Richard Agee

Leviticus 21: Purity of Messiah as Melchizedekian priest foretold

Richard AgeeAll of Leviticus is primarily addressed to the priesthood, but Leviticus 21 is about qualifications of the High Priest, not regular priests or the lay Israelites. There are things that other Israelites can do, within limits that are totally forbidden to the High Priest. His family, descendants of Aharon (Aaron) is held to a higher standard than other families. This chapter also shows us how holy — set apart — our High Priest, Yeshua, was to be.

“He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself.” (Leviticus 21:4)

There are some Hebrew words that are difficult to understand. One of those words is translated profane, a very negative term in English. The Hebrew word for that is חָלַל khelal (Strong’s lexicon No. H2490c), which literally means to bore or pierce.

To get more clarity on the meaning of this word we need to see where this word is used in other contexts. 

“To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:26)

“Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose…” (Genesis 6:1–3)

“Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard.” (Genesis 9:20)

The word that is translated as began in most translations also is khelal.

“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon?” (Isaiah 51:9)

The word translated here as cut or pierced, depending on your English translation, also is khelal. And the word pierced in a more famous verse a messianic prophecy also is khelal

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Yeshua was “profaned” for our transgressions, not just pierced or wounded. He was polluted for our sake and His life was taken. His bones were not broken but His flesh was ripped to shreds for us. Yeshua is not a High Priest of Aaron but of the order of Melchizedek, which preceded Aaron. Hebrews tells us that no one really knows about Melchizedek, no beginning or end. 

During the time of Samson the judge, God, in a sense, profaned the Philistines when He raised Samson up as a Nazirite (Judges 13-16).

“They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.” (Leviticus 21:5)

Shaving the head or rounding the beard or tattoos and ritual scars would be a distortion of the divine image in the High Priest. 

There are greater restrictions on the kind of woman a high priest can marry than a priest or a non-priest. Only a virgin of the family of Aaron could marry a high priest. 

Even if the Israelites did not live in alignment with the Word of God, doesn’t make the Word of God null and void. 

The High Priest, as a representation of Yeshua, is to be perfectly formed, just as Adam was, who was made in the image of mankind. He is not just without blemish outwardly, but inwardly, too. 

The High Priest can’t profane his office, not only in his speech but in his actions and demeanor. 

One of the main jobs of the High Priest is to make sure the menorah is perpetually lit. Yeshua shows us that this is part of His function too in the Book of Revelation. If He finds a candle that is not lit, He will remove it. 

The High Priest’s seed must not be profaned. When God corrects us or chastises us, it’s to keep us from becoming profane. 

The High Priest was appointed, not elected to the office. Yeshua was appointed, not elected to His position as well. 

“Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.” (Leviticus 21:9)

If a High Priest’s daughter defiled herself, she was to be executed and then her body was burned. She was not to be buried. She would not have a grave to perpetuate her memory. We read in Scripture that the wicked will be ashes under the feet of the righteous. They will not be remembered. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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