א בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.
Parashat 24 Portion 75 - Vayikra/Lev 1:1-2:16 Haftarah: Yesh 48:12-49:3 Second Writings: Eph 5:1-10.
Vayikra – “and he called”
Hebrew: Barukh attah YHVH eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu la'asok b'divrei Torah. V'ha'arev na YHVH eloheinu et divrei toratekha befinu uvfi amekha beit Yisrael. V'niyeh anachnu v'tze'etze'einu v'tze'etza'ei amekha beit Yisrael kullanu yodei sh'mekha v'lomdei toratekha lishmah. Barukh attah YHVH hamelamed Torah le'amo Yisrael. Barukh attah YHVH Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher bachar banu mikol ha'amim venatan lanu et torato. Barukh attah YHVH, noten haTorah.
English translation: Blessed art Thou, YHVH our Elohim, King of the universe, who has made us set apart through His commandments and commanded us to actively study Torah. Please YHVH, our Elohim, sweeten the words of Your Torah in our mouths and in the mouths of all Your people Israel. May we and our offspring, and the offspring of Your people, the House of Israel, may we all, together, know Your Name and study Your Torah for the sake of fulfilling Your desire. Blessed are You, YHVH, Who teaches Torah to His people Israel. Blessed are You, YHVH our Elohim, King of the universe, Who chose us from all the nations and gave us the Torah. Blessed are You, YHVH, Giver of the Torah.
“So why is the sacrificial system in the Bible? Maimonedes, in his magnum opus, the Mishnah Torah, classified sacrificial offerings as "chukim" -- commandments for which no reason is given in the Torah. While one is encouraged to seek meaning in such mitzvot (commandments), says Maimonedes, G-d's true reason may remain elusive”
This addresses an important issue in that approximately 20% of the Torah is instruction around offerings or “korbanot.” We are also reminded that the instructions concerning the tabernacle or “mishkan” occupy more attention than any other issue in the Torah. These issues perplex many believers and sadly do not receive the important attention and application that they deserve.
When young Hebrew children began reading the Torah, they would start off by reading the book of Vayikra / Leviticus.
This reminds us of the words of our Master Mat 18:3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.
Mat 18:4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the reign of the heavens.
Perhaps the sages understood that this book of Vayikra would either be ignored or become a hotly debated theological issue.
The sages understood that these laws or “chukim” were to be simply obeyed if not understood.
In fact there are some extremely severe consequences if these “chukim” are ignored.
Lev 26:13 ‘I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from being their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.
Lev 26:14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not do all these commands,
Lev 26:15 and if you reject My laws, (Chukim) or if your being loathes My right-rulings, so that you do not do all My commands, but break My covenant,
Lev 26:16 I also do this to you: And I shall appoint sudden alarm over you, wasting disease and inflammation, destroying the eyes, and consuming the life. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17 ‘And I shall set My face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies. And those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
Lev 26:18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I shall punish you seven times more for your sins.
If one reads the entire chapter 26 one begins to understand why Churchmen have tried to ignore the Torah and have replaced it with Christian doctrines of justification. How can one ignore 20% of the Torah, which comprises of instructions regarding offerings? The consequences of our ignoring these Torah instructions are simply too horrendous to even begin to contemplate.
I believe that YHVH is amazed and astonished that there is no deep longing and cry from those who call themselves His children for a rebuilding of the Temple and the return of the temple service including all the offerings.
We are saved by faith in a finished work that our Messiah Yahshua accomplished for us on an execution stake approximately 2000 years ago.
Our salvation begins with a confession of our belief in the finished work of Messiah – Our salvation is completed and perfected by our being transformed into the image of Messiah.
Our salvation is an ongoing work. Who can say that they are free from sin?
The reality is that since the death and resurrection of our Messiah sin has abounded and reached inconceivable proportions in our world today.
Does this mean that Messiah’s death on the stake was in vain? No of course not!
It means that I still have a long way to be conformed into the sinless and perfect image of Messiah. We have the assurance that YHVH will continue to work in us until this is achieved.
The offerings or incorrectly called the “sacrifices” are not a way of seeking to secure our salvation.
Heb 10:3 But in those offerings is a reminder of sins year by year.
Heb 10:4 For it is impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Heb 10:5 Therefore, coming into the world, He says, “Slaughtering and meal offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
Heb 10:6 “In burnt offerings and offerings for sin You did not delight.1 Footnote: 1Ps. 40:6, 7.
Heb 10:7 “Then I said, ‘See, I come – in the roll of the book it has been written concerning Me – to do Your desire, O Elohim.’ ”
Heb 10:8 Saying above, “Slaughter and meal offering, and burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor delighted in,” which are offered according to the Torah,
Why was YHVH not pleased with their offerings?
It did not produce the intended effect – genuine and deep repentance for our disobedience to YHVH and His Torah. There was very little outpouring of grief over our broken state and inability to obey and love YHVH.
I believe the very small remnant that become the bride of Messiah and enter into the age to come with Messiah will be people who deeply lament and weep over the broken covenant – Torah - that we have not walked in perfect obedience to as our Master Yahshua did.
Our confidence is that during the millennium the Torah will be written on our hearts and we will become like our Messiah.
This is not to earn salvation but it is for the sake of righteousness. Genuine salvation is followed by genuine righteousness which will bring “tikkun” restoration to the world and restoration to all of our brokenness.
Religion convinces us that things are not so bad – The Torah teaches that our brokenness is profound “tahu vavaoo” – (Ber 1:2)
ב וְהָאָרֶץ, הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ, וְחֹשֶׁךְ, עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם; וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם
The temple and its service are about “tikkun” and ultimately being conformed to the image of our Messiah.
We will take ownership of our condition and participate in our complete restoration (re creation) according to the Word of YHVH – the instructions of His Torah.
The altar in Yerushalayim will be a place that we go to seek seriously the face of YHVH – it will be a place of weeping and lamenting over any obstacle and hindrance that keeps us away from the presence of YHVH. NO SIN WILL EVER ENTER INTO HIS PRESENCE.
Even though we become fully conformed into the image of Messiah we have still have a death sentence over our heads because were previously guilty of transgressing YHVH’s Law.
Eze 18:20 “The being who sins shall die.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah יהושע our Master.
Praise YHVH Messiah has taken upon himself our death sentence – and will present us perfect to the Father at the end of the millennium – Jud 1:24 And to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His esteem with exceeding joy,
This scripture points to the Eighth Day – Shemini Atzeret - Our High Priest – Yahshua- will present us perfect and his perfect work of redemption will remove sin from us forever and ever.
Will there be sin in the millennium?
The following scriptures which apply to the millennium clearly prove that leaven or sin will still be an issue that will be dealt with – we must remember that seven days of unleavened bread (chag ha matsot) possibly refers to the seven millennia of the existence of this earth where leaven or sin will have to be confronted and dealt with.
Eze 43:10 “Son of man, explain the House to the house of Yisra’ĕl, and when they are ashamed of their crookednesses, they shall measure the measurements.
Eze 43:11 “And since they shall be ashamed of all that they did, make known to them the design of the House and its structure, and its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its laws, and all its forms and all its Torot. And write it down before their eyes, so that they observe its entire design and all its laws, and shall do them.
Eze 43:12 “This is the Torah of the House:
Eze 43:18 And He said to me, “Son of man, thus said the Master יהוה, ‘These are the laws for the altar on the day when it is made, for offering burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it.
Eze 43:19 ‘And you shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Lĕwites, who are of the seed of Tsaḏoq, who approach unto Me,’ declares the Master יהוה.
Eze 43:21 ‘And you shall take the bull of the sin offering, and shall burn it in the appointed place of the House, outside the set-apart place.
Eze 43:22 ‘And on the second day you bring a male goat, a perfect one, for a sin offering. And they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bull.
Eze 44:23 “And they(Levites) are to teach My people the difference between the set-apart and the profane, and make them know what is unclean and clean.
Eze 44:24 “And they are to stand as judges in a dispute, and judge it according to My right-rulings. And they are to guard My Torot and My laws in all My appointed festivals, and set apart My Sabbaths.
Eze 44:25 “And they are not to defile themselves by coming near a dead man. Only for a father or mother, for a son or daughter, for a brother or unmarried sister they defile themselves.
Eze 45:15 “And one lamb from a flock, from two hundred, from the watered pastures of Yisra’ĕl, for grain offerings, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make atonement for them,” declares the Master יהוה.
Eze 45:16 “All the people of the land are to give this contribution to the prince in Yisra’ĕl.
Eze 45:17 “And on the prince are the burnt offerings, and the grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the festival, the New Moons, the Sabbaths – in all the appointed times (Moadim) of the house of Yisra’ĕl. He is to prepare the sin offering, and the grain offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Yisra’ĕl.”
The Prince is Messiah and Messiah brings and presents the offering for the Appointed Times (Moadim) and other times as he chooses.
Eze 46:1 ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “The gate of the inner courtyard facing east is shut the six days of work, but on the Sabbath it is opened, and on the day of the New Moon it is opened.
Eze 46:2 “And the prince shall enter by way of the porch of that gate from the outside, and he shall stand by the post. And the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. And he shall bow himself at the threshold of the gate, and shall go out, but the gate is not shut until evening.
Eze 46:3 “And the people of the land shall also bow themselves at the entrance to this gate before יהוה, on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons.
Eze 46:10 “And the prince is to be in their midst, entering when they enter, and going out when they go out.
Eze 46:11 “And in the festivals and in the appointed times the grain offering is an ĕphah for a bull, and an ĕphah for a ram, and for lambs the gift of his hand, and a hin of oil for an ĕphah.
Eze 46:12 “And when the prince makes a spontaneous burnt offering or spontaneous peace offerings to יהוה, the gate facing east shall be opened for him. And he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. And he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.
Our Torah portion begins:
Lev 1:1 And יהוה called to Mosheh, and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying,
“called’ or “vayikra” has a “yot or tittel” attached to it. The “aleph” in “vayikra” is diminished. We believe that these letters call our attention to Yahshua. The letter “aleph” when written contains two “yuds” and one “vav” combined these strokes that make up the letter “aleph” and have a gematria of 26 the same gematria that makes up the name of YHVH.
YHVH is the Supreme Elohim and there is no one like Him. Yahshua is like a diminished “aleph” and has within himself the fullness of the Supreme Elohim.
This also teaches us that only the humble will hear. Aleph speaks of strength, only those who have an increasing revelation of their limited strength as well as an increasing revelation of YHVH unlimited strength, will we be able to hear His voice and be part of set apart priesthood”
Lev 1:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘When anyone of you brings an offering to יהוה, you bring your offering of the livestock, of the herd or of the flock.
“anyone” or “adam” in Hebrew refers to any person of the human race, “offering” refers to that which is brought voluntarily. This is over and above the obligatory offerings specified in the Torah.
The Hebrew word for “offering” is “korban” and comes from another Hebrew word “karav” which means to draw near. An offering was intended to draw us nearer to our Creator.
Lev 1:3 ‘If his offering is a burnt offering of the herd, let him bring a male, a perfect one. Let him bring it at the door of the Tent of Meeting, for his acceptance before יהוה.
Lev 1:4 ‘And he shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
Midrash: (please note this is not definitive)
The bull represented strength. Sometimes our strengths(gifts and calling) can be areas of our greatest weakness and vulnerability that require the most amount of restoration.
Note the person bringing the offering would lay his hands on the offering and slay it. It is possible that a person bringing such an offering would be overcome with emotion and may have required some assistance from Levites to carry out the slaying of the animal.
Note also that no offering could be performed without a priest or mediator. This has implications today that most believers would be too uncomfortable with to even contemplate. We have become so independent and self –serving that the thought of being truly accountable to appointed authority is unacceptable to most.
It will serve us well to remember that there will be no “lone rangers” in the returning tribes of Yisrael. Every man woman and child will stand under some form of tribal leadership and accountability.
Lev 1:5 ‘And he shall slaughter the bull before יהוה. And the sons of Aharon, the priests, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 1:6 ‘And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces.
Lev 1:7 ‘And the sons of Aharon the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire.
Lev 1:8 ‘And the sons of Aharon, the priests, shall arrange the pieces, with the head and the fat on the wood which is on the fire on the altar.
Lev 1:9 ‘But its entrails and its legs he washes with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar as a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
Lev 1:10 ‘And if his offering is from the flock, from the sheep or from the goats as a burnt offering, let him bring a male, a perfect one.
Serve to remind us that the Lamb of Elhohim has redeemed us and will bring perfect healing and restoration.
Sheep could point to those under our care. They can bring sadness into our lives when they stray or we can bring sadness into their lives through lack of care or proper guidance.
Lev 1:11 ‘And he shall slaughter it on the north side of the altar before יהוה. And the sons of Aharon, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood on the altar all around.
It appears that only the burnt offering was to be slaughtered on the north side. The Hebrew word for “north” comes from “tzaphan” which implies that which is hidden or secret. Maybe there were hidden or secret issues that needed to be dealt with between the person brining the offering and YHVH.
Lev 1:12 ‘And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood which is on the fire on the altar.
Lev 1:13 ‘But the entrails and the legs he washes with water. And the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
Lev 1:14 ‘And if the burnt offering of his offering to יהוה is of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons.
The turtle dove
Son 2:12 “The flowers have appeared in the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
Son 6:9 My dove, my perfect one, Is the only one, the only one of her mother, The choice of the one who bore her. The daughters saw, and called her blessed, Sovereignesses and concubines, And they praised her.
Psa 74:19 Do not deliver the soul of Your turtle dove to the multitude; forget not the congregation of Your poor forever.
Draw your own conclusions on this midrash.
Lev 1:15 ‘And the priest shall bring it to the altar, and shall wring off its head, and burn it on the altar, and its blood shall be drained out at the side of the altar.
Lev 1:16 ‘And he shall remove its crop with its feathers and throw it beside the altar on the east side, into the place for ashes.