The next few chapters of Leviticus once again feature a shift of topic. Now, rather than the text exploring the topic of clean and unclean. Now the text is exploring the ideas of holy and defiled. And it is these chapters that are referred to by the apostles when they explore the topics of holiness and defilement. So what are they, and what can we learn from them today?
Yom Kippur is a day that is unlike any other. It is the Day when atonement was accomplished in the Hebrew Scriptures, and it was on this day that the sins of the people were dealt with. But there is one instruction that is attached to this day that is not explicit in its meaning. The command to “afflict your soul” is one that could have any number of meanings and purposes. What does it mean to “ve’innitem et nephshotechem?” and why is this instruction attached to this day of cleansing?
Uncleanness is a topic that contains very little in the way of application for modern audiences. It is something that only had any meaning in the context of the tabernacle or temple. But this does not mean that the topic is useless and can simply be discarded. Uncleanness teaches something extremely important. And that something has a lot to do with the mission of the Messiah.
The topic of uncleanness is one of those topics that have very little application in the world today. Uncleanness is a status effect that only meant anything in the context of the tabernacle or temple. So why should we care to dig into this topic any further? What can it reveal for us today? And what is it that defines uncleanness? If we can discern this, we can discover the answer to many of the questions that we may have on this topic.