The Holiness of Sex – Part 1
Holiness is the major Biblical heading of our readings today, and the original
Hebrew heading of today’s chapter was not “Leviticus 12” but “Tazria” -
“When a Woman Conceives.” The subject is the holiness of sex.
God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Man is part
earthly, and part heavenly.
It is said that in three ways man is like the angels, and in three ways like
beasts. The three ways we are like beasts are in eating, in reproducing, and in
relieving ourselves. In these three ways, we are to elevate ourselves above the
animals – we are to be holy.
Last week we looked at how we are to be holy in the way we eat. We are to eat
what God has created for food. God has given us for food animals that split the
hoof and chew the cud, sea creatures that have fins and scales, birds as
enumerated in Torah, and insects that jump with their hind legs (Leviticus
9-11). We are instructed to bless Yahweh before we eat – to bless Him as the
creator of the food. We are instructed to Bless Yahweh after we eat for the
prosperous land in which He has placed us (Deuteronomy 8:10). We cannot
legitimately bless Yahweh for things that He has not given us. These
instructions set us apart from the animals, and help us learn to be holy.
Today we consider how Yahweh made the marital sexual relationship holy, and how
we are to act in ways that elevate us above the animals. As the Apostle Paul
affirmed (1 Thessalonians 5:18), we should give thanks in all things – that is,
we should bless Yahweh for all things He gives us, as we use those things. There
is a blessing for the marital relationship, but we cannot legitimately bless
Yahweh for sexual behavior that He forbids.
Firstly, let us review some background from our past Torah studies.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God covered them with skin. The
Bible says nothing about animal skin (except in very liberal translations). An
ancient Hebrew understanding is that they were covered with human skin –
foreskin and hymen. Henceforth, they would bear children that would inherit
Adams nature of sin. The children would be (tazria) conceived in a state
of (chet) sin, and born with a nature of (avon) iniquity – they
would not have to be trained to sin, but would rather need training to be holy.
David said, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother
conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). David’s father and mother did not sin in having a
sexual relationship, and the conception was holy – but there was (tumah)
spiritual impurity. “The creation of human life is the most sublime phenomenon
in the universe. By bringing it into being, man and woman become partners with
God, Who gives soul to their offspring. But this new life begins with tumah,
spiritual impurity” (Chumash: Tazria).
A boy is to be circumcised on the eighth day after he is born (Genesis
17:10-12). This is seen as representing going back to the state before the fall
of Adam – before the covering of skin. The blood of the circumcision is called a
token of the covenant – the covenant of his father to bear a child for the
Kingdom of God. This portrays the eighth millennial day, when the child may be
completely holy eternally, the design of creation. This eighth-day circumcision
relates to the time following the seven days when a mother undergoes ritual
purification, in today’s chapter Tazria (verses 2-3).
When a woman marries, and the marriage is first
consummated, the hymeneal blood is called a token of her virginity – for the
covenant with her husband to bear children for the Kingdom of God, holy
offspring. The breaking of the hymen is seen as representative of going back to
the state before the fall into sin. This token of the hymeneal blood was saved
as the token that she had kept herself a virgin to bear children in holiness for
the Kingdom of God (Deuteronomy 22:15). Today’s chapter Tazria speaks of
this token hymeneal blood as maqor dam (verse
circumstances are not being addressed here for brevity sake.]
We should note here what the Apostle Paul said: “Such
(fornicators, adulterers) were some of you; but you were washed, but you were
sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah
and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
After Yeshua was born, He was circumcised on the eighth day (Luke 2:21). After
forty days (per today’s chapter Tazria), Mary brought offerings to the
Holy Temple – two doves (Luke 2:22-24). These were the offerings brought by the
poorest people (Leviticus 12:8). But why did she need to bring anything? There
are two reasons. Literally, she was fulfilling the Torah. Spiritually, this was
the ultimate situation for the picture in these offerings: she was really
without tumah / spiritual impurity from this conception – there was no
human father from whom a sin nature could be imparted.
We have seen Biblically that human conception is holy, a partnership with God
Who imparts the soul. Now let’s consider some more previous Scripture for
our God Who judges His creation, gave us His laws of moral behavior. God also
requires that man establish governments with justice systems and courts to
adjudicate problems and mete out fair punishments for lawlessness. Individuals
are forbidden to take revenge. Through Moses, God set Israel as a light to the
whole world (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, 60:3, Matthew 5:14), and established a supreme
court – the Sanhedrin. He gave them His Holy Spirit to impart His judgments to
His people, and ultimately to the world. “So
Moses went out and told the people the words of Yahweh. Also, he gathered
seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent.
Then Yahweh came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit
who was upon him and placed it upon the seventy elders” (Numbers 11:24-25).
Yahweh said, “What great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as
righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today? Only give heed
to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things
which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of
your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons” (Deuteronomy
said, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17) – the Sixth
Commandment. Yahweh said, “Whosoever sheds man’s blood, by man (through the
human court) shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man”
(Genesis 9:6). God gave His supreme court, 3500 years ago, the authority to
interpret this and mete out the penalties.
Talmud we have sixty-three tractates. This book is one tractate – Sanhedrin.
This is a history of the rules of the Sanhedrin – the Supreme Court that God
established 3500 years ago. This Court said the following rule applies even to a
heathen court: “A heathen is executed for the violation of the seven Noachian
Laws; the Divine Law having revealed this one – murder.” “He is executed even
for the murder of an embryo” (Sanhedrin 57a).
God imparts the soul
at Tazria – when a woman conceives; it is holy! We are required to treat
it as holy. Its intentional destruction is a capital offence by God’s judgment.
He did not ask the US Supreme Court’s opinion; rather, He requires them to seek
This is not to promote any political party or
candidate. However, this paragraph is pertinent to today’s portion:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally
supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal
abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to
weaken or undermine that right.
(The 2008 Democratic National Platform – Section
III Article 14 / Page 50)
God holds all of the
rights! Today we hear of all kinds of “rights” that God has not granted to us.
God retains the right to choose when we are conceived (when a soul is imparted)
and when we die (when a soul is taken) – except that He gave command for earthly
courts to apply capital punishment.
The Holiness of
Sex – Part 2
The original Hebrew
heading of today’s next chapter was not “Leviticus 13” but “Tzaraat” –
not “Leprosy” as it is commonly translated, but a divine discipline for slander
or sexual deviancy. The subject is still the holiness of sex.
The marriage bed is
holy (Hebrews 13:4). Yahweh, the Eternal Gracious One, created it to be
enjoyable by both parties. We should be grateful and seek His glory.
Adam and Eve were
created by God and instructed to populate the world. In 130 years, they had
three sons, and by Hebrew tradition three daughters who became the sons’ wives.
As the world’s population grew, and man’s condition deteriorated from Adam’s
perfection, God instituted protective regulations forbidding incest – marriage
between close relatives (Leviticus 20:17).
design is the marriage of one man and one woman; this is holiness. Yeshua
affirmed this when asked about divorce, using Adam and Eve as the standard
(Matthew 19:3-6). The hymen provides a blood covenant between husband and
wife, which ultimately reflects the blood covenant that we have through Yeshua.
Notice how that covenantal pairing can only be between a male & female (NDC).
Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18);
God’s judgment is death for adultery (Leviticus 20:10). God’s judgment is death
for bestiality (Leviticus 20:15-16). God’s judgment is death for homosexuality
(Leviticus 20:13). We will look at this in more detail in a few weeks.
Here is another pertinent quote:
A More Perfect Union
We support the full inclusion of all families,
including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal
responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive
bipartisan non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act
and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.
(The 2008 Democratic National Platform Section
III Article 16 / Page 52)
Is this only a personal matter? Should we be
In a previous lesson
about forgiveness, we saw that God’s requirement for believers is to seek to
overcome sin in our own lives, to seek repentance in others, and finally to seek
forcible legal action when there is no repentance. It is not “loving” to allow
sin to continue.
“Righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34). Sodom and Gomorrah were
overthrown for sin (Genesis 18:20) – not because of an enemy nation or monetary
problems, but because God judged them when they refused to govern themselves as
commanded. This was written for our example (1 Corinthians 10:11).
said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I did not
come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth
pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Torah until all
is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and
teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;
but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).
We can learn holiness; we can promote holiness. Then we will be blessed both
here and in eternity!
added Nov 13, 2008
Tzaraat for slander (from
Yeshua was a Torah-observant Jew (Yahudi),
and the apostles were all Hebrews, including Matthew and Luke (whose name is
common for a Hellenized Jew). Constantine and King James were anti-Semites.
Today, we are considering Torah-observance and some of God’s ancient
(toom-ah, impurity) refers to spiritual contamination, usually that which can be
transmitted to other people, even through things. Following the laws of tumah
from dead animals (previous chapter 11), we have the laws of tumah from
childbirth (chapter 12), and then the laws of tumah from slander (chapter
13). A person who is impure is called a metzora. A metzora who
is quarantined / separated is called a niddah.
And the sons of Israel who returned from exile and all those who had separated
themselves from the (tumah) impurity of the nations of the land to join them, to
seek Yahweh God of Israel, ate the Passover. And they observed the Feast of
Unleavened Breads seven days with joy, for Yahweh had caused them to rejoice,
and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in
the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
While tumah is a result of the
fall, it is not the same as sin: we are often required to become impure, though
that would make us unfit to enter the Holy Temple until cleansing. Tumah
relates to death – the result of the fall.
In chapter 11, it is from touching
dead animals or people – and we are required to bury our dead relatives, though
not while on duty performing the Temple service.
In chapter 12, it is from childbirth
– and since Adam’s fall, all are born “spiritually dead”. Spiritual
contamination is transmitted.
In chapter 13, it is from slander and
anger – which fall under the commandment category of murder (slander is
destroying another’s name). Isaiah 32:7 describes one who “devises wicked
schemes to destroy the afflicted with slander.” Slander and anger can
spiritually contaminate – spreading like fire.
At the birth of Yeshua, no spiritual
contamination was transmitted: Mary’s conception was “pure” (Matt 1:20); Yeshua
was sinless because He had no sinful earthly father. So, why did Mary wait the
required times and bring the required offerings for childbirth? Similarly, why
did Yeshua wash in the mikvah (Jordan baptistery)? John asked that, and Yeshua
answered: “It is proper to us to fulfill all of the Torah (all
righteousness)” – Matthew 3:15.
The total period of two levels of
impurity, after childbirth, are forty days for a boy and eighty days for a girl
child. We see this as likely relating to the curse from the time of Eve, not
from any individual sin of a mother related to childbirth, as some commentators
suggest. All explanations in both our Christian and Jewish commentaries seem
totally inadequate to show a reason for this difference.
(tza-ra-at) is commonly translated “leprosy.”
Leprosy is Hansen’s Disease. It is a
popular mistaken idea that, with this disease, people’s fingers and toes rot and
fall off. Actually, this is a disease of the nervous system, where people lose
feeling. As a result of being unable to feel, people unknowingly sustain burns,
animal bites, and other injuries. In poor southeast Asian countries and South
Pacific islands, where this disease is prevalent, rats may bite off fingers or
toes while one sleeps.
The quarantine for tzaraat is
not consistent with disease prevention methods. One stricken with tzaraat
is not considered unclean when the malady covers the entire body, but is unclean
when the body begins to heal (v.13:13). When a house is stricken (v.14:26), the
items inside are not quarantined. If a newlywed is stricken during a Festival,
he is not quarantined until the Festival is over!
The word tzora (singular form
of tzaraat) is a contraction of tozia ra, one who spreads slander
(Arachin 15b). Tzaraat was a physical manifestation of a spiritual
problem, a disciplinary punishment. Until the slanderer learned to overcome
slandering, he was quarantined from society, having to shout “Unclean!” to
anyone coming within hearing range. One stricken with tzaraat is called a
Biblical cases of tzaraat
indicate slander and anger preceding the malady.
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses
because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for
he had married a Cushite woman); 2 and they said, "Has Yahweh indeed
spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?" And Yahweh
heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who
was on the face of the earth.) 4 Suddenly Yahweh said to Moses and
Aaron and to Miriam, "You three come out to the tent of meeting." So the three
of them came out. 5 Then Yahweh came down in a pillar of cloud and
stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had
both come forward, 6 He said, "Hear now My words: if there is a
prophet among you, I, Yahweh, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I
shall speak with him in a dream. 7 "Not so, with My servant Moses, he
is faithful in all My household; 8 with him I speak mouth to mouth,
even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of Yahweh.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against My
servant, against Moses?" 9 So the anger of Yahweh burned against them
and He departed. 10 But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the
tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward
Miriam, behold, she was a metzora.
11 Then Aaron said to Moses, "Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account
this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned.
12 Oh, do not let her be like one dead, whose flesh is half eaten
away when he comes from his mother's womb!" 13 Moses cried out to
Yahweh, saying, "O God, heal her, I pray!" 14 But Yahweh said to
Moses, "If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for
seven days? Let her be shut up for seven days outside the camp, and afterward
she may be received again." 15 So Miriam was shut up outside the camp
for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again.
2 Chronicles 26:16
But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and
he was unfaithful to Yahweh his God, for he entered the temple of Yahweh to burn
incense on the altar of incense. 17 Then Azariah the priest entered
after him and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, valiant men. 18 They
opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn
incense to Yahweh, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to
burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will
have no honor from Yahweh God."
19 But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was
enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the tzaraat broke out on his
forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense.
Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was
leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also
hastened to get out because Yahweh had smitten him. 21 King Uzziah
was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate house, being a
leper, for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh. And Jotham his son was over
the king's house judging the people of the land.
A Psalm of David. O
Yahweh, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his
heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue,
nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
And today’s Psalm (77:13) says, “Your
way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God?”
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who chose us from among all peoples by
giving us Your Torah.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
Amen. 12:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses,
saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying:
'When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she
shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her
menstruation she shall be unclean. 3 'On the
eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 'Then she shall remain in the blood of her
purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any
consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of
her purification are completed.
Amen. 5 'But if she
bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her
menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for
sixty-six days. 6 'When the days of her purification are completed,
for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the
tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a
turtledove for a sin offering. 7 'Then he shall offer it before
Yahweh and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of
her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a
female. 8 'But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two
turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for an elevation offering and the
other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she
will be clean.'"
Amen. 13:1 Then
Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 "When a man has on the
skin of his body a swelling or a scab or a bright spot, and it becomes an
infection of tzaraat on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to
Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests. 3 "The priest
shall look at the mark on the skin of the body, and if the hair in the infection
has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of his
body, it is an infection of tzaraat; when the priest has looked at him,
he shall pronounce him unclean. 4 "But if the bright spot is white on
the skin of his body, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the
hair on it has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate him who has the
infection for seven days. 5 "The priest shall look at him on the
seventh day, and if in his eyes the infection has not changed and the infection
has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more
Amen. 6 "The
priest shall look at him again on the seventh day, and if the infection has
faded and the mark has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall pronounce
him clean; it is only a scab. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean. 7
"But if the scab spreads farther on the skin after he has shown himself to the
priest for his cleansing, he shall appear again to the priest. 8 "The
priest shall look, and if the scab has spread on the skin, then the priest shall
pronounce him unclean; it is tzaraat. 9 "When the infection of
tzaraat is on a man, then he shall be brought to the priest. 10
"The priest shall then look, and if there is a white swelling in the skin, and
it has turned the hair white, and there is quick raw flesh in the swelling,
11 it is a chronic tzaraat on the skin of his body, and the priest
shall pronounce him unclean; he shall not isolate him, for he is unclean.
Amen. 12 "If the
tzaraat breaks out farther on the skin, and the tzaraat covers all
the skin of him who has the infection from his head even to his feet, as far as
the priest can see, 13 then the priest shall look, and behold, if the
tzaraat has covered all his body, he shall pronounce clean him who has
the infection; it has all turned white and he is clean. 14 "But
whenever raw flesh appears on him, he shall be unclean. 15 "The
priest shall look at the raw flesh, and he shall pronounce him unclean; the raw
flesh is unclean, it is tzaraat. 16 "Or if the raw flesh turns
again and is changed to white, then he shall come to the priest, 17
and the priest shall look at him, and behold, if the infection has turned to
white, then the priest shall pronounce clean him who has the infection; he is
Amen. 18 "When
the body has a boil on its skin and it is healed, 19 and in the place
of the boil there is a white swelling or a reddish-white, bright spot, then it
shall be shown to the priest; 20 and the priest shall look, and
behold, if it appears to be lower than the skin, and the hair on it has turned
white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is the infection of
tzaraat, it has broken out in the boil. 21 "But if the priest
looks at it, and behold, there are no white hairs in it and it is not lower than
the skin and is faded, then the priest shall isolate him for seven days; 22
and if it spreads farther on the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him
unclean; it is an infection. 23 "But if the bright spot remains in
its place and does not spread, it is only the scar of the boil; and the priest
shall pronounce him clean.
Amen. 24 "Or if
the body sustains in its skin a burn by fire, and the raw flesh of the burn
becomes a bright spot, reddish-white, or white, 25 then the priest
shall look at it. And if the hair in the bright spot has turned white and it
appears to be deeper than the skin, it is tzaraat; it has broken out in
the burn. Therefore, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is an infection
of tzaraat. 26 "But if the priest looks at it, and indeed,
there is no white hair in the bright spot and it is no deeper than the skin, but
is dim, then the priest shall isolate him for seven days; 27 and the
priest shall look at him on the seventh day. If it spreads farther in the skin,
then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is an infection of tzaraat.
28 "But if the bright spot remains in its place and has not spread in
the skin, but is dim, it is the swelling from the burn; and the priest shall
pronounce him clean, for it is only the scar of the burn.
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living
Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who selected good prophets, delighting
in their words which were spoken truthfully.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the
Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,
and the prophets of truth and
II Kings 4:42 - 5:19
Amen. 42 Now a man came
from Baal-shalishah, and brought the man of God bread of the first fruits,
twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And he said, "Give
them to the people that they may eat." 43 His attendant said, "What,
will I set this before a hundred men?" But he said, "Give them to the people
that they may eat, for thus says Yahweh, 'They shall eat and have some left
over.'" 44 So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left
over, according to the word of Yahweh.
5:1 Now Naaman, captain of the
army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected,
because by him Yahweh had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant
warrior, but he was a metzora. 2
Now the Arameans had gone out in bands and had taken captive a little girl from
the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman's wife. 3 She said to
her mistress, "I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria!
Then he would cure him of his tzaraat." 4 Naaman went in and
told his master, saying, "Thus and thus spoke the girl who is from the land of
Israel." 5 Then the king of Aram said, "Go now, and I will send a
letter to the king of Israel." He departed and took with him ten talents of
silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes.
Amen. 6 He brought the
letter to the king of Israel, saying, "And now as this letter comes to you,
behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may cure him of his
tzaraat." 7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his
clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending
word to me to cure a man of his tzaraat? But consider now, and see how he
is seeking a quarrel against me." 8 It happened when Elisha the man
of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to
the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and
he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel." 9 So Naaman came
with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha.
10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan
seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean."
11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, "Behold, I thought, 'He
will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and
wave his hand over the place and cure the metzora.'
12 "Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than
all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned
and went away in a rage.
Amen. 13 Then his
servants came near and spoke to him and said, "My father, had the prophet told
you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when
he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean '?" 14 So he went down and dipped
himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and
his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.
15 When he returned to the man of God with all his company, and came and
stood before him, he said, "Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the
earth, but in Israel; so please take a present from your servant now." 16
But he said, "As Yahweh lives, before whom I stand, I will take nothing." And he
urged him to take it, but he refused. 17 Naaman said, "If not, please
let your servant at least be given two mules' load of earth; for your servant
will no longer offer elevation offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but
to Yahweh. 18 "In this matter may Yahweh pardon your servant: when my
master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand
and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of
Rimmon, Yahweh pardon your servant in this matter." 19 He said to
him, "Go in peace." So he departed from him some distance.
Amen. 7 "Before she
travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
Psalm 77 (To be sung.) For
the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.
1 My voice rises to God, and I
will cry aloud; my voice rises to God, and He will hear me. 2 In the
day of my trouble I sought the Lord; in the night my hand was stretched out
without weariness; my soul refused to be comforted. 3 When I remember
God, then I am disturbed; when I sigh, then my spirit grows faint. Selah. 4
You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5
I have considered the days of old, the years of long ago. 6 I will
remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit
ponders: 7 Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be
favorable again? 8 Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His
promise come to an end forever? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious,
or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah.
10 Then I said, "It is my
grief, that the right hand of the Most High has changed." 11 I shall
remember the deeds of Yahweh; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. 13
Your way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God? 14 You are
the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and
Joseph. Selah. 16 The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they
were in anguish; the deeps also trembled. 17 The clouds poured out
water; the skies gave forth a sound; Your arrows flashed here and there. 18
The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook. 19 Your way was in the sea and Your
paths in the mighty waters, and Your footprints may not be known. 20
You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Amen. 18 Now the birth of Yeshua
the Messiah was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph,
before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her,
desired to put her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an
angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do
not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in
her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His
name Yeshua, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all
this took place that what was spoken by Yahweh through the prophet might be
fulfilled, saying, 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a
Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with
us." 24 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of Yahweh
commanded him, and took her as his wife,
Amen. 21 And when eight
days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Yeshua, the
name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22 And
when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were
completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23
(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male that opens the
womb shall be called Holy to Yahweh "), 24 and to offer a sacrifice
according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two
"Blessed are You, Yahweh
our God, King of the Universe,
Rock of Ages, righteous
throughout all generations.
You are the faithful God,
promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,
for all Your words are true
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."