Parashat Acharei mot- Kedoshim: These are the Day’s That Count
We have another double portion, Acharei-mot (After the Death) recalls the deaths of Nadab and Abihu as God instructs Aaron , through Moshe, regarding the specifics of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) rituals. These texts are crucial in understanding the extent of what our Messiah came to do, performed and what will happen in the final Day of Judgment. If there is one role we need to understand about Yeshua it is revealed in these texts, the One making atonement…covering our sins and declaring us “Not-Guilty”. On Yom Kippur, the “Books are opened”, we stand before the heavenly court without defender against the Adversary who steadily exhibits all our sins and transgressions. All our own good deeds and supplications fall short in our own defense, for the tremendous mass of trespass towers over anything we can present in opposition. However we are not without defender…Yeshua stands between us and the accuser…revealing for the court his own blood which he paid on behalf of us all, it is the sweet smell of his interceding incense that daily provides the means of life anew, he is the sin-offering by which the Sanctuary, and all the people are atoned for. Having been covered and cleansed, forgiven and accepted before El Elyon (God Most High), Kedoshim (Holy Ones) drafts for us the protocol expected for those marked, stamped as Holy to HASHEM. This is the primary reason children begin to learn Torah (traditionally) in the book of Leviticus-Vayikra. This is the blueprint for “How to be set apart” for the Lord.
Parasha Acharei Mot – After the Death
Romans 4;19 His trust did not waver when he considered his own body- which was a s good as dead, since he was about a hundred years old- or when he considered that Sarah’s womb was dead too. 20 He did not by lack of trust decide against God’s promises. On the contrary, by trust he was given power as he gave glory to God, 21 for he was fully convinced that what God had promised he could also accomplish. 22 That is why it was credited to his account as righteousness. 23 But the words, “it was credited to his account…,” were not written for him only. 24 They were written also for us, who will certainly have our account credited too, because we have trusted in him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead- 25 Yeshua, who was delivered over to death because of our offenses and raised to life in order to make us righteous.
Vayikra 16;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, when they approached before HASHEM, and they died. 2 And HASHEM said to Moses: Speak to Aaron, your brother- he shall not come at all times into the Sanctuary, within the Curtain, in front of the Cover that is upon the Ark, so that he should not die; for in a cloud will I appear upon the Ark-cover. 3 With this shall Aaron come into the Sanctuary: with a young bull for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering. 4 He shall don a sacred linen Tunic; linen Breeches shall be upon his flesh, he shall gird himself with a linen Sash, and cover his head with a linen Turban; they are sacred vestments- he shall immerse himself in water and don them. 5 From the assembly of the Children of Israel he shall take two he-goats for a sin-offering and one ram for a burnt-offering.
–Azazel- the scapegoat- “the one carrying away evil” (goat of departure, goat that departs)
The ritual of the scapegoat inspires one to repent, for it symbolizes that people can remove from themselves the burden of past sins. The two identical he-goats symbolize that every person must choose between good and evil; those who do not choose holiness are inevitably pushing themselves toward a wasteland of spiritual destruction.
Vayikra 16;6 Aaron shall bring near his own sin-offering bull, and provide atonement for himself and his household. 7 He shall take the two he-goats and stand them before HASHEM at the Tent of Meeting. 8 Aaron shall place lots upon the two he-goats: one lot “for HASHEM” and one lot “for Azazel.” 9 Aaron shall bring near the he-goat designated by lot for HASHEM, and make it a sin-offering. 10 And the he-goat designated by lot for Azazel shall be stood alive before HASHEM, to provide atonement through it, to send Azazel to the Wilderness.
Revelation 8;3 Another angel came and stood at the altar with a gold-incense bowl, and he was given a large quantity of incense to add to the prayers of all God’s people 4 on the altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense went up with the prayers of all God’s people from the hand of the angel before God.
Psalm 141;1 O HASHEM, I have called to You; hasten to me, give ear to my voice when I call to You. 2 Let my prayer stand as incense before You; the lifting of my hands as an afternoon offering. 3 Post a sentry for the doors of my mouth, O HASHEM; guard the doors of my lips. 4 Let not my heart incline toward an evil thing, to perform acts with men who are doers of iniquity, and let me not break bread in their pleasure-feasts. 5 Let the righteous strike me with kindness and let him rebuke me, like the finest oil, let my head not refuse it; for my prayer is eternally against their evils.
–Without blood there is no atonement, from the Garden it was God who offered the first blood atonement when he made the animal skins to ‘cover’ Adam and Chavah. As I was going through these portions I found that the scripture connections that the Lord has been placing before us speak for themselves without need of much commentary. Read them through the eyes of your heart, may you be blessed.
Vayikra 16;11 Aaron shall bring near his own sin-offering bull and he shall provide atonement for himself and for his household; then he shall slaughter his own sin-offering bull. 12 He shall take a shovelful of fiery coals from atop the Altar that is before HASHEM, and his cupped handful of finely ground incense-spices, and bring it within the Curtain. 14 He shall place the incense upon the fire before HASHEM- so that the cloud of the incense shall blanket the Ark-cover that is atop the [Tablets of the] Testimony- so that he shall not die. 14 He shall take some of the blood and sprinkle with his forefinger upon the eastern front of the Ark-cover; and in front of the Ark-cover he shall sprinkle seven times from the blood with his forefinger.
Hebrews 9;22 In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins. 23 Now this is how the copies of the heavenly things had to be purified, but the heavenly things themselves require better sacrifices than these. 24 For the Messiah has entered a Holiest Place which is not man-made and merely a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, in order to appear on our behalf in the very presence of God. 25 Further, he did not enter heave to offer himself over and over again, like the cohen hagadol (high priest) who enters the Holiest Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer death many times- from the founding of the universe on. But as it is, he had appeared once at the end of the ages in order to do away with sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as human beings have to die once, but after comes judgment, 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear again a second time, not to deal with sin, but to deliver those who are eagerly awaiting him.
Vayikra 16; 15 He shall slaughter the sin-offering he-goat of the people, and bring its blood within the Curtain; he shall do with its blood as he had done with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it upon the Ark-cover and in front of the Ark-cover. 16 Thus shall he provide atonement upon the Sanctuary for the contaminations of the Children of Israel, even for their rebellious sins among all their sins; and so shall he do for the Tent of Meeting that dwells with them amid their contamination. 17 Any person shall not be in the Tent of Meeting when he comes to provide atonement in the Sanctuary until his departure; he shall provide atonement for himself, for his household, and for the entire congregation of Israel.
–The word atonement- from kaphar (kaw-far) means to cover; placate; cancel; appease; cleanse; forgive, be merciful; pacify; pardon; purge; make reconciliation.
Confession and transfer of sin. Yeshua took on all of our willful sins and offered himself in order to cover, to cleanse and atone for our guilt. These rituals are about coming clean from our hearts before the Lord, confessing we have no worthy deeds and falling on the abundant mercy of the Almighty. He bears all of our sins as he enters the Holiest Place, he holds out his own precious blood before the throne to exact a definitive atonement for all those who submit to his authority, bind themselves to the eternal promises of the Unchanging Living God and confess He is, He was, He shall remain.
I John 1;6 If we claim to have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we are lying and not living out the truth. 7 But if we are walking in t he light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.
Psalm 32;1 Praiseworthy is one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered over. 2 Praiseworthy is the man to whom HASHEM does not ascribe iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I was silent, my bones deteriorated because of my anguished roar all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavily upon me; my freshness was transformed [as] by summer droughts, Selah. 5 My sin I make known to You, my iniquity I do not hide. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to HASHEM,” and You have [always] forgiven my iniquitous sin, Selah. 6 For this let every devout one pray to You at a time when [misfortune] befalls: Only that the flooding, mighty waters not overtake him. 7 You are shelter for me, from distress You preserve me; with glad song of rescue, You envelop me, Selah!
Vayikra 16;20 When he is finished atoning for the Sanctuary, the Tent of Meeting , and the Altar, he shall bring the living he-goat near. 21 Aaron shall lean his two hands upon the head of the living he-goat and confess upon it all the iniquities of the Children of Israel, and all their rebellious sins among all their sins, and place them upon the head of the he-goat, and send it with a designated man to the desert. 22 The he-goat will bear upon itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land, and he should send the he-goat to the desert.
Hebrews 13;10 We have an altar from which those who serve in the Tent are not permitted to eat. 11 For the cohen hagadol brings the blood of animals to the Holiest Place as a sin offering, but their bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 So too Yeshua suffered death outside the gate, in order to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Therefore, let us go out to him who is outside the camp and share his disgrace. 14 For we have no permanent city here; on the contrary, we seek the one to come. 15 Through him, therefore, let us offer God a sacrifice of praise continually. For this is the natural product of lips that acknowledge his name.
Vayikra 16;26 The one who dispatched the he-goat to Azazel shall immerse his clothing and immerse himself in the water; thereafter he may enter the camp. 27The sin-offering bull and the sin-offering he-goat, whose blood had been brought to provide atonement in the Sanctuary, someone shall remove to the outside of the camp; and they shall burn in fire their hides, their flesh, and their dung. 28 The one who burns them shall immerse his clothing and immerse himself in the water; thereafter he may enter the camp.
Titus 3;3-8 For at one time, we too were foolish and disobedient, deceived and enslaved by a variety of passions and pleasures. We spent our lives in evil and envy; people hated us and we hated each other. 4 But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, 5 he delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of his own mercy. He did it by means of the mikveh (immersion) of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer.7 He did so that by his grace we might come to be considered righteous by God and become heirs, with the certain hope of eternal life.
Vayikra 16;29 This shall remain for you an eternal decree: In the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and you shall not do any work, neither the native nor the proselyte who dwells among you. 30 For on this day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you; from all your sins before HASHEM shall you be cleansed. 31 It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall afflict yourselves; an eternal decree. 32 The Kohen, who has been anointed or who has been given the authority to serve in place of his father, shall provide atonement; he shall don the linen vestments, the sacred vestments. 33 He shall bring atonement upon the Holy of Holies, and he shall bring atonement upon the Tent of Meeting and the Altar; and upon the Kohanim and upon all the people of the congregation shall he bring atonement. 34 This shall be to you an eternal decree to bring atonement upon the Children of Israel for all their sins once a year; and [Aaron] did as HASHEM commanded Moses.
–Eternal decree- Statute- Chuqqah (khooh-kaw) = appointed, ordinance, manner, custom, site.
–Afflict [yourself]- Humble- anah (aw-naw)= submit one’s self; (the idea of looking down), to depress literally or figuratively; abase self; self affliction; humble one’s self; weaken, chasten, deal harshly with, gentleness.
Psalm 35;12 They repay me evil for good, bereavement for my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were ill, my clothing was sackcloth, and I afflicted myself with fasting, may my prayer return upon my own bosom. 14 As for a friend, or for my own brother, I went about; like a mother in mourning, I bent over in gloom. 15 But when I limped they rejoiced and gathered; the wretched gathered against me- I know not why, they tore at me and would not be silenced. 16 With flattery and mockery, for the sake of a loaf, they gnash their teeth at me. 17 O Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their destruction, my essence from young lions. 18 [Then] I will thank You in a great congregation, before a mighty throng I will praise You.
Isaiah 58;3 “Why did we fast and You did not see? Why did we afflict our souls and You did not know?” Behold on your fast day you seek out personal gain and you exhort all your debts. 4 Because you fast for grievance and strife, to strike [each other] with a wicked fist; you do not fast as befits this day, to make your voice heard above. 5 Can such be the fast that I choose, a day when man merely afflicts himself? Can it be merely bowing one’s head like a bulrush and spreading [a mattress of ] sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast and a day of favor to HASHEM? 6 Surely, this is the fast I choose: To break open the shackles of wickedness, and to undo the bonds of injustice, and to let the oppressed go free, and annul all perversion. 7 Surely you should break your bread for the hungry, and bring the moaning poor [to your] home; when you see a naked person, clothe him; and do not hide yourself from your kin. 8 Then your light will burst out like the dawn, and your healing will speedily sprout; your righteous deed will precede you and the glory of HASHEM will gather you in. 9 Then you will call out and HASHEM will respond; you will cry out and He will say, ‘Here I am!’ ….
—The idea of “afflicting one’s self” is the idea of abstinence…of humility, it is the concept of submission. This command of the Lord is noted to be ETERNAL, three times (from v29-34).
The word eternal- lolam (owlam) means everlasting; perpetual; without end! (Habbakuk 3;6 He stood and measured the earth: he beheld , and drove asunder the nations, and the everlasting mountains were scattered; the perpetual hills did bow: His ways are everlasting. )
Yom Kippur is a Sabbath of complete rest (there is the weekly Sabbath- Friday, evening sundown through Saturday evening sundown; but all of the biblical Feasts of the Lord are considered by God to be God’s Sabbath’s :
Ezekiel 20;11 I gave them My decrees and My laws I made known to them, through which, if man fulfils them , he will live through them. 12 I also gave them My Sabbath, to be a sign between Me and them, to know that I am HASHEM who sanctifies them. (Sanctifies-Kadosh-to make holy-set apart).
On Yom Kippur we afflict ourselves through fasting, refraining from pleasure, the texts above explain other ways to lower oneself. The Master kept many Oral Traditions, and He also came to clarify what of the halakhah-oral Jewish law or tradition, was enriching and would serve to draw one near to the Lord and that which was a high fence, a burden which would restrain one from reaching spiritual heights fashioned by man. (These clarifications are often misinterpreted as Yeshua dismissing, changing or teaching against Torah. He is the Author and Law Giver, therefore context and knowledge of the people groups, traditions and languages will keep one from falling into this deception. For what better victory would the adversary have accomplished than to have us stripped of the armor Yeshua himself girded us with, from the Garden to the Mountain, to the ‘Scroll’ we have etched in our DNA, inscribed on the Tablets of our hearts).
–What did Yeshua teach about fasting:
Matthew 6;16 “Now when you fast, don’t go around looking miserable, like the hypocrites. They make sour faces so that people will know they are fasting. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! 17 But you, when you fast, wash your face and groom yourself, 18 so that no one will know you are fasting- except your Father, who is with you in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
In the Isaiah text, the Lord declares that fasting, affliction is not complete unless you open your heart and life to those who are less fortunate. It is a sense of caring, compassion, feeling, sympathy and mercy from your inner self for others that completes this submission before the Lord on the day you are to be made clean. The mercy from above directly has to do with the mercy we exhibit, from our heart.
Psalm 33;11 The counsel of HASHEM will endure forever, the designs of His heart from generation to generation. 12 Praiseworthy is the nation that HASHEM is their God, the people He chose for His own heritage. 13 From heaven HASHEM looks down, He sees all mankind. 14 From His dwelling place He oversees all inhabitants of earth, 15 He Who fashions their hearts together, Who comprehends all their deeds. 16 A king is not saved by a great army, nor is a hero rescued by great strength. 17 Illusory is the horse for salvation; despite its great strength it provides no escape. 18 Behold, the eye of HASHEM is on those who fear Him, upon those who await His kindness. 10 To rescue their soul from death, and to sustain them in famine. 20 Our soul longed for HASHEM; He is our help and our shield.
–The Lord concentrating His attention on a person. All at once it doesn’t sound negative at all. Who wouldn’t want the eye of the King upon them? Then again, I suppose that would depend on how said person was behaving at the time. If one was specifically going against an ordinance of the King, the notion of having His eye on you then…changes completely and becomes alarming. In the Onkelo’s translation from the Aramaic the verse is translated as follows: “If any Israelite…or any of the converts…eats any blood, I will set My ANGER against the man…” The Hebrew Panai- is derived from penai “My leisure,” or poneh, “Turn” : “I will turn from My present occupation to deal with this man.” Penei-“My face”.
The word Man is used in the Targum as opposed to Soul- Nefesh=life essence; a breathing creature; person; vitality.
Vayikra 12;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Aaron and his sons and to all the Children of Israel and say to them: This is the matter that HASHEM has commanded saying: 3 Any man from the House of Israel who will slaughter an ox, a sheep, or a goat in the camp, or who will slaughter outside the camp, 4 and he has not brought it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to bring it as an offering to HASHEM before the Tabernacle of HASHEM- it shall be considered as bloodshed for that man, he has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from the midst of his people.
7 They shall no longer slaughter their offerings to the demons after whom they stray; this shall be an eternal decree to them for their generations.
10 Any man among the House of Israel and of the proselyte who dwells among them who will consume any blood- I shall concentrate My attention upon the soul consuming the blood, and I will cut it off from its people. 11 For the soul of the flesh is in the blood and I have assigned it for you upon the Altar to provide atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that atones for the soul. 12 Therefore I have said to the Children of Israel: “Any person among you may not consume blood; and the proselyte who dwells among you may not consume blood.”
John 1;14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, as of the glory of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.
John 6;51 I am the living bread that has come down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. Furthermore, the bread that I will give is my own flesh; and I will give it for the life of the world.” 52 At this the Judeans disputed with one another, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Then Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life- that is, I will raise him up on the Last Day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in him.
Hosea 4;6 My people has been eliminated for lack of knowledge; for you have spurned knowledge, and I will spurn you from serving Me; and as you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I , too, will forget your children.
Jeremiah 23;34 And any prophet or priest or one of the populace who says ‘burden of HASHEM’, I shall deal with that person and with his household. 35 So shall you say to one another, and each man to his brother: ‘What did HASHEM pronounce?’ ‘What did HASHEM speak?’ 36 Never again mention ‘burden of HASHEM,’ for although a burden comes to a man of His word, you have perverted the words of the living God- HASHEM, Master of Legions, our God. 37 Say thus to the [true] prophet: ‘What did HASHEM pronounce to you?’ ‘What did HASHEM speak?’ 38 And if you still say, ‘burden of HASHEM’- therefore, behold, I am [acting], and I shall completely forget you, and I shall discard you and the city that I gave to you and to your fathers, from My presence.
–(Where lawlessness abounds, love grows cold.)
Matthew 24; 11 many false prophets will appear and fool many people; 12 and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah. 13 But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered.
–Ervah- nakedness (literally-nudity), disgrace, blemish (figuratively); shame; uncleanness.
Vayikra 18;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: I am HASHEM, your God. 3 Do not perform the practice of the land of Egypt in which you dwelled; and do not perform the practice of the land of Canaan to which I bring you, and do not follow their traditions. 4 Carry out My laws and safeguard My decrees to follow them; I am HASHEM, your God. 5 You shall observe My decrees and My laws, which man shall carry out and by which he shall live- I am HASHEM.
–These verse begin with “I am HASHEM, your God.” Verses 4 and 5 end in “I am HASHEM, your God.”, “I am HASHEM.” i.e. it is not for you to decided whether God’s decrees are worthy of your approval.
As we read above the Torah ‘gives/brings life’.
Proverbs 3;15 It is more precious than pearls, and all your desires can not compare to it. 16 Length of days is at its right; at its left, wealth and honor. 17 Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its pathways are peace. 18 It is a tree of life to those who grasp it, and its supporters are praiseworthy. 19 HASHEM founded the earth with wisdom; He established the heavens with understanding; 209 through His knowledge, the depths were cleaved, and the heavens dripped dew. 21 My child, do not let them stray from your eyes; safeguard the eternal Torah and [its] wise design.
–The Torah goes into texts which repeat the prohibition against “uncovering the nakedness” of your father, mother, father’s wife, sister (which includes half sisters and sisters born out of wedlock; the same applies for brothers.), aunts, uncles, sister’s-in law, daughter’s-in-law, or close relatives.
Are the following tedious verses or those which define the depth of God’s design for these relationships? The nakedness of your grandchildren being uncovered, i.e. them becoming disgraced it is your own shame…v.10..for they are your own shame. (theirs is thine own nakedness.) Grandchildren are not a burden or the ‘choices’ your own children made, they are gifts that should be (and are) a part of your own flesh…whichever point on this journey of life you consider yourself to be on, treasure every minute you can commit to these corporeal expressions of your legacy!
Siblings of your parents are as if they are to you….parents, v.12/13 “she is your father’s flesh.”/”he is your mother’s flesh.” You are to honor your parents and your elders, God expresses that we are obligated by holiness to honor our kin. The Torah continues to: Forbidden relationships…
Vayikra 18;17 The nakedness of a woman and her daughter you shall not uncover; you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness- they are close relatives, it is a depraved plot. 18 You shall not take a woman in addition to her sister, to make them rivals, to uncover the nakedness of one upon the other in her lifetime. 19 You shall not approach a woman in her time of unclean separation, to uncover her nakedness. 20 You shall not lie carnally with your fellow’s wife, to contaminate yourself with her.
Job 31;7 If my steps [ever] veered from the [proper] way or if my heart [ever] went after my eyes, or if anything [ever] clung to my hand, 8 then may I sow and let another eat, and may my produce be uprooted! 9 If my heart was [ever] seduced over a woman, or if I ever lay in wait at my neighbor’s door, 10 then may my wife grind for another man, and may strangers kneel over her! 11 For that is licentiousness; that is an iniquity for the judges [to punish]! 12 For it is a fire; it consumes unto doom, and it would uproot all my produce. 13 If I ever spurned justice for my servants and maidservants when they contended with me, 14 then what could I do when God would rise up? When He would attend to me, what could I answer Him? 15 Did not the One Who made me in the belly make him too? Was it not the One Who prepared us in the womb? 16 Never did I withhold the needs of the destitute, nor did I let a widow’s eyes long in vain, 17 nor did I eat my bread in solitude, so that an orphan could not eat from it.
Depraved- Zimmah= a plan (especially a bad one) lewdness; wickedness; heinous crime; mischief.
Once again as we are reading we realize that this plan for holiness is directly related to how we relate to our fellow man. These temptations were evident and visible to the all knowing God otherwise He would have had no need to address them. These are His standards and while one might think “Well that goes without saying…”, clearly God anticipates a time of testing we do not expect and being the Gracious Father He is…He arms us with His truth, His counsel, His testimony, His Torah.
Psalm 119;145 I called out with all my heart, answer me, O HASHEM; I will guard Your statutes. 146 I called You, save me, and I will keep Your testimonies. 147 I arose before dawn and I cried out; I hoped for Your word. 149 Hear my voice in accordance with Your kindness; O HASHEM, preserve me in accordance with Your practice. 150 The pursuers of sinful counsel draw near; they are far from Your Torah. 151 Yet You are nearby, O HASHEM, and all Your commandments are true. 152 From the start I gained knowledge from Your testimonies, because You established them forever. 153 See my affliction and release me, for I have not forgotten Your Torah.
–Why had God chosen to expel the inhabitants of the land of Canaan and grant Israel the ‘deed’ to that land? Because Israel was pristine and spotless before Him? Because Israel was mighty, powerful and righteous?
We read these essential words of the Torah in regards to God’s endowment of the Land to His Chosen People, Israel. He is expelling the inhabitants who were dwelling in Canaan (Deuteronomy 20;17 Rather you shall utterly destroy them; the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite, as HASHEM, your God, has commanded you, 18 so that they will not teach you to act according to all their abominations that they performed for their gods, so that you will sin to HASHEM, your God.) not simply because they were utterly engrossed in paganism but that they had defiled themselves and the land. Their practices are infectious and pestilential…detrimental to the continuity of life and the Light of God, which HASHEM planted among the Children of Israel…and they would, have and will continue to be the ones who are the ‘Keepers of the Flame’ ,’Guardians of the Charge’, ‘ People of the Word’. It is manifest that God knew what He was doing when He chose Israel, who weren’t pristine or spotless…yet they have for centuries lived and died to preserve the eternal Testimonies that we are blessed to study this very minute!
Vayikra 18;21 You shall not present any of your children to pass through for Molech, and do not profane the Name of Your God- I am HASHEM.
22 You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination. 23 Do not lie with any animal to be contaminated with it; a woman shall not stand before any animal for mating, it is a perversion.
24 Do not become contaminated through any of these; for through all of these nations that I expel before you became contaminated. 25 The land became contaminated and I recalled its iniquity upon it; and the land disgorged its inhabitants. 26 But you shall safeguard My decrees and My judgments, and not commit any of these abominations- the native or the proselyte who lives among you. 27 For the inhabitants of the land who are before you committed all these abominations, and the land became contaminated. 28 Let not the land disgorge you for having contaminated it, as it disgorged the nation that was before you. 29 For if anyone commits any of these abominations, the people doing so will be cut off from among their people.
30 You shall safeguard My charge not to do any of the abominable traditions that were done before you and not contaminate yourselves through them; I am HASHEM , your God.
–Leviticus-Vayikra- He spoke= is our manual, the model for the greatest lesson for HASHEM’s people…Forgiveness. Without Yeshua, our intercessor, requesting forgiveness on our behalf, continually as incense before the Throne…where would we be? The days in which you breathe…exist right now…are an exceptional period of time. A period of time that ‘counts’! This is the season of the Omer counting, a count from spiritual immaturity (Leaving Egypt; from Pesach) to a day of Joy, of spiritual Contact! (At Sinai; to Shavoth-Pentecost). These are days of connection, of growth and anticipation…knowing that we are going to ‘receive the Torah’ anew…for each cycle we are different, with advanced vision, transformed insight…when we come to the Word each cycle it is ALIVE, there is always something ‘more’ you see or find each time around. This is why we make these days count, realizing that at Shavouth the covenant is affirmed once more. Acharei-mot (after the death) ends with the Divine invitation to Israel. To come to the ‘place’ where God will make you the realization of His dream and His promise…that you can with your life force become set apart for Him, responsible for yourselves and for the entire world around you. Bringing light and good fruit, rebuilt, honed, ready to serve.
Ezekiel 36;6 “Therefore, prophesy concerning the Land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the streams and to the valleys, ‘Thus said the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM: Behold, I have spoken in My vengefulness and in My wrath, because you bore the shame of the nations. 7 Therefore, thus said the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM: I have lifted My hand, [swearing] that the nations surrounding you will bear their shame, 8 but you, O mountains of Israel, will give forth your branch and bear your fruit for My people Israel, for they are soon to come. 9 For behold, I am with you; and I will turn [My attention] to you, and you will be tilled and you will be sown. 10 I will make people numerous upon you- the entire House of Israel, all of it; the cities will be inhabited and the ruins will be rebuilt. 11 I will multiply man and animal upon you, and they will multiply and be fruitful; I will make you inhabited as in your earlier times, and I will make it better than it was at your beginning; then you will know that I am HASHEM.
Kedoshim- Holy Ones
Amos 3;1 Hear this prophecy that HASHEM has spoken concerning you, Children of Israel, concerning the entire family that I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: 2 You alone did I know from among all the families of the earth; therefore I will hold you accountable for all your iniquities. 3 Do two people walk together unless they had [so] arranged? 4 Does a lion roar in the forest, if it has no kill? Does a young lion send forth its voice from its lair, unless he had captured [prey]? 5 Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground, if it does not have a snare? Does the trap rise from the ground, unless it has entrapped? 6 Is the shofar ever sounded in a city and the people not tremble? Can there be misfortune in a city, if HASHEM had not brought it? 7 For the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM will not do anything unless He has revealed His secret to His servants the prophets. 8 A lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM has spoken; who will not prophesy?
Ephesians 1; 4 In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence. 5 He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons- in keeping with his pleasure and purpose-6 so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One. 7 In union with him, through the shedding of his blood, we are set free- our sins are forgiven; this accords with the wealth of the grace 8 he has lavished on us. In all his wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us his secret plan, which by his own will he designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah 10 and will put into effect when the time is ripe- his plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship.
-Kedoshim is known as Torah within Torah because there are parallels to the Ten Words- Ten Commandments. In the two chapters of Kedoshim the words: “I am HASHEM.” appear FIFTEEN times. This reminds us, “If you keep My laws, I will be your Lord.” The opening section deals with relationships between community members. Verse 1 begins with HASHEM addressing the ENTIRE assembly, (Much like at Sinai). HASHEM doesn’t ask that Moses speak to Aaron, to pass to the elders, leaders and teachers to trickle down throughout the assembly…this is announced to the people as a whole to ensure that there are no gaps or miscommunications, to secure these commands will be the template for holiness for the whole Family of Israel.
Vayikra 19;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I holy am I, HASHEM, your God. 3 Every man: Your mother and father shall you revere and My Sabbaths shall you observe- I am HASHEM, your God. 4 Do not turn to the idols, and molten gods shall you not make for yourselves- I am HASHEM, your God.
Vayikra 19;5 When you slaughter a feast peace-offering to HASHEM, you shall slaughter it to find favor for yourselves. 6 On the day of your slaughter shall it be eaten and on the next day, and whatever remains until the third day shall be burned in the fire. 7 But if it is eaten on the third day, it is rejected- it shall not be accepted.
–Offerings (of all types) can be disqualified by improper intentions at the time of service. It is not enough to carry out the commandments mechanically; one must perform them with the right intentions as well.
Vayikra 19; 9 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not complete your reaping to the corner of your field, and the gleanings of your harvest you shall not take. 10 You shall not pick the undeveloped twigs of your vineyard you shall not gather; for the poor and the proselyte shall you leave them- I am HASHEM, Your God.
Ruth 2;8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Hear me well, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field, and don’t leave here, but stay close to my maidens. 9 Keep your eyes in the field which they are harvesting and follow after them. I have ordered the servants not to molest you. Should you become thirsty, go to the jugs and drink from that which the servants have drawn.” 10 Then she fell on her face, bowing down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes that you should take special note of me though I am a foreigner?” 11 Boaz replied and said to her, ” I have been fully informed of all that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband- how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and went to a people you had not known yesterday or earlier. 12 May HASHEM reward your deed, and may your payment be full from HASHEM, the God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
–It is from this commandment regarding the gleanings of your harvest, kept through the ages, that the stage is set for the romance and espousal of Boaz and Ruth. Additionally it is Ruth’s efforts to attach herself to the One True God and His Ways, i.e. His commandments along with her devotion to her mother-in-law, that impresses and seal’s the connection established by HASHEM between she and Boaz.( Ruth 1;16…your God is my God;17 where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. This may HASHEM do to me, and so may He do more, if anything but death separates me from you.”) The true miracle, from Boaz and Ruth come Perez, Jesse, David, Joseph and the Messiah.
Vayikra 19;11 You shall not steal, you shall not deny falsely, and you shall not lie one man to his fellow. 12 You shall not swear falsely by My Name, thereby desecrating the Name of your God- I am HASHEM. 13 You shall not cheat your fellow and you shall not rob; a worker’s wage shall not remain with you overnight until morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf, and you shall not place a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God- I am HASHEM. 15 You shall not commit a perversion of justice; you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the great; with righteousness shall you judge your fellow.
Matthew 5;17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah- not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven!”
Vayikra 19;16 You shall not be a gossipmonger among your people, you shall not stand aside while your fellow’s blood is shed- I am HASHEM. 17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him. 18 You shall not take revenge and you shall not bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your fellow as yourself- I am HASHEM.
James 4;1 What is causing all the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it your desires battling inside you? 2 You desire things and don’t have them. You kill, and you are jealous, and you still can’t get them. So you fight and you quarrel. The reason you don’t have is that you don’t pray! 3 Or you pray and don’t receive, because you pray with the wrong motive, that of wanting to indulge your own desires. 4 You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God? Whoever chooses the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! 5 Or do you suppose the Scripture speaks in vain when it says that there is a spirit in us which longs to envy? 6 But the grace he gives is greater, which is why it says, “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace.”
Vayikra 19;19 You shall observe My decrees: you shall not mate your animal into another species, you shall not plant your field with mixed seed; and a garment that is a mixture of combined fibers shall not come upon you.
II Corinthians 7;14 Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Messiah and B’liya’al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What argument can their be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God- and God said, “I will house myself in them,…and I will walk among you. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Vayikra 19;23 When you shall come to the land and you shall plant any fruit tree, you shall treat its fruit as forbidden; for three years they shall be forbidden to you, they shall not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year, all its fruit shall be sanctified to laud HASHEM. 25 And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit- so that it will increase its crop for you- I am HASHEM, your God.
Luke 6;39….”Can one blind man lead another blind man? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40 A talmid is not above his rabbi. 41 So why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but not in own eye? 42 How can you say to brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the splinter from your eye,’ when you yourself don’t see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye; then you will see clearly, so that you can remove the splinter from your brother’s eye! 43 For no good tree produces bad fruit, not does a bad tree produce good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit-figs aren’t picked from thorn bushes, nor grapes from a briar patch. 45 The good person produces good things from the store of good in his heart, while the evil person produces evil things from the store of his evil heart. For his mouth speaks what overflows from his heart.
–Yeshua teaches that recognizing evil or bad fruit is tied to the fruit (the actions, the deeds, the good works…from pure a heart aimed at self-sacrifice and servitude) that a person produces. That one blind or hindered by the distractions of the world or sightless to God’s ultimate control when confronted by the obstacles and challenges…can not see when it is the proper time to allow the fruit to ripen and mature or for harvesting and bringing forth the good fruit, as an offering for the Lord and as a source of praise and blessing to be shared in our households and communities. The commandment of waiting to bring the ‘first fruit’ to the Lord in the fourth year is based on the teaching that in the ancient times heathen idolaters would bring their early fruit as an offering of thanksgiving to their idols. Again we see God distancing- setting apart- making His people holy through the keeping of His commands.
Vayikra 19;26 You shall not eat over the blood; you shall not indulge in sorcery and you shall not believe in lucky times. 27 You shall not round out the edge of your scalp and you shall not destroy the edge of your beard. 28 You shall not make a cut in your flesh for the dead, and a tattoo shall you not place upon yourselves- I am HASHEM. 29 Do not profane your daughter to make her a harlot, lest the land become lewd, and the land become filled with depravity.
–Sorcery, mediums, conjurers, necromancers, magic, astrology, ‘consulting the clouds’. We see it all the time. I can’t count how many times I have been told, “Oh that’s because you’re a virgo.” or some comment reasoning my actions, moods or that of my children based upon the arrangement of a heavenly body. These people consult the stars rather than contemplate their Maker who knows each by name! Others seek the dead for answers or fortune tellers instead of searching for the Omnipresent Sovereign King Who holds the souls of the living and the dead in His hand…existing from the conception of Time and remaining Eternally. Shiite Muslims whip and slash their skin on Ashoura in memory of the ‘fallen’ martyrs, murderers whom they honor with their spilled blood. How many permanent man made signs are seen of doves, crosses, bible passages…tattooed on believers and non-believers alike? I am not at all saying if you have a tattoo you aren’t saved, these laws are meant to separate the People of God from the pagan idolatry which surrounded them. Ancient near eastern customs often included body mutilation, scarring and tattooing. I am merely pointing out what the text says and the parallels we are witness to. Aside from the obvious and tragically still rampant existence of human trafficking, the commandment not to profane your daughter and make her a harlot is a lesson for parents as whole. If we do not arm our children with the eternal unchanging truth of our King and teach them to in turn give the Good News of Yeshua, they are stripped and defenseless against the terrifyingly corrupted world in which they live. Thus the guilt falls upon our shoulders. This is our highest duty, to be teachers by example in love…and through it we too learn how to love God ‘better’.
Vayikra 19;30 My Sabbaths shall you observe and My Sanctuary shall you revere- I am HASHEM. 31 Do not turn to [the sorcery of] the Ovos and Yid’onim; do not seek to be contaminated through them- I am HASHEM, your God. 32 In the presence of an old person shall you rise and you shall honor the presence of a sage and you shall revere your God- I am HASHEM.
–As with the text above when God again repeatedly reminds us the importance of keeping sacred His appointed Sabbaths, we recognize that honor of parents, honor of elders and honor of righteous teachers are all tied in with keeping God’s commands. When we teach our children to submit to our authority in our homes, when we exhibit respect and honor for our elders and teachers in our actions, words and deeds…we are exemplifying for them the vertical relationship and proper honor to El Elyon (God Most High). We teach them about the submission to God’s authority and especially in the realm of time. Where we are even giving praise to Him with complying to His schedule for our time.
Vayikra 19;33 When a proselyte dwells among you in your land, do not taunt him. 34 The proselyte who dwells with you shall be like a native among you, and you shall love him like yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt- I am HASHEM, your God.
I Peter 4;7 The accomplishing the goal of all things is close at hand. Therefore, keep alert and self-controlled, so that you can pray. 8 More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins. 9 Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling. 10 As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace-11if someone speaks, let him speak God’s words; if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah- to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
–The word in the text below “correct” is the Hebrew word Tsedeq-the right (natural, moral or legal); just; righteous. It is so natural to slip into the nature of our flesh and envy, judge, scrutinize others through the lenses of our own preconceived notions, doctrines, upbringing. The proof of one who truly has ‘taken up his own cross’ and died to his former self…to the point where your ‘former’ you is unrecognizable, indefinable, gone forever…is if you are able to in turn measure out to others when you give, when you teach, and when you learn…the measure of love, mercy and compassion with which the Savior dealt to you.
Vayikra 19;35 You shall not commit a perversion in justice, in measures of length, weight, or volume. 26 You shall have correct scales, correct weights, correct dry measures, and correct liquid measures- I am HASHEM your God, Who brought you forth from the land of Egypt. 37 You shall observe all My decrees and all My ordinances, and you shall perform them- I am HASHEM.
Mark 4;21 He said to them, “A lamp is not brought in to be put under a bowl or under the bed, is it? Wouldn’t you put it on a lamp stand? 22 Indeed, nothing is hidden, except to be disclosed; and nothing is covered up, except to come out into the open. 23 Those who have ears to hear with, let them hear!” 24 He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you are hearing! The measure with which you measure out will be used to measure you- and more besides! 25 For everyone who has something will be given more; but from anyone who has nothing, even that will be taken away.”
–The closing chapter of Kedoshim directed not just for the Jews, not just Israel but to every proselyte among them..all those who are grafted into the tree, Chapter 20 denotes the consequences. The punishments. The outcome and result of willfully, purposely, intentionally violating and trespassing against the given and expressed manual for upright, holy living. Yeshua came and died for our sins, that we might sin no more. If we have problems and fail and repent this is expected and will continually happen, this is part of spiritual growth…however the Lord did not come and shed his precious atoning blood in order that it be used as an excuse that we are covered and thus our continual willful rebellious transgressions are of no consequence. We are to obey his commands and to strive to distance ourselves and set ourselves apart from sin and that which is distinguished as being sinful. Bearing in mind that the definition of sin does not mean death, sin means the distance…the separation from that which is lawful. The Greek word for sin- hamartano- to miss the mark. The Torah is known as the goal to “hit the mark”, it is seen that in running the race, geared up and trained by the Maker we will be able to ‘spike the ball’ at the goal line clearly laid out for us…giving glory and praise and honor to Him and His eternal blueprint for us, his children whom anxiously await the return of our conquering King.
Revelation 11; 16 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones in God’s presence fell on their face and worshipped God, 17 saying, “We thank you, ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is and was, that you have taken your power and have begun to rule. 18 The Goyim raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people, those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth.” 19 Then the Temple of God in heaven was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in his Temple ; and there were flashes of lightning, voices and peals of thunder, an earthquake and violent hail.
Numbers 25;7 Phinehas son of Elazar son of Aaron the Kohen saw, and he stood up from amid the assembly and took a spear in his hand. 8 He followed the Israelite man into the tent and pierced them both, the Israelite man and the woman into her stomach- and the plague was halted from upon the Children of Israel. 9 Those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand. 10 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 11″Phinehas son of Elazar son of Aaron the Kohen, turned back My wrath from upon the Children of Israel, when he zealously avenged My vengeance. 12 Therefore, say: Behold! I give him My covenant of peace. 13 And it shall be for his offspring after him a covenant of eternal priesthood, because he took vengeance for his God and he atoned for the Children of Israel.
Vayikra 20;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Say to the Children of Israel: Any man from the Children of Israel and from the proselyte who lives with Israel, who shall give his seed to Molech, shall be put to death; the people of the land shall pelt him with stones. 3 I shall concentrate My attention upon that man, and I shall cut him off from among his people, for he had given from his offspring to Molech in order to defile My Sanctuary and to desecrate My holy Name. 4 But if the people of the land avert their eyes from that man when he gives from his offspring to Molech, not to put him to death- 5 then I shall concentrate My attention upon that man and upon his family; I will cut off from among their people, him and all who stray after him and stray after Molech.
–Molech worship included parents who would bring their babies and sacrifice them to this idol, there were rituals which included priests of Molech and passing the child through fire. What atrocities do we see happening today? Children being torn apart by rockets and mortar bombs, riddled with bullets. When is enough ,enough? When does inner conviction become vocalized and acted upon? God certainly doesn’t give us the power to condemn, nor does he instruct us to judge… yet, has He held up the standard by which we are to discern and by using the word which He gave us, are we charged to DO what is right? We are responsible for each other. Not only for those in our households or to those of our kin (and friends), we are not merely bound to our communities and congregations…but to each ‘soul’ nefesh…life essence. It is our charge to give the word and glorify God in all things. It was when the zeal of Phinehas which made way for the Lord granting him an ETERNAL covenant of peace.
I truly believe in these last days many are being called to do more for their King and for the Land and People who He loves, Israel. I have been very blessed over the past two months to learn more about the evidence of the Trustworthy Promisekeeper God is manifested in the Nation and people of Israel.
Please review these amazing communities and organizations and contact me for more information about how you can stand with Israel and support the Land, I can testify that what God will establish for your efforts will be as if He has opened a whole new cache of defense against all the scary things we see enclosing us today, and I would be honored to share my full testimony to these things. Glory to God!
*Proclaiming Justice to the Nations– http://www.pjtn.org/
*Stand With Us Northwest– http://www.standwithus.com/chapters/northwest/
*Christians United For Israel– http://www.cufi.org/site/PageServer
Genesis 12;3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you.
Romans 15;25 But now I am going to Yerushalayim with aid for God’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia thought it would be good to make some contribution to the poor among God’s people in Yerushalayim. 27 They were pleased to do it, but the fact is that you owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared with the Jews in spiritual matters, then the Gentiles clearly have a duty to help the Jews in material matters.
–Make these days count, we are so very blessed to be alive and aware in these times, we are free to practice our faith and I pray that in the time of famine for the word you will be sustained through the stores of the eternal living word that you are filling up the reaches of your heart with. Daily may you grow and be blessed and give unto others.
Proverbs 10;11 The mouth of the righteous one is a source of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals their [intended] violence. 12 Hatred arouses strife, but love covers all offenses. 13 In the lips of an understanding one will be found wisdom, but a rod [must be used] on the back of one who lacks [an understanding heart.]
Baruch atta ADONAI, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav
Blessed are You Lord our God King of the universe Who sanctifies us with His commandments
You alone have planted among us life eternal,
Blessed are You Lord, Gracious Giver of the Torah,
In Yeshua’s Name, Amein.
–Oh Father, we marvel at the stars, their radiance their shine… we admire them and study them yet we cannot touch them, we can not hold them or contain their glow. My King we glory in the miracle of creation, a hummingbird whose body is a perfect balance of impossibility and reality…we wonder at the evident work of your hands yet we can not catch it, cradle it or find reason. Lord may all souls witness the piece of heaven, the physical existence of the gift you have placed here…palpably among us. You living word, a piece of divinity we can hold, we can touch, we can study and allow to shape our lives….may no one miss out any longer, nor be lead astray any further from the eternal and unchanging nature of the treasure you have gifted us with! Thank You almighty God, please use each and every one of us every single day for Your honor and Glory and Magnification. In Yeshua’s name I ask these things. Amein.
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Onkelos On The Torah-Understanding the Bible Text- Leviticus
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
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