Parashah Studies

M'tzora

Parashah 28: M'tzora “Person afflicted with tzara'at)

Vayikra “He called” (Leviticus) 14:1-15:33 Psalm 120 M'lakhim Bet (2 Kings) 7:3-20 Mattityahu (Matthew) 23:16-24:2, 30-31

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Leviticus 14 1 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “This is to be the law concerning the person afflicted with tzara'at on the day of his purification. He is to be brought to the cohen, 3a and the cohen is to go outside the camp and examine him there.  Because “tzara'at” is something that can equally affect a person, garment and / or house, many see this as something spiritual: a physical manifestation of a spiritual infirmity.  If this is the case, it makes that much more sense that the person needs to be seen by the priest and “examined” in a place away from others (i.e. privately).  Thankfully, through the LORD's provision, our High Priest suffered outside the camp for our purification and healing (Heb 13:12-13).  He has made a way for us to come both directly to Him (e.g. Heb 9:16; 1 John 1:9), and also to His under-shepherds for healing (e.g. James 5:14-16). 3b If he sees that the tzara'at sores have been healed in the afflicted person, 4 then the cohen will order that two living clean birds be taken for the one to be purified, along with cedar-wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop leaves. 5 The cohen is to order one of the birds slaughtered in a clay pot over running water.  Both birds were essentially the same, but because of the person's affliction, one was sacrificed in a way that involved wood, scarlet, and hyssop.  Yeshua came and lived a human life, just like us but without sin (e.g. Phil 2:6-8; Heb 4:15)  He allowed Himself to be sacrificed for us (e.g. Gal 1:3-4; 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25)  His offering involved  wood (e.g. Matt 27:35; Gal 3:13)  scarlet (e.g. Isa 1:18; 1 John 1:7)  hyssop (e.g. John 19:29), and  “running water” (e.g. John 19:34) 6 As for the live bird, he is to take it with the cedar-wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird slaughtered over running water, 7 and sprinkle the person to be purified from the tzara'at seven times. Next he is to set the live bird free in an open field.  “seven times,” set … free” – seven represents completion: when we accept Yeshua's sacrifice on our behalf we are completely freed from the penalty of sin and its hold on our lives …  but what will we do with that freedom? 8 He who is to be purified must wash his clothes, shave off all his hair and bathe himself in water. Then he will be clean; and after that, he may enter the camp; but he must live outside his tent for seven days. 9 On the seventh day he is to shave all the hair off his head, also his beard and eyebrows – he must shave off all his hair; and he is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; and he will be clean. • First there had to be a blood sacrifice for the person; one strictly according to God's Word, • then, he had to get himself cleaned up; and stay that way, otherwise 2 Pet 2:20-22 may apply: Indeed if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. 22 What has happened to them accords with the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit.” [Pro 26:11] Yes, “The pig washed itself, only to wallow in the mud!” 10 On the eighth day he is to take two male lambs without defect, one female lamb in its first year without defect and six-and-a-half quarts of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with olive oil, and two-thirds of a pint of olive oil.  On the eighth day – the day of new beginnings  Three lambs without defect: a defective offering can never atone for the defect of sin  two male lambs: one for the guilt offering (vs 12), one for the burnt offering (vs 19-20)  one female lamb for the sin offering (vs 19; cf Lev 4:32; 5:6)  We can see in these offerings a reflection of our triune God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Who are distinct and separate and yet One)  Granted, this is a hard concept to grasp, but throughout Scripture there are references that there is but one God, yet a plurality within that One. A plurality that is expressly limited to three.  Although by nature inadequate illustrations can help us to understand the possibility of three being one, and one being three. Some "natural" examples of the trinity; the "hand print of God" if you will (from a paper I put together long time ago): 1. Many find the attempt of believing in a triune God a mentally exhausting task. Others, seemingly, find it impossible. Wesley is quoted as having said, 'Bring me a worm that can comprehend man, and I will show you a man that can comprehend God.' But let us look closely at some well established facts: each equally hard to comprehend, yet each accepted as true. In our universe, we are told, there are three basic things; space, matter, and time. One thing being made up of three; no more, no less. Looking at the first, space, we find that it is but three dimensions. anything we find in space must have all three: length, breadth and height. these are not things space does but what it is. Similarly, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not things God does, but in fact three persons which God is. Again, what is matter but energy, motion, and phenomena. Energy is the unseen powerhouse behind everything; energy causes motion, which in turn produces the phenomena we perceive with our senses. In the godhead, the Father is realized as the unseen Source. Coming as the Executive of the Father's will is the Son. And the Spirit, the final Distributor of the activity of the Father through the Son. A look at time will show that it too is a trinity in, and of itself. Future is unknown until it makes itself visible in the present; then it slips into the past, and is invisible once more. Even so, the Father is the unseen Source, making Himself visible only in the Son and then becoming again invisible as the Son works through the Holy Spirit. Time reveals itself to us as past, present and future. Again, these are not three things time does, but three things time is. Reference to the continuum of time is limited to these three manifestations of time and nothing else. All "recent" time is measured as seconds, minutes or hours. It is of no real matter whether we understand these universal triunities or not; we must accept them. They are real. As real as their Designer; the triune God of the triune universe."1 2. For anything to have area, it must have at least three sides. In math one can determine the area of a triangle, a square, a circle, an octagon, etc. With just one side we have a line. With two intersecting lines we have an angle. Neither of these has area. It is only when we add the third intersecting line to form a triangle that we have area. 3. Three dimensions are required for an object to have volume. Height, width and breadth are together required for the object to have volume. So these same three are required for anything to have mass. These are not three things mass does, but three things that mass is. 4. The three most basic requirements for life are air, water and food. Deprived of any other thing, all created "life forms" may continue to live and function. But withdrawing any one of these three basics will cause life to cease. 5. H2O is found in three physical states, as a solid, a liquid and a gas or vapor. As a solid we know it as ice; in liquid form as water; in gas form as steam. These are not three things H2O does, but three things H2O is. The water molecule itself is worth consideration, being made up of three atoms. 6. The basic components of the atom are the electron, proton and space. While most atoms also have a neutron, the neutron is not required in order to have an atom. Every atom has at least one of each of these three (electrons, protons, space). Basic atomic structure is comprised of these three elements and nothing more. 7. The world in which we live consists of heaven, earth and sea; and the things in them. 8. Plants have three basic units or systems: The root system, the truck/stem system and the leaves. 9. There are three basic colors; blue, red and yellow. (Black and white are not considered colors, but neutrals.) Out of these three basic colors, every other color known to man may be made. Some simple examples are: Red + Blue = Purple Blue + Yellow = Green Yellow + Red = Orange Green + Red = Brown Red + Brown = "Brick" Blue + Green = "Aqua-Marine" (Turquoise) Yellow + Green = Chartreuse 10. For all types of terrains, the most stable type of table, chair or stool has three legs. If the object has more than three legs, three will rest on the ground, floor or deck and the other(s) hang in the air causing wobbling. 11. There are three heavens: terrestrial, within the earth's atmosphere, where the birds, clouds and aircraft fly; celestial, in outer space, where stars, planets, comets and asteroids are; and what we might call spiritual reality or true heaven (in presence of God). 12. 3 types/layers of skin In vertebrate animals, the skin consists of a thin outer layer called the epidermis, a much thicker inner layer called the dermis, and a "basement membrane" between the two. The epidermis is entirely cellular. The innermost cells, called basal cells, are polygonal. They have fibers fixed to small intracellular structures, called desmosomes, that link the cells together. The tree-like melanocyte cells in the deeper epidermis produce a dark brown pigment called melanin. The pigment is introduced into nearby cells through the "branch tips" of the melanocyte cells, in units called melanosomes. A third type of epithelial cell, the Langerhans cell, functions in immune responses of the skin. So-called "skin appendages" are generally clasified as hair, sweat or oil glands, and "nails" (which are again classified as hoof, nail, or claw depending on the type of being).2 13. The tooth has three major components and is "typically composed of a core of soft pulp surrounded by a layer of hard dentine that is coated with cement or enamel at the crown".3 14. 3 major classifications of rocks: Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. “There are three categories of rocks: Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. And when God created the earth, igneous was the first real rock formed. Whew, talk about hot! Really hot stuff! Igneous comes from a Latin word meaning "fire". When volcanoes erupt the emit molten, or liquid, rock called magma. When this magma cools and crystalizes it's called igneous rock. Igneous rocks are made up of minerals whose crystals are tightly woven together. Some igneous rocks are found deep in the crust where the magma is forced into cracks and crevices called dikes, stills and batholiths. When this happens, the magma cools slowly and large crystals are formed in the rocks. For example, in granite, one of the most common forms of igneous rocks, you can see the crystals that make up the minerals feldspar, quartz and mica. “Sedimentary rock begins to form as small rocks. Pebbles and even grains and minerals are washed into dumping spots at the bottom of lakes and oceans, and are deposited as sediment. One layer settles upon another. As the layers get heavier and heavier, the moisture is squeezed out of the bottom layer which is gradually pressed into sedimentary rock. (Sedimentary comes from a word that means "to settle".) “When we go deeper into the earth's surface, we get to a different kind of rock. Rocks that have been changed or altered are called metamorphic rocks. (Metamorphic - "to change".) Metamorphic rock are formed when igneous or sedimentary rock has become buried deep within the earth. When subjected to intense pressure from the earth's movements, baked by the heat of the earth, or both, this sedimentary or igneous rock changes in texture, structure, and mineralogy, depending on the amount of pressure and heat it has undergone. Through time, under this extreme pressure and heat shale turns to slate, and limestone turns into beautiful marble. “You know, God sometimes uses the pressures and heat of life to make us more like Him. During those times our faith and God's faithfulness to us has transformed us into a more distinctive landscape. Think what it would be like to be the Grand Canyon.”4 [The earth is composed of three major parts geologically. The orb of the earth itself is comprised of the inner core, the outer core, and the mantle.] 15. Fire requires and is the result of three elements; heat, fuel and oxygen. Each provided in sufficient amounts these three create fire. Remove any one and the fire goes out; it can not exist without all three. 16. Current, voltage, resistance - needed for electrical power. 17. Man; spirit, soul and body The soul may be thought of as the mind, emotions and will. The body is comprised of the head, torso and limbs (any of which being missing would drastically alter life as we know it!). There are three major systems within the body: the nervous - brain, spinal cord and nerves; the cardio-pulmonary - heart, lungs and blood vessels; the digestive - upper alimentary [mouth, esophagus, and stomach], small intestines [duodenum, jejunum, and ileum] and large intestines [ascending, transverse, and descending colon]. Each limb consists of three major parts (upper, lower and either the hand or foot). [Animals have a similar make up too.] 18. The three major components that make up a book are the cover, the pages, and the ink on those pages. Each is separate, yet unified. 19. The egg has three components: the shell, the white, and the yolk. 20. The ocean, bay, and the harbor within the quay wall. The water in each is essentially the same, yet each is different in appearance and affect Bibliography 1 Dr. Keith L. Brooks, Pictures of the Trinity, as quoted in an unpublished paper by Daniel C. Boley, Berean Bible College, 1979. 2 The New GROLIER Electronic Encyclopedia, Grolier Incorporated, 1991. 3 Reader's Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York, pg.1737, 1987. 4 God's Rockin' World, Foundations You Can Build On, A Moody Institute of Science Presentation, Moody Institute of Science, 1995.  We can also see a reflection of God's divine being in both the male and female  While the LORD has revealed Himself to us throughout Scripture primarily in the masculine there are also passages where He is revealed in the feminine, e.g.  So God created humankind in His own image; in the image of God He created him: male AND female He created them. (Gen 1:27, emphasis added)  It takes both together to most accurately, most completely, reflect the Creator  By the God of your father, Who will help you, by El Shaddai, Who will bless you with the blessings from heaven above, blessings from the deep, lying below, blessings from the breasts and the womb. (Gen 40:25)  “God” here is the Hebrew אֵל [ehl]  what is often translated as “Almighty” here is the Hebrew שַׁדַּי [shah-dī]  BDB: almighty, most powerful; Shaddai, the Almighty (referring to the true God)  Nathan Stone brings out in Names of God, Shaddai itself occurs forty-eight times in the Old Testament and is translated “almighty.” The other word so like it, and from which we believe it to be derived [שַׁד], occurs twenty-four times and is translated “breast.” As connected with the word breast, the title Shaddai signifies one who nourishes, supplies, satisfies. Connected with the word for God, El, it then becomes the “One mighty to nourish, satisfy, supply.” Naturally with God the idea would be intensified, and it comes to mean the One who “sheds forth” and “pours” out sustenance and blessing. In this sense, then, God is the all-sufficient, the all-bountiful. For example, Jacob upon his deathbed, blessing his sons and forecasting their future, says in Genesis 40:24, 25, concerning Joseph: “... the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob … even by the God [El] of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty [Shaddai], who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.” The distinction and significance of names here is quite striking and obvious. It is God as El who helps, but it God as Shaddai who abundantly blesses with all manner of blessings, and blessings of the breast. [Nathan Stone, Names of God, (Chicago; The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1944), 34.]  Yeshua, Who is the ultimate revelation of God to us and a man's man, used distinctly feminine imagery in describing both Himself and the Father, e.g.  Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! (Matt 23:37)  “Another example: what woman, if she has ten drachmas and loses one of these valuable coins, won't light a lamp, sweep the house and search all over until she finds it? 9 And when she does find it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Come, celebrate with me, because I have found the drachma I lost.' 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy among God's angels when one sinner repents.” (Luke 15:8-10)  “fine flour for a grain offering,” and the “olive oil” also remind us of Yeshua Mashiach / Jesus Christ  Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in Me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35; cf 48)  With Passover coming soon we're reminded that He is the center matzah Who became our Bread of Affliction and our afikomen. He was crushed because of our sins and wounded because of our crimes (Isa 53:5).  “Jesus” is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Yeshua” (יֵשׁוּעַ) through Greek and Latin, “Christ” from the Hebrew “Mashiach” (מָשִׁיחַ)  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary  Jesus personal name of the Christian Savior, late 12c.; it is the Greek form of Joshua, used variously in translations of the Bible. From Late Latin Iesus (properly pronounced as three syllables), from Greek Iesous, which is an attempt to render into Greek the Aramaic proper name Jeshua (Hebrew Yeshua, Yoshua) "Jah is salvation." This was a common Jewish personal name during the Hellenizing period; it is the later form of Hebrew Yehoshua (see Joshua). (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Jesus, accessed 15Apr16)  This online resource also confirms that expressions such as “jeez” and “gee” have their roots in the name “Jesus.”  Unless we are talking about Him or calling upon Him we should treat His name with respect and not use it as an explicative in any form.  Christ (n.) title given to Jesus of Nazareth, Old English crist (by 830, perhaps 675), from Latin Christus, from Greek khristos "the anointed" (translation of Hebrew mashiah; see messiah), noun use of verbal adjective of khriein "to rub, anoint" (see chrism). The Latin term drove out Old English Hæland "healer, savior," as the preferred descriptive term for Jesus. (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Christ, accessed 15Apr16, emphasis added)  Hæland survives as Heiland (“hī-lahnt”) in Dutch.

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