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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Tetsaveh 20-5

You shall command

Exodus 29:19-37

...and you shall kill the ram and take part of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tips of the right ears of his sons, and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the great toes of their right feet, and throw the rest of the blood against the sides of the altar.

Ex. 29:20 ESV

Why blood on the ear?

The first thing a man has to do in order to fulfill his purpose in life is to listen. Israel's faith statement is: "Listen, Israel, the Eternal is our God, the Eternal is One." The word "listen" – in Hebrew shema, שםע  also means “ bey", "take heed". This is basic and one of the first things that a man needs to learn in life, to listen and to obey.

Now, when the priests where set in their ministry they had to be stained with the blood of a sacrificed animal. The blood is atonement for sin.

What was the first part of the bodies of the ministers of the Eternal that blood had to touch? The ear. The ears are the means to listen. The hand represents men's actions. The foot represents his walking, his behaviour. The most important of these three is the ear because it was the first to be atoned for in the priests.

This teaches us some things. Listening and obeying are the first to be affected in men's life. Therefore, it is the first that has to be cleansed. Sin is to not take heed to the Eternal's commandments. In other words, sin's essence is to not listen. Adam and Eve didn't listen with obedience to the commandment to not eat from the forbidden fruit. The essence of sin is to not listen. That's why the first thing to be atoned for was the ear.

This also teaches us that to be able to be close to the Eternal one has to have a clean and tuned ear. We have to take care the way we hear, as our Rabbi said: "Pay attention to what you hear... Take care then how you hear" (Mark 4:24a; Luke 8:18a ESV)

How do we take care of the ears? We'll point two things out: First, we have to take a lot of care against words spoken in the world. One who listens to false words, evil speaking, false rumours, evil language, dirty jokes, music made by sinners etc., can't be a faithful servant of the Eternal. We need to be cleansed from all this to be priests before the Eternal.

Second, we have to be very careful when studying the Scriptures and to listen to what the Spirit says. It's easy to interpret the Scriptures in a personal way and deviate from what they really mean. It's very easy to mix the voice of the Spirit with personal feelings and ideas. Private interpretation leads to many mistakes, as it is written in 2 Peter 1:20-21: "...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (ESV)

Even if the human mind's logic is a very useful tool and can reach a certain level of understanding of what's written, it's not enough to fully and completely understand what the Scriptures teach. The Scriptures are spiritual and only a person full of the Spirit will be able to understand them correctly. A human mind will never be able to reach full understanding of the written revelation because it has to be understood by revelation from the Spirit of the Eternal given to the human spirit. The human's spirit is unlimited and has the ability of understanding everything, but human mind is limited and will never be able to understand everything (cf. 1 Cor. 2:6-16).

May the Eternal allow the suffering Messiah's blood to cleanse our ears to be delivered from the world's bad influences and to be tuned to the voice of His Spirit who speaks to us through the Scriptures.

Many blessings,


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