Shabbat shalom, everyone! As always, synopsis of this week’s Torah portion, Parasha 39, can be found on our website.
This week's Torah portion begins with Moshe being taught the laws of the red heifer whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body. We also witness the death of both Miriam and Aharon (Moshe's sister and brother); and see Moshe leading the people in battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og (who seek to prevent Israel's passage through their territory) and conquering their lands, which lie east of the Jordan.
It is interesting to note the "Red Heifer" sacrifice was extremely unique, for several reasons:
- It was the only sacrifice that specifically required an animal of a particular color. This animal was extremely rare and unique of its kind (in fact, Maimonides wrote, "Nine Parot Adumot were prepared from the time the Commandment was given until the destruction of the Second Temple. Moses our Teacher prepared one, Ezra prepared one and seven more were prepared until the Destruction of the Temple. The tenth will prepared by the Mashiach.")
- It was the only sacrifice where all the rituals were carried out outside of the camp / outside the Temple precincts.
- It was the only sacrifice that ritually contaminated the priest who offered it, but made the one who was sprinkled by it clean.
- It was the only sacrifice where the ashes were preserved and used (other sacrifices required the ashes be disposed outside of the camp).
Yeshua, our Mashiyach, is the perfect fulfillment of the Red Heifer sacrifice, since He was completely without sin or defect (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 8:46); He was sacrificed outside the camp (Hebrews 13:13); He made Himself sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); His blood makes us clean (1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 12:24; Revelation 1:5); and the "water of separation" that His sacrifice created is the means by which we are made clean from the impurity of sin (Ephesians 5:25-6; Heb 10:22).
For more, please click on the Torah portion link above.