Posts Tagged ‘sheep’

Parashah 41: Pinchas (Phineas)

Numbers 25:10-30:1

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Pinchas the son of El‘azar, the son of Aharon the cohen, has deflected my anger from the people of Isra’el by being as zealous as I am, so that I didn’t destroy them in my own zeal.’ Therefore say, ‘I am giving him my covenant of shalom, making a covenant with him and his descendants after him that the office of cohen will be theirs forever. This is because he was zealous on behalf of his God and made atonement for the people of Isra’el’” (Numbers 25:10-13).

At the end of the previous parashah, an Israelite man brings a Midianite woman into the camp to his family’s tent.  Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, thrusts a spear through the man and the Midianite woman putting an end to the plague that took 24,000 Israelite lives.

In Hebrew, Pinchas may mean ‘the mouth of the serpent’ derived from the fiery serpent that Moshe made out of bronze. Though he was Aaron’s grandson, he was never anointed high priest over Isra’el. However, Pinchas was zealous for Adonai and received a priesthood forever. The word ‘zealous’ in Hebrew is quinah and also means ‘jealous.’ It is used to describe Simon in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. The favor upon the priestly lineage of Pinchas began when he served before the Ark of the Covenant at Beit-el.

“Now they joined themselves to Ba’al-P‘or and ate meat sacrificed to dead things. Thus they provoked him [Adonai] to anger with their deeds, so that a plague broke out among them. Then Pinchas stood up and executed judgment; so the plague was checked. That was credited to him as righteousness, through all generations forever” (Psalm 106:28-31).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Pinchas or Phineas – פינחס – peh, yod, nun, chet, samech
– source of finished work of life protects and supports

“Then the whole army of Isra’el, all the people, went up to Beit-El and cried and sat there in the presence of Adonai. They fasted that day until evening, offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to Adonai, and asked Adonai what to do. The ark for the covenant of God was there at that time; and Pinchas the son of El‘azar, the son of Aharon, stood before it at that time” (Judges 20:26-28).

Zadok was a descendant of Pinchas. He was anointed priest by David when he became King of Isra’el (2 Samuel 8:17). Zadok anointed King Solomon after King David died (1 Kings 1:34).   Ezra, the priest who loved Adonai and the Torah was also a descendant of  Zadok (Ezra 7:1-7).

Covenant of Shalom

“The branch who will build the Temple of Adonai and be a king and priest on Adonai’s throne! And the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zechariah 6:13).

Pinchas also received an eternal ‘Covenant of Shalom.’ Not including the covenant given to King David in 2 Samuel or the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah, this covenant of shalom makes seven eternal covenants given in Torah: Noach, Abraham, Aaron, Isra’el, Pinchas, Salt, and Shalom.

Broken Vav

In the original Hebrew, שלום (shalom) in the phrase ‘covenant of shalom’ has a broken vav like shown above. Some interpret the broken vav as representing a ‘broken man.’ The name Pinchas has the same numerical value (208) as the man Isaac, a ‘shadow’ of Messiah who was a man ‘broken.’ The Hebrew letter picture for vav is a ‘nail’ meaning ‘something that binds.’ The broken vav may also symbolize man’s ‘bondage’ to sin that will be ‘broken’ by the ‘nail’ and bring shalom. Like Isaac, Pinchas becomes a ‘shadow’ of Messiah “who made atonement for the people of Isra’el” and whose descendants would be cohen forever (Numbers 25:12).

As Messiah ben Joseph, the ‘broken man’ Yeshua paid the price for sin through his death and brought shalom between man and Elohim. The ‘covenant of shalom,’ however, will not be fully realized until it is established on earth when Yeshua returns as Messiah ben David, the reigning King.  In the Millennial Kingdom, the sons of Zadok will administer an earthly priesthood showing Adonai’s faithfulness to Pinchas who acted with ‘holy zeal’ for the glory and honor of Elohim.

“But the Levitical priests, who are descendants of Zadok [Pinchas] and who guarded my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me; they are to stand before me to offer sacrifices of fat and blood, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 44:15).

“This will be for the consecrated priests, the Zadokites, who were faithful in serving me and did not go astray as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray. It will be a special gift to them from the sacred portion of the land, a most holy portion, bordering the territory of the Levites” (Ezekiel 48:11-12).

A Final Counting

After 40 years in the wilderness, a new generation of Israelites prepared to enter and possess the Land of Promise. While on the plains of Moab by the Jordan River, Moshe took a final census of all men over 20 years of age who were able to serve in the military. From the initial 70 that entered Egypt with Jacob, a total of 601,730 sons of Isra’el were going to enter the Promised Land. No one who had been counted 40 years earlier lived to be counted again except Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 26:64).

From each of the tribes: Reuben: 43,730, Simeon: 22,200, Gad: 40,500, Judah: 76,500, Issachar: 64,300, Zebulun: 60,500, Joseph: Manasseh: 52,700, Joseph: Ephraim: 32,500, Benjamin: 45,600, Dan: 64,400, Asher: 53,400, and Naftali: 45,400.

The land inheritance was divided between the tribes based on the census; those with a greater number would receive more land; those with a lesser number less. The land was parceled by lot according to the name of their ancestral father.

Yochebed, the daughter of Levi born in Egypt, and Amram were the parents of Aaron, Moshe, and Miriam. The counting of the Levites, the families of Gershon, Fehati, and Merarim numbered 23,000. No land inheritance was given to them.

Daughters of Tz’lof’chad

The daughters of Tz’lof’chad (Zelophehad) approached Moshe regarding their inheritance.  Their father had died with no sons and they requested a land inheritance in order to keep their father’s name alive. Adonai told Moshe the daughters were correct in their assessment of the situation and outlined inheritance regulations for daughters, uncles, and nearest relatives.  

“Adonai answered Moshe, The daughters of Tz’lof’chad are right in what they say. You must give them property to be inherited along with that of their father’s brothers; have what their father would have inherited pass to them. Moreover, say to the people of Isra’el, If a man dies and does not have a son, you are to have his inheritance pass to his daughter” (Numbers 27:6-8).

Many believe that Elohim is anti-women because of the patriarchal system established in the Hebrew Scriptures. However, the account of Tz’lof’chad’s daughters shows that Elohim cares about women and gives instructions for them to receive inheritance.

Job, who lived after the flood but long before Torah is given to Moshe, is another example of a man giving an inheritance to his daughters. After his life is restored from complete destruction and he has regained his wealth, Job has three daughters: Y’mimah, K’tzi’ah, and Keren-Hapukh (Job 42:13-15). Along with their brothers, these women received an inheritance. The decision to give Tz’lof’chad’s daughters (Machlah, No’ah, Hoglah, Milkah, and Tirzah) an inheritance already had precedent in the patriarchal culture.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Tz’lof’chad (Dark Shadow) – צלפחד – tzade, lamed, peh, chet, dalet
– pull toward and urge forward the source protects the pathway

Machlah (Sickness) – מחלה – mem, chet, lamed, hey
– mighty protects, urges forward, behold

Noach (Comfort) – נח – nun, chet
– life protects

Hoglah (Dancing) – חגל – chet, gimel, lamed
– protect, rise up, and urge forward

Milkah (Queen) – מלכה – mem, lamed, kaf, hey
– mighty urging forward opens and allows, behold

Tirzah (She is My Delight) – תרצה – tav, resh, tzade, hey
– covenant sign, highest authority pulls toward, behold

The daughters in Hebrew Word Pictures: Dark shadow of sickness is comforted by a dancing queen, she is my delight.

A Man of the Spirit

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Climb this mountain in the ‘Avarim Range, and look out at the land which I have given the people of Isra’el. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, just as Aharon your brother was gathered; because in the Tzin Desert, when the community was disputing with me, you rebelled against my order to uphold my holiness by means of the water, with them looking on…’” (Numbers 27:12-14).

Moshe, the humble leader who led the Hebrews out of Egypt and watched them die in the wilderness, faces his own death. He requests Adonai to appoint a man over the community of Isra’el so they would not be like ‘sheep without a shepherd.’

“Take Y’hoshua the son of Nun, a spiritual man, and lay your hand on him.  Put him in front of El’azar the cohen and the whole community and commission him in their sight.  Delegate to him some of your authority, so that the entire community of Isra’el will obey him” (Numbers 27:18-20).

Y’hoshua was unique in all of Isra’el. Adonai told Moshe that Y’hoshua was a ‘spiritual man.’ Some translations have ‘spirit of leadership;’ however, the Hebrew text says that Y’hoshua is a man with the ‘Ruach Elohim in him.’ This ‘spirit’ is what sets Y’hoshua apart from the rest of the community.

Y’hoshua spent his youth with Moshe in the presence of Adonai in the Tent of Meeting. He obeyed Moshe and followed Torah without question. When he became zealous for Moshe’s prophetic position in Isra’el, he received correction with humility and integrity.

Because of his ‘spirit,’ Y’hoshua was courageous and had faith larger than the grapes found in Canaan. He had no fear of the Nephilim and believed Adonai would give Isra’el victory. He was willing to fight for Elohim whether it was physically against giants or spiritually against the gigantic fear of the spies. He trusted Adonai and stood faithfully against rebellion, but still had to suffer the consequences of national sin and watch an entire generation of Israelites die in the wilderness.

His military experience sharpened during his wilderness journey. He fought the Amalekites on numerous occasions to prepare him for the years of war he would encounter when taking possession of the Promised Land. His obedience proved he would only follow the orders given by the Commander of Adonai’s army, Yeshua. For these reasons, Adonai pours out His Ruach on Y’hoshua to empower him to succeed Moshe and complete His plan.

“Moshe did as Adonai had ordered him. He took Y’hoshua, put him before El‘azar the cohen and the whole community, laid his hands on him, and commissioned him, as Adonai had said through Moshe” (Numbers 27:22-23).

Moshe lays hands on Y’hoshua to commission him as the next leader of Isra’el. In Hebrew, the laying on of hands is called semikah and had several purposes. An individual would lay hands on an offering to Elohim before its sacrifice. In this way, the person would transfer their sins onto the animal and it would become their atonement. Semikah is also used for ordination, consecrating a priest or other leader of the community. Semikah also symbolized authority being passed onto another individual. Yeshua had authority and passed his authority onto his talmidim (Matthew 7:28-29; 28:18-20). The talmidim laid hands on people to receive the Ruach haKodesh (Acts 8:18). Sha’ul laid hands on Timothy “fanning into flame the gift of God,” yet with a warning not to be hasty in granting semikah to anyone (2 Timothy 1:17). Yeshua laid hands on children, an act of semikah and passing his blessing onto them (Matthew 19:13-15).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hoshea (Help and Salvation of Elohim) – הושע – hey, vav, shin, ayin   
– behold binding consumed and see

Y’hoshua (Yah’s Salvation) – יהושע – yod, hey, vav, shin, ayin
– the finished work reveals the binding consumed, understand

Yeshua (Salvation) – ישוע – yod, shin, vav, ayin
– the finished work consumes the binding, understand

The ‘Appointed Times’ Offerings*

As this new generation of Isra’el prepares to enter the Promised Land, Elohim reminds them of His ‘appointed times’ and the daily offerings required in the Tabernacle.

First were the offerings for Shabbat. As the weeks progressed, there would be a new moon or Rosh Chodesh for which there were more offerings. They would recognize the new moon as it would fall 14 days after the full moon. It would not be a sliver or a crescent as the Arabs honored the crescent moon (Judges 8:21). A concealed, dark moon would determine the beginning of the new month (Psalm 81:3, see Study Helps).

On the fourteenth day of the first month, Pesach was to be observed followed by the festival of Matzah on the fifteenth day.  For seven days only unleavened bread was to be eaten. The first and seventh days were to be a mikrah, holy convocation. Early and later firstfruits, Yom Habikkurim and Shavuot required new grain offerings of barley and wheat from the harvest of the land.

On the first day of the seventh month, the day of blowing, Yom Teruah, was to be commemorated. Because it would always fall on a Rosh Chodesh, double offerings were required. On the tenth day, the Israelites were to deny themselves on Yom Kippur. Burnt offerings and sin offerings were required for the sins of Isra’el that had defiled the Tabernacle. On the fifteenth day, Sukkot began for seven days. Each day required offerings of bulls, rams, male lambs, grain, and drink. On the eighth day of Sukkot, a mikrah was to be observed, Hoshana Rabah, followed by Simchat Torah and ‘Rejoicing in the Torah’.

*A in-depth study guide, “Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts,” may be purchased on

Yeshua and the Lost Sheep

“Yeshua went about all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and weakness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his talmidim, ‘The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers to gather in his harvest’” (Matthew 9:35-38).

“These twelve Yeshua sent out with the following instructions: ‘Don’t go into the territory of the Goyim, and don’t enter any town in Shomron, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el.’ As you go, proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is near’” (Matthew 10:5-7).

“So he told them this parable: ‘If one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, doesn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he does find it, he joyfully hoists it onto his shoulders; and when he gets home, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Come, celebrate with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to God from his sins than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent’” (Luke 15:3-7).

“Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade. So the Judeans surrounded him and said to him, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!” Yeshua answered them, “I have already told you, and you don’t trust me. The works I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf, but the reason you don’t trust is that you are not included among my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father’s hands. I and the Father are one’” (John 10:22-30).

“Then the King will say to those on his right [the sheep], ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world’” (Matthew 25:34).

©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, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 24: Vayikra (He called) – LEVITICUS

Leviticus 1:1-6:7

“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 Adonai calling Moshe into the Mishkan to explain the order of worship 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 believe that when Yeshua died on the cross, these sacrifices and offerings were no longer required. 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 including the sacrifice 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 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 constructing another 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 the nation. They cannot offer a Pesach lamb or have an authentic Yom Kippur without a Temple. With veiled hearts and minds toward Yeshua, they mourn the loss of the only way to have a relationship with HaShem (2 Corinthians 3:14).

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has been preparing all of the objects necessary for rebuilding a third Temple, not the Millennial Temple described by the prophet Ezekiel.  Outside the Temple Institute for public viewing is their perception of the 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 to serve Yeshua, the High Priest, in the Millennial Temple will serve 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).

Offerings or Korbanot

“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 Adonai whether or not they involve blood as 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 Adonai in His House, a gift is presented as one would present a gift to a King 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 during their Tabernacle/Temple duties. They were given meat, grain, and drink by their Israelite brothers and sisters.  Only a few of the offerings were kept for Adonai Himself.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Offering or korban – קרבן – kof, resh, bet, nun
– what is behind the highest authority of 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, 9).

This is an offering which rises up into heaven as a fragrant aroma to Adonai. The term olah is first used in Genesis 22:3 in reference to the burnt offerings of Noach and when Abraham offers the ram on Mount Moriah. This offering was a completely voluntary offering and brought no profit to the worshiper or the administering priest except the blessing of being consumed in worshiping Adonai. 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 Adonai for his atonement.  This 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 offerer slaughtered the animal. A sheep or goat was to be slaughtered on the northern side of the Altar.  A dove or pigeon was 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 Noach ‘covered’ the inside and the outside of the Ark with pitch.  

The priests, the sons of Aaron, presented the blood to Adonai by splashing it against all four sides of the 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.

After arranging pieces of wood on the Altar, the animal parts, the head, and the fat were put on the wood along with the entrails and lower parts of the legs.  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. Everything was burnt on the Altar and went up in smoke. This offering became a fragrant aroma before Adonai.

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 chametz or ‘soured dough’ leaven 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 Adonai. 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 suggests harmony, health, and prosperity. This peace offering was a ‘slaughter offering’ of complete well-being. Like the burnt and grain offerings, the peace 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 guilt; it was an offering that symbolized the fellowship between Adonai and man. The worshiper who brought a peace offering 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 ‘peace offering’ came from the herd or flock.  It could be male or female, but it had to be without defect. The worshiper laid his hand on the head of the offering and slaughtered it at the entrance to the Tabernacle. The cohanim, the sons of Aaron, splashed the blood against all four sides of the Altar. The offering 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 a pleasing aroma to Adonai. The rest of the meat and the organs were cooked on the Altar and became food for the priests, the worshiper, 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 Adonai didn’t want His people to think they could intentionally sin, offer a sacrifice, and go off to sin again. The korban chatat did not atone for sin;  it was the means of spiritual purification –– a confession and repentance of sin.

There were two ways to sin inadvertently: personal and corporate. If an individual or priest, sinned unintentionally by breaking one of the instructions of Elohim, 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.

When an individual 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 Adonai. 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. 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 Adonai. 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 Adonai.

All the fat from the bull was removed just as in the peace offering and then burned up on the Altar of Sacrifice as a pleasing aroma to Adonai. The rest of the bull in its entirety, including the dung, was taken outside the camp to where the ashes from the Altar were emptied. 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 Adonai.  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 Adonai’s instructions is an offense against His holiness. In order to purify the individual, leader, cohen or the nation of Isra’el, the veil separating man and Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh 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 Elohim’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 reminder to live the next week with wholehearted devotion to Adonai because there has been purification from sin. The sprinkling of blood seven times may have been to remember the seven-fold spirit of Elohim 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 cohen, and the nation of Isra’el would be completed and their conscience would be restored.

“Therefore, let us approach the Holiest Place with a sincere heart, in the full assurance that comes from trusting — with our hearts sprinkled clean from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).

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 consequence of guilt. This offering included restitution 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 confessed 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 Adonai, 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 goat and the priest will make atonement for the person’s 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 remaining meat or grain is given to the priest as food.

A person is 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 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 a (ritually) ‘unclean’ person, whether or not they realize the person is (ritually) ‘unclean.’ 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 Adonai requires an asham of a ram without defect or its equivalent in silver shekels. Restitution is also required for whatever was done wrong with regard to the holy thing along with an additional 20 percent to be given to the cohen.

Anyone who breaks any of Adonai’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 the person will be forgiven of his guilt before Adonai.

Anyone who deals falsely with his neighbor with regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him steals from his neighbor through extortion; anyone who 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 plus 20 percent given to the person who was wronged.

Yeshua, the Sacrifices

“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, kof, resh
– house behind the highest authority

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

“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 highest authority

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 of having no other gods before Adonai. The alef is also part of the alef-tav –- את –– inserted between words throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the ‘sign’ of 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).

seh – שה – shin, hey
– the consume and reveal

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).

tela – טלאים – tet, lamed, alef, yod, mem
– twist urging forward the first strength, the 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).

ayil – איל – alef, yod, lamed
– first strength finished work urges forward

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

“By trusting, Avraham, when he was put to the test, offered up Yitz’ak 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’ak.” 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).

aze (Female) – עז – ayin, zayin
– see the division

attud (Male) – עתוד – ayin, tav, vav, dalet
– see the sign of the binding 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 said that he will 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).

parah – פרה – peh, resh, hey
– source of the highest authority revealed

A cow symbolizes the 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)

Dove or Pigeon
yonah – יונה – yod, vav, nun, hey
– finished work of the binding of life revealed

Doves or pigeons were also acceptable korbanot for those who were poor. A dove was sent out by Noach and brought back an olive leaf showing life had been restored to the earth. 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 Yeshua’s soul until he comes.

“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

The eternal covenant of salt is mentioned three times in Scripture. It was given to Aaron and his sons as a promise of the eternal priesthood.

“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 with 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 worshiper 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 Adonai, an offering made by fire that was a fragrant aroma to Him. The 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 ‘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 hospitals, saline solutions are given intravenously when blood is not readily available in an emergency.

After the flood, Elohim told Noach that 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 forcing Jewish people to 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 synonymous. As we say, “He was the life of the party,” the Arabs say, “he was the salt of the party.”

After Elisha replaced 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 when someone says, “He wasn’t salted when he was born,” it refers to a person lacking common sense or wisdom. When the prophet 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 as it is passed around the table. I put salt on top of my challah before baking it. With the symbolism of blood, peace, and life, salt is an eternal ‘covenant’ reminder of Yeshua whose free-will offering of his poured-out blood brought peace and life to Isra’el.

Yeshua, the Offerings

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).

©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, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.