Week #16; Wed, Apr 18: Lev. 12:1–16:34
LEVITICUS, CHAPTERS TWELVE THROUGH SIXTEEN:
12. Purification procedures were specific for protecting anything holy from contamination. A sacrificial offering was required at the end of the period of uncleanness for atonement depending on the ability of the person to pay the price for the offering (i.e., lamb, pigeon, turtledove).
13. Uncleanness also extended to all with a sore, eruption, or blemish which required a detailed examination by a priest. It appears many such skin conditions today would qualify for uncleanness resulting in having to conform with those having leprosy. Search on leprosy colonies and discover that these facilities dot the globe even now. Notice again the role of water in the process of returning to cleanliness. Even burns, spots, and garments were included in the evaluation process.
14. In addition to water, blood and oil were also used as an agent for cleansing one who has a leprous disease. Offerings by the individual were made (based on his/her ability to pay) as atonement. Special provisions were made for houses that were infected with a leprous disease, even to the extent of demolition.
15. Similar provisions were required for anyone with a discharge or emission.
16. A Day of Atonement was made for the people of Israel once a year because of all their sins. Note how Aaron, the priest, could not come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. Aaron could only come when he was properly attired with the Holy Garments and with the proper offerings (i.e., bull, goat, ram). Notice how lots were cast to determine which of two goats would be sacrificed and which would be set free into the wilderness. Sweet incense played a role in worship too. Blood was applied to the altar, on the horns all around. The live goat that was released into the wilderness is a likely origin of the term “scapegoat.” Importantly, strict observance of the Sabbath as a day of solemn rest was required.