Studies in Torah

Parashat Metzora (מצורע): Leviticus 14–15

A house with toxic mold can be a hidden chronic health hazard. And an unsightly discoloration of the skin could be the harbinger of a creeping killer, if not diagnosed properly and quickly. The physical necessities of dealing with such “leprosy” in body and stuff illustrate well the cancers of character that grow and consume, if left untreated.

The Torah reading, מְּצֹרָע Metzora (“leper,” Leviticus 14–15) reveals how entering the Presence of the Creator of Heaven and Earth requires cleanliness that’s more than skin-deep. That cleanup job is something that’s described in Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16) and reaches its reality in the death and resurrection of Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ).

The traditional haftarah (complementary reading) for Metzorah is 2nd Kings 7:3-20 (see below).

Leviticus 12–15: Dishing and spreading the dirt is easy; preventing its spread is hard

Leviticus 14

Cleansing the ‘leprous’ houses of our souls

Apostle Peter wrote that we are “living stones” in the house of God (1Peter 2:5). As we study Leviticus 14, think of yourself as you read about how a “leprous” house is cleaned. Much of the imagery in this chapter matches the Day of Atonement. The theme of clean and unclean is repeated from Leviticus 13. Only the priest can decide what is clean or unclean, not a king, a governor or a individual person.

Leviticus 15

Uncleanness of mankind and cleansing on Yom haKippurim

Leviticus 10-16, which includes the teaching on Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement), teach God’s view of “holiness” and “cleanliness” before Him and how God makes us holy and clean. Lev. 15:1-15 discusses what to do if a person has a discharge, such a bout of diarrhea, this text tells us what to do to take care of the one with the discharge as well as how the caretaker(s) take care of themselves that they do not catch the uncleanness.

Haftarah: 2nd Kings 7:3-20

Messianic prophecy in Elisha and four leper ‘saviors’

Following on the message of 2nd Kings 6, with leaders of Israel who were supposed to be able to see God’s actions actually being “blind” to them, 2nd Kings 7 through the saving actions of four lepers — the rejected of society — also points us to the actions of Messiah Yeshua, Who was rejected by the people He came to save.

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