Parashah Studies

Tazria

Parashah 27: Tazria “She conceives"

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Vayikra “He called” (Leviticus) 12:1-13:59 Psalm 106 M'lakhim Bet (2 Kings) 4:42-5:19a Luke 7:18-35

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Leviticus 12 1 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra'el: 'If a woman conceives and gives birth to a boy, she will be unclean for seven days with the same uncleanness as in niddah, when she is having her menstrual period.  “niddah” is a transliteration of the Hebrew נִדָּה variously translated monthly period (NIV), menstruation (NASU), infirmity (KJV), customary impurity (NKJV), sickness (ASV), and menstrual period (NLT).  Strong's: properly, rejection; by implication, impurity, especially personal (menstruation) or moral (idolatry, incest)  BDB: impurity (used of ceremonial impurity; used of menstruation); impure thing (figurative); used of idolatry, immorality  As we can see, niddah is used to refer to various types of “impurities” and “uncleanness”: physical, ritual, and moral.  Not all uncleanness was avoidable, and the cause of uncleanness was often something that would in no way be considered sinful. There are several categories of uncleanness that could not be easily avoided, including sexual impurities, disease-related impurities and the uncleanness that came from contact with a corpse or carcass. Though it was a matter of etiquette rather than ethics, the sacred compass needed to be protected from that which was inappropriate. Additionally it was common belief that demons inhabited menstrual blood. In Israel bodily emissions such as menstrual blood and semen were closely associated with life. When the potential for life that they represented went unfulfilled, they would represent death and therefore uncleanness. That the uncleanness from childbirth should be seen as similar to monthly uncleanness from the menstrual cycle was common in ancient cultures including Egypt, Babylonia and Persia. (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, p. 128-129) 3 On the eighth day, the baby's foreskin is to be circumcised.  This was a sign of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 17:12)  It is a reminder of the gentleness of the LORD, even in the cutting away of personal, intimate “protections” we may have.  In 1935, H. Dam proposed the term vitamin K for a factor in foods which would prevent hemorrhaging in chicks. Vitamin K is known to be synthesized in the human intestinal tract by bacteria. Subsequently, vitamin K is responsible for synthesis of prothrombin by the liver. If vitamin K is deficient, there is a corresponding prothrombin deficiency and hemorrhaging may occur. Since vitamin K is synthesized by bacteria in the [intestinal] tract, newborn infants are particularly disposed to suffer from vitamin K and prothrombin deficiencies. These deficiencies occur because newborn infants have not had time to become contaminated with bacteria. Nathan Scanzillo has prepared a paper in which he indicates that the rise of vitamin K and prothrombin levels in infants reaches it peak around the eighth day. Thus, he points out that circumcision is best performed on that day. Prothrombin levels rise to 30 percent on the third day [after birth], and to 110 percent the eighth; thereafter, it levels off to 100 percent. The eighth day is the best day to circumcise and avoid hemorrhaging. (Dr. Jean Sloat Morton, Science in the Bible, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978,) 243-244.  See also:  McMillen, Dr. S.I., None of These Diseases, (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1984) 83, 93, cited at http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=102&article=834,  Rabbi Krohn's article at http://www.brisquest.com/theritual.html,  Rabbi Simmons article at http://www.aish.com/jl/l/b/Bris_Milah_Beautiful_or_Barbaric.html, all accessed 13 Apr 15.)  Though hotly debated by some, there are health reasons involved here as well.  … Surveys show that gentile women have 8.5 percent times more cancer of the cervix than Jewish women. Careful studies indicate that the bacterium known as Mycobacterium smegmatis (smegma bacillus) inhabits the external genitourinary tract, but they tend to build up in the uncircumcised male. These bacteria can convey cancer of the cervix to women. Circumcision is used in Scripture in the spiritual sense as well as in the physical sense. “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deuteronomy 10:16). “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). (Morton, 244)  Though downplayed, even wedmd.com authors agree “There are some potential health benefits of circumcision. While uncommon, circumcised males do have slightly lower risks of: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in little boys; Certain STDs in men; Penile cancer.” (http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/what-about-circumcision, accessed 13 Apr 15)  According to a Mayo Clinic article quoting the American Academy of Pediatrics, “the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. … Circumcision might have various health benefits including: Easier hygiene … Decreased risk of urinary tract infections … Decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections … Prevention of penile problems … Decreased risk of penile cancer ….” (http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/circumcision/basics/why-its-done/prc-20013585, accessed 13 Apr 15) 4 She is to wait an additional thirty-three days to be purified from her blood; she is not to touch any holy thing or come into the sanctuary until the time of her purification is over. 5 But if she gives birth to a girl, she will be unclean for two weeks, as in her niddah; and she is to wait another sixty-six days to be purified from her blood.  In total the mother is considered “unclean” for 40 days after the birth of a son.  postpartum bleeding can last from two to six weeks (14-42 days)  this bleeding “uncleanness” is equated with that of her monthly cycle (her niddah)  sexual relations during menses is prohibited  this 40 day respite gives her time to recover before any resumption of regular sexual activity that may otherwise be unduly uncomfortable or even painful  yet another example of the tender, loving care of the LORD  Numerous commentaries speculate that the difference in the periods of uncleanness between the birth of a son or daughter may be attributed to a belief that the recovery time was longer after the birth of a girl.  The Pulpit Commentary offers another thought: The reason why the duration of the mother's uncleanness is twice as long at a girl's birth as at a boy's, would appear to be that the uncleanness attached to the child as well as to the mother, but as the boy was placed in a state of ceremonial purity at once by the act of circumcision, which took place on the eighth day, he thereupon ceased to be unclean, and the mother's uncleanness alone remained; whereas in the case of a girl, both mother and child were unclean during the period that the former was “in the blood of her purifying,” and therefore that period had to be doubly long. See Luke 2:20, where the right reading is, “When the days of their purification, according to the Law of Moses, were accomplished.” For eight days the infant Saviour submitted to legal uncleanness in “fulfilling all righteousness” (Matt 3:15), and therefore the whole forty days were spoken of as “the days of their purification.” (The Pulpit Commentary, 23 Volume Set, H.D.M. Spence (1836-1917) and Joseph S. Exell editors, PC Study Bible database.) 6 When the days of her purification are over, whether for a son or for a daughter, she is to bring a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or dove for a sin offering to the entrance of the tent of meeting, to the cohen. 7 He will offer it before Adonai and make atonement for her; thus she will be purified from her discharge of blood. Such is the law for a woman who gives birth, whether to a boy or to a girl. 8 If she can't afford a lamb, she is to take two doves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; the cohen will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'”  On the eighth day, when it was time for His b'rit-milah, he was given the name Yeshua, which is what the angel had called Him before His conception. 22 When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took Him up to Yerushalayim to present Him to Adonai 23 (as it is written in the Torah of Adonai, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to Adonai” [Exo 13:2, 12, 15]) 24 and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of Adonai. (Luke 2:21-24)  At His birth the earthly parents of Jesus were among the poor that were allowed to offer a pair of doves or pigeons instead of a lamb and a dove (or pigeon).  The subsequent gifts of the magi (of frankincense, gold, and myrrh) approximately two years later, were not only symbolical, but may have also helped to finance their quick escape to Egypt, living expenses while there, their trip back, and setting up a home and business in Nazareth.  Symbolic significance of these mentioned gifts include:  gold: Jesus' Kingship and purity  frankincense: used in incense and healing oil, His deity, our healing in Him  myrrh: used chiefly in embalming the dead, His forthcoming suffering and death Leviticus 13 1 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, 2 “If someone develops on his skin a swelling, scab or bright spot which could develop into the disease tzara'at, he is to be brought to Aharon the cohen or to one of his sons who are cohanim.  Tzara'at in the Complete Jewish Bible is a transliteration of צָרַעַת which numerous Bibles translate as leprosy or leprous. Even Strong's defines צָרַעַת this way. BDB brings out, however, that while צָרַעַת is used in Lev 13-14 to refer to a malignant skin disease that may include leprosy, צָרַעַת might also affect clothing (Lev 13:47-52) and buildings (Lev 14:34-53).  Leprosy is an infectious disease that causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage in the arms and legs. The disease has been around since ancient times, often surrounded by terrifying, negative stigmas and tales of leprosy patients being shunned as outcasts. Outbreaks of leprosy have affected, and panicked, people on every continent. The oldest civilizations of China, Egypt, and India feared leprosy was an incurable, mutilating, and contagious disease. However, leprosy is actually not that contagious. You can catch it only if you come into close and repeated contact with nose and mouth droplets from someone with untreated leprosy. Children are more likely to get leprosy than adults. Today, about 180,000 people worldwide are infected with leprosy, according to the World Health Organization, most of them in Africa and Asia. About 200 people are diagnosed with leprosy in the U.S. every year, mostly in the South, California, Hawaii, and some U.S. territories. What Causes Leprosy? Leprosy is caused by a slow-growing type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae). Leprosy is also known as Hansen's disease, after the scientist who discovered M. leprae in 1873. What Are the Symptoms of Leprosy? Leprosy primarily affects the skin and the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, called the peripheral nerves. It may also strike the eyes and the thin tissue lining the inside of the nose. The main symptom of leprosy is disfiguring skin sores, lumps, or bumps that do not go away after several weeks or months. The skin sores are pale-colored. Nerve damage can lead to loss of feeling in the arms and legs and muscle weakness. It usually takes about 3 to 5 years for symptoms to appear after coming into contact with the leprosy-causing bacteria. Some people do not develop symptoms until 20 years later. The time between contact with the bacteria and the appearance of symptoms is called the incubation period. Leprosy's long incubation period makes it very difficult for doctors to determine when and where a person with leprosy got infected. Forms of Leprosy Leprosy is defined by the number and type of skin sores you have. Specific symptoms and treatment depend on the type of leprosy you have. The types are:  Tuberculoid. A mild, less severe form of leprosy. People with this type have only one or a few patches of flat, pale-colored skin (paucibacillary leprosy). The affected area of skin may feel numb because of nerve damage underneath. Tuberculoid leprosy is less contagious than other forms.  Lepromatous. A more severe form of the disease. It has widespread skin bumps and rashes (multibacillary leprosy), numbness, and muscle weakness. The nose, kidneys, and male reproductive organs may also be affected. It is more contagious than tuberculoid leprosy. – Borderline. People with this type of leprosy have symptoms of both the tuberculoid and lepromatous forms. How Is Leprosy Diagnosed? If you have a suspicious skin sore, your doctor will remove a small sample of the abnormal skin and send it to a lab to be examined. This is called a skin biopsy. A skin smear test may also be done. With paucibacillary leprosy, no bacteria will be detected. In contrast, bacteria are expected to be found on a skin smear test from a person with multibacillary leprosy. How Is Leprosy Treated? Leprosy can be cured. In the last two decades, more than 14 million people with leprosy have been cured. The World Health Organization provides free treatment for all people with leprosy. Treatment depends on the type of leprosy that you have. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. Long-term treatment with two or more antibiotics is recommended, usually from six months to a year. People with severe leprosy may need to take antibiotics longer. Antibiotics cannot treat the nerve damage. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to control swelling related to leprosy. This may include steroids, such as prednisone. Patients with leprosy may also be given thalidomide, a potent medication that suppresses the body's immune system. It helps treat leprosy skin nodules. Thalidomide is known to cause severe, life-threatening birth defects and should never be taken by pregnant women. Leprosy Complications Without treatment, leprosy can permanently damage your skin, nerves, arms, legs, feet, and eyes. Complications of leprosy can include:  Blindness or glaucoma.  Disfiguration of the face (including permanent swelling, bumps, and lumps).  Erectile dysfunction and infertility in men.  Kidney failure.  Muscle weakness that leads to claw-like hands or an inability to flex the feet.  Permanent damage to the inside of the nose, which can lead to nosebleeds and a chronic, stuffy nose.  Permanent damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, including those in the arms, legs, and feet. Nerve damage can lead to a dangerous loss of feeling. A person with leprosy-related nerve damage may not feel pain when the hands, legs, or feet are cut, burned, or otherwise injured. (http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/leprosy-symptoms-treatments-history, accessed 13 Apr 15) • In his book The Gift of Pain (previously titled Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants co-authored with Philip Yancy) Dr. Paul Brand discusses his life work with leprosy patients in India and the United States, his break-through discoveries, and lessons learned. One of the things Dr. Brand emphasizes is that, contrary to popular belief, leprosy does not cause body parts to “fall off”; rather because of the loss of the ability to feel pain those parts are highly susceptible to injury. People with leprosy may burn themselves and be totally unaware of it. In areas where rats are a problem, affected fingers and toes may be gnawed off while the leprosy patient sleeps. Even small injuries left untreated or small irritants left unchecked can cause irreparable (and disfiguring) damage.  As can be seen from both Scripture and medical research, while צָרַעַת in humans may include diseases such as leprosy, it is a much more inclusive term; especially since it also refers to conditions in fabric and masonry. 3 The cohen is to examine the sore on his skin; if the hair in the sore has turned white, and the sore appears to go deep into the skin, it is tzara'at, and after examining him the cohen is to declare him unclean. 4 If the bright spot on his skin is white, but it does not appear to go deep into the skin, and its hair has not turned white, then the cohen is to isolate him for seven days.  Using specific guidelines and physical examination the priest is to make certain judgements for the safety, health, and wellbeing of all concerned.  Following specific protocols, if the patient meets certain criteria, he or she is to be placed in isolation for seven days.  Isolation techniques at various levels are a relatively “new” concept in “modern medicine” as indicated by “isolating” medical practitioners from patients' bodily fluids with “universal precautions”:  Universal precautions refer to the practice, in medicine, of avoiding contact with patients' bodily fluids, by means of the wearing of nonporous articles such as medical gloves, goggles, and face shields. The practice was widely introduced in 1985–88. In 1987, the practice of universal precautions was adjusted by a set of rules known as body substance isolation. In 1996, both practices were replaced by the latest approach known as standard precautions. Use of personal protective equipment is now recommended in all health settings. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_(health_care), accessed 14 Apr 15)  I can still remember my first year in patient care, 1973. Gloves were only used for surgery and the most obviously foul aspects of care, and goggles or face shields were no where to be seen. It was not uncommon to find blood, pus, sputum, used needles, and even old laboratory cultures in regular trash cans. Thankfully much has changed since then, but if we had understood and followed the basic principles of isolation easily extrapolated from God's Word, it would have been much better much sooner!  “Isolation principles” can also be applied to other areas of life where problems arise, e.g.  In alcohol and substance abuse counseling patients are told they need to change their “play grounds and playmates” to help avoid temptation. “Isolate” yourself from places and people associated with that indulgent behavior.  Spiritual examples:  If you were saved from a false religion, you should no longer frequent their places of worship.  If you were sexually involved with someone outside of marriage, the relationship is ungodly; break off the relationship and avoid seeing the person. If they are a co-worker or neighbor, you might need to change your job or even your address, but never see them alone.  If the LORD has delivered you from an addiction to pornography you should avoid magazines and websites (men) and romance novels (ladies) that might cause you to stumble. You might need to avoid even the stores where they are sold. An affair of the mind never bodes well for reality, and contemplating something different or new in a catalog or book never helps us appreciate what we already have.  About 90% of men are hard-wired so they are sexually stimulated by visual input. This can happen quickly, which is why when it comes to sex men are sometimes compared to microwaves – quick to heat up; quick to cool down. The vast majority of women are relationally stimulated. What happens throughout the day, how secure to they feel, how loved to they feel. Sexually women have been compared to slow-cookers – slow to heat up; slow to cool down.  The world would have us believe the lie that it is sex that drives our relationships. We see this in television programming, the movie industry, and in clothing fashions (women's clothing in particular).  Think of how revealing much of our clothing is. Does it show skin? Does it follow your shape too closely? Does the cut or design point to or accentuate certain features?  Ladies and gentlemen, dressing modestly does not have to be “frumpy.” It is possible to dress nicely and modestly. In fact, dressing and acting modestly, helps send the message that there is more to you what meets the eye. There is much more to you than the shell you currently live in.  Men, do you want a deeply satisfying long-lasting love affair with a beautiful woman? Look at what the “Manufacturer's Manual” says to do: Husbands, love~! your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love~ their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Eph 5:25-31, emphasis original)  As The Discovery Bible brings out and indicates  a word in red is emphatic in the original language  ~! indicates present imperative: ~! commands ongoing action that calls for an ongoing lifestyle – a regular, long-term way of acting. This process can happen again and again over multiple situations, or repeat (progressively) in the same scenario. ~! conveys: "Keep on doing this!," i.e. what must happen habitually, continuously, progressively as a lifestyle (modus operandi). The context dictates which helping phrase is appropriate.  wordindicates contrast-emphasis Contrast-emphasis is common in the original (Hebrew and Greek) text and is shown in The Discovery Bible by words highlighted in red and followed by . Every language at times uses words to imply the opposite of what is actually stated. This literary device, called "contrast-emphasis," is relatively common in Scripture (often signaled by unexpected word order or form in the original Hebrew and Greek text). Words emphasized in the original text are highlighted in red in The Discovery Bible and followed by . Contrast-emphasis can also signal intensification – meaning "not a little" ("not a low degree")! Take for example emphasizing that something is big. A contrast-emphasis exclaims, "It is definitely not small (like perhaps it was expected to be)!"   Greek aorist  Greek aorist prompts readers to envision the action on the first (most immediate) fulfillment to be "checked-off" for completion.  portrays action at its first (immediate) application – a particular application which can focus at its climax ("finality") or relay a series of complete episodes (each singled out, one at a time). In a series,  looks to the first needed "closure" and it is holistic ("summarizing" the entire series of episodes all at once, as one consideration). The  "check-off point" is "filled out" by an auxiliary word in translation like completely, immediately, holistically, decisively (depending on the context).  The symbol  at the left-hand corner of a highlighted word indicates that the emphasis of that word was determined on the basis of context as well as its position in the underlying Greek text; that is, grammatical and contextual factors suggest that a word (or phrase) is being stressed, yet the Greek word order is either: (1) not exclusively used for emphasis (i.e. shared at times with non-emphatic occurrences); or (2) in a "fixed" or immovable position. When the  symbol relates to several words as a single unit (i.e. a phrase), it appears on the last word of that phrase, as in Ro 1:16, "power of  God." That is, the  applies to the whole phrase even though it only appears on the last word of the phrase. This superscript  is also used when the "reference point" – for determining emphasis by word order – is omitted in the original text but the parallelism indicates the particular term (phrase) is emphasized.  ~ Greek Present ~ A prompts the reader to envision the process (progress, repetition) of the ongoing action. The original text calls for Spirit-illuminated imagination to grasp its vivid application. The reader fills out the beyond-translation sense of ~ by inserting a helping word appropriate to the context like: constantly, over-and-over again, habitually, progressively, intermittently, continuously (uninterruptedly), etc. Don't let all else fail before you “read and heed” the directions! PRAY for her and follow the directions! Then watch what God does!  Ladies, do you want a loving, secure, relationship with a handsome man? The “Manufacturer's Manuel” has a word for you too: … And let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph 5:33b) Find ways to honor and respect your husband (as you do the LORD). PRAY for and value him, and watch what God does!  A great work that deals with different ways that love is best shown and perceived is Dr. Gary Chapman's very readable The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Subsequent editions have been published for singles, children, teenagers, men, military, small group study, gift edition, CD audiobook, one year devotional, a 15-minute “InstaSummary,” and in a devotional Bible. Several editions are also available in Spanish and on Kindle. The original work is also available in Mandarin Chinese and Korean.  “Isolate” yourself from places and people associated with ungodly thought patterns and behaviors. 18 If a person has on his skin a boil that heals 19 in such a way that in place of the boil there is a white swelling or a reddish-white bright spot, it so to be shown to the cohen. • A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin. The most common places for boils to appear are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. When one forms on the eyelid, it is called a sty. If several boils appear in a group, this is a more serious type of infection called a carbuncle. Causes of Boils Most boils are caused by a germ (staphylococcal bacteria). This germ enters the body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle. These health problems make people more susceptible to skin infections: Diabetes Problems with the immune system Poor nutrition Poor hygiene Exposure to harsh chemicals that irritate the skin Symptoms of Boils A boil starts as a hard, red, painful lump usually about half an inch in size. Over the next few days, the lump becomes softer, larger, and more painful. Soon a pocket of pus forms on the top of the boil. These are the signs of a severe infection: The skin around the boil becomes infected. It turns red, painful, warm, and swollen. More boils may appear around the original one. A fever may develop. Lymph nodes may become swollen. When to Seek Medical Care You start running a fever. You have swollen lymph nodes. The skin around the boil turns red or red streaks appear. The pain becomes severe. The boil does not drain. A second boil appears. You have a heart murmur, diabetes, any problem with your immune system, or use immune suppressing drugs (for example, corticosteroids or chemotherapy) and you develop a boil. Boils usually do not need immediate emergency attention. However, if you are in poor health and you develop high fever and chills along with the infection, a trip to a hospital's emergency room is needed. Exams and Tests Your doctor can make the diagnosis with a physical exam. Many parts of the body may be affected by this skin infection, so some of the questions or exam may be about other parts of your body. Boils Treatment -- Home Remedies Apply warm compresses and soak the boil in warm water. This will decrease the pain and help draw the pus to the surface. Once the boil comes to a head, it will burst with repeated soakings. This usually occurs within 10 days of its appearance. You can make a warm compress by soaking a wash cloth in warm water and squeezing out the excess moisture. When the boil starts draining, wash it with an antibacterial soap until all the pus is gone and clean with rubbing alcohol. Apply a medicated ointment (topical antibiotic) and a bandage. Continue to wash the infected area two to three times a day and to use warm compresses until the wound heals. Do not pop the boil with a needle. This could make the infection worse. Medical Treatment for Boils If there are concerns about the seriousness of the infection, additional blood tests will be performed. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the infection is severe. If the boil is drained, a culture may be done to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and to assess if an appropriate antibiotic was given. Next Steps -- Follow-up Whether the boil is drained at home or is lanced by a doctor, you will need to clean the infected area two to three times a day until the wound is healed. Apply an antibiotic ointment after washing and cover with a bandage. If the area turns red or looks as if it is getting infected again, contact your doctor. Preventing Boils Help prevent boils by following these guidelines: Carefully wash clothes, bedding, and towels of a family member who is infected with boils. Clean and treat minor skin wounds. Practice good personal hygiene. Stay as healthy as possible. Outlook Most boils will disappear with simple home treatment. (http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/boils, accessed 05Apr16) 24 Or if someone has on his skin a burn caused by fire; and the inflamed flesh where it was burned has become a bright spot, reddish-white or white, 25 then the cohen is to examine it; and if he sees that the hair in the bright spot has turned white and that it appears to be deeper than the skin around it, it is tzara'at; it has broken out in the burn, and the cohen is to declare him unclean; it is a sore from tzara'at. • Most burns are minor injuries that occur at home or work. It is common to get a minor burn from hot water, a curling iron, or touching a hot stove. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems, such as infection. There are many types of burns. Heat burns (thermal burns) are caused by fire, steam, hot objects, or hot liquids. Scald burns from hot liquids are the most common burns to children and older adults. Cold temperature burns are caused by skin exposure to wet, windy, or cold conditions. Electrical burns are caused by contact with electrical sources or by lightning. Chemical burns are caused by contact with household or industrial chemicals in a liquid, solid, or gas form. Natural foods such as chili peppers, which contain a substance irritating to the skin, can cause a burning sensation. Radiation burns are caused by the sun, tanning booths, sunlamps, X-rays, or radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Friction burns are caused by contact with any hard surface such as roads ("road rash"), carpets, or gym floor surfaces. They are usually both a scrape (abrasion) and a heat burn. Athletes who fall on floors, courts, or tracks may get friction burns to the skin. Motorcycle or bicycle riders who have road accidents while not wearing protective clothing also may get friction burns. For information on treatment for friction burns, see the topic Scrapes. Breathing in hot air or gases can injure your lungs (inhalation injuries). Breathing in toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, can cause poisoning. Burns injure the skin layers and can also injure other parts of the body, such as muscles, blood vessels, nerves, lungs, and eyes. Burns are defined as first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree, depending on how many layers of skin and tissue are burned. The deeper the burn and the larger the burned area, the more serious the burn is. First-degree burns are burns of the first layer of skin . There are two types of second-degree burns: Superficial partial-thickness burns injure the first and second layers of skin. Deep partial-thickness burns injure deeper skin layers. Third-degree burns (full-thickness burns) injure all the skin layers and tissue under the skin. These burns always require medical treatment. Fourth-degree burns extend through the skin to injure muscle, ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. These burns always require medical treatment. The seriousness of a burn is determined by several things, including: The depth, size, cause, affected body area, age, and health of the burn victim. Any other injuries that occurred, and the need for follow-up care. Burns affect people of all ages, though some are at higher risk than others. Most burns that occur in children younger than age 5 are scald burns from hot liquids. Over half of all burns occur in the 18- to 64-year-old age group. Older adults are at a higher risk for burns, mostly scald burns from hot liquids. Men are twice as likely to have burn injuries as women. Babies and young children may have a more severe reaction from a burn than an adult. A burn in an adult may cause a minor loss of fluids from the body, but in a baby or young child, the same size and depth of a burn may cause a severe fluid loss. A child's age determines how safe his or her environment needs to be, as well as how much the child needs to be supervised. At each stage of a child's life, look for burn hazards and use appropriate safety measures. Since most burns happen in the home, simple safety measures decrease the chance of anyone getting burned. See the Prevention section of this topic. When a child or vulnerable adult is burned, it is important to find out how the burn happened. If the reported cause of the burn does not match how the burn looks, abuse must be considered and resources for help, such as social services, offered. Self-inflicted burns will require treatment as well as an evaluation of the person's emotional health. Infection is a concern with all burns. Watch for signs of infection during the healing process. Home treatment for a minor burn will reduce the risk of infection. Deep burns with open blisters are more likely to become infected and need medical treatment. Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor. (http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/burns- topic-overview, accessed 05Apr16) 45 Everyone who has tzara'at sores is to wear torn clothes and unbound hair, cover his upper lip and cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!' 46 As long as he has sores, he will be unclean; since he is unclean, he must live in isolation; he must live outside the camp.  Uncleanness could also come to the land through idolatry (Ezek 36:18); sacrifice of innocent children (Ps 106:38); immoral behavior of people (Hag 2:13-14); and to the Temple because of the entry of pagans (Ps 79:1)  Anyone who touches the body of the person with the discharge is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water; he will be unclean until evening. (Lev 15:6)  And yet …  Yeshua answered, “Go and tell Yochanan what you are hearing and seeing – 5 the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking, people with tzara'at are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised, the Good News is being told to the poor – 6 and how blessed is anyone not offended by me!” (Matt 11:4-6)  As He entered one of the villages, ten men afflicted with tzara'at met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out, “Yeshua! Rabbi! Have pity on us!” 14 On seeing them, He said, “Go and let the cohanim examine you!” And as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke 17:12-14)  Then a man afflicted with tzara'at came, kneeled down in front of Him and said, “Sir, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Yeshua reached out His hand, touched him and said, “I am willing! Be cleansed!” And at once he was cleansed from his tzara'at. (Matt 8:2-3)  Jesus healed people with tzar'at, but not just from a distance. As the situation at hand dictated, He would actually reach out His hand to touch and heal!  cover his upper lip and cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!'  spiritually, at least, we can see here a connection between the mouth, the idea of uncleanness, and tzara'at  This idea is born out in Numbers 12 when,  verse 1, “Miryam and Aharon began criticizing Moshe” and,  verse 2, Adonai heard them.  Verse 5, Adonai came down in a column of cloud and stood at the entrance to the tent. He summoned Aharon and Miryam, and they both went forward.  Verse 10, But when the cloud was removed from above the tent, Miryam had tzara'at, as white as snow.  But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean (Matt 15:18).  May the LORD help us when we speak about our leaders  Who are you to pass judgment on someone else's servant? It is before his own master that he will stand or fall; and the fact is that he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand (Rom 14:4)  For better, or for worse, as a people the Sovereign LORD of All gives us the leaders we deserve (if you can not say 'amen,' say 'ouch!')  “Lord, please keep Your arm on my shoulder, and Your hand over my mouth!”  If My people, who bear My Name, will humble themselves, pray, seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chron 7:14) 47 When tzara'at infects an article of clothing, whether it be a woolen or a linen garment, 48 on the threads or the woven-in parts of either linen or wool, or on a hide or item made of leather; 49 then if the stain on the garment, hide, threads, woven-in parts or leather item is greenish or reddish, it is an infection of tzara'at and is to be shown to the cohen.  This helps confirm the fact that tzara'at does not necessarily mean leprosy, because leprosy per se does not “infect” garments like this. The bacteria of various infectious diseases, however, might be spread through contact with inanimate objects such as cloth and leather, and show their presence by discoloring the material. 50 The cohen is to examine the stain and isolate the article that has the infection for seven days. 51 On the seventh day he is to examine the stain; if the stain has spread on the garment, threads, woven-in parts or leather, whatever its use, the infection is a contagious tzara'at; the garment is unclean. 52 He is to burn the garment, threads, woven-in parts of either wool or linen, or item of leather having the infection; for it is a contagious tzara'at; it must be burned up completely.  A seven day isolation period similar to that for humans.  Whatever its use  How often do we hold on to something that is “contaminated” and even “contagious” because we see some useful part to it?  If the thing is contaminated it needs to be cleaned up.  If it won't clean up, we need to give it up.  For instance, I had to give up some news bulletins I was getting by email because of the constant barrage of suggestive photos on the sidebar. There was no way to get the bulletins without the possibility of the photos, so I had to unsubscribe and find my news elsewhere.  Could it be that the LORD is so specific here because we humans tend to rationalize and justify, trying to squirm our way out of compliance with rules? 55 The cohen is to examine it after the stain has been washed, and if he sees that the stain has not changed color, then, even though the stain has not spread, it is unclean; you are to burn it up completely – it is rotten, no matter whether the spot is on the outside or on the inside.  No matter whether the spot is on the outside or on the inside – whether it can be seen by others or not – it needs to be dealt with completely: which can only really be done by Jesus!  Sometimes others close to us can more clearly see the issues affecting our lives.  The world tells us to “mind your own business,” and that if we try to address an issue in someone else's life that we are a “busybody.”  We need to remember that people generally don't care how much we know until they know how much we care.  We should always talk to God about our neighbor before we talk to our neighbor about God.  Yes, we are told to mind our own business (e.g. 1 Thess 4:11) and warned about meddling in other people's affairs (e.g. 1 Pet 4:15),  but we are also told to be looking out for the interests of others (e.g. 1 Cor 10:24, Phil 2:4) and to speak the truth in love (e.g. Eph 4:15).  We need to be open to correction, regardless of the tool God uses, but always compare what we are told to God's written Word.  See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword – it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. 13 Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account. (Heb 4:12-13) 2 Kings 4 42 A man came from Ba'al-Shalishah bringing the man of God twenty loaves of bread made from the barley firstfruits and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give this to the people to eat.”  בַּעַל [bah-ahl, often transliterated Baal] a Phoenician deity, the word means “lord”  שָׁלִשָׁה [shah-lē-shah] refers to thirds or threes  Could this city have been named in mockery of the One true God, Who is three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)?  Since the firstfruits were to be brought to the “house the LORD” (Ex 23:18), some have deduced that “the people” here was a school (company, guild, etc) of the prophets (cf e.g. 2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 15; 4:1, 38; 5:22; 6:1; 9:1).  “fresh ears of grain” is the Hebrew word כַּרְמֶל [kahr-mehl]  כַּרְמֶל means  Strong's: a planted field (garden, orchard, vineyard or park); by implication, garden produce  BDB: plantation, garden-land, orchard, fruit orchard; fruit, garden-growth (metonymy)  “in his sack” here is the Hebrew word בְּצִקְלֹנוֹ [beh-tzik-lō-nō]  -בְּ is an inseparable prefix meaning in, on, or with  -וֹ is a personal pronoun suffix meaning his  צִקְלֹן probably refers to a sack or bag 43 His servant said, “How am I to serve this to a hundred men?” But he said, “Give it to the people to eat; for Adonai says that they will eat and have some left over.” 44 So he served them, and they ate and had some left over, as Adonai had said.  Regardless of the exact meaning of צִקְלֹן , the context proves this was a small amount of food to place before a hundred people.  Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament That twenty barley loaves and a portion of roasted grains [or fresh fruit] … were not a sufficient quantity to satisfy a hundred men, is evident from the fact that one man was able to carry the whole of this gift in a sack, and still more so from the remark of the servant, which shows that there was no proportion between the whole of this quantity and the food required by a hundred persons. In this respect the food, which was so blessed by the word of the Lord that a hundred men were satisfied by so small a quantity and left some over, forms a type of the miraculous feeding of the people by Christ (Matt 14:16ff., 2 Kings 15:36-37; John 6:11-12); though there was this distinction between them, that the prophet Elisha did not produce the miraculous increase of the food, but merely predicted it. The object, therefore, in communicating this account is not to relate another miracle of Elisha, but to show how the Lord cared for His servants, and assigned to them that which had been appropriated in the law to the Levitical priests, who were to receive, according to Deut 18:4-5, and Num 8:13, the first-fruits of corn, new wine, and oil. This account therefore furnishes fresh evidence that the godly men in Israel did not regard the worship introduced by Jeroboam (his state-church) as legitimate worship, but sought and found in the schools of the prophets a substitute for the lawful worship of God.  Then, as now, little is much in the hands of the LORD. 2 Kings 5 1a Na'aman, commander of the king of Aram's army, was highly respected and esteemed by his master; because through him Adonai had brought victory to Aram.  Na'aman, here used as a proper noun, is the Hebrew word נַעֲמָן [nah-ah-mahn] meaning pleasantness.  He was in charge of the king of Aram's army, in Hebrew שַׂר־צְבַא מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם  שַׂר [sahr] can mean commander, chief, noble, general, overseer, and prince  We see an example of this in Isaiah 9:6, a Messianic prophecy, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace [שַׂר־שָׁלוֹם].”  צְבַא [tzeh-vah] means  Strong's: a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); literally or figuratively (specifically, hardship, worship)  BDB: what goes forth, an army, a war, warfare, a host:  an army, a host (used of an organized army; of angels; of sun, moon, and stars; of whole creation)  a war, warfare, service, go out to war  service  its plural form is צְבָאוֹת [tzeh-vah-ōt]  We see an example of this in Isaiah 9:7, continuing the prophecy sited above, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts [יהוה צְבָאוֹת] will perform this. (cf 1 Chr 17:24; Ps 24:10; Ps 84; Isa 6:3, etc.)  מֶלֶךְ [meh-lehk] means king  We see an example of this royal title as it applies to the LORD in Psalm 24:8-10, “Who is this King [מֶלֶךְ] of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King [מֶלֶךְ] of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King [מֶלֶךְ] of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King [מֶלֶךְ] of glory.” (cf Ps 10:16, 29:10, 47:2, 84:3, 95:3, 98:6; Isa 6:1, 5, etc.)  its plural is מְלָכִים [meh-lah-khēm]  אֲרָם [ah-rahm] means  Strong's: the highland; Aram or Syria, and its inhabitants  BDB: as a proper noun, masculine: Aram or Arameans = “exalted”  how pleasant and appropriate that Na'aman (“pleasantness”), as the שַׂר of the צְבַא of the “exalted” מֶלֶךְ should come to seek help from, and grow to know, the truly exalted King of kings [מֶלֶךְ מְלָכִים], Who is the LORD of Hosts [יהוה צְבָאוֹת], and our Commander / Prince of Peace [שַׂר־שָׁלוֹם]. 1b But although he was a brave warrior, he also suffered from tzara'at.  Tzara'at was discussed earlier, but let me add here  an NIV footnote says, “The Hebrew word was used for various diseases affecting the skin – not necessarily leprosy”  Nelson's Bible Dictionary, “In the Bible the word leprosy refers to a variety of symptoms. Modern medicine now recognizes that some of these symptoms belonged to diseases other than leprosy. There are several types of leprosy. Biblical leprosy was most likely a severe type of psoriasis, a form of the disease relatively rare in modern times.”  Holman Bible Dictionary, “A generic term applied to a variety of skin disorders from psoriasis to true leprosy.” 2 Now on one of their raids into Isra'el's territory, Aram carried away captive a little girl, who became a servant for Na'aman's wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “I wish my lord could go to the prophet in Shomron! He could heal his tzara'at.” 4 Na'aman went in and told his lord, “The girl from the land of Isra'el said such-and-such.”  Being taken captive by an enemy raiding party as a little girl is by no means a good thing, but, the LORD can use even a bad set of circumstances and turn it to good.  Through this faithful little girl's testimony the most powerful people in Aram are now looking toward God's people, and through His prophet come to know Him better. 5 The king of Aram said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Isra'el.” He set out, taking with him 660 pounds of silver, 6,000 pieces of gold and ten changes of clothes.  A sizable gift. As of this morning (09Apr16) the spot price of silver is $15.36 USD/oz. At 12 Troy ounces per pound, the silver Na'aman took with him would equal about $121,651.20.  Without knowing the exact weight of the gold pieces its hard to guess at its value. Gold, however, is heavy. If each piece weighed only quarter of an ounce, at the current spot price of $1238.40 USD/oz it would currently be valued at $1,875,600.  The aureus (pl. aurei — "golden") was a gold coin of ancient Rome valued at 25 silver denarii. The aureus was regularly issued from the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD, when it was replaced by the solidus. The aureus was about the same size as the denarius, but heavier due to the higher density of gold (as opposed to that of silver.) Before the time of Julius Caesar the aureus was struck very infrequently, usually to make large payments from captured booty. Caesar struck the coin more frequently and standardized the weight at of a Roman pound (about 8 grams). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureus, accessed 09Apr16) 1 ounce = 28.3495 grams • The gift accompanying Naaman is exorbitant – a king's ransom. Ten talents equals thirty thousand shekels, about seven hundred fifty pounds of silver. The six thousand shekels of gold equals about one hundred fifty pounds (one gold shekel equaled fifteen silver shekels). Converted to today's buying power, it would be in the vicinity of three-quarters of a billion dollars. One can get an idea of the proportions by understanding that a typical wage would have been ten silver shekels per year, and one gold shekel would purchase one ton of grain. (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, p. 390-391) 6 He brought the king of Isra'el the letter, which said, “When this letter reaches you, you will see that I have sent my servant Na'aman to you, so that you can heal his tzara'at.”  A number of examples exist of kings sending to other kings for help in the area of healing sickness. Babylonian exorcists were prized by the Hittites, and Egyptian doctors were famed for their healing skills, especially in their treatment of eye diseases. (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, p. 391) 7 When the king of Isra'el finished reading the letter, he tore his clothes. “Am I God, able to kill and make alive,” he asked, “so that he sends me a man to heal of tzara'at? You can see that he is only seeking an excuse to quarrel with me.”  The tearing of robes, especially royal robes, was a sign of mourning. This would have signaled a national crisis or tragedy. We are never told which king of Israel this is, though much of Elisha's

Parashah Schedule

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What's a Parashah?

Parashah is a Hebrew word that means portion. 

Synagogues around the world read the same parashah each Shabbat. The Torah is divided into 54 weekly portions so that the whole Torah is read annually. Selections from the Haftarah (Prophets) are also read each week, and in Messianic congregations, selections from the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) are included. Holiday selections are also listed for the Feast Days.

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