensive form of H7676 refers specifically to ‘theSabbath as in ‘the7th day of the week.

Here Yom Kippur is referred to as a ‘Sabbath’!!!

שַׁבָּתוֹןshabbathon - Strong’s H7677 means a ‘Sabbath-like’ rest or Sabbath observance.

While other Feast days are likened to a Sabbath like day (Shabbaton) they are not called a Sabbath; while Yom Kippur is specifically referred to as a ‘Shabbat Shabbaton’ regardless of what day it falls upon and this clearly pictures for us the day when His work will be fully completed in atoning for His Bride!!!

Covered, Cleansed and the Great Reunion is what Yom Kippur is about – a Bride being made clean and reunited with her Groom forever –  Be cleansed in Him as we wait for Him… Put off the flesh and clothe yourself with His righteousness – walking in obedience to His Torah as we eagerly await with great anticipation His return! So in obedient rehearsals of the good things to come let us certainly be obedient in keeping this day where we lay aside the flesh and humble ourselves before our Master ready to give and account and be washed in His presence by His Blood as He has imputed to us his Righteousness that we must clothe ourselves in daily!

CHAPTER 17

We now come to a chapter which primary instruction for us is to NOT EAT BLOOD. One may ask how this fits in with the flow of reading all about Atonement and what we must realise is that it fits in perfectly as we have just understood through Chapter 16 that blood deals with atonement and also with what is clean and unclean. יהוה makes it very clear in verse 11 that Blood has been given to us on the Slaughter-Place to make atonement and it is the blood that makes atonement for the life! Without the Blood of Messiah we have no life!!! Having said that we must understand that even the blood of animals carries life and while they were only a temporary covering, the blood of animals always pictures for us the atoning work of Messiah. Eating blood was a pagan practice of fertility worship rites and a clear abomination in the eyes of יהוה.

In ancient times meat was mainly eaten on special occasions and celebrations and when offering a great hospitality for a large amount of people; and almost any time an animal was slaughtered it was offered up to something, and was not just simply killed. Here  יהוה commands that whenever an animal is slaughtered, it must be ‘offered up’ to Him. What we take from this chapter in pointing out for us today is that we are to ‘offer up thanks’ to יהוה for that which He provides, and not be a partaker of what is offered up to idols/demons!

Eating blood defiles us, the Temple of Elohim and He says that any man of the House of Yisra’ĕl who eats or drinks blood, he will cut off and we see in Yeḥezqěl the words of Elohim saying that because Yisra’ĕl had defiled themselves by eating blood they cannot possess the Land:

 

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 33:24-26 “Son of man, they who inhabit those ruins in the land of Yisra’ĕl are saying, ‘Aḇraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many, let the land be given to us as a possession.’ 25 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “You eat meat with blood, and you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then possess the land? 26 “You depend on your sword, and you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbour’s wife. Should you then possess the land?

Eating blood contaminates our Temple and restricts the blessings of יהוה from flowing fully in our life. This can lead to spiritual death, physical illness and even physical death. Choosing our own ways over His is rebellion. A contaminated and a compromised life will keep us from having any genuine spiritual depth. It will also hinder us from celebrating His Sabbaths and feast days in any real way.

Blood is life, and it belongs to יהוה, so it is not our right to consume it. Eating blood is telling יהוה, "My life is my own and I will do what I want with it."

Let us look at what Sha’ul writes to Corinth in light of these instructions:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10: 16-31 “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Messiah? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Messiah? 17 Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Look at Yisra’ĕl after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the offerings sharers in the altar? 19 What then do I say? That an idol is of any value? Or that which is offered to idols is of any value? 20 No, but what the gentiles offer they offer to demons and not to Elohim, and I do not wish you to become sharers with demons. 21 You are not able to drink the cup of the Master and the cup of demons, you are not able to partake of the table of the Master and of the table of demons.22 Do we provoke the Master to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? 23 All is permitted me, but not all do profit. All is permitted me, but not all build up. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one that of the other. 25 You eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions because of conscience, 26 for “The earth belongs to יהוה, and all that fills it.” 27 And if any of the unbelievers invite you, and you wish to go, you eat whatever is set before you, asking no question on account of the conscience. 28 And if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it because of the one pointing it out to you, and on account of the conscience, for “The earth belongs to יהוה, and all that fills it.” 29 Now I say conscience, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for what I give thanks? 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the esteem of Elohim.

What Sha’ul is basically saying here is that we cannot eat (that is to ingest/consume/accept) at the table of Elohim and at the table of demons. We cannot be partakers of both the set-apart and the profane and in partaking of the Pěsaḥ Meal, we share in the life-giving blood of Messiah and to therefore partake in other worldly festivities that are in direct contrast to the Life-giving truth of Messiah would be to eat at the table of demons! To make it simpler – we do not celebrate Passover Meal together and then go and partake in a Christmas dinner/lunch with others! We must not be found provoking The Master to jealousy!!! Sha’ul then goes on to make it clear that our consciences are clear and whatever we buy ‘in the market place’ we do not ask any questions about because it all belongs to יהוה. This is not a license to eat what is not called or classed as food and is unclean, but rather it is saying that when you buy FOOD (unclean animals are not food!) from the shops, you do not have to worry about where it is from; however when you are invited to a meal with an unbeliever and they pray to an idol or false deity then you do not eat it because of the one pointing it out to you or the one offering up the thanks to a false idol – for the sake of their conscience, because everything in the earth is יהוה’s and we are to give thanks to Him and Him alone! When it is ‘slaughtered’ or offered up to an idol or false deity, the one doing that is simply not acknowledging who the true provider is and for that reason we are not to partake as a witness against them for not acknowledging the True Creator of the heavens and the earth.

When we give thanks to יהוה, we acknowledge Elohim and give Him thanks for providing and for the blood that was shed in giving us food, for all life belongs to יהוה and eating without giving thanks is to neglect our recognition of who He is!

Verse 31 of this passage of Sha’ul’s letter sums it up, whatever we do – eating or drinking we do to the esteem of Elohim – for He has given us life by the Blood of Messiah!

What we must also recognise is that when the Scripture says that in eating of the Pěsaḥ meal we are sharing in the Blood of Messiah then we can also see the clear warning pictured for us in that just as having the Matzot and grape juice at Pěsaḥ Meal is a partaking in the Body and Blood of Messiah, while it is not literally Blood which is forbidden to be eaten; we see also that many are found to be ‘eating’ blood on a metaphorical level when they are in fact engaging in pagan feasts or rituals that point to false deities. יהושע said that unless we drink of His blood and eat of His flesh we can have no part in Him and these words caused many to stumble and turn from following Him – but He was not saying that we eat His physical Body and Blood but that we partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal, for without it we are cut off. Now understanding this principle must help us realise that so many people are in fact eating the blood of demons by their participation of pagan rooted feasts and we are to not be partakers with them in sharing at their table on such occasions!

Besides all the metaphorical pictures, which are necessary – simply obey the literal command and DO NOT EAT BLOOD!

CHAPTER 18

DO NOT DO AS THEY DO!

In this chapter we see further instructions in regards to not following the sick, twisted and perverted abominable practices of the nations who do not follow Elohim!

In verse 1 these set of instructions begin again with the clear words Mosheh was to relate to Yisra’ĕl with “I AM יהוה your Elohim!” These words are critical to us in hearing all of the instructions for us as children of the Most High! We need to continually be reminded who is giving the instructions, for if we neglect to acknowledge and know who is giving the orders then we would easily find ourselves slipping in our obedience.

Just like so many today who neglect to walk in the Torah yet claim to be believers… when you ask them what is the 1st commandment of the Ten Words they will start with, “You shall have no other mighty ones before Me…”, while they neglect to start correctly with, “I AM יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of Mitsrayim!” If we do not know the One giving the commands we may or rather will find ourselves short in trying to keep them. These instructions come from the Maker of all, who has the power of life and death in His hands and we best be listening and obeying with our all!

Verse 3 – Do not do as they do in Mitsrayim and do not do as they do in Kenaʽan.
Kěpha writes in his first letter that we are a royal priesthood and a set-apart nation – a verse I probably quote very often, simply because we need to be constantly reminded that we are a set-apart people and are to live like a set-apart people, not doing what the world does – let’s look at what he says:

Kěpha Aleph 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. 11 Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.

We are sojourners and pilgrims that are to abstain from fleshly lusts – in other words abstain from engaging in the ‘fleshly’ lifestyles of the nations who are foreigners to the Covenants of Promise!

In this 3rd verse in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 18 we see a two-fold instruction – one is that Yisra’ĕl was not to do what they do in Mitsrayim where they had been delivered and set free from and secondly, they were warned not to do what they do in Kenaʽan – the land where they were headed to! I see this as very clear instructions given to Yisra’ĕl in their Wilderness journey where they learn to hear the true voice of Elohim and are cautioned to continue to walk in that which He instructs and not fall prey to worldly ways as they go forward and inherit the Promised Land. What we must recognise in this is that we too need to carefully heed these clear restrictions in not to be found doing what we the world does. In saying that we also must recognise that while we have ‘come out of Mitsrayim’ so to speak, we must be careful not to be found continuing in the practices of Mitsrayim from which we have been delivered. By this I simply mean that for most of us we have come out of a system of inherited lies and practices of traditions that had burdened us to a fleshly and selfish form of living and worship practices must not be found doing those things we have come out from. One of the hardest things to let go of is traditions and when coming out from the enslavement to traditions it is often very quick to slip back into the seeming comfort of what one has known as a way of living for so long, even if it is wrong and this is the clear warning being given here – do not do as they do in Mitsrayim. In other words, the instruction clearly suggests and confirms to us, as a separated people, that while we have come out and are now set-apart unto Elohim, there are still many who have not and are continuing in the ways of falsehood and lies and many of them are people who are or who were very close to us, being either family or people we were very close friends with, and we need to be sober in our thinking and be reminded that we must not do as they do – which inevitably may cause them to speak against us as evil doers and Kěpha tells us that by observing our good works – that is our obedience to Torah – let them esteem Elohim when He comes again!!!

Many of us still have family and friends that are ‘still in Mitsrayim’ and are doing what the Mitsrians do and fall prey to the common saying, “when in Rome do as the Romans do”, while clearly this saying is totally against the Torah of יהוה  our Elohim! Not doing what they do in Kenaʽan is also a warning for us to not let go of the instructions of יהוה, but continue in them. Falling into the ways and mind-set of the world as we go forward is a danger we must continually be on our guard against.

One of the things we start to recognise when we begin to walk in the Torah of יהוה is that the things of this world do grow ‘strangely dim’, and by this I mean that the things and ‘stuff’ we held as important and enjoyable begin to fade away as being totally irrelevant and of no value. I will use a small example of this, which for many may sound silly, and that is while I was ‘in Mitsrayim’ I would be very involved in keeping up with what was happening in the ‘sports world’ so to speak and I was a very big fan of Rugby and would watch as many live matches as I could when it involved the Springboks or any of the Super Rugby matches. I knew who all the players were and many of their stats and it would inevitably be found to be a topic of discussion somewhere in my day, every day! I can no certainly say, without any doubts, that I have absolutely no inclination to be concerned about what is going on in the latest rugby news and scores and I cannot recall the last time I actually watched a full match. Now while I am not saying that one cannot watch sport, what I am saying is that even a thing such as sport that can have a major  influence on a person’s life, begins to fade as being irrelevant in contrast to what used to be a relevant source of pleasure; as we clearly begin to divorce ourselves and be set-apart from the flow of what the world does – and while this may sound ridiculous what we can all recognise is that sport has a major influence on all society, especially in South Africa where it is very close to being seen as a ‘religion’ of sorts worshipped by so many, and coming out and being set-apart we begin to see this more and more and so are cautioned not to do as they do!

Now while this is an example of sport and its effect, what is being spoken of here in Wayyiqra is clear – do not do as they do.

DO NOT WALK … When we see that Yisra’ĕl was told ‘do not walk in their laws’ in speaking of Kenaʽan, we see this as being a clear command to not be found following their ways – do not be found on a path that leads to destruction and do not follow and pursue the same goals that they pursue. When we see the term ‘their laws’ – this could also be translated as their customs. What we must realise here is that this is not referring to the Torah itself but rather the man-made rulings by which to live it out. We have the Torah and we must be careful not to fall prey to man-made institutionalised religion that has added or taken away from the Torah. One of the dangers of coming out of Mitsrayim (church set up) is to fall into the corrupt practices of Rabbinic Judaism and their customs and rulings into how to walk in the Torah and this we must guard against at all costs.

Let go of the false worship of the church and be careful to not embrace the falsehood of Rabbinic Judaism – that is in a nutshell the clear warning for us today as we find ourselves in the Wilderness, learning to hear the pure and clear voice of יהוה our Elohim!

Verse 4 – Hear, Guard and Do!

Verse 3 clearly warns that we are not to do as the nations do, now let us take a look at some of the Hebrew words in this verse, that make it clear for us to be a people who must Hear – Guard and Do the Torah of Elohim.

1 – ‘DO’ – the root word for this is עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 and carries the meaning of ‘to do, make, carefully observe to do, practice, work, execute’. A derivative of this root is the word מַעֲשֶׂה  ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 and means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’. The Acts of the Apostles speaks of the deeds or acts of that which the Apostles did and records their ‘acts’ of obedience. The verb עָשָׂה asah has the basic connotation of ‘do’ or ‘make’ and is used in many expressions. Aside from the numerous occurrences of the meaning “do” or “make” in a general sense, עָשָׂה asah is often used with the sense of ethical obligation. Yisra’ĕl were frequently commanded to “do” all that Elohim had commanded.  The numerous contexts in which this concept occurs attest to the importance of an ethical response to יהוה which goes beyond mere mental abstraction and which is translatable into obedience which is evidenced in demonstrable act. יהושע tells us that we shall be known by our fruit and in a sense this is what He was speaking about in saying that we will be seen as true obedient followers of Messiah through the clear evidence as seen in our demonstrated acts before Him and all.

2 – ‘RIGHT-RULINGS’ - מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us

There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!

3 – ‘GUARD’ - שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 means, ‘keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.  We are to exercise great care over His Torah! When used in combination with other verbs the meaning is ‘do carefully or diligently’, i.e. perform carefully by paying strict attention as to what must be done as it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc.  Another aspect of this word carries the meaning of having to guard carefully and tend to or ‘take care of’. When one takes care of a valued possession then the utmost diligence is exercised in ensuring that it is protected at all costs and it is taken care of through the correct maintenance and observance of its functional requirements to keep it in tact; and as it is with the Torah – we must guard it in our hearts and exercise it diligently, keeping ourselves free from the clutter or weeds of wickedness. Aḏam was commanded to ‘guard’ (Shamar) the garden which carried with it great responsibility and the need to be watchful and at work; and we are to guard the good deposit in the soil of our hearts as we do all that we are commanded, nurturing the very growth that the Good Seed of His Living Word produces in our lives!

4 – ‘LAWS’ - חֻקָּה ḥuqqah – Strong’s H2708 often translated as ‘statutes’ and carries the meaning, ‘something prescribed, a statute – that which is written, regulations set forth, ordinances, ’ and comes from the primitive root חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 and means, ‘to engrave, cut in, inscribe, decree’.

We are to ‘guard’ and ‘keep’ the regulations and decrees of יהוה that has been inscribed or ‘cut in’ – That is His ‘WRITTEN WORD’.

Shemoth/Exodus 24:4 “And Mosheh wrote down all the Words of יהוה, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve standing columns for the twelve tribes of Yisra’ĕl.

There was NO ORAL TORAH besides that which Mosheh wrote down, and he wrote ALL the Words of יהוה, and so we do not guard and keep man-made oral laws that have since thus been written down as a set of rules and regulations in the form of catechisms from Christianity and the Talmud and Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism; but guard to do all the Written Word of יהוה.

5 – ‘WALK’- הָלַךְ halaḵ – 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.

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?

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’. 

We are to ‘walk in’ His laws and Right-Rulings, and so as we ‘walk in’ Messiah, the Word made flesh, we demonstrate our acts of pure obedience through ‘walking in’ His Torah and not be found to be following the ways of the nations!!!

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 18:6-30 then begins to make clear what kinds of relationships we are not to have as it lists clearly that which are regarded as unlawful sexual relations and are abominable acts that are carried out by the rest of the world, of which we must have no part in, as we guard the Charge of יהוה.

While the direction of this chapter may seem to take a drastic turn in another direction from which it begun, we recognise that in fact it did not as יהוה has set forth clearly how we are to relate to Him and have intimacy with Him in guarding to do all He commands; He now proceeds to warns against the abominable practices that will keep us from having an intimate relationship with Him. So as gross as some of these warnings may seem, we need to be careful to heed these warnings lest we find ourselves being overcome by the perversities and abominable practices that are going on all around us as in the world today.

To ‘uncover the nakedness’ means more than "do not pull someone's skirt up", though that is not a wise idea either; but if taken in the most literal sense, verse 10 would mean we could never even change our grandchildren's nappies! Rather, it is an idiom for sexual relations; and this series of commands clearly points out who is ‘off limits’ to a man/woman sexually!

In ancient times, many of the nations allowed various incestuous unions, and The Roman Empire even declared them to be lawful. Marriage between brother and sister was also common in Mitsrayim, particularly in royal families. The Greeks approved of wedlock with a half-sister. Marriage with a mother, sister, or daughter was recommended by the Persians and was consecrated through mythological traditions, such as the pagan feast of Ishtar/Easter where Semiramis was the mother/wife of Nimrod.

The Torah states that sexual relations with a close relative either within or outside marriage was prohibited. Sexual relations with a neighbour’s wife or with the same sex or anything else outside a pure marriage relationship were outside יהוה’s commandments and were considered an abomination in His sight. The Torah also condemns impure fantasies and immodest glances as we see in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone looking at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Verse 7 clearly prohibits and puts a total ban on incest between a father and daughter or a mother and son.

Verse 8 was in fact the sin that Re’uḇĕn had committed when he lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine as this even further puts a ban on incest between a wife of one’s father who was not your mother! This verse for me also has a clear and definite proof as to the fact that יהושע is יהוה. Why I say this is simply for the fact of what this verse clearly decrees!!! A son cannot take his father’s wife for himself; and as we clearly know that we, Yisra’ĕl is are Bride of the Lamb:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:9 “And one of the seven messengers who held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I shall show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Having said this, we also know that יהושע is the Lamb:

Yoḥanan/John 1:29 “On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!

Now we also see in Scripture that יהוה is Yisra’ĕl’s Husband:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband, יהוה of hosts is His Name, and the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl is your Redeemer. He is called the Elohim of all the earth.

Hoshěa/Hosea 2:16 “And it shall be, in that day,” declares יהוה, “that you call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Ba’al.

יהושע Messiah is the Bridegroom, our Husband, who is coming for His ready and prepared Bride, Yisra’ĕl and as we see from this clear verse in Wayyiqra, a son could not be permitted to take His father as wife which further proves that

יהושע is יהוה; as there is only ONE Bridegroom and ONE Bride and ONE Wedding. יהוה has not given His Bride to another; but rather He has ‘saved’ and redeemed His Bride!

The rest of the verses are self-explanatory and are also a clear reminder of just how sick and twisted the world is in its abominable practices that are regarded as lawful. For instance it has become lawful in most parts of the world to allow same sex marriages when clearly this is an abomination. It is so sad to see so many ‘churches’ who allow and accept homosexuality within their congregations and even have homosexual people leading and teaching from their pulpits and claim to follow the Creator of the heavens and the earth; while this text clearly forbids such relations among the set-apart people of Elohim!

Verse 21 – Do not pass your children through to Moleḵ

Who was Moleḵ? Moleḵ was the deity of the Ammonites and Phoenicians who would sacrifice their infants in ritual fertility worship to by passing their infants through fire in the hope of stimulating the favour of their mighty one to return upon them fruitfulness in their lands and on their homes and their wombs.

Before the Yisra’ĕlites entered the land, Meḡiddo served as a prominent high place where Kenaʽanites worshiped fertility deities. Archaeologists have uncovered a large platform where these pagan practices occurred.

The Kenaʽanites  believed that the rains and fertile soil of the coast came from a god named Ba’al. According to their beliefs, Ba’al lived in the underworld during the dry winter season. When spring came, Ba’al returned to earth to sleep with his mistress, Asherah (Astarte/Ishtar) – a Kenaʽanite female deity of fortune and happiness, so that rains would return to the land.

To encourage Ba’al’s return, the Kenaʽanites sacrificed their firstborn sons, burning infants alive. The priests and priestesses of Ba’al publicly engaged in sexual relations with each other and with the people, hoping to entice Ba’al and Asherah to mate. The pagans committed these abominable acts for one simple purpose: to gain personal and material prosperity.

Kenaʽanite worship distorted two of the most beautiful gifts Elohim gave humans: life and the sexual relationship of husband and wife. Elohim placed His people in Kenaʽan so they could confront the evil practices of pagans with Elohim’s truth and love and destroy its practices, while holding fast to and guarding to do all He has commanded his Covenanted People!

Archaeology has turned up urns filled with infants’ bones on which "to Moleḵ" is inscribed, and the names of those offering them had names ending in "-yah"; showing that they were Yisra’ĕlites. This was done in the Hinnom Valley outside Yerushalayim, and because this custom was so sickening to יהוה, the righteous king Yoshiyahu changed it to a dumping ground where garbage was burned, since it was no longer fit for any nobler use.

Melaḵim Bet/2 Kings 23:10 “And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, so that no man could make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Moleḵ.

Moleḵ simply means, ‘the one who rules’ and so the text is telling us not to turn over our children to a foreign false deity who rules in the world!

When we understand this ancient practice of ‘passing children through the fire to Moleḵ’ we get a better picture of some much needed lessons for us today. Fire in Scripture is also described as that which purifies and when we link this idea to this clear instruction we need to be on our guard against what we allow our kids to be ‘passing through’. By this I mean we are to always recognise that as parents our role is to bring up our children in the ways of יהוה; teaching them daily on the matters of His Torah. What is shaping your child’s mind is a question many parents today do not consider as they allow the world to ‘shape’ their kids into following the ideals and practices of the worldly ways that are at large accepted and even legislated as permissible while some of these permitted practices are abominable before the eyes of Elohim and should be to us too!

Passing our kids through the fire to Moleḵ is a subtle danger that many are doing without even realising it, as they schooling system that is refining and shaping their minds is likened to the fire of Moleḵ, which hoped for a better future and puts its trust in worldly systems of advancement. Now while learning is an important part of any child growing up, what I am saying here is that each parent in still ultimately responsible for their children and what they allow their children to ‘pass through’. While I recognise and know that it is not always possible today for torah observant families to home-school die to the major pressures of both parents having to work, what we need to realise is that we all still, as parents, carry the responsibility as to what or how our children’s minds are being shaped by and kids cannot be left solely to the world’s schooling systems to shape the way they think. Parents must ultimately be able to train their kids and filter out the junk they may be shown in the world’s classroom.

Passing kids through fire is also a picture of abortion, which is in most parts of the world a legalised procedure, and is not something a Torah observant Yisra’ĕlites should even consider!

Giving our offspring to Moleḵ can also be a picture of spoiling our children with materialism or even using our children for personal wealth, which is simply child abuse. By this I mean that many parents push their young kids into performing tasks for money (such as modelling etc.) and make use of gaining wealth and capitalising from their children’s talents.

Today, most people find it unthinkable that a culture once burned innocent children alive for the sake of their material prosperity. But when we look closely at our own culture, we see that innocence and purity are still sacrificed today.

The entertainment industry promotes sex with nearly every movie, television program, and CD they create. Pornographers produce magazines, web sites, and films that show blatant disregard for Elohim’s sexual values. Why? Because there are fortunes to be made by selling perversity!

Our culture also cheapens life. Abortion takes hundreds of lives each day. Cloning and embryonic stem cell researchers destroy tiny innocent lives in the name of scientific progress. And these practices are socially acceptable because our culture values convenience, choice, and prosperity more than the gift of life.

As Followers of Messiah and children of the Most High EL, we must fight the good fight of faith and not be tainted by such twisted beliefs, but rather teach our children well in the ways of the Torah.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he turns not away from it.

We have a responsibility as parents – and if we do not take up that responsibility in bringing them up in the ways of the Torah then ‘another that rules’ will. Either we teach them the ‘rule’ of יהוה that they will not turn away from or the Moleḵ of this world that rules the fleshly lusts and desires will refine and shape their values and ethical moral standards according to the abominable ways of the world!

Verse 26-29 re-emphasises the clear need for us to be diligent hearers and doers of the Word of Elohim and not be found following after the ways of the world and its fleshly desires . It also says that the native or stranger must not do all the abominations of the world. There is one Torah for the native born and for the foreigner, and as long as a stranger or foreigner dwells in your midst they must submit and obey the clear Torah of יהוה.

We are responsible to see that anyone who is within our gates, behaves according to the Torah, and so if we are not living in obedience how will the one visiting know the Torah. We cannot allow any visitor to do as the world does when they are in our house or under our care and this leaves no room for compromise whatsoever. None of these abominable practices may be done by any stranger or sojourner under our roof, lest they cause defilement in our house and contaminate and defile us and we stand in danger of being vomited out!!!

When we read of being vomited out, the reminder of the clear words given to the assembly in Laodikeia as written in Ḥazon/Revelation 3, that Messiah will spit out/vomit out the lukewarm. We cannot be lukewarm in our attempt at obedience and think that if we ‘wink at’ abominable practices in our midst, be it by a native or stranger or sojourner, that we will be accepted as walking in purity!

Verse 30 again ends with the stern warning to GUARD the CHARGE of ELOHIM

‘Charge’ is the Hebrew word מִשְׁמֶרֶת mishmereth – Strong’s H4931 and means, ‘a guard, watch, charge, function, duty, obligation, service’. This noun is used in two principle senses. The first is an “obligation” or a “service” to be performed. The second has to do with something that is to be kept or preserved.

We have an obligation to perform the service of that which a set-apart, royal priesthood and a people for a possession ought to do – and that is to HEAR – GUARD – DO the very commands of יהוה, forsaking the ways of the other nations and not fall prey to the luring lusts of the world and its seemingly desirable ways which will only lead to an abominable form of worship; but rather be a people who worship in Spirit and in Truth.

Shalom!