This week’s torah portion is called תַזְרִיעַ – Tazria which means, ‘She bears seed’ or ‘She is with seed’ and this word comes from the root word זָרַע zara – Strong’s H2232 which means, ‘to sow or scatter seed, conceive, give birth, offspring’.
Here, in this Chapter 12 of Wayyiqra/Leviticus, we begin to see the Torah in regards to a woman when she is pregnant and gives birth and herein we are given the regulations regarding a time of separation after giving birth which, in Hebrew, is known as נִדָּה niddah – Strong’s H5079 and means, ‘separation, isolation, uncleanness, menstruation, unclean, impurity, filthiness’, and is also often used to speak of a woman’s ‘defilement’ during her menstrual/bleeding cycle.
What this root word נִדָּה niddah – Strong’s H5079 correctly means, in this case, is, ‘separation from intimacy’; which is ultimately designed to build an expectation and anticipation for restoration after the ‘cleansing cycle’.
Nowhere is this seen as a sin or something that is a result of an error, yet there is a necessary time of separation that is needed, in order to become ‘ritually pure’. In essence, we see some wonderful shadow pictures involved here, through this clear instruction for separation! Shadow pictures that reflect the wonderful work of Messiah coming to cleanse His Bride!
For a male child, a woman is unclean for 7 days after the birth, and then on the 8th day the male child was to be circumcised and then she would remain in the blood of her cleansing for 33 days, totalling 40 days of separation when having a male child. Medically, the eighth day is proven to be the least painful and with the least loss of blood for the child. The eighth day is when vitamin K and prothrombin (immune and blood clotting factors) are at their all-time highest levels in a boy’s life, making it the very best time to promote his healing.
When having a female child, a woman is unclean for 2 weeks (14 days) and then remains in the blood of her cleansing for 66 days, totalling 80 days, when having a female child. Only the first 7 days or 14 days is she considered impure or rather, ‘in the blood of her cleansing’; after which begins a process of re-purification through separation.
Normally blood is a thing of impurity, but here it cleanses and this wonderfully pictures our need to be cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb! After the days of her cleansing, whether it is 40 days for a male child or 80 days for a female child, she was to bring an offering to the priest – a lamb for an ascending offering and a dove or pigeon for a sin offering and if unable to bring a lamb then she was required to bring 2 doves or 2 pigeons, one for an ascending offering and the other for a sin offering.
We see how Miryam fulfilled this Torah instruction, as recorded in:
Luqas/Luke 2:21-24 “And when eight days were completed for Him to be circumcised, His Name was called יהושע, the Name given by the messenger before He was conceived in the womb. 22 And when the days of her cleansing according to the Torah of Mosheh were completed, they brought Him to Yerushalayim to present Him to יהוה – 23 as it has been written in the Torah of יהוה, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called set-apart to יהוה” – 24 and to give an offering according to what is said in the Torah of יהוה, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. 25 And see, there was a man in Yerushalayim whose name was Shimʽon, and this man was righteous and dedicated, looking for the comforting of Yisra’ĕl. And the Set-apart Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Set-apart Spirit that he would not see death before he sees the Messiah of יהוה. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the Set-apart Place. And as the parents brought in the Child יהושע, to do for Him according to the usual practice of the Torah, 28 then he took Him up in his arms and blessed Elohim and said, 29 “Now let Your servant go in peace, O Master, according to Your word, 30 for my eyes have seen Your deliverance, 31 which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, 32 a light for the unveiling of the gentiles, and the esteem of Your people Yisra’ĕl.”
What we must also take note of here is that יהושע Messiah was NOT brought to Yerushalayim and presented at 8 days old, as some seem to think, but rather, He was brought and presented when He was 40 days old, according to the Torah. There are some who teach a tradition which states that on the 8th day of Sukkot, the ‘Shemini Atzeret’, that the rabbis would take the Torah Scroll and lift it up in the procession to the temple and proclaim that the Torah ‘has legs’; and from this tradition some have taught that יהושע Messiah fulfilled this tradition by being lifted up by Shimon the prophet on the 8th day of Sukkot; yet we see from the above text that He was presented to יהוה as it has been written in the Torah, when the days of Miryam’s cleansing were complete!!!
While we do certainly recognise, by the clear fact that the Word became flesh, we can, in a manner of speaking, see how the Torah now had legs, yet we must take note that יהושע was presented 40 days after His birth.
We certainly believe that that He was born on the 1st day of Sukkot and circumcised on the 8th (Shemini Atzeret), yet He was only presented after 40 days!
Can you imagine this moment when Yosĕph and Miryam came to present יהושע and heard Shim’on confirming the clear Truth that His eyes had now seen the Messiah of יהוה! We are told that they marvelled at the words that were spoken, as the deliverance of יהוה had now been seen and prepared as a light for the nations!
Back to a woman’s separation: What we must understand here is the clear necessity for a woman to refrain from intimacy with her husband during here time of separation.
This in no way calls for wives to sleep in separate beds and not be able to even sit on a chair in the house lest others who sit on it become unclean, but rather speaks of a separation time of being intimate with her husband. During this time, the husband and wife are not to engage in sexual intercourse while she is in the time of her cleansing.
What this ‘time of separation’ does is create a wonderful time of much needed bonding with the mother and child and it also causes the husband to begin to relate to his wife in ways that build the relationship stronger without the means of sex.
It is during the time of ‘niddah’ that a husband and wife are able to bond on other levels of intimacy in a nonphysical way and deepen their relationship, while having the great expectation of coming together once she is cleansed from her blood. This ‘niddah’ time is not only for healing the body after the birthing process, it also allows the woman to enjoy her baby and not have added responsibilities imposed on her like going to the congregation or working, or having other outside influences interrupt her focus of looking after their baby and home life.
Why the 40 days versus the 80 days?
Well, I see two wonderful pictures portrayed here in the cleansing process and being set-apart and able to enter in to the service of the Tabernacle. After יהושע was immersed He went in to the Wilderness for ’40 days’ and, in essence, was ‘separated’ and set-apart for His role and duty as Saviour and Husband. When Mosheh and Yisra’ĕl were at Mount Sinai, Mosheh went up the mountain for 40 days and after having broken the first stone tablets at the sight of the ‘golden calf’ worship incident, he went back up for another 40 days, totalling 80 days after which Yisra’ĕl, the set-apart Bride of יהוה, was now ready to be a called out and set-apart Bride and received the Marriage Covenant as there was a bringing forth, if you will, of a ‘woman’ to be a Bride for יהוה!
The question that is often asked is that if having the child is not a sin then why a sin offering?
Tehillah/Psalm 51:5 “See, I was brought forth in crookedness, and in sin my mother conceived me.”
This is a clear recognition and reminder of how Aḏam and Ḥawwah had sinned and Dawiḏ makes it clear in this Tehillah that he was brought forth in crookedness, as this world has been corrupted due to sin and so, the picture of being atoned for by the offerings brought, is for the mother in recognition of her need for a Saviour, especially in being entrusted with a new life given as a gift from יהוה.
Another powerful picture we are able to see from these two ’40 day’ requirements is through the work of Messiah, who cleanses His Bride through the washing of the Word. 40 days for a male child and 80 days (2 X 40) for a female child. In terms of the cleansing of us, His Bride, we are able to see how, after He was immersed and received the Spirit, יהושע went into the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted and triumphed by coming through without fail, cleansed after having been born of the Spirit! This in many ways pictures the first 40 days cleansing for the Bride (female), with yet another 40-day cleansing still required, which is what we see pictured, in type, after יהושע Messiah was resurrected and had presented the wave of the sheaf of the first. He spent 40 days teaching His taught ones, as He presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many infallible proofs, being seen by them for forty days, speaking concerning the reign of Elohim. This was, in type, a ‘washing/cleansing period of His Bride’, which symbolically pictures for us the ‘2nd’ 40-day cleansing period for a female child. Now that He had been separated for 40 days and then spent another 40 days after His resurrection with His taught ones, we are able to see the picture of a Bride who is able to be fully cleansed and set-apart for Her Husband!
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.”
A woman who has a male child is unclean for 7 days, as in the days of her monthly separation (menstrual cycle), and would remain in the blood of her cleansing for 33 days, totalling 40. A woman who has a female child is unclean for 14 days, as in the days of her monthly separation (menstrual cycle), and would remain in the blood of her cleansing for 66 days, totalling 80. Some have argued that the total days is 33 for a male child and 66 for a female child, yet we must take note of the clear language being given here.
A woman who gives birth is firstly unclean for 7 or 14 days, and then she remains in the blood of her cleansing, and the Hebrew word for ‘remains’ is יָשַׁב yashaḇ – Strong’s H3427 meaning, ‘sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still’, and bears the clear understanding here of how she will abide in or remain in the state that she has already been in for a further period that is allocated based on the gender of the child!
She remains in the blood of her cleansing and is not able to come into the set-apart place until the days of her cleansing are complete! Here we are able to see another great prophetic shadow picture of the complete cleansing that Messiah has brought for us, for we are now able to draw near to Elohim, by the Blood of Messiah, and come boldly to the throne of favour (which is in the Most Set-Apart Place) and find help in time of need!
By having cleansed us and set us apart in His Blood and having spent 2 ‘40 day’ periods of separation’ for His Bride, we are now able to enter into the Set-Apart Place and have fellowship as a body together in Him!
The Hebrew root word for ‘completed’ here is מָלֵא male’(maw-lay) – Strong’s H4390 and carries the meaning, ‘to be full, to fill, complete, covered, dedicate, fulfil, ordain’, and so, by the work of our Master, a once defiled and divorced House that was scattered throughout the nations, could now enter in!
The word used here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 12 for ‘male’ is זָכָר zaḵar – Strong’s H2145, which comes from the primitive root זָכַר zaḵar – Strong’s H2142 which means, ‘remember, be mindful’ and the word used for ‘female’ is נְקֵבָה neqeḇah – Strong’s H5347 and comes from the word נָקַב naqaḇ – Strong’s H5344 which means, ‘to pierce’. This is a truly wonderful picture here, as we see that the female came from the male who was pierced, as Aḏam’s side was ‘pierced’ and the woman was brought forth from his rib; and therefore, is a shadow picture of how we, as the Bride of Messiah, have been brought forth by His flesh being ‘pierced’ for us! And now, in His Blood, we have been cleansed and set-apart, enabled to draw near to the throne of favour, having been grafted in to the Covenants of Promise by His blood that cleanses!
The Torah of the infection of leprosy:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘leprosy’ or ‘leprous infection’ is צָרַעַת tsara’ath – Strong’s H6883 which means, ‘leprosy, malignant skin disease in people; and in clothing or buildings – mildew or mould’. This word is derived from the primitive root verb צָרַע tsara – Strong’s H6879 which means, ‘to be struck with leprosy, to be leprous’.
This form of infection comes out in physical manifestations and is not the same specific flesh-devouring disease that bears this name today (also known as Hansen’s Disease after the man who identified its cause), but is a skin ailment that is more like psoriasis, which is a chronic skin disease characterized by circumscribed red patches covered with white scales, yet it was not this either. The symptoms of leprosy were just like several normal, common occurrences, until they took on specific characteristics for which the priests had to watch, because they were signs of something deeper.
It may seem a little odd that skin irritations are important in the Torah, yet what this shows is that while the literal commands are to be followed, we also need to look at what is behind them and understand that there is more to simply adhering to the letter of the Torah, as we are to walk in Spirit and Truth and show through our outward actions that the Torah is truly written upon our hearts. This is more than just an insect bite or dry skin, and the fact that it is more than skin-deep means it is more than just a surface blemish, though any of these should alert us to the need to examine ourselves to make sure that is all it is.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 11:31 “For if we were to examine ourselves, we would not be judged.”
One would come to the priest to determine whether it came from a deeper cause. He is the only one who can diagnose it, after examining the facts. What is such a powerful picture and great lesson for us in this entire chapter is the fact that only the priest could declare someone clean or unclean!
What is worth taking note of is the use of the Hebrew root word that in translated in this chapter as ‘plague, infection and disease’. With this root word being translated into 3 different English words, one can often miss a vital theme that is being set forth here in this Chapter!
This Hebrew root word is the noun נֶגַע nega – Strong’s H5061 which means, ‘a stroke, plague, mark, affliction, infection, wound, disease’ and this comes from the primitive root word נָגַע naga – Strong’s H5060 and means, ‘to touch, strike, reach, cause to touch, join’ and denotes that which pertains when one thing (or person) physically contacts another.
The noun נֶגַע nega – Strong’s H5061 refers to a physical blow, or to the punishment that a ruler gives a subject. Elohim is usually the one who meets out punishment and/or disease and here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13 & 14 we see the majority use of this noun, concerning the contagious diseases described.
This noun is used 47 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13 and 14 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 14. That is a total of 61 times that this noun is used in the two chapters that deal with the plague or disease or infection of leprosy! It is used a total of 78 times in the Tanak and so, with the majority of its usage being here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13, we can acknowledge and identify a clear emphasis being made, with the clear lesson on that which our Master took upon Himself in order to redeem us from the destruction of sin and the associated plagues, infections and diseases that are as a result of sin.
In a powerful psalm of praise unto יהוה for the complete protection and provision we have in Him, we take note that those who find refuge in יהוה have no plague come near their tent!
Tehillah/Psalm 91:10 “No evil befalls you, and a plague does not come near your tent”
In a clear prophecy of Messiah – the revealed Arm of יהוה – we are told how He would be stricken for our transgressions. In the following verse the root word נֶגַע nega – Strong’s H5061 is translated as ‘stricken’:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:8 “He was taken from prison and from judgment. And as for His generation, who considered that He shall be cut off from the land of the living? For the transgression of My people He was stricken.”
Kěpha reminds us that Messiah suffered for our sins:
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”
Having been set from sin and destruction we are to make sure that we stay clean, as we walk in Messiah and guard to do all He commands and we are therefore able to learn from this chapter on the Torah of leprosy that we are to come out and touch not that which is unclean!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:11 “Turn aside! Turn aside! Come out from there, touch not the unclean. Come out of her midst, be clean, you who bear the vessels of יהוה.”
The root word נָגַע naga – Strong’s H5060 is translated here as ‘touch’ and the Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) is ἅπτομαι haptomai – Strong’s G680 which means, ‘touch, fasten oneself to, cling’ and is used to describe the practice of having no fellowship with pagan practices, as we see the clear command given in:
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.”
The Greek word translated as ‘not’ is μή mē – Strong’s G3361 which is a primary participle of a qualified negation, meaning, ‘not, know, neither, none’
The reason that I am highlighting these words and its uses in various verses is to simply point out the wonderful work that our Master and Redeemer has done for us, as He was stricken for our transgressions, cleansing us from that which defiles and now, we are to makes sure we do not touch that which does not pertain to complete set-apartness!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:18 “We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
In verse 2-3 we see how the language used to describe the progression of leprosy in fact shows us how sin/lawlessness too can progress from something seemingly small and insignificant to a fully blown outburst of wickedness and bad fruit. The lesson on leprosy is that it represents for us the sin of the flesh and how ‘unseen’ sin or un-dealt with sin progresses to bear fruit that is ugly and spoilt.
The progression of sin not brought to the priest for inspection and dealt with, can progress as seen in the pattern of the following verses:
1 – Verse 2 – The beginning – a scab or a bright spot –
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 3:16-17 “And יהוה says, “Because the daughters of Tsiyon are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and seductive eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet, 17 therefore יהוה shall smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Tsiyon, and יהוה expose their nakedness.”
2 – Verse 7 – Advancement – scab spreads over the skin
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:5-6 “Why should you be beaten anymore? You continue in apostasy! All the head is sick, and all the heart faints. 6 From the sole of the foot, to the head, there is no soundness in it – wounds and bruises and open sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.”
3 – Verse 10 – Full outburst – raw flesh in the swelling – a picture of hatred setting in!
Amos 5:10 “They hated the one who reproves in the gate, and they despise the one who speaks the truth.”
4 – Verse 24 – Inflamed state – burns/ burning – be consumed with His love and respond with obedience in joy or stay in a disobedient state and be ‘consumed’ in His wrath!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 3:24 “And it shall be: Instead of a sweet fragrance, a smell of decay; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a festal robe, a girding of sackcloth; and branding instead of loveliness.”
Inflammations can picture for us certain ‘mind games’ through slander or gossip, which can certainly contaminate us and cause us to become ‘unclean’ and defiled!
Burns cause inflamed flesh and so we see this as a picture of anger, which can often cause one’s face to become red and inflamed with rage!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:14-22 “But each one is enticed when he is drawn away by his own desires and trapped. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death. 16 Do not go astray, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of turning. 18 Having purposed it, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, for us to be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures. 19 So then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, 20 for the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of Elohim. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
We are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only; for if we find ourselves slacking in our doing of the Word, a scab or infection of sin may appear, which when left alone could entice one into following one’s own desires rather than seeking the well pleasing desire of Elohim and give birth to much lawlessness which if not dealt with and brought to the priest, and by that I mean our High Priest יהושע, then we risk the reality of what sins brings forth and that is death! In the above text in Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:14-22 we are clearly told to be slow to become angry, for anger doesn’t work righteousness and while we may not always be excused from getting angry, we are to do our utmost to not do so quickly. And if one does get angry for whatever reason then sort it out quickly lest your anger turns you away from walking in righteousness and find yourself become defiled through regretful actions or words that need to be repented of!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be wroth, but do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down on your rage, 27 nor give place to the devil.”
For me this verse is very clear – we must be careful when we find ourselves being wroth or angry, because if it is harboured and continued for more than a day we risk the danger of giving a place for the devil to have an open door into our lives, and we need to learn to ‘put off’ all filthiness and fleshly reactions that may only start as a small irritating scab, which if scratched enough can fester and cause greater infection, and cause one to get greatly inflamed and let anger direct your way, which will only result in a negative outcome!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
Leprosy can represent for us that which is of the flesh, and at the same time even that which is a defilement of the spirit and we must cleanse ourselves from all of this defilement as we perfect our set-apartness in Messiah.
When we have been found to have an infection so to speak, and by that, I mean that we have recognised that there is an area of disobedience in our lives that does not line up with pure set-apartness, then we too, like the infected one, must come to the Priest and repent of our sin and be cleansed from all unrighteousness that we may praise Him and be able to participate in that which is required in the service of His Body!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The waiting period of anyone who was inspected by the priest was 7 days and this is very profound, as on the 7th day the infected one would be inspected. As we continue to understand the one thing that Kěpha told us to not be ignorant of or rather to not let one matter be hidden from us, and that is that 1 day is as a 1000 years to יהוה and a 1000 years are as 1 day, we once again see the wonderful picture being presented here in the Torah of leprosy. On the 7th day the priest would inspect the infected one and so we know that on the 7th day (that is the 7th Millennium) our High Priest will come and ‘inspect’ us to see if we are clean or unclean – to see whether we have defilement of the flesh and spirit or if we have walked faithfully in spirit and in truth! יהושע Messiah, on the 7th day, shall declare who is clean and who is unclean! As we consider the further picture of this in relation to the feasts we see once again a wonderful picture of how יהושע will come out of the Most Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur and by the time Sukkot arrives, He will have a clean and prepared Bride who has made herself ready for Her coming King, able to enter in to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!
A person who had an infection would be shut up for 7 days and then inspected and if still no improvement would be shut up a further 7 days being inspected again on the 14th day and if he is still unclean he would be pronounced unclean and is no longer ‘shut up’ but rather judged as unclean and unfit to enter the camp and remains in his uncleanness. This for me is a critical foreshadowing to the period between Yom Teruah on the 1st of the 7th month in the 7th Millennium to the 14th of the 7th month – the day before Sukkot and those who have not been ‘cleansed’ by the Blood of the Lamb and have received the covering or atonement for their sins shall be permanently declared unclean and have no access in to the rejoicing feast of Sukkot!
There will be many who upon inspection after the 1st 7-day period will not have changed as they will refuse to repent and so will face the danger of being shut out forever.
The 7 days of being shut up can also symbolise for us the time of Ya’aqoḇ’s trouble in the 7-year tribulation period, which will clearly identify three groups of people: the righteous, the wicked, and the “sinners” who have not yet made their decision on which way to go but have drifted along in being lukewarm.
Dawiḏ speaks of “teaching sinners יהוה‘s way”, while יהוה sets Himself firmly against the wicked.
At the very beginning of this apocalyptic seven-year season, some are separated away and pronounced “clean” or righteous, for they have prepared themselves in this age and been faithful and steadfast in walking in righteousness, holding fast to the commands of Elohim and the testimony of Messiah. Others are destroyed by plagues and disasters, having “still refused to repent”.
Ḥazon/Revelation 9:20 “And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship the demons, and idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood, which are neither able to see, nor to hear, nor to walk.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 16:9 “And men were burned with great heat, and they blasphemed the Name of Elohim who possesses authority over these plagues. And they did not repent, to give Him esteem.”
At the end of Ḥazon/Revelation we see a clear divide between the righteous and the wicked or in terms of the torah of leprosy, between the clean and the unclean:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:11 “He who does wrong, let him do more wrong; he who is filthy, let him be more filthy; he who is righteous, let him be more righteous; he who is set-apart, let him be more set-apart.”
What we must recognise here is that the torah for a leprous infection is very clear – you have ‘7 days’ to get cleaned up and be inspected by the priest – what will you be found to have done? Remain in your sin or cleansed and of great use in His house?
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:20-21 “But in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some unto value and some unto no value. 21 If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work.”
Part of ‘cleansing oneself’ is the need to take responsibility and own up to the fact that you have a spot/blemish and takes great humility to do so, whereas if one does not confess and repent then it shows a selfishness and pride that is crippling one’s ability to be free from any defilement and the consequences of ignored selfishness and pride is fatal!
It would take great courage and bravery to confess and expose oneself to this long period of testing so that the rest of the community/camp could remain pure. One cannot be part of the community as long as the signs of selfishness are on him.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:11 “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.”
The treatment for leprosy was to remove and isolate the contamination. The one spreading gossip, slanderous thoughts and bad reports about other people was to be removed from the camp before it infected the whole camp. During this time, they were considered contagious. After the seven days, the priest inspected them to see if the condition had spread or changed. What the priest was inspecting was both the body and the heart condition of the contaminated person. Treating the heart and mind (sickness of the spirit), took care of the sickness on the body in the physical dimension. Once the contaminated person repented, the priest anointed the person with oil and immersed them in water/mikvah for status change from the unclean realm into the clean realm.
The person was thus restored back into communion with יהוה and the community of fellowship again. This is called the ritual application of יהוה’s teaching and instruction for Life and is still applicable today! This principle comes not from Judaism or rabbinic teaching, but יהושע, the LIFE in Torah!
Often a community can be too quick to receive a leprous (unclean) person back into the fold before the said person has totally repented and cleansed his way as יהוה instructs us in His Word. Or even more damaging, the leprous/contaminated person may have never been addressed and is still continuing to spread contamination throughout the community because their behaviour has not been properly evaluated by leadership. The way back to relationship with יהוה is only through repentance and forgiveness. Leprous afflictions have been designed by יהוה to redeem His people back into relationship with Him, to keep His camp clean and to have a functioning priesthood and set-apart nation before Him.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘wash’ in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13:6,34,54 and 58 is כָּבַס kaḇas – Strong’s H3526 which carries the meaning ‘washing by treading or wash by the trampling of the feet’ and carries the picture of washing one’s garments. This is different to the word used in referring to the washing of the hands and feet of the priests that was to be done at the bronze laver, which is the word רָחַץ raḥats – Strong’s H7364 and means ‘to wash, wash off, bathe, wash away’.
Yirmeyahu was clearly shown the state of the hearts of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, and under the influence of inherited lies and vain traditions, the hearts of a called-out nation had become desperately sick, and we see a call to get cleaned up in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:14 “O Yerushalayim, wash your heart from evil, and be saved. Till when would your wicked thoughts remain within you?”
This ‘washing’ that is called for here is for a washing of one’s garments that have been defiled by sin, and we see the word כָּבַס kaḇas – Strong’s H3526 used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 51:2 “Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Tehillah/Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I am clean; wash me, and I am whiter than snow.”
This was a Psalm that Dawiḏ wrote after he was confronted by Nathan the prophet, after Dawiḏ had sinned by going into Bathsheḇa and committing adultery.
This word כָּבַס kaḇas is used in the words that Mosheh was told to speak to Yisra’ĕl in preparation for them being ready to hear Elohim when He would come down upon the Mountain:
Shemoth/Exodus 19:10-11 “And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go to the people and set them apart today and tomorrow. And they shall wash their garments, 11 and shall be prepared by the third day. For on the third day יהוה shall come down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.”
Shemoth/Exodus 19:14 “And Mosheh came down from the mountain to the people and set the people apart, and they washed their garments.”
In the call of repentance given to the assembly in Sardis we see the words of our Master telling them:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:4 “Nevertheless, you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments. And they shall walk with Me in white, because they are worthy.”
We are to keep our garments clean as we guard the Torah that Elohim has put on our hearts, and in understanding the instructions given through Mosheh, we are also able to see that Yisra’ĕl has been given 2 days to get ready, for on the 3rd day our Master and Elohim is coming!
יהושע Messiah, The Light of the world, came on the 4th day (4th Millennium) in order to separate the light from the darkness, and He has given His body 2 days (5 & 6) to get ready for on the 3rd day (that is the 7th – 7th Millennium) He is coming again to receive unto Himself those who have cleansed themselves and have not defiled their garments of righteousness!
Ya’aqoḇ makes a clear call for sinners to wash their hands and hearts:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!”
This call to get cleaned up is a call to wash the heart – that is the inwards thoughts and intentions and ways of man, and not to simply put on an outward appearance of cleanliness that the religious lawbreakers do:
Luqas/Luke 11:39-40 “And the Master said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is filled with greed and wickedness. 40 “Mindless ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?”
The garments are to be kept pure:
The Hebrew word translated as ‘garments’ is בֶּגֶד beggeḏ – Strong’s H899 which means, ‘garment, covering, treachery, to deceive’ and can also give reference to any kind of garment, from the robes of the rich and mighty to the rags of the poor and the leper.
In this section we also see the instructions regarding a leprous infection on any garment of warp, weft or wool and as we know that in Scripture garments are often a symbolic picture of our works, so what we can deduce from the instructions given here thus far is that the first section on dealing with the ‘skin’ can represent our attitudes and our thought processes as well as our commitment to walking in the Truth and our ability to renew our minds daily, while when we come to the infection on the garments we see the picture of our works.
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘wool’ here is צֶמֶר tsemer – Strong’s H6785 which means, ‘wool, woollen, shaggy’ and is the product taken from animals; and the Hebrew word that is used here for ‘flax’ is פֵּשֶׁת pesheth – Strong’s H6593 which means, ‘flax, linen, linen made from flax’, which is a product made from plants.
In speaking of the qualities of a capable wife, we are told in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31:13 “She shall seek wool and flax, and with delight she works with her hands.”
Wool and linen are also seen as something that represents the covering of righteousness that our Master and Elohim has given to His called out and set-apart Bride, yet we also take note that through whoring the adulterous whore seeks out her covering from that which is false and we take note of this in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 2:5 “For their mother has whored, she who conceived them has acted shamelessly. For she said, ‘I go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’”
Hoshěa/Hosea 2:9 “Therefore I shall turn back and shall take my grain in its time and My new wine in its appointed time, and I shall take away My wool and My linen covering her nakedness.”
We are also told in Scripture to not mix wool and linen into one garment!
As we consider this parable of a capable wife that ‘seeks wool and flax’, we are able to recognise the metaphor of this being a picture of the faithful remnant bride that rightly divides the Truth and does not allow any mixing to take place.
As we consider these words for ‘wool’ and ‘flax’ we are able to glean from clear pictures of proper coverings in the Scripture. The Hebrew word for ‘wool’ – צֶמֶר tsemer – Strong’s H6785 – is also used as a metaphor for ‘whiteness’, as we take note of the use of this word in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:16-18 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! 17 “Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Here the clear call from יהוה to a backslidden and corrupted Yisra’ĕl was to get cleaned up and though her sins were like scarlet and crimson, they shall be as white as snow and as wool, when they have been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb!
These two words for wool (צֶמֶר tsemer – Strong’s H6785) and flax (פֵּשֶׁת pesheth – Strong’s H6593) are both identified as materials that are used to make garments/coverings and we are clearly instructed not to mix the two into one garment!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:19 “Guard My laws. Do not let your livestock mate with another kind. Do not sow your field with mixed seed. And do not put a garment woven of two sorts of thread upon you.”
In this verse we see the clear instructions not to mix livestock, seed or threads! All of which helps us to understand how we are to be a set-apart people, not mixed in any way with the matters of this world!
Each one of these carries great insight and significance for us in helping us to live set-apart lives as sojourners here until our Master returns. We must be careful not to mix theologies, relationships or worship as we walk set-apart lives.
When it comes to our clothing, we would do well to heed these instructions literally, even as difficult as it may be today in a consumer driven world that has mixed almost every fabric. What we learn from this separation of linen and wool is the following: Linen is brought forth from the produce of the earth, while wool comes forth from an animal with ‘life’ as it carries blood which, when shed, pictures for us redemption which is from above. There is a place for each and they must not be mixed! Now on a literal level this does not mean that you cannot wear two different garments, one of wool and one of linen, but rather that you cannot wear a single garment that is a mix between the two. And a good example of this is seen in the High Priest garments where we find linen garments and a woollen garment that is died (Shemoth/Exodus 28:6). These garments however were reserved for duty in the set-apart place, and so even in our garments, which represent our works, we are to recognise and remember that we are not to mix that which is from above with that which is of this world and so put aside the works of the flesh and be about doing the good works of Torah that has been prepared beforehand for us to do!
Our ‘clothes’ represent our covering and worship and our covering is either from above or from that which originates from man; and so, we are commanded to not be lukewarm, having been found with mixed garments but rather be found with the purity of walking in righteousness (linen garments) and being ‘covered’ by the woollen garments (from above) of Messiah and His shed blood!
‘A garment woven of two sorts of thread’ – וּבֶגֶד כִּלְאַיִם שַׁעַטְנֵז – ‘ubegeḏ kil’aiym sha’atnez’
1) – The Hebrew word translated as ‘garments’ is בֶּגֶד beggeḏ – Strong’s H899 which means, ‘garment, covering, treachery, to deceive’ and can also give reference to any kind of garment, from the robes of the rich and mighty to the rags of the poor and the leper.
2) – The Hebrew word for ‘woven of two sorts’ is כִּלְאַיִם kilayim – Strong’s H3610 meaning, ‘two kinds’, and comes from the word כָּלָא kala – Strong’s H3607 which means, ‘restrain, shut up withhold’.
3) – The Hebrew word for ‘thread’ is שַׁעַטְנֵז shaatnez – Strong’s H8162 which means, ‘mixed stuff, material mixed together, fabric of mixed weave, a kind of cloth forbidden for garments, cloth made by weaving linen and wool together’.
What is being prohibited here is the wearing of a garment that is of a mixed weave of linen and wool. This does not mean that we cannot wear two different garments together, just that each individual garment must not be made of a mixed weave of linen and wool!
This is further confirmed for us, in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 22:11 “Do not put on a garment of different kinds, of wool and linen together.”
In the Hebrew this verse is written as: לֹא תִלְבַּשׁ שַׁעַטְנֵז צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים יַחְדָּו – ‘lo tilbash sha’atnez tseymer uphishtiym yaḥday’
The Hebrew word used here for ‘put on’ is לָבַשׁ laḇash – Strong’s H3847 which means, ‘wear, put on, be clothed, apparel, dress’, and the ‘lo’ before it – לאֹ lo – Strong’s H3808 is the primitive adverb that means, ‘not, no, never, neither’; and we therefore have the clear instruction to not wear or never wear… ! What is it that we must never wear? We must never a garment of different kinds, and here in the Hebrew it tells us what this refers to is clear, for the Hebrew word used here for ‘garment of different kinds’ is שַׁעַטְנֵז sha’atnez – Strong’s H8162 which means, ‘mixed stuff, material mixed together, fabric of mixed weave, a kind of cloth forbidden for garments, cloth made by weaving linen and wool together’.
שַׁעַטְנֵז sha’atnez is simply referring to that which is made by the mixing of wool and linen together – and this must never be worn! This verse in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 22 further explains what שַׁעַטְנֵז sha’atnez is:
The Hebrew word for wool here is צֶמֶר tsemer – Strong’s H6785 which is the product taken from animals; and the word used here for linen is פֵּשֶׁת pesheth – Strong’s H6593 which means, ‘flax, linen, linen made from flax’, which is a product made from plants. The Hebrew root word translated as ‘together’ is יַחַד yaḥaḏ – Strong’s H3162 meaning, ‘unitedness, alike, one accord, unity’.
The instruction here is very simply and very clear – do not wear a garment that contains both wool and linen together as one. You may wear 2 garments or more at a time – a woollen garment and a linen garment at the same time, as long as they are not made together as one garment but are separate garments!
This should clear up any confusion one has – wool and linen together as one is what makes a garment שַׁעַטְנֵז sha’atnez. This does not expand further into nylon or any other fabricated products that are made from that which is extracted from natural plants or substances and chemically produced.
As we consider the use of wool and linen and the clear instructions given, in regards to not mixing these two into one garment, we can see the good and perfect characteristic of a capable wife, for she is able to be properly dressed in righteousness, keep her garments clean, so to speak, as she is able to rightly divide the truth and not be falsely covered in a mix of theologies and corrupt traditions!
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:4 “Nevertheless, you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments. And they shall walk with Me in white, because they are worthy.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:18 “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you become rich; and white garments, so that you become dressed, so that the shame of your nakedness might not be shown; and anoint your eyes with ointment, so that you see.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 16:15 “See, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who is staying awake and guarding his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘guarding’ in the above verse is τηρέω tēreō – Strong’s G5083 which means, ‘to attend to carefully, to take care of, to guard, to one in the state in which he is, to observe, to hold fast’, and this is a verb which clearly implies an action that is required rather than a passive nullification of the need to observe. It comes from the word τηρός tēros which is a ‘guard’, and we know that a guard cannot guard correctly if they are not alert and watchful! Figuratively, this word τηρέω tēreō means, ‘obey, fulfil a duty, precept, law or custom, and to perform watchfully’. To guard one’s garments implies an active obedience to staying awake and being properly dressed in righteousness and keep our garments clean!
One of the things a leper would have to do in the cleansing process is to ‘destroy his garments’ and so too do we need to ‘destroy’ our ‘old’ self and put on Messiah:
Romiyim/Romans 13:12-14 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
It is through immersion after repentance that we die to self and put off the old and are made alive in Messiah and put on the new:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:21-24 “if indeed you have heard Him and were taught by Him, as truth is in יהושע: 22 that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the renewed man which was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and set-apartness of the truth.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8-10 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices, 10 and have put on the new one who is renewed in knowledge according to the likeness of Him who created him”
Pronounced clean or unclean!
What this chapter teaches us is that we will either be pronounced clean or unclean and understanding this, we must do our utmost to keep our garments clean and destroy all garments of falsehood and lawlessness, lest we be found to be among those who shall be pronounced unclean by our Master and be unable to enter the reign!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘pronounced clean’ comes from the root verb טָהֵר taher – Strong’s H2891 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.”
It is His word that makes us clean as we cleanse ourselves daily through the washing of His Word. It is He who 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!
In Tehillah/Psalm 19 Dawiḏ proclaims that the fear of יהוה is ‘clean’:
Tehillah/Psalm 19:9-10 “The fear of יהוה is clean, standing forever; the right-rulings of יהוה are true, they are righteous altogether, 10 more desirable than gold, than much fine gold; and sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.”
The Hebrew word for ‘clean’ here is written in the feminine as טְהוֹרָה – t’horah. When we look at this word in the ancient script we are able to recognise the wonderful aspect of what pure and clean fear of יהוה entails for us as a cleansed Bride:
The original pictograph of these letters (from right to left):
Tet – טְ:
The original pictograph for this letter is , ‘a container 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 meanings of this letter are ‘basket, contain, store and clay’.
The original pictograph for this letter 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!
Waw – וֹ:
This is the letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ and the ancient pictographic form of this letter is , a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
Resh – ר:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , ‘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 the following message through this pictograph lettering of טְהוֹרָה – t’horah:
We, as ‘clay baskets’ come and surrender and ‘raise our hands’ in acknowledgement and confess our sins/lawlessness before the One who has secured for us His Covenants of Promise in His own Blood – our ‘head’ and High Priest, יהושע Messiah, and we 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 4:7 “And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us”
What we recognise here in this parable of Shelomoh is that by saying that pleasant words are clean, we are able to clearly identify how clean and pure the Torah of Elohim is. His Word is clean and therefore the words that we ought to meditate upon and bring forth on our lips are His clean Words!!!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:35 “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.”
When the Torah is truly upon our hearts, we will think and speak that which is clean, yet when one neglects to meditate day and night on the Torah of Elohim they inevitably will begin to think their own thoughts and bring out the wicked treasure that is abominable to יהוה.
After declaring that the fear of יהוה is clean, Dawiḏ then asks the following:
Tehillah/Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before You, O יהוה, my rock and my redeemer.”
Our words and thoughts (the meditation of our hearts) are to be pleasing to יהוה, as they are to be in line with His clean, pure and true Word, lest we find that our thoughts and words are wicked and abominable in His sight!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘pronounced unclean’ comes from the root verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, ‘to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’.
To be ‘unclean’ or ‘defiled’ would render a priest unfit for service as they would be ceremonially unclean and unable to perform the requires set-apart duties of the priesthood. This teaches us a vital lesson on how we are to prefect set-apartness and not become stained with the uncleanness of the world, for it destroys and renders one unfit to serve as a royal priesthood in Messiah!
The Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘pronounced unclean’ comes from the root word μιαίνω miainō – Strong’s G3392 which means, ‘to stain, defile, pollute, contaminate, soil’, and this word is used in Sha’ul’s words to Titos, in:
Titos/Titus 1:15-16 “Indeed, all matters are clean to the clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving no matter is clean, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
Why I am mentioning this is to highlight how the garments of uncleanness are worn by those who may profess to know Elohim yet in their works of lawlessness they deny Him and shall be pronounced as unclean!
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.”
Why I am mentioning this is to simply highlight that to despise the Word of Elohim renders one unclean and unfit to be counted worthy to serve and be a part of a royal and set-apart priesthood, and those who despise His Word will be destroyed!
This Greek word μιαίνω miainō – Strong’s G3392 is used in the LXX (Septuagint) in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 20:30 “Therefore say to the house of Yisra’ěl, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Are you defiling yourselves in the way of your fathers? And do you whore after their abominations?”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘defiling yourselves’ is נִטְמְאִים – nithme’iym which comes from the root verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, ‘to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’.
This question, ‘Are you defiling yourselves in the way of your fathers?’ is a question that is still being asked through the mirror of the Word to many today! What is important for us to understand is that in the service of the tabernacle if a priest became unclean or defiled (טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930) then they would be unfit for service as they would be ceremonially unclean and unable to perform the required set-apart duties of the priesthood. As we consider that, as the body of Messiah, we are a called out, chosen, royal and set-apart priesthood, we must make sure that we do not defile ourselves and so render our lives as being unfit to serve our Master in Spirit and Truth!
Leprosy, as pictured by sin, is still very much a huge problem in our midst still today and we need to be careful to not fall into the trap of overlooking any ‘small’ scab or imperfection on our daily living; but rather daily look intently into the Torah of Freedom and allow the Word to wash us and clothe us in righteousness through the precious Blood of Messiah. We have a High Priest who has cleansed us and has called us to be set-apart and He is coming on the 7th day to inspect us – may we all be found to be clean and ready and a bride who is faithfully awake and watching for His soon return!
As we consider this chapter on the Torah of the infection of leprosy, we are able to learn a great deal from the 3 accounts in Scripture where the guilty one was struck with the disease of leprosy. These 3 accounts highlight for us how being struck by the disease of leprosy, punished the sin of being unsatisfied with what יהוה had created one to be, as well as defying those that He had put in appointed positions for a specific task!
The Hebrew word for leprosy, as already mentioned, is צָרַעַת tsara’ath – Strong’s H6883 and is derived from the primitive root verb צָרַע tsara – Strong’s H6879 which means, ‘to be struck with leprosy, to be leprous’.
The noun צָרַעַת tsara’ath – Strong’s H6883 is used 35 times in 33 verses in the Tanak and of the 35 times it is used, it is used 29 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13 & 14, with it being used 21 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13 and 8 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 14. While chapter 13 highlights the Torah of the infection of leprosy, Chapter 14 deals with the Torah of the leper on the day of his cleansing. I find it interesting that the word צָרַעַת tsara’ath – Strong’s H6883 is used 8 times in the chapter that gives us the Torah of the cleansing of leprosy, as we know that the number 8 represents a picture of renewal and therefore highlights a chapter of being cleansed and renewed, giving us a further prophetic parable of the redeeming work that our Master has worked for us, in order for us to be renewed and cleansed from sin!
With this word being used 21 times here in Chapter 13, we are able to see the clear emphasis that this chapter places on the Torah of the infection of leprosy, and while it may not always seem to be a pleasant chapter to go through, we learn a great deal from it, so that we can be joyfully equipped to walk in the perfect set-apartness and guard our lives from any defilement of the flesh, as we stay in our Master.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:8 “Take heed, in an outbreak of leprosy, to diligently guard and do according to all that the priests, the Lěwites, teach you. As I have commanded them, so you shall guard to do.”
Let us now take a brief look at the 3 accounts of someone being struck with leprosy:
1 – Miryam
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 12:10 “And the cloud turned away from above the Tent, and look: Miryam was leprous, as white as snow! And Aharon turned toward Miryam, and look: a leper!”
The root verb צָרַע tsara – Strong’s H6879 which means, ‘to be struck with leprosy, to be leprous’ is used twice here in this account of Miryam being struck with leprosy, as a result of rebellion in speaking against Mosheh.
2 – Gěḥazi
Melaḵim Bet/2 Kings 5:20 “And Gěḥazi, the servant of Elisha the man of Elohim, said, “Look, my master has spared Na‛aman this Aramean, while not receiving from his hands what he brought. But as יהוה lives, I shall run after him and take whatever from him.”
Melaḵim Bet/2 Kings 5:27 “So let the leprosy of Na‛aman cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from him as leprous as snow.”
Here we see both the words צָרַעַת tsara’ath – Strong’s H6883 and צָרַע tsara – Strong’s H6879 being used.
Gehazi, Eliyahu’s servant, was greedy for the gifts that Na’aman offered for his healing and he misrepresented his position.
3 – King Uzziyahu
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 26:16 “But when he became strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he trespassed against יהוה his Elohim by entering the Hěḵal of יהוה to burn incense on the slaughter-place of incense.”
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 26:19-21 “And Uzziyahu was wroth. And he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was wroth with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the House of יהוה , beside the incense slaughter-place. 20 And Azaryahu the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and saw that he was leprous on his forehead. And they hurried him from there. And he also hurried to get out, because יהוה had struck him. 21 And Sovereign Uzziyahu was a leper until the day of his death, and dwelt in a separate house, because he was a leper, for he was cut off from the House of יהוה . And Yotham his son was over the sovereign’s house, ruling the people of the land.”
Uzziyahu tried to usurp the priests position by presuming he had a right to perform that which only the priests were permitted to do. He got angry when he was rebuked and became leprous as a result and remained in that state until his death!
When we consider these 3 accounts we can see the effects of wrong actions being that which can cause sin. When we look at the 3 symptoms mentioned in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13:2 we can identify with the examples that we have looked at.
1 – Swelling
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘swelling’ is שְׂאֵת se’eth – Strong’s H7613 which means, ‘raising, loftiness, exaltation, uprising, swelling’ and in terms of the picture of a swelling of leprosy, we can see how this can figuratively teach us to be on guard against the lifting up of oneself to an assumed position of authority, as a result of pride.
2 – Scab
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘scab’ is סַפַּחַת sappaḥath – Strong’s H5597 which means, ‘an eruption, scab or lesion, either benign or malignant’. The image of a scab or lesion can teach us a vital lesson against unrighteous attachments. By that I mean we are to guard against the coveting desire for the things of the flesh that will have a way of clinging to us if not kept in check. The need to be attached to things that have no value in one’s walk of set-apartness must be put to death, as we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh in order to prevent ‘malignant’ attachments that can defile one’s walk.
3 – Bright spot
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘bright spot’ is בַּהֶרֶת bahereth – Strong’s H934 which means, ‘brightness, bright spot, blister, boil, white patch of skin’. This root is only used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 13 & 14 with reference to the bright spot that appears on one’s skin! In terms of this picture of a bright spot, being a possible sign of leprosy, we are able to learn the vital lesson against putting on a show, so to speak, like the scribes and Pharisees who were rebuked by Messiah for being hypocrites that clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. (Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:25)
Swellings, scabs and bright spots!!! Pride, coveting and hypocrisy could be very easily be classed under these three conditions that can turn into leprosy, if not properly dealt with and inspected, in the appropriate manner, through the mirror of the Word.
Miryam assumed to have the same authority as Mosheh and being his sister, she was clearly in an important position, yet she needed to get cleaned up on the inside and be a better example before the nation. As a result of her actions she caused the entire nation to be held back for 7 days.
Gěḥazi coveted what was not his to have and paid the price by having his need for his fleshly desires to be met result in being struck with leprosy and having leanness within his spirit! Uzziyahu lifted himself up in pride, by taking on the role of the priests and was brought low by Elohim!
These three examples that we have in Scripture, pertaining to the infection of leprosy, highlights for us the lesson of guarding set-apartness, by doing right and to love loving-commitment, walking humbly before 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 loving-commitment, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?”
In closing, I will leave you with these clear words of Sha’ul, highlighting what the desire of Elohim is for us! Our set-apartness can only be kept set-apart if we guard against being defiled because of drifting away!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 “For the rest then, brothers, we beg you and call upon you in the Master יהושע, that as you received from us how you should walk and to please Elohim, you should excel still more, 2 for you know what commands we gave you through the Master יהושע. 3 For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the nations who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but Elohim, who also gives us His Set-apart Spirit.”