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Duties of the High Priest /Strange Temple Happenings - Torah Portion Acharei Mot / Kedoshim

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Acharei Mot

Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30

These Hebrew words mean “after the death”.

This portion of scripture begins with the remembrance of the death of Abihu and Nadab, the sons of Aaron.

After this, Moses is given instructions on the duty of the High Priest on Yom Kippur. These instructions were to be followed very carefully unless the High Priest wanted to fall in the footsteps of Abihu and Nadab. To my knowledge it is not recorded in Jewish literature that any High Priest was every struck down while ministering in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

Interestingly, however, is the fact that it is recorded in Jewish literature that things changed on the day of Yom Kippur around the year 30 AD, or 40 years before the destruction of the second temple. This would have been at the time of the crucifixion of Yeshua, when the veil in the temple was torn down the middle, as recorded in the gospels.

It is recorded in the Talmud:

Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the lot, (For the Lord) did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel (Temple) would open by themselves” (Soncino Version, Yoma 39b)

So, what does this suggest? It suggests that something happened after the crucifixion of Yeshua that changed the Appointed Time of YHWH. The veil to the Holy Place of YHVH was revealed showing that we all have access to YHWH (as priests) through the blood of Yeshua.

The first miracle was that the lot for the Azazel goat came up in the left hand for 40 years. This is against all odds and probability. This was a dire event for the priests during this time. It signified to them that something was wrong, something had changed regarding the laws of Yom Kippur.

The second miracle was that the crimson strap that had always turned white now remained crimson. During Yom Kippur a piece of the crimson strap that was attached to the Azazel goat was attached to the Temple door. When the Azazel goat was killed, this strap would turn white signifying that the sins of Israel had been forgiven. This showed that the sins of Israel were no longer being forgiven in the usual manner of the Azazel goat.

The third miracle was that the western most lamp on the Menorah kept going out before morning. This was very odd since the priest monitored this lamp during the night and was always sure that it had sufficient oil to last till morning when it was used to light the other lamps. It was commanded by YHVH that this lamp never go out before Him. All of their attempts to keep the lamp burning till morning failed. Something had clearly changed.

The fourth miracle was that the doors of the Temple would fling open by themselves during the night, every night. The Rabbi's saw this as a sign that the Temple was destined to be destroyed once again. They came to this conclusion based upon the prophecy in Zechariah 11:1-3.

Clearly, something had happened! Yeshua the Messiah, Savior, Redeemer, King, High Priest and Son of David had come!

In the rest of this portion of scripture Moses addresses the sanctity of blood and sexual immorality.


Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27

In Hebrew Kedoshim means “holy ones”.

Wow, this portion is so jammed with excellent commandments that it would literally take a book to examine each one mentioned. It is believed by those of old that this portion contains more commandments in one portion than any other.

Notice that this portion begins in this fashion: “And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say unto them, Ye shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Jubilee Bible)

Here Yahweh is calling the Children of Israel “holy ones” (kedoshim). They are to be holy, or set-apart, because they are serving a set-apart, Holy, Elohim (God). God demands holiness, for He is holy. Moses then begins to give teachings and instructions about what a holy God requires for holy living.

Yahweh spares nothing in details. Explicit details are given about things involving sexual sins, child sacrifice, and even food laws. God goes into great detail about the things that He detests.

If one examines these scriptures very carefully they will be able to notice something. Everything discussed falls under one of the 10 Words (Commandments). You see, the 10 Words are just 10 categories and underneath those 10 categories fall explicit sins. For example: all sexual sins fall under the category of “you shall not commit adultery”.

Here Moses is just breaking down the 10 Commandments and explaining them in greater detail. The food laws, for example, fall under how God wants to be worshipped, or the first four commandments regarding idolatry.

I encourage my readers to sit down with your Bible, pray, and ask God to reveal to you the deeper meaning of the 10 Words (Commandments) contained within the parashah (scripture reading).



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