Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

 Acharei Mot (After the Death)
(Sefer Vayikra) Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30

 

16:1- “And YHVH spoke unto Moshe after the death of the two sons of Aharon, when they offered before YHVH, and died;
2- And YHVH said unto Moshe, Speak unto Aharon thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the covering, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the covering.
6- And Aharon shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.
7- And he shall take the two goats and place them before YHVH at the door of the tent of meeting.
8- And Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats; one lot for YHVH, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
9- And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which YHVH's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
10- But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before YHVH, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
17- And there shall be no man in the tent of meeting when he goes in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Yisrael.
20- And when he has made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tent of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
21- And Aharon shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Yisrael, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
22- And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
29- And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you:
30- For on that day shall the kohain make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before YHVH.
34- And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as YHVH commanded Moshe.
11- For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.
12- Therefore I said unto the children of Yisrael, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourns among you eat blood.”

 

“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
(Psalms 50:5)


“I, even I, am he that blots out thy transgressions for mine own sake and will not remember thy sins.”
(Isaiah 43:25)


“And thou shall remember all the way which YHVH Thy Elohim led thee these forty years in the
wilderness, to humble thee and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether
thou would keep his commandments, or no.”
(Deuteronomy 8:2)


“But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.”
(Psalms 78:52)


“And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from
the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.”
(Psalms 107:3-4)


“Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved…?”
(Song of Songs 8:5)


“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably
unto her…and she shall sing there…as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”
(Hosea 2:14-15)

 

Acharei Mot Summary:
1. Reconciling Death Through the Blood Atonement:

Aptly named for the tragedy that befell Aharon’s two sons, parasha Acharei Mot brings needed remedy to a generation found deficient of the Holy requirements of a covenant with the Holy One of Yisrael. In keeping with Exodus 21:23, the non-negotiable edict, “ thou shall give life for life,” the verdict for transgression was death. In Ezekiel 18:4 we are reminded of the result of committing sin:
“Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine:
The soul that sins, it shall die.”
Yet, with the heavy pronouncement of penalty to the guilty, the Day of Atonement brought with it the opportunity for pardon. Reflective of this Great Day, Micah 7:18 offers the repentant true hope:
“Who is an Elohim like unto Thee, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the
remnant of His heritage? He retains not His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.”
Left to an awful fate, forgiveness from Hashem delivers joyous cause, as Psalms 32:1-2 celebrates:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto
whom YHVH imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
Reminiscent of their Great Deliverance from Egypt via the Pesach lamb’s sacrifice, the transfer of penalty for sin on Yom Kippur would be realized through a spilling of blood upon the covering on the Ark of the Covenant. Like the vicarious slaying for the firstborn, the chosen goat became the offering for our propitiation. That all might understand the desperate need for that Day, Isaiah 53:6 charges:
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and YHVH has
laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

 

2. Escaping with a Lot to Freely Wander the Wilderness:
Beyond the substitutionary sacrifice of the Yom Kippur kid is the complementary cloak found in the fate of the Azazel. Driven into the wilderness, this bearer of guilt was to wander as a sign for the price of freedom. Though unseen is Its pristine state, Heaven is revealed here on earth. Made manifest in the mystery of the two goats is Elohim, both cloaked as His Anointed Redeemer and His Holy nation. Even as the slain one personifies HaShem’s Passover-like purchase of redemption, so does the released one epitomize Yisrael, the recipients of pardon, a generation destined for the wilderness. This decision to sacrifice one and release another is garbed in a most subtle verse; in Psalms 22:18, another layer of Yisrael’s Glory is unveiled, and the Tabernacle of Elohim is uncovered, as it is written:
“They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.”
Now disrobed of pretense, the people of the Covenant must understand the relevance of the wilderness and learn to cherish the time of this precious purging in preparation for the Promised Land.
Rather than rebel against this period of purification, it does us well to perceive our lot, and embrace the refining process as we embody HaShem’s scapegoat. Though sent out to wander, the wilderness is not our final home. Ezekiel 34:16-17 maintains another exodus, a departure out from the wilderness thus:
“I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away...”
That the duration might be time well spent to our souls, Psalms 107:35-36 urges us to consider that,
“He turns the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there He
makes the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation.”
May our sojourning be in patience and faithfulness, accepting our lot in peace as Daniel 12:13 declares:
“But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shall rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

 

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