Highlights of Levíticus 14, 15, 16

Highlights From Bible Reading ‒ Leviticus 14, 15, 16

Scriptural Questions Answered:

Lev 15:16-18 - *** w04 5/15 p. 23 par. 3 Highlights From the Book of Leviticus ***
(Leviticus 15:16-18) 16 “‘Now if a man has an emission of semen, he should bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening. 17 He must wash with water any garment and any skin with semen on it, and it will be unclean until the evening. 18 “‘When a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, they should bathe in water and be unclean until the evening.

15:16-18—What is the “emission of semen” mentioned in these verses? This apparently refers to a nocturnal emission as well as to marital sexual relations.

Lev 16:29 - *** w04 5/15 p. 24 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of Leviticus ***
(Leviticus 16:29) 29 “It will serve as a lasting statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you should afflict yourselves, and you must not do any work, whether a native or a foreigner who is residing among you.
16:29—In what way were the Israelites to ‘afflict their souls’? This procedure, followed on Atonement Day, revolved around seeking forgiveness for sins. Fasting at that time was evidently associated with the acknowledgment of sinfulness. Most likely, then, ‘afflicting the soul’ referred to fasting.

Lev 14:34 - *** g 1/06 p. 14 Mold—Friend and Foe! ***
(Leviticus 14:34) 34 “When you come into the land of Ca′naan, which I am giving you as a possession, and I contaminate a house in your land with the disease of leprosy,
The Bible mentions “the plague of leprosy in a house,” meaning in the building itself. (Leviticus 14:34-48) It has been suggested that this phenomenon, also called “malignant leprosy,” was a form of mildew or mold, but about this there is uncertainty. Whatever the case, God’s Law instructed homeowners to remove infected stones, scrape out the entire inside of the house, and discard all the suspect matter outside the city in “an unclean place.” If the plague returned, the whole house was to be declared unclean, pulled down, and disposed of. Jehovah’s detailed instructions reflected his deep love for his people and for their physical welfare.

Lev 14:44 - *** it-1 p. 1156 House ***
(Leviticus 14:44) 44 the priest will then go in and inspect it. If the contamination has spread in the house, it is malignant leprosy in the house. The house is unclean.
A Place for Spiritual Instruction. From earliest times the home functioned as a center for giving instruction in pure worship. God’s law to Israel specifically commanded fathers to teach their sons when sitting in the house, as well as at other times. (De 6:6, 7; 11:19) Also, God’s law was to be written, apparently figuratively, on the doorposts of their houses (De 6:9; 11:20), and the home was to be kept free from all appendages of idolatry. (De 7:26) In view of the fact that the home was used for such a sacred purpose, houses infected with “malignant leprosy” were to be torn down. (See LEPROSY.) The law concerning leprous houses would have reminded the Israelites that they could live only in homes that were clean from God’s standpoint.—Le 14:33-57.

Lev 15:2 - *** it-1 p. 479 Clean, Cleanness ***
(Leviticus 15:2) 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘If a man has a discharge from his genital organ, this discharge makes him unclean.
However, if a woman had an irregular, abnormal, or prolonged flow, then she was to count also seven days after it stopped. So also the male was to count seven days after a running discharge had stopped. (Such diseased condition of his urinary system is not to be confused with his normal expulsion of semen.) Anything that the man or woman might touch or sit on (beds, chairs, saddles, garments, and so forth) during their state of uncleanness was itself made unclean, and in turn, anyone touching these articles or the unclean person himself was required to bathe, wash his garments, and remain unclean until evening time. In addition to bathing and washing their garments, both the male and female on the eighth day were to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the tent of meeting, and the priest was to offer them, one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt sacrifice, to make atonement for the cleansed person.—Le 15:1-17, 19-33.

Lev 15:18 - *** cl chap. 13 pp. 130-131 pars. 9-10 “The Law of Jehovah Is Perfect” ***
(Leviticus 15:18) 18 “‘When a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, they should bathe in water and be unclean until the evening.
9 Statutes of the Law covenant stated that sexual relations and childbirth—even among married people—brought on a period of uncleanness. (Leviticus 12:2-4; 15:16-18) Such statutes did not denigrate these clean gifts from God. (Genesis 1:28; 2:18-25) Rather, those laws upheld Jehovah’s holiness, keeping his worshipers free from contamination. It is noteworthy that the nations surrounding Israel tended to mix worship with sex and fertility rites. Canaanite religion included male and female prostitution. Degradation of the worst sort resulted and spread. In contrast, the Law made the worship of Jehovah entirely separate from sexual matters. There were other benefits too.
10 Those laws served to teach a vital truth. How, after all, is the stain of Adam’s sin transmitted from one generation to the next? Is it not through sexual relations and childbirth? (Romans 5:12) Yes, God’s Law reminded his people of the ever-present reality of sin. All of us, in fact, are born in sin. (Psalm 51:5) We need forgiveness and redemption in order to draw close to our holy God.

Lev 15:24 - *** w89 6/1 p. 14 par. 18 Perfecting Holiness in God’s Fear ***
(Leviticus 15:24) 24 And if a man lies down with her and her menstrual impurity comes on him, he will then be unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies down will be unclean.
18 Furthermore, in Israel, laws imposed limits on sexual activities even within the marriage bond. A husband was to refrain from having relations with his wife during her menstrual period. (Leviticus 15:24; 18:19; 20:18) This required loving consideration and self-control on the part of the Israelite menfolk.

Lev 16:2 - *** w05 8/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers
From where would Jehovah speak? He provided the answer when he said to Moses: “In a cloud I shall appear over the cover.” (Leviticus 16:2) This cloud hovered over the sacred Ark between the two golden cherubs. The Bible does not reveal how high that cloud was or how far above the cherubs it extended.
This luminous cloud lit up the Most Holy. In fact, it was the only source of illumination in that compartment. The high priest would benefit from such lighting when he entered that innermost chamber on Atonement Day. He was standing in the presence of Jehovah.

Lev 16:6 - *** w98 2/15 p. 12 par. 2 Jehovah Brings Many Sons to Glory ***
(Leviticus 16:6) 6 “Aaron must then present the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and he will make atonement in behalf of himself and his house.
2 The application of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice was typified on the annual Day of Atonement. On that day, Israel’s high priest first sacrificed a bull as a sin offering and presented its blood at the sacred Ark in the Most Holy of the tabernacle, and later in the temple. This was done in behalf of himself, his household, and the tribe of Levi. Similarly, Jesus Christ presented to God the value of his blood first to cover the sins of his spiritual “brothers.” (Hebrews 2:12; 10:19-22; Leviticus 16:6, 11-14)

Lev 16:10 - *** w89 3/1 pp. 16-17 Jerusalem—Center of Biblical Events ***
(Leviticus 16:10) 10 But the goat designated by lot for A•za′zel should be brought alive to stand before Jehovah in order to perform the atonement upon it, so that it may be sent away for A•za′zel into the wilderness.
Try to imagine Israelites coming here from all parts of the land with their animal sacrifices for the annual festivals. The most solemn of these was the Day of Atonement. On that day, one goat was selected and sent “away for Azazel into the wilderness,” possibly down into the Kidron Valley and then southeast into the wilderness of Judea.

Lev 16:12 - *** re chap. 15 p. 87 pars. 15-16 “Who Is Worthy to Open the Scroll?” ***
(Leviticus 16:12) 12 “He will then take the fire holder full of burning coals from the altar before Jehovah and two handfuls of fine perfumed incense, and he will bring them inside the curtain.
15 In ancient Israel, entry into the Most Holy before the symbolic presence of Jehovah was limited to the high priest. For him, carrying incense was a life-or-death matter. Jehovah’s law said: “[Aaron] must take the fire holder full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before Jehovah, and the hollows of both his hands full of fine perfumed incense, and he must bring them inside the curtain. He must also put the incense upon the fire before Jehovah, and the cloud of the incense must overspread the Ark cover, which is upon the Testimony, that he may not die.” (Leviticus 16:12, 13) It was impossible for the high priest to penetrate successfully into the Most Holy unless he burned incense.
16 In the Christian system of things not only the antitypical High Priest, Jesus Christ, but also each of the 144,000 underpriests eventually gets to enter the antitypical Most Holy, the place of Jehovah’s presence in heaven. (Hebrews 10:19-23) Entry into this Most Holy is impossible for these priests, as represented here by the 24 elders, unless they ‘burn incense,’ that is, constantly offer up prayers and supplications to Jehovah.—Hebrews 5:7; Jude 20, 21; compare Psalm 141:2.

Lev 16:15 - *** w98 2/15 p. 12 par. 2 Jehovah Brings Many Sons to Glory ***
(Leviticus 16:15) 15 “He will then slaughter the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood the same as he did with the bull’s blood; he is to spatter it toward the cover and before the cover.
On Atonement Day, the high priest also sacrificed a goat as a sin offering and presented its blood in the Most Holy, thus making atonement for the sins of the 12 nonpriestly tribes of Israel. Likewise, the High Priest Jesus Christ will apply his lifeblood in behalf of those of mankind exercising faith, canceling out their sins.—Leviticus 16:15.

Lev 16:16 - *** it-2 p. 858 Sanctification ***
(Leviticus 16:16) 16 “He must make atonement for the holy place concerning the acts of uncleanness of the Israelites and concerning their transgressions and their sins, and that is what he should do for the tent of meeting, which is located among them in the midst of their acts of uncleanness.
Sanctification of Places. The place where Jehovah dwells or any place where he dwells representatively is a sanctified or holy place, a sanctuary. The tabernacle in the wilderness and the temples later built by Solomon and Zerubbabel (and rebuilt and enlarged by Herod the Great) were designated as miq•dash′ or qo′dhesh, ‘set apart’ or ‘holy’ places. Being located in the midst of a sinful people, these places had to be purified (in a typical, or pictorial, way) of defilement periodically by sprinkling with the blood of sacrificial animals.—Le 16:16.

Lev 16:21 - *** w89 3/1 p. 17 Jerusalem—Center of Biblical Events ***
(Leviticus 16:21) 21 Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the errors of the Israelites and all their transgressions and all their sins, and he will put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man designated to do this.
Another goat and a bull were slaughtered and their blood used in sacrifice to make atonement for the priests and the people. Some blood was even taken beyond the curtain into the Most Holy of the temple. So you can look at the picture of the city with that in mind.—Leviticus 16:1-34.

Lev 16:27 - *** it-1 p. 659 Dung ***
(Leviticus 16:27) 27 “And the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought into the holy place to make atonement, will be taken outside the camp, and their skins and their flesh and their dung will be burned in the fire.
According to the Law, no sin offering, the blood of which was brought into the sanctuary to make atonement, was to be eaten by the priest. Its carcass and its dung were to be burned in a clean place outside the camp. (Le 4:11, 12; 6:30; 16:27) This was because none of the animal was to be put to any other use or allowed to decay. It was “clean,” that is, sanctified to Jehovah and therefore had to be burned in a clean place.—Compare Heb 13:11-13.

Lev 16:31 - *** g95 3/8 p. 11 Is God Pleased to See Us Suffer? ***
(Leviticus 16:31) 31 It is a sabbath of complete rest for you, and you should afflict yourselves. It is a lasting statute.
While it is true that Jehovah commanded his chosen nation: “you must afflict your souls,” this is generally understood to mean fasting. (Leviticus 16:31) Such fasting was an expression of sorrow and repentance for sins or was done when under distressing conditions. Thus, fasting was not a self-inflicted form of punishment but represented a humbling of oneself before God.—Ezra 8:21.

Lev 16:32 - *** it-1 p. 831 Fill Hand With Power ***
(Leviticus 16:32) 32 “The priest who is anointed and installed to serve as priest in place of his father will make atonement and put on the linen garments, the holy garments.
The Hebrew expression mil•leʼ′ yadh, translated “consecrate” in many versions, literally means “fill the hand” and is used with reference to putting full power in the hands of those who are to serve in a priestly office. At their installation as priests of Jehovah, Aaron and his sons had their hands filled with power to serve in that capacity. (Ex 28:41; 29:9, 29, 33, 35; Le 8:33; 16:32; 21:10; Nu 3:3) To symbolize this, the ram of installation was killed and cut up, and parts of it together with certain baked items from the basket of unfermented cakes were put by Moses upon the palms of Aaron and his sons, who then waved the offering before Jehovah. Finally the things waved were made to smoke upon the altar on top of the burnt offering.—Ex 29:19-25; Le 8:22-28; see ANOINTED, ANOINTING; INSTALLATION; PRIEST.

References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD-ROM

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