Parashah 24: Vayikra (Leviticus) – (He Called)

Parashah 24: Leviticus 1:1-5:27

“Adonai called to Moshe and spoke to him from the tent of meeting” (Leviticus 1:1).

Leviticus or Vayikra means ‘he called’ and begins with Yahweh calling Moshe into the Mishkan to explain the order of worship to take place in the Tabernacle.  He explains the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, the peace or fellowship offerings, the guilt and sin offerings.

Offerings and sacrifices are ordinances for the Tabernacle (and Temple) services.  Many people believe that when Yeshua died on the cross, all of these sacrifices and offerings were no longer in force. This is not true. If all of the sacrifices and offerings ended when Yeshua died, Sha’ul would have known. However, in Acts 21:22-26, Sha’ul offers what the Torah requires for purification so that those who were saying he apostatized from Torah would be silenced.

The sacrifices and offerings stopped in 70 CE because there was no longer a Temple where they could be done.  In other words, whenever there is a Temple, there will be a sacrificial system.  In the coming Millennial Kingdom, another Temple will be built.  According to the prophet Ezekiel, there will be an Altar of Sacrifice in this Messianic Temple and there will be regulations for its consecration as well as its offerings (Ezekiel 43).   ‘The prince’ will be obligated to present burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings, sin offerings and peace offerings on the Altar for the House of Isra’el (Ezekiel 45:17).

An Altar of Sacrifice is a very important detail when considering a rebuilt Temple.   For the Jews to build any Temple without an Altar of Sacrifice is contrary to Torah. They know the Torah has regulations for the Temple, including regulations for sacrifice as well as the Levitical priesthood.   They know they need a sacrifice for their personal sins as well as corporately for their nation.They cannot offer a Pesach lamb or have an authentic Yom Kippur.  With veiled hearts and minds toward Messiah Yeshua, they mourn the loss of the only way to have a relationship with HaShem.

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has been preparing all of the objects necessary for rebuilding a third Temple, not the Millennial Temple described by Ezekiel.  Outside the institute for public viewing is their concept of the golden Menorah.

Whenever there is a Temple, there are regulations. Having regulations for offerings does not negate or minimize the work of Yeshua; they prove his reality in the shadows.  Those who are resurrected as the royal priesthood and serve Yeshua as High Priest in the Millennial Temple according to the regulations described by Ezekiel.

“Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please.  Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you” (Deuteronomy 12:13-14).

Korban or Offering

“But you say, ‘If someone says to his father or mother, “I have promised as a korban” (that is, as a gift to God)…” (Mark 7:11).

The Hebrew word for ‘offering’ is korban and includes all offerings consecrated to Elohim whether they involve blood or not.  Not all offerings included a blood sacrifice.  Some were grain and drink for fellowship and peace offerings.

“A person’s gift clears his way and gives him access to the great” (Proverbs 18:16).

There is a tradition of bringing a hostess gift to someone you’re visiting.  Korban is a similar concept.  When visiting Elohim in His ‘house,’ a gift is presented as one would present a gift to a king thus opening the way for a relationship. This was the purpose and intent of the Tabernacle system–to make a way into the presence of the Holy One of Isra’el.

Many of the offerings also became the provisional sustenance for the Levitical priesthood.  As they had no land inheritance where they could grow their own food,  they were given meat, grain, and drink by their Israelite brothers and sisters.  Only a few of the offerings were for Yahweh Himself.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Offering or korban – קרבןkoof, resh, bet, noon

the final authority in the house of life

Korban Olah – Burnt Offerings

“When any of you brings a [burnt] offering to Adonai, you may bring your animal offering either from the herd or from the flock. If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he must offer a male without defect…. The cohen is to make it go up in smoke on the altar, on the wood which is on the fire, as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai” (Leviticus 1:2-3).

This is an offering which rises up into heaven into a fragrant aroma to Elohim.  The term olah is first used in Genesis 22:3 in reference to the burnt offerings of Noah.  It is used when Abraham offers the ram on Mount Moriah. This offering was a completely voluntary offering and brought no profit to the worshipper or the administering priest except the blessing of worshipping Yahweh. It was used in conjunction with other offerings and sacrifices as well as the daily morning and evening sacrifice.   

Requirements and Regulations

The animal for the korban olah could be a bull, goat, sheep or even a bird.  It had to be a male without defect.   A bull (or other animal) was brought to the entrance of the Mishkan and the offerer laid his hands on the head of the animal so that it would be accepted by Yahweh for his atonement.  The offerer slaughtered the animal.  A sheep or goat was to be slaughtered on the northern side of the Altar.  A dove or pigeon was to be taken by the cohen to the Altar where he snapped off its head.

The atonement made by the animal was called kaphar meaning ‘covering’ or ‘ransom for one’s life.’   Kaphar was used when Noah ‘covered’ the inside and the outside of the Ark with pitch.   To lay hands on an offered animal’s head was called semichah. It implied a physical ‘leaning’ on the animal so that the weight of the man was transferred to the animal, symbolic of transferring the identity of the man onto the animal.  In this way, the animal represented him before Elohim and became his substitute sacrifice.

The priests, the sons of Aaron, presented the blood to Yahweh by splashing it against all four sides of the bronze Altar of Sacrifice.  The animal was then skinned and cut into pieces, the entrails and lower parts of the legs were washed with water.  The blood of the dove or pigeon was drained out on the side of the Altar. The food pouch and feathers from its neck were removed and discarded on the ash pile on the eastern side of the Altar.

Fire was made on the Altar by arranging pieces of wood.  The animal parts, the head and the fat were put on the wood along with the washed entrails and lower parts of the legs.  Everything was burnt and went up in smoke.  For a bird offering,  the priest pulled it open with a wing on each side (without tearing it in half) before placing it on the fire.  This offering became a fragrant aroma before Yahweh.

Minchah or Grain Offering

“Anyone who brings a grain offering to Adonai is to make his offering of fine flour; he is to pour olive oil on it and put frankincense on it” (Leviticus 2:1).

The Hebrew word minchah does not mean ‘grain offering’ nor does it include ‘meat’ as is found in some translations.  A minchah is a ‘gift or donation’ and is also the name for the afternoon prayer service in Judaism.  The gift of grain was a free-will offering and became food for the priests.

Requirements and Regulations

The minchah was a fine flour mixture with olive oil and frankincense poured on it.  A grain offering could be baked in an oven like matzah, cooked on a griddle like a pancake or in a pot like a matzah ball.  No grain offering was to include leaven called chametz or ‘soured dough’ because neither leaven or honey was to be burned up in smoke.  A small portion or ‘reminder’ of the offering was burnt up on the Altar as a fragrant aroma to Yahweh.  The remainder was given to Aaron and his sons as food.

Leaven was allowed in a Firstfruits offering, but it was not burned up on the Altar.   A Firstfruits offering was made from kernels of fresh ears of grain, dry roasted with fire  and covered in olive oil and frankincense.

Zevah Shelamim or Peace/Fellowship Offerings

“If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, then, if he offers before Adonai an animal from the herd, then, no matter whether it is male or female, it must be without defect…. Aharon’s sons will make it go up in smoke on the altar on top of the burnt offering which is on the wood on the fire; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai“ (Leviticus 3:1,5).

The Hebrew word zevah means ‘slaughter’ and shelamim has its root in shalom or peace and includes the ideas of harmony, health and prosperity. This offering is more than just an offering peace, it is a slaughter offering of complete well-being.  Like the burnt and grain offerings, the slaughter offering was voluntary.  Thanksgiving offerings, free-will offerings and Passover lambs were all considered ‘peace offerings.’  These offerings were never brought as atonement for sin or to receive forgiveness as it was an offering that symbolized the fellowship between Elohim and man.  The worshipper who brought this gift would invite his family and friends to eat of the sacrificed meats.

Requirements and Regulations

“It is to be a permanent regulation through all your generations wherever you live that you will eat neither fat nor blood” (Leviticus 3:17).

A slaughter offering came from the herd or flock.  It could be male or female, but it had to be without defect.  The worshipper laid his hand on the head of the offering and slaughtered it at the entrance to the Tabernacle.   The cohanim, sons of Aaron, splashed the blood against all four sides of the Altar.  The offering to Yahweh consisted of the fat in and around the inner organs, the two kidneys with their fat, and the covering of the liver.  The fat was burnt up on the Altar as an aroma pleasing to Yahweh.  The rest of the meat and the organs were cooked on the Altar and became food for the priests, the worshipper and his guests. 

Korban Chatat or Sin Offering

“If anyone sins inadvertently against any of the commands of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, if he does any of them …” (Leviticus 4:2).  

In Hebrew, korban chatat is a purification offering made for inadvertent and unintentional sins. There is no purification for intentional sin as Elohim didn’t want His people to think they could intentionally sin, offer a sacrifice, and go off and sin again.  The korban chatat did not atone for sin;  it was the means of spiritual purification after there was confession and repentance of sin.

There were two ways to sin inadvertently: personal and corporate.  If an individual  sinned unintentionally by breaking one of the instructions of Elohim, including the priests, a korban chatat was necessary.  For the nation of Isra’el that sinned unintentionally, a korban chatat was necessary for purification of the nation.

Requirements and Regulations

There were different regulations for this offering depending on whether it was an individual, a leader, a priest or the whole community of Isra’el.  The priest’s inadvertent sin brought guilt on the people he served and the Tabernacle itself.  When the community of Isra’el sinned, it made the whole community guilty.

For the individual, when he became aware of his sin, he would offer a female goat or lamb without defect.  He laid hands on the animal’s head and slaughtered it at the same place as the burnt offerings in the presence of Elohim. A leader was to bring a male goat without defect.  He also laid hands on its head and slaughtered it at the same place as the burnt offerings.  A cohen was to offer a young bull without defect for purification.  He was to bring it to the entrance of the Mishkan, lay hands on the bull’s head and slaughter it in the presence of Yahweh. When the community of Isra’el sinned unintentionally, a young bull was offered by the leaders at the entrance to the Tabernacle.  They were to lay hands on the bull and slaughter it in the presence of ‘I AM’.

All the fat from the bull was to be removed just as in the slaughter offering and then burned up on the Altar of Sacrifice as a pleasing aroma to Yahweh.   The rest of the bull in its entirety, including the dung, was taken outside the camp.  The ashes from the Altar were emptied.  Outside the camp,  the bull’s remains were to be burned up on a wood pile. 

When making the offering for the community of Isra’el, the cohen took some of the bull’s blood and brought it into the Mishkan.  In front of the veil, he was to dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of it in the front of the veil.  He was to sprinkle the blood seven times in the presence of ‘I Am.’  He was also to put some of the blood on the horns of the Altar of Incense as a fragrant aroma before Yahweh.  The rest of the blood was poured out at the base of the Altar for burnt offerings.

“In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).

This is the only mention of a priest taking an offering into the Holy Place.  Sin, breaking Elohim’s instructions is an offense against His holiness.   In order to purify the individual, leader, priest or the nation of Isra’el, the veil separating man and Elohim must be purified with blood in order to restore fellowship.    Sin also affects a person’s prayers in the ears of Elohim (Proverbs 28:9).   It is at the Altar of Incense that the prayers of Yahweh’s people rise like incense and must be purified from sin (Psalm 141:2).

The priest was to sprinkle the blood seven times.  Seven.  Sheva.

There are seven days in a week.  Seven days that one can sin and need purification.  Seven days that each individual needs to search their heart to make sure there is no sin of anger or bitterness that goes beyond the setting of the sun.  Sprinkling the blood seven times is a a reminder to live the next week with wholehearted devotion to Elohim because there has been purification from sin.   The sprinkling of blood seven times may have been to remember the seven-fold spirit of Yahweh that would one day rest on Yeshua (Isaiah 11:1-2).

Seven is also the number of completion.  When the blood was sprinkled seven times, the purification for the individual, the leader, the priest and the nation of Isra’el would be completed and their conscience would be restored (Hebrews 10:22).  It began with sprinkling blood in front of the veil that separated the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant from the rest of the sanctuary and ended with pouring out the blood on the ground at the Altar of Sacrifice. 

Asham or Guilt Offering

“If anyone sins inadvertently against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, if he does any one of them, then, if it is the anointed cohen who sinned and thus brought guilt on the people, he is to offer Adonai a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he committed” (Leviticus 4:2-3).

Asham means ‘guilt or trespass’ offering.  A guilt offering is different from the purification offering in that it recognizes sin and its consequences.  This offering included restitution and restoration because a sin against another person was a sin against Elohim.   Torah doesn’t say the offering made atonement for the sin, but if a person confesses their sin,“he will be forgiven in regard to whatever it was he did that made him guilty” (Leviticus 5:27).

Regulation and Requirements

When a person realizes they are guilty of sinning against Elohim, they are to confess their sin and bring a guilt offering for the sin that was committed.  The offering can be either a lamb or a goat and the priest will make atonement for the person in regard to their guilt.   Two doves or two pigeons are acceptable offerings for those who cannot afford a lamb or goat; two quarts of fine flour without olive oil or frankincense is acceptable for those who can’t afford doves or pigeons.   Atonement for guilt will be made, forgiveness granted, and the priest received the remaining meat or grain as food.

A person is considered guilty of sin who is a witness to an event, is sworn to testify, but refuses to tell what he has seen or heard.  A person is considered guilty of sin if they touch something unclean, whether the dead carcass of an unclean wild animal, a domestic animal or a reptile, or even human uncleanness, whether or not they realize their uncleanness.   A person is guilty of sin who speaks an oath, whether or good or evil.

If anyone acts improperly in regard to the holy things of Elohim, they are guilty of sin. Improperly handling the things of Elohim requires an asham of a ram without defect or its equivalent in silver shekels.  Restitution is also required for whatever was done wrong in regard to the holy thing along with an additional 20 percent to be given to the cohen.

Anyone who breaks any of Elohim’s instructions is considered guilty of sin. Even if they are unaware, they must bear the consequences of their sin.  An asham of a ram without defect is required or its equivalent according to the appraisal of the cohen.  The priest will make atonement for the sin and he will be forgiven of his guilt before Elohim.

Anyone who deals falsely with his neighbor in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, steals from his neighbor through extortion, deals falsely regarding an object that was found or swears to a lie is guilty of sin. All of these sins require a guilt offering and restitution of payment in full plus 20 percent given to the person who was wronged on the day that the offering is given.

Yeshua, the Offerings

“But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), he entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever” (Hebrews 9:11-12).

The Bull

baqar – בקר – bet, koof, resh

–  family behind the head

The bull, a symbol of strength and service, was completely burnt up as ‘that which ascends’  for a fragrant rising offering to Yahweh.

“So then, after he [Yeshua] had spoken to them [the talmidim], the Lord Yeshua was taken up [ascended] into heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).

The Ox

shor – שור – shin, vav, resh

consume the binding of the head

The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is an alef  with the word picture of an ‘ox’ symbolizing ‘first and strength.’   It represented the first of the Ten Commandments that we shall have no other gods before Yahweh.  The alef is also part of the alef-tav את inserted between words throughout the Hebrew Scriptures signifying Yeshua

The ox is a castrated bull which makes it easier to control.  Oxen are yoked together to plow and pull wagons.  Two oxen pulled the Ark of the Covenant when David wanted to take it to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:6).

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

The Sheep

seh – שה – shin, hey

the glory revealed

Sheep symbolize Isra’el and ultimately those who join with her through faith in Messiah.    Sheep were offered for burnt offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings. Both ewes and rams were offered on the Altar of Sacrifice.

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

The Lamb

tela – טלאים – tet, lamed, alef, yod, mem

surrender of the shepherd, the strong, mighty finished work

A lamb is a baby sheep and symbolizes innocence and purity.  It is generally weak and needs a lot of attention until it becomes a ewe or ram.  Lambs were used for burnt, fellowship, sin and guilt offerings.  On Mount Moriah, Abraham looked forward to the provision of ‘the lamb’ when Isaac asked about the missing sacrifice.

Yeshua, like a lamb, was born in a sukkah.  He grew up “like a tender shoot and though mistreated, he was submissive — he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).

“The next day, Yochanan saw Yeshua coming toward him and said, “Look! God’s lamb! The one who is taking away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

“You should be aware that the ransom paid to free you from the worthless way of life which your fathers passed on to you did not consist of anything perishable like silver or gold; on the contrary, it was the costly bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah, as of a lamb without defect or spot.  God knew him before the founding of the universe, but revealed him in the acharit-hayamim [last days] for your sakes” (1 Peter 1:18-20).

The Ram

ayil – איל – alef, yod, lamed

first finished work of the shepherd

A ram is a male sheep and symbolizes divine strength, leadership and resurrection.  Though Abraham looked to the future for ‘the lamb,’ the immediate provision was a ram caught in the thicket.  Through this provision, Abraham understood the resurrection. 

“By trusting, Avraham, when he was put to the test, offered up Yitz’chak as a sacrifice. Yes, he offered up his only son, he who had received the promises, to whom it had been said, “What is called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak.” For he had concluded that God could even raise people from the dead! And, figuratively speaking, he did so receive him” (Hebrews 11:17-19).

When Yeshua returns, he will not be a quiet, submissive lamb.  He will be a resurrected ram, a warrior, who contends for his people, the nation of Isra’el.

“Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle.  His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself…. And out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations…. It is he who treads the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of Adonai, God of heaven’s armies” (Revelation 19:11-16).

The Goat

aze (Female) – עז – ayin, zayin

understand the separation

attud (Male) – עתוד – ayin, tav, vav, dalet

see the covenant tied to the pathway

Goats from the herd were an option for the korban if someone couldn’t afford a lamb.   Two goats were used for the atonement of Isra’el and the removal of sins.  Goats also represent the Adversary and the worship of goat-gods in foreign nations.  In the Middle East, goats and sheep are similar in appearance which is why Yeshua used the illustration to separate the sheep from the goats – to the world they look the same.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, accompanied by all the angels, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.  The ‘sheep’ he will place at his right hand and the ‘goats’ at his left” (Matthew 25:31-33).

The Cow

parah – פרה – pey, resh, hey

mouth of the head revealed

A cow symbolizes truth in the Word of God (Isaiah 30:23).   A heifer is a young cow that has never had a yoke or has given birth.  Even more specifically, a heifer has never been with a bull.  The ashes of the red heifer were used for purification.

“For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity;  then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:13-14)

The Dove or Pigeon

yonah – יונהyod, vav, noon, hey

finished work bound to life revealed

Doves or pigeons were also acceptable korbanot for those who were poor.  A dove was sent out by Noah and brought back an olive leaf symbolizing life. The olive leaf, bitter in taste, symbolizes a choice to serve Elohim rather than serve the world.   In Judaism, the dove is a symbol of the human soul.  The nest of the dove is considered the ‘dwelling place’ of Messiah’s soul until his advent.

“When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took him up to Yerushalayim to present him to Adonai … and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of Adonai” (Luke 2:22-24).

“As soon as Yeshua had been immersed, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, he saw the Spirit of God coming down upon him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with him” (Matthew 3:16-17).

A Covenant of Salt

Another covenant given to Isra’el is the covenant of salt.  A covenant of salt is mentioned three times in Scripture.  It was given to Aaron and his sons regarding the priesthood as an eternal covenant.

“All the contributions of the holy things which the people of Isra’el offer to Adonai, I have given you, your sons and your daughters with you; this is a perpetual law, an eternal covenant of salt before Adonai for you and your descendants with you” (Numbers 18:9)

It was given to David and his sons regarding an everlasting kingdom as an eternal covenant.

“Don’t you know that Adonai, the God of Isra’el, gave rulership over Isra’el to David forever, to him and his descendants, by a covenant of salt?” (2 Chronicles 13:5).

The covenant of salt began with Isra’el in regard to their free-will or grain offerings, the minchah, as something they are to do forever. 

“You are to season every grain offering of yours with salt — do not omit from your grain offering the salt of the covenant with your God, but offer salt with all your offerings” (Leviticus 2:13).

The worshipper brought the salt-seasoned grain offering to the priest.  The cohen took a handful of the mixture of salt and grain and placed it on the Altar of Sacrifice to burn up.  This small portion was the reminder portion for Yahweh,  an offering made by fire that was a fragrant aroma to HimThe rest of the salted grain offering belonged Aaron and his sons as an especially holy offering.

Throughout history, salt has been considered a mineral of great value.  Those who work hard are valued with the idiom ‘worth their weight in salt.’  In some countries, salt was considered a source of life and its distribution was controlled by the ruler of that country. 

With the grain offering, there is a combination of ‘bread and salt.’  Breaking  bread generally means a time of table fellowship.  Sharing salt symbolizes having peaceful table fellowship.  Who has not asked for or passed the salt during a meal with another person?  During the breaking of bread, a host will treat his guests with respect and even protection until even a short time after they leave.  Breaking bread together bonds people together and makes them ‘family’ for a short time. Being filled with salt, there is peace in our fellowship with others.

Here is an interesting observation about salt and table fellowship: “Where enmity subsists, the fiercer Arabs will not sit down at the same table with their adversary; sitting down together betokens reconciliation…. It is not customary among Arabs to place salt on a common table.”

Salt is also symbolic of blood.  Ancient people who did not have salt or could not afford salt substituted fresh blood for the mineral.   Dr. Livingstone, a missionary to South Africa, noted that when he was among people who had difficulty procuring salt, fresh-killed meat seemed to satisfy the natural craving.  Today in medicine, saline solutions are given intravenously when blood is not readily available in an emergency.

After the flood, Elohim told Noah that the blood was forbidden as food (Genesis 9:4).   The Israelites were also told not to consume the blood of the animal (Deuteronomy 12:23).  It was always drained from the animal and poured out at the Altar.  Jewish kosher dietary laws involve shekita or the humane way of killing an animal that drains its blood thus Jewish people will salt their food because their meat has no blood. 

Salt also represents life.  Elohim says that the life of an animal is in its blood (Leviticus 17:11).  Therefore, if salt is synonymous with blood and blood is the source of life, then salt and life are also synonymous.  As we say, “He was the life of the party,” the Arabs say, “he was the salt of the party.”

After Elisha replaces Elijah as a prophet, he was met by some men from Jericho who told him the water was bad and was causing miscarriages.  Elisha tells them to bring him a new jug and put salt in it.  He took it to the source of the water, threw salt into it and said,

“This is what Adonai says: ‘I have healed this water; it will no longer cause death or miscarriage.’ The water was healed and has remained healed to this day …” (2 Kings 2:19-22).  Salt changed ‘death water’  into ‘living water.’

In some cultures newborn babies are washed and salted. In the Middle East commenting, “He wasn’t salted when he was born” refers to a person lacking common sense or wisdom.  When Ezekiel reproaches Jerusalem for their foolishness, he uses the same symbolism:

“As for your birth – on the day you were born, nobody cut your umbilical cord, washed you in water to clean you off, rubbed salt on you or wrapped you in cloth” (Ezekiel 16:4). 

It is still customary to observe the salt covenant on Shabbat.  Some people sprinkle salt on their challah bread as it is passed around the table.  I actually put salt on top of my challah bread before baking it.  With the symbolism of blood, peace and life, salt is an eternal reminder of the Messiah whose free-will offering of his poured out blood and brought peace and life to Isra’el and the world.

Yeshua, The Korbanot

Sin Offering

“God made him who had no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Guilt of Sin

“We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way; yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of us” (Isaiah 53:6).

Purification from Sin

“The blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14)

Peace and Fellowship with God

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Grain Offering of Fine Flour

“Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just a grain; but if it dies, it produces a big harvest” (John 12:24).

Salt Covenant for Eternity

“So have salt in yourselves – that is, be at peace with each other” (Mark 9:50).

Burnt Offering Ascends to Heaven

“After saying this, he was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9).

The Pleasing Aroma of a Free-will Offering

“So imitate God, as his dear children; and live a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved us, indeed, on our behalf gave himself up as an offering, as a slaughtered sacrifice to God with a pleasing fragrance” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Isaiah 43:16-44:23

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Romans 8:1-13

Hebrews 10:1-14

Hebrews 13:10-16

Midrash Vayikra: Salted with Fire

Discuss Yeshua’s statement, ”Indeed, everyone is going to be salted with fire” (Mark 9:49)

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete Torah cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

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