“He is to remove from the bull for the sin offering all of its fat — the fat covering the inner organs, all the fat above the inner organs, the two kidneys, the fat on them near the flanks, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys as it is removed from an ox sacrificed as a peace offering; and the cohen is to make these parts go up in smoke on the altar for burnt offerings. But the bull’s hide and all its flesh, with its head, the lower parts of its legs, its inner organs and dung — in other words, the entire bull — he is to bring outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are emptied out. There he is to burn it on wood with fire; there, where the ashes are emptied out, it is to be burned up.”-Leviticus 4:8-12
We are continuing to study the High Priest procedures for the HATTA-AT or the Purification Offering.
As I explained in my last post, the High Priest brought a 3-year old bull (the most expensive and largest sacrificial animal) and after performing SEMIKHAH (laying hands on) on the animal, he killed it, captured blood in a ritual visual and then entered the Tent of Meeting (the Holy Place).
There he dipped his finger into the bull’s blood and sprinkled it 7 times onto the PAROKHET or the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place.
Afterwards, he also dabbed some of the blood onto the horns of the Altar of Incense inside the Holy Place.
This is where I last left off in my explanation of the High Priest procedures for the Purification Offering.
However, the procedures didn’t end there.
After the sprinkling of the blood onto the PAROKHET (curtain) and the horns of the Altar of Incense, the bull was then cut up and the fat from its inner organs were removed and burned up on the Brazen Altar.
What happened next is interesting and was a fairly radical departure from typical sacrificial ritual.
The remains of the bull were NOT to be eaten nor burned up on the Brazen Altar.
Instead, the remains of the Bull were taken to a location specifically designated as being OUTSIDE OF THE CAMP and there burned up on a common wood fire where afterwards the ashes were gathered and placed onto a special ash heap.
There is a lot spiritual significance in these few verses concerning the High Priest’s procedures of the HATTA-AT that can easily be glossed over.
And of course, one has to have some knowledge of Hebrew to grasp the significance.
It certainly doesn’t help that many of our English Bibles are products of being translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English.
No wonder so much spiritual richness gets lost in translation.
Let me give you a perfect example of the advantage fluent Hebrew readers of the Bible have.
Let’s take a look at the following two verses and note the words I have bolded and underlined.
“just as the fat is removed from the ox sacrificed as a fellowship offering. Then the priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering.”-Leviticus 4:10
“that is, all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean,where the ashes are thrown, and burn it there in a wood fire on the ash heap.”-Leviticus 4:12
Notice the word “burn” in both sentences.
Well, the Hebrew words for “burn” in each of these verses is different.
In verse 10, the Hebrew word for “burn” being used is QATAR.
And in verse 12, the Hebrew word being used for “burn” is SARAPH.
One of these words has a positive connotation and the other has a negative connotation.
QATAR is the word used for the act of burning that turns a sacrificial offering into smoke.
And remember it is the smoke going up to the heavens that tickles the nostrils of the Lord (metaphorically speaking).
In other words, it is the smoke that pleases God.
QATAR is also the word used when incense is burned on the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place.
The idea being put forth is that QATAR, this type of “burning” is a holy procedure, a very positive thing.
On the other hand, in verse 12, where we’re told that the remains of the bull were SARAPH or “burned up”, the connotation is the opposite meaning of the word QATAR used in verse 10.
Here we get the negative idea of something undesirable and unclean being burned up.
Think of the burning up of trash for example and this will give you a better idea of what SARAPH means.
Are you catching the difference?
QATAR is constructive burning.
SARAPH is destructive burning.
What is burned up on the Brazen Altar per the Lord’s instructions is holy and constructive.
However, what is burned up outside the camp on a common wood fire is unclean and destructive.
Actually, the word SARAPH should sound familiar to you.
What did Moses hoist up on the pole out in the wilderness?
He hoisted up a SERAPH.
The word SERAPH is usually translated into “fiery” dragon or a “fiery” serpent.
Think of the word “fiery” to mean “burning”.
When doing a word study of SARAPH or SERAPH, you’ll find that in Scripture this word revolves around destruction.
This point is key to understanding the purposes of those heavenly beings the Bible calls the SERAPHIM.
These are the creatures that guard God’s throne room and when the Lord sends them out on an assignment, their job is to lay absolute destruction to the unclean and impure who would dare to enter the presence of the Lord.
Finally, keep in mind that this SARAPH type of burning MUST TAKE PLACE in an area designated as OUTSIDE THE CAMP.
And also recall, that the New Testament makes it clear that Yeshua was crucified OUTSIDE THE CAMP.
In my next post, I want to discuss the mind-blowing significance of this “outside the camp” connection.