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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

BeChukotay 33-6

In my statutes

Leviticus 27:22-28

'But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the LORD -whether man or animal or family land—may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the LORD.

Lev. 27:28 NIV

What does the word “cherem” mean?

This verse speaks about a special consecration called cheremחרם – not the same kind of consecration dealt with in previous passages. The term cherem has different meanings and must be understood according to the context. In Leviticus 27:21 and 28 and Numbers 18:14 it means something consecrated to the Eternal; in Deuteronomy 7:26 it means abomination: in Deuteronomy 13:17 it means a forbidden thing; in Joshua 6:17 and Malachi 4:6 (3:24 Heb) it means extermination; in Ezra 10:8 it means forfeit and excommunication and in Ezekiel 44:29 it means sacrifice.

Cherem is much stronger than a consecration. When someone gives the Eternal something as a cherem, it won't be redeemable, that is, it can't be bought back. The word comes from the root charamחרם – which means “to seclude by a ban”.

Dear disciple of the Messiah: check among your things to see if there is anything unworthy of a saint like you. Records, songs, pictures, magazines, images, keepsakes, charms, jewels, etc. Check if there is anything that may not glorify the Eternal and discard it to the anathema, throw it away and don't give it to anyone. If it's bad for you it is also for others. Take out of your house all objects related to idolatry or paganism so that the curse doesn't reach you, as it's written in Deuteronomy 7:26: "And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction." (ESV)



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