Posted by: arieliondotcom | February 7, 2013

Set Apart from Sin

At first, these four chapters seem to have nothing to do with each other, and even to have contradictory information. They’re like a zigzagging cart going downhill. But if you pay attention you realize it’s all on the same road.

Chapter 5 starts out with lepers & the diseased being put away from the others, symbolic of the seperation from sin. It continues with what seems like sexist treatment of women. If a man suspects his wife of adultery, the priest does a ritual where she drinks water with holy soil in it. If she’s innocent, well and good. But if she’s guilty her body is distorted as if pregnant with a swollen belly and spindly legs but her womb be barren. So imagine if she had a nutty husband who’s jealous all the time? That’s the point. Since the priest and public were involved it would be the man who’d be disgraced by false charges. But the emphasis in chapter 5 is on faithfulness.

Chapter 6 suddenly jumps to the Nazarite vow, a special promise to set oneself apart for GOD and demonstrate it by appearance & behavior. Again, an emphasis on faithfulness and rejection of sin. Even the people are blessed with the special priestly prayer that pastors repeat today, the Blessing of Aaron. It is believed that as Aaron prayed for the Light of GOD’s Face to shine upon the people that the Shikinah Glory that had shone on the face of Moses from being in the Presence of GOD would come out from Aaron’s outstretched hands onto the people, setting them apart as holy.

And chapters 7 and 8 describe the offerings and set up of the tabernacle. All four chapters emphasize keeping set apart and clean from sin and being set apart and clean, sanctified, when we approach Him.

We read in Chapter 8 what seems like a contradiction. Earlier we read that the men assigned to serve did so from the age of 30 to 50. But here it says they are to start at 25. Why? Jewish scholars say those first five years were for study for what their duties would be. We mentioned earlier that they probably practiced what they knew they’d be doing since childhood. Here we have what seems to be evidence that this practice was formalized as a 5-year apprenticeship. This even became a saying among Rabbis that if a student didn’t learn in five years, he’d never learn. But the point is that this, as the previous chapters, emphasizes the set appart sanctity of serving GOD.

As GOD explained through Moses & the tabernacle sacrifice symbolism, sin (intended or not) is deadly and has no place near Him Numbers 5-8



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