Leviticus 11:45‘For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
The Lord directs them to be holy, and provides instruction on how to do so. His instructions involve many things, focusing in these passages on eating properly and sacrificing to Him. The object, the goal, is to be holy for Him, and, wholly for Him. And there is our challenge.
The Sin of Nadab and Abihu
1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying,
‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
And before all the people I will be honored.’”
So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.
4Moses called also to Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come forward, carry your relatives away from the front of the sanctuary to the outside of the camp.” 5So they came forward and carried them still in their tunics to the outside of the camp, as Moses had said. 6Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation. But your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, shall bewail the burning which the LORD has brought about. 7“You shall not even go out from the doorway of the tent of meeting, or you will die; for the LORD’S anointing oil is upon you.” So they did according to the word of Moses.
8The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, 9“Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations— 10and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.”
12Then Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering that is left over from the LORD’S offerings by fire and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13“You shall eat it, moreover, in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due out of the LORD’S offerings by fire; for thus I have been commanded. 14“The breast of the wave offering, however, and the thigh of the offering you may eat in a clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you; for they have been given as your due and your sons’ due out of the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the sons of Israel. 15“The thigh offered by lifting up and the breast offered by waving they shall bring along with the offerings by fire of the portions of fat, to present as a wave offering before the LORD; so it shall be a thing perpetually due you and your sons with you, just as the LORD has commanded.”
16But Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it had been burned up! So he was angry with Aaron’s surviving sons Eleazar and Ithamar, saying, 17“Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place? For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD. 18“Behold, since its blood had not been brought inside, into the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, just as I commanded.” 19But Aaron spoke to Moses, “Behold, this very day they presented their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD. When things like these happened to me, if I had eaten a sin offering today, would it have been good in the sight of the LORD?” 20When Moses heard that, it seemed good in his sight.
Laws about Animals for Food
1The LORD spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, 2“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. 3‘Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. 4‘Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. 5‘Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 6the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 7and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. 8‘You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
9‘These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10‘But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, 11and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12‘Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.
Avoid the Unclean
13‘These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, 14and the kite and the falcon in its kind, 15every raven in its kind, 16and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, 17and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, 18and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, 19and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat.
20‘All the winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 21‘Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. 22‘These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds. 23‘But all other winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you.
24‘By these, moreover, you will be made unclean: whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening, 25and whoever picks up any of their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. 26‘Concerning all the animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof, or which do not chew cud, they are unclean to you: whoever touches them becomes unclean. 27‘Also whatever walks on its paws, among all the creatures that walk on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening, 28and the one who picks up their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; they are unclean to you.
29‘Now these are to you the unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth: the mole, and the mouse, and the great lizard in its kinds, 30and the gecko, and the crocodile, and the lizard, and the sand reptile, and the chameleon. 31‘These are to you the unclean among all the swarming things; whoever touches them when they are dead becomes unclean until evening. 32‘Also anything on which one of them may fall when they are dead becomes unclean, including any wooden article, or clothing, or a skin, or a sack—any article of which use is made—it shall be put in the water and be unclean until evening, then it becomes clean. 33‘As for any earthenware vessel into which one of them may fall, whatever is in it becomes unclean and you shall break the vessel. 34‘Any of the food which may be eaten, on which water comes, shall become unclean, and any liquid which may be drunk in every vessel shall become unclean. 35‘Everything, moreover, on which part of their carcass may fall becomes unclean; an oven or a stove shall be smashed; they are unclean and shall continue as unclean to you. 36‘Nevertheless a spring or a cistern collecting water shall be clean, though the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean. 37‘If a part of their carcass falls on any seed for sowing which is to be sown, it is clean. 38‘Though if water is put on the seed and a part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
39‘Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening. 40‘He too, who eats some of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening, and the one who picks up its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.
41‘Now every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is detestable, not to be eaten. 42‘Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable. 43‘Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean. 44‘For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. 45‘For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
46This is the law regarding the animal and the bird, and every living thing that moves in the waters and everything that swarms on the earth, 47to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten.
Laws of Motherhood
1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying,
‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. 3‘On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4‘Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. 5‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days.
6‘When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7‘Then he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a female. 8‘But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”
Psalm 25:11 For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
13 His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
15 My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.
19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.
20 Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.