“She Bears Seed”
Torah: Leviticus 12:1–13:59
PROPHETS: 2 Kings 4:42–5:19a
APOSTOLIC WRITINGS: Luke 7:18–35
These devotionals are designed to supplement, not replace, your Bible reading.
Torah 1 & 2
Contain The Impurity (“Uncleanness”)
Israel must make priestly distinctions between “clean” and “unclean” to maintain right relationship with God. The principle is this: “uncleanness” must be dealt with appropriately (by cleansing the infection or banishing the infected) so that God’s holiness is upheld (cf. 10:1–3). It will be helpful to realize that there are basically three “levels” of uncleanness:
1. Regular Uncleanness—requires washing and waiting until evening
2. Irregular Uncleanness—requires washing, waiting, and then chatat sacrifice (purification or sin offering) which would be followed by olah (burnt offering)
3. Severe Uncleanness (tsara’at)—on humans requires banishment from community with special rituals and sacrifices necessary for re-entry; on objects requires that they are destroyed; both of these remedies prevent spreading the contamination within the community
These terms: regular, irregularand severe, while not identified as such in the Torah, are helpful in organizing the different “problems” identified in Leviticus 12–15 and the required solutions to the problem of uncleanness. Remember, getting it right with this issue of (un)cleanness is vital for a healthy relationship with a holy God. This understanding forms the backdrop for understanding the nature of God and implications for living a “clean” life. Some of these implications are addressed in B’rit Chadashah writings and are applicable today (cf. Matthew 23:25–28; Mark 7:14–23; John 13:10; 15:3; Romans 14:20; etc.).
Banish The Tsara’at (“Infectious Skin Disease”)
Childbirth creates the condition of irregular uncleanness (12:1–8). Since we know that having children is good and is NOT sin (cf. Genesis 1:28), why is chatat (“sin” or “purification” offering) still required? (cf. Luke 2:21–24). Leviticus 13:1–46 tells us how a priest was to determine the presence of tsara’at (this Hebrew word usually gets translated as “infectious skin disease” or “leprosy” but we really don’t know exactly what it was) so that if it was discovered it could be appropriately banished from the community.
Torah 3 & 4
Skin Infection After A Boil
Skin Infection After A Burn
In both of these cases, someone experiences a boil or a burn on the skin. During the healing process there develops an infectious inflammation (a white or reddish white spot, vv. 18–19, 24–25a) raising the question, “Is this tsara’at?” The priest examines the spot for white hair and deep infection (vv. 20, 25) and if it is questionable, there is a 7-day quarantine (vv. 21, 26). On the eighth day (sh’mini), if it has spread it is in fact tsara’at. This means that the uncleanness (vv. 22, 27) is “severe,” requiring the person to go outside the camp (vv. 45–46). If the inflammation has not spread, it is only scar tissue and the priest declares it “clean” (vv. 23, 28).
Read Mark 1:40–42 where Yeshua actually “touches” someone with tsara’at and declares him “clean.” Was he cleansed only outwardly or was there an inner cleansing also? Can we tell?
torah 5 & 6
Skin Infection On The Head Or Chin
Skin Infection On A Balding Head
If there appears a spot on someone’s head or chin, the priest must examine it for similar signs as above and if it cannot be effectively diagnosed as tsara’at, the person must be quarantined for 7 days. Afterward, if the skin still cannot be diagnosed with tsara’at, there is an additional 7-day quarantine period after which the person will be either diagnosed with tsara’at and thus banished or else declared clean and allowed re–entry into the community. Imagine being quarantined for 7–14 days from your home or being “branded” and banished from society.
Read Luke 17:11–19 and reflect on the great gift that brings cleansing. If you’ve been given the gift of salvation through faith in Messiah Yeshua, spend a few moments sitting at the Master’s feet, thanking Him and cultivating a greater heart of thankfulness.
torah 7 &
Infectious Condition On Garments
The Torah Of Tsara’at
Tsara’at can also develop on fabric (wool or linen) and leather (though often translated here as “mildew,” the same Hebrew word “tsara’at” is what is being translated). To insure that it does not contaminate and spread uncleanness, thus defiling God’s Presence among His people (15:31; cf. Numbers 5:1–3), there are two 7-day periods of quarantine for isolation and evaluation. If tsara’at is present then the garment must be burned. If not, the garment’s affected part must be cut out, the remaining material re-washed, and then the garment may be declared “clean.”
Cleansing To Reveal Glory
2 Kings 4:42–5:19a
God brought this skin affliction to a Gentile army commander (5:1) in order to reveal the glory of Israel’s God, and spread His fame. Has God given you a trial that he wants to use to reveal His glory and spread His fame? (cf. 1 Peter 1:6–7; James 1:2–4)
Cleansing The Restore Relationship
When John questions whether or not Yeshua was the One who had been foretold, Messiah Yeshua performed miracles that fulfilled Isaiah 61:1. Cleansing those with tsara’at (v. 22) gave further proof of his power and his mercy. Not only did this act of power and mercy cleanse the defiled and restore him to right relationship with the community, it also could cleanse those who had real wisdom (v. 35) from the defilement of unbelief and restore them to right relationship with God.
Is there defilement of unbelief in your heart, which is causing separation (distance) between you and God right now? His grace is powerful enough and mercy profound enough to cleanse you and restore you to deeper intimacy if you will just ask him (Mark 9:24).
Rest. Fellowship. Discussion.