Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 15.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
Leviticus Chapter 15 represents the last of a series of five chapters dealing with matters of CLEAN & UNCLEAN and ritual purity and impurity.
Leviticus chapters 11-15 are all preparation for the next chapter, Leviticus Chapter 16, which introduces what is arguably the HOLIEST day of the year for Israel.
I’m talking about the yearly Day of Atonement or YOM KIPPUR in Hebrew.
The connection is that the rituals for YOM KIPPUR were all about purifying the Tabernacle from the UNCLEANNESS that had accumulated due to daily human contact with the Tabernacle.
Here’s the thing.
When people came to the Tabernacle to bring their offerings etcetera, many of them may have been in an UNCLEAN state and didn’t know it.
Or some may have willingly violated God’s laws concerning purity by entering the Tabernacle while knowing they were in an impure state.
And there may have been accidental situations.
A perfect example would be a woman entering and then all of a sudden her period begins.
All of this accumulated UNCLEANNESS whether knowingly or unknowingly or deliberate or accidental had to be taken care of.
That was what YOM KIPPUR was all about.
And that was what the preceding five chapters (including this one) were preparation for: setting the stage for the YOM KIPPUR ritual.
Before we get into the graphic content of chapter 15, I want to reiterate an important point that was demonstrated in the last four chapters and will also be demonstrated in this chapter.
Entering into a state of impurity is NOT the equivalent of committing a sin.
Being in an UNCLEAN state is not a sure-fire indication that one has sinned (although sin results in UNCLEANNESS).
This is an important foundational principle you need to understand.
In order to make sure you understand this principle, let’s review a couple of fundamentals I’ve discussed in the past.
FUNDAMENTAL 1: God views the world’s population as being divided into two basic groups: CLEAN people and UNCLEAN people.
FUNDAMENTAL 2: CLEAN people are those who are Israel (whether native born or grafted in).
FUNDAMENTAL 3: UNCLEAN people are those who are NOT a part of Israel (in other words, gentiles).
So to put it simply, from God’s perspective, Israel is CLEAN and gentiles are UNCLEAN.
A key question to answer at this juncture is what makes Israel CLEAN and gentiles UNCLEAN?
In comparison to Israelites, are gentiles inherently sinners or are gentiles the only ones who break God’s commands?
The answer is of course NO on both accounts.
Hebrews sin just as much as gentiles do or to quote Paul, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.
And sin results in UNCLEANLINESS.
However, there is one key difference between Israel and the gentile nations.
Israel, a people chosen by God, had a remedy for their UNCLEANNESS, but gentiles did not.
And because gentiles did not, of course, God has no choice but to view them as UNCLEAN.
Unless gentiles are grafted into Israel, they have no way to become CLEAN, and then to go from CLEAN to HOLY.
And thus we arrive at the Gospel message.
By accepting and TRUSTING in the work of the Messiah, a gentile is grafted into Israel and thus made CLEAN and HOLY.
And once one is HOLY, one can enjoy fellowship with the Almighty Creator of the Universe.