It is my observation that when people turn to what many call the Hebrew roots of the faith which Yeshua lived and taught; that we limit our new-found faith to changing just three or four areas of our life and never really come out of the world.
We stop keeping Christmas, Easter, and a few other holidays. We start to learn and do Yehovah’s holy days, as best we can with the poor information we have been given. We start learning to keep the Sabbath holy. And lastly, we learn what meat are clean (tahor) and unclean (tamei).
That is about it. We treat Yehovah’s word given through Moses like a smorgasbord; “I’ll have some of that 4th commandment, oh, and I’d like some Leviticus chapter 11 and some of chapter 23. But I think I’ll pass on the rest, it does not fit my lifestyle very well.” For most, it seems that doing these three things is enough for them to “think” they have now satisfied Yehovah’s requirements.
We forget (or just do not know) that there are many things in Torah that we (especially men) can do, or fail to do, that will get us kicked out from among Yehovah’s people, Israel. But how can we get kicked out of a holy nation that we have never joined? The most important thing that I teach is kingdom; we can not have a covenant with President Obama, the US GOVERNMENT, the STATE, or any other lawmaker or judge and be still be numbered among Yehovah’s people. He only has 2 kinds of men in His kingdom; the Ezrach (the spiritually born, native of the land) and the Ger (the stranger who dwells with him). There are no Gentiles in Yehovah’s kingdom. Once the Gentile finally leaves the kingdom and the elohim (the lawmakers and judges) of his birth and joins himself (and his family) to only Yehovah and His people, he then becomes a Ger and a citizen of Israel. We can only serve one master. That is what the 1st commandment is all about.
Thou shall have no other elohim existing before my face. (Exodus 20:3)
The whole point of the story in Acts chapter 15 was about teaching the new Ger the “minimum requirements” to sustain his existence in Israel while he learned and began doing more of Yehovah’s eternal and unchanging ways. James, the brother of Yeshua, and head of the called-out ones in Jerusalem gave 4 minimum requirements that all the new Ger (men with their families) were to abstain from and one that they were to do.
- Meat sacrificed to idols
- Sexual immorality
- Eating things strangled
- Eating blood
- And finally, on a positive note, keeping the Sabbath holy
Doing any of the first 4 things, and failure to do the last one, gets a man kicked out of Israel. We want men to stay in Israel long enough to learn Yehovah’s eternal and unchanging ways and that is why James, a very wise man picked these 5 things. I have 4 blogs on how a Gentile man becomes a Ger in Israel. It is called “The Gentile Becomes A Ger;” and every man would do well to learn this information.
As I said above, Leviticus 11 is all about Yehovah teaching His seed, Israel [He is not instructing any Egyptians], about what meats can be treated as food. But we, those who are coming into new life in Torah have failed miserably to understand how we are to treat these clean meats; especially the beef, goat and lamb that we eat on a regular basis. Leviticus 17 is all about how we are to process our meats; how they are to be slaughtered, how they are to be treated before and after they are eaten, who may eat them and even the duration of time in which they must be eaten. In this chapter we will find 5 statutes / regulations given by Yehovah, and failure to adhere to His instructions regarding the treatment of His clean meats will get folks “cut off” from among His people. I am 59 years old at this writing and just now coming to these new understandings because I have never had teachers who would learn, and do and teach His set-apart ways.
Now we begin Leviticus 17
Here is a quick overview of all 5 statutes in Leviticus 17.
- Leviticus 17:1-7 Instructions on how the domestic meats from the herds (cattle) and flocks (sheep and goats) are to be treated.
- Leviticus 17:8-9 All domestic slaughters and olah / rising / “burnt offerings“, in or near His camp, of the herd and the flock are to be brought to Yehovah.
- Leviticus 17:10-12 No blood is to be eaten!
- Leviticus 17:13-14 Treatment of our clean wild animals and birds
- Leviticus 17:15-16 Treatment of meat that dies of itself or torn by beasts
These 5 statutes encompass the treatment of all our clean (tahor) meat. We either follow Yehovah’s instructions and live, or ignore them and die. Remember: It is the one who learns, and does, and teaches even the least of these commandments concerning Yehovah instructions, who is going to be great in His kingdom.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law [the instructions] or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:19)
But these 5 statutes would not be numbered among the “least of these commandments.” Leviticus 17 covers 3 out of the 4 things that James choose to enumerate as prohibitions for the new Ger; these are things that gets a man (and his family) kicked out from among his people.
Next time we will talk about statute 1 and the meat that is being referred to in the phrase “meat sacrificed to idols” which we all eat, or have eaten (I do not eat it any longer).
But before I stop I want to point out an interesting progression from the 1st to the 5th statute. Yehovah’s message is revealed line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.
Each statute, except the last one, begins with the words “אישׁ אישׁ” (eesh eesh) or “man man.” My NKJV (New King James Version) usually translates this as “any man” or “whatever man.” But the point here is that we are talking about men, there are no lady eesh. Let’s now look at the enlightening progression of these 5 statutes.
- Leviticus 17:3 Any man among the house of Israel …
- Leviticus 17:8 Any man among the house of Israel, and among the stranger [Ger] who dwells among you …
- Leviticus 17:10 And any man among the house of Israel, and among the stranger [Ger] who dwells among you …
- Leviticus 17:13 And any man among Israel’s seed [perversely know as “the children of Israel”], and among the stranger [Ger] who dwells among you …
- Leviticus 17:15 “And every person … whether he is a native of your own country [Ezrach] or a stranger [Ger] …
What are we seeing here? There are only two kinds of men in Yehovah’s kingdom; the Ezrach and the Ger. Look at the progression. What does this tell us? What this tells me is that the “house of Israel” and “Israel’s seed” and a “native of your own country” and “the “ezrach” are all synonymous phrases; and again, they are all men!
Wow! So much to learn, so little time, a lifetime is hardly enough.