02 Leviticus 11-16 – Cleanness and AtonementLeviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy - Life in the Desert
All written materials for this series will be posted on this website, http://servingandsharing.com/, under the category, “Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – Life in the Desert.” Here is my video presentation introducing this series – https://youtu.be/Lynx51p0tJA.
Watch this specific class presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKB1uvyHFM. The entire series will be added to this playlist as they are recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKB1uvyHFM&list=PL7JRppjEn33bCHyqZFRQ2JDiJnGRnOYyR. Please use the “Contact” button to request corresponding handouts and outlines.
Please forward this post to anyone that you think would benefit from this study and invite others to subscribe.
Part of the priests’ responsibility was to distinguish the clean from the unclean and to teach the Israelites accordingly. Lev 10:10 “ … and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane [or common], and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.” That leads to the instructions given in Lev 11-16.
Lev 11: Clean and Unclean Creatures
11:1-8 Land animals: Clean had split hoofs and chewed the cud. 11:5 The “shaphan” (“coney” KJV, NJB; “rock badger” NRSV, REB): a small, shy, furry animal (Hyrax syriacus) found in the peninsula of the Sinai, northern Israel, and the region around the Dead Sea.
11:9-12 Fish: Clean had both fins and scales. No shellfish or eels.
11:13-19 Birds: 20 unclean listed. Most are meat-eaters.
11:20-23 Winged insects: Clean – locusts, crickets, grasshoppers.
11:24-28 Contact with unclean animals
11:29-38 Contact with unclean swarming things
11:39-40 Contact with carcasses of clean animals
11:41-43 Swarming things
Why did Yahweh set forth these rules and restrictions? To a large extent, following these instructions would prevent various diseases and support the general well-being of the Israelites. God had promised, “None of these diseases.” Ex 15:26
Yet, whatever the health benefits may have been involved in these distinctions …
These kosher rules were part of Israel’s specific OT-era holiness code. It was not, “Do this to be healthy,” but, “Do this to be holy.”
Lev 11:44 “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. 45 For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
Again, these rules were just for Israel, under the old covenant. In the NT, Jesus declared all foods clean. Mark 7:19; Acts 10:15
Lev 12: Childbearing Mothers
Ritually unclean (not sinfully unclean) due to the loss of blood.
- She remains unclean 7 days (for a male child) (same re: menstrual period, 15:19-23) (circumcision 8th day) or 14 days (for a female);
- She then enters a time of 33 days (male child) to 66 days (female child) as she is being purified (not yet fully clean); and
- She brings a burnt offering and a sin offering (?). The priest makes atonement for her. No sin. Ritually unclean. So needing to be reunited and reconciled after being separated due to her uncleanness.
Lev 12:8 If poor … Cf. re: Jesus in Luke 2:21-24.
Lev 13: Leprous Diseases: Diagnosis
Heb. צָרָעַת, ṣārāʿath – any eruptive skin disease, such as psoriasis, urticaria (hives), favus (which produces honeycomb-shaped crusts), and leukoderma (white patches on the skin). Leprosy is an indefinite and general word for an eruptive scourge, or a morbid, whitish scaliness on the skin, recognized by swelling, eruption, or spot.
Not always clinical leprosy (Hansen’s disease) (causing numbness, neuropathy, deformity of bones; contagious and terminal).
13:1-8 Basic symptoms. Exam. Hair white? How deep? Spreading?
13:9-17 Severe, chronic. Raw flesh, oozing, red, and active. Easily recognized. No isolation test needed. Priest declares it unclean.
13:18-23 A boil on the skin
13:24-28 A burn on the skin
13:29-37 Infection on the head or chin
13:38-39 Bright spots (leukoderma)
13:40-44 Infection on a bald head
13:45-46 Consequences of leprosy: torn clothes, unadorned head, beard and mouth covered. In OT = mourning (Ez 24:17, 22; Mic 3:7).
Ritually dead, outside the camp. Cf. Luke 17:12–13, where lepers “stood at a distance” and called for help from Jesus.
13:47-59 Leprous garments
Heb. for “leprosy” included various molds and fungi in woven material.
Clothing could not contract but might spread various skin diseases.
Warp: threads running lengthwise. Woof: threads running crosswise.
Symptoms: greenish or reddish color.
Isolate it seven days, then check again.
If it has spread, burn it. If not, wash it. Isolate it. Check it again.
If no change, burn it. If faded, tear that part out.
If gone, wash it again. Now it is clean.
Lev 14: Leprous Diseases: Readmission
Steps taken to restore and resolve uncleanness.
14:1-9 Required Rituals Two live birds, cedar, scarlet yarn, hyssop.
Kill the first, sprinkle blood, release the second, wash, shave.
14:10-20 Offerings: sin, burnt, grain. Restored.
14:21–32 Concessions to the poor. Birds rather than expensive large animals. 2/3 less grain.
14:33–57 Infected houses. Mold, mildew, fungus.
Lev 15: Bodily Discharges
15:1-18 Male Discharges
Abnormal, from diseased male organs.
Contagious: bed, seat, body, spit, saddle.
Seven days. Bathe, wash. Sin offering, burnt offering.
Normal male emission: unclean until evening.
15:19-30 Female Discharges
Normal monthly flow: unclean seven days.
Abnormal: unclean as long as it lasts. Then seven …
15:31-33 Conclusion / Purpose: “Lest they die …”
Lev 16: The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur
16:1-10 The High Priest’s Preparation
16:11-14 The High Priest’s Sin Offering
16:15-19 The People’s Sin Offering
16:20-22 The People’s Scapegoat
16:23-28 The Rest of the Ceremony
16:29-34 Additional Instructions
Procedures on the Day of Atonement (MacArthur Study Bible Notes)
1. The High Priest (HP) washed at the basin in the courtyard and dressed in the tabernacle (v. 4).
2. HP offered the bull, sin offering for himself and family (vv. 3, 6, 11).
3. HP entered the Holy of Holies (HH) with the bull’s blood, incense, and burning coals from the altar of burnt offering (vv. 12, 13).
4. HP sprinkled the bull’s blood on the mercy seat 7 times (v. 14).
5. HP went back to courtyard and cast lots for the two goats (vv. 7, 8).
6. HP sacrificed one goat as a sin offering for the people (vv. 5, 9, 15).
7. HP reentered the HH to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat and the HH (cf. Ex 30:10; vv. 15–17).
8. HP returned to the altar of burnt offering and cleansed it with the blood of the bull and goat (vv. 11, 15, 18, 19).
9. The scapegoat was dispatched to the wilderness (vv. 20–22).
10. Afterward, the goat keeper cleansed himself (v. 26).
11. HP removed his special Day of Atonement clothing, rewashed, and put on the regular HP clothing (vv. 23, 24).
12. HP two rams, burnt offerings for himself and people (vv. 3, 5, 24).
13. The fat of the sin offering was burned (v. 25).
14. Bull-and-goat sin offerings: outside the camp to be burned (v. 27).
15. The one who burned the sin offering cleansed himself (v. 28).
Fulfilled, Contrasted in Christ: Heb 7:23-10:39
In the Old Covenant (Leviticus), unlike the New …
Repeated sacrifices, not really removing sin.
Mortal priests, had to be replaced upon their death.
Priests took blood not their own.
Priests needed sacrifice first for their own sin.
Merely outward cleansing, not the conscience.
Sacrifices as reminders of sins daily and annually.
Sacrifices as shadows or facsimiles of the real thing.
Tabernacle only an earthly copy of the heavenly reality.