Dr. Allen and Dr. Karen Ranney
March 30 2019 (23 Adar II 5779) Sh'mini "eighth"
March 30 2019 (23 Adar II 5779) Sh'mini "eighth"
This Torah study titled “Sh’mini” in Hebrew means “eighth.” Leviticus 9:1 reads, “and on the eighth day.” The number eight corresponds to the Hebrew letter “chet,” representing a new beginning and is the first letter in the Hebrew words for life, alive, new life and life eternal. in today’s Torah readings from Leviticus, Ezekiel and the Gospel of Mark, we learn if we will follow God’s directives concerning our bodies and actions, abstain from unclean ways and chasing after idols (idols being anything we put before God), we, like Jesus, will one day be transfigured, changed into the glorious beings God intends us to be.
Jeremiah 31:31-33 Revelation 1:5-6
Matthew 22:40 Philippians 2:12
Psalm 119:15 1 Corinthians 5:11
1 Timothy 5:23
The Torah study today is in Leviticus 9:1-11:47 and is titled “Sh’mini #8066” in Hebrew and means “eighth.”
Leviticus 9 records the beginning of the Levites priestly ministry.
Leviticus 10:1-7 record Nadab and Abihu offering profane fire before the Lord.
Leviticus 10:8 records the moral requirements for the priesthood.
Leviticus 11 establishes kosher dietary laws.
The Haftarah or Prophet’s portion is in Ezekiel 36:16-38.
Ezekiel 36:16-23 records Israel’s removal from the land because of defilement.
Ezekiel 36:24-38 records God writing His statutes and judgments on the people’s hearts.
The Gospel portion is in Mark 9:2-13.
Mark 9:2-13 records the Transfiguration of Yeshua Messiah.
Leviticus 8:33-36 tells of the consecration of Aaron, his sons and their descendants. These people, chosen of God to be His priests, were set apart and sanctified for seven days.
The Hebrew word for “consecrate” is “millu #4394.” It emphasizes the significance of the event because “millu,” consecrate, literally means “fill your hand.” In the physical sense, this refers to the priest’s hands literally being filled with sacrifices as they served God in the tabernacle. More so, their consecration would mean that their hands should be filled with God’s service to the exclusion of all else.
Leviticus 9:1 (Interlinear Bible) is where our Torah study gets its title this week “on the eighth day,” “B’yom #3117 Sh’mini #8066.” Aaron and his sons, now consecrated priests, could begin their holy duties. The number eight representing new beginnings, these new priests could start their new lives.
Leviticus 9:4b says they were to take their burnt offerings and peace offerings to the altar because, “today the Lord will appear to you.” Wow! What a glorious thing to be able to worship God in His physical presence! First they were given the privilege of the priesthood, then to be able to fellowship with God in that personal way. Again wow!
Now we, as New Testament believers in Yeshua Messiah, can boldly enter into His presence. Hebrews 4:16 reads, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” In this life we enter into the presence of His Spirit, in the next life we shall dwell in the presence of the Lord forevermore. Amen.
The rest of Leviticus chapter 9 deals with preparations for the offerings and sacrifices, then ends with the words, “Then the Glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.” And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw it, they fell on their faces, they worshiped Him. Amen.
Okay let’s back up. First they were consecrated “millu,” that is set apart, sanctified at the tabernacle for seven days, which would entail fasting, praying and studying. Then on the eighth day, they begin their new ministry and started their new lives.
In Hebrew, the number eight represents a new beginning, starting over. The eighth letter of the Hebrew aleph- beit is the letter Chet, which stands for the same thing. It is even the first letter in the Hebrew word for “life” which is “chay #2416.” So by letter and number placement you get “beginning a new life.” And if you take the Hebrew word for life “chay” in Hebrew spelled, Chet, Yod, the yod being representative of the Lord, or the God letter, as it is included in the make-up of every Hebrew letter. Yod numerically is the number 10 and signifies perfection. As the number 8 is completion, so is the word “chay.” It does not begin and end! It begins and then begins again, never-ending. A new life in God everlasting, do you see it? Trace the number eight with your finger. It just keeps going around and around, never-ending.
One of the titles for our God is “El Chay #410 and 2416,” the Living God (Joshua 3:10), which emphasizes what we just talked about. We worship the Living and Eternal God and we will spend an eternity with Him. So don’t you think it is wise to learn how to worship and serve Him? Because like Aaron and his sons, we too are to be consecrated, sanctified and made priests in His service. (Revelation 1:5-6)
We see in Leviticus 10, Nadab and Abihu bring “profane fire” before the Lord. Profane fire “esh#784 zur #2114,” “zur” in Hebrew meaning “strange, foreign and unusual” and “esh” meaning “fire.” Leviticus 10:2 says, “so fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” The text does not reveal what they did wrong, only that what they did was strange or unusual, as Leviticus 10:1b says, “He had not “Tzav” commanded them.” They disobeyed the Lord’s command and died for their disobedience, period.
Leviticus 10:8 through all of chapter 11 details the moral, dietary and hygienic laws for us. I suggest you read and apply them to your life according to your own conscience. Leviticus 10:9-11 reads, “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”
I was delivered from alcoholism by the grace of God through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Personally, I will never drink alcohol again as it would be a slap in the face of the One who set me free from bondage to that sin. People tell me (professing Christians) that even Paul explained that a little wine is good for the stomach, speaking to Timothy. Okay, I get that, but he was speaking medicinally; I do not agree with the concept of social drinking as even one ounce of alcohol is proven to lower inhibitions and reaction time (Biological Psychology, James W. Kalat, page 74. Wadsworth publishing). The bible also has plenty of warnings against drinking (Proverbs 20:1, Habakkuk 2:15). That is my conviction or opinion if you will, but a thorough search and understanding of Scripture bears out my witness (1 Corinthians 5:11).
Immediately after the death of Nadab and Abihu is the scripture giving warning about drinking in the Tabernacle, just something to think about.
Meditate on just how or why these laws, statutes or ordinances apply to you personally. Does what you eat, what you wear, what you say and what you do reflect the Holiness of God? Or does it conform to this world’s morals? Amen. Philippians 2:12 reads, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Today there is not enough emphasis on Holiness, and the word itself, when applied by the secular media is used in a condescending even disdainful way toward Christians. Let’s be the priests God intends for us to be.
In Ezekiel 36:16-38, the focus is along the same vein, obedience and holiness.
Ezekiel 36:17 tells that the Israelites defiled their own ways again, so judgment comes on them. Again, really! We should learn from their mistakes, but we keep making the same ones ourselves, over and over again. It’s a good thing we serve a gracious God, Amen. A God of second chances, because He, God the Father, takes it upon Himself to pick us up like children who have fallen, dust off our britches, set us upright and send us off to try again.
Also, God as Father will chastise a disobedient child. Psalm 118:18 reads, “The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.”
Ezekiel 36:24-28 reads, “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a new heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s salvation are given freely All we have to do is accept it and He will cleanse us of all our profane “zur #2114” ways.
Ephesians 1:4 says, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
The “Sh’mini #8066” eighth commandment is, “thou shalt not steal.” Would that not also include failing to walk holy and without blame before Him? Because without honoring His statutes, precepts and ordinances, aren’t we just stealing Gods holiness and proclaiming that we ourselves are holy within ourselves, not needing any justification, even the Lords?
Mark 9:2-13 tells the story of Jesus, Yeshua on the mountaintop where He was transfigured before His disciples. “His clothes become shining white, like snow, such as no earthly launderer can whiten them” Mark 9:3.
God’s very presence cleansed all the worldly grime from Yeshua’s clothes. Nothing unholy or unclean can stand before God. Afterwards, when the disciples asked about what happened, they suggested building altars. Jesus, Yeshua, commanded that they tell no one what they had seen until after the Son of Man has risen, implying that nothing really was required of them, except to accept what they had seen, so God’s plan of salvation could be carried out. God’s plan of salvation for us is simple, all we have to do is accept it. Accept His love for us and accept His plan for eternal life for us. Psalm 119:155 reads, “Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.”
Our salvation is not based on works, but our salvation will bear fruit accordingly. Luke 3:8 reads, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves ‘we have Abraham as our father.’” Circumcision is part of the Abrahamic covenant, that was to be performed on the “Sh’mini” eighth day.
Romans 2:29 reads, “but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; his praise is not from men but from God".
So we see that our holiness and righteousness is apart from the law, but holiness and righteousness will produce a desire in the one who has been saved to walk worthy of the statutes, precepts and ordinances sent down from God, through Moses, to you. I pray this desire would stir in you a need to keep Sabbath and all the Feasts and Holy convocations of the Lord.
Consider this prophecy if you will. “If you pursue Torah and the Hebrew language you will be blessed with a deeper, fuller, more fulfilling relationship with God.”
If you are tired of trying to make life work on your own, accept God’s offer to make His plan for your life work. Amen. It’s as easy as ABC.
A. Admit, admit you have sinned and you are sorry you did.
B. Believe, believe Jesus died for that sin, then rose from the grave on the third day.
C. Confess, confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord and make Him King in your life.
Read John 3:16 and Romans 10:8-13, then pray a prayer of repentance, asking Father God to fill you with His Spirit so you can walk in holiness and righteousness through Jesus Christ Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, go tell a Pastor, a Messianic Rabbi, Christian friend or contact us here at jewandgentileministries.org
Bibliography for Sh’mini “eighth”
Biological psychology, James W. Kalat, page 74, Wadsworth publishing, 2001
Interlinear Bible, the, Hendrickson publishing, 2006
New King James Version of the Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2007
Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson publishing, 1996