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Parashah 29 - 30

Acharei Mot - Kedoshim

Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14

Torah Readings (when Acharei Mot is read together with Kedoshim):

  1. 16:1-24
  2. 16:25 – 17:7
  3. 17:8 – 18:21
  4. 18:22 – 19:14
  5. 19:15-32
  6. 19:33 – 20:7
  7. 20:8-27
  8. Maftir: 20:25-27

Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15 (A); Ezekiel 20:2-20 (S)

Acharei Mot - means “after the death”

Kedoshim - means “consecrated ones”


The First Aliyah, 16:1-24

Vayikra 16 is one of the most important chapters of the Torah. In it are the instructions about the Day of Atonement, Yom HaKippurim, which falls on the tenth day of the seventh month, Tishri. This was the only day of the year during which the High Priest was able to enter the most consecrated area and offer incense and blood in the presence of HaShem. The purpose of this was to thoroughly cleanse the tabernacle of the sins that had been stored up in it during the previous year, on account of the uncleanness of the children of Israel. In spite of the fact that HaShem had given clear instructions about how the children of Israel were to keep away from ritual uncleanness so that the sanctuary would not be contaminated, it was inevitable that it would happen anyway. If someone who was unclean entered the tabernacle, it became unclean. A person could have entered the tabernacle not knowing that he was unclean. Someone else might have forgotten that he was unclean, and entered the tabernacle. Therefore HaShem instituted this Day of Atonement in order to cleanse the objects of the earthly tabernacle.

On this day, HaShem also shows man that he can be reconciled with Him. That is the great Day of Atonement. Atonement between HaShem and man is the central theme of the entire Scriptures, and in this chapter we see how this atonement will take place. The wrath of HaShem rests on man because of his sins. For man this wrath is deadly. The only thing that is able to still this wrath is if HaShem shows compassion. This compassion is revealed to man through the atonement that is based on the blood-sacrifice of innocent animals, as it is written in Leviticus 17:11,

For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.”(HNV)

This chapter is also one of the best texts for us to look at and see what happened to the Messiah Yeshua before and after his resurrection when he entered into the High Priestly ministry according to the order of Malki-Tzedek. He entered the heavenly tabernacle and cleansed it with his own blood, as it is written in Hebrew 9:22-26,

According to the Torah, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Messiah hasn’t entered into sanctified places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the High Priest enters into the most consecrated place year by year with blood not his own, or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”(HNV revised)

The tenth day of the seventh month is reflected in the tenth day of the first month. On the tenth day of the first month, a lamb was brought into every Israelite home in Egypt, where they were to celebrate Pesach in order to then leave the slavery of king Paroh. The Pesach lamb was appointed on the tenth day of the first month, and was sacrificed on the fourteenth day. The tenth day of the seventh month is therefore connected to the Pesach lamb. The blood of the Pesach lamb protected the firstborn from death. The meat of the lamb produced strength and healing in the weak and sickly bodies of the people. In a similar way, the sacrifices that are offered during Yom HaKippurim atone for the sins of the children of Israel in order to save them from death, as it is written in Leviticus 16:30,

for on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before HaShem.”(HNV revised)

Pesach is intimately connected with Yom Kippur. In the same way, the death of the Messiah Yeshua, which took place during Pesach, fulfilled a great part of the ministry of Yom Kippur in the heavenly tabernacle. He has entered into the Most Consecrated Place in heaven and remained there for nearly two thousand years. Since the High Priest not only entered the Most Consecrated Place of the earthly tabernacle, but also exited and blessed the people, we know that the Messiah is not going to remain in the Most Consecrated Place in heaven, but will go out from there to bless the people of Israel and all mankind. The Messiah has, therefore, fulfilled half of the Yom Kippur ministry. When he comes back to earth, he will fulfill the rest. On that day, all sin will be removed from those who have placed their hope in him, as it is written in Hebrews 9:27-28,

Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment, so Messiah also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation.”(HNV)

16:1 “HaShem spoke to Moshe, after the death of the two sons of Aharon, when they drew near before HaShem, and died”(HNV revised) – According to Nachmanides, this was spoken on the day after the sons of Aharon had entered the tabernacle with strange fire and died. Rashi, on the other hand, says that it was spoken on the same day that they died, in other words, the first day of the month Nissan (Aviv). Therefore the message of Yom Kippur was given during the month of Aviv, just before the Pesach celebration. This also connects the celebration of Pesach with Yom HaKippurim, as it is written in John 1:29,

The next day, he saw Yeshua coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”(HNV revised)

“after the death” – This is the name of this Parashah, Acharei Mot, “after the death”. This teaches us that this message also speaks of what would happen to the Messiah after his death. After his death, the Mashiach entered the Most Consecrated Place of the heavenly Mishkan and fulfilled this prophetic picture, as it is written in Hebrews 9:11-12,

But Messiah having come as a High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the most consecrated place, having obtained eternal redemption.”(HNV revised)

16:2 “and HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Tell Aharon your brother, not to come at all times into the Most Consecrated Place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark; lest he die: for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.’”(HNV revised) – As High Priest, Aharon had access to the Most Consecrated Place, but only once a year. Moshe, however, could enter at any time.

The prohibition of entering the Most Consecrated Place comes right after the mention of the death of Aharon’s sons. This might be a hint to the fact that they had tried to enter without permission, in which case it would have been one of the reasons for their death. In order to avoid a repetition of this, HaShem gave very clear instructions about how to enter that place and about whom it was that could enter.

The Hebrew word that is translated “mercy seat” is kapporet,[1] which means “cover”, “covering”, “lid”. It comes from the root kafar,[2] which means “cover (with tar)”, “overlay”, but it also means “forgive”, “pardon”, “replace”, “atone”. The same root is in the word, Day of Atonement, Yom HaKippurim, which is also called Yom Kippur, see Leviticus 23:27; 25:9. In the Septuagint, the Hebrew word kapporet has been translated into Greek as hilasterion,[3] which means “atoning sacrifice”, “place of atonement”, “place of reconciliation”. This word comes from hilaskomai,[4] which means “atone”, “reconcile”, “appease”, “recompense”, “make amends for”. The mercy seat is considered to be HaShem’s throne on the earth.

This teaches us that the lid not only served as a cover for the ark, but also as a place where the sins were atoned for and where HaShem revealed his compassion and forgiveness. This is the place where HaShem and man are reconciled. This is why it also has been translated as “throne of grace”, as it is written in Hebrews 4:14-16,

Having then a great High Priest, who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. For we don’t have a High Priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.”(HNV revised)

The place of atonement, the mercy seat, the lid of the ark, could only be visited by one person, once a year. When the Messiah came however, he was publicly revealed as a place of atonement, a mercy seat, as it is written in Romans 3:25-26,

whom God set forth to be a mercy seat, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Yeshua.”(HNV revised)

As we saw earlier, the Greek word that is translated “mercy seat” is hilasterion. This word only occurs twice in the Greek text of The Messianic Writings. This word is also translated as “mercy seat” in Hebrews 9:5. As we mentioned earlier, hilasterion is the way the Septuagint translates the Hebrew word kapporet. Kapporet is the lid that covers the ark of the testimony. The Greek text of Romans 3:25 therefore teaches us that the Messiah was set forth as a place of atonement, a mercy seat, a lid of the ark that is in the Most Consecrated Place of the heavenly and the earthly temples. When Yeshua died, he was presented publicly as a place of atonement, which connects his death with Yom Kippur. When the Messiah was brutally executed, all mankind could see that there is cleansing and eternal obliteration of sin, not only for Jews, but for the whole world as well, as it is written in 1 John 2:2,

And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”(HNV)

In 1 John 4:10, it is written,

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”(HNV revised)

The meeting place for HaShem and man is above the ark in the temple, as it is written in Exodus 25:22,

There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two Keruvim which are on the ark of the testimony, all that I command you for the children of Yisra'el.”(HNV)

In Exodus 30:6, it is written,

You shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with you.”(HNV)

According to the Greek text in Romans 3:25, Yeshua was set forth to the whole world as a mercy seat. In the same way that the mercy seat was a place of meeting for HaShem and Moshe, the sacrifice of the Messiah is a place of meeting for HaShem and mankind, as it is written in John 12:32-33,

“‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die.”(HNV revised)

The mercy seat is a place where HaShem reveals himself in an extraordinary way. The mercy seat exists on three different levels:

  1. In the tabernacle and temple on earth.

  2. In the body of the Messiah, which is a temple.

  3. In the heavenly temple.

Since HaShem revealed himself in an extraordinary way through the death and resurrection of Mashiach, his characteristics are revealed through this. We will name four of them here

  1. His righteousness. God’s righteousness demands that a sinner be punished with death. In order to forgive the sinner, HaShem must supply a substitute. Without a substitute that is a brother of the sinner, it is impossible to receive atonement. An animal cannot replace a person. If HaShem had set man free from sin and death through animal sacrifice, he would not be righteous. Through the death of Yeshua, the Eternal reveals that he is completely righteous when he forgives a sinner, see Romans 3:25-26.

  2. His compassion and love. Through the death of Yeshua, everyone on earth can become God’s eternal children through the forgiveness of sins and freedom from death, see John 3:16; 1 John 3:1.

  3. His faithfulness. Through the death of the Messiah and his resurrection on the third day, HaShem fulfilled his promises spoken to the prophets.

  4. His power. By Yeshua being raised from the dead, being given a transformed and immortal body, and being glorified as all power was submitted to him, HaShem’s incredible power was revealed, see Ephesians 1:19-21.

16:3 “Herewith shall Aharon come into the sanctuary: with a young bull for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.”(HNV) – Aharon could only enter the Most Consecrated Place through the substitutional sacrifices of animals that were connected to the death of the Messiah. This teaches us that the death of Yeshua is the basis upon which man can draw near to HaShem.

During the time of the temple, the HaKohen HaGadol, High Priest, prepared for an entire week for the most important day of the year. He left his home in order to spend the last week in the sanctuary. For seven days he purified himself with the purification water from the red heifer, in case he had unknowingly come in contact with a corpse, as it is written in Numbers 19:11-13,

He who touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days: the same shall purify himself therewith on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he doesn’t purify himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. Whoever touches a dead person, the body of a man who has died, and doesn’t purify himself, defiles the tent of HaShem; and that soul shall be cut off from Yisra'el: because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet on him.”(HNV revised)

During these seven days, he was also instructed by wise disciples whom the Sanhedrin had sent to him. This was so that he would be able to fulfill the Yom Kippur ministry correctly. There was also a substitute ready in case the High Priest would become tameh, ritually unclean, and unable to serve. They read and rehearsed Leviticus 16 and the laws, halachot, concerning the Day of the Atonement, until the High Priest knew them well. During that week, he also offered incense and lit the menorah.

The day before Yom Kippur the animals that had been chosen for this occasion were presented to him so that he would be able to recognize them easily. On the last day, the wise disciples were replaced by a group of kohanim (priests) who helped the High Priest practice the art of pouring the incense into his hands with a spoon. This would then be performed before HaShem in the Most Consecrated Place. This was one of the most difficult things since not one grain of the incense could be spilled on the ground.

The High Priest did not sleep the night before the great day. He read texts from Job, Ezra, the Chronicles, and Daniel in order to keep awake. If he fell asleep, the young priests would wake him by making noise with their fingers. If he became drowsy, he could stand for a while on the cold temple floor. There were others in Yerushalayim who also kept vigil that night. They read, prayed, and prepared for the great day.

16:4 “He shall put on the consecrated linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches on his body, and shall put on the linen sash, and he shall be dressed with the linen head-dress. They are the consecrated garments. He shall bathe his body in water, and put them on.”(HNV revised) – When the High Priest came before HaShem’s face in the Most Consecrated Place, he had to be wearing a special garment that consisted of four linen garments. Each year, new clothes were made for this special occasion. The regular clothes, which consisted of eight garments, were used by the High Priest in his normal daily temple ministry. They were made out of gold and precious stones as well as fabric and colors that came from both the animal and plant kingdom. The clothes that were used when entering into the Most Consecrated Place, came only from plants. These linen clothes expressed humility in the presence of HaShem.

Linen is presented for the first time in Scripture in Genesis 41:42, where it speaks of Yosef who was exalted and dressed in linen by Paroh. This teaches us that there is a connection between Yosef being exalted after having been in prison, and the priestly ministry during Yom Kippur. All of this leads us to Messiah ben Yosef, who was dressed in linen when he died. It is a sign of the priestly ministry according to the order of Malki-Tzedek, which he entered into after his resurrection, see John 19:40.

“bathe his body in water” – On Yom Kippur the High Priest did tevilah altogether five times with his entire body. Each time that he changed clothes he dipped his whole body in water and he washed his hands before and after. He washed his hands and feet altogether ten times that day.

First he did a tevilah (a purification dip) before he dressed in the golden clothes in order to begin the ministry that he performed every day as High Priest. After that he poured water on his hands and feet and offered up the daily morning offering, which was a lamb. He burned incense on the altar of incense and cleaned the menorah, the lamp stand. Then he offered his daily meal offering, minchah, as well as some of the additional offerings, musaf, which pertained to Yom Kippur, as it is written in Numbers 29:7-11,

On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a sacred convocation; and you shall afflict your souls: you shall do no manner of work; but you shall offer a burnt offering to HaShem for a sweet savor: one young bull, one ram, seven he-lambs a year old; they shall be to you without blemish; and their meal-offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenth parts for the bull, two tenth parts for the one ram, a tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs: one male goat for a sin-offering; besides the sin-offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meal-offering of it, and their drink-offerings.”(HNV revised)

Then he washed his hands and his feet and removed the golden clothes. He dipped himself in water and put on the clothes that were made of the finest linen, just for this occasion. Once again he poured water on his hands and feet, and then he was ready for the next step.

16:5 “He shall take from the congregation of the children of Yisra'el two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering”(HNV) – These animals were given so that the people would be atoned for.

16:6 “Aharon shall offer the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house.”(HNV) – According to Rashi, this is the same bull that is mentioned in verse 3. The High Priest had to pay for it himself. He laid his hands on the head of the young bull, and confessed his own sins and the sins of his family. According to Rashi, the word “atonement” in this verse means a confession of sins. Normally atonement has to do with the shedding of blood. According to Rambam,[5] Aharon uttered these words:

“HaShem, have compassion. I have sinned unintentionally. I have sinned intentionally and in an insolent way before you, both my family and I. HaShem, have compassion on my family and on me and atone the sins that we have committed unintentionally, and those that we have committed intentionally before you, as you say in your servant Moshe’s Torah (Leviticus 16:30), ‘For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before HaShem.’”

During all the confessions that the High Priest uttered throughout that day, he spoke God’s four letter Name, Yod, He, and Waw, He, altogether ten times. When the people heard the Name uttered they would bow to the ground and declare the following:

Baruch shem kevod malchuto le’olam va’ed.” (Blessed for eternity be the name of his glorious kingdom.)

16:7 “He shall take the two goats, and set them before HaShem at the door of the Tent of Meeting.”(HNV revised) – The two goats had to be alike in appearance, weight, and height. They were purchased with the corporate finances of the congregation.

16:8 “Aharon shall cast lots for the two goats; one lot for HaShem, and the other lot for the scapegoat.”(HNV revised) – After the confession was uttered over the young bull, it was not immediately slaughtered. First the lots were cast between the two goats. This made up a central part of the ministry of the Day of Atonement. Two inscribed plates in an urn were used for the lots. The inscription on one said “For HaShem” and the other said “For Azazel”. The High Priest took out the plates, one in each hand, without looking at them, and placed them, one on each of the goats. The inscriptions were read and it was called out over the goat that was chosen for HaShem, “This is a chatat offering for HaShem!”

A scarlet colored thread was tied on the head of the goat that was for Azazel and another red thread was tied at the entrance of the Consecrated Place of the temple. Talmud[6] teaches,

“Our Rabbis taught: Throughout the forty years that Simeon the Righteous[7] ministered, the lot (‘For HaShem’) would always come up in the right hand; from that time on, it would come up now in the right hand, now in the left. And (during the same time) the crimson-coloured strap would become white. From that time on it would at times become white, at others not.”

The same writings say further on,

“Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot (‘For HaShem’) did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white”[8]

Forty years prior to the destruction of the temple was year 31 on the Roman calendar. According to my calculations, this was the same year that the Messiah Yeshua died. After his death, the Yom Kippur ministry was not performed in a manner pleasing to HaShem.

What is Azalel?[9]

According to Talmud,[10] Azazel is a combination of Aza and Azael, which were the names of two angels who, before the days of the Flood, asked for permission to live among man, with human appearance, in order to prove that they would not sin as man had done. When they were granted permission, however, they sinned more than man had done before the Flood. Rashi[11], commenting on this statement, says that the goat is called Azazel because it atoned for sins, including the immoral deeds of Aza and Azael.

In his commentary on VaYikrah however, Rashi says that the word Azazel describes a barren and rough mountain, a very high cliff. In Gur Ariyeh, which is a commentary on Rashi, it is written that Azazel is a term that combines the words az, “coarse”, “harsh” and el “strong”, “hard”. The additional zayin in the word does not change the fact that the word hails from az and el. It is common for the Hebrew to add a letter in a word that is a combination of root words. Nachmanides says that when it is written that the animal was sent to Azazel, it simply means that it was sent to a barren and unpleasant place.

A Midrash[12] interprets the word Azazel as being satan or a shed, an evil spirit, but since it is written later that offering to demons is strictly forbidden, this interpretation must be questioned, see Leviticus 17:7.

16:9 “Aharon shall present the goat on which the lot fell for HaShem, and offer him for a sin offering.”(HNV revised) – The goat was not slaughtered at this time. It was only brought forth to be appointed as a sin offering.

16:10 “But the goat, on which the lot fell for the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before HaShem, to make atonement for him, to send him away for the scapegoat into the wilderness.”(HNV revised) – Rashi says that when it says that the goat must be presented alive before HaShem, it means that later it was sent away to die. The thought was to send it to a cliff and throw it over the edge so that it would be crushed.

The two goats speak of two different aspects of the Messiah’s death. The blood of one of them is brought into the Most Consecrated Place, verses 15-16, and its body is burned outside the camp, verses 27-28. The other is sent out into the desert, verses 21-22. One of them atones for sin, i.e. it satisfies the righteousness of HaShem, which demands the death of sinners. The other removes the sin far from the children of Israel.

16:11 “Aharon shall present the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull of the sin offering which is for himself.”(HNV) – The word “make atonement” is understood as an oral confession made over the High Priest’s personal animal. Here the High Priest uttered a second confession of all his sins and all the sins of the priests. In Psalm 135:19, the priests are called “house of Aharon”. After that he slaughtered the bull and let the blood pour into a cup that was given to another priest.

16:12 “He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar before HaShem, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil”(HNV revised) – This was the part of the ministry that required the most skill since he had to enter the Most Consecrated Place. The High Priest took glowing coals from the altar in the court and placed them in a golden bowl. Then a bowl with incense, which had been ground especially finely for this occasion, was given to him. He took the incense in both hands and put it in a spoon. He took the spoon in his left hand and the bowl with the coals in his right hand and entered the Most Consecrated Place. There he placed the bowl with the coals between the two poles of the ark. During the second temple period, when there was no ark, he placed it on the stone where the ark had stood. After that he took the spoon with either his fingertips or his teeth, in order to have both hands free, and he poured the incense into both hands. This was very difficult since no incense could be spilled on the ground.

16:13 “and he shall put the incense on the fire before HaShem, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the testimony, so that he will not die.”(HNV revised) – Then he placed the incense into the golden bowl with the glowing coals so that it made a cloud of incense between him and the mercy seat, where HaShem’s shechinah, glorious presence, was revealed. The smoke that was produced by the incense that was burning on the coals, which had been taken from the fire outside, symbolizes the moment when the Messiah Yeshua came before HaShem after being raised from the dead, as it is written in Zechariah 3:2b,

Isn’t this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?”(HNV)

In order for Aharon to be able to be in the Most Consecrated Place when the shechinah was revealed, he must burn the incense so that it would make a cloud that would protect him from death. In this cloud, he could come near HaShem without danger. This cloud symbolizes the Mashiach. Through him we can come near HaShem without danger. Without the Mashiach’s sacrifice, sinners will die in the presence of the righteousness of the Almighty.

The incense that was crushed symbolizes the Messiah. The incense that was placed on the coals, symbolizes the moment with the Messiah died and went through the fire. Through this death, a protective cloud was formed in heaven. Through this cloud, man can draw near to the throne of grace, as it is written in Hebrews 4:14-16,

Having then a great High Priest, who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. For we don’t have a High Priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.”(HNV revised)

In Hebrews 10:19-22, it is written,

Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the consecrated place by the blood of Yeshua, by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having a great Priest over the house of God, let’s draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and having our body washed with pure water”(HNV)

After placing the incense on the burning coals, the High Priest exited backwards, without taking his eyes off the mercy seat. The people stood and prayed for him so that the ministry in the Most Consecrated Place would go well. If one mistake was made, the High Priest would die and the people would not be forgiven of their sins. According to a Midrash,[13] the majority of the High Priests during the second temple period died in the same year that they had ministered during Yom Kippur since they were corrupt and had bought their position with money.

When the High Priest came into the Consecrated Place, all the other priests left, see verse 17. He stayed there for a while and prayed a short prayer and then he went out into the outer court where the people stood worriedly waiting for him.

16:14 “He shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.”(HNV) – This blood was taken from Aharon’s personal offering animal. The other priest had been constantly swirling the cup with the blood in it so that it would not coagulate. At this point, the High Priest would take this blood and go into the Most Consecrated Place a second time. There he would sprinkle the blood on the east side of the mercy seat, once upward and seven times downward, but not so that the blood would reach the ark. He counted aloud while he did this, “One (upward), one and one (downward), one and two, one and three… one and seven.” This way he would not make a mistake.

16:15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with his blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat”(HNV) – At this point the people’s goat that had been appointed for HaShem during the casting of the lots was sacrificed. They let the blood pour into a cup, and then it was taken within the veil and sprinkled in the same way as the blood of the personal bull offering, once upward and seven times downward. Then the High Priest exited backward and came out to the Consecrated Place.

16:16 “and he shall make atonement for the Consecrated Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Yisra'el, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins; and so he shall do for the Tent of Meeting, that dwells with them in the midst of their uncleanness.”(HNV revised) – Through the blood that was sprinkled before HaShem, atonement was made for the Most Consecrated Place and the Consecrated Place for the uncleanness that the children of Israel had contaminated the tabernacle with. Rashi says that the atonement that was brought by the blood sprinkled from the High Priest’s personal bull (verse 11) only covered the uncleanness that the High Priest and the other priests or the consecrated offerings had caused. In other words, the sprinkling only atoned for the sins that were committed by entering the area of the sanctuary while being unclean, tameh, by eating meat from the offerings while being tameh, or by eating offerings that were contaminated even though the person was tahor. The sprinkling of the bull’s blood cleansed the tabernacle from the uncleanness caused by the priests, and the sprinkling of the goat’s blood cleansed the tabernacle from the uncleanness caused by the children of Israel.

“and so he shall do for the Tent of Meeting” – In the same way that the blood of both animals was sprinkled in the Most Consecrated Place, once upward and seven times downward, it was then sprinkled on the veil of the Consecrated Place. First the blood of the bull was sprinkled and then the blood of the goat, once upward and seven times downward for each sprinkling.

16:18 “He shall go out to the altar that is before HaShem and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the bull’s blood, and some of the goat’s blood, and put it on the horns of the altar round about.”(HNV revised) – This is referring to the golden altar in the Consecrated Place, as it is written in Exodus 30:9-10,

You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal-offering; and you shall pour no drink-offering on it. Aharon shall make atonement on its horns once in the year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once in the year he shall make atonement for it throughout your generations. It is most consecrated to HaShem.”(HNV revised)

The blood of both animals, the High Priest’s personal young bull and the people’s goat, was mixed and applied to the four corners of the golden altar.

16:19 “He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and make it consecrated from the uncleanness of the children of Yisra'el.”(HNV revised) – The High Priest cleansed the place on the altar and sprinkled the blood on it seven times. Blood was sprinkled altogether 43 times in the sanctuary 2 x (1+7) in the Most Consecrated Place, 2 x (1+7) on the veil to the Consecrated Place, 4 times on the horns and 7 times on the altar (16+16+4+7=43). The blood that was left over was poured out at the foot of the altar in the outer court.

In Hebrews 9:11-14, 24-26, it is written,

But Messiah having come as a High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Most Consecrated Place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh: how much more will the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? … For Messiah hasn’t entered into consecrated places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the High Priest enters into the most consecrated place year by year with blood not his own, or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”(HNV revised)

In Hebrews 10:19-20, it is written,

Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the consecrated place by the blood of Yeshua, by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”(HNV revised)

Here it says that Yeshua’s blood is a way that we can walk on to enter into the Most Consecrated Place in heaven. This teaches us that when the High Priest sprinkled downwards seven times, a blood-way was “painted” that reaches the place where HaShem reveals himself. That is the place of intimacy with the heavenly Father, see Exodus 30:36b, “where I will meet with you”. The seven bloodstains on the ground are like seven steps that lead to the place of meeting. The number seven says that there is a sprinkling for each of the seven millennia of mankind’s sinful history on the earth. In the same way that it was sprinkled seven times on the ground, there will be 7,000 years of sin on the earth that need to be covered by the Messiah’s blood in the heavenly tabernacle. During the eighth millennium, there is not going to be any sin. Therefore the blood was only sprinkled seven times on the ground. After the seventh millennium, we will live in an age of righteousness, as a result of the Messiah’s death and resurrection.

16:21 “Aharon shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Yisra'el, and all their transgressions, even all their sins; and he shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.”(HNV) – This is the third confession of sins that the High Priest must make. This time it is for the sins of all the people.

16:22 “The goat shall carry all their iniquities on himself to a solitary land, and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.”(HNV) – The High Priest could not leave the court until the man with the goat had reached the wilderness. In order to know that he was there, platforms were built to stand on. When the man came to the desert with the goat, a man on the last platform would wave a piece of cloth. This message would be seen and passed on by the man on the next platform and so on until the message reached the temple in Yerushalayim.

When the people were living in consecration and righteousness, the scarlet colored thread that was hung at the entrance to the sanctuary became white when the goat that was taken out to the desert died. However, as we saw earlier according to the testimony recorded in the Talmud, this miracle did not always happen later on, and after the death of Yeshua until the destruction of the temple, it never happened. Therefore, the wise men stopped putting up the thread at the entrance to the Consecrated Place. A Midrash[14] says that the messenger tied half of the string at the edge of the cliff and the other half on the horn of the goat.

This text says that the goat carried on it the sins of the children of Israel. This is a shadow of what happened with the Mashiach ben Yosef, as it written in Isaiah 53:4, 11-12,

Surely he has borne our sickness, and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted… He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”(HNV revised)

16:23 “Aharon shall come into the Tent of Meeting, and shall take off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the Consecrated Place, and shall leave them there.”(HNV revised) – This is the third time that the High Priest changes clothes. The clothes that were used during Yom Kippur had to be preserved, and they could not be used during another Yom Kippur.

16:24 “Then he shall bathe himself in water in a consecrated place, and put on his garments, and come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people.”(HNV revised) – This verse teaches us that he had to cleanse himself in a mikveh when he changed clothes. Then he put on the golden clothes in order to offer the two goats that are mentioned in verses 3 and 5. He also offered some of the extra offerings, musaf, that are mentioned in Numbers 29:7-11.

The Second Aliyah, 16:25 -17:7

16:25 “The fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar.”(HNV) – After this, he changed clothes again for the fourth time, in order to enter the Most Consecrated Place and take out the spoon and the bowl of incense and coals. Hebrews 9:4 is not talking about the altar of incense that stood in the Most Consecrated Place, but about this bowl of incense that stood there throughout the entire Yom Kippur ministry. The word “altar” is not found in the Greek text of Hebrews 9:4.

After taking out the spoon and the bowl of incense, the High Priest changed clothes again to offer the last extra offering, musaf, of the day and to present the daily afternoon offering of a lamb and to burn the daily offering of incense on the golden altar. After that, he would offer the rest of the High Priest’s daily meal offerings on the altar. Then he took off the golden clothes and put on his own clothes to go home. The people joyfully followed him all the way home, since he had succeeded in his ministry.

16:27 “The bull for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Consecrated Place, shall be carried forth outside the camp; and they shall burn their skins, their flesh, and their dung with fire.”(HNV revised) – The bull and the goat were burned outside the camp to connect spiritually with what would happen to the Messiah Yeshua, as it is written in Hebrews 13:11-12,

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the consecrated place by the High Priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside of the camp. Therefore Yeshua also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered outside of the gate.”(HNV revised)

16:29 “It shall be a statute to you forever: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and shall do no manner of work, the native-born, or the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you”(HNV) – It literally says that we should press or discipline our souls. This expression is always interpreted to mean fasting, i.e. neither eating nor drinking anything for 25 hours.

16:30 “For on this day he shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before HaShem.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew text here says that HE shall make atonement for you before HaShem. Who is this referring to? It is not only referring to the earthly High Priest, but also to Mashiach ben Yosef, the suffering Messiah who would come to bring atonement for the children of Israel and cleanse them from all their sins before HaShem.

If the Messiah died on the 14th of Nissan, how could he then have fulfilled Yom Kippur, which is half a year later? The answer is that the Mashiach’s work is not yet finished. He has gone into the Most Consecrated Place in heaven, but he has not yet come out to the people. The second half remains to be fulfilled. When he comes out of that place, sin will be destroyed forever in all those who have received his sacrifice in a personal way. Then we will be completely transformed and set free from yetzer ha-rah. When the Messiah comes back, Yom Kippur will be the day when all the iniquities of the land of Israel will be done away with, as it is written in Zechariah 3:9,

“’For, behold, the stone that I have set before Yehoshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the engraving of it,’ says HaShem of Hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.’”(HNV revised)

In Malachi 3:1-3, it is written,

“’Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!’ says HaShem of hosts. ‘But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderer’s soap; and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to HaShem offerings in righteousness.’”(HNV revised)

16:31 “It is a Shabbat of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls; it is a statute forever.”(HNV) – This is where the expression Shabbat shabbaton is found. This is only used to refer to the weekly Shabbat and Yom Kippur. None of the Shabbats of the annual feasts are called Shabbat shabbaton. Yom Kippur is the annual Shabbat of the extra-shabbats, just as the weekly Shabbat is the Shabbat of the weekdays. There are seven additional annual Shabbats beyond the weekly Shabbats. Among these, Yom Kippur is a special Shabbat, just as the weekly Shabbat is to the weekdays, see Leviticus 23. It is the same with the Yovel, the year of jubilee, in relation to the seven shmitah years, free years, see Leviticus 25.

16:32 “The priest, who is anointed and who is consecrated to be priest in his father’s place, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, even the consecrated garments.’”(HNV revised) – This verse hints to us that Yeshua acted in his heavenly Father’s place when he brought atonement for our sins, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21,

But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Yeshua the Messiah, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Messiah reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Messiah, as though God were entreating by us. We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God. For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’”(HNV revised)

16:33 “Then he shall make atonement for the Consecrated Sanctuary; and he shall make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar; and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.”(HNV revised) – All the offerings presented on Yom Kippur accomplish this complete cleansing once a year. They are, however, not capable of eliminating sin within man. They can only bring atonement for the uncleanness and sins that have been committed during the year. Hebrews 9:1 – 10:25 is a deep Messianic teaching about the Yom Kippur ministry. Among other things, it teaches us:

  1. The Yom Kippur ministry on the earth does not make man complete by removing the very root of sin. It only forgives and covers it, but it does not remove it.

  2. The Yom Kippur ministry in heaven, makes man complete when he receives the eternal and complete offering that Mashiach Yeshua presents.

  3. One does not exclude the other, but one is the shadow of the other.

  4. The one will not be removed until that which is complete has come in. For some, this will be when the Messiah comes back and for others it will be when heaven and earth pass away.

17:3-4 “Whatever man there is of the house of Yisra'el, who kills an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, and hasn’t brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to offer it as an offering to HaShem before the tabernacle of HaShem: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people.”(HNV revised) – There are two interpretations of this text:

  1. It is only referring to the animals that have been appointed for sacrifice (R. Akiva and Rashi).

  2. It is referring to animals that have not been consecrated. During the desert time, it was forbidden to offer outside the tabernacle (Talmud Chulin 17a), see Deuteronomy 12:15, 21.

Permission to eat meat was granted after the flood. Prior to this, it was forbidden.

17:7 “And they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices unto the evil spirits, after whom they go astray. This shall be a statute forever unto them throughout their generations.”(JPS revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “evil spirit” is sair.[15] This word has been interpreted in several ways:

  1. Evil spirit, demon, an incorporeal being who hover around in abandoned and uninhabited places, see Isaiah 13:21; 34:14.

  2. According to a commentary by Ibn Ezra, these creatures were given the same name as goats, since this is the appearance they were assigned by those who believed in them.

  3. According to Yonatan ben Uziel’s Targum, this verse is talking about idols that are likened to seirim (plural of sair).

In 2 Chronicles 11:15, it is written,

and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made.”(HNV revised)

In 1 Corinthians 10:19-20, it is written

What am I saying then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? But I say that the things which the gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God, and I don’t desire that you would have communion with demons.”(HNV revised)

The Third Aliyah, 17:8 – 18:21

17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.”(HNV) – Blood represents life. Life is dependent upon blood.

Because the Messiah died and shed his blood, atonement was brought for the life of man. HaShem has instituted blood as a means of atonement because of the life, the soul, which is dependent upon the blood.

There is no foundation in the Scriptures for not allowing blood transfusion in order to save lives. The soul is not transferred from one person to another when some of the blood is transferred, and neither is any part of the soul (emotions, mind, or will). The soul is sustained by the blood, but it is not in the blood.

18:3 “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived: and you shall not do as they do in the land of Kana`an, where I am bringing you; neither shall you walk in their statutes.”(HNV) – This text shows us that the children of Israel are called to be different than all other people in the world, and especially immoral people such as the Egyptians and Kana’anites. They have been called to eat differently, dress differently, speak differently, and so on. Does this mean that one can just look at the way others live and then do the opposite? Is that what HaShem wants to teach us with this word? To a certain degree, that can be correct, but if we let what the pagans practice be the reason we make decisions about a certain way of life, then we may neglect doing something that HaShem has accepted or even commanded. We should not avoid doing things that are right just because other people are doing them! That is why it is written in verse 4,

You shall do MY ordinances, and you shall keep MY statutes, and walk in them: I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised)

It is not the pagans who are to determine our behavior, but the Torah of HaShem. There are many former Christians who are now walking on the road of restoration and who reject everything that Christians do. Just because some things are done in the Christian world is not reason enough to reject them. For example, we cannot stop reading the Scriptures, just because satanists are reading them. This outlook is unhealthy and in the end will lead people away from the straight path.

18:5 “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances; which if a man does, he shall live in them: I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – This text shows us that there is life in obedience to the commandments. The question is then: When we fulfill the commandments of the Torah, will we receive eternal life or long life on earth? The answer is: both. There are commandments that give long life under the sun, and there are commandments that were given in order to bring eternal life to man. For example, the commandment that tells us to believe in the prophet like Moshe who was to come, see Deuteronomy 18:15, is one of the commandments that give eternal life, as it is written in Acts 16:31,

They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”(HNV)

In Romans 10:3-10, it is written,

For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Messiah is the goal of the Torah for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moshe writes about the righteousness of the law, ‘The one who does them will live by them.’ But the righteousness which is of faith says this, ‘Don’t say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Messiah down); or, “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead.)’ But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;’ that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Yeshua, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(HNV revised)

There is no contradiction between Moshe and Yeshua. If there were, then Yeshua would have been a false Messiah. What Romans 10 teaches, is the same as what Leviticus 18:5 teaches, that there is life for the one who practices the Torah, since the Torah leads to the Messiah and to the righteousness that comes by faith which is spoken of in the Torah, see Deuteronomy 30:12-14. The problem arises when people try to use the commandments that are not given for eternal life and fulfill them in their own power and then believe that they can save their souls through their own merits. Another false teaching that is found within the apostate part of Judaism is that people have the right to enter the coming world by having their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Both these perceptions are dangerous and deceptive and in The Messianic Writings we can see that the messengers of the Messiah had to battle them often.

In Dr. David H. Stern’s translation[16] of Galatians 3:12, it is written,

“Furthermore, legalism is not based on trusting and being faithful, but on a misuse of the text that says, "Anyone who does these things will attain life through them"

The Fourth Aliyah, 18:22 - 19:14

18:24 “Don’t defile yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations which I am casting out before you were defiled.”(HNV) – All these things, see verses 6-23, were done in Egypt and in the land of Kana’an. Here we see that there are many commandments in the Torah that apply to gentiles. This text alone has twenty-four commandments that apply to the nations out of the 613 commandments that were given to Israel. The gentiles that had broken these commandments were judged for it. Almost all the sins listed here are sexual sins, but it also talks about sacrificing children by fire to a pagan idol, idol worship, and the shedding of innocent blood. In this text, therefore, we see the three primary sins: illegitimate sex, idolatry, and violence. Because of these sins, HaShem’s judgment comes upon all men, benei Noach, sons of Noach, as it is written in Ephesians 5:3-7,

But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes sanctified ones; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks. Know this for sure, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Messiah and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. Therefore don’t be partakers with them.”(HNV revised)

The gentile nations have a responsibility before HaShem to fulfill those commandments of the Torah, which correspond to them. If they do not, then judgment will come over them sooner or later. This text also teaches us that since the land of Israel is a consecrated area, sins committed there will be judged more harshly than they would be if they were committed in another place.

18:28 “that the land not vomit you out also, when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.”(HNV) – The land of Israel vomits out the inhabitants who commit these immoral sins. Because the children of Kana’an practiced these sins, the children of Israel received orders to drive them out of the consecrated land.

19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Yisra'el, and tell them, ‘You shall be consecrated; for I HaShem your God am sacred.”(HNV revised) – According to a Midrash,[1] this text proves that when Moshe declared the Torah to the people he would not normally gather the whole congregation at once. Normally he would first meet with his brother Aharon, and in a very detailed way he would give him all that he had received from HaShem. After that, Aharon would sit at Moshe’s right side. Then Aharon’s sons, Eleazar and Itamar, would come, and Moshe repeated the teaching to them according to their ability to comprehend. Then they would sit near their father and their uncle Moshe, and the same section of the Torah would be repeated to the elders of Israel according to their ability to understand it. Finally Moshe would repeat the whole teaching to all the men among the people. This was the common way in which the Torah was conveyed to Israel. This means that Moshe heard the same lesson five times, once directly from HaShem and four times out of his own mouth.

At this occasion, however, Moshe receives the order to gather the whole congregation of Israel, including women and children. The reason for this is that this portion of the Torah contains a number of laws that apply to all the people. According to Rashi, it is also because the majority of the most important laws in the Torah are dependent on this Parashah. For instance, in this passage we can find the general law about loving one’s neighbor as oneself. We can also find commandments that are similar to the ten words that were also spoken to the whole congregation at Sinai.[2] This short Parashah contains a total of fifty-one commandments.

This verse teaches us that it is not only the priests and the Levites who are to live a consecrated life, but it applies to the whole congregation of Israel. Consecration means distancing oneself from customs that are practiced by people that are far from HaShem and to be actively following Him in obedience to His commandments.

19:3 “Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Shabbatot. I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “respect” is yare,[3] which means “fear”, “revere”, “respect”. There are several differences between this commandment and the commandment found in Exodus 20:12, where it is written,

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which HaShem your God gives you.”(HNV revised)

The Hebrew word that is translated “honor” is kavad,[4] which means “weigh heavy”, “be rich”, “be honored”, “be a burden”. In Exodus 20 it is written that we ought to honor our father and our mother. In Leviticus 19, however, it says that we ought to fear our mother and our father. To honor is not the same thing as to fear. To honor one’s parents means not only to show them respect but also to give them the material goods that they need and to meet their needs when it is necessary, as it is written in Matthew 15:3-6,

“He answered them, ‘Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, “Honor your father and your mother,” and, “He who speaks evil of his father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, “Whoever may tell his father or his mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he shall not honor his father or mother,” You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition.’”(HNV revised)

In this text we see that honoring one’s parents has to do with financial help. To honor one’s parents also means to obey them in the Lord, as it is written in Ephesians 6:1-3,

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with a promise: ‘that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.’”(HNV revised)

In the text in Exodus where it is a question of honoring one’s parents, the father is mentioned first and then the mother. The text in Leviticus, however, where it is talking about fearing or revering them, mentions the mother first and then the father. Is the mother to be feared more than the father?

We will present a couple of explanations for this. In general, it is easier to fear one’s father than one’s mother, in the meaning of respect and reverence, because of his masculine characteristics. A child could easily take advantage of his mother’s soft and kind character. It is easier to have a lack of respect for one’s mother than for one’s father. That is why the Torah puts the mother first, so that we will not avoid respecting our mothers, but will show the same respect for both our parents.

If we look at the context, we will also see that there are degrees of respect: mother, father, and HaShem. It is an inversed order of authority. According to this order a child will learn, in his childhood, who is over him. First the child will learn to revere his mother, who spends the most time with him in his first years of life. Then the child will learn to revere his father, and finally to revere HaShem.

This text teaches us that one way of revering HaShem is to keep the Shabbat. A Jew who does not keep the Shabbat does not fear HaShem. A non Jew who fears HaShem will keep the Shabbat according to the level he choses for his life.

To revere one’s parents means not contradicting what they have said. Neither may one say, “What dad has said now is correct.” If the parents have certain chairs that are reserved for them, the children should not sit in them.

The Hebrew text literally says, “A man shall revere his mother and his father…”. This teaches us that the married man has a greater responsibility to revere his parents than a married woman does. A married woman does not have to obey her parents when her husband is telling her something else. When a woman is married she leaves her place under her father’s authority and stands under her husband’s authority, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 11:3,

“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Messiah, and the head of the  (married) woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is God.”(HNV revised)

19:4 “Don’t turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – The root of the word that is translated “turn to” is panah,[5] which means “turn oneself to”, “turn one’s face to”, “look to”, “look on”. This means that it is forbidden to look with curiosity or to admire idols and statues. According to Rambam,[6] it also has the practical application that it is forbidden to read books, listen to speeches, or involve oneself in cults, religions, or philosophical teachings that are foreign to the Torah. This text also teaches us that tourist trips for the purpose of seeing the ruins of the Mayan idol temple in Central America, the pyramids in Egypt, Notre Dam in Paris, Buddhist temples in Asia, the Bahai temple in Haifa, or any other place of pagan idol worship are forbidden. When people admire or are amazed by the buildings of pagan gods and statues, they are breaking this commandment.

“nor make molten gods for yourselves” – It is forbidden to make idol images, even for non-Jews. That also means that it is forbidden to do commerce with idol images, images of saints, crucifixes, Buddha statues, and other pagan cultic objects. It is also prohibited for an Israelite to make any financial profit from the idol worship of pagans.

19:10 “You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – The Torah teaches that the poor must be treated well. HaShem has an especially sensitive heart for the needs of the weak. That is why he commands us to help the needy in a practical and material way.

19:11 “You shall not steal; neither shall you deal falsely, nor lie to one another.”(HNV) – The theft that is spoken of here has to do with material goods. Since there is more than one commandment that prohibits theft, they are interpreted as referring to different kinds of theft. The first prohibition of theft is found in the ten words, as it is written in Exodus 20:15,

“You shall not steal.”(HNV)

Since the punishment for intentionally breaking any of most of the commandments found in the ten words is death, it is interpreted as meaning that the type of theft mentioned there is theft of people, i.e. kidnapping. Kidnapping is a crime that deserves the punishment of death, as it is written in Exodus 21:16,

“Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”(HNV)

In Leviticus 19, it is talking about theft of material goods. Taking anything that belongs to another is forbidden. Ya’akov lived with his father in law for twenty years. When he moved from him, he testified that he had not taken anything that belonged to Lavan, as it is written in Genesis 31:37,

“Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.”(HNV)

The way that Ya’akov was so careful not to take anything with him from Lavan’s home, not even a teaspoon or a pin, is a good example for all of us.

Time is something that HaShem gives every person. Therefore time is something that each one of us must invest properly so that it is not misused or lost. That is why it is forbidden to take time from anyone without first having permission.

Yosi approached Nisi, who is a very busy man, and asked his for time to have a five-minute conversation. Nisi agrees and is willing to give him five minutes of his precious time. Yosi, however, doesn’t care that he only asked for five minutes, but continues to talk, not conscious of the fact that not only is he breaking his word, but is also actually stealing time from Nisi.

Another way of stealing is by arriving late for an appointment. The one who arrives late is stealing precious time from the person who is waiting for him. If someone arrives late, not fulfilling the word that he gave when he decided on a certain time, he is not only corrupting his own word, but he is also stealing time from others.

Another way of stealing is to do careless work. If a man has been employed to work, then that man is worthy of his salary if he really works, but if he is careless in his work or takes breaks without permission, he is stealing from his employer. How can he, with a good conscience, receive money for the time that he has not been working, or for a job that has not been done well? A consecrated person works just as diligently when his boss is there as he does when he is away. One who must have a boss to constantly watch and make sure that he is not taking unnecessary breaks during his working hours, is a thief. There is no deceit in a true Israelite, as it is written in John 1:47,

“Yeshua saw Natan'el coming to him, and said about him, ‘Behold, an Yisra'elite indeed, in whom is no deceit!’”(HNV)

In this passage, the commandment about not stealing is written in the plural form. This teaches us that if someone knows about a theft and does not reveal it, he is guilty as well. The one who is silent becomes one with the person who has sinned.

19:12 “You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – The context here is money. When someone steals he could also easily try to hide his crime by deceiving others, see verse 11. If he does not repent it could also be easy for him to lie. This could be a question of something that another has confided in him, or something that he has borrowed and later denies ever having received. It could even go so far that he would swear falsely by HaShem’s name in the presence of a Jewish court, Beit Din, and claim that he has not taken the goods of another. To swear falsely by HaShem’s name is a serious crime.

Rashi believes that when this text says, “You shall not swear falsely by my name”, it is referring to any of God’s names, since in Exodus 20:7, it is only referring to the consecrated Name, YHWH.

This text teaches us that it is permitted to swear by HaShem’s name. The prohibition only applies to swearing falsely by his Name. How are we then to understand the text in Matthew 5:33-37, where the Messiah teaches us not to swear? It is written,

“Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’ but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.”(HNV revised)

When we read this text it seems as though Yeshua forbids us to swear at all. In that case his teaching would have contradicted the Torah, which permits us to swear, see Genesis 21:31; 24:9; Numbers 30:2.

The Hebrew manuscript of the book of Matthew, called DuTillet, can shed some light on this question for us. It is written there, “do not swear by any thing”, in Hebrew shum davar. Yeshua, therefore, does not forbid swearing in and of itself, but he forbids any oath to be sworn by things. The context of Matthew 5 confirms this interpretation. It talks about not swearing by heaven, earth, Jerusalem, or one’s head. All these are things, but swearing an oath by the name of HaShem is permitted, if it is not done unnecessarily, and if one fulfills the oath.

19:13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”(HNV) – The Torah continues to speak about money. In this verse, there are three prohibitions against taking or withholding another person’s money. The first speaks about not taking advantage of a position if one has the upper hand, in order to withhold another person’s money. For example, if one person owes another money, he cannot withhold it using excuses or deceit.

The second speaks of openly robbing through violence, as opposed to verse 11 where it speaks about theft done in secret.

The third speaks of procrastinating the time for a salary to be paid. This crime is compared with taking the soul of the worker.

When we see how many prohibitions there are against different kinds of theft, we understand how seriously HaShem views this sin. Theft bring a curse on the one who practices it, as it is written in Zechariah 5:1-4,

“Then again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, a flying scroll. He said to me, ‘What do you see?’ I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its breadth ten cubits.’ Then he said to me, ‘This is the curse that goes out over the surface of the whole land; for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on the one side; and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on the other side. I will cause it to go out,’ says HaShem of Hosts, ‘and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it will remain in the midst of his house, and will destroy it with its timber and its stones.’”(HNV revised)

19:14 “You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – There is a connection between treating handicapped people badly and fearing God. On the one hand it means that the one who mistreats the weak mistreats God who has created them. On the other hand it has to do with a heart attitude of contempt that only HaShem knows about. It is forbidden to look down on the weak in your heart, take advantage of them, mock them, or torment them. That is why it is written, “you shall fear your God”. HaShem sees the secret attitudes of the heart. If a person fears God, he will not think ill of those who suffer because of some kind of handicap.

If we interpret this text in the remez level, the allegorical level, we learn that putting a stumbling block before a blind person can also mean giving bad advice to an ignorant person. Fear of God is the remedy for this sin. One who is aware of the fact that HaShem knows his thoughts will not take advantage of or hurt an ignorant person or anyone who is at a disadvantage.

The Fifth Aliyah, 19:15-32

19:15 “You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”(HNV) – This text is not speaking to all the citizens of Israel, but only to the judges. A regular person does not have the right to judge his neighbor, as it is written in Matthew 7:1-6,

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye;’ and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye. Don’t give that which is sanctified to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”(HNV revised)

The text in Leviticus 19:15 teaches us that the Torah was written primarily to the judges of Israel. A judge may not, out of compassion, show partiality to the poor. If he did, he would not be able to judge rightly if the poor person had committed a crime. Social status cannot alter justice. In the same way it is forbidden for a judge to honor a great man, which in this case means rich. The judge who changes his behavior or his judgment for the rich man, just because he has money or power to harm, is a corrupt judge. The same attitude is forbidden among all citizens. If we honor a rich man just because of his financial status, and we do not give the same honor to a poor man, we sin by being a respecter of persons, as it is written in James 2:1-9,

“My brothers, don’t hold the faith of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah of glory with partiality. For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your assembly, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, ‘Sit here in a good place;’ and you tell the poor man, ‘Stand there,’ or ‘Sit by my footstool;’ haven’t you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn’t God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts? Don’t they blaspheme the honorable name by which you are called? However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.”(HNV revised)

“in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” – This can be understood in different ways. On the peshat-level, the simple level, it can be understood in the way that we have seen earlier, that a judge may not regard the financial status of a suspect when he passes a judgment. According to this interpretation, this sentence serves to confirm what has been said earlier.

The second way of understanding this text is that the accused ought to be considered innocent until the opposite is revealed through proof and witnesses.

The third way of understanding this text is to interpret another person’s suspicious actions in the best light since no one knows the true reason and motive behind the suspicious behavior, which may appear to be sinful.

Never judge anyone without first putting yourself in his place! The one who has compassion in the way he treats his neighbor will receive a compassionate judgment in the Messiah’s court.

19:16 “You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people; neither shall you stand against the life of your neighbor. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – A slanderer is one who listens to a negative message about another, passes the message on to a third party, and then reveals to the accused person what has been said about him. Even though what was said is true, it is still considered slander, in Hebrew rechilut, and it is forbidden according to the Torah.

The root of the Hebrew word that is translated “stand against” is amad,[7] which means “stand up”, “stand still”, “be still”. The meaning of this sentence therefore is that we should not stand in indifference when a person, Jew or non-Jew, is in life threatening peril, if one has the possibility of saving him. Human life is so precious that breaking nearly every commandment is permitted if it should mean saving one soul. However, if by saving another, we put ourselves in life threatening danger, we are not obligated to help.

This also means that it is forbidden to remain silent if we can testify to the help of someone and save him from being judged by a Beit Din.

19:17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.”(HNV) – Hating someone in secret is forbidden. There are certain people we do not like even though we don’t know why. We simply do not like them. When we feel this, it is important not to let the deceitful emotions of our hearts take over, but instead we must decide to love this person even though we do not like him. HaShem uses these people to test us, to see if we are willing to love our neighbor without naturally liking them. Love is not just a feeling; it is also a decision to be kind to someone, even though they do not give you anything in return.

The commandment about rebuking our neighbor is one of the hardest commandments. No one likes to rebuke or be rebuked. The flesh in us is very prideful and does not like to receive rebuke, especially if the rebuke is coming from someone who is on the same level as we are, or a lower level. In spite of this, it is important to take this commandment seriously and to watch over the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters of the faith. A spiritually mature person appreciates rebuke that is given at the right time, because he knows that he can easily make a mistake even though he is mature. Therefore he values correction highly since it helps him to improve his lifestyle and to avoid making mistakes that bring damage to HaShem’s name, himself, and others.

There are some general principles that can help us to fulfill this commandment in the right way:[8]

  1. One who sees another breaking one of the clear commandments of the Torah ought to rebuke him, even if he knows that the other person will not accept the rebuke.

  2. One who sees another breaking one of the commandments that are not directly expressed in the Torah ought not to say anything, if he is sure that the other person will not accept the rebuke.

  3. If the one who sees another commit a sin is not sure whether the other will listen or not, he ought to rebuke him even though he is not committing a sin that is a direct crime against the Torah.

  4. The commandment about rebuking one’s neighbor only applies when the neighbor is one who wants to fulfill the Torah. It does not apply to an evil person or one who openly despises the Torah, see Proverbs 9:8.

  5. If a Beit Din has the possibility to punish one who breaks a commandment, it is obligated to do so.

  6. The one who is obligated to rebuke the other, ought to do so until the point that the sinner is about to begin insulting him or become violent, see 1 Samuel 20:32-33.

“and not bear sin because of him” – This text teaches us several things. First of all, it means that if you rebuke your neighbor, you are not sinning. Secondly it means that if you do not rebuke your neighbor, you will bear sin because of him, as it is written in Ezekiel 3:18-19,

“When I tell the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked, and he doesn’t turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”(HNV)

In Matthew 18:15-17, it is written,

“If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a gentile or a tax collector.”(HNV revised)

This text shows us that we have a responsibility to rebuke one another in order not to bear sin on account of others, as it also is written in Hebrews 3:12-13,

“Beware, brothers, lest perhaps there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God; but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called ‘today’ lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”(HNV revised)

However, in order not to bear sin for the other person’s sake, one ought to consider certain things. First of all, the rebuke ought to be given privately so that the sinner will not be put to shame. Our Rabbi Yeshua teaches us, “go, show him his fault between you and him alone”. There are, however, other cases in which a leader ought to be rebuked by other leaders in public so that his sin will not become a bad example for the people to follow, see 1 Timothy 5:19-20.

Secondly, we ought to be very careful with our tone of voice and with what words we use when we rebuke, so that we do not hurt the sinner, see 2 Timothy 2:24-26.

If the person does not heed the first warning, we ought to seek two or three witnesses who can help to rebuke with greater influence. If the person in question still does not want to repent, then the case ought to be taken to court, Beit Din, which in Matthew 18:17 has been translated as “the assembly”. If the transgressor refuses to listen to the judgment that the Beit Din passes, he ought to be considered a heathen and a collaborator. In other words, he is no longer considered to be a member in the congregation of the children of Israel.

In Matthew 7:3-6, it is written,

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye;’ and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye. Don’t give that which is sanctified to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”(HNV)

In order to rebuke someone in the right way, we ought to be very sure that we are not guilty of the same offence. If someone breaks a commandment without making teshuvah, without repenting, he will have a bad conscience and be plagued by guilt. The feeling of guilt can either be based on truth, if we really are in sin, or it can be based on a lie, if we are not living in sin. In both cases, the person with a feeling of guilt has a tendency to look for faults and sins in others. Since he feels accused by his own conscience or by others, it is easy for him to project this feeling to others by pointing the finger and accusing others of their faults. One who feels accused will accuse others. There is also a tendency for the person who feels accused to try to justify himself by pointing out the sins of others who are living a more sinful life than he is. These two reactions, accusation and self-justification, are symptoms of a soul who is unhealthy and has not experienced the depth of forgiveness for his sins.

The one who has first dealt with his own beam will not only have the ability to rebuke his neighbor, but is obligated to do so when the circumstances call for it. Yeshua teaches us that after we have taken out the beam from our own eye, we ought to help our neighbor take out the speck in his eye. If, however, the neighbor is not a brother, but a dog or a pig, then it is not worth the trouble of giving him these pearls because he will trample them and harm us.

In Talmud[9] it is written,

“It is better to cause the person himself to admit the truth than to pressure him with a hundred blows.”

Those who do not correct the bad behavior of their children are committing a serious crime.

19:18 “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – To take vengeance means to repay someone with the same kind of evil actions that he has committed. Bearing a grudge is not the same as taking vengeance. A grudge is a feeling that a person holds against another when he has done something evil.

This verse contains the commandment that is next to the most important commandment in the whole Torah, as it is written in Mark 12:28-31,

“One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, ‘Which mitzvah is the greatest of all?’ Yeshua answered, ‘The greatest is, “Hear, Yisra'el, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. The second is like this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’”(HNV revised)

During Yeshua’s day, there was a discussion about who is considered a neighbor according to the Torah. In Leviticus 19:18 it seems as though the word “neighbor” only refers to one of “the children of your people”, i.e. that it is limited to the Israelites. But verse 34 teaches us that the expression, “your neighbour”, is not limited to meaning only one of the children of Israel, but includes foreigners as well, as it is written,

The stranger that dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself. For you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am HaShem your God.” (MKJV revised)

Love, however, can be expressed primarily to those closest to us. One who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love the stranger whom he has not seen. Love begins with those closest to us and reaches on to everyone else, as it is written in 2 Peter 1:5, 7:

“This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all… But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua the Messiah, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”(HNV revised)

In Luke 10:25-37, we find the answer that our Rabbi gives to the discussion that they had about who is the neighbor of a Jew, as it is written,

“Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? How do you read it?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”’ He said to him, ‘You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Yeshua, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ Yeshua answered, ‘A certain man was going down from Yerushalayim to Yericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, “Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.” Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?’ He said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Yeshua said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”(HNV revised)

The Samaritans were hostiles towards the Jews, see John 4:9. This text teaches us that we ought to love all people groups on the earth. Your neighbor is the man you have in front of you, and it doesn’t matter if he is from your own people or a foreigner. Neither should your love be limited to those who treat you well, as it is written in Romans 5:6-10,

“For while we were yet weak, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.”(HNV revised)

Here we see that God’s love includes the weak, the ungodly, sinners, and enemies. We can also see that this love is expressed by God giving his Son for them, as it is written in John 3:16,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”(HNV revised)

Here it does not say that God only loved the part of Israel that obeyed him, but that he loved the whole world. That includes those among the children of Israel who do not obey him as well as all those in the world who do not belong to the Jewish people.

The Torah teaches us that we ought to love those who belong to our people, but also the stranger who lives among us, since these are the ones to whom we can directly express our love. I cannot express love to one I do not know. Those closest to me are the ones who can partake of my love and I ought to make an effort to show them the same love that I show myself. If I love my neighbor, I am not going to deceive him or use him. I will take care of his possessions as if they were my own, yes, and even better. I will not harm him with my words, but I will speak to him with respect and I will speak well of him before others. I will not keep my joy to myself, but I will share it with him, and I will be just as joyful when he is successful as I am when I have had success. I will do for him what I wish that someone would do for me in a similar situation.

This text in the Scriptures also teaches us that we ought to love ourselves. You cannot love others if you do not first love yourself. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, neither more nor less. You should not love your neighbor more than yourself, but just as much. One who does not love himself, is not capable of loving his neighbor. Love yourself! Forgive yourself! Speak well of yourself! Take good care of yourself! And do the same for your neighbor!

In Romans 8:32-35, it is written,

“He who didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? Who could bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Messiah who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”(HNV revised)

This Bible text teaches us that Yeshua was delivered up for us ALL. The Father’s love, which is revealed through Yeshua HaMashiach, is for each one of us specifically.

“Who could bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?” – If you have been chosen by God to become an object of his love, who are you then to accuse yourself? What right have you to treat yourself ill when HaShem has forbidden the adversary to accuse you once you have repented of your sins? Romans 8:33 is speaking against the adversary, who is the accuser of the brethren. If God, who is the highest Judge, has justified you, declared you innocent, then there is no prosecutor in the world who can accuse you.  The final judgment has already been passed. So who has given you the right to continue accusing yourself for your mistakes, even after you have regretted them and repented of them? If the adversary cannot accuse you, how do you dare to? Stop accusing yourself!

“Who is he who condemns?” – This is referring to the Judge who has the power to condemn, to convict. Since you have placed your faith in Yeshua’s atoning death, HaShem cannot condemn you. He cannot pass a convicting judgment against you since he has already declared you innocent on account of your repentance and trust in the Eternals grace, which was manifested through the atoning work of Yeshua. How then, do you dare pass a conviction against yourself? Stop using words about yourself such as “I am worthless”, “I can’t do anything”, “I am so stupid”, “I always make mistakes”, “I have such a bad memory” and so on! These words are not in agreement with the words that the righteous Judge has spoken over you. He has declared you innocent and free of guilt. So do not blame yourself any longer and do not allow yourself feelings of self-accusation. You ought not even to think badly of yourself. Love yourself and receive the love that the Father has given you through his Son. Then you will be able to love your neighbor as yourself.

Love for our neighbor is dependent upon the extent of our understanding of the love that the Father has for us, as it is written in 1 John 4:8,

“He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.”(HNV revised)

One who does not love himself does not know God. The source of our love is God. The more we get to know God, the more we will be able to love ourselves and our neighbor, as it is written in 1 John 4:19,

“We love, because he first loved us.”(HNV revised)

Our love is in direct proportion to the amount of love we have received from the Father. In other words, if we cultivate our relationship with Him, we will be able to receive of his love and then we will be able to love our neighbor in the same way that we are loved by our Father.

19:19 “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not crossbreed different kinds of animals. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; neither shall there come upon on you a garment made of two kinds of material.”(HNV) – The Hebrew word that is translated as “my statutes” is chukotai. It comes from chuk, which is the name of a commandment that does not have any clear logical explanation. The prohibitions of mixing animals, seed, and clothing of different materials belong to these chukot, statutes without explanation. This text teaches us that, among other things, it is forbidden to cross breed horses with donkeys to get mules.

The commandment about not sowing two kinds of seed only applies to the land of Israel. In the book Kilayim, which is in the Mishnah, you can find all the laws regarding different kinds of seed and those that specify the distance between what is sown and harvested and so on.

The commandment about two kinds of material in the clothing only regards linen and wool, according to Deuteronomy 22:11, where the same commandment is found but is then limited to only linen and wool. This commandment does not apply to the High Priest’s clothing or to clothes that have tzitzit, tassels. These clothes can have both linen and wool in them since it was commanded by HaShem directly.

19:20 “If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not (completely) ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free.”(HNV) – The Torah continues to deal with prohibited mixtures, and in this case it has to do with a certain kind of adultery. According to Rashi, this woman is a Kana’anite (a non-Jew), half slave and half free. She has been appointed for marriage to a Hebrew servant, see the commentary on Exodus 21:4. Since she has not been completely ransomed, she has not yet done kidushin, the first step of the marriage covenant. Therefore this act is not considered to be full-blown adultery and will not be punished by death, but only by scourging.

19:21 “He shall bring his trespass offering to HaShem, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering.”(HNV revised) – This is one of the crimes that demands a guilt offering, asham.

19:22 “The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before HaShem for his sin which he has committed: and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.”(HNV revised) – The sin itself is not forgiven, but it is the sinner who receives forgiveness for his sin if there is repentance and shedding of blood. The sinner is free from that sin, but the sin itself is condemned by the need of an animal that must be sacrificed. This is a shadow of Yeshua HaMashiach’s death, which is the reality that projects the shadow.

19:23 “And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.”(KJV) – The root of the Hebrew word that is translated “uncircumcised” is arel,[10] which means “hindrance”, “block”, “close”, “be uncircumcised”, see Exodus 6:12, “uncircumcised lips”. The Hebrew text literally reads, “and you shall block their hindrances”, ve-araltem arlato. In other words, you must prohibit the fruit from the tree because it is hindered, or closed off. It is forbidden to use the fruit of trees during the first three years after planting. Even though this is a chuk-commandment, the Torah gives a small explanation in verse 25, “that it may yield its increase to you”. This commandment only applies in the land of Israel.

19:24 “But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be consecrated, for giving praise to HaShem.”(HNV revised) – Through gezarah shavah, similar expression, we understand that this fruit ought to be treated in the same way as the other tithes, see 27:30. This means that only the owner and his family, as well as any guests, can eat of this fruit in Yerushalyaim. If he cannot bring it there, he must sell it and use the money in Yerushalyaim for a fellowship offering and meals. These days the fruit of the fourth year is redeemed with money.

19:26a “You shall not eat any meat over blood.”(HNV revised) – Talmud[11] shows how this expression “over blood” can be interpreted in several different ways:

  • Not eating meat of an animal that has its blood still in it.

  • Not eating a dead animal as long as it is showing signs of life, i.e. when it has death contractions.

  • Not eating sacrificial meat as long as the blood is still in the bowl that is used to sprinkle the altar.

  • Not eating food that is given to those in mourning, if the one they are mourning was executed by the Sanhedrin.

  • The judges of the Sanhedrin must fast on the day that one they have condemned to death is executed.

  • Not eating meat as a glutton or obtain food by stealing and thus be executed as a “rebellious son”, see Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

  • Not eating before praying the morning prayer, which keeps up life (the blood).

19:25b “neither shall you use enchantments, nor practice sorcery.”(HNV revised) – The first word here, in Hebrew nachash,[12] has to do with predicting the future through different events that are considered omens, for example when a black cat crosses the street or when a mirror breaks. This commandment prohibits superstition. Lavan practiced this sin, see Genesis 30:27 “for I know through divination…”.

This type of divination, however, is not the same thing as when a person receives a revelation through the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of prophecy), with the help of certain signs, see Genesis 24:14; Judges 6:37; 1 Samuel 14:9-10. That type of revelation is a lower form of prophecy, called nevuah ketanah.

The second word in this text, in Hebrew “anan”,[13] has to do with “onah”, “season”, “time era”. It means believing that certain days bring luck and others bad luck for certain activities.

19:27 “You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard.”(HNV) – According to Rashi, it is forbidden to cut the hair on the temples in line with the hair that grows behind the ear, so that the circumference around the head is rounded in the corners. The head has two parts, the face and the skull, and they are united at the temples. According to Gur Ariyeh, the Torah calls the place where the face, including the beard, and the skull meet pe’at roshchem, the corner of your head”. It is forbidden to completely cut off the sideburns, i.e. the hair at the temples, so that the head does not have any hair from the area behind the ear up to the face. This commandment only applies to Jewish men. The tradition of letting these peot grow, does not come from the Chassidic Jews. The fact that the Yemenite Jews had long peot when they lived in their land of birth is proof that this tradition goes back to the time of the first temple or further.

The beard has five corners, two on each cheek, which are on the upper part of the head, and one on the chin. According to Rambam,[14] the prohibition of cutting the corner of the beard only applies to shaving with a blade.

These commandments were given so that the Hebrew people would be different than all other nations and specifically so that they would not look like the idol worshippers who would shave off their sideburns and the corners of their beards. As we know, the context here is about not practicing divination and sorcery.

19:28 “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, the Amorites, in Hebrew Emorim, see Genesis 14:7, used to cut marks on their bodies as a sign of mourning when someone had died.

Tattooing is forbidden.

19:29 “Don’t profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.”(HNV) – This means that a father does not have the right to allow his unmarried daughter to have sexual relations with a man without first entering a marriage covenant with him.

19:30 “You shall keep my Shabbatot, and reverence my sanctuary; I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – The Shabbat is the sanctuary of time in the same way that the temple is a consecrated place for HaShem geographically.

Rashi says that it was forbidden to enter the temple with a cane, coin purse, shoes, or dust on one’s feet.

When approaching the western wall of the temple, it ought to be done with reverence. When leaving it, we ought not to turn our backs to the wall immediately, but should first walk a few steps backward and then go away from there. We ought also to behave respectfully in synagogues or houses of study, which are “mini-temples”.

19:31 “Don’t turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – The Torah forbids all forms of spiritism or black magic. The Hebrew word that is translated “medium” is ov,[15] which is a reference to one who believes that he can call forth the spirits of the dead and that they speak through the armpit. The Hebrew word that is translated “wizard” is yidoni,[16] which is referring to one who puts the bone of an animal in his mouth and it begins speaking. The word yidoni comes from the name of this bone, yadua. One who practices any of these crimes is unclean and detestable to HaShem.

19:32 “You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “gray head” is seivah,[17] which means “older man”, “gray haired person”. It is referring to a man who is at least seventy years old. The Hebrew word that is translated “old man” is zaken,[18] which means “elder”, “man with a beard”. In this context it is referring to one who has a leadership position in Israel. A man who has gathered wisdom through the Torah is also called zaken. These are worthy of more honor than others. The way to honor them is by standing up in their presence, speaking respectfully to them, not addressing them by their name without adding a title, not contradicting them, and so on.

An elder who is a good teacher ought to receive double honor. That means that he ought not only to be honored in the way we mentioned, but he ought also receive financial compensation for his teaching, as it is written in 1 Timothy 5:17,

“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching (from the Torah).”(HNV revised)

The Sixth Aliyah, 19:33 - 20:7

19:33 “If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.”(HNV) – It is forbidden to mistreat a resident foreigner or a proselyte. Rashi points out that this is referring to not oppressing him with words.

19:34 “The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – The love for the resident foreigner ought to be the same as the love for the Jew. HaShem is not a respecter of persons. He loves everyone and that is why he confirms this commandment by saying, “I am HaShem your God”. This is so that the love that we show the resident foreigner will be for the sake of God. Israel was chosen to convey HaShem’s love and salvation to the gentiles.

20:3 “I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people because he has given of his seed to Molekh, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my consecrated name.”(HNV revised) – One who gives his child to a pagan god profanes HaShem’s Name. HaShem wants our descendants for himself, see Malachi 2:15. This is the main purpose of marriage. When giving a child to a demon, one acts in complete opposition to the purpose for which man was created and thus profanes the Consecrated Name.

20:6 “The person that turns to those who are mediums, and to the wizards, to play the prostitute after them, I will even set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.”(HNV) – Idolatry and occultism are considered spiritual adultery. It is the same thing as when a married woman unites herself with a man who is not her husband and thus profanes the marriage covenant. Both physical and spiritual adultery are sins punishable by death.

The Seventh Aliyah, 20:8-27

20:21 “If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an impurity: he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.”(HNV) – Yochanan ben Zecharyah rebuked Herod because he had committed this sin and was murdered because of it, see Matthew 14:3-11.

20:22 “You shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them; that the land, where I am bringing you to dwell, may not vomit you out.”(HNV) – The Torah was given primarily in order to be kept in the Land of Israel. That is why there are some commandments that do not apply outside of the land. Some commandments cannot be fulfilled in lands that are far away from Israel since they have completely different natural and geological conditions. If, for example, you are in a place north of the polar circle in the summer, how will you then be able to see the stars? The sun does not set there at night during the summer. Or, when does the Shabbat start in northern Scandinavia during the summer where the sun does not set? The commandment about dwelling in huts during Sukkot cannot be fulfilled in Alaska because during that season of the year you might freeze to death.

However, those who dwell in the land of Israel are obligated to fulfill the commandments of the Torah so that the land will not vomit them out.

20:23 “You shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”(HNV) – The nations that dwelt in the land of Israel before the children of Israel came, committed all these immoral and occult acts. That was the reason that they were wiped out from the land of Israel

20:26 “You shall be consecrated to me: for I, HaShem, am sacred, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine.”(HNV revised) – Consecration has to do with having an intimate relationship with HaShem and separating oneself from the customs of the pagan nations.

20:27 “A man or a woman that is a medium, or is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”(HNV) – It seems to be a contradiction that the text in verse 6 only mentions being punished by karet, being cut off spiritually, while here the punishment of the same crime is physical death. Rashi says that when there are two witnesses who have given warning before the crime was committed, the guilty one is to be stoned. However, if the crime was committed intentionally but the person had not been forewarned, then the punishment is karet. A sin committed unintentionally can be atoned for by a sin offering. The death sentence is only passed when the following three conditions are present:

  • The commandment was broken intentionally.

  • Two or three were witnesses of the crime.

  • Warnings were given two or three times about the severity of the sin and its consequences before the crime was committed.

If any of these three conditions are missing, the perpetrator is only punished with karet. If the criminal did not sin intentionally, he will not be punished at all, but must only present a chatat-offering in order to atone for his mistake.

This Parashah contains commandments number 184-262 of the 613 commandments.

  1. The prohibition for kohanim (priests) to enter the sanctuary at simply any time, Leviticus 16:2.

  2. The command to present offerings during the day of Yom Kippur, Leviticus 16:3.

  3. The prohibition of slaughtering an offering animal outside the temple’s court, Leviticus 17:3-4.

  4. The command to cover the blood after an animal has been slaughtered, Leviticus 17:13.

  5. The prohibition of the fleshly enjoyment of a woman who is ervah (“a forbidden woman”), Leviticus 18:6.

  6. The prohibition of uncovering the nakedness of one’s father, Leviticus 18:7.

  7. The prohibition of uncovering the nakedness of one’s mother, Leviticus 18:7.

  8. The prohibition of having sexual relations with the wife of one’s father, even though it is not one’s mother, Leviticus 18:8.

  9. The prohibition of uncovering the nakedness of one’s sister, Leviticus 18:9.

  10. The prohibition of having sexual relations with the daughter of one’s son, Leviticus 18:10.

  11. The prohibition of having sexual relations with the daughter of one’s daughter, Leviticus 18:10.

  12. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s daughter, Leviticus 18:10.

  13. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s father’s daughter, Leviticus 18:11.

  14. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s father’s sister, Leviticus 18:12.

  15. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s mother’s sister, Leviticus 18:13.

  16. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s father’s brother, Leviticus 18:14.

  17. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s father’s brother’s wife, Leviticus 18:14.

  18. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s daughter in law, Leviticus 18:15.

  19. The prohibition of having sexual relations with one’s brother’s wife, Leviticus 18:16.

  20. The prohibition of having sexual relations with a woman and her daughter, Leviticus 18:17.

  21. The prohibition of having sexual relations with a woman and her son’s daughter, Leviticus 18:17.

  22. The prohibition of having sexual relations with a woman and her daughter’s daughter, Leviticus 18:17.

  23. The prohibition of having sexual relations with two sisters while both of them are alive, Leviticus 18:18.

  24. The prohibition of having sexual relations with a woman while she is in her monthly purification (nidah), Leviticus 18:19.

  25. The prohibition of giving one’s son to Molech, Leviticus 18:21.

  26. The prohibition of having homosexual relations, Leviticus 18:22.

  27. The prohibition for a man to have sexual relations with an animal, Leviticus 18:23.

  28. The prohibition for a woman to have sexual relations with an animal, Leviticus 18:23.

212. The command to fear one’s mother and father, Leviticus 19:3.

213. The prohibition of turning to any idol in thought or word, Leviticus 19:4.

214. The prohibition of making an idol for oneself or for others, Leviticus 19:4.

215. The prohibition of eating the meat remains from an offering, Leviticus 19:6-8.

216. The command to leave the corners (pe’a) of the cultivated land unharvested for the sake of the poor, Leviticus 19:10.

217. The prohibition of harvesting a piece of land all the way out to the corners (pe’a), Leviticus 19:9.

218. The command to leave the grain that falls (leket) for the poor while harvesting, Leviticus 19:10.

219. The prohibition of picking up the grain that falls (leket) while harvesting, Leviticus 19:9.

220. The command to leave one part of the vineyard unharvested for the sake of the poor, Leviticus 19:10.

221. The prohibition of harvesting all the fruit of a vineyard, Leviticus 19:10.

222. The command to leave the grapes that fall (peret) while harvesting for the poor, Leviticus 19:10.

223. The prohibition of picking up the grapes that have fallen (peret) while harvesting, Leviticus 19:10.

224. The prohibition of stealing, Leviticus 19:11.

225. The prohibition of refusing to return a stolen object to its owner, Leviticus 19:11.

226. The prohibition of swearing to a false testimony about an object of value, Leviticus 19:11.

227. The prohibition of swearing falsely, Leviticus 19:12.

228. The prohibition of keeping objects that belong to another person, Leviticus 19:13.

229. The prohibition of robbing (violently stealing), Leviticus 19:13.

230. The prohibition of withholding the salary of a worker, Leviticus 19:13.

231. The prohibition of cursing a fellow man, whether man or woman, Leviticus 19:14.

232. The prohibition of giving bad advice so that someone makes a mistake, Leviticus 19:14.

233. The prohibition for a judge to distort justice, Leviticus 19:15.

234. The prohibition for a judge to honor a prominent person during a trial, Leviticus 19:15.

235. The command for a judge to judge rightly, Leviticus 19:15.

236. The prohibition of speaking ill of a fellow man, Leviticus 19:16.

237. The prohibition of not helping a fellow man who is in danger, Leviticus 19:16.

238. The prohibition of hating one’s Israelite brother, Leviticus 19:17.

239. The command to rebuke an Israelite when he acts wrongly, Leviticus 19:17.

240. The prohibition of shaming a fellow man, Leviticus 19:17.

241. The prohibition of taking vengeance, Leviticus 19:18.

242. The prohibition of holding a grudge, Leviticus 19:18.

243. The command to love one’s neighbor, Leviticus 19:18.

244. The prohibition of cross breeding animals of two different species, Leviticus 19:19.

245. The prohibition of sowing two kinds of seed together, Leviticus 19:19.

246. The prohibition of eating fruit from a tree during its first three years, Leviticus 19:23.

247. The command about fruit from a tree in its fourth year of life, Leviticus 19:23-24.

248. The prohibition of eating or drinking like a glutton or drunkard, Leviticus 19:26.

249. The prohibition of caring for a diviner, Leviticus 19:26.

250. The prohibition of making predictions through sorcery, Leviticus 19:26.

251. The prohibition of shaving off the corners of the hair of the head, Leviticus 19:27.

252. The prohibition of shaving off the corners of the beard, Leviticus 19:27.

253. The prohibition of tattooing oneself, Leviticus 19:28.

254. The command to revere the sanctuary, Leviticus 19:24.

255. The prohibition of practicing divination through an ov (medium), Leviticus 19:31.

256. The prohibition of practicing spiritism through a yidoni (medium), Leviticus 19:31.

257. The command to honor the wise, Leviticus 19:32.

258. The prohibition of deceiving with any kind of measurement, Leviticus 19:35.

259. The command that scales, weights, and measurements should be exact, Leviticus 19:36.

260. The prohibition of cursing one’s father or mother, Leviticus 20:9.

261. The command that the court (Beit Din) burn a person who deserves it, Leviticus 20:14.

262. The prohibition of following the customs of the Amorites (gentiles), Leviticus 20:23.

[1]     Strong H3727 kappôreth, kap-po'-reth, From H3722; a lid (used only of the cover of the sacred Ark): - mercy seat.

[2]     Strong H3722 kâphar, kaw-far', A primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel: - appease, make (an) atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to pitch, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

[3]     Strong G2435 ἱλαστηìριον, hilastērion, hil-as-tay'-ree-on, Neuter of a derivative of G2433; an expiatory (place or thing), that is, (concretely) an atoning victim, or (specifically) the lid of the Ark (in the Temple): - mercyseat, propitiation.

[4]     Strong G2433 ἱλαìσκομαι, hilaskomai, hil-as'-kom-ahee, Middle voice from the same as G2436; to conciliate, that is, (transitively) to atone for (sin), or (intransitively) be propitious: - be merciful, make reconciliation for.

[5]     Avodat Yom Kippur 4:7.

[6]     Yoma 39a.

[7]     He was High Priest in the days of Alexander the Great.

[8]     Yoma 39b.

[9]     Strong H5799 ‛ăzâ'zêl, az-aw-zale', From H5795 and H235; goat of departure; the scapegoat: - scapegoat.

Strong H5795 ‛êz, aze, From H5810; a she goat (as strong), but masculine in plural (which also is used elliptically for goats' hair): - (she) goat, kid.

Strong H235 'âzal, aw-zal', A primitive root; to go away, hence to disappear: - fail, gad about, go to and fro [but in Eze. 27:19 the word is rendered by many “from Uzal,” by others “yarn”], be gone (spent).

[10]    Yoma 67.

[11]    Rashi, about Yoma 67.

[12]    Pirkei d´rabi Eliazar 40.

[13]    Ets Yosef; Vajikrá Rabbah 21:11.

[14]    Chinuch 95.

[15]    Strong H8163 sìâ‛îyr  sìâ‛ir, saw-eer', saw-eer', From H8175; shaggy; as noun, a he goat; by analogy a faun: - devil, goat, hairy, kid, rough, satyr.

Strong H8175 sìâ‛ar, saw-ar', A rpim root; to storm; by implication to shiver, that is, fear: - be (horribly) afraid, fear, hurl as a storm, be tempestuous, come like (take away as with) a whirlwind.

[16]     Complete Jewish Bible, by David H. Stern.