A look at Leviticus 12 and 13


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PARASHOT: “Tazriah” (she bears seed) and “Metsora” (infected ones). Leviticus 12 and 13

We are now in El Salvador. New life, reduced living space, new ministry, but still teaching God's Word to those who will listen and learn. Slower WiFi, takes forever for it to connect. Turn on the PC, and in 30 minutes, you're connected. Until the WiFi quits, and it quits whenever it wants to. Our new Congregation is: "The Fig Tree and Yeshua" Messianic Congregation. (CBC Salem, La Higuera y Yeshua)

This week we have a double Torah portion; “Tazriah” which talks about when a woman gives childbirth, and “Metsora” which talks about “Tzara-at” which most Bibles interpret as “leprosy” but in actuality, the word “Tzara-at” covers ALL skin afflictions and diseases, including the dreaded disease called leprosy, medically known as “Hanson’s disease. Go to google “images” and see it, but be sure you don’t eat anything beforehand, it is quite horrible.

Leviticus Chapter 12 covers childbirth, and YHVH deems “unclean” a woman after giving birth, and she has to stay put in her tent, 7 days plus 33 days. All together, “40” days, “40” is the number for testings’ and trials. Why, we might wonder, should a woman be rendered “Tamei” or “Unclean” because of giving birth? Only YHVH has the pure and true answer. It isn’t that she has sinned by giving birth, on the contrary, she has given life! Some rabbinical midrashim (commentaries) state that there is both “death” and “life” during childhood. “Life” is the new baby, yet “death” because the woman loses fluids (blood) which symbolizes life. Not that the woman actually dies, but the “lost blood” however much or little, still symbolizes death.

The child is in the womb for 9 months, this is a protected area, a world in itself. Then the child comes out into the world, a new world contrary to where it was. It has life both inside the womb and outside the womb, yet the child comes forth with the sin nature, and the sin nature brings death.

For a female child, the purification time is longer, 2 weeks plus 66 days, altogether, “80” days, the number “8” is the number of “new beginning” If we remember when Yeshua was born, Miryam and Yosef brought two turtle doves to be sacrificed after she went through her ritual cleansing, Yosef brought Yeshua to be circumcised on the 8th day.

There is one way we can look at why a woman had to be unclean for 7 days for a male child and 14 days for a female child. According to the Book of Jubilees which is part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It says the following: Chap 3: "In the first week, Adam was created, and his rib (his wife) in the second week. Then He (God) showed her unto him. For this reason, the commandment was given to keep in their (women) defilement, for a male, 7 days, and for a female, 14 days" Remember, Adam was created outside the Garden of Eden, because the Torah reads that he was "Placed" in the Garden after he was created

When we look at Messiah Yeshua. His blood was lost, causing death, just as a woman who loses blood through childbirth, symbolizes death. Yet Yeshua rose again, from the grave, thus bringing “life” and “hope” to all mankind. The woman brings forth a baby, which is “new life”. New life, but as I mentioned, new life with a sinful nature, which brings death. Yet through the death of Messiah, the curse of sin has been broken and thus brings us eternal life.

On the 8th day, the mitzvah of “Brit Milah” (Circumcision) is performed in all males that are born. As we know, this was a sign of the covenant with Abraham. Some Jewish denominations still place high priority on Brit Milah, yet how important is it really? Moshe stresses that which is most important, and that is the “circumcision of the heart” (Brit Milah b’lev). He does not, however, state that circumcision is no longer necessary nor important, only that the emphasis should be placed on the heart and not so much on the flesh. Removing the “fore-skin” of the heart is surrendering our fleshly nature to Adonai, that we are to walk more in the spirit and less in the flesh.

Chapter 13 deals with two kinds of “Tzara-at” skin diseases (all kinds, both major and minor) and “mold & mildew on clothing. In ancient times, the person with a skin disease had to be isolated outside the camp until he or she got better, and was “healed” there were probably some ointments available then, probably primitive, the priests were not doctors, but acted as “judges” who would “judge” the person “healed” if the disease was temporary, today we have many kinds of skin ailments, Psoriasis, Eczema, simple rashes caused by allergies, scabies, ringworm, etc., were all based under the word “Tzara-at” when the person was well and the disease was no more, the person would offer a sacrifice and return to the camp. Here again, we see a form of “death” (cast out, rejected) and “rebirth” entering into the body of Israel once again after healing.

The word "Metzorah" comes from the root word in Hebrew "Motzi-a-ra" (One who speaks evil) or slander, gossip of another. One could say that "Tza-arat" was an outward revelation of an inward or spiritual condition. Imagine if God's rule was that because of speaking evil or slandering another person, one would break out in hives, or get a skin disease. I think we would all at one time or another, be scratching and breaking out in rashes

But let’s take a look at this a step further. When talking about symbolism, one could symbolize the “Metsora” (the one infected) as “Yeshua” in the following manner; In the beginning of Chapter 13, “and YHVH spoke unto Moshe and Aaron saying; when a MAN shall have in the skin of his flesh…”

Since every word in the Torah is put there for a purpose, the fact that the word “Adam” (man) is used is important. It could have been “Ish” or “Enosh” but it is “Adam”. This also has meaning. If we were to take the acronyms A.D.M (since that is how “Adam” is spelled in Hebrew) and apply a bit of meaning to the letters “Alef” “Dalet” and “Mem” we can see “Adam’ “David” and “Mashiach” two titles of “Mashiach” are “Mashiach HaAdam Sheni” (Messiah Yeshua, the Second Adam) and “Mashiach Ben David” (Messiah Yeshua, Son of David)

Our Messiah accepted and brought upon himself all of our “leprosy” of sinfulness, which affects not only our exterior but also our inner being. He was nailed to the cross “outside” of the city, just as one afflicted with leprosy was cast outside of the city. Then he was made whole once again, arising on the third day. Isaiah 53 says that he bore our grief, carried our sorrows and was stricken and smitten of God, just as a leper is in the same condition, in a state of sorrow and smitten with a deadly disease that consumes the flesh. We remember that the Roman whips “ate up” the flesh of our Messiah, all for our sakes. The lost world has Him cast out of the camp, out of the city, he has been rejected by the world, yet we, who are saved and "born again" have invited Him to come inside the camp or the city, the one who bore our "leprosies".

In another way, the “Metsora” is US! We have been afflicted with “spiritual leprosy” being our “sinful nature” at birth. When the pure soul from Heaven is introduced into the human body, it becomes part of it and partakes of the sin nature. Both the body and the soul suffer, the body ages, contracts diseases, etc., and without the “born-again” experience, we are “cast outside” of the city, we are forbidden entrance into the Kingdom of God. When we become members of the family of God through Yeshua, He acts as the “priest” who “heals” us. In ancient times, the priest had to visit the leper to see if leprosy had left the body, “leprosy” being “any kind of skin disease. The priest had no power to heal, only to observe and pronounce “tahor” (clean) or declare “Tamei” (unclean).

However, Yeshua HAS the power to heal, as Isaiah says, “By His stripes, we are healed” of the “Tza-arat Nefesh” (the leprosy of the soul). So, we are the “Metsorat” that are HEALED, and integrated into the body of Messiah, yet He is the "Metzorah" who bore all of our diseases according to Isaiah 53. Guess we can look at it both ways.

One more thing; The word "nega" means "plague, or sore" yet when it is healed, the "nega" becomes "oneg" (pleasure, joy) in Hebrew, they are the same letters, yet shuffled around. There is joy when our plague is healed.

If we were to analyze our spiritual lives and maturity honestly, how many of us would have to cry out “Tamei” (unclean) and go run and hide? Yet there is forgiveness and a new beginning in our Messiah Yeshua, who paid our sin price and penalty on Calvary’s cross once and forever. We can “come in the camp again” when we confess of sins before a Holy God, accept His forgiveness, and accept His inner “healing”.

Ben Avraham
Ciudad Delgado, (San Salvador) El Salvador

A view from one side of our house, looking into the distance