Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

 Vayikra (And He Called)
(Sefer Vayikra) Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26 (6:7)


1:1- “And YHVH called unto Moshe and spoke to him out of the tent of meeting, saying,
2- Speak unto the children of Yisrael, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto YHVH, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.
3- If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tent of meeting before YHVH.
4- And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him
to make atonement for him.
5- And he shall kill the bull before YHVH: and the kohanim, Aharon's sons, shall bring the blood,
and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tent of meeting.
10- And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice;
he shall bring it a male without blemish.
11- And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before YHVH: and the kohanim, Aharon's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.
2:4- And if thou bring an oblation of a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened
cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.
8- And thou shall bring the grain offering that is made of these things unto YHVH: and when it is
presented unto the kohain, he shall bring it unto the altar.
9- And the kohain shall take from the grain offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto YHVH.
10- And that which is left of the grain offering shall be Aharon's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of YHVH made by fire.
3:1- And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before YHVH.
4:2- Speak unto the children of Yisrael, saying, If a soul sins through ignorance against any of the commandments of YHVH which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:
3- If the kohain that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto YHVH for a sin offering.
4- And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tent of meeting before YHVH; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before YHVH.
6- And the kohain shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before YHVH, before the veil of the sanctuary.
7- And the kohain shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before YHVH, which is in the tent of meeting; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting.”

 

“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”
(Proverbs 20:9)


“I, even I, am he that blots out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy
sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou may be justified.”
(Isaiah 43:25-26)


“And Chevel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And YHVH had
respect unto Chevel and to his offering:”
(Genesis 4:4)


“And Noach built an altar unto YHVH; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl,
and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”
(Genesis 8:20)


“And Shmuel said, Has YHVH as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the
voice of YHVH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
(1 Samuel 15:22)


“They shall teach Yaakov thy judgments, and Yisrael thy Torah: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar.”
(Deuteronomy 33:10)


Vayikra Summary:
1. Called to an “Altared” State of Consciousness:

As the Book of Leviticus opens, foremost in the narration is the altar of HaShem and Yisrael’s call to bring offerings to the kohanim by way of it. Though specific sin offerings would be further detailed in the central section of Torah, parasha Vayikra would set the stage for the people of Elohim to be ever mindful of the kohanim, their priestly obligations and the means of their physical provisions. Standing between HaShem and people and given explicit codes of sanctification, Aharon and his sons would be a telling sign of the holy King and the holy covenant He made with the nation.
Though the institution of prescribed methods was now being introduced into the camp, familiarity with the altar of sacrifice was not new. Since the fall of man, the prevalence of the altar has been clear. Evident early with the sons of Adam, continuing with Noach on this side of the flood, and manifest in the lives of the Hebrew Patriarchs, the altar of sacrifice is a telling tale of man’s deficiency before his Creator. Yet, with Yisrael’s request to distance himself from HaShem at the tumultuous encounter on Sinai, the call for a nation of kohanim would be placated with the tribe of Levi.
Sadly, not unlike their brethren, the Levites, would come short of their holy calling, themselves producing sons that would not show HaShem holy in the sight of all the people. 1 Samuel 2:12-16,
epitomizes the degradation of men who forget the sanctity of the priestly office and the altar, namely:
“Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not YHVH…And if any man said unto him,
Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desires; then he would
answer him, Nay; but thou shall give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.”
Before, indicting the sons of Levi, we must note that HaShem has likewise charged us with a history of failed vows; without heartfelt conviction, Isaiah 1:11 leaves us at the altar with our vain oblations:
9 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? says YHVH: I am full of the
10 burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks,
or of lambs, or of he goats.”
 

2. The Appropriate Offering of Today’s Kohain:
Though the Levitical system is not in operation today, a priesthood can be found. The call goes out to that mystical mamlechet kohanim (kingdom of priests). Who will approach Adonai on behalf of others? And, what sacrifice does the Holy One of Yisrael wish for a minchah deserving of His name? A repentant King David tells us plainly of this offering in Psalms 51:16-17, as it is written:
11 “For You desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: You delight not in burnt offering. The sacrifices
of Elohim are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O Elohim, Thou will not despise.”
Speaking of this acceptable offering, again, he says in Psalms 141:2:
12 “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening
13 sacrifice.”
Exhorted to esteem our prayers as the burnt offering’s fragrant aroma of old, let us take heed! Even as the purifier of the sons of Levi expects unfeigned offerings, so may our prayers be far more than sheer lip service. True worshippers are called to bring a worthy gift, acceptable and reflective of the honor due Elohim’s Holy name; therefore, remembering the words of Joel 2:17,
14 “Let the kohanim, the ministers of YHVH, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them
15 say, Spare thy people, O YHVH, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen
16 should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their Elohim?”

 

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