Feb 29, 2016
Let’s open to LEVITICUS 15-16.
Yesterday we heard about sacrifices following the healing of skin diseases and after getting rid of house mildew. Chapter 15 is about defiling bodily discharges. Chapter 16 is about the Day of Atonement, and the chapter contains a translation problem in the word or name ‘azazel’. If you are interested in this problem, see the Translate notes in today’s episode notes.
15:5 Anyone who touches his bed 6 or sits on anything the man has sat on must wash his clothes and take a bath, and [that person//he] remains unclean until evening.
15:7 Anyone who touches the man with the discharge must wash his clothes and take a bath, and [that person//he] remains unclean until evening. [Similarly in v8, 10]
16:8 There he shall draw lots, using two stones, one marked “for the Lord” and the other [to be driven away out into the desert and abandoned to its fate.//“for Azazel.”]
10 The goat chosen for Azazel shall be presented alive to the Lord and sent off into the desert to Azazel, in order to take away the sins of the people.
17 From the time Aaron enters the Most Holy Place to perform the ritual of purification until he comes out, there must be no one [else] in the Tent. When he has performed the ritual for himself, his family, and the whole community,
20 When Aaron has finished performing the ritual to purify the Most Holy Place, the rest of the Tent of the Lord's presence, and the altar, he shall present to the Lord the live goat chosen for Azazel.
26 The man who drove the goat [bearing sins] into the desert [to be abandoned to its fate//to Azazel] must wash his clothes and take a bath before he comes back into camp.
[For those of you interested in this translation problem, see the footnote in the NET at this place. The truth is that we don’t know what ‘azazel’ means. We don’t even know if it was a name. Linguistic clues cannot give certainty. In a case like this, I think it is better to render the term in a generic way, rather than being too specific.]
Turning to PSALM 18:
This poem reveals David’s intimacy with God. Even though he frequently refers to himself, we see that God— and not himself, is the center of his spiritual life.
41 They cry for help, but no one saves them;
they call to [You//the] Lord, but [You don’t//he does not] answer.
46 [You, my Lord, live!//The Lord lives!] [I praise//Praise] my defender!
[I] Proclaim the greatness of the God who saves me.
47 [You give//He gives] me victory over my enemies;
[You subdue//he subdues] the nations under me
48 and saves me from my foes.
We turn for the first time to LUKE 12.
Jesus definitely gained enemies by his teaching at the end of chapter 11, which was against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and religious experts.
8 “I assure you that those who declare publicly that they belong to me, [I,] the Son of Man will do the same for them before the angels of God. 9 But those who reject me publicly, [I,] the Son of Man will also reject them before the angels of God.
10 “Whoever says a word against [Me,] the Son of Man can be forgiven; but whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
28 It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? [How little you believe in God!//What little faith you have!]
29“So don't be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink. 30(For the [ungodly peoples//pagans] of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things.
[Nowadays, there are people who call themselves ‘pagans’, and the term is a name for a religion (and one of the very worst kind). The Greek here means ‘ethnic groups’. It is often translated as ‘nations’, but has nothing to do with governments, and is a derogatory term. At one time the word ‘pagan’ was such a derogatory word.]