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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 39 CHUKAT (The Red Heifer) DEFYING GOD’S WORD THROUGH STRIFE

THEME: Let us not devour each other through strife lest we defy the Word from God’s mouth and thereby suffer loss.

AL ASHER ME’RITEM ET-PI LE’MEI ME’RIBAH

Because you (plural) defied My Word (Hebrew, “al pi”: literally, “the utterance of my mouth”) at the waters of strife (le’mei Meribah)

The connection between interpersonal strife and defiance of God’s Spoken Word is devastating: the realization that we can change trajectories from the highest good to a lesser good because we descend into the carnal aspect of our natures at critical moments in life confronts us with sobriety where relations with each other are concerned. The peoples’ complaint on a second occasion that Moses and Aaron had brought them into the desert to thirst and to starve caused Moses to strike the rock to bring forth water: thus, he and Aaron (who was with him in the deed) were banned from entry into the Land of Promise.

Do not be surprised by this. God was doing much more than punishing Moses and Aaron: he was laying down a principle forever to be remembered—carnality cannot inherit the Kingdom—it is only by the Spirit that we can pass through the eye of the needle. (Ephesians 5; John 1:13; Luke 18:25)

We will spend eternity in resurrected and glorified bodies that are not powered by flesh and blood systems (Luke 24:39): we will have much better vessels to contain our redeemed spirit-and-soul. As a consequence of this, we should now learn to put into subjection our instinct-driven bodies and our self-oriented souls.

We are working through many things in this life. It is preparing us for an Inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, one that “fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 1:4) May the LORD enable us to grow in the grace that is working His good pleasure in us even now. May we submit all things to the Lordship of Yeshua so that forever we may enjoy the privilege to which we have been born again. (2 Peter 1:1-11)

Amen. Amen.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 38 P. KORACH (KORAH). THE CRISIS OF LEADERSHIP

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION:

LEADERSHIP ALWAYS EXPERIENCES A CRISIS OF CONTENTION. ONE MUST BE PREPARED TO DEAL WITH IT IF S/HE IS TO FUNCTION AS AN EFFECTIVE LEADER. ONE MUST BE ABOVE REPROACH IF HIS/HER LEADERSHIP IS TO BE OF A GODLY CHARACTER.

NUMBERS 16:8-15

VERSE 15:

VA’YACHAR LE’MOSHE ME’OD           VA’YOMER EL-YHVH

This distressed Moses greatly              And he said to the LORD

AL-TEY’FEN EL-MIN’CHA’TAM

Do not turn toward their offering

LO CHAMOR ECHAD MEY’HEM NA’SA’TI

Not a single donkey have I taken from them

VE’LO HA’REY’OTI ET-ACHAD MEY’HEM

Nor have I hurt one of them.

Dathan and Abiram, the sons of one man named Eliab (“God is my father”), lifted up a complaint that Moses had taken them and the people from a land flowing with milk and honey (Egypt) and had not taken them to the land of Promise (Canaan) which is characterized by that same ascription—a land flowing with milk and honey.

This was a slap in the face of the One Who gave the Promise by way of the servants of that One—Moses and Aaron.

Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft—it exalts man over God. The sons of Eliab were united in their stiff resistance to the leadership of the miracle-worker whom God had used as his Rod to deliver the children of the Promise from the cruel domination of the world system.

Moses asked God to not turn toward their religious practice—though it had the surface appearance of the same devotion as that of Moses. Hypocrisy and Tares-among-Wheat is the sad reality of religious observance in this temporary phase of the prophetic unfolding of the world. May we cleanse ourselves from such serpentine things.

Furthermore, Moses said to God that the service he had rendered to them on behalf of the LORD was upright—Moses had not used his power to gain any personal advantage or to administer painful discipline upon the people.

There is a constant struggle between the Cain of humanistic religion and its love of the world and the Abel practice of revealed faith and its spirit of devotion to the Heavenly Realm. We must put away from us ungodly practice. We must follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Take care by brother, my sister, that your heart not give way to longing for the system of the world from which you have been miraculously extracted by the Gospel of Salvation and by the discipline of the Kingdom of Heaven. You are now a New Creation. Endure the Wilderness, for it is your pathway to the Inheritance of the Saints in Light.

(First John 1; Revelation 21-22)

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

SHELACH

Definition
Parsha means to divide – specifically:  a sequential section of the Torah assigned for weekly reading in synagogues and Messianic congregations all over the world.  Every year at the Simchat Torah (A celebration that takes place after Sukkot), the Torah scroll is returned to Genesis 1 to start the process all over again.

Definition of Nevi’im Reading
The Prophets, being the second of the three Jewish divisions of the Old Testament.

Definition of Brit Hadasha Reading
Translation: New Testament –specifically: A passage of New Testament scripture that correlates to the weekly parashah reading.

SHELACH

Mishpatim (Torah)
Numbers 13:1-15:41

Nevi’im (Prophets)
Haftarah

Joshua 2:1-2:24
Brit Chadashah (New Testament)
Hebrews 3:7-4:1
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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 P. 36: P. BE’HA’ALOTCHA (WHEN YOU SET UP) THE VOICE ABOVE THE MERCY SEAT

THEME OF THIS DEVOTION:

THE VOICE ABOVE THE MERCY SEAT IS “THE WORD OF THE LORD” THAT CAME TO THE PROPHETS. (1 Samuel 3:7)

THIS IS “THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN MADE FLESH” FOR US IN THE INCARNATION. (John 1:1-14) THIS IS ALSO THE VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO “RECEIVES OF MINE AND SHOWS IT UNTO YOU.” (John 16:14)

THIS IS THE SOURCE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS. (1 Corinthians 12)

HE IS OUR DOWN-PAYMENT ON THE FULNESS WE WILL RECEIVE FROM THE LORD AT HIS RETURN. (Ephesians 1:14)

WE ARE NEVER ALONE IN THE WORLD, FOR THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT ARE WITH US AND IN US FOREVER. (John 14:16-18)

U’VE’BO MOSHE EL-OHEL MO’EYD LE’DA’BEYR ITO

And when Moses came to the tent of meeting to speak to him

VA’YISH’MA ET-HA’KOL MID’DA’BEYR EY-LAIV MEY’AL HAC’CAPORET ASHER

he heard the Voice speaking with him from above the covering (the mercy seat)

AL-AROHN HA’EY’DUT MIB’BEIN SHNEI HAC’CERUVIM

above the Ark of the Testimony from between the two Cherubim

VA’YE’DAB’BEYR EY’LAIV

and He spoke to him

(Numbers 7:89, leading into 8:1 which begins this weeks’ parashah concerning instruction for making the Menorah. For this week’s devotion from Be’Ha’Alotcha I am focusing on the last sentence from Parashah Nasso since it is part of the communication concerning the menorah. I am doing so because This Voice is crucial to understanding the life in the Spirit that is the essence of the Christian life.)

THIS VOICE is a parallel to the Voice that spoke to Ezekiel “in the Spirit” in Ezekiel 43:6 “out of the house” while “the man stood by me.”

The Tent of Meeting. The Man stood by me.

This is direct revelation from God-the-Word to Moses just as we see in Mark 9 on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Read the “Theme” portion at the top of this devotion again. Our life in the Spirit is the essence of the “Eternal Life” that Jesus repeatedly promised, as in John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son

that whoever believes in him should not perish

but have everlasting (eternal) life.”

This is the life we have: a never-ending and never-interrupted Fellowship with God in the Spirit, the blessed Holy Spirit who has been given to us forever. (John 13-17) As the THEME section of the devotion makes clear, this continuing Presence within us and alongside us is an eternal gift from the Father that we have because of our union with the Son—in earnest now, in fulness at the resurrection.

Cherish his fellowship. Cultivate it continuously. He is closer to you than your breath. Commune with him in prayer and you will discover that these words are true.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 P. 34 BA’MIDBAR THE WILDERNESS—The Lonely Place

THEME: This devotion explores the root meaning of “Ba’Midbar”—in the wilderness— and correlates it to the spiritual aspect of the Christian’s wilderness experience.

The Book of Numbers is actually the Book of the Wilderness. During that 40 year walk of Israel through the Sinai Desert there was a census registered in the first chapters, from which the title “Numbers” was derived. But the majority of the Book has to do with Israel’s experiences in the Wilderness.

The Wilderness is a major part of the Christian life in a mystical sense. We will begin this devotion by a brief examination of the etymology of the Hebrew word “Ba’Midbar”—in the wilderness.

“Midbar” is built on the root DABEYR, to speak. Interesting. In modern Hebrew, the expression “M’da’beyr” means “speak (conversationally).” To ask, “Atah m’da’beyr ivrit?” means “Do you speak Hebrew?”

The meaning of speech as it then transitions to “wilderness” comes from the idea of “to order, to arrange” as when words are put in a certain order to convey meaning. In terms of “Mid’bar”—wilderness, desert—the idea of ordering has to do with driving sheep or cattle into an open area to graze. This becomes extended in meaning to indicate a wilderness or a desert. Interestingly, the next chapters after the census in Numbers concern the ordering of the camp of Israel as they journeyed through the desert—like the ordering of a flock or a herd to graze.

In effect, God took his people from Egypt and had them “graze” on his word and on his miraculous power for forty years before they entered the land of promise where they dwelt permanently. The first order of business when Israel entered the promised land was to possess it and then to divide it into tribal allotments—just like the “ordering” of the camp in the wilderness. They were thereafter to graze on God’s word and fulfill his commandments so that they could dwell in the land forever.

In the New Testament, a first encounter with the Wilderness was when Jesus was driven by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tested by the devil (Luke 4). It was a time of Speech! The testing came in the form of questions and allegations that the devil uttered to Jesus, against which Jesus defended himself with the written word of God (from Deuteronomy 6 and 8).

In our Christian experience we discover that the Wilderness—the lonely place—is where we wage our greatest battles with the wicked one. In the lonely place, where there is no distraction, we resist him steadfast in the faith (1 Peter 5:9). When we overcome evil there—in the lonely place—we come out in power to travel through the world with strength for any situation.

May your lonely place be filled with the potency of the LORD’S Word in your heart, the ordering of your steps each day, and his triumph on your lips.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 33. P. BECHUKOTAI (MY STATUTES): THIRTY SHEKELS FOR JESUS

THEME:

Man’s valuation of you and God’s valuation of you are two different things. Your true value is God’s valuation.

Leviticus 27:1-8 (KJV)

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying

 Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When a man consecrates by a vow certain persons to the LORD, according to your valuation,

 If your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary.

 If it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels; (v. 4)

 And if from five years old up to twenty years old, then your valuation for a male shall be twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels;

 And if from a month old up to five years old, then your valuation for a male shall be five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver;

 And if from sixty years old and above, if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels,

 But if he is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall set a value for him; according to the ability of him who vowed, the priest shall value him.”

When Judas Iscariot made the pact with the Sadducean priests to deliver Jesus to them, they paid him thirty shekels (“pieces”) of silver, as it is written in Matthew 26:14-15,

“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

“And said unto them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces (“shekels”) of silver.”

This fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 11:12-14 concerning the breaking of the covenant with all the people who had been appointed to slaughter:

“And I said unto them, If you think good give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty (pieces) of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter; a goodly price that I was prised of them. And I took the thirty (pieces) of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. Then I cut asunder my other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.”

This is one of the most astounding fulfillments of prophecy in the Bible—the pricing of Jesus at thirty pieces of silver and the subsequent morbid sorrow of Judas who cast the pieces down in the Temple and then went out and hung himself after which the Temple priests gave the money to buy a potter’s field for the burying of strangers (non-Jews) because “it is the price of blood.” (Matthew 27)

Thirty shekels (“pieces”) of silver was the valuation of a female between ages twenty and sixty. The valuation for a male was fifty shekels (“pieces”—according to the Temple shekel). Thus, the agreed price for the betrayal of Jesus was the price of a female of his age (thirty-three years at the time of his death). What an insult to his manhood!

Even the LORD Himself despised this insulting valuation in Zechariah.

Notice what happened as a result (part of the astonishing fulfillment of this prophesy):

First, the LORD (HA’SHEM) said this valuation was the valuation placed by Israel ON HIM! ON GOD THE LORD! (Zechariah 11:13) This is one proof text that Jesus of Nazareth is actually HA’SHEM in the flesh!

Second, the consequence in the whole people of Israel in the days of Jesus and afterward in one generation at the destruction of the second temple was that the land would be attacked and the people as a whole slaughtered, which happened in 70 AD. (Zechariah 11:4-6)

Third, the brotherhood between Judah and Israel (the southern and northern halves of the Kingdom) would be broken. This happened with the split between the followers of Yeshua (who had been headquartered in the northern kingdom) and those who rejected him and cast out from the synagogue his followers by means of the curse on the minim in the Amidah (basically, the Judean establishment that later became the Rabbinic survivors of the destruction of the second temple.)

This rupture of the nation had the effect of driving the followers of Yeshua into all the nations of the world proclaiming the Gospel. It then had the effect of sending the Jews who did not accept Yeshua into all the nations of the world by means of captivity and dispersion.

Thirty shekels of silver: a despicable human valuation when, in reality, the Divine valuation was that of HA’SHEM HIMSELF.

There is no price that can suffice to be a true valuation for the Son of God.

When you realize that being “in Christ” elevates you in the eyes of God to a value that is beyond any human valuation, then you will begin to walk in the footsteps of the Only One who is worthy to enter into Eternal Life. (John 3:16; Revelation 4-5)

As Paul said in Galatians 2:20,

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Read thoughtfully the “in Christ” passages in Ephesians to see how God values you. Then ask Him to help you to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you have been called.” Amen.

As a significant historic footnote, let me point out that now in our time the LORD is laying the foundation for a complete healing of the broken state of His Nation. This too is prophesied. So then, we are living at a most auspicious moment in human history. Let this truth guide you in the days to come.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 32 P. BEHAR (in the Mount [Sinai]) THE WALK OF FAITH (The Sabbatical Year Shemittah)

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION:

The Shemittah Sabbatical Year required faith in what God could do apart from what our natural minds can comprehend. It was a regular exercise in utter dependence on God, year to year, season to season, month to month, week to week, day to day, hour to hour, moment to moment.

We are called to a walk of faith in the “Now”—continually, without interruption. (Hebrews 11:1)

When I was a boy, my family told of a man in our fellowship of churches who lived a life of continual dependence on God. I don’t remember his name, but he was renowned in our fellowship because of the mighty acts that God performed in his life.

One story that I remember had to do with an assignment God gave him. The LORD spoke to him to go to a certain city and minister there. But he had no money for bus fare.

He obeyed the LORD step by step in his life. So, he packed his clothes and went to the bus station. He got in the ticket line. It was a long line. As each person ahead of him was served and stepped aside he kept communing with the LORD in his heart.

Just as the last person ahead of him was getting his ticket, this brother felt a hand behind him put something in his right hand. It was enough money for his bus fare. He stepped up to the window and paid for his bus fare.

I don’t know if he even turned to see whose hand put the money into his hand. The point is simply that the life of obedience to God is always rewarded with whatever is needed for the task that the LORD has assigned.

Hebrews 11:1 simply says, “NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things NOT SEEN.” (emphasis mine)

The text in Leviticus 25:21 contains a remarkable call to faith for all the people of Israel throughout their journey in The Land of Promise:

VE’TZI’VU’TI ET-BIR’CHA’TI LA’CHEM BASH’SHA’NA HASH’SHI’SHIT

I will command my blessing for you in the sixth year

VE’A’SAT ET-HAT’TE’VU’AH LISH’LOSH HAS’SHA’NIM

and it will make a crop (sufficient) for the three years

The commandment was that they were to let the land lie fallow for year seven and plant in year eight for a crop in year nine.

This is very much like Joseph receiving knowledge and wisdom from God for preserving Egypt and the whole region round about for a seven-year period from the yield of the prior seven yields.

It was also like the widow who fed Elijah until the drought ended (three and a half years). She did so from a miraculous supply of oil and meal.

This is very much like our LORD’S command to his disciples to not take extra clothes or money on their ministry journeys, but to let God supply them as they went ministering the Gospel of the Kingdom.

There is some area in your life where God will require you to depend exclusively on him. It will be a link between your natural abilities and the supernatural workings of God in your life.

Do not neglect this link. Never let success sever you from this dependence. This is your Source. This is your Secret Fellowship with the One Who loves you beyond your wildest imagination.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 31 P. EMOR (SAY) PERFECTION OF THE PRIEST

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION CONCERNS THE FACT THAT:

THE PHYSICAL PERFECTION OF PRIESTS WHO OFFER THE SACRIFICES OF GOD, WHO APPROACH THE ALTAR AND WHO ENTER BEHIND THE VAIL, IS A PICTURE OF THE PERSON OF YESHUA—THE GREAT KING-PRIEST OF ETERNITY WHO IS SINLESS, SPOTLESS, AND ABLE TO MINISTER THE REDEMPTION OF GOD FOR IMPERFECT HUMANITY—THAT IS, FOR US ALL.

BEFORE I CITE THE PASSAGE IN LEVITICUS 21:16-24, I WISH TO POINT OUT THAT IN MESSIAH THERE IS NO IMPERFECTION AND THEREFORE WE WHO ARE IN HIM ARE MADE PERFECT (COMPLETE, WHOLE, UNBLEMISHED) BY HIS REDEEMING GRACE, HIS IMPARTED HOLINESS AND HIS REGENERATING POWER.

THERE IS TO BE NO HINT IN THIS DEVOTION OF INFERIORITY BECAUSE OF NATURAL BIRTH DEFECTS OR ANY FORM OF HANDICAP WHATSOEVER. OUR GOD LOVES US ALL EQUALLY AND HAS FORMED US ALL ACCORDING TO HIS UNIQUE PURPOSE FOR EACH OF US. FURTHERMORE, SOME AMONG US WHO HAVE SPECIAL CHALLENGES ARE OFTEN SOME OF THE MOST NOBLE-SPIRITED AMONG US.

LEVITICUS 21:16-24

HERE IS VERSE 21 IN HEBREW WITH TRANSLATION: (OWENS translation, modified):

KOL-ISH ASHER—BO MOOM

Any person (lit., man) who has a blemish

MIZ-ZERA AHARON HA’KOHEYN

of the descendants [“seed”] of Aaron the Priest

LO YI’NASH LE’HAK’RIV ET—ISHEI YHVH

shall not come near to offer Yahweh’s offering by fire

MOOM BO

Since he has a blemish

EYT—LE’CHEM ELOHAIV LO YIN’NASH

the bread of his God he shall not come near to offer.

Among the blemishes cited in this passage (Leviticus 21:16-24) are the following:

Blind, lame, flat nose, anything superfluous [a limb too long or too short], broken-footed or broken-handed, hunchback, a dwarf, an eye defect, an itching disease, scabbed, crushed testicle(s).

It is of vital importance to remember that every sacrifice offered to God on the altar had to be spotless, without blemish and in every way physically perfect [in accordance with God’s creation].

Why?

Because only the Perfect Sacrifice can atone for the imperfect person for whom atonement is being made. Only by this means can the Covenant Transfer be made (Our Sin and Blemish in exchange for His Sinlessness and Perfection). (2 Corinthians 5:21)

In effect, the Priest who offers the Perfect Sacrifice must also himself match the sacrifice being offered by also being without blemish.

This is why only Yeshua qualifies in the Court of Eternity as the actual, acceptable Sacrifice: ONLY HE among all the sons of Adam (through the virgin of prophecy) is without sin, without spot, without blemish, perfect in every way. Only He is qualified to make us holy. (Hebrews 12:14)

Remember that “not a bone of him was broken” on the cross when the soldiers broke the legs of the other two men being crucified alongside him. This fulfilled Psalm 34:20 concerning the righteous (One)—“[God] keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” (cf. John 19:36)

YESHUA is both Sacrifice and Priest. Therefore, he is Perfect in all respects. (Isaiah 53)

When we come into Yeshua, we are given his Righteousness and are therefore qualified before God to offer acceptable sacrifices. (again, 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 3:18-19)

Let us do so out of a perfect heart, by His Spirit, upright, spotless and unblemished. (James 1:4)

Have faith that our LORD can make this real in your life. (Mark 9:23; 2 Peter 1:4-11)

O LORD! Grant to us all that it be so! B’Yeshua ha’Mashiach ADONEYNU, Amen. Amen.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 29 P. ACHAREI (Afterward) YOM KIPPUR SERVICE AND NEW TESTAMENT SIGNIFICANCES

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS:

THE ELEMENTS OF THE YOM KIPPUR SERVICE PERFORMED BY THE HIGH PRIEST (KOHEN GADOL) AND CERTAIN OF THEIR MEANINGS RELATED TO THE NEW TESTAMENT SACRIFICAL SYSTEM IN THE OFFERING OF OUR LORD ON THE CROSS.

LEVITICUS 16:3,

BE’ZOHT YA’VO AHARON EL-HAK’KODESH

With this [the entire ritual prescribed herein] shall Aaron come into the Sanctuary.

(STONE Tanakh translation and commentary)

This ritual is performed yearly on the tenth day of Tishri (the 7th month). It is the Day of Atonement(s). It was generated on this day when Moses came down from receiving the second set of tablets after the sin of the golden calf. (STONE commentary)

 

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE RITUAL INCLUDE:

(throughout, “Aaron” is the High Priest, the office afterward occupied by his successor(s))

AARON’S PERSONAL PREPARATION FOR ENTERING THE HOLY OF HOLIES ( 16:3 seq.)

Aaron enters [the compound] with a young bull for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering

Aaron takes a ritual bath by immersion in water before donning the holy vestments

Aaron dons his sacred vestments (linen Tunic, breeches, linen Sash, linen Turban on his head)

Aaron takes two he-goats from the congregation of Israel and one ram for a burnt offering

AARON PERFORMS THE RITUALS OF SLAUGHTER (16:6 seq.)

Aaron brings near his own sin-offering bull to provide atonement for himself and his household

Aaron takes the two he-goats and presents them before YHVH at the entrance to the Mishkan

Aaron casts lots for the two he-goats, one for YHVH and one for AZAZEL

Aaron brings near the goat for YHVH designated by lot and offers it for a sin offering

Aaron presents alive before YHVH the goat designated by lot for AZAZEL so that through it atonement may be provided [on behalf of the Whole Congregation], and then sends it to AZAZEL into the Wilderness

Aaron brings near his own sin-offering bull to provide atonement for himself and for his household and then slaughters his own sin-offering bull

AARON PERFORMS THE RITUALS INSIDE THE MISHKAN (16:12 seq.)

Aaron takes a shovel of fiery coals from the altar of incense that is before YHVH plus his handful of finely ground incense spices and brings them within the vail

Aaron places the incense on the coals in the shovel before YHVH so that the cloud of incense smoke covers the Ark-cover above the Tablets of the Testimony in order that he may not die

Aaron takes some of the blood of the bull and sprinkles with his forefinger upon the eastern front of the Ark-cover

Aaron, in front of the Ark-cover, sprinkles seven times with his forefinger some of the blood of the bull

Aaron slaughters the sin offering he-goat for YHVH on behalf of the people and brings its blood within the Vail

Aaron does with the he-goat’s blood as he did with the blood of the bull by sprinkling it on the Ark-cover and in front of the Ark-cover

EFFICACY AND APPLICATIONS OF THESE RITUALS WITHIN THE SANCTUARY (16:16 seq.)

Aaron provides atonement (by these rituals) upon the Sanctuary for the contaminations of the Children of Israel, even for their rebellious sins among all their sins;

Aaron does so for the Tent of Meeting that dwells with them amind their contamination

No person shall be in the Tent of Meeting when Aaron comes to provide atonement in the Sanctuary until he departs

Aaron shall provide atonement for himself, for his household, and for the whole congregation of Israel.

Aaron shall then go out of the Holy of Holies and provide atonement for the Altar that is before YHVH (the Altar of Incense); he makes atonement upon it by taking some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat and placing it on the horns of the Altar all around; he sprinkles upon it from the blood with his forefinger seven times; in this manner he cleanses it and sanctifies it from the contaminations of the Children of Israel.

THE GOAT FOR AZAZEL (16:20 seq.)

After he has finished atoning for the Sanctuary, the Mishkan, and the Altar [of Incense],

Aaron then brings near the living he-goat.

Aaron then presses both his hands onto the head of the living goat and while doing so confesses upon it all the iniquities of the Children of Israel, and all their rebellious sins among all their their sins, and places them upon the head of the he-goat; and then sends it with a designated man to the wilderness.

The he-goat for AZAZEL bears away upon itself all the iniquities of the Children of Israel into an uninhabited land, and the designated man sends the he-goat into the wilderness

AARON’S NEXT ACTIONS (16:23 seq.)

Aaron returns to the Tent of Meeting and removes the linen garments that he had worn when he entered the Sanctuary

Aaron leaves the holy garments there

Aaron immerses himself in water in a sacred place and then puts on the holy garments there

Aaron then goes out and performs the burnt offering for himself and then the burnt offering for the whole congregation; by this means he provides atonement for himself and for the people.

Aaron then causes the fat of the sin-offering to go up in smoke upon the Altar (the Brazen Altar)

The man who dispatched the he-goat to AZAZEL immerses his clothing and himself in water after which he may enter the camp

THE ETERNAL NATURE OF THIS DAY AND ITS RITUALS (16:29-34)

This ritual is an eternal decree

In the seventh month on the tenth day of the month, the children of Israel are to afflict themselves (fast) and refrain from any work

Neither the native nor any proselyte who dwells among Israel is to do any work

BECAUSE on this day the High Priest shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you: from all your sins before YHVH shall you be cleansed

This Day of Atonement is a Sabbath of complete rest for you

You shall afflict yourselves—it is an eternal decree

The anointed and authoritative Kohen who succeeds the prior High Priest shall don the holy garments and perform the service for atonement upon the Tent of Meeting, the Altar, the Kohanim and all the people of the congregation.

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 YHVH commanded Moses.

NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY:

The eternal aspect of the ritual of the Day of Atonement has been accomplished once-for-all by the offering of our LORD Yeshua upon the cross (the whole book of Hebrews) and then through his resurrection and ascension his placement of his own blood (THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD AND OF THE BULL AND RAM OF GOD—cf. the Akeida of Genesis 22, et al) upon the Mercy Seat in Heaven—an act in eternity with eternal force, duration and efficacy. This once-for-all act of Messiah removes the necessity for yearly sacrifice, since that would have meant that he would have been slain repeatedly in eternity! The yearly observance of Israel was a looking-forward to the coming True and Final Sacrifice of Messiah. However, the REMEMBRANCE aspect of the yearly performance of the Day of Atonement is mirrored in the LORD’S SUPPER in which we “remember him until he comes.”

The efficacy of our LORD’S work in relation to the AZAZEL demonic entity is seen when he overcame Satan in the Wilderness (Luke 4). Jesus cast demons into “a dry [and uninhabited] place” (Matthew 12:43; Luke 8:31) just as the AZAZEL occupied such an extra-dimensional place. This is very deep and a key insight into the healing of the inner life of a human. The purification of the conscience in confrontation against the demonic realm is of primary importance in the lives of Christians. (Ephesians 6:10 seq.)

There is something very holy and very healing about entering by grace into the meaning of the Day of Atonement when we do so recognizing that Yeshua our LORD has accomplished atonement for us once-and-for-all.

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Bron Barkley Pondering the Parashah

FI Y4 WK 27 P. TAZRIA (commonly translated “leprosy”) YESHUA THE HEALER OF “LEPROSY”

THE THEME OF THIS DEVOTION IS:

YESHUA IS THE HEALER OF “LEPROSY” THROUGH FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

Leviticus chapters 13-15 deal with the law of Tzaraat (commonly translated “leprosy” but actually untranslatable, according to Orthodox interpretation). All the varieties of this skin disorder have to do with white patches on the skin.

The detail of this disease is very intricate. The rabbis say that it is actually a physical manifestation of the sin of slander and several secondary sins against one’s fellow. The root sin is selfishness and uncaring conduct toward one’s neighbor.

The destructive force of the tongue results in the leper being afflicted in such a way as to isolate him from his fellow man in order that he come to repentance and work his way back into human society.

This is a radical interpretation to sickness. Yet Yeshua taught a similar thing in the matter of the healing of the man afflicted with palsy. (Mark 2) Jesus said to him, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (v. 5) Then he said to him, “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” (v. 11) The connection between sin and sickness is made clear here. The same connection is made in James 5:15, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the LORD shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

May the LORD grant to me and to each of us that the cleansing of our tongues may heal us from many afflictions. May the teachings of our LORD in the Sermon on the Mount concerning evil use of the tongue and the spirit of judging and cursing deliver me and each of us from the destructive effects of our own devices. B’shem Yeshua, Amen.