PARASHAH HUKKAT STUDY NOTES
(Numbers 19:1-22:1) Week 39
HUKKAT: Regulation, “This is a regulation from the Torah which Adonai has commanded.”
SHACHAT: Ritual Slaughter…the word used in Hebrew for slaughter, the method by which an animal was killed in order to be used as an offering. The jugular was cut leading to instant and painless death. In respect for the animal, the blood was drained out of it. The Cohen were well trained to carry out SHACHAT.
NIDDAH: Menstrual Impurity
PARAH ADUMAH: The Red Heifer Sacrifice
CHEREM: Utter annihilation
The Edomites were well established in the country and living by a monarchic pattern prior to the Exodus period, having abandoned the system of Tribal Chiefs.
THE WATERS OF SEPARATION: The waters sprinkled with the sacrificial ashes of the Red Heifer would be used to cleanse the ‘ritually unclean’ (from exposure to a corpse)
The Book of Numbers…Faith versus Rebellion!
After centuries of living in foreign lands, the time comes for the Israelites to return to the land God had promised to Abraham. Soon after they set out for Canaan, Israel perpetually complains, sins, and even incites rebellion against Moses and Aaron in God’s presence.
Eleven days of travel in the wilderness to reach Canaan become 40 years instead, as a result of their rebellious outbreaks.
The children of this rebellious generation entered the Promised Land.
Tired and frustrated, Moses strikes a rock to resolve the grumblings of the Israelites, but sadly disobeys God’s instruction to simply speak to it in order for the water to flow.
Moses suffers harsh punishment for his own personal outbreak of pride and judgement of the Nation.
ADONAI SHOWS His amazing faithfulness and patience. A few individuals such as Joshua and Caleb, remained faithful and lead Israel’s next generation.
THE RED HEIFFER: (Young female cow which has not borne a calf) Red Heifer cows aren’t that rare, so why is it so difficult to find a qualified red heifer? Torah gives a list of criteria:
- The cow must be, at a minimum, within its third year of life
- It needs to be completely red. Even two hairs of a different color next to each other or three that are far apart disqualify it.
- All physical blemishes that disqualify sacrificial animals, disqualify a red heifer as well.
- Any ‘work’ done with it disqualifies the cow. “Work” in this case includes even a person leaning on it or placing a garment or cloth upon it (unless done to safeguard the animal)
- Placing a yoke on the cow, even if it doesn’t actually do any work.
- If the heifer is pregnant or even if a male has mated, is disqualified.
Finding a red heifer that fulfills all of these specifications is extremely RARE!
A perfect one has not been found in over 2,000 years!
The ashes from one Red Heifer would last for many, many sacrificial cleansings as it only takes a few ashes in the water to make “The Waters of Separation”.
Today’s current update as of May 2023, regarding the five Texas-bred perfect Red Heifers is that they still qualify as ‘perfect’, and will soon be moved to Shiloh, from their previous undisclosed location in Israel.
“Now, the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come. You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him … its offal shall be burned … for the water of purification; it is for purifying from sin'” (Num. 19:1-5).
THE RED HEIFFER ASHES WERE USED TO CLEANSE THOSE WHO BECAME RITUALLY UNCLEAN FROM CONTAMINATION WITH DEATH.
As we study the scriptures, we see elements added to the burning of the Red Heifer; elements used for other sins, such as Tza’arat (the disease from Lashon Hara)
This sacrifice was for the “Ritually Unclean” so they could be cleansed after 7 days and then once again DRAW NEAR! The ritual cleansing bath took place on the 7th day after the sprinkling of the “waters of separation”. (Sprinkling on the 3rd and 7th day)
This is to be a permanent regulation or Mitzvot.
How is the Red Heifer Sacrifice the Fore-Shadow of Yeshua Massiache?
- Yeshua was PERFECT in every way, UNBLEMISHED by SIN
- Yeshua lived as a FREE MAN, never YOKED by slavery to another or to sin
- Yeshua did not work but fulfilled His calling from the Father, to be the sacrifice for sin and death.
- Yeshua was inspected by the High Priests and found to be faultless!
- The Sprinkling of HIS blood cleanses us from all sin, for all time!
- Yeshua IS the FINAL Parah Adumah! Red Heifer Sacrifice
- The priests performed the Red Heifer Sacrifice (2nd Temple period) from the Mt. of Olives, facing the Temple Mount, which is easily visible from that position.
- Just as the sacrifice of Yeshua took place outside the Temple parameters, Yeshua will return at His second coming as His toe touches the Mt. of Olives! The ultimate sacrifice of Yeshua will return to the place of the substitutionary sacrifice for the Ritually Unclean!
Consider the Irony: Messiah Jesus became unclean for the ritually impure.
By HIS blood we have been made RITUALLY CLEAN!
(The perfect, spotless, blameless, sacrifice is slaughtered OUTSIDE the gates of the Temple and the city, and totally consumed by FIRE!
Yeshua was slaughtered and killed outside the Temple gates and the city, and totally consumed by the Fire of the wrath of the Father, for the sin of mankind past, present and all future sins, forever.
He who became sin and death for us and this gives believers eternal life!
Miriam’s Death: Miriam died in the Tzin Desert, in the 38th year of the Wilderness Wandering of the nation of Israel. (On Nisan 10)
According to Midrash, the people of Israel did not mourn Miriam’s death properly so the miracle of the ‘Well of Miriam’ ceased to give water. A crises arose from this lack of water! There was another rebellion against Adonai, Moses and Aaron.
The Striking of the Rock: Moses, in his frustration and anger over the rebellion did not follow Adonai’s instruction to SPEAK to the rock, but STRUCK the rock twice! This brought forth discipline from the Lord upon Moses. Midrash states that when Moses used the word “WE” (referring to he and Aaron) insulted the name of Adonai! Moses and Aaron were severely punished for their dishonor of the name of Adonai. They would die with their generation, in the wilderness.
The Death of Aaron: Moses leads his older brother Aaron and his son Eleazar atop Mount Hor, and transfers Aaron’s priestly garments onto Eleazar. Aaron’s sin against Adonai also happened at Meribah, where Moses struck the rock! Midrash says that the Cloud by Day lifted, not to return, after Aaron’s death!
Canaan: Israel vows to Adonai to make CHEREM (complete annihilation) of King Arad and all his countrymen living in Canaan. They succeed as Adonai had promised.
Moses’ Copper Snake: The nation murmured and complained against Adonai Himself as they left the victors of the war with King Arad, making their way onward. Adonai sent burning serpents to bite and kill the people. When the nation confessed their sin, Moses interceded with the Lord in their behalf.
Moses did as commanded and fashioned a copper serpent on his staff, and it was used to CURE the poisonous bites of the people and save lives.
The copper snake was later destroyed by King Hezekiah, due to the idolatry of it, by the Nation.
War OF SIHON: Sihon, King of the Amorites, one of the Nephilim denied Israel access to cross through the land and war broke out. The nation of Israel was victorious!
War of OG: Sihon’s half-brother OG, a Nephilim assembled his armies to avenge Sihon’s death. Adonai assured Moses of victory. Moses slayed OG himself, then the nation of Israel took over this land.
HAFTARAH (Old Covenant) READING: Judges 11:1-33
King Ammon demands Israel return all the territory they had conquered under the threat of war, if all was not given back. Jephthah (rejected first born of Gilead) renowned for his military prowess is called upon for help. Jephthah accepts the challenge with the promise to restore him to first born status of Gilead! Jephthah makes a mistake by trying to make a “DEAL” or “VOW” with Adonai!
If you will give them into my hands, I will offer up to you the first person who exits my door upon my return from victory! This was sadly turned upside down when his own daughter is the first to exit his door!
How many times have we tried to “make a deal with God” if He will only do the THING we desire for Him to do?
“Better not to vow at all than to vow and not fulfill”! (Ecc 5;4)
BRIT CHADASHAH (New Covenant) READING: Heb 9:11-28, John 3:10-21
“For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.”
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life”. John 3:14
“We are forgiven and healed by the Lord Yeshua’s willingness to become, The One who is ‘smitten of God and afflicted’. (Isa 53)