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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 37

Leviticus 16:1-34   -   Ezekiel 22:1-16   -   Psalm 81  -   Jude 1:6-21
 

 

Kislev 18, 5763 / Nov 23, 2002

Kislev 16, 5766 / Dec 17, 2005

Kislev 16, 5769 / Dec 13, 2008

Kislev 14, 5772 / Dec 10, 2011

Kislev 14, 5775 / Dec   6, 2014

Kislev 14, 5778 / Dec   2, 2017

 

Acharei / When They had Approached    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

For this lesson preceding Hanukkah / the Feast of Dedication of the Holy Temple, Leviticus 16:19 concerns consecrating the Holy Place.

 

This chapter details the service of Yom haKippurim / the Day of the Atonements. Last week concerned baptism, which is especially prescribed for the 40 days of repentance preceding this observance.

 

Tishrei 10 (Yom haKippurim) is the date that Moses returned with the second tablets of stone, after seeking forgiveness from God for the people who worshipped the golden calf.

Sivan 2          First ascent of Moses up Mt. Sinai

Sivan 3          Second ascent

Sivan 4          Third ascent

Sivan 6          Fourth ascent   (Shavuot)

Sivan 7          Fifth ascent

                            40 days

Tammuz 17   Moses returns, sees golden calf

Tammuz 18   Sixth ascent

                            40 days

Av 29            Moses returns

Av 30            Seventh ascent

                            40 days      (40 days of repentance)

Tishrei 10     Moses returns  (Yom haKippurim)         

            (From Exodus 19-32; see The Sequence of Events in the Old Testament by Eliezer Shulman.)

 

Ezekiel 44 speaks of sins requiring national atonements. (V.2) “And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations.” We see here that judgment is connected with the Day of the Atonements. Ezekiel 22:26 explains a failure of judgment: “Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.”

 

On this annual occasion, we consider, and confess, all kinds of sin: sins of omission and sins of commission; sins of attitude and sins of speech; sins of intent and sins of deed; willful sins and sins committed in ignorance. 1 John 1:9 reads, concerning believers, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

_______________

 

We start this reading with the reminder that Aaron’s two sons died for entering the Holy of Holies at the wrong time and with the wrong offerings. God warned: if Aaron entered the Holy of Holies at a wrong time, or in an impure state, he would die.

 

The incense service could be performed only once a year, and only by the High Priest. Aaron’s sons made an inappropriate incense offering, and died. Now we find that Aaron must make an incense offering in order to live, when entering the Holy of Holies. He must take a shovel full of fiery coals from the Brazen Altar in the courtyard, and his hands full of finely ground incense spices placed into a ladle. This was taken into the Holy of Holies, where the ladle of incense was poured onto the shovel of coals. The incense would make a cloud over the Ark cover. (See Yoma 4-5 for further detail.)

 

Aaron must offer a goat for himself and the purification of the Tabernacle. He must also go into the mikvah (baptistery) and put on certain garments. Only then could he represent the one without sin – Yeshua, who only could qualify to make real atonement for others. Yeshua needed no such offering for Himself.

 

Heb 7:26-27 – “For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”

 

The fact that Yeshua made atonements for us, once for all time, does not abolish the ordinances detailed herein. Yeshua said that He came, not to abolish, but to fulfill: fulfill therefore cannot be interpreted as abolish. The ordinances of offerings were prophetic pictures, and after Yeshua’s fulfillment of them, they become memorial pictures. All are not yet fulfilled, and none are abolished.

 

Aaron was required to offer two goats for atonements.

 

Firstly, the goat on which the lot fell for Yahweh, must be slain.

 

Secondly, the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel (the scapegoat), must be presented. Aaron must lay both hands upon the live goat’s head, confessing the sins of the people over it. Then it must be led into the wilderness, symbolic of Yeshua, taking our sins too far away to return.

 

In Temple times, this goat was led due east out of the Eastern Gate of the Temple grounds, to the top of the Mount of Olives. Then it was led to the top of nine more mountains, the tenth being Mount Azazel. [Show rock from Mt. Azazel.] Each mountain was a Sabbath day’s journey from the previous, so a young man of priestly descent waited at the top of each one, to take the goat to the next mountain (Yom haKippurim being a Holy Day, like a Sabbath). The goat was then cast backwards, over the steep side of Mount Azazel, into the Dead Sea. Each year at this season, oil or gasses came up from under the Dead Sea, and burned on the surface: it was called the Lake of Fire.

 

Thirdly, the goat on which the lot fell for Yahweh, the one that was slain, must be burned upon the altar. Its sweet aroma going up to God represents Yeshua’s righteousness, imputed to us, as a sweet aroma to God.

 

We must have our sins imputed to Yeshua, and His righteouness imputed to us – two atonements – to be qualified for the Kingdom of God. When, through faith, we have obtained this salvation, then we are led of the Holy Spirit to desire righteousness. We learn through observing the ordinances, such as Yom haKippurim. We grow by practicing God’s judgments – moral laws. We sanctify ourselves by observing God’s statutes: in other words, we learn to differentiate between the holy and the profane; we become separated for His service by walking in His ways, in contrast to the natural ways of the world.

 

God says, in Psalm 81:13-16, “Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries. Those who hate Yahweh would pretend obedience to Him; and their time of punishment would be forever. But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat; and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

 

Jude says (v.20-25), “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Yeshua the Messiah our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

 

We serve a great God who judges, and is gracious. We too are to learn proper judgment, and learn to be gracious.

 

Readings:

 

"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 Torah."

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Now Yahweh spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they had approached the presence of Yahweh and died. 2 Yahweh said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. 3 "Aaron shall enter the holy place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for an elevation offering. 4 "He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be girded with the linen sash and attired with the linen turban (these are holy garments). Then he shall bathe his body in water and put them on.

Reader 2Amen. 5 "He shall take from the congregation of the sons of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for an elevation offering. 6 "Then Aaron shall offer the bull for the sin offering which is for himself, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household. 7 "He shall take the two goats and present them before Yahweh at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 8 "Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for Yahweh and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 "Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for Yahweh fell, and make it a sin offering. 10 "But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before Yahweh, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.

Reader 3Amen. 11 "Then Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household, and he shall slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. 12 "He shall take a firepan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before Yahweh and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil. 13 "He shall put the incense on the fire before Yahweh, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the ark of the testimony, otherwise he will die. 14 "Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 "Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat.

Reader 4Amen. 16 "He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities. 17 "When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 "Then he shall go out to the altar that is before Yahweh and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar on all sides. 19 "With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it.

Reader 5Amen. 20 "When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. 21 "Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. 22 "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. 23 "Then Aaron shall come into the tent of meeting and take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there. 24 "He shall bathe his body with water in a holy place and put on his clothes, and come forth and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people. 25 "Then he shall offer up in smoke the fat of the sin offering on the altar.

Reader 6Amen. 26 "The one who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water; then afterward he shall come into the camp. 27 "But the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be taken outside the camp, and they shall burn their hides, their flesh, and their refuse in the fire. 28 "Then the one who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water, then afterward he shall come into the camp.

Reader 7Amen. 29 "This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; 30 for it is on this day that atonements shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before Yahweh. 31 "It is to be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute. 32 "So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father's place shall make atonements: he shall thus put on the linen garments, the holy garments, 33 and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar. He shall also make atonements for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 "Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year." And just as Yahweh had commanded Moses, so he did.

"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 Torah."

______________________

 

"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 righteousness."

 

Ezekiel 22:1-16

Reader 8Amen. 1 Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 "And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations. 3 "You shall say, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "A city shedding blood in her midst, so that her time will come, and that makes idols, contrary to her interest, for defilement! 4 You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations and a mocking to all the lands. 5 Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you of ill repute, full of turmoil.

Reader 9Amen. 6 Behold, the rulers of Israel, each according to his power, have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood. 7 They have treated father and mother lightly within you. The alien they have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you. 8 You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths. 9 Slanderous men have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood, and in you they have eaten at the mountain shrines. In your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. 10 In you they have uncovered their fathers' nakedness; in you they have humbled her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor's wife and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. And another in you has humbled his sister, his father's daughter. 12 In you they have taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression, and you have forgotten Me," declares Lord Yahweh.

Reader 10Amen. 13 "Behold, then, I smite My hand at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I, Yahweh, have spoken and will act. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and I will disperse you through the lands, and I will consume your uncleanness from you. 16 "You will profane yourself in the sight of the nations, and you will know that I am Yahweh."'"

 

Psalm 81    (To be sung.)    For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Sing for joy to God our strength; shout joyfully to the God of Jacob. 2 Raise a song, strike the timbrel, the sweet sounding lyre with the harp. 3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, when the moon is covered, on our feast day. 4 For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 5 He established it for a testimony in Joseph when he went throughout the land of Egypt. I heard a language that I did not know: 6 "I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were freed from the basket. 7 You called in trouble and I rescued you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder; I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Selah. 8 "Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me! 9 Let there be no strange god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god. 10 I, Yahweh, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 11 But My people did not listen to My voice, and Israel did not obey Me. 12 So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices. 13 Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! 14 I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their adversaries. 15 Those who hate Yahweh would pretend obedience to Him, and their time of punishment would be forever. 16 But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."

 

Jude 1:6-21

Reader 11Amen. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Reader 12Amen. 12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. 14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, 18 that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to eternal life.

 

"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 and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."

 


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)