Shemini שְּׁמִינִי - Eighth
Haftarah: 2 Sam. 6:1-7:17
Apostolic Writing: Matthew 3:11-17
Reading #7 - Leviticus 11:33–47
More instructions about clean and unclean. In verse 45 we read, “...make a distinction between the unclean and the clean.” This is important to Hashem. He has instructed us on what animals to eat. Think about it. He created all the animals and He knows which is best for us. Why do we not trust this and choose to eat that which He calls unclean? We really need to examine our hearts. If we really want to follow and obey Hashem then we have to trust in Him and His commands. Examine your life and make sure you are doing this, and so will I!
Verse 45 reads, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” It is Hashem’s heart for us that we strive to be holy. He created us in His image and He wants us to be like Him. That makes a lot of sense if you think about how you love Hashem and want to walk like He does. It calls for holiness. We don’t hear a lot about that in today’s world, instead we hear about everything we should do to make ourselves happy. If we aren’t happy then we get rid of things – like marriages, homes, family. Hashem calls us to be more like Him. And the only way we are going to know what that looks like is to study His special instructions to us – the Torah. I encourage you to keep reading the daily Torah. Do it as a devotion. Start your day with the Torah reading. I promise it will change your life, and you will be super blessed.
Reading #7 - Leviticus 11:33–47
11:33 Every earthen vessel into which any of them falls and all that is in it shall be unclean. You shall break it. 34 All food which may be eaten which is soaked in water shall be unclean. All drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 Everything whereupon part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven, or range for pots, it shall be broken in pieces. They are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. 36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern in which water is gathered shall be clean, but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean. 37 If part of their carcass falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it is clean. 38 But if water is put on the seed, and part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
39 “‘If any animal of which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening. 40 He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
41 “‘Every creeping thing that creeps on the earth is an abomination. It shall not be eaten. 42 Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, even all creeping things that creep on the earth, them you shall not eat; for they are an abomination. 43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps. You shall not make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled by them. 44 For I am Hashem your Elohim. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth. 45 For I am Hashem who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your Elohim. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
46 “‘This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, 47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.’”
In verse 12 we read, “King David was told, ‘Hashem has blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that belongs to him, because of Elohim’s ark.’” Kind of curious when just before this, Uzzah is struck dead for trying to catch the ark as it is falling. Both people seem to be wanting to help Hashem with the ark. But, I think, here is the point of it all. Uzzah disobeys Hashem by touching the ark. Obed - Edom takes courage and care to bring the ark into their property/home. Maybe Uzzah wanted to “save” the ark from falling on the ground. But, really he just needed to TRUST that Hashem would take care of this and OBEY Hashem by not touching the ark. That’s a hard place to be in. Where you think that in disobedience to Hashem, you are doing the right thing. This is why it is so important to be close to Hashem and know His heart. In this particular instance – He wanted obedience – and He would take care of the rest. Let’s remember this and apply it to our lives!
David celebrates the ark coming into his tent. Imagine how exciting and wonderful that would be! We can not begin to understand the implications of this. But, then his wife, Michal is upset about this display of praise and worship. For her thoughts and words, Hashem removes the gift of childbearing from her. We can learn from this. Hashem wants “true worshipers” and if they look a little different then us – we better beware not to criticize them! Everyone has their own “way” of worship, but the important thing is that – they are worshiping! Hashem loves to be worshiped! Make sure you are giving the praises due to Him – today!
2 Samuel 6:1-7:17
6 David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 David arose, and went with all the people who were with him, from Baale Judah, to bring up from there Elohim’s ark, which is called by the Name, even the name of Hashem of Armies who sits above the cherubim. 3 They set Elohim’s ark on a new cart, and brought it out of Abinadab’s house that was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4 They brought it out of Abinadab’s house, which was in the hill, with Elohim’s ark; and Ahio went before the ark. 5 David and all the house of Israel played before Hashem with all kinds of instruments made of cypress wood, with harps, with stringed instruments, with tambourines, with castanets, and with cymbals. 6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached for Elohim’s ark, and took hold of it; for the cattle stumbled. 7 Hashem’s anger burned against Uzzah; and Elohim struck him there for his error; and he died there by Elohim’s ark. 8 David was displeased, because Hashem had broken out against Uzzah; and he called that place Perez Uzzah, to this day. 9 David was afraid of Hashem that day; and he said, “How could Hashem’s ark come to me?” 10 So David would not move Hashem’s ark to be with him in David’s city; but David carried it aside into Obed-Edom the Gittite’s house. 11 Hashem’s ark remained in Obed-Edom the Gittite’s house three months; and Hashem blessed Obed-Edom and all his house. 12 King David was told, “Hashem has blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that belongs to him, because of Elohim’s ark.”
So David went and brought up Elohim’s ark from the house of Obed-Edom into David’s city with joy. 13 When those who bore Hashem’s ark had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf. 14 David danced before Hashem with all his might; and David was clothed in a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up Hashem’s ark with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 As Hashem’s ark came into David’s city, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out through the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before Hashem; and she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought in Hashem’s ark, and set it in its place, in the middle of the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Hashem. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Hashem of Armies. 19 He gave to all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to everyone a portion of bread, dates, and raisins. So all the people departed, each to his own house. 20 Then David returned to bless his household. Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious the king of Israel was today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before Hashem, who chose me above your father, and above all his house, to appoint me prince over the people of Hashem, over Israel. Therefore I will celebrate before Hashem. 22 I will be yet more vile than this, and will be worthless in my own sight. But the maids of whom you have spoken will honor me.”
23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
7 When the king lived in his house, and Hashem had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but Hashem’s ark dwells within curtains.”
3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart; for Hashem is with you.”
4 That same night, Hashem’s word came to Nathan, saying, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Hashem says, “Should you build me a house for me to dwell in? 6 For I have not lived in a house since the day that I brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt, even to this day, but have moved around in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel, did I say a word to any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’”’ 8 Now therefore tell my servant David this, ‘Hashem of Armies says, “I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people, over Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. 10 I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more. The children of wickedness will not afflict them any more, as at the first, 11 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover Hashem tells you that Hashem will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled, and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up your offspring after you, who will proceed out of your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; 15 but My loving kindness will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will be made sure forever before you. Your throne will be established forever.”’” 17 Nathan spoke to David all these words, and according to all this vision.
John baptized people to repentance, and Yeshua does so for the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). We know that we can not be in the presence of the Holy Spirit unless we have repentance and Yeshua taught that also. I sometimes wonder if because Yeshua knew the Temple would be destroyed soon, and gone for centuries, that is why He emphasized striving for the presence of Hashem (through His Ruach HaKodesh). That we could at least have some form of His presence in our lives until the Olam Haba (or if the Temple would arrive in our lifetime!). It seems like Hashem wants to be with us as much as we want to be with Him!
In verse 17 we read, “Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Can you imagine a voice from Hashem coming from the sky? Announcing that Mashiach is here and that He is very happy about that? Maybe that’s how it will be when the Mashiach returns. Hashem will announce His arrival from heaven! And all the world will see Him (somehow) descend upon the Mt. of Olives - where it will split in two (Zechariah 14:4). What a wonderful day that will be. We will all bow down and worship the King and the glory of Hashem will fill the earth! I challenge you to think about this and to get ready.
Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 3:11-17
11 “I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Ruach HaKodesh. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire.”
13 Then Yeshua came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John would have hindered Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and You come to me?”
15 But Yeshua, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.
16 Yeshua, when He was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to Him. He saw the Spirit of Elohim descending as a dove, and coming on Him. 17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”