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Leviticus 11:24-47 (Dietary Laws, Part II)

Jul 23, 2017   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Leviticus, Leviticus (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Leviticus 11:24-47
Dietary Laws, Part II

What is it that makes things unclean? Are tomatoes unclean? Let me tell you a story about tomatoes. When I worked at the Siesta Key wastewater plant, they used to have surface aerators on top of the contact and reaeration tanks. Surface aerators have a motor with a shaft. At the bottom is a propeller, just like on a boat.

The propeller runs so that it pulls all the water up from the bottom and blasts it into the air. In order to keep the water in the tank, there is a large disk that the motor sits on. As the water pushes up, it hits the disk and fans out over the surface of the tank, thus aerating, or providing oxygen to, the wastewater.

Without a wind, there is still plenty of over spray. And with even a slight breeze, the spray gets pretty much everywhere. The whole plant has a nice brown tint to it. But there is more fun than that. Tomato seeds come into the plant by the jillions, as do all kinds of other fun stuff. But tomato seeds are small enough to pass through the screens and go right into the tanks.

From there, they blow right out of the tank and find a home somewhere on the plant grounds. And of course tomato seeds grow up into tomato plants. And with all the fertilizer blowing around, there are some pretty healthy tomato plants to be found. All kinds too – big ones, little ones, round ones. It’s like a tomato farm.

And the plants are always covered in a nice brown tint. How many of you, if at the plant, would say, “I’m going out to get some tomatoes for lunch?” Just curious because that was a usual lunchtime experience at SKUA. Were they unclean? No. But if you knew where they were from, many people would say, “Yes.”

Some things are medically unclean. Some things are culturally unclean. Some things are unclean because of a defiled conscience. And… some things can be unclean because the Lord says they are unclean…

Text Verse:“I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ 10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. Acts 11:5-10

What the Lord once said was unclean was suddenly called cleansed. How could that be? Is the Lord fickle? Did He change His mind? Or was it that the foods which were deemed unclean were actually never truly unclean, except to teach the people of Israel a lesson?

Folks at SKUA ate tomatoes that you might be a little leery over eating, but if nobody told you where they came from, or what type of fertilizer they were covered in from day to day, you would be oh so happy to have some of them nummy t’maters. And if nobody ever told you their history, you’d say, “Them’s was the nummiest t’maters I ever did eat.”

There are people all over the world that eat things we would think are crazy. And many of us will eat something today that a Law-observant Jew (or a severely confused Christian) might think was crazy. And yet, what God has cleansed through the work of Jesus Christ is wholly acceptable and is not to be shunned unless you just don’t have a taste for it.

The law served a purpose, and that purpose is finished, it is set aside, obsolete, and annulled. This is because it was nailed to the cross of Christ. It’s all to be found ——- Oh, by the way, I hate tomatoes. So stop looking at me like that.

Great stuff is to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Carcasses and Creeping Things (verses 24-38)

24 ‘By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening;

This verse is referring to what lies ahead in verses 26 & 27, not that which was previously stated. However, it is a categorical expansion of what was said in verse 8. There is a precise logic to the progression of thought in how the chapter is laid out. Anyone who touches one of the carcasses that will be described “shall be unclean until evening.”

This term is now used in this way for the first time in Scripture. There was a state of defilement which existed, and it would continue until the evening. As Hebrew days go from evening until evening, it is indicating that the state of defilement lasted until the starting of the new day. Only when the old had passed away, could the new come in.

This then looks forward to the work of Christ in two ways. He died in the afternoon, but was buried as the evening approached. With His death and burial, all defilement of man was truly washed away. This is seen in Matthew 27 –

Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.” Matthew 27:57-61

25 whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening:

Carrying a carcass implies that the garments have become defiled, as it would be highly improbable that it did not touch the garments. The defilement of sin, represented by death had to be washed off. This then is actually the second way it looks forward to the work of Christ. Although speaking of the tribulation period, we see the concept of having washed one’s garments in Revelation 7 –

These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14

This occurs at the end of the age, represented by the evening time, when all things are made new. Whatever age one comes to Christ, it is for that person, the end of one age and an entering into another. This is seen in Hebrews 9 when speaking of the work of Christ –

He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26

It is through Christ that all defilement is washed away. Though the dispensation of grace has lasted for 2000 years, it is still the end of the ages for each who comes to Him by faith. When this dispensation ends, there will be final 7 years of tribulation, and then the millennium will be ushered in.

As far as defilement for touching an unclean carcass, an offering was required for this, as is noted in Leviticus 5:2. However, what seems to be implied is that this offering was only required if this necessary purification was not accomplished through negligence or forgetfulness. If is was performed on the day in which the defilement occurred, then there would be no need for an offering.

26 The carcass of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches it shall be unclean.

The words “the carcass” are inserted here, but rightly so. It is speaking not of any animal in the categories, but the carcass of such an animal. If this were not the case, then touching a horse, mule, or donkey would make someone unclean. However, it is obvious from Scripture that this is not the case. Even in the law itself, the touching of such animals is perfectly acceptable.

In verses 26 and 27, we will see animals which are specified by their characteristics. In verses 29 and 30, we will see them identified by specific names. The animal carcasses which do divide the foot, but which are not cloven hoofed, or which do not chew the cud are unclean.

As we saw, not having a cloven hoof is a person who doesn’t rightly divide the word. A person who does not chew the cud is typical of a person who may or may not know the word, but they do not apply it to their lives. The Lord is using real animals to make spiritual images of the various states of man.

The eating of the carcass of such animals was not allowed. But even further, simply touching them made a person unclean.

27 And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening.

The word translated as “paws” here is kaph. Literally, it is a hand, or the sole of the foot, just like yours or mine. This then is referring to animals whose feet resemble the hands and feet of a human, such as monkeys, apes, dogs, cats, frogs, bears, and the like.

28 Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you.

This is a general repeat of verse 25, given for specificity concerning, this particular group of animals.

29 ‘These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind;

The kholed, or mole, is introduced here, and he will never be seen again. Say hello and goodbye to him. The word comes from kheled, meaning “world.” The idea here is that which is temporary and flies swiftly away, just as a mole glides swiftly. The work kheled is used in the 17th Psalm and it tells us who the mole pictures –

With Your hand from men, O Lord,
From men of the world who have their portion in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their possession for their babes.” Psalm 17:14

In picture, the person seen in this mole is noted in Philippians 3 –

For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.”  Philippians 3:18, 19

The akbar, or mouse, will be seen 6 times. It is derived from the same word as spider, which is akkavish. This gives the sense of entangling, just as a mouse would weave together its nest. This is the type of person who is spoken of by both Paul in Galatians –

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.” Galatians 5:1

The mouse is the person who weaves the law into the grace of Christ, and thus rejects Him. And next is the tsav, or “large lizard.” It comes from a root meaning “to establish.” This leads to the idea of clinging fast, just as a lizard clings to whatever it is on. Paul tells us in Romans 12 to abhor what is evil and to cling to what is good. The lizard is emblematic of those who would do just the opposite. They cling to evil and they are unclean.

30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon.

The gecko, or anaqah, is known for it’s crying out, or groaning. This animal is reflective of those who groan out against the truth as described by James in his epistle. The koakh, or monitor lizard, is also a very common word in the Bible which gives the sense of force or strength – in either a good or bad sense. This is reflective of the person who boasts in their own strength and not in that of Christ. He then is the opposite of what Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

After that is the letaah, or lizard. You can greet this one as it comes in the door and goes back out. It is only seen this once in Scripture. It comes from a root which means “to hide.” The scholar Bochart says that it creeps close to the ground and is poisonous. It is emblematic of a person Paul and James speak of who have a tongue which is deceitful and full of deadly poison.

Next is the khomet, or sand reptile. You can also say hello and goodbye to this fellow as well. He is seen only here in Scripture. Khomet comes from an unused root meaning to lie low, and thus creep. Such a person represented here is seen in 2 Timothy 3:6 –

For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts…”

And finally is the tinshemeth, or chameleon. This is the same word used in verse 18 to describe the white owl. It is from a root which means to pant, as in a hard breather, and hence to blow away or destroy. As we saw, it speaks of those who would come in to destroy the faith of others.

31 These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening.

Again, one is unclean until evening by touching any such carcass. As long as we can remember that each of these is showing us a spiritual picture of uncleanness in specific people, we can more readily understand why this is included. Believers are to separate themselves from such types, except in the matter of continued evangelism.

32 Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean.

This verse specifically singles out items in which melakah, or work, is done. Nothing is said about such things that are not used for work. All of these items were non-absorbent, and therefore they simply needed to be washed and then they were unclean until evening. On the other hand…

33 Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean:

An earthen vessel is absorbent, and therefore it was to be broken. In type, the clay jar is a picture of humanity. In Leviticus 6, a clay instrument which was used for the holy things was to be broken in order to not transfer holiness. Here it is for the exact opposite reason. When it is touched by something defiled, it was also to be broken. The person who has absorbed defilement must be destroyed. This will either happen at the cross of Calvary, or it will happen at the final judgment.

The holy is not to be mixed with the profane, and we, as earthen jars, are to be filled with that which is holy. After that, we are to keep ourselves from being mixed with that which is profane.

34 in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean.

In such a vessel” is speaking of any vessel in verses 33 & 34. If they have food in them, and that food is moistened with water, or if there is any type of drink in such a vessel, and it has become unclean by one of these carcasses, then the food or drink becomes unclean; it is not to be eaten. In other words, the unclean vessel defiles the water, and the unclean water defiles the food.

35 And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.

Here are mentioned the tannur and the kir. The tannur are small fire pots or even portable earthenware furnaces. The tannur represents divine judgment. The kir, or stove, is seen only here in the Bible. It is a cooking range consisting of two parallel stones, across which the boiler is set, and it comes from kur which is a furnace. It is a picture of divine testing and purification, as in Isaiah 48:10. The picture is clear, there is to be complete purification from, and judgment of, uncleanness from such defilement.

36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean.

The mayan, or spring hasn’t been seen since Genesis 8 at the time when the great springs of the deep gushed forth. It is a spring which issues water from it. The bowr, or cistern, is similar. It is a well or a pit. These are then described by the word mikveh mayim, or gathering together of water. The idea is that they have water flowing in them underground.

Because of the large volume of water which they contained, and especially for such a pit which would continuously renourish itself, the water would not be considered defiled. However, someone would need to get the dead thing out, and such a person would become unclean in the process. In other words, the carcass remains a source of defilement. And yet, he could wash with the water from which it was pulled out of in order to cleanse himself.

One can see the word of God all over this. It is that which purifies us. It is a constant flow of purification, and will not become defiled, but the one who applies it to their life can still become defiled through mixing with the profane. Thus we need to watch our lives, and purge out that which is unclean.

37 And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean.

The word zerua is introduced here. It will only be seen now and in Isaiah 61:11. It indicates a seed which is sown.

A seed is a seed until something is done with it. In Masada, Israel, a collection of date palm seeds were preserved in an ancient jar dating back 2000 years. In 2005, they were planted and one of them sprouted and has grown since then, even going on to reproduce. It is affectionately known as the Methuselah palm. Until its seed had something done to it, it simply remained a seed.

This is the idea that was understood even 3500 years ago. Seed that was to be planted did not pick up defilement. It remained impermeable to such impurity. If a lizard or some other unclean animal died in a pile of seed, it would not become impure.

38 But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you.

There are quite a few opinions on what this means, but it should be obvious. If seed becomes wet, and if a carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean. If seed has been sown, then a carcass wouldn’t fall on it. Water is the main key to begin germination. Once water is applied to a seed, it begins the process. Therefore, if un-sown seed has had its shell weakened in this way, then the seed becomes defiled. It is not to be used for cooking or for sowing; it is defiled.

The picture is obvious, like seed which will produce after its kind, if a doctrine is defiled, it will produce only defiled doctrine. It cannot be made pure. All false doctrines are unclean and they are to be thrown out.

Unclean until evening, what will I do?
Nobody saw me touch that thing, and yet this is right
To myself and to my God, I must be true
And it’s only 10 more hours until comes the night

It’s kind of hard for me to understand this
If I had touched it at 5pm, I would only be unclean an hour
What am I not getting, or from the law what did I miss?
That being unclean would carry such a varying power

What is it about the ending of the day?
What is it about the turning of that one hour?
That will my debt of uncleanness pay
What is it about that certain time, that carries cleansing power?

I know that in Messiah, all of this will be made known
And the revealing of every mystery will be shown

II. You Shall be Holy For I am Holy (verses 39-47)

39 ‘And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening.

This is speaking of any animal which was considered acceptable as food. If it died, meaning naturally or by being killed by another animal or the like, but not in the proper manner where its blood was drained first, it was unclean and touching it would make the person unclean until evening.

What must be considered after hearing the term “unclean until evening” now for the seventh time is what that must mean. As I said earlier, this is picturing the work of Christ, as it must be. Nothing is said anywhere about the time of the defilement. It might have happened at 6 in the morning or 5:48 on a day when evening started at 6pm. The period of defilement ended at evening – the beginning of a new day.

No distinction is made between 12 hours and 12 minutes. The defilement ends with the new day. Thus, the defilement does not cling for a set time period. It also means that the defilement is one of conscience. More often than not, only God and the person would be aware of what occurred. If a person had a consciousness of their defilement, they were to let it go at evening time.

This is why it is so important to remember that all debts and all defilement, are forever removed in Christ, and the purification of the conscience in Him should therefore be permanent. This is why the good news of the book of Hebrews is such really good news. There we are told that “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

40 He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

Eating the meat of a carcass was forbidden because the animal had not been properly bled. However, if someone did this unintentionally, or if they did it out of necessity, it could not be considered an intentional sin. It became a sin of ceremonial defilement. For such an infraction, the person had to both wash his clothes and remain unclean until evening.

The same is true with someone who carried such a carcass. In the previous verse, we saw that a person who simply touched such a carcass was unclean, but they did not need to wash their garments. And in carrying the carcass of a clean animal, they became just as unclean as someone who carried the carcass of an unclean animal. In this, we see that it is the death which defiles, not the type of animal itself.

41 ‘And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten.

This is now given as an all-encompassing statement. Besides those eight creatures mentioned in verses 29 & 30 which are forbidden to touch their dead carcasses, and besides those acceptable insects of verses 21 & 22, all other creeping things that creep on the earth were forbidden to be eaten. They were to be considered detestable, putrid things.

42 Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth—these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination.

The general statement of the previous verse is now broken down into three specifics: 1) Whatever crawls on its belly, meaning serpents and the like; 2) whatever goes on all fours, would be things like scorpions, beetles, and the like; and 3) Whatever has many feet, which describes caterpillars, centipedes, millipedes, and the like. All such things were to be considered as detestable, putrid things to Israel.

Of a point of interest, the word gakhon, or belly is used for the last of only two times in the Bible. It was first used in Genesis 3:14 when the serpent was cursed by the Lord –

So the Lord God said to the serpent:

Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life. Genesis 3:14

In the Hebrew manuscripts, the third letter of this word is a vav, and it is written much larger than other letters – a very rare occurrence in the Bible. The text then adds in a margin note which states that this is the center of the five books of Moses.

But don’t get too excited about that, depending on which text is used, this is not the always the case. Other countings place it in Leviticus 8:28 or elsewhere. What is exciting about this large vav, is that in the first use of gakhon in Genesis 3:14, there was no vav. But in this final use, there is one, and it is much larger than normal.

As a letter, the vav is used as a hook or a transition in the Hebrew language. But, the vav isn’t just a letter. It also a word, meaning hook. As a word, it is used 13 times in the Bible, all in Exodus in the building of the tabernacle. As a letter, it is the sixth letter of the aleph-bet, six being the number of man. In picture, the hooks of Exodus were clearly seen to be that of the divine Man, Christ Jesus.

It is He who is the hook or transition between the two realmsthe finite and the infinite. Just as the vav is the connector of words and members within a sentence, Christ is the connector between the divine and the earthly. It is a reference to His incarnation. He is the God/Man.

Without stretching this too far, the vav of this word gakhon, appears to be enlarged to once again point us to Christ. Gakhon signifies the belly, as the source of the fetus. It then comes from the word giakh, meaning to burst forth. And sure enough, He is the one who burst forth from the belly of woman, being a Man, but who did not inherit the sin caused by the serpent, and who has destroyed that same serpent who moves along on his belly.

If this truly is the center of the Torah, then it is even more remarkable. It would then be one more confirmation that Christ Jesus is the very heart and embodiment of the Torah of God, He being the incarnate Word; the link between the earthly and the heavenly.

43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them.

By eating the detestable things, they would in turn render themselves unclean. They were to be a holy people, and they were not to participate in any activity, including eating, which could then defile them. Here the word “yourselves” is literally “your souls.” The very being of who they were would be defiled by such actions. But once again, it is an action of the conscience. Nothing external can go in and defile a man. The life of Israel was to be one of proper conscience towards the Lord.

44 For I am the Lord your God.

ki ani Yehovah elohekem. The last time the Lord declared his name was in Exodus 31:13 when He said, ki ani Yehovah meqadishkem, “For I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” Now He proclaims His name again, instructing them to sanctify themselves because He has sanctified them. This is seen in His next words…

44 (con’t) You shall therefore consecrate yourselves,

v’hitqadishtem. Using the same word which He used in Exodus 31:13 – “I am the Lord who sanctifies you,” He tells them to sanctify themselves. There is amazing symmetry in the Bible everywhere you turn. The Lord has sanctified his people in order that they may sanctify themselves, as is seen next…

44 (con’t) and you shall be holy; for I am holy.

These words are repeated by Peter in his first epistle, and they form what is truly the main theme of the entire book of Leviticus. But, instead of focusing on externals as in the Law of Moses, Peter’s words implore the reader to focus on the internals. The Lord is holy, and therefore His people are to emulate Him and be holy. As always, it is the conscience which dictates this. A person could pick up a bug and nobody would ever know it except the person and the Lord.

Israel missed this important precept though. The rote observance of externals may lead to a holier than thou attitude, but it cannot lead to a holier person, unless it is accompanied by an internal desire to impel the actions forward because of a desire to emulate the Lord.

44 (con’t) Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

What is implied here, and which can be drawn out from the surrounding context, but which took Jesus to explicitly explain to Israel, is that the defilement which occurred here was a defilement of an agreement between the people and the Lord, and in their conscience. This has been explained in several ways, and it is exactingly stated in Matthew 15 –

Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Matthew 15:16-20

45 For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God.

This is the first time this expression is used in the book of Leviticus and it will be used eight more times in this book alone. He is tying the dietary laws into sanctification and holiness, and he is tying those things into His redemptive act of bringing them out of Egypt.

Egypt was a land defiled by animal worship – from the scarab beetle to the cobra, from the cat to the jackal, and from the ibis to the falcon – even to countless more. And so the Lord had set parameters around animal life in order to demonstrate His holiness. He had brought them out from that, and His intent with these rules was to show that He is above them all, and that He determined what would defile them and what would keep them holy.

In essence, this statement is intended to show them the obligations that He set forth for them, and it was to expose their ingratitude of His goodness when they rebelled and went against His word. He then succinctly sums up His overall requirements once again…

45 (con’t) You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

Their need for holiness is tied directly to His inherit holiness. Not possessing it on their part meant that they had no part in Him. This is a precept which seems entirely missed by them, even to this day. When they pray their feast blessings, Sabbath blessings, etc., they repeat the words “who has sanctified us with His commandments.” But one of His commandments is that they too are to be sanctified; they are to be holy. A partial, or selective observance of the Law is to make the law void and to nullify the sanctification needed on their part.

46 ‘This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth,

This is an overall summary of the law which has been given. However, it is interesting that in the chapter, they are listed as 1) the land animals, 2) the water animals, 3) the birds of the air, and 4) the swarming animals. But the order of this summary is different. It is 1) the land animals, 2) the birds of the air, 3) the water animals, and 4) the swarming animals. This is the same thing that happened with the summary of the sacrificial law in chapters 1-7. The second two in the category are reversed.

*47 to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.’”

The parameters for Israel are set, and they were given for a specific purpose and for a set time frame. The people were to use the guidelines in order for them to actively distinguish what could be eaten and what could not be eaten, and between what was clean and what was to be considered unclean.

Now, in Christ, those things which were once deemed unclean are no longer so reckoned. There is a marvelous freedom in Christ which these types and shadows only looked forward to. If you are struggling with the many laws found in the law, and if you are attempting to be obedient to some or all of them in order to “make God happy,” knock it off. If you want to make Him happy, put your trust in Christ and put away deeds of the law. Rest in Christ, trust in Christ, and be freed from the bondage of the law through Christ.

Closing Verse: “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” Romans 14:14

Next Week: Leviticus 12:1-8 We will milk these verses for all they’re worth… (Purification After Childbirth) (18th Leviticus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

Dive In – Nothing is Unclean of Itself

By these you shall become unclean
Whoever touches the carcass of any of them, you see
Shall be unclean until evening
So shall it be 

Whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them, a gruesome scene
Shall wash his clothes and until evening shall be unclean

The carcass of any animal which divides the foot
But is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud
Is unclean to you
Everyone who touches it shall be unclean, whether sis or bud 

And whatever goes on its paws
Among all kinds of animals that on all fours go
Those are unclean to you
Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening
—— It shall be so

Whoever carries any such carcass
Shall wash his clothes and until evening be unclean
It is unclean to you
It is not to be considered proper hygiene

These also shall be unclean to you
Among the creeping things that creep on the earth, yes every one
The mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; the gecko too
The monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon 

These are unclean to you among all that creep
Whoever touches them when they are dead
Shall be unclean until evening
Pay heed to this word, just as I have said 

Anything on which any of them falls
When they are dead shall be unclean
Whether it is any item of wood or clothing, or skin or sack
Whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water
——-for proper hygiene

And it shall be unclean until evening; you see
Then it shall be clean, so shall it be

Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break
And whatever is in it shall be unclean, this distinction you shall make 

In such a vessel, any edible food
Upon which water falls becomes unclean
And any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean
Even if it has something nummy like caffeine

And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls
Shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove
It shall be broken down; for they are unclean
And shall be unclean to you, not a part of your treasure trove 

Nevertheless a spring or a cistern
In which there is plenty of water, shall be clean
But whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean
Pay heed to what my instructions mean 

And if a part of any such carcass falls
On any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean
But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it
It becomes unclean to you; yes, unclean is what I mean

And if any animal which you may eat dies
He who touches its carcass shall unclean until evening be
He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes
And be unclean until evening; this is My decree

He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes
And be unclean until evening, as to you I disclose

And every creeping thing that creeps
On the earth shall be an abomination
It shall not be eaten
This law is given to the whole Israelite nation

Whatever crawls on its belly
Whatever goes on all fours, even from its birth
Or whatever has many feet
Among all creeping things that creep on the earth

These you shall not eat, my holy nation
For they are an abomination 

You shall not make yourselves abominable
With any creeping thing that creeps, you see
Nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them
Lest you be defiled by them, as you certainly will be 

For I am the Lord your God
You shall therefore consecrate yourselves to Me
And you shall be holy
For I am holy

Neither shall you defile yourselves, diminishing your worth
With any creeping thing that creeps on the earth

For I am the Lord
Who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God
You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy
Be circumspect in the path that you trod

This is the law of the animals and the birds
And every living creature that moves in the waters too
And of every creature that creeps on the earth
To distinguish between the unclean and the clean, as I so instruct you

And between the animal that may be eaten, nummy and good
And the animal that may not be eaten, be sure you have understood

Lord God, thank you for having done what we could not do
You fulfilled the law, and now it is done for us
It is over, annulled and through
Thank You O God, for the work of our Lord Jesus

And so through Him to You we give all of our praise
And we thank You for our freedoms in Christ, our matchless King
We shall rest in Him and His finished work for all of our days
And to You O God, we shall lift our voices and sing

Hallelujah and Amen…

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