Vayikra in Ezekiel: Focus on Ezekiel 22 and Leviticus 13-19
Vayikra (Leviticus) 18;1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘I AM THE LORD your God. 3 You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. 4 You are to PERFORM MY judgments and KEEP MY statutes, TO LIVE in accord with them; I AM THE LORD your God. 5 So you shall KEEP MY statutes and MY judgments, by which A MAN MAY LIVE IF HE DOES THEM;
I AM THE LORD.
It’s no mystery. God has declared the end from the beginning and He has masterfully, skillfully, intricately and remarkable woven His will and His way into His word…throughout its entirety. It is alive, active and life giving…it is relevant and applicable for us for such a time as this, for today. Would you agree?
Ezekiel 22;1 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations (TOWEBAH).3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “A city shedding blood in her midst, so that her time will come, and that makes idols, contrary to her, for defilement (TAME) ! 4 You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled (TAME) by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations and a mocking (QALLACAH) to all the lands. 5 Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you of ill repute, full of turmoil.
Connecting to the repeated Torah message taking from the Leviticus 18 verses above, the phrase “And you will know that I AM THE LORD...” is found 50 times in Ezekiel.
Tame will be discussed more below; Strongs H8441 tow`ebah-(to-ay-baw) something disgusting (morally), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol.The Hebrew word Towebah (abomination) is found a whopping 41 verses in the Book of Ezekiel. For more understanding on what God has defined abomination as in scripture review this post:
It should be noted that the form of the qallacah from Ezekiel 22 is found only here in the Tanakh.
Strongs H7048 qallacah (kal-law-saw’)- intensive from H7046; ridicule. KJV: mocking.
Without attempting to delve into the hypocrisies I see within one sect of believers who claim “All scripture is God breathed and good for edification….” and then turn around and state “something’s have changed, some things are fulfilled…thus we need not apply the whole” (usually referring to what that sect might call the “old”)…Instead of touching the contradictions of learned and well versed sages and great minds, of whom I am humbled by and also left wanting and with many many questions…instead of engaging in the back and forth of pride and judgment on who keeps what “right” and who’s wrong because they say this name that way or observe that feast the other way…I’d like to just share with you what I found when reading through the Book of Ezekiel.
I am sure this is nothing new. We all know (should know) the Torah and its instructions are ingrained in every book of the bible. What is humbling, encouraging and exciting though is to have gone through these years of studying inside…on the Torah cycle and now being able to readily bring to mind what the writers are referring to in their own teachings and prophecies. Yes when speaking on first half of Ezekiel we know we meet the prophet at time of great woe. There is destruction, subjugation, exile…there is terrible tribulation and he speaks to his people in exile with the message that Jerusalem and the Holy Temple are going down, and it is God Who is exacting His just wrath and fury. God expresses in detail and recapitulation the sins of the people, explaining with gruesome particularity the extent to which Israel, His people, have strayed from Him and the terrible cost of their restraint from repentance.
As I read through chapter 22 I noticed there were many, many references to Torah Laws and instructions. I went to Leviticus and sought to figure out if there were any connections, patterns, chronological parallels…this blog entry is my notes on the connections I found. I am amazed and uplifted by ADONAI and praise Him for bolstering my growing understanding that He has given us all that we need to know the in’s and out’s, the who what where when’s…many of the why’s and why not’s and most of all the how….to live a life consecrated to Him, set apart and Holy….able to do what He created each one of us for. To function in His service, striving to live in the image of the Holy One blessed is He and to shine His light to all who see us. May this bless Him, and you as much as it has blessed me. And may the words of the Lord through His prophet stand as a powerful warning for us today.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 13; 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 “When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling or a scab or a bright spot, and it becomes an infection of leprosy on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests. 3 The priest shall look at the mark on the skin of the body, and if the hair in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is an infection of leprosy; when the priest has looked at him, he shall pronounce him unclean (TAME).
Unclean: H2930 tame‘ taw-may’ = to be foul, especially in a ceremonial or moral sense (contaminated).
KJV: defile (self), pollute (self), be (make, make self, pronounce) unclean, X utterly.
All of Leviticus 13 is in regard to the biblical disease Tzra’ath which is known as leprosy. It is not a disease which is viral or bacterial or contagious…it is a divine affliction. (Sages say it is due to Lashan Harah or the evil tongue based on the fact that Miriam was stricken with Tzra’ath after challenging/ speaking ill of Moshe see Numbers 12) (Strongs H6883 tsara`ath)
Vayikra (Leviticus) 14; 37 So he shall look at the mark, and if the mark on the walls of the house has greenish or reddish depressions and appears deeper than the surface, 38 then the priest shall come out of the house, to the doorway, and quarantine the house for seven days. 39 The priest shall return on the seventh day and make an inspection. If the mark has indeed spread in the walls of the house, 40 then the priest shall order them to tear out the stones with the mark in them and throw them away at an unclean place outside the city. 41 He shall have the house scraped all around inside, and they shall dump the plaster that they scrape off at an unclean place outside the city. 42 Then they shall take other stones and replace those stones, and he shall take other plaster and re-plaster the house. 43 “If, however, the mark breaks out again in the house after he has torn out the stones and scraped the house, and after it has been re-plastered, 44 then the priest shall come in and make an inspection. If he sees that the mark has indeed spread in the house, it is a malignant mark in the house; it is unclean. 45 He shall therefore tear down the house, its stones, and its timbers, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall take them outside the city to an unclean place.
H7096 qatsah kaw-tsaw’ = to cut off; (figuratively) to destroy; (partially) to scrape off. KJV: cut off, cut short, scrape (off).
H2902 tuwach too’-akh = to smear, especially with lime. KJV: daub, overlay, plaister, smut.
Leviticus 14 continues with the method of becoming declared clean (tahor) of Leprosy, the offerings brought for atonement, etc. The text goes into an afflicted house (for garments, utensils, etc. all could become afflicted by this fascinating disease). The Kohen (Priest) who examines the house and its ‘blemishes’ will wait a seven day quaratining period and afterward plaster over the bricks or stones of the house. If the mark has spread then the plaster and all the materials are thrown outside the city to an unclean place.
Yes I believe this seemingly ‘irrelevant to today’, Torah portion about the Leprous house has a much deeper meaning. The Torah explained it, the Prophets reiterated it…it was at the time the prophets came to the Nation in sin, with the message of Judgment and call to repentance that they as messengers of God were abhorred and cast behind their backs. Moreover they were murdered. Some have said that there are two witnesses, The Torah and The Prophets. Israel (God’s people) rejected the Prophets and today we see that among the majority of organized religion who’s faith is based upon the Bible and so called- Old Testament…it is the Torah that is rejected, cast aside, etc. So what is the message? There is an infection which is appearing over the House, it must be recognized and scraped off…before it spreads and becomes malignant. White wash won’t do it. It has to be from the inside out. The disease of Lawlessness, Torah-lessness and rebellion is precisely what the Prophet Ezekiel faced and what God was continually warning His people about, if you are able to receive it.
Matthew 23; 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and LAWLESSNESS. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
Consider this…just my spiritual application, not at all based upon the simple reading. Yeshua- our High Priest; the House- The World, all Creation; Stones- people, building up the house; Malignant Mark’s upon the stones of the house: unrepentant sin; seven days- 7 weeks- 7000 years (we are in the year 5,775 nearing the 6,000 year and Messiah will reign for 1,000 years – 7, 7th= the Sabbath, the Rest, the Millennial Reign), the Camp: the place prepared for the elect and the saints by Messiah; Unclean place: the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth or the lake of fire. Now read that Leprous House text above again .
Ezekiel 22; 28 Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken.
Luke 11; 24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” 27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him,“Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said,“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Vayikra (Leviticus) 15; 19 ‘When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. 20 Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity (NIDDAH) shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean.
H5079 niddah nid-daw’ = from H5074; properly, rejection; by implication, impurity, especially personal (menstruation) or moral (idolatry, incest).
KJV: X far, filthiness, X flowers, menstruous (woman), put apart, X removed (woman), separation, set apart, unclean(-ness, thing, with filthiness).
Leviticus 15 relates the laws regarding the emissions and discharges of a man and the menstruating woman, the protocol and the method of becoming ritually clean to maintain the integrity of the camp in which the ‘House’ and ‘Glory’ of God Most High rests within, as well as to allow for their participation in the Temple service (bringing offerings, worship, etc.) again.
Ezekiel 22; 10 In you they have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you they have humbled (ANAH) her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity.
–This verse of Ezekiel shows us the people were ignoring all the Lords rulings in the matter of moral relationships within their households. That is the whole point of the Niddah Laws. To have healthy boundaries set by the Lord. To be willing to submit our own desires and make them subservient to His will. Men and women who are married are instructed in the bible to observe a period of separation during the woman’s monthly blood. During this period (no pun intended) they are to refrain from physical relations, intimacy, copulation. The wording of the text is similar to that found in Deuteronomy, I am giving you some context around this verse to help me make a point, the word found for violate or humiliate is strongs H6031 `anah (aw-naw’)- (identifying with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitive or intransitive (in various applications.) :
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22; 25 “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. 27 When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her. 28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated (ANAH) her; he cannot divorce her all his days. 30 “A man shall not take his father’s wife so that he will not uncover his father’s skirt.
Further proof for the following point comes from the texts regarding David’s son Amnon who ANAH, or raped…his sister Tamar.
2 Samuel 13; 14 But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated (ANAH) her and lay with her.
–What is happening in Ezekiel is clear. The earlier chapters depict a total abhorrence for the sanctity of God, the Temple and His Law. The people are partaking of everything foul, idolatry, pornography, all sorts of abominations and these things have reached even the inner chambers of the Holy Place.
Ezekiel 8;10 So I went in and saw. And there,engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. 11 And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. 12 Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.”
Ezekiel’s reference to humbling the woman in her blood, shows us that not only have they cast the Law’s of purity and separation, of mikveh (ceremonial cleansing) to show sanctity for Temple service, aside…but they are coming into each other with inappropriate relationships, and there are rapes taking place…even when a woman is menstruating. These abominations have infiltrated and been adopted and practiced throughout the Land and even into the Temple and furthermore it’s the elders and leaders who have also engaged in all of this. The Mark, so to speak, in the house of His people has certainly spread and become infectious and out of control. Therefore we read on and hear of the destruction to come, the scraping and tearing down and removal of the unclean stones and building material to the outside of the camp…in an unclean place. The gravity of the situation is clear.
Vayikra (Leviticus)15; 31 “Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness (TUM’AH), so that they will not die in their uncleanness (TU’MAH) by their defiling My Tabernacle that is among them.” 32 This is the law for the one with a discharge, and for the man who has a seminal emission so that he is unclean (TAME) by it, 33 and for the woman who is ill because of menstrual impurity (NIDDAH), and for the one who has a discharge, whether a male or a female, or a man who lies with an unclean (TAME) woman.
H2932 tum’ah (toom-aw)’ from H2930; religious impurity. KJV: filthiness, unclean(-ness).
Ezekiel 24;15 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 16 “Son of man, behold, I am about to take from you the desire of your eyes with a blow; but you shall not mourn and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not come. 17 Groan silently; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban and put your shoes on your feet, and do not cover mustache and do not eat the bread of men.” 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. And in the morning I did as I was commanded.
–The following connections to me were incredible. First off we see in the Ezekiel text an aspect of God’s request to Ezekiel which hearkens back to Aaron and his sons Nadav and Avihu who, when they over stepped the boundaries and came into the Holy of Holies with strange fire, were burned by a fire from God. Aaron, like Ezekiel who looses his wife as a sign to the people…is asked not to mourn.
Leviticus 10; 1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored.’” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.4 Moses called also to Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come forward, carry your relatives away from the front of the sanctuary to the outside of the camp.” 5 So they came forward and carried them still in their tunics to the outside of the camp, as Moses had said. 6 Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation. But your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, shall bewail the burning which the Lord has brought about. 7 You shall not even go out from the doorway of the tent of meeting, or you will die; for the Lord’s anointing oil is upon you.” So they did according to the word of Moses.8 The Lord then spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 “Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations— 10 and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean,11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”
Ezekiel 22; 26 Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
-We gain a greater understanding of what went wrong on the ‘opening day’ of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) with Nadav and Avihu when we read on in Leviticus and learn about Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement…the one day a year wherein the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies, bearing coals from the brazen Altar and blood from the special offerings that day. He would seek atonement from before the Mercy Seat for himself, his house, and the entire people.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 16;1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they had approached the presence of the Lord and died. 2 The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.
The Day of Yom Kippur is better translated as the Day of Covering. It is a sacred day appointed by God Himself. Many are familiar with the term Sabbath, H7673 shabath (shaw-bath’) to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causative, figurative or specific).
Leviticus 26; 2 You shall keep MY sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary; I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 20; 19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep MY Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned MY Sabbaths.
These are not things of man, traditions or festivals imagined…these are designated and appointed times. Sabbath’s (PLURAL) of the Lord we are discussing. There is the weekly Sabbath observed as a remembrance of Creation,
Bereshit (Genesis) 2;1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
When the bible refer’s the Sabbath’s it is referring to the weekly Sabbath and the FEAST DAYS. Yom Kippur is one of these days. So when God, via. Ezekiel expresses that their separation from Him and failure to continue with their relationship is in a major part due to their lack of observance, rather irreverence…nay, profanation of His Holy Day’s, I believe this is something to note and not just gloss over. Read on to the texts regarding Yom Kippur.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 16; 29 “This shall be a permanent (OWLAM) statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; 30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent (OWLAM) statute. 32 So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement: he shall thus put on the linen garments, the holy garments,33 and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar. He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.34 Now you shall have this as a permanent (OWLAM) statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.”
–Whether or not this seems relevant or applicable to you in your life or not, just think for a moment…our Creator indicated something in this text and went out of the way to use the word translated by the NASB as Permanent thrice. Why? The Word here used is OWLAM- H5769 `owlam (o-lawm’) from H5956; properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix) always. For more on Owlam please see this post:
Ezekiel 22; 26 Her priests have done violence to My law (TOWRAH) and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
There is continually an issue of mixing the Holy with the profane. God had set certain guidelines as to what was to be eaten and what was not to be eaten. How it was to be slaughtered and if it were an offering where it was to be offered. There were good intending folks who would offer, intending to offer to God, on altars in their backyard (for lack of a better example). There were also not well meaning members of the society whom were deliberately offering to strange false gods. God has and had ONE place He expected offerings to be brought and a specified manner in which they were to be administered. This place was His Mishkan and His Holy Temple. The text below of Leviticus explains to us that there was a huge issue of the what, where, when, and why in offering i.e. worshiping God. Assuming the person “knew” the Who, that he or she had acknowledged the Almighy and Awesome One God of Creation as being One, Echad…said person was living in a place in-drenched with idolatry. Unfortunately imitating pagan worship was almost ‘natural’, this is why God “stepped in” with His order of things. Our Ezekiel text is clear that the same issues were being faced but the fact of that time was, the people knew it was wrong to worship and eat meat sacrificed to idols on the pagan mountain shrines and they did it anyway.
Leviticus 17;1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded, saying, 3 “Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp,4 and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, blood guiltiness is to be reckoned to that man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5 The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to the Lord, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord. 6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and offer up the fat in smoke as a soothing aroma to the Lord. 7 They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot. This shall be a permanent statute to them throughout their generations.”’
Ezekiel 22; 9 Slanderous men have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood, and in you they have eaten at the mountain shrines. In your midst they have committed acts of lewdness.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 17; 8 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9 and does not bring it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to offer it to the Lord, that man also shall be cut off from his people.10 ‘And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ 12 Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’ 13 So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 14 “For life of all flesh, its blood is with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’
I’d like to discuss Nakedness before we get into the following texts. Let us get some scripture references to understand the connection between nakedness (bearing in mind the literal and also the spiritual implications here.) and curse. The next three sections are a lot of reading but please bear with me, I believe and pray it will be a well worth it at the end. Let’s start at the beginning:
Bereshit (Genesis) 3; 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day,and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” 16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
–So here we have a transgression of the Commandment of the Lord, fear or shame and nakedness. We have a curse, reference to the belly and the dust. We have a curse, reference to the ground and again dust. There is a reference to childbearing and mother. Garments and being clothed requiring the shedding of blood.
Bereshit (Genesis) 9;1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth….5 Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”….. 20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan,saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servant he shall be to his brothers.”
–Again here we see a reference to procreation and the shedding of blood. We see farming and the planting of a vineyard. We see that the land via the fruit of the vine leading to the drunkenness and uncovering of nakedness leading to a curse. We see turning from the nakedness and again covering of the nakedness.
Numbers 5; 12 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, 13 and a man has intercourse with her and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and she is undetected, although she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act, 14 if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has defiled herself, or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself, 15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity.16 ‘Then the priest shall bring her near and have her stand before the Lord, 17 and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put into the water. 18 The priest shall then have the woman stand before the Lord and let the woman’s head go loose, and place the grain offering of memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse. 19 The priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness,under your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse; 20 if you, however, have gone astray, under your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you” 21 (then the priest shall have the woman swear with the oath of the curse, and the priest shall say to the woman), “the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people by the Lord’s making your thigh waste away and your abdomen swell; 22 and this water that brings a curse shall go into your stomach, and make your abdomen swell and your thigh waste away.” And the woman shall say, “Amen. Amen.” 23 ‘The priest shall then write these curses on a scroll, and he shall wash them off into the water of bitterness. 24 Then he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings a curse, so that the water which brings a curse will go into her and bitterness. 25 The priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, and he shall wave the grain offering before the Lord and bring it to the altar; 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering as its memorial offering and offer up in smoke on the altar, and afterward he shall make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse will go into her and bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people.28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, she will then be free and conceive children.
— Like the garden we see hiding from the Husband. We see the spirit of jealousy which comes over the husband and causes him to bring her to the priest. She stands before the Lord and at the end of this ‘ordeal’ part of the curse includes a rotting of the thigh (which is needed to stand) and a swelling of the belly…it reminds me of the curse upon the serpent who is sent to his belly to eat the dust. The adulterous woman’s head is uncovered (and other texts mention that she was to be stripped naked). There is a curse written on a scroll and put into a cup along with the dust which she is to drink. If she is found innocent she will not be a curse among her people but rather will be blessed with children.
[Reading on in Ezekiel 23 we read about the twin Harlots, the sisters Oholah and Oholibah- Samaria and Jerusalem: In connection with this line of curses, adultery, harlotry and the cup of curse…the cup of the wrath of the Lord we read….
Ezekiel 23; 29…And the nakedness of your harlotries will be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotries. 30 These things will be done to you because you have played the harlot with the nations, because you have defiled yourself with their idols.31 You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand.’ 32 Thus says the Lord God, ‘You will drink your sister’s cup, which is deep and wide. You will be laughed at and held in derision; It contains much. 33 ‘You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, the cup of horror and desolation, the cup of your sister Samaria. 34 ‘You will drink it and drain it. Then you will gnaw its fragments and tear your breasts; for I have spoken,’ declares the Lord God. 35 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, bear now your lewdness and your harlotries.’”]
–So with this background of shame versus honor, fidelity versus adultery, the concept of boundaries set by the Lord and overstepping those boundaries coming with a curse…understanding that the uncovering of nakedness has to do with coming out of the cover of the Lord or being exposed to sin. Like Adam and Chavah in the garden became exposed by disobedience and sin, God covered them once more. Like Noach as he debased himself in his tent and Ham when he shamed his father, there was Shem and Japheth who covered him once more. Like the woman and the jealous husband…who would become exposed and shamed before the whole community…if vindicated she would be fruitful and bear children if guilty she would die and be a curse. We read in the Torah the verses containing unacceptable relationships…nakedness which is not permitted to be uncovered. Abominations, and that which speaks to us today. In Ezekiel we are reminded that the people are transgressing these very boundaries and doing so without shame.
Leviticus 18; 6 ‘None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the Lord. 7 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are not to uncover her nakedness. 8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.9 The nakedness of your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether born at home or born outside, their nakedness you shall not uncover. 10 The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for their nakedness is yours. 11 The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s blood relative. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s blood relative. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother; you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt.15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are blood relatives. It is lewdness. 18 You shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.
Ezekiel 22; 10 In you they have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you they have humbled her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. And another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter.
Leviticus 19; 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying: 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 3 Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My Sabbaths; I am the Lord your God. 4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God.
–Pivotal text in the Torah, words that centuries of believers have based their lives upon. “Famous”, well known, oft repeated words from scripture…but do we really understand their meaning? The Lord says, “Be Holy for I am Holy” and He says this with the expectation that we would desire the pursuit of becoming like Him. Then He tells us how. He explains it in positive commands: you shall…and negative commands: you shall not….
Read through the next passages I have broken up and highlighted. All from Ezekiel and these chapters of Leviticus (Leviticus being the HEART, or belly…womb of the Torah) and note how they connect, sometimes even word for word with each other.
Ezekiel 22; 6 “Behold, the rulers of Israel, each according to his power, have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood. 7 They have treated father and mother lightly within you. The alien they have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you. 8 You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths.
Leviticus 19;9 ‘Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19;11 ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 22; 12 In you they have taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression, and you have forgotten Me,” declares the Lord God. 13 “Behold, then, I smite My hand at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you.
—Is this not the driving point? The people have cast His Torah, His Law behind them, they have profaned all that He set up as holy and in reality…God is more than an afterthought….He has become a forgotten thing among their pleasures and intrigues.
Leviticus 19;13 ‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. 14 You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 22; 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her.
Leviticus 19; 15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. 16 You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 22; 27 Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain.
Leviticus 19; 17 ‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance,nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 2; 29 The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.
–There is an unmistakable darkness closing in on all creation. Morality is absolutely turned upside down. Right is wrong and wrong is right. It’s the people living in sin and abomination who speak out and loudly. While believers retreat and remain silent and complacent. I do not believe this is what the Creator has, over all this time, in His word been driving at our attention…to do. Can one stop a wave of depravity from breaking over humanity? No. So why try? Because God is LOOKING for someone to be willing to stand in the gap. To face the breaking wave and dare to proclaim truth a midst the crashing water. Messiah asked would he find faith on earth in the day of its downfall? God states in Ezekiel…He looked, and there was no man. How can this be? Ezekiel was completely obedient and went out with all his purpose, body, mind…all of it! to proclaim God’s message to the people. So did Jeremiah, so did Isaiah….so did Moses, yet…were they successful? For all their dedication, did they succeed in standing in the gap to the point where the people took heed, repented, and returned to the Lord? No. So why try? Because God is looking for that person…to build up the wall, though he may have to start from scratch in some cases…to work, diligently and wholeheartedly at preparing the way for the True builder of the house to come! The One Who will find success in His construction…in calling back all men to Him. This is our task. And the old, along with the new…the ancient with the eternal…these bridges are parallel and they both collide in perfect harmony to take us where we need to go! Where God is taking us.
Luke 18;7 …now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Ezekiel 22; 30 I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord God.
Hebrews 3; 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later;6 but Christ as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. 7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts….
Blessed are You Lord our God Gracious giver of the Torah,
You alone have planted among us life eternal.
Blessed are You Lord our God!