Thursday, September 27, 2007

Service of Levites Numbers 4

Numbers 4:3 "From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

v48 "Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore." 8580.

The tabernacle was taken down and put back up often, as Israel moved about the wilderness. Aaron and his priest were responsible for keeping the holy things holy. There was a procedure we have already discussed for entering into the veil to the ark. These things were not to be viewed by everyone. It would have been a death sentence for someone to come upon the things of the most holy place if they were unclean.

So, in the chapter a procedure is setup to cover the objects of the tabernacle before the workers were called in to move them. The coverings were to prevent damage, yes, but they were also to protect those whose job it was to move them from place to place. It was a massive job to take the tabernacle apart and prepare it for transport.

Each part had designated personnel to move it. You can go back and read the details but it was very heavy since parts were made of gold.

v19 and 20 "But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them everyone to his service and to his burden: But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die."

Badger skin and royal blue cloth and scarlet was used to cover the objects.
v6 and v9

So we see that even in transport the tabernacle was to be revered and respected.

It was the job of the Kohathites to do these task. v18

In summary, the men have been organized on all sides of the tabernacle as well as the Levites. Arrangements have been made to move the tabernacle and who will do what. Through chapter nine more commandments are given. The physical arrangements are made, now the spiritual things must be addressed. The people must be prepared to go forward.

Proverbs 17:14 "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with."

Key words: Bible Study, KJV, Old Testament, Numbers, Levites, tabernacle, Bible, study

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tribe of Levi Numbers 3

Numbers 3:12 "And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; v13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord."

In this chapter a swap is made. The firstborn of Israel is exchanged for the tribe of Levi.

Exodus 13:2 "Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine."

Previously, we saw the arrangement of the tribes surrounding the tabernacle. The tribe of Levi was not numbered at that time. Now, they are brought forth to Aaron and claimed for service with the tabernacle. They are also numbered.

v6 "...they may minister unto him."
v7 "And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation to do the service of the tabernacle."
v8 "..keep all the instruments"

With the numbering of the tribe of Levi the age is from 2 months and up of the males. v15. That came out to be 22,000 males.

Then the firstborn were numbered which totalled 22,273. v43 (twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.)

A difference of 273. v46

Of the difference a payment was made to redeem the excess over 22,000. So, the firstborn were redeemed v41 v45 and the tribe of Levi became the caretakers of the tabernacle and the helpers to Aaron. They were also the inner most defenders of the tabernacle. They were to be placed on the four sides by family. v10 "...and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death."

As we will see later, this is a preparation for war. The tribes have been placed round about the tabernacle in what I would call four divisions with 3 brigades each. Within this formation are the Levites servicing and guarding the tabernacle.

It sounds a great deal like the mysterious wheel in a wheel mentioned in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 1:15 "Now, as I beheld the living creatures behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. v16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. v17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when thy went." Read on for it is a fantastic picture painted in words.

I really do not know if this Ezekiel has anything to do with the arrangement of the tribes around the tabernacle but I can picture the children of Israel marching forward in their divisions and the Levites moving about the ark and the trappings of the tabernacle as they moved giving the appearance of moving forward and a buzz around the ark at the same time.

Again, seen from a mountain top, it must have been an awesome sight for an enemy to see coming toward them.

Psalm 125:2 "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even forever."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Order of the camps Numbers 2

Numbers 2:2 "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch."

We have learned from this verse that each family had a standard or flag of some sort that distinguished them from each other. Held high it would guide a wayward member back to their family. It was a great honor in the military to carry the company flag. There was no doubt which company did good or bad. There was great pride in that flag.

The families were to have a particular place around the tabernacle. The Levites held the immediate spot around it then here in chapter 2 it gives the position of the other families.

Judah - v3 on the east side
Issachar - next to Judah
Zebulun- next after Issachar

v9 These shall be first set forth.

Reuben - southside
Simeon next to him
Gad-next to Simeon

Ephraim - Westside
Manasseh -beside Ephraim
Benjamin - next to Manasseh

Dan - Northside
Asher -next to Dan
Naphtali -next to Asher

Even without listing the Levites, I came up with twelve groups divided into four groups of three.
I'll have to check the son's names to see how that works out.

I don't know how much shuffling of tents this organization caused but I expect moving the tribes to a particular spot around the tabernacle caused a lot of moving. It must have looked like a bunch of ants from high atop a mountain.

Nothing is left to self-will here. The Lord even picked who was to command each group.

Now, can you picture the tabernacle with its glow at night and all the children of Israel camped round about. There are some campfires spread out but the glow is stronger as you go toward the center and the tabernacle. I can imagine the appearance of a giant wheel with the tabernacle as the center and right in the middle the Lord himself is the source of power.

What a sight it must have been!

Psalm 8:1 "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

Number of Israel - Numbers 1

Numbers 1:46 "Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty."

These were only the able bodied men who were 20 and up and able to go to war. v45

There is also the Levites who were not to be numbered, their job was the tabernacle.

Able to go to war: 603,550
Under 20: ?
Elders ?
Children(less 20) ?
Women ?
Levites ?

Total Unknown

If it averaged out that each man of war had a wife the number would double and there would be well over a million people. It would have been a number that would have attracted the attention of the surrounding inhabitants.

v52 "And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, everyman by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts."

v53 "But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the Tabernacle of testimony.

Psalm 3:3 "But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Opening Comments-Numbers

Numbers 1:2 "Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;

v3 "From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies."

The Book of Numbers sounds like only an accountant could find interest according to the title, but that is far from accurate. Numbers is a book of action. It is a time for getting ready for war.

Genesis was where creation, sin and the promise took place. Exodus was the redemption from Egypt. Leviticus was about the fine details of the law. Now we have Numbers and it is time to prepare to take the promised land.

Moses is instructed to number the people. It is a long way from Abraham and Issac alone on the mountain where a Ram replaced Issac in the sacrifice. Now, the people are many. Each family has grown tremendously.

Moses talks directly to God and passes the information to Aaron and the people. Reorganization takes place in this book.

CI Scofield divides the book into five chief divisions: The Order of the Host, From Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, Israel at Kadesh-barnea, The Wilderness Wanderings, Closing instructions.

So we finally leave mount Sinai and go to take the promised land but something happens at Kadesh-barnea that sends Israel into the wilderness to wonder.

Numbers 1:46 "Even all they that were numbers were six hundred and three thousand and five hundred and fifty (603,550). v47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them v48 For the Lord had spoken unto Moses saying v49 Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel:"

Psalm 105:8 "He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Estimation - Tithe Leviticus 27

Leviticus 27:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation."


v1 He that maketh a singular vow must be the Lord's
v2 The estimation of the person
v9 Of a beast given by vow
v14 Of a house
v16 Of a field and the redemption thereof
v28 No devoted thing may be redeemed
v32 The tithe may not be changed

The last chapter in this book is the most difficult for me to get a handle on. I went to Webster and found a couple of definitions after reading over the chapter. For some reason, I came up with the word appraise in relation to estimate. Or appraisal and estimation.

Estimate: to give or form an approximation (as of value, size or cost) Judge conclude evaluate, value rate, appraise, assay or assess
Estimation: judgment, opinion, esteem, honor

appraise: to set a value on
appraisal: same

So working from those definitions and the reading of the scripture, my best understanding is that Moses or the priest are to decide what something or someone is worth, money wise. The ending purpose for valuation being to allow redemption later except where restricted and to decide what the tithe would be in order to give to the Lord the tenth part.

The value is separated by age for the people and makes allowances for the poor.

The chapter also deals with vows once the method of estimation is established.

v28 "Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord."

Then we go to the subject of the tithe which has been the subject of much discussion in churches.

V30 "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the three, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord."

v32"...the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord." This spoke of the flocks which were counted by passing under the rod. v32 .

This is a good place for Malachi 3:10-12

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. v11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. v12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts."

These instructions were given at Mount Sinai as v34 states: These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai."

In the next book called Numbers, the setting is the wilderness of Sinai. Numbers 1:1 "And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying."

The end of Exodus has the children of Israel travelling with the cloud and pillow of fire. In Leviticus we have instructions at the mount, even though we are told of their moving on. I believe this is because Moses was teaching what he had received on the mount as they journeyed. Obviously, I do not understand this clearly. I just do not think all the instructions were on the stone tablets but that all this detailed stuff was written down after they broke camp at the mount. I'll take any clarity anyone has to offer. But like our churches, the tabernacle was where the people gathered to listen to Moses.

Psalm 6:2 "Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If You Will - If you Will Not Leviticus 26

Leviticus 26:2 "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary, I am the Lord."

v1 Of idolatry
v2 Religiousness
v2 A blessing to them that keep the commandments
v14 A curse to those that break them
v40 God promiseth to remember them that repent

"The sins ye do by two and two ye must pay for one by one.' Kipling, Tomlinson

Chapter 26 is a chapter of 'if you will obey' and If you will not obey'. There is glory for Israel if they obey the commandments of the Lord. Verse 3 states it "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and o them; " Then it goes on to list all the blessings God will bestow on Israel just for doing what they are suppose to do.

V4 The land will produce plenty.
v5 It will be safe in the land.
v6 There will be peace.
v7 Enemies will be defeated.
v9 The Lord will have respect for Israel and multiply them.
v10 They will not run out.
v11 The Lord's tabernacle will be among the people.

Then in verse 12 we see a flashback to the garden where the Lord walked in the cool of the day and meet with Adam and Eve. Genesis 3: 8 "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day;..."

"And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people."

v13 reminds Israel of whom they owe their escape from Egypt.

Then verse 14 starts the punishment for not doing the things commanded. As we study other books of the Bible we will see that Israel chose to rebel and suffer the punishment.

"But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;"

Reference Deuteronomy 28:15 .

Verse 6 said they would have peace when doing God's commands. Verse 15 says they will have sorrow when they choose to rebel.

Verse 7 speaks of the enemies being afraid of them. Verse 16 talks of the terror they would feel when they rebel.

Then if rebellion continues the punishment increases and Israel will be scattered and the land desolate. v33

The great nation would decrease to desperation for food to the point of eating their own young in verse 29. See II Kings 6:29. Israel has slipped into a sad state of affairs because of sin.

But the Lord will not forget Israel even then and will remember the covenants he made with Abraham, Issac and Jacob. v42.

V45 " But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.

Knowing the greatness that Israel enjoys under such kings as David and Solomon and the tender care the Lord shed on the people through the years we are studying, it is sad to know the way they rebelled in later books of the Bible and see the punishment they suffered. It is similar to raising a child in church and under the daily instruction of the Bible only to see the pain they cause themselves by fleeing what they know to be the right way to live. They do themselves great harm just as Israel did. It was written down in this chapter in plain words: the 'if you will' but 'if you will not'. There were no surprises. The heathen had no such close instruction but Israel was without excuse.

Psalm 146:17 "The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works."

v18 "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jubilee or Jubile Leviticus 25

Leviticus 25:9 "Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land."

V10 "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family."

v11 "A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed."

v12 "For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field."


v1 The sabbath of the seventh year
v8 The jubile in the fiftieth year
v14 Of oppression
v18 A blessing of obedience
v23 The redemption of land
v29 Of houses
v35 Compassion of the poor
The usage of bondmen
v47 The redemption of servants

They are still at Mount Sinai as shown in verse 1. I may have mentioned them wondering in the desert in another place but I now think that was wrong. I believe they are still at the mount getting instructions.

Previously we read about working six days and resting on the seventh. In this chapter, it is taken further. They are also to work six years and rest the seventh year. It is for them a time of jubilee and a time of rest for the land.

v20 "And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: v21 Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years."

This chapter overwhelms me. Besides the information in it that explains much of Jewish tradition, there is much that points to a study of prophecy and reminds me of Daniel. Chapter 9 of Daniel gets in the seventy weeks. This after Daniel had prayed much to understand. A sample first is verse 24 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy."

V26 "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

And on it goes. It is a very interesting study and is pursued by many in relation to Revelation to more clearly understand the seasons of Christ's return and the end time.

But our chapter, as the outline shows, discusses the fiftieth year.

v10 "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family."

In summary, these times are a time of starting over. It is a time when the poor are given a new start and those who have fallen on hard times an opportunity to get back with their family. It is a wonderful concept and I am sure it worked very well since it was instituted by the Lord.

For you none farmers, it is a common practice now for land to be left unused for a year so that it can replenish itself. This lesson was learned in our country after much farmland was depleted. If only, we would pay attention to the Bible.

There are also commands to not charge usury on money loaned and other instructions on strangers and servants. It is a full chapter and a study could go many directions from here.

I must mention verse 9 again for it reminds me of when Christ comes back and our struggle is over.

Psalm 125:2 "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even forever."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lamps to Burn Continually Leviticus 24

Leviticus 24:2 "Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually."

References: Exodus 27:20, Numbers 8:2-4


v1 The oil for the lamps
v5 The shewbread
v10 Shelomith's son blasphemeth
v13 The law of blasphemy
v17 Of murder
v18 Of damage
v23 The blasphemer is stoned

The first part of the chapter tells of the command to keep the lamp in the tabernacle of the congregation burning all the time. Then it goes on to describe the twelve cakes that were to be made and placed in two rows of six upon the pure table v6.

This shewbread is mentioned throughout the Old Testament. Of particular interest was when David was so hungry that he ate the shewbread. I Samuel 21:4-6 tells the story. This was a time when King Saul became very angry at David and jealous of him and had ordered that David be killed. David was on the run and was hungry.

v6 "So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away."

I cannot help but remember when the disciples plucked corn on the sabbath and raised the anger of the Pharisees. Matthew 12 v2 "But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him (Jesus) Behold thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But Jesus responded v3 "But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him,How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him but only for the priests? .... For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day."

I know the commandment has other meanings but it is amazing that food was provided for David, (who was in the bloodline of Christ after the flesh) even before he was born.

The rest of the chapter deals with a man who cursed God and was stoned. The Lord took the opportunity to speak of punishment for taking another man's life as well. And of one who kills a beast of another.

There is no difference in the judgment on a stranger or one born an Israelite.

v20 mentions the often quoted phrase 'eye for eye' .

note: shewbread and showbread are used interchangeable according to the language translated from.

Psalm 53: 1-3 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Everyone of them is gone back they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Feasts of the Lord Leviticus 23

Leviticus 23:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts."


v1 The feasts of the Lord
v3 The Sabbath
v4 The passover
v9 The sheaf of first fruits
v15 The feast of Pentecost
v22 Gleanings to be left for the poor
v23 The feast of trumpets
v26 The day of atonement
v33 The feast of tabernacles

convocation: a ceremonial assembly (as of the clergy) or the act of convoking
convoke: to call together to a meeting

We will not here debate what day we are to take off from work. Traditionally I believe it was our Saturday, the last day of the week after six days of work. In the Christian faith, we take off Sunday, the first day of the week which was when the Lord arose from the tomb. His work being done then. I think it appropriate to take off one day to honor the Lord and to mark a ending to a hard weeks work and to start afresh the new week.

v3 "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest..."

Perhaps it would be better to just work six days and take one off in honor of the Lord rather than spend energy and cause hard feelings arguing over which day that is. Many ignore the working six days part and debate the seventh. It did say work six not five and then go fishing on the sixth.


Israel had been under slavery for 400 years. Many measures were taken to get Pharaoh to let Israel go from Egypt. The most pronounced one was when the firstborn were slain. On that night Israel was to apply blood of a lamb to the door post and mantel then the death angel would pass over them and not slay the firstborn.

It was a very important even to remember. It represents the Lord's power, his caring for Israel and the demonstration of a substitute to redeem those inside. The blood was made known there and so is remember in the 'passover'.

v5 "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover."

v6 "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread..."

It should be noticed that in the New Testament, Jesus' taking of the passover precedes his death on the cross, the firstborn sacrificed for the redemption of mankind.

Luke 22:7 "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat."

After the passover and Judas was given the sop signifying that he was the betrayer, Jesus went into the garden to pray and was then arrested and crucified.

Verse 9 starts the description of the celebration of wave offering to be started when Israel came into the land promised to them by the Lord.

V11 "And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it."

It is a time of offerings and holy convocation. It reminds me of when Mary discovered the empty tomb and when she talked with the Lord in the garden and was excited to tell the others that the Lord had risen.

Seventh Month-first day:

"V24 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. v25 Ye shall do no servile work therein, but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

Tenth day:

v27 "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and y shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

Fifteenth day:

v34 "Speak unto the children of Israel saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord."

Many things could be said about this chapter. It does away with the idea that living for God is 'all work and no play' . They had feast and celebrated the harvest and God's blessings.

Also there is a relation in the order of things which could be studied with prophecy. After all, there will be a great celebration when the Lord comes back for his children. On that day, the harvest will be taken in and a time of rest and rejoicing will take place around the throne in heaven. The long six days, the long six years will be over and the seventh day, seventh year will come and the feast will began.

booths: were usually made of poles set upright in the ground and covered with green boughs Lev 23:40-42 Neh 8:14

Some of the traditions of Israel have been interrupted due to historical events and mapping changes. It is a whole other subject to dive in to. It deals with the temple mount and the problems there. It deals with the place of the original temple and sacrifices. Perhaps we
will get into those things at a later time. Some Bible teachers deal almost exclusively with these conditions and current events to show the soon return of Christ. They are not hard to find.

V44 "And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord."

Proverbs 2: 1-6 "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If hou seekest her as silver,and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Holy Things Holy Name Leviticus 22

Leviticus 22:2 "Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the Lord."

v1 The priests in their uncleanness must abstain from the holy things
v6 How they shall be cleansed
v10 Who of the priest's house may eat of the holy things
v17 Th sacrifices must be without blemish
v26 The age of the sacrifice
v29 The law of eating the sacrifice of thanksgiving

I believe this is the first time I have noticed the mention of 'beef'. Verse 19 "Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beefs, of the sheep, or of the goats."

In this chapter there is a distinction made between what can be offered for a vow and what can be offered as a free will offering. Verse 23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath anything superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted."

The first part of the chapter deals with the cleanliness of the priest in such things as touching the unclean: verse 5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; v6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water."

There are other restrictions as well. It also covers the issue of strangers and those who marry strangers, are divorce from strangers and so on. I am amazed at the detail which covers so many various possibilities of daily life. The main issue seems to be that even though uncleanness will occur anyone must go through the process of being cleansed before coming before the Lord.

The chapter closes with the pronouncement that the Lord's holy name is to be respected. It is He who brought Israel out of Egypt and not another.

A special notice should be given to the phrase in verse 33 "...I am the Lord." Remember back when Moses was called to lead Israel out of Egypt Exodus 3:14 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

Read with me in John 18 where the temple leaders heard those words again:

John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? v5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he...." v6 "As soon then as he had said unto them I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground."

In the darkness of their soul a small light still burned for the great historical name of the Lord "I AM."

It could have stopped there, I suppose, but then there would have been no redemption had not the sacrifice been made and Jesus' blood shed. There would have been no fulfillment of all the scripture and no victory over death and no perfect blood shed to take to the throne of God. No, Jesus would not let it end here. He persisted in telling them who he was and they gained courage once again. Verse 8 "Jesus answered I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:" verse 12 "Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus and bound him, v13 And led him away..."

So down through the ages it is taught that the name of the Lord is to be respected. Someone once asked the question 'What's in a name?'. I respond that in this case, every thing is in this name. Look in Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

On this night in the garden the great I AM was forever linked to the name of Jesus. v5 "They answered Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he...."

The Lord who in Leviticus 22 is teaching his people is the same Lord who stood in the garden unafraid and submitted himself to the mob as a lamb without spot or blemish. He was not a stranger but one of their own. He had the family ancestry of a king. There was no doubt of his heritage. Yet even in their blindness they were part of the fulfillment of prophecy and the plan of salvation.

Psalm 146:13 "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Priests Leviticus 21

Leviticus 21:1 "And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:"

v1 Of the priests mourning
v6 Of their holiness
v8 Of their estimation
v8.13 Of their marriages
v17 The priests that have blemishes must not minister in the sanctuary

The key phrase to understand this chapter is in verse one: "Speak unto the priests."

The way I understand the priesthood of the old testament is that they were to be as the offerings, without spot or blemish. They served as a bridge between the offering and the holiness of God.

I've read of the practice of putting bells on priests so that if the bell stopped ringing, it was assumed the priest was dead, those outside could pull the dead priest out of the holy place from behind the veil by a rope attached to their foot.

We can understand in this time, that Christ had not yet died on the cross and shed his blood for our sins. In the old testament ceremonies of offerings, there was a point when the offering for sin had not yet been made, since it had to be done over and over again.

The priest were a part of the tabernacle, servants of the holiest place and must be clean to stand before God.

It is difficult to express the difference between then and now. For now, we, as Christians are all priests with our sins forgiven and covered, yea, removed, by the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 9:1 "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. v6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God."

v8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing."

Then arose another line of priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:11 For Christ came of the tribe of Judah Hebrews 7:14.

Hebrews 7:12 "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Revelation 1:5-6 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. v6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

So with Christ things changed totally. No longer is it the Aaron priesthood but the priesthood of Christ. We as Christians, are called priest and so offer up our praise to the Lord. Because of the shed blood of Christ, we are accepted with all our faults and failures and made perfect in the sight of God because the Father does indeed see only his son when he sees us.

Matthew 27:50-51 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"

Jesus was not liked by most of the Jewish leadership. Their jobs were to keep the law of Moses as they saw it. They were smothered in traditions of men which included much that had to do with the decisions of man and nothing to do with the actual law of Moses. They had made the law a burdensome tool that oppressed the people. Then along came Jesus, claiming (and was) to be the Son of God and determined to teach a new way. It was an affront to the leadership. It told the whole nation that they were wrong. It placed the kingdom of God in the hearts of man and not in the hands of the priesthood. It is no wonder that the priests, having lost their love and awe for God, and wrapped up in the mechanics of the law, were pierced to their soul by the teachings of Jesus. They would simply not allow it.

Yet, in the effort to stop Jesus from his goal. His goal was accomplished. The redemption of mankind.

Had they been listening, they would have known that he came to die, so that he might provide sinless blood as an offering for the sins of the whole world. No longer does the priesthood exclude all but the Jewish nation but excludes only those who reject Him as Savior. That exclusion being made by the individual choice for he did indeed die for all.

Even Abraham said to Issac when Issac was taken to the mountain to be sacrificed:

Genesis 22:8 "And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

And then from God:

Genesis 22:18 "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou has obeyed my voice."

So the Lord was telling them and us all along of the sacrifice to be made. The establishment of the nation, the giving of the law, the priesthood, all lead up to the cross on a hill where Jesus died and the garden where he arose again on the third day.

Psalm 40:4 "Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."