Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Shaleeakh - Metzora Leper
When HaShem’s people answer their callings, HaShem has already preordained the way. An example of this can be seen in B’resheet 45:3-7 which states “Joseph saith unto his brethren, ‘I am Joseph, is my father yet alive?’ and his brethren have not been able to answer him, for they have been troubled at his presence. And Joseph saith unto his brethren, ‘Come nigh unto me, I pray you,’ and they come nigh; and he saith, ‘I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt; and now, be not grieved, nor let it be displeasing in your eyes that ye sold me hither, for to preserve life hath God sent me before you. ‘Because these two years the famine is in the heart of the land, and yet are five years, in which there is neither ploughing nor harvest; and God sendeth me before you, to place of you a remnant in the land, and to give life to you by a great escape”
HaShem used Yosef to deliverer Yisrael from the famine long before Jacob and his sons physically went to Egypt. This type of preordination is also seen in the prophecies concerning the Mashiach. HaShem promised to deliver Yisrael long before Yeshua was born. HaShem always preordains a position, before filling the position. Despite this preordination not everyone who is in a position preordained by HaShem will act righteously. We can see examples of this with the corrupt kings that ruled Yisrael. Even though the position of king was preordained, many kings were not willing to serve HaShem. As a result, Yisrael was led into idolatry. When individuals called to godly positions act ungodly they corrupt themselves as well as their followers.
However, the individual’s actions do not corrupt the holiness of the position. This is particularly true concerning the office of priest. Even though during the time of Yeshua the priesthood was corrupt, Yeshua still honored the preordained office. We can see this inMathew 8:2-4 which states “behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”
Yeshua commanded the leper to go to the priest and perform the offerings and sacrifices required in Metzora. Vayikra 14:2-4 states “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:” As a testimony to the priest, the first responsibility of a healed leper is to have the priest inspect his or her body outside of the camp. Inspecting a healed leper was critical because the cleansing ceremony was a ceremony of restoration. The ceremony enabled the priest to restore a healed leper to full status as member of Yisraeli society. If the priest pronounced the leper clean he or she would no longer be separated from family, friends or the sanctuary. The individual that Yeshua healed would have also been required to meet with a priest outside of the walls of the city. On the inspection trip the priest was required to leave the sanctuary and go to a place of uncleanness. The priest was also required to bring with him two live birds, scarlet, cedar, and hyssop for the cleansing ceremony. If it was determined the leper had been healed, one of the two birds was slaughtered in an earthen vessel that was over running with water. The living bird, the scarlet, the cedar, and the hyssop were then dipped into the blood mingled with water in the earthen vessel. The priest then shook the living bird, the scarlet, the cedar, and the hyssop over the healed leper seven times. After the sprinkling the priest pronounced the leper clean and released the living bird into an open field. The process then required the healed leper to totally renew himself.
Vayikra 14: 8-10 states “He that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days. But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.”
The person shaved off all hair, washed his or her clothes, and offered a female lamb mingled with flour and oil. The purpose of this was to testify to the rest of Yisrael the leper was healed. As a result the healed leper was able to start over as a new creation. The ceremony represented the fact that the person was no longer cut off. Therefore, the healed leper was born again and could now fellowship with the rest of Yisrael.
Vayikra 14:11 states “the priest who is cleansing hath caused the man who is to be cleansed to stand with them before HaShem, at the opening of the tent of meeting” The final phase required the healed leper to stand with the priest in the presence of HaShem. The priest was required to offer a guilt offering and the burnt offering for the healed leper. In addition, to the offerings the priest was required to place the blood of the guilt offering on the healed leper’s right ear, right thumb, and right big toe. The priest then placed oil on top of the blood that was on the healed leper’s right ear, right thumb, and right big toe. This was symbolic of the cleansed leper’s restoration to full status in Yisrael. The blood represented the redemption of the leper and his or her return to the presence of HaShem. Therefore the healed leper could now start hearing, doing, and walking in the holiness that HaShem desired for Yisrael. The oil represented the return of HaShem’s spirit to an individual that had been formerly cut off. This final phase was a witness to all of Yisrael that HaShem had fully restored the healed leper. Therefore, it was now totally acceptable for the person to enter into the holy presence of HaShem and into the Tabernacle.
Since leprosy is an aliment that is publicly visible, HaShem established a public cleansing process. Even though the priesthood of His time was corrupt, Yeshua respected HaShem’s decision and required the leper He healed to publicly present himself to the priest. It is obvious Yeshua fully understood the importance of publicly restoring a healed leper into the community. Yeshua understood that the corruption existed in the individual, and not in the office. Therefore, Yeshua chose obedience to the Torah, rather than usurping the office of priest. We should also learn to be obedient to that which HaShem established, and not condemn it because of corrupt individuals.
By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ABOUT-Torah.org