A NEW BEGINNING

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING:
WEEK 26 | Sh’mini | “Eighth”| שמיני

THE EIGHTH DAY

Throughout scripture, there is a mention of an “eighth day”. How is this since we know that a biblical week is seven days? We know that Creation was seven days and that the seventh day represents completion and rest, as in the Sabbath! So what’s this eighth day we see mentioned? Let’s look into a few of the references to the eighth day in scripture:

  • CIRCUMCISION – Unclean due to birth and then made holy by circumcision – “On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.” – Leviticus 12:3
  • PURIFICATION – Beasts, persons with leprosy, priests, the tabernacle, Nazarites – certain circumstances and instances we see uncleanness until the eighth day whereby then they were made clean and able to rejoin/fellowship/sacrifice(d) – Leviticus 14:8-10; Leviticus 15:13, 14; Leviticus 22:6; Numbers 6:9, 10; Ezekiel 43:26, 27;
  • SUKKOT – “Shemini Atzeret” – the eighth day of Sukkot, a holy convocation (assembly) – Leviticus 23:36 – “It is a separate—yet connected—holy day devoted to the spiritual aspects of the festival of Sukkot. Part of its duality as a holy day is that it is simultaneously considered to be both connected to Sukkot and also a separate festival in its own right.” [1]

While the biblical calendar does not have an “eighth day”, we know that the eighth day is a counting of eight days after a beginning of an event (ie. birth, festival/feast, cleansing from a sickness, etc.). The eighth day represents cleanliness and/or holiness; or a new beginning. Many have used the eighth day as a “sign” that we can change Yah’s commands and the Sabbath day, His specific order of all things. But we know that Yahuah does not change and He is steadfast, forever!

“God is not human, that he should lie,
   not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

Numbers 23:19

SET APART

This week’s Torah Portion and weekly reading, again, has a recurring theme. (Isn’t that always the case? and doesn’t it show us how amazingly Yah’s Word flows from beginning to end in perfect harmony revealing Abba’s fingerprint on everything?) Moses and his people are commanded to make their offerings on the eighth day and to follow His instructions (laws) exactly as he described to Moses on the mountain. If we haven’t already, we start to see the importance of not forgetting his commands in this chapter of Leviticus. The sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, give a “strange fire” unto Adonai, which he says is unauthorized and contrary to the commands given and they are consumed by Adonai right then and there! The Father MUST be honored. He MUST be set apart and our offerings to Him MUST be set-apart. We MUST not change what He has ordained. His specific ways are for our good and for His glory! Which leads us to the food laws…

Photo by Reena Newman

Creeping things, split hooves, chewing cud, fins and scales: all things that set apart clean and unclean foods. Scripture specifically names many animals and insects, reptiles and fish that are NOT food for us to consume. They are an abomination. Unclean. Once again He is specific in His instructions. In this instance, like the process we learned about with the sacrificial system, He’s speaking to us in what we can and cannot put into our bodies, our temple. Remember, we “must be holy because He is holy” (Lev 11:44). More information about food laws can be found here andhere [2], it can be a lengthy subject in and of itself so for time sake, we are going to focus on one animal in particular: THE EAGLE.

In this portion of scripture, including Isaiah, the reference of the eagle stood out due to the Bald Eagle being the national bird for the USA. It’s a very majestic bird and one of the largest predatory birds. They can fly higher than all other birds of prey in order to take in the “big picture” of the land below so that they may go after what they are seeking. Isn’t that beautiful imagery of what it can be like to be a follower of The Way? He mounts us on wings like eagles, equips us that we may not grow weary or faint, and He makes us able to see the “big picture” from beginning to end, that we may have eternal HOPE now and for a future “eighth day”! HalleluYAH!

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? That ELOHAI, YAHUAH (God) is the everlasting YHWH (God), the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they who wait upon ADONAI shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” 
– Isaiah (Yeshua’Yahu) 40:28-31

REAL LIFE

The flesh must die when life is breathed into a believer by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Isaiah said “Make straight in the desert a highway for Elohim!”. Our flesh, like grass, must die, and like the flower, fade away, to make way for the Father to do his glorious work in us. And the promise we have is that the Word of God stands forever! We cannot be scared or worried to look set apart, to act differently than the rest of the world, and to fly high above all circumstances so that we can see the bigger picture… all so that we can have that final rest. The shalom of our Creator on the eighth day. Like Hannah says in the reading of 1 Samuel: “There is no one set apart like Elohim”… her heart rejoices that Yah is in control and that He is sovereign and just.

Peter had an opportunity. Pilate had an opportunity. We have an opportunity. Will we take it? Will we offer strange fire to him? Will we consume abominations making ourselves unclean? Will we deny him? or will we mount up on wings like eagles and die to our flesh?

Everyone who is seeking after Truth will find Truth and will walk in the commands of the Father. Everyone who is of Truth, hears the voice of Yah and the Truth will be with you FOREVER! Don’t lose the reward you worked for. Aspire for things not of this world and train like the priests, preparing for the eighth day: a complete reward of eternal life through Yeshua Ha’Mashiach! The esteem of Yah WILL be revealed and ALL will see it! Every knee SHALL bow! Praise Adonai!

Our prayer is that as the Body we would respond like Samuel: “Speak Adonai, your servant hears!”

References:
[1] Shemini Atzeret; Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia
[2] “Are All Things Clean? (Mark 7:19)” – 119 Ministries YouTube

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