Torah Pearls #25 – Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

Torah Pearls Tzav, Leviticus 6:1-8:36, Aaronic, blood, cohen, Documentary Hypothesis, JEPD, Cohen, laws, Noachide, Noahide, Noahides, priest, priesthood, Torah PearlsIn this week's episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36), we discuss what exactly is the JEPD theory otherwise known as the Documentary Hypothesis? What is the role of the the Aaronic priest and is it fulfilled by any particular order today? Is the command to not drink blood just for Israel or does it apply to all the peoples of the earth? All this and more in this week’s Torah Pearls!

I look forward to reading your comments!

Download Torah Pearls Tzav

Transcript

Torah Pearls #25 - Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

You are listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson, and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Jono: G'day to Jillian in the Netherlands, Tim in Ohio, Janice in Indiana, Fredrick and Jennifer in Hawaii. “Shaloha” to you guys, and wherever you may be around the world, it’s good to have your company. It’s time for Pearls from the Torah Portion with Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon.

Nehemia: Hey, Shalom. A shout-out to Avichayil Ben Avraham in Florida, thanks for listening.

Jono: And today we are in Tzav, is that right?

Keith: I just have to ask a question. What was that you said to the people in Hawaii?

Jono: Shaloha.

Keith: That was really impressive.

Jono: I remember someone in Hawaii said “Shaloha” to me; it’s kind of the combination of shalom and aloha, I guess. Is that right? I’m not sure, maybe we just made up a word. Anyway, it’s a good one.

Nehemia: In the proper pronunciation it’s “sheeluhau.”

Jono: So today we are in Tzav, Leviticus, chapter 6, to the end of chapter 8.

Nehemia: Amen. Can I make a structural remark about this passage? Chapters 6 and 7, I think, are maybe some of the most fascinating chapters in the Torah, while at the same time being some of the most boring, frankly. What makes them interesting to me is…you know, I was always taught growing up that Moses went up to Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights and he received the entire Torah. We always talked about the revelation at Sinai where Moses received the Torah, and later on, when I actually read the Torah, I found out that was a lie. The reason I say it's a lie is because the Torah wasn’t, in its entirety, given at Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments were given at Mount Sinai, along with some other things that we saw in the book of Exodus; the rest of the Torah was revealed throughout a period of forty years, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here. We have this series of little sections in Leviticus 6 and 7, and they open up, “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying…”, verse 1. And then in verse 2 it says, “This is the Torah of the whole burnt offering,” and we have a series of Torahs here. The literal meaning of torah is “instruction”.

We talk about “The Book of the Torah of Moses”, or “The Book of the Torah of God”, and that is the collection of what we, today, refer to more often as The Five Books of Moses. When you talk about “torah” in the scripture, it often just means a specific instruction for a specific situation. So, we have the torah of the burnt offering in verse 2. In verse 7, we have the torah of the grain offering; that is, the instruction of the grain offering. In verse 12, again, “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying.” Presumably this was at a different time. Why else would it repeat, “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying”?

This particular section is described, in verse 16, as the minchat Kohen; the grain offering offered by a priest, as opposed to a grain offering offered by a regular Israelite. When a regular Israelite offers a grain offering, the priest takes a handful, burns it as a memorial, and the rest of it he eats. When a priest offers a grain offering, he doesn’t do the memorial. The whole thing is burned, it’s not eaten. In verse 17, we have the torah of the sin offering, the chatat. We had seen in Leviticus 4, when you bring a chatat, what some of the scenarios were for it. We saw four main situations. We have the sin of the high priest, of the leader, of the whole nation and of an individual person, but it didn’t tell us all the rules of the chatat, the sin offering. Some of those are brought here in Leviticus 6:17-23, and you may actually have different verse numbers; you probably do. But these are the verse numbers in the Hebrew. I think they’re off by about 7, or something like that.

Jono: Yes, it seems to pick up from verse 24 here.

Nehemia: Okay, so here it’s in verse 17, in the Hebrew, verse 24 in the English. We have a series of torahs in any event, and we jump over to chapter 7. We have the torah of the guilt offering, in verse 1, and I don't know if the verse numbers are different, I'm reading it in the Hebrew. In verse 11 we have the torah of the zevach shlamim, the peace offering. There we have an explanation that there are really three types of peace offerings. If it’s brought for a toda, a thanks, in verse 12. Then it explains in verse 16, if it’s brought for an oath, or as a free will offering. So those are two, or maybe you can count them as three types. There are two different laws concerning them, the two types of zevach shlamim, a peace offering. The first one, where it’s brought as a thanks offering, you have to eat it that day. The other one, where it’s a vow or free will offering, you have two days to eat it, and then burn it on the third day.

In verse 22 we have a general remark about chelev, which we’ll definitely get back to, but that’s a whole subject. What we have here is a series of commandments that appear as torahs. Then, in verse 37, we have a summation of chapters 6-7. It says, “This is the torah of the whole burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the consecration offering - or the ordination offering, however you translate the milu’im - and of the peace offering.”

What probably happened…originally you had several different revelations that took place, and during each revelation the torah that was revealed at that time, the instruction, was written down. Some of the Jewish commentators explain that the Torah wasn’t originally one big scroll like we have in the synagogue. The Torah was originally a series of little scrolls, and each one was a separate instruction. At some point, Moses took those all and sewed the different scrolls together and formed the Torah that we have today. That’s probably what we’re looking at here. Chapters 6-7 were originally several different revelations written down in one scroll, and at the end of chapter 7 essentially, that was the entire scroll, chapters 6-7. Later that was sewn together. They said, "Where shall we put this? Well, chapters 1-5, that’s a separate scroll that dealt with very similar things. Let’s sew them together."

What you end up with is a very interesting situation, which is the principle, in Hebrew we say “En mukdam u’me’ukhar baTorah.” There is no chronological order in the Torah between sections, and even within sections, to some extent, but especially between sections. I think we mentioned that Numbers, chapter 9, takes place before Numbers, chapter 1. How did that happen? They were originally separate scrolls. Although this is an extremely boring section, it really illustrates beautifully how we’re dealing with separate revelations, on separate instructions, which were brought together as a scroll, which was then attached to other scrolls, and that’s how our Torah was created. I think this is amazing.

Keith: Jono, I hesitate in doing this but I’m going to do it. Nehemia, when I was in school, one of the things they would introduce, and I think you were also introduced to this at the Hebrew University, this whole idea of these scrolls coming together, but maybe by different authors. The JEPD theory. Why do I want to bring this up? Because a lot of people who have, either under teaching, or different places that they might be, their pastor may come with this idea. The reason this is different is that you had a different author. Because they’re looking at the Torah and they’re saying, “Well, yes, the concept, it’s Moses, but really there were four different types of…" if I can use the word, "…authors for this.” So how would what you just said strengthen the argument that they would bring? Explain to the people what the general theory ends up being, regarding the JEPD theory. And then, how what you just said might be used to affirm what folks would sometimes say. Go ahead.

Nehemia: The JEPD theory is sometimes referred to as the documentary hypothesis, and it's this belief of really mainstream secular scholars, and even many Christian and Jewish scholars around the world, that the Torah is actually not written by Moses; that it's a lie, it's a fairytale that you've been fed. That in fact, the Torah was made up of four different documents that were written by four different schools of thought. They even had different names for "God" because they were essentially four different denominations, or religious factions, in ancient Israel. And that somebody came together in the time of Ezra…some say it actually was Ezra…and put these four different documents together, kind of like a patchwork.

In any event, I believe what it says in the Torah, which is in Deuteronomy 31:24, "And it came to pass, when Moses finished writing the words of this Torah upon a book, until their completion." I believe that that's true. At the same time, that raises a question, right? That's Deuteronomy 31:24, but Deuteronomy has another three chapters. Who wrote those? Some people say, "Well, Joshua wrote those." But to me, that's splitting hairs, if it's Joshua or Moses who actually wrote it down. In any event, I think this actually weakens the documentary hypothesis, because what it shows is that ancient Jewish sources…you know, I didn't make this up, that this Torah was written in many different scrolls. That's what Jewish sources say. They recognize that, because they read the same thing I had. Like I said, I didn't come up with this myself. They read the same thing I read, and they said, "Oh, this is the torah of the sin offering, and this is the torah of the burnt offering, and these sections are stuck together and they're not in chronological order."

Well, this seems to be how Moses put the Torah together, and this is what traditional Jewish sources say. I think that actually undermines the documentary hypothesis, because many of the things that they seek to explain as well, that these were four different rival schools of thought, I think are actually explained much better as Moses writing the Torah over a period of forty years. I want to bring a really interesting example, which is almost trivial, but I'll bring it because I think it's interesting and appears in our Torah portion here, which is in Leviticus 7 verses 31 and 32. Maybe Jono can read that and then we can talk about that.

Jono: What I've got is, "And the priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons', also the right thigh you shall give to the priest as a heave offering from the sacrifices of your peace offerings." A heave offering?

Nehemia: A "heave offering" means it's lifted up. Anyway, it goes on in verse 35, saying this is something that's given to them for all generations, etc., to Aaron and his descendants. So, they get two things; they get the right thigh and they get the breast. Now, the word for thigh is shok. Say shok.

Jono: Shok.

Keith: Shok.

Nehemia: Are you going to work with me, guys?

Jono: Shok.

Keith: We both said shok.

Nehemia: All right. Deuteronomy 18 verse 3. Deuteronomy, we know, was written in the plains of Moab, which is in Transjordan opposite of Jericho. Meaning, it was at the end of the forty years, just before Moses was about to die; in the last year of his life. Here he says in Deuteronomy 18:3, actually…why don't you read it from your translation, Jono?

Jono: "This shall be the priests' due from the people, from those who offer sacrifice, whether it is a bull or a sheep, they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach."

Nehemia: So, what is it? Is it the shok? And how did they translate shok? You said thigh, which is interesting, and breast. Now, shok actually means shoulder, and that's the interesting thing. Keith, what do you have in Leviticus 7:32? Do you have thigh, or shoulder?

Keith: "The right thigh."

Nehemia: The right thigh. Well, that’s interesting. If you read this in translation and you hear about the documentary hypothesis it makes a lot of sense. Leviticus, which they say is the priestly source…these are priests…they say that what the priests get is the right thigh and the breast. And if you’re Deuteronomy, which they call the D source, they say, "Well, he gets three things; he gets…how did yours translate Deuteronomy 18:3?

Jono: The shoulder, the cheek and the stomach. What do you have, Keith?

Nehemia: The shoulder, the cheek and the stomach. Okay. What did they do with that stomach? Did they make some haggis or something?

Jono: I don't know.

Keith: Deuteronomy 18:3: "This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the jowls, and the inner parts."

Nehemia: Ooh, the jowls. In any event, in Leviticus, if you read it in English, you've got the breast and the thigh. If you read Deuteronomy in English, you've got the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the stomach, or the jowls. So, which is it, the breast and the thigh, or the shoulder, the two cheeks and the stomach?

If you hear about this documentary hypothesis, the Torah wasn’t written by Moses, it was written by four different rival groups. One of them is the priestly group who wrote Leviticus, another is the Deuteronomistic group, who wrote Deuteronomy, and they lived at different times and different periods. If you look at this in English you say, well, they contradict each other; they must be from two different sources. That makes sense.

But if you read it in Hebrew, what you actually find out is that, first of all, you have two different words for "shoulder." The first word for shoulder is shok, and I'm surprised they translated it as “thigh,” because it means "shoulder." And then you have zro'a, which is a different word for shoulder in Deuteronomy, and you ask yourself, why would there be two different words? It makes a lot of sense because this was written forty years later. If you think about how English has changed over the last forty years, it changed probably much more dramatically than Hebrew changed during this forty-year period. We have words like "computer" and "internet" and "Facebook," you know, things that didn't really exist. But you also have words where the concept did exist, just the word was changed over time. That's natural in every language. So, simply, it's two different words for the same thing.

It's true that the two cheeks and the stomach aren't mentioned in Leviticus, and the Jewish sources recognized this. What they say is, no, it's not two different authors. Simply, what's happening in the context in Deuteronomy is that the Israelites are about to enter into the land, and then God says, ok, up until now all they had were these things; the breast and the thigh. In addition to that I'm going to give them the two cheeks and the stomach.

The lesson here is that, when you look at a commandment in the Torah, you can't take one isolated verse out of context. If something is mentioned two or three times you have to read all of the verses and take the collective information in all those verses in order to figure out what exactly the commandment is for today. Because it may have been, in the desert, all they had was the breast and the thigh. But when they were about to enter the land, they also got the two cheeks and the stomach.

This is an example where you could explain it through the documentary hypothesis, but I actually studied that intensely for several years at the Hebrew University, and I personally found that it creates more problems than it solves. They claim, well, if we just say two authors, or four authors, then everything's solved, but you end up with more confusion than if you recognize that this was written by Moses. And, yeah, maybe Joshua wrote the verses where Moses is dead. So what? The Jewish sources say that. This isn't something that we're hearing for the first time and you're shocking us with new information.

It's interesting, I had a professor who once said that the difference between someone who believes in scripture and someone who doesn't is that the one who believes in scripture sees contradictions and wants to explain why there's a contradiction. You want to solve the contradiction. Think about it; if you have two witnesses who saw the same traffic accident…there are people who study this today, this really happens. One person will say, the guy who was driving the car had a green shirt, and the other guy will say, no, he had a blue shirt. Well, which one is it? Maybe they're both speaking the truth, because maybe one of them was looking at it through a filter of a certain type of light which changes the color. Which actually happens at night all the time with those sodium lights that you have in cities. So, somebody who believes in scripture is going to look at things that appear to be contradictions and say, what can I learn from this? I have a thesis and an antithesis; how do I put the two together and get the full picture?

What someone who doesn't believe in scripture is going to tend to do, this is what my professor said, is to emphasize the contradictions and seek to explain them as deriving from different sources. It's funny, because that was actually a very common belief back in the 19th century, that when you looked at any text and there was something that appeared to be a contradiction, you explained it away as coming from two different authors. That's actually gone out of vogue in most fields of academics, but in biblical studies, it's remained the dominant way of looking at things, which is strange. If Shakespeare contradicts himself, are we going to say there were two different Shakespeares? Or, that he wrote his plays over different decades and different periods. I think that’s how we have to look at scripture. So, having learned the documentary hypothesis in great detail, I'm actually strengthened in my faith in the word of God. I believe these are the words that Moses wrote through revelation during that forty-year period in the desert.

Keith: And just for clarification, for those that don't know. Nehemia mentioned the P, the Priestly, and the D for Deuteronomy, but the J and the E are quite interesting. The J…Nehemia, do you want to tell them what that is?

Nehemia: The J source is allegedly some group in ancient Israel that referred to God as Yehovah, or as some scholars say, Yahweh. Hence, they call it J, because in German, and these were Germans who came up with this idea, God's name, Yehovah, is written with a J, because it's pronounced as "ye." The E source is allegedly a source in ancient Israel where they called God "Elohim" and not "Yehovah". What they’ve actually done is, they’ve looked at these different stories, especially in Genesis, and they say, "Well, in this one He's called Elohim and in that one He's called Yehovah, Yahweh, and so these must be from two different sources". Which is ridiculous, because I refer to God all the time. Sometimes I'll call Him “the Creator of the universe,” and sometimes I'll call Him “God almighty,” and sometimes I'll call Him by His name “Yehovah,” and it doesn't mean that I'm two different people, that I have a split personality. Which I do. [in different voice] No you don't! [in regular voice] Yes you do.

I think it's ridiculous, and just creates more problems than it solves.

Keith: [in different voice] No I don't!

Jono: I'm really glad that you brought that up, Keith.

Keith: I learned something a long time ago, Jono…and actually, if I could just take one minute, sometimes I go off to the store and come back and these guys are still talking. It's fun. One of the things that I learned, and I think people will appreciate this, and again I have to say thank you to my friends Nehemia and Jono…the way you give us an opportunity to have these discussions, because as we’re going through this asking the question about that hypothesis is something that’s important. You might not always know the answers but learning what the questions are, often times, becomes more important. I know there are people that go through this, and some people say, because you have a question, that means that you don’t have faith in the word of God. I always tell my sons this; our Father in Heaven is not threatened by questions. In fact, I think when we begin to ask questions it’s even a testament to the fact that we’re seeking Him. So, I appreciate the fact that we can ask the questions and then have the discussion about it. That JEPD theory with the documentary hypothesis is an example where, if I had never known anything about it, I wouldn’t have known to ask the question and give Nehemia a chance to give the answers. So, it’s kind of a blessing to just sometimes know the questions.

Nehemia: I think that’s a big difference between Judaism and Christianity, at least culturally. I was always taught that questions are good; not all questions, but asking questions about scripture, especially about contradictions. That’s how we learn things. From the things that appear to be contradictions, the thesis and the antithesis, we create the synthesis by putting everything together and getting a composite picture. I think that asking those questions is perfectly fine, and I think a good thing, a positive thing, and should be encouraged as long as you come to it in humility and faith in an attempt to answer them. If you want to bash scripture, that’s really easy to do, but if you’re coming to it trying to build your faith, then I think you could learn a lot from it.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Amen

Nehemia: Here’s another interesting thing in Leviticus, chapter 6:11, or actually Leviticus, chapter 6, verse 18 in the English. Can one of you guys read that?

Jono: Let’s do 11 first, because I want to ask you about 13 as well. This is the law about the sacrifice of the peace offering, which he shall offer to Yehovah. Is this what you want?

Nehemia: Oh. So, I guess in your English it would be add seven verses, so it would be verse 18 in the English.

Jono: It must be verse 18. "If any of the flesh of the sacrifice and peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed to him, it shall be an abomination to him.”

Nehemia: No, that's not it either, so let’s…

Keith: “Any male descendants of Aaron may eat it…”

Nehemia: There it is! Yeah, it's verse 18.

Jono: Oh, I'm on chapter 7. Did you say chapter 6?

Nehemia: 6:18 in the English; 11 in the Hebrew.

Jono: Okay, all right, I'll go there. "And all the males among the children of Aaron may eat it. It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to Yehovah. Everyone who touches them must be holy.”

Nehemia: Oh, that’s not what it says in Hebrew. Is that what yours says, Keith?

Keith: No, mine says, “…whoever touches them will become holy.”

Nehemia: “Will become holy,” not “must be holy.” Oh my gosh, that’s such a big difference. This is actually a commandment, which then becomes the focus of a prophecy in the book of Haggai 2:10-19. I don't know if we have to read the whole thing. There’s a prophecy where God starts off saying, “Thus says Yehovah. Ask now the priests…" this is in verse 11 of Haggai chapter 2, "…the Torah, saying,” meaning; ask them the instruction. And again, this is in the context of this is the Torah of the sin offering, and this is the Torah of this, etc. It says, “Behold, a man will carry holy meat in the wing of his garment," meaning like in a little fold, "and the wing of his garment shall touch bread or stew or wine or fat or any food, shall it become holy? And the priest answered and said, No.” So maybe read that in your translation, verse 12.

Jono: You know what? I just got diverted, and I'm actually in Numbers, chapter 4, verse 15, which says, "And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary, and all the furnishings on the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them that they shall not touch any holy thing lest they die."

Nehemia: That was really interesting. Thanks for reading that.

Jono: Hang on, let me get this right. "The sons of Kohath shall come to carry them, they shall not touch any holy thing lest they die," and this is totally unrelated?

Nehemia: I suppose it is sort of related, but first you have to read Haggai 2:12, because what Numbers is talking about is the way they got around that; they would then cover it with a sheet.

Keith: “If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment and the fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or any other food, does it become consecrated? The Priests answered, No.” Continue?

Nehemia: This goes back to what we just read in Leviticus 6:11, or verse 18 in the English, and there are other verses that have a similar concept that, when sacrificial meat touches something else it becomes holy. What does that mean, it becomes holy? Let’s say it’s a loaf of bread; what that means is that you can then only eat that bread in a holy place, or a clean place, depending on the type of meat, and it can only be eaten by a priest. This has significance.

What Haggai is talking about is that, it’s true that if the meat touches it…but if the meat is wrapped in something and then touches it, it doesn’t transfer through the garment. It has to touch it directly. That’s how it relates to that verse in Numbers that you read, because there it talks about how, if you cover the holy thing, there’s a separation and it doesn’t transfer. Now read the next verse in Haggai, where he talks about a different scenario.

Keith: “And Haggai said, 'If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?' 'Yes,' the priests replied, 'it becomes defiled.'”

Nehemia: What this is essentially saying is that we have two scenarios. One is that somebody touches something directly and it transfers ritual uncleanness; defilement. The other is when you have holy meat, that holy meat also has to touch the thing directly. If there is a sheet or a garment between the two, it doesn’t transfer it through the garment. If you read Haggai and you’ve never heard of this in the Torah, you have no idea what he’s talking about. In fact, in your translation, Jono, where it says, anybody who touches it must be holy, the verse in Haggai would say, where did the priest get that? Did they read the same Leviticus that I read? Whereas, they obviously read it in Hebrew and so they knew what it said. People can read the rest of the prophecy in Haggai by themselves. It goes from verse 10 to 19, a very interesting passage.

Keith: I just wanted to bring up this again. This is in verse 20. We talked about it before, but I want to talk about it again in relationship to the actual priests themselves, since we’re in the book of Leviticus. It says in Leviticus 6:20, “This is the offering Aaron and his sons are to bring to Yehovah on the day that he…” and then it says this wonderful little word, “…is anointed.” And the reason I want to bring this up again is that I want to bring up this idea…would it be fair for us to say that the priest, being anointed, would be anointed of Yehovah?

Jono: Yes.

Keith: I want to bring up this question again. What do we believe that the priest’s roll really was? In relationship to God and the people, if I were to ask you, "What was his role", what would you say? I just want you guys to do it from your traditions. Jono, you first. When you think of the priest, what was his role?

Jono: Strictly in a nutshell, I would say that his role was specifically to serve Yehovah.

Keith: To serve Yehovah. Okay, that’s what you would say. And Nehemia, what would you say?

Nehemia: I would say one of the primary roles is to bring the sacrifices and protect the entire sacrificial system, which on the one hand is extremely holy, and on the other hand is extremely dangerous. What I mean by ‘dangerous’ is, we have this example of carrying the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and somebody thinks it’s about to fall and he stretches out his hand, a guy named Uza, and he’s stricken down, because he’s about to touch something holy that he’s not allowed to directly touch, like the passage in Numbers that Jono just read to us. On one hand it has this great holiness, on the other hand there’s a danger in that, and so their job is essentially to protect the people from that, in a sense. They have to follow all these rules and regulations that the average person on a daily basis really doesn’t have to even worry about, except when he comes in contact with the things that they’re in charge of.

Then, if you look in Leviticus 16, when we’ll get there, the main part of the ceremony on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, has to do with the defilement of that holiness. Because we’re human and we’re always going to fall short, and when we fall short, when it comes to the holiness, it’s a really big deal. Maybe we could just quickly read that in Leviticus 7:20-21. We have all these laws about purity and ritual impurity, and we ask, "When will this ever affect me?" We've always talked about how, if you go into the Temple…and I always try to add as a side note, ‘or touch holy things, or touch things related to the Temple’. We're getting this from, among other places, also Leviticus 22. But here is one of the passages. Here it’s talking about the meat of the peace offering and it says in Leviticus 7:20-21…one of you guys?

Jono: “For the person who eats it and who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of the peace offering that belongs to Yehovah, while he is unclean, that person shall be cut off from his people. Moreover, the person who touches any unclean thing such as a human uncleanness, an uncleaned animal or any abominable unclean thing…" or I guess, we talked about this before, any swarming thing, is that correct?

Nehemia: Detestable thing; actually, that’s not swarming thing, that’s a different word.

Jono: Okay, that's it? Do you want me to keep going?

Nehemia: Did you finish that verse?

Jono: "…and who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of the peace offering that belongs to Yehovah, that person shall be cut off from His people.”

Nehemia: Okay, so this is a really serious thing. So, you’re the average Israelite citizen, you’re not a kohen, you're not a priest, you’re just from the tribe of Ephraim or Judah, and you’re bringing the sacrifice. Under this very specific circumstance you’ve all of a sudden got to follow all these rules and regulations that, on a daily basis, you don’t really have much interaction with. The priests have to do this all the time. So, the way I understand it, their job is to protect the Tabernacle where Yehovah’s presence is dwelling and protect the rituals that go on in that context. Their job is also to teach the people about those things; they have the role also of teaching. But in this context their role is really to preserve the holiness of the Temple, and not let the people come in direct contact with that dangerous element.

Keith: Excellent. So, the question being, “What is this role of the priest?” And Jono, you had a very concise response. Nehemia, you saw it in terms of them protecting them from that which is holy. Let me just give you what I’ve always seen, and then I’m going to ask one other question in this portion.

When I’ve thought about this idea of the priest, I always thought of him as the one that would connect God’s command and how he wants to be treated, and then the people wanting to figure out how they can approach God, whether that be through their offering or through whatever idea of Him being holy, and saying, okay, I’m going to put this place on the earth where I’m going to show you through how I want it to be designed and how I want it to smell and how I want it to look.

And then I’m going to have these priests that are going to be, if I can use this word carefully, sort of the brokers, the mediators between God, as the Holy One, and the people that want to approach Him. And they have a certain standard that they’re living by and like Nehemia said, if they don’t live by that standard, literally they’re putting their lives and others’ lives at risk. So that’s kind of how I saw this.

My question is, in regard to the other functions, the other offices that we see presently today; does the present-day rabbi act as the priest? Does the present-day preacher act as the priest, or is there another role that took place in the system for them? Or are they trying to have a dual role? The reason I’m bringing this up is because…I must ask this question for those that are out there, because I would want to ask the question. The present-day teacher, rabbi, priest and pastor…pastor, because in Protestant tradition we don't use the word priest; of course, in the Catholic tradition they use the word priest, so maybe they've got that covered, but is there another role in the Temple for the present-day rabbi/pastor? Before you answer, you said that the priests were teaching.

Nehemia: Right. That’s in Deuteronomy.

Keith: Okay, so this is the question that I want to ask of us, and this is very important, I'm getting somewhere here. So, go ahead and answer that.

Nehemia: In Deuteronomy 21:5, it talks about, “The priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near,” in this particular ceremony, “for them Yehovah your God has chosen to serve Him and to bless the name of Yehovah.” Can I get an Amen?

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Amen

Nehemia: “…and according to them, shall be every strife, every argument and every leprosy.” What it’s talking about there is that, if you have these issues, if there’s an argument between people, or if there’s some kind of ritual question, you go to the priests. They’re the ones who are experts in those things, and that God has chosen them to bless His name and to be mediators. Basically, they’re teaching the people what God’s commandments are.

Then we have in 24:8 something we’ll probably get back to, where it talks about this whole thing of leprosy, which we’ll have a whole Torah portion on, which will probably the shortest Torah portion in the history of Torah portions because I don’t know what there is to say about it. It says here, “A case of a plague of the tzara’at,” which is usually translated as “leprosy.” “Be very careful to keep it according to all that the Levitical priests teach you. As I commanded them you shall diligently do.” And we have other verses as well that talk about diligently doing what the… that’s also in Deuteronomy 17:8. It talks about if you have a disagreement then you come to the Levitical priests, and you have to do according to what they teach you. So, they have this teaching role.

Sometimes God’s commandments won’t be clear, or there will be disagreements about them, and the role of the Levitical priest is to teach the people how to keep God’s commandments. Ultimately, it goes back to the high priest; that’s the one we talked about who has the Urim and Tumim, who then, if he doesn’t know, he asks God. He doesn’t just make it up. That’s the whole system in the Torah.

Keith: The reason I’m bringing this up is that we’ve had this idea in the Tanakh regarding the priest. As we’re going through the Torah portions, we find that Moses comes from Levi, Aaron is playing the role as the high priest, and his sons will be operating in this way. When did it become an issue where it’s no longer the priest, but then a person who’s outside of the Levitical line would function in that way? That’s my question that I want to ask you two, because when I get to Leviticus 6:20 and it says, “This is the offering in which Aaron and his sons are to present to Yehovah on the day that he is anointed," so we have this idea of being anointed as a mashiach, a messiah. When did it become this other group? My role, for example, in the Protestant movement, would be to be the pastor/teacher, but in the Catholic tradition they would say, "This is father so and so, who is a priest." So, are those roles the same, and is there another role?

Jono: I remember having a conversation with an Anglican priest, the Church of England, when we lived up in the Blue Mountains, a scenic and beautiful area. He would like to wear the robes; he was one of these guys who liked to wear his bed outside. When I asked him about that he said, “Well, I know not many people do this, but it’s in the bible.” And he would refer to Leviticus, and he recognized himself somehow as a Levitical priest. But how did that happen, is the question you’re asking.

Keith: Exactly. The reason I’m bringing it up on purpose is this idea of the priest being a messiah, being anointed, and what the intention of that was, and how that’s now been completely, if I could say, switched. And we have the kings that are anointed…

Nehemia: Usurped.

Keith: That’s the word I was looking for, Nehemia. It has been usurped. And I bring it up simply as one who comes from that line, not Levitical; Methodist. Where they say, "Okay, we go all the way back and here’s where this happened, he was ordained, he was ordained." But the ending of it is not Aaron and his descendants. Actually, in my tradition it goes back simply to Peter. Peter who went here to here to here...I’m not trying to move into the New Testament here, but I’m trying to bring up an idea that being anointed was for this Levitical line, at least on this issue regarding the priest, and I think we could go all the way through the Tanakh and talk about the importance of the anointed priest, the one who’s teaching.

Jono: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we’ve touched on this before. Don’t we first see this in the case of Jeroboam?

Nehemia: We see it before that, with Micah in Judges 17, and then Jeroboam takes it to a whole other level where he makes it the law of the land.

Keith: Yes. I think it’s important. We'll get to talk this maybe when we deal with the Prophets regarding the anointed and the priests' role versus the messiah. I think it's important for people to realize that this idea of the priesthood, and what the role would be, and how that may be the new way of doing it, but I think it’s a dangerous issue.

Jono: I wanted to ask you, Keith, as you went through the ropes, as you studied and went through bible college and so on and so forth, and then you became "ordained”; how did you become ordained? What is the process of that?

Keith: One of the things that’s so interesting about it, and I mentioned this some portions ago, and I didn't know the reason for it, but basically, I took the papers off my wall and put them outside, and I shared that I no longer identify particularly with those pieces of paper. It’s not some big radical thing, it’s just that, from the process of learning, I wanted to go back and try to understand just what this bible is, that I’ve got all these papers that say I know, is about.

But in my tradition, there are two levels. First you go through the process of education, then you go through the process of consecration. What consecration is, the first level is sort of being a deacon, a person who can serve, but you’re not yet at the level of an elder. An elder is the highest level, other than being a bishop. Once you become an elder then that’s the ordination. So, there are two processes. We consecrate you, set you apart as a deacon, and after two years, you’ve done such a great job, now you’re called an elder.

But the idea that they communicated to us is, that we’re going all the way back from the time of Peter being given the keys from Yeshua. And then I ask myself this question, "So what role was Yeshua operating in? The Levitical line, or another line?" That’s another discussion. But in terms of the priestly role, they didn’t really talk to us about that. That wasn’t something that we were connected to. We weren’t connected to the priestly role; we’ll let the Catholics deal with that. There’s another role, and I keep looking in the Tanakh, trying to figure out where in the Temple is my role. I just don’t see it here.

Nehemia: Does there have to be a role for you in the Temple?

Keith: Yeah, I do this, I get that. We pick and choose which things we get to connect with and I’m just wondering, as we’re reading through here, where that role is. And I’m sure some people are listening and saying, "Keith, why are you bringing this up?" I’m bringing it up because I do think there’s something that happens in our religious movements, and that’s what I call “the cherry picking” or “the picking and the choosing.” This part we like. We like the idea of being the one who’s explaining the things of God, we don’t like this issue regarding sacrifice, we like this issue of being able to get the money, we like this issue of being able to eat the tithe. That’s why we have so many larger priests and pastors, because they love to do that. They’re eating constantly.

Nehemia: Are you poking fun at people's weight?

Keith: No, no, no. Twice a day they're eating, are you kidding me? They're eating constantly. Am I right or wrong?

Jono: There’s a lot of food, there’s a lot of sacrifices; a lot of that is given to them.

Keith: Exactly. My point is that there’s sort of the picking and choosing, and I don’t want to go too much further in this, but I think it’s really important to ask the question; what is the root of what it is that we do? I’d like to find that out. Here we’ve got the messiah, the anointed one, who’s operating as a priest. That's a really important…

Jono: Yes, the messiah that's operating as a priest. In the back of your mind, in all those years, Keith, did it ever really quite sit with you as you went through your Old Testament trying to find where exactly you fitted into this picture, to this model?

Keith: That wasn’t so much the issue for us because we started backwards. We started in the New Testament and then went back to the Old Testament. It was sort of retroactive; let’s first talk about the important stuff, now let’s find out where we can fit, and pick, and choose. It really is quite interesting, this is what I love about us doing this, just really trying to get an idea, first of all, what it was that it meant then, and then the understanding of how we can apply it now. I don’t think you can give the application now unless you understood what it meant then. And that’s what’s so helpful, Nehemia, with the details of some of these things, because there are really things that many times we just pass over. I certainly passed over, except for the last few years where I've had to slow down and go verse by verse, and it’s been really enlightening, and I hope people are being enlightened by it. That’s my only message for today. I think it’s a good time for us to say a prayer. Jono, how about you this time?

Jono: Yes, I can say the prayer. Psalm 119:18: “Yehovah, we pray that you will open our eyes that we may see the wondrous hidden things of your Torah.” Amen.

Keith and Nehemia: Amen.

Jono: And this is chapter 8, isn’t it?

Nehemia: There are still a few things in chapter 7. First of all, kind of a little point which is in 7:18; can one of you read that?

Jono: “And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed to him, it shall be an abomination to him who offers it, and the person who eats it shall bear guilt.”

Nehemia: So, what it’s saying here is that, basically, the peace offering, which is for a vow or an oath, is to be eaten on the first day and on the second day, and the third morning you have to then burn it. Keith, can you read that in your translation?

Keith: “If any meat of the fellowship offering is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted, it will not be credited to the one who offered it for it is impure…”

Nehemia: So, the word “impure” has a very specific definition. It’s important, because people have taken that word and said, well, what’s “impure”? Then they read in Ezekiel 4:14, and here God has told Ezekiel, "Eat this certain thing," which I won’t go into it because there are children listening, but you can read the passage. And he responds, saying, “Aha!" That's what it actually says in the Hebrew, "Aha Lord Yehovah, behold, my soul has never become ritually unclean and a corpse and a torn animal I’ve not eaten from my youth until now, and unclean food has never come into my mouth.”

Jono: Hang on, what verse is this?

Nehemia: That's Ezekiel 4:14.

Jono: Let me just get this right, because didn't Yehovah ask him to cook a certain thing? Are you saying that he had to…

Nehemia: Yeah, which was unclean.

Jono: He didn't have to eat that. He just…

Nehemia: Well, the way that they cooked was that, they would take this particular object and they would light it on fire, and they'd take the dough and put it directly on that burning piece of…item, and then some of it would rub off on to the bread, and if you were eating that then you were eating crow.

So, in any event, he's like, "I’m not supposed to eat that," and in the NIV it says, “No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth.” What is this unclean meat that it’s talking about? And some people have said, "Oh, what that means is, if a menstruating woman touches the meat and it becomes unclean, then I can’t eat it, and that’s what Ezekiel is talking about." I've actually heard people say this. What it says here in Ezekiel 4:14, the word there is the same exact word that appears only in the context of the meat on the third day of a peace offering. It appears twice in Leviticus, once in our verse, and once later on. And that’s the meaning of pigul; it’s a technical term for meat from the third day on, and of a peace offering. It doesn’t refer to every unclean meat, such as meat that touched a dead body, or something like that. What it means specifically is, meat from the third day forward. That’s what he means when he says, “No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth.”

So, he’s saying, "Look, I don’t eat unclean things, I don’t eat things that are forbidden. I don’t eat corpses and things like that…” because that’s also forbidden in the Torah, “…so I don’t want to eat this particular thing that you’ve told me to eat.” Then God says, "Okay, you’re right. Don’t eat that, eat something else, from a cow." So that’s a little point that you wouldn’t ever know, unless you read it in Hebrew. There’s another thing here, which is the whole issue of khelev. Did we talk about that? About the forbidden fat? We’ve got to look at this verse if we can, really quickly; Leviticus 7. I'm going to ask you to read verses 23-27.

Jono: I happen to have a question about that. “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the people of Israel, saying, You shall not eat any fat of ox or sheep or goat, and the fat of the animal that dies naturally, the fat of what is torn by wild beasts may be used in other ways, but you shall by no means eat it, for whoever eats the fat of an animal, of which men offer an offering made by fire to Yehovah, the person who eats it shall be cut off from his people. Moreover, you shall not eat any blood in any of your dwellings whether bird or beast, whoever eats blood that person shall be cut off from his people.'”

Nehemia: So, we have two things here. One is the forbidden fat, and we talked about how that’s not the fat in your marbled meat; that’s specifically six types of fat. Generally, most people would encounter suet, which they use for pastries in the western world, and for cooking as well, and as a fuel. So, what this is saying is that you may not eat the suet, the chelev, this forbidden fat, of three species of animals; the bull, the sheep and the goat. Now, why is it the bull, sheep and goat? It explains, in verse 25, that they are animals that are offered as sacrifices. So, what that means is that, you’re actually allowed to eat the suet of a deer or a gazelle, or an antelope, because those are animals that can’t be offered for sacrifices, so they don’t fall under the category of the forbidden fats. Those fats, it says, for the animal that essentially has become invalidated as a sacrifice; that is, the animal was killed by a wild animal, or died of natural causes. In those instances, you can use it for work, which means as a fuel, or as a lubricant as well in ancient times. So that’s concerning the forbidden fat. And then concerning the blood, this is a very important verse. Verse 26, “And all blood you shall not eat in all your habitations of the bird and of the animal.” So, what’s not included here in the prohibition of blood? There’s something here not included that tells me I’m allowed to eat that blood. Which would be…

Jono: Fish?

Nehemia: Fish. It says nothing about the blood of fish. And the blood of fish is actually quite different than the blood of birds and land animals. That’s the three categories in the Torah. There is flying animals, land animals and sea animals. The fish or the sea animals are not included in this prohibition. It’s only birds and land animals.

Jono: Let me just ask a question, Nehemia, just to be absolutely clear. Is there anywhere in the Tanakh where there is a precedent for eating or drinking blood? Or, is it absolutely, totally and utterly forbidden?

Nehemia: To eat and drink blood? That’s one of the first prohibitions that God gave to Noah just after the flood. We looked at that in one of the earlier Torah portions. That was part of the covenant that God made, not just with Israel but with all mankind, before the covenant he made with Israel. It was that they must not eat blood. You can eat flesh from now on, but don’t eat blood. That was over there back in Genesis chapter 9. Are we done with the meat, the blood…?

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: Okay, so I want to jump back really quick to Leviticus 6:23, which is a very interesting verse that you could blur over and not really pay attention to what it is saying. Somebody read that.

Jono: "For every grain offering for the priest shall be…"

Nehemia: I'm sorry, add 7 verses, so it's verse 30.

Jono: “No sin offering from which any of the blood is brought back into the Tabernacle of Meeting to make atonement in the holy place shall be eaten; it shall be burned in the fire.”

Nehemia: That’s really interesting. There are two types of sin offerings, and in Jewish sources this is referred to as the internal sin offerings and the external sin offerings. The internal ones are ones that, the blood is brought into the Tabernacle, and later into the Temple, and in the case of Yom Kippur it’s actually sprinkled in the Holy of Holies, if I’m not mistaken. In the case of these other sacrifices, it’s specifically brought and sprinkled on the curtain, the parokhet. So, if you look at, for example, Leviticus 4:6, we see an example of one of those. Could somebody read that?

Jono: “The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before Yehovah, in front of the veil of the sanctuary.”

Nehemia: So, he actually brings the blood into the veil of the sanctuary. That’s an internal sin offering, and for that type of sin offering, which was specifically for the high priest, the priest is not allowed to eat of that flesh. In 4:30 we have a sin offering for an individual. So, if you look at Leviticus 4:30, you see the sin offering of the individual, and maybe you can read that, and you’ll see something different is done with the blood. It’s not brought in; it’s an external sin offering.

Jono: “Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering and pour the remaining blood at the base of the altar.”

Nehemia: So, it never actually goes into the sanctuary, because, remember; the altar of the burnt offering is outside of the internal sanctuary. It’s in the courtyard. So, he pours the blood at the base, puts some of it on the horns of the altar; that’s the external type of the sin offering. So, there are two types. Whenever you have sin offerings there are the internal and external, and if you jump to Leviticus 16:14, there is the bull of the high priest brought on Yom Kippur. What does it say there?

Jono: 16:14 says, “And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.”

Nehemia: That’s actually in the Holy of Holies, and so there, it's therefore an internal sin offering, and he may not eat of that meat; it has to be completely burnt. So those are the two categories. Then we have the really interesting thing, which, if you were just a casual reader paying attention to these details you’d say, "It's a contradiction." And the contradiction, remember, thesis and antithesis; we get the synthesis. It's Leviticus 8:15…

Jono: “And Moses killed it, then he took the blood and put some on the horns of the altar all around with his finger and purified the altar. He poured the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it…”

Nehemia: I’m going to stop you here. Is this an internal or an external sin offering?

Jono: This looks to be internal.

Nehemia: No, it’s external, because it’s on the horns of the altar, and all around the altar. It doesn’t actually enter into the Holy of Holies. You have the courtyard, then the Holy and Holy of Holies. It doesn't enter into the holier Holy of Holies; it stays out in the courtyard with the altar. And then verse 16…

Jono: “Then he took all the fat that was on the entrails and the fatty lobe attached to the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar, but the bull, its hide, its flesh, its offal, he burned with fire outside the camp as Yehovah commanded.”

Nehemia: Let me stop you there. So, he burned the flesh outside the camp. I thought he was allowed to eat it if it’s an external offering. That’s what we’ve just read back in Leviticus 6:30. The last part of the verse is what tells us the answer, “…as Yehovah commanded Moses.” So, this is an exception to the rule that was specifically commanded; that although it’s external, the flesh is not eaten. Where was it commanded? Well, Leviticus 8, almost in its entirety, is taken from Exodus, chapter 29. In Exodus 29 is the commandment, and the carrying out of the commandment, the execution, is Leviticus 8.

Jono: My word. Keith, I’ve got to say…I have to be honest, let me just confess. Even though I've gone to "bible college" and got a degree in theology, I’ve got so little idea as to what is going on in these passages, and I’m listening to Nehemia and here I am saying, this is going to be quick, fellas, let’s just knock this over quickly. And I’m listening to Nehemia and I’m thinking, I still don’t fully understand this, it’s just so difficult to gel in my brain, because the foundations are just not set in as far as study in this portion, and obviously I had to do a whole lot more work. Did you go through this, Keith?

Keith: No, that’s why I really do think it’s so important to be able to believe this to be the word of God. This is the word of God just like Genesis, chapter 1, is the word of God; just like Daniel is the word of God. People spend hours and weeks and months and years trying to figure out the exact time at the end, it is coming based on their reading of one section of Daniel and not reading all of the word of God. So, what I've loved about taking a different approach to this, and specifically the Torah, is this idea…and Nehemia talks about this a lot, of reading one verse and never making a connection to where else it mattered or where it was that that verse is connected to other parts of the Torah.

I personally think that the approach to study that I have been able to have from my past school, what I loved about it was, and I love to say this story, the school that I went to, there were three different main schools in the Evangelical movement that they would use. One was called “Fuller Seminary,” one was called “Dallas Seminary,” and one was called “Trinity”. Trinity is the one that I went to, and they would say of these different schools, if it was raining down in Dallas the professor would stand up and say it was raining, and the students at the Dallas Theological Seminary would just say, "Oh, it’s raining today." If they did this at Fuller and they said it was raining, the students at Fuller would say, "What is rain?" And at Trinity what they’d say is, "It's raining. Go outside, touch the rain, feel the rain, make sure it’s not a movie rain, it's real rain coming from the sky." And so, the blessing is in approaching it from this way that Nehemia has actually shared with me; the idea that words matter. Context matters and how these things connect with each other, and again, for those that are listening, why it’s so important to have access to the language. Because we’ve seen over and over again, the English language may in fact, or because of translation, give us a little bit of a different meaning than maybe what the actual words mean. So, it's all good.

Jono: The entirety of chapter 8 really is what we might refer to as the consecration, or the ordination, of Aaron and his sons. Nehemia, is there anything else in this Torah portion that you want to pull out?

Nehemia: Well, we can talk about this for another three hours, but I'm going to…

Jono: Keith?

Keith: I just think that this is a blast to go through this again line by line, issue by issue.

Jono: So, we would encourage, and I’m encouraging myself, to go back and read it again and just try and get it straight and get it set in my mind until I understand really what's going on. Nehemia, thank you for all the detail that you've brought us, because I didn’t see that coming. I thought this was going to be really quick, but obviously, what it’s all saying to me is that I’ve got a lot more homework to do. There it is, my friends. Thank you, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Next week we are in Pesach. How did that happen, Nehemia? We’re going back to Exodus, right?

Nehemia: How did this happen? On Passover there is a special portion that they read which isn’t the regular Torah portion, because there is always a Shabbat that falls out during Passover.

Jono: So, what we're going to do is, next week, because it’s Pesach, we’re going to put that portion back up for people to revisit, and we hope you enjoy that. Until then, dear listeners, be blessed, be set apart by the truth of our Father’s word. Shalom.

You have been listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

We hope the above transcript has proven to be a helpful resource in your study. While much effort has been taken to provide you with this transcript, it should be noted that the text has not been reviewed by the speakers and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to support our efforts to transcribe the teachings on NehemiasWall.com, please visit our support page. All donations are tax-deductible (501c3) and help us empower people around the world with the Hebrew sources of their faith!

Subscribe to "Nehemia's Wall" on your favorite podcasts app!
iTunes | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn

Share This Teaching

Thank you for supporting my research and teachings through my nonprofit, Makor Hebrew Foundation. Together we are empowering people around the world with vital information about the Hebrew sources of their faith!

Related Posts:
Prophet Pearls - Tzav (Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23)
Torah and Prophet Pearls
Hebrew Voices Episodes
Support Team Studies
Nehemia Gordon's Teachings on the Name of God

12 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #25 – Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

  1. A question regarding the ‘holy’, clean or unclean things, and touching them… Yehovah God knows our hearts and our desire and attempts to be holy as He is holy… if we have accepted Him as The Creator God, The Most Holy One… for those of us who are Christians, having accepted Jesus as His Son, Who also is Holy… does His Spirit not reside within us?… Would not that make us holy… as holy as any ‘temple’ can be living in a world full of ordinary living where we might ‘defile’ our body unintentionally by touching things not to be touched.

  2. The word for shoulder ( zerowah ) is also in Genesis 49:24. I guess it can mean arm too. Shoke also means shoulder.

  3. I’m unclear about your distinction in the sin offerings (internal/external). I read that a sin offering’s blood is put on the horns of the altar of incense inside the Tabernacle. The fat is burned on the altar outside and the animal itself is taken outside the camp and burned. I do not see any contradictions in this based on the animal containing blood at all. It seems to read that a bull or goat or lamb is treated the exact same way, blood carried inside and placed on the interior altar, fat is burned on altar of burnt offerings in courtyard and the rest of the animal is treated the same way and burned outside of the camp. Nothing left to be eaten by anyone.
    The only difference is a grain offering wherein a portion of that person’s offering is sprinkled on top of someone else’s fat offering and the rest is given to the Priest. In other words, I do not find an interior/exterior differentiation. Nor do I find that a Priest ate any of the animal at all. What am I missing?

    • In fact, since you are telling us that these verses in Lev are simply the execution of the command in Ex 29, Ex 29 says that the animal is not eaten at all but burnt completely. I do not see where any animal is eaten if offered as a sin offering.

      • In re-reading it, I now see the two different altars. It seems the distinction is whether or not the sin offering is from the Priest or the people and that determines whether or not it is taken inside. But I still do not see that any animal from any sin offering (not burnt offering) is consumed. The only thing consumed is the remaining portion of the grain offering wherein the poor person could participate in the sin offering without blood but by sprinkling their offering ON TOP of someone else’s blood offering (fat portion). Does the Hebrew say differently?

  4. Thank you guys for being brave and honest in bringing up some of the topics and questions that you do, specifically Keith in this particular portion. Hard topics to bring up but absolutely necessary!!!! I only wish we didn’t have to tread so softly and that everyone was willing to throw out traditions of men for the truth of the Torah.

  5. IMHO, based on study and experience, the Documentary Hypothesis was devised so that [secular] academics could make a living arguing in the literature about who wrote what, all without ever actually considering “What does it say?”.

  6. Nehemia, your BOOKS are such a blessing! I don’t have a life that allows me to SIT and LISTEN so I miss all these lessons on vocal download. Is there a way to get these in print, or voice-on-CD, or (even better) DVDs? Even my one-year-old grandson watches your DVD over and over! Thanks and may Yehovah bless your life and work!

  7. The discussion raises two important issues among many – !) The role of the modern pastor/teacher, which appears to be both individually and institutionally self-appointed; and the contrast of tabernacle/temple regulations and timings versus our Father’s instruction that his people be obedient to his set-apart Word. Unless I am missing something, we moderns are missing the mark far worse that our predecessors, indicating that the judgement we will receive will be likewise far more severe. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all who do not hear his voice or do not respond when they do. Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath.

  8. Shalom. My understanding of the word Shok is leg, hind leg or fore leg or lower part of leg. Zeroa i understand to mean the arm, lower arm, shoulder but can also mean strength, power, might, army and violence. I guess further study on these things may shed light…
    Toda

Please leave a comment.