Studies in Torah

Parashat Behar (בהר) & Bechukotai (בחקותי): Leviticus 25–27

“during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord.” (Lev. 25:4 NASB)

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28 NASB)

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:10 NASB)

We’ve all had days when we are so physically or mentally exhausted that we long to go home and relax, or better yet, nap. The LORD gave our forefathers in faith memorials and reminders in time to nudge us to seek Him Who can truly bring us rest from guilt, fear, loneliness, etc. That’s the lesson in the combined Torah reading that wraps up the book of Leviticus.

Behar-Bechukotai discussions

Leviticus 25–27: The LORD wants to set you free

Behar: Leviticus 25

A common catchphrase for believers in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ) is “walk by faith and not by sight” (2Cor. 5:7). Key memorials from God’s calendar that help with practicing the faith that is preached are the שְּׁבִיעִת  Shevi’it or שְׁמִטָּה Shemitah (“seventh” [year] and “release,” respectively, i.e., sabbatical year) and the יוֹבֵל Yobel (Jubilee). They are the focus of the Torah reading בְּהַר  Behar (“on mount” [Sinai]), covering Lev. 25:1-26:2.

The complementary reading (haftarah) commonly accompanying Behar is Jer. 32:6-27.

Leviticus 25: Golden Rule behind sabbatical years and Jubilee

Leviticus 25 — Shabbat and jubilee years

Leviticus 25: Shemitah (sabbatical year) and Yobel (Jubilee)

Bechukotai: Leviticus 26–27

Part of the Golden Rule (Lev. 19:18) is concern for other people. One way to view the somber warnings in the common Torah reading בְּחֻקֹּתַי Bechukotai (“in My statutes”) is God is concerned about the world so much that its lifeline — Israel — has to remain pure.

The usual complementary reading to Leviticus 26-27 from the Prophets is Jer. 16:19-17:14.

Leviticus 26-27: Get a Heavenly transplant before following your heart

Leviticus 26: Blessings of obedience and curses of disobedience

Leviticus 26-27 — God mixes justice with mercy

Leviticus recap

Recap of major themes in the book of Leviticus


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