“To purify the house, he is to take two birds, cedar-wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop leaves. He is to slaughter one of the birds in a clay pot over running water. He is to take the cedar-wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird and dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times.”-Leviticus 14:49-51
Following on the heels of my last post, recall that we noticed there are many similarities between treating TZARA-AT (skin disease) on houses and on human beings.
Here are some of the point-by-point similarities:
-If an outbreak of what appears to be TZARA-AT occurs, a priest is called to investigate the matter.
-After the priestly examination, if it is clear that the outbreak (discoloration on the wall of the house) is indeed TZARA-AT, then a 7-day quarantine is called for.
-If after 7 days, the TZARA-AT has not cleared up, the building stone(s) or person is declared UNCLEAN and sent outside the camp of Israel to a designated UNCLEAN place.
-Just as the person who contracted TZARA-AT had to shave off all his hair, so too did the surface of the building stone or brick have to be scraped off.
-In order to decontaminate the house, the stones and mud plaster covering it were removed the house itself was not destroyed. The same procedures applied to people.
-The same ritual using a pair of clean birds, hyssop, scarlet dye, and cedar wood was applied to both houses and people. The blood of one of the birds is drained into a bowl containing “living water” (MAYIM CHAYIM) and then the mixture is sprinkled onto the infected house times. Afterwards, the live bird is released.
Now, although we see a practically identical pattern for people, houses, garments, and leather objects when dealing with TZARA-AT, there is one MAJOR DIFFERENCE in the purification ritual between people and inanimate things.
THERE ARE NO SACRIFICES OFFERED FOR HOUSES!
Why might this be?
Think back on everything we’ve studied so far and take a guess.
And don’t forget that the slaying of the bird is NOT considered a sacrifice.
Remember, there is a clearly defined process to go from UNCLEAN to CLEAN to HOLY.
And recall, that a person who has been purified from his defiled state, in other words a CLEAN person, can only become HOLY by means of blood sacrifices (remember being CLEAN and being HOLY are two entirely different things).
So any ideas as to why blood sacrifices aren’t offered for houses?
The answer is quite simple actually.
The reason is because houses aren’t required to be HOLY.
They are required to be CLEAN but they are not required to be HOLY.
Hence, no sacrifices are necessary for houses after they have been purified from TZARA-AT.
Now the next question is why don’t houses need to be made HOLY?
Because houses are never going to be in communion with a HOLY God.
That is something reserved for the Lord’s human creation.
Thus for houses, only the birds, living water, hyssop, scarlet, cedar wood ritual is all that is necessary.