Posts Tagged ‘Leviticus 16:1-18:30’

Parashah 29: Acharei Mot (After the death)

Leviticus 16:1-18:30
(In a regular year, read with Parashah 30; in a leap year read separately.)

“Adonai spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Adonai and died; Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover’”(Leviticus 16:1).

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

After the events with Aaron’s sons, Adonai outlines the regulations for entering the Holy of Holies behind the Holy Curtain in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron was not allowed to come in just any time because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh appears in the cloud over the kapparah. He was only allowed to enter on Yom Kippur, the day of atoning for the sins of Isra’el, the priesthood, and the Tabernacle; it was a solemn day of fasting.

Aaron was to bathe and put on the holy garments: the linen tunic with the linen shorts next to his bare flesh. He was to wrap the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban.

Linen is worn by anyone who is set-apart to Elohim. Along with the priesthood, kings, and angelic beings, the armies of Yeshua and his Bride wear linen (Revelation 19:8,14). Mordecai was given a linen robe when he was paraded around Susa (Esther 8:15). David danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was brought into Jerusalem wearing a linen Levitical garment and a linen ephod (2 Samuel 6:14, 1 Chronicles 15:27). Yeshua was wrapped in linen for burial (John 10:40).

When Aaron entered the Mishkan, he was to bring one bull, one ram, and two male goats.  The ram was sacrificed as a burnt offering which made atonement for himself and his family.  The two goats were placed at the entrance to the Mishkan. Lots were cast for the goats; one lot for Elohim and the other for Az’azel. The goat on which the lot fell for Adonai was a sin offering. The goat whose lot fell to Az’azel was presented alive, used for making atonement, and sent into the desert.

The bull was slaughtered as a sin offering for Aaron and his household. From the burning coals on the Altar, Aaron filled a censer. He filled his hands with fragrant incense and brought it inside the Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire so the cloud from the incense would cover the kapparah and he wouldn’t die. He took some of the bull’s blood and sprinkled it seven times with his finger on the kapparah toward the right and in front of the kapparah.

The entrance to the Mishkan where offerings were brought to the cohanim was on the eastern side. The entrance to the Most Holy Place also faced east. When the high priest entered through the veil into the Holy of Holies, he was on the eastern side of the Ark of the Covenant. When the high priest put the blood on the eastern side, it was on the entrance side to the throne room of yod-hey-vav-hey.

“There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision seemed like the vision I had seen when I came to destroy the city; also the visions were like the vision I had seen by the K’var River; and I fell on my face. Adonai’s glory entered the house through the gate facing east” (Ezekiel 43:2-5).

When the Jews pray at the Western Wall of the Temple mount in Jerusalem, they face east toward the Mount of Olives. When Yeshua returns, he will put his feet on the Mount of Olives which will split in half from east to west making a huge valley. They will be the first witnesses of this extraordinary event (Zechariah 14:4). Yeshua will enter Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate of Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple.

No specific instructions are given for the placement of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.  Some speculate that rather than sitting in the middle, it was situated on the northern side facing south.  This is alludes to Adonai’s judgments coming from the north; therefore, His Throne must be toward the north (Job 37:22). The Temple itself was also situated in the northern part of the city of Jerusalem.

If the Ark of the Covenant sat on the northern side of the Holy of Holies, then the eastern side would be the right side as the priest stood in front of it.  When he sprinkled the blood, it would be at the ‘right hand’ of Adonai’s Throne where Yeshua sits in glory (Luke 22:69, Colossians 3:1). Wherever the Ark of the Covenant sat in the Holy of Holies, Adonai required sprinkling of blood seven times to enter the throne room in order to complete the process and allowing Aaron to live.

The high priest also made atonement for the Mishkan and the Altar of Sacrifice with some of the bull’s blood by putting it on the four horns of the Altar.  He was to sprinkle the blood seven times using his finger to purify it from the ‘uncleanness’ of the people of Isra’el.  No other person was allowed in the Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies or the Altar of Sacrifice for the atonements of the priest, his family, and the community of Isra’el.

On Yom Kippur, not only the people received atonement, but also the holy objects. Objects like the Tabernacle, the Altar of Sacrifice, and the Ark of the Covenant could not sin, but they needed purification because of the sinful people who ministered there. They also needed purification from the people of Isra’el because the Altar became defiled through their sins.

In Ezekiel’s vision of the Millennial Temple, there is an Altar of Sacrifice. It will be for the unredeemed people living during the Millennium who need to make offerings. The same protocol will be used for this Altar of Sacrifice during the Messianic Era. It will also need to be cleansed from the sins of the human priesthood and the defilement of humanity.

The Two Goats

After the priest laid his hands on the two goats he said, “A sin-offering to Adonai (speaking the Tetragrammaton) and the two men accompanying him replied, ‘Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.’  He then fastened a scarlet woolen thread to the head of the goat ‘for Az’azel’ and laying his hands upon it again, recited the following confession of sin and prayer for forgiveness: ‘O Lord, I have acted iniquitously, trespassed, sinned before Thee: I, my household, and the sons of Aaron Thy holy ones. O Lord, forgive the iniquities, transgressions, and sins that I, my household, and Aaron’s children, Thy holy people, committed before Thee, as is written in the law of Moses, Thy servant, “for on this day He will forgive you, to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord; ye shall be clean.’”

The first goat was slaughtered as a sin offering for the people of Isra’el. Its blood was brought inside the Holy Curtain and sprinkled on the kapparah as was the blood of the bull, purifying the Holy of Holies because of the ‘uncleanness’ of the people and their transgressions. The same was done for the Tabernacle and the Altar of Sacrifice to cleanse it from defilement.

The Mishnah continues, “Then a man was selected, preferably a priest, to take the goat to the precipice in the wilderness; and he was accompanied part of the way by the most eminent men of Jerusalem. Ten booths had been constructed at intervals along the road leading from Jerusalem to the steep mountain. At each one of these, the man leading the goat was formally offered food and drink, which he, however, refused. When he reached the tenth booth, those who accompanied him proceeded no further, but watched the ceremony from a distance. When he came to the precipice, he divided the scarlet thread into two parts, one of which he tied to the rock and the other to the goat’s horns, and then pushed the goat down.  The cliff was so high and rugged that before the goat had traversed half the distance to the plain below, its limbs were utterly shattered. Men were stationed at intervals along the way, and as soon as the goat was thrown down the precipice, they signaled to one another by means of kerchiefs or flags, until the information reached the high priest, whereat he proceeded with the other parts of the ritual.”

The Scapegoat or Az’azel

“No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves” (Leviticus 17:7).

In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the name Az’azel is found in the Book of the Giants, a section of the Book of Enoch that describes the activities of the fallen angels during the ‘days of Noach.’ According to the book, Az’azel was one of the leaders of the rebellious ‘Watchers’ who had sexual relations with human women (Genesis 6:24).

Az’azel taught human men the art of warfare: making swords, knives, shields, and coats of mail.  He taught human women the art of deception through ornamenting the body: dying the hair and painting the face and eyebrows with cosmetics.   He also revealed to both men and women the secrets of witchcraft leading them into wickedness and impurity (1 Enoch 8:1–3a).

The corruption brought on by Az’azel defiled the human race until all flesh, including human bloodlines, was corrupt except for Noach and his family. The four archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Phanuel, “saw much blood being shed upon the earth and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth….  The souls of men [made] their suit, saying, ‘Bring our cause before the Most High…. Thou seest what Az’azel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were in heaven, which men were striving to learn’” (1 Enoch 9:1-4).

Elohim sees the sin brought about by Az’azel and has Raphael “bind Az’azel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert – which is in Dudael – and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light”(1 Enoch 10:6).

“And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 6).

Az’azel means ‘scapegoat’ and ‘rugged and strong’ referring to the cliff from which it would fall and die. Some commentary suggests Az’azel, the most mysterious being in sacred writings, was not just a supernatural being, but second in command to the Adversary. In the regulations for Yom Kippur, the ‘scapegoat’ is given the task of removing the wickedness and impurity brought about by a fallen angel named Az’azel.

“The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin” (1 Enoch 10:8).

There is no mention in Scripture that the Israelites ever sacrificed to goat-demons, only to the ‘god’ of the golden calf. However, Adonai is preparing them to enter and conquer the Promised Land from giants, the descendants of the Nephilim, who may themselves worship ‘goat-demons.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Scapegoat or Az’azel – עזאזל – ayin, zayin, alef, zayin, lamed
– understand the division of the first strength, the division that urges forward

A tradition developed with the scarlet woolen thread placed on a rock before taking the goat into the desert. After the Temple was built, the scarlet thread was tied on the door of the Temple. When the thread supernaturally turned white, the priests and the people of Isra’el would breathe a sign of relief: the goat had shed his blood and their wickedness had been removed.

The Talmud records that during the 40 years that Simon the Just was high priest, the thread on the rock actually turned white as soon as the goat was thrown over the precipice: a sign that the sins of the people were forgiven. In later times, the change to white was not invariable: a proof of the people’s moral and spiritual deterioration was gradually on the increase, until 40 years before the destruction of the Second Temple when the change of color was no longer observed.

Selah
The scarlet thread represents the blood of the High Priest who made atonement for sin in 30 CE.

After the scapegoat was sent out into the desert, the high priest returned to the Mishkan where he bathed and changed his clothes.  The remnants of the burnt offering were burned outside the camp.  The man who went with the goat had to wash his clothes and bathe before he could return to camp.

“Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah. Don’t let anyone deny you the prize by insisting that you engage in self-mortification or angel-worship [demons]. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he [Yeshua] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:8,15,18).

One Place for Sacrifices

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all the people of Isra’el. Tell them that this is what Adonai has ordered: “When someone from the community of Isra’el slaughters an ox, lamb or goat inside or outside the camp without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to Adonai before the tabernacle of Adonai, he is to be charged with blood — he has shed blood, and that person is to be cut off from his people”’” (Leviticus 17:1-4).

Sacrifices were only offered at the entrance to the Mishkan.  If anyone sacrificed an animal anywhere else, whether inside or outside the camp, it was as if they had shed blood. Because the life of an animal is in the blood, shedding the blood of an ox, ram, lamb or goat anywhere but the Altar of Sacrifice was considered murder. This instruction kept the Israelites from sacrificing to goat-demons in the fields. This instruction keeps them from sacrificing animals wherever they live in the diaspora.

Some gentiles have started to sacrifice a lamb or goat at Passover. Adonai sees this as idolatry. By trying to guard Torah, these well-meaning people actually break Adonai’s command and sin. There is and will only ever be one acceptable place for sacrifices and offerings –– Altar of Sacrifice in the Temple.  Until there is a Temple in Jerusalem, sacrifices offered elsewhere are an abomination to Adonai.

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life. This is why I told the people of Isra’el, ‘None of you is to eat blood, nor is any foreigner living with you to eat blood’” (Leviticus 17:11-12).

Isra’el and foreigners living with them are not to eat or drink blood. Blood is to be drained from any ‘clean’ animal whether it is hunted or caught, whether it’s a mammal or bird.  The blood is to be poured out and covered with dirt. 

From this instruction in Leviticus 17, the priests developed the concept of kosher, meat of ‘clean’ animals from which all the blood is drained.   Shechita is the Hebrew word for the humane way of slaughtering an animal for dietary consumption that shows respect and compassion for the animal since “its life is in its blood.”

Hebrew Word Pictures
Kosher – כשר – kaf, shin, resh
– open and consume the highest authority

Shichita (Slaughter) – שחיטה – shin, chet, yod, tet, hey
– consume and protect the finished work of twisting, revealed

I remember the only time my dad shot a deer.  He hung the animal upside down from a tree in our backyard.  Underneath its head, he had dug a hole that caught the blood which had frozen because it was very cold.   I asked my dad why he had done that with the deer and he told me that it had to be drained of its blood in order to eat it.  More recently, my son-in-law who is a fishing guide in Alaska told me that when a salmon is caught, it is floated in the river in order to allow the blood to drain from it. When I explained the Biblical reason for what he was doing, he was intrigued.

Selah
Defrosting meat in the refrigerator does not allow the blood to drain from the meat.
I was taught to defrost meat outside the refrigerator because the warmer temperature allows the blood to drain from the meat so as not to consume blood.


Sexual Immorality

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the people of Isra’el, tell them, I am Adonai your God.  You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws.  You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God.  You are to observe my laws and rulings, if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai’” (Leviticus 18:1-5).

Sexual immorality is practiced many different ways and must have been rampant in Egypt because Adonai refers back to Egyptian practices along with those of the nations they are going to displace in the Promised Land. Incestuous relationships with family members, sisters and brothers, had not been condemned until Adonai sets up His righteous standard for sexual interaction within the family unit. The best explanation for this is that the farther away from perfection in the Garden of Eden, human genetics became more corrupt.

“You are not to have sexual relations with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination”
(Leviticus 18:22).

Marriage in western culture is being attacked every day.  Same-sex marriage has become legal because homosexual relations, or sodomy, are no longer illegal and have been normalized. To call any sexual behavior deviant, let alone an abomination to Adonai, is considered judgmental, unloving, and hateful.  Yet, for the One who created us male and female, the practice of sodomy still remains an abomination. Churches that have succumbed to the tolerance mantra also accept homosexuals, not only in their fellowship, but as priests and pastors. Recently, one mainstream ministry that considered itself Bible-based decided to allow homosexuals to be part of their international missions. After outrage by non-western nations, they had to change their position.

Abomination means ‘to cause hatred or disgust.’  Homosexuality disgusts Adonai and causes Him to hate. Adonai can and does hate (Proverbs 6:16-19). He can deny entrance to His eternal Kingdom to those who practice such behaviors (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 22:14-15). To overcome this sin and be acceptable to Elohim only requires acknowledging homosexual activity as sin and repenting from it. Rafa-El will forgive the sin and begin healing the wounds that caused the sin.

“You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thu s become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion” (Leviticus 18:23).

Sex with an animal is called beastiality. With the premise of same-sex marriage being that people should be able to marry, and have sex whomever or whatever they love, it won’t be long until beastiality becomes a hot political issue. In Denmark, sex with an animal or ‘zoophilia’ is already legal and Danish lawmakers are fighting to make it illegal. This behavior is not only cruel to the animal (where is PETA now), but is an abomination to Adonai.

”’STDs in animals and humans have a historical relationship. Two or three of the major STDs have come from animals,’ says Alonso Aguirre, a veterinarian and vice president for conservation medicine at Wildlife Trust. ‘We know, for example, that gonorrhea came from cattle to humans. Syphilis also came to humans from cattle or sheep many centuries ago, possibly sexually. The most recent, as well as the deadliest, STD to migrate to humans is HIV, which hunters acquired from the blood of chimpanzees,’ says Aguirre. ‘The disease became transmissible from one person to another through semen and other bodily fluids after it had spread to the human population.’”

When a horse is mated with a donkey, a sterile animal is born –– a mule. If a similar thing occurred with spiritual angels and human women, their Nephilim offspring would be sterile. Could the issues today with gender confusion and sexual identity be evidence of sterile Nephilim (demons) possessing fathers and mothers who gender ‘neutralize’ their children? Younger and young children take hormones and the ultimate consequence will be mass sterilization. Those binary individuals and claim to be multiple genders are being deceived by the same spirit that created the idea of Adam and Eve being androgynous. These abominations are not new as there is ‘nothing new under the sun,’ but they are evidence that we are living in the ‘days of Noach.’

“You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your God; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:21).

Molech, derived from the Hebrew root melek meaning ‘king,’ refers to the Ammonite god who is depicted as a bronze statue that was heated with fire and into which human sacrifices were thrown. Fire-gods were worshiped by Canaanite, Syrian and Arab tribes through burning or sacrificing children in the fire. According to Jewish history, an image of Molech made of hollow brass stood in Jerusalem. Isra’el was warned multiple times by the prophets not to pass their children through the fire to Molech(2 Kings 23:10, Jeremiah 32:35). Human sacrifice, especially children to a god by fire, is murder and idolatry, both abominations to Adonai (Jeremiah 19:4-6).

“Yes, they shed innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to Kena‘an’s false gods, polluting the land with blood” (Psalm 106:38).

Abortion could be compared to child sacrifice because the blood of innocent children is being poured out onto the ground (and into garbage cans).  The murder of the innocent profanes the name of Adonai who is the Creator of life and instructs His people that no one is to pour the blood of their children out at any altar, including His.  The results of this immoral behavior is defilement of the land until the land itself vomits the people out of it.

“For the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled. If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people” (Leviticus 18:27-29).

When Elohim says the land will ‘vomit,’ he uses the Hebrew word qo which means ‘to spew out.’ Yeshua tells the Laodiceans that he will ‘vomit’ them out of his mouth. The Greek word emeo is used for ‘vomit’ and means ‘showing utter rejection.’ The land will ‘spew out’ the Canaanites because of their abominations. The Israelites, if they imitate the idolatries will be spewed out and utterly rejected.

“Throw out the worthless slave [servant] into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

“[But] without [in the other darkness] are the dogs [gentiles] and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating)” (Revelation 22:15, AMP).

In a recent conversation with some believers, they questioned whether or not Elohim cares what we do. They supposed He does not care because of His grace, love, and mercy for everyone. They could not grasp that though Adonai loves us, our disobedience and sin breaks fellowship with Him. This could be compared to a child who is deeply loved by their parents, but disobeys their parents’ rules. Until there is correction for the behavior, fellowship between the parent and child remains broken. The only way to restore fellowship is for the child to accept their sin and repent from it. The love of a father includes discipline, and those who refuse discipline will be utterly rejected by the Father (Hebrews 12:6).

“You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai our God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:4-5).

Yeshua, the Way of Life

“You keep examining the Tanakh because you think that in it you have eternal life. Those very Scriptures bear witness to me, but you won’t come to me in order to have life!” (John 5:39)

Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life”
(John 6:68).

“Yeshua said, ‘I Am’ the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“A man approached Yeshua and said, ‘Rabbi, what good thing should I do in order to have eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why are you asking me about good? There is One who is good! But if you want to obtain eternal life, observe the mitzvot’” (Matthew 19:16-17).

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure” (John 10:10).

“For I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has given me a command, namely, what to say and how to say it. And I know that his command is eternal life. So what I say is simply what the Father has told me to say” (John 12:49-50).

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