The Fourth Leper
2 Kings 7:3-7:20
The Torah portion "Metzorah" is usually translated as "Leper." This is not the best description of the Scriptural affliction called leprosy. From ancient times, it was considered a supernatural affliction, not the flesh-eating disease known as Hansen's Disease. In our Torah classes this week, we reviewed the affliction from its Biblical description as a "mark or strike" and how each of the four horses of Revelation can be traced to one type of tzara'at (leprosy).
Let's take a look at this Divine mark in a simpler context. It's hard to teach Revelation without some basic building blocks from the Torah. First, notice that the record of those stricken with tzara'at in the Bible were prominent people: Moses, Miriam, Naaman, Gehazi, King Uzziah. The Holy One made a point about holiness in each case. Each was an important leader, and each had a heart to serve. Because leaders and teachers receive "the greater condemnation" for errors as James wrote, the Holy One loves them enough to mark them so that they will repent of transgressions as an example to all Israel.
Each of those leaders had something in common with the first Metzorah, the serpent in the Garden.
There is a Jewish tradition associated with the serpent, who appears repeatedly in Revelation. The first case of
was on the serpent, who slandered The Holy One with his speech.
He cursed him with leprosy, for those scales on the serpent are leprosy.(
A midrash may or may not be literally true, but it teaches an object lesson. In this case, the scales on the snake are likened to the "scale" of tzara'at on a metzorah. In the serpent are found the three...no four...sins of the metzorah:
1. The leper with pride?
Does not acknowledge his mortality, equality with other humans. (
2. The leper who slanders?
Delivers bad news about others. (Moses and Miriam)
3. The leper who covets?
Begrudges others their successes, gifts, positions, or wealth. (
Gehazi, King Uzziah
4. All these are "murder," for the punishment of a murderer is death, and the
is as one "dead." (Ex 12:12)
The serpent caused the death of mankind through pride, slander, and covetousness. Each of the Biblical leaders mentioned flirted with the abominations of death in some way.
There are six things which the L
es, seven which are an abomination
to Him. (Pr 6:16)
The "six, no seven abominations" of the Wicked Lamp progressively are:
Hands that shed innocent blood
A heart devising wicked plans
Feet that run quickly to evil
A false witness breathing out lies
One who separates brothers
Look how many of the seven abominations relate to the tongue. In fact, we may say that even though separate, they are working in perfect unity, for even a tongue has a "hand" when it comes to abominations:
Death and life are in
hand of the tongue
." (Pr 18:21 or Je 9:7)
The one who separates brothers is the seventh abomination
. An abomination is like eating a mouse or pig. It is like eating a scaly serpent.
It doesn't mean just separating others from one another with the hands of the tongue and your pride...it means separating yourself from your brother as well. The metzorah is not a victim of his community; he has separated himself by refusing to repent of the transgression and be purified.
These leaders teach us that yes, it is an abominable thing to separate brothers from one another, but how precious are you to the Father? So precious that He does not want you to be the brother who separates himself with lingering spots of pride, slander, or covetousness. As our guest teacher said recently, "An individual is unqualified to examine his own spots!" The individual must notice that they are there, but he must submit to an authoritative examination by someone who knows the five books of the Torah and knows how to guide him to repentance so that he may re-enter the camp. A metzorah who is suffering from a "burn" of tzara'at may actually be glad he's separated. He's mad! He's offended! He's self-righteously indignant!
The priest examines the scales, burns, swellings, and white spots. In Creation Gospel Workbook Five, Volume Three, each of these marks is explained in more detail, such as the swelling mark that represents a spot of pride. Yes, for an Israelite, even a little spot is judged because the Father wants the beloved one to appear before Him without spot or wrinkle.
Jewish tradition adds more insight, not just to the beginnings of time, but the end times:
"When the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to it [the serpent], 'Upon your belly shall you go,' ministering angels descended and cut off its hands and feet, and its cries resounded from one end of the world to the other. Thus the serpent is mentioned in order to throw light upon the downfall of Babylonia, and thereby its own experience is illumined: 'The cry that will go forth shall be like the serpents'" [Je 46:22] (
The serpent's curse represents a worldwide event represented by the ancient city of Babylon. Those who operate in the seven abominations, yielding their hands and feet to murder with slandering tongues of pride like their father the serpent, will be marked with the mark of the most cunning beast of the field, the serpent.
And another angel, a second one, followed, saying,
, fallen is Babylon the great
..." (Re 14:8)
The key passage in Vayikra (Leviticus) is the progression from food laws distinguishing "abominations" to purity laws, which are "life" laws, including the
, one suffering from supernatural disease. He sees a priest
, not a medical doctor. One of the specific animals forbidden to eat is one who falls down and goes on his belly:
God said to the serpent,
"Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle, a
nd more than every beast of the field;
On your belly
you will go, a
nd dust you will eat a
ll the days of your life." (Ge 3:14)
'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. (Le 11:42)
In Revelation, the serpent has been cast down. A serpent fell in the Garden, and a serpent will fall to earth. Fallen, fallen. And woe to those who dwell on the earth, for he knows that his time is short to continue deceiving before he's bound for a thousand years.
And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying,
, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a
prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird
." (Re 18:2)
The "fallen" status of demons, unclean spirits, and unclean birds take in three concepts of Torah: 1) the serpent 2) impurity (demons) 3) unclean animals that are not food. The seven bowls of Revelation are the counterparts to the bowls of living water and seven days for the metzorah's purification. Instead of crossing from separation to life in the camp, the Revelation bowls impart a lasting death:
the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood
The cleansing of the "dead man"
from his mark is accomplished with blood flowing into a bowl of "
water," such as from a spring or river. The blood of the clean bird mingles with water, and the other clean bird is set free in the field. This metzorah will not be consigned to the habitation of demons and unclean birds.
There are two metzoraim (plural of metzorah) recorded in Scripture. One is the Aramean Naaman, and the other is one of the ten whom Yeshua healed, and he was a Samaritan (Lk 17). Samaritans worshiped in Mount Gerizim, not the Temple, so the Samaritan had no priest to whom to show himself for purification. Nevertheless, he was thankful and healed, so we know he repented of his transgressions. Being thankful is evidence of humility, and "returning" as he did to Yeshua is evidence of repentance, teshuvah.
There are four unnamed metzoraim in the haftorah, 2 Kings 7:3-20. No coincidence that they plunder the Aramean camp! Twice the Arameans are mentioned in the context of tzara'at in 2 Kings. Naaman returned to Aram, and even though he continued to serve the king, who served a pagan god, Naaman acknowledged the Holy One of Israel as the only true One. Yes, without a Temple in the lands of exile, it is a precarious and uncomfortable situation for those who serve Adonai! Aram means "swelled up and exalted," insinuating sins of pride, and the Holy One cannot dwell with pride. We live in a swelled-up, prideful world called Babylon, but the Holy One can deliver us if we acknowledge our low place, repent, and change our ways.
See how the lepers show signs of repentance when they encounter the riches of the Arameans:
When these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and went and hid them.
Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will
overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king's household." (2 Ki 7:8-9)
At first, the four lepers hoard the wealth, but one of the four realizes their opportunity to heal their four sins of a metzorah. As Yeshua said, their "faith" could make them whole. Although the metzorah is already "dead," there is a second death coming, and they will be judged. If there are still marks of pride, slander, or covetousness, they will be punished. Likewise, the four horsemen of Revelation are testing for marks of tzaraat. Do people still want to conquer others with pride? Gain wealth, symbolized by the same barley and wheat symbols in 2 Kings? Slay with the sword in the hand of the tongue and arrow? Then comes the Pale Horse, a yellowish-green color that is the cognate of the color of leprosy in the beard around the mouth. Death. Twice dead. Twice fallen. Twice unclean. This is what the metzorah must call out, concealing his murderous mouth, "Unclean, unclean."
As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be
uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and
!' (Le 13:45)
The lepers who plundered the Aramean army show all the signs of repentance. Scripture does not record that they were healed, but perhaps the signs are so plain that the reader is expected to KNOW that they were:
The leper with pride? He a
cknowledged his mortality and hopelessness. No person is better or lower than another in this life. That is left for the judgment of the World to Come. Wealth apart from a holy community is no wealth at all. Riches in this life may be the source of punishment in the next.
The leper who slandered?
Delivered good news. He used the hand of his tongue for life.
The leper who coveted?
Shared the wealth.
The metzoraim did
, for in a strange turn of phrase, the king's servant says, "the one inside is the same as the one outside." That is the lesson of the four lepers. They turned the fourth sin, murder, death, into life with acts and words of repentance. They changed from the inside out.
It's in our hands.
Below you'll find many opportunities to join us for Creation teaching, studying Scripture, and rejoicing in Israel at Sukkot.
The Creation Experience
After his resurrection, Yeshua explained the event to his disciples starting with the Torah. Believers today are not so skilled at locating the prophecies of resurrection in the first five books of the Bible, especially Genesis One and Two. By carefully studying the texts, the words in the Gospels, Epistles, and especially the Revelation of John, come to life, and believers can appreciate the richness of their future experience of the afterlife.
The return to the Garden of Eden, or Paradise, is woven into the Bible from Genesis 1:1 all the way to Revelation. The investigation into Genesis One sets prophetic patterns to appreciate the good news of the gospel in the context of the appointed times and the seven assemblies of Revelation. Genesis Two's mysterious rivers answer the question, "What happens when we die?" and gives shape to the resurrection of the dead. It help Gospel readers to understand why Yeshua would say to the thief on the cross, "This day you will be with me in Paradise."
This conference with Brad Scott gives us the time to dive deeply into topics that we can never adequately cover in a typical conference, so bring a notebook, bring the kids, and we'll a walk through Creation, the Garden, and the Ark.
Just in Time! The Three Days and Three Nights of Messiah
A BEKY Booklet that will help you explain Yeshua in the context of Passover and provoke second thoughts about Easter Sunday. Passover is for teaching, and here's perfect timing and opportunity. The Three Days and Three Nights of Messiah details the passion week of Yeshua in the Jewish context of first century Jerusalem. It will challenge traditional thought concerning the timing of the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua. The purpose is to discover how we "may be one" in Messiah. The Sign of Jonah is a key to unlock a greater understanding of Passover for those who have faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Click on The Sign of Jonah
to view or purchase. This price is so good, you could buy three!
Sukkot in Israel 2019
October 10-22, 2019
Ready to walk the paths that Yeshua walked in the Galilee, open your eyes in the Tzin where manna fell each morning, pray at the Kotel, walk in the Sukkot Parade of the Nations in Jerusalem, and gather in the desert sukkah for fellowship, teaching, praise, and worship in the evenings?
Dust off your passport and click on
SUKKOT IN ISRAEL
to read the itinerary. A $500 deposit will hold your place in a tour that will likely fill up early. Our maximum number of participants is 40. Although every Israel tour requires a lot of walking, this one will be easier on the feet because of the open windows of leisure time built in it to honor the sabbaths of Sukkot. Many thanks to Kisha Gallagher for her hard work on the itinerary to bring together a tour that respects Adonai's holy days.
Mount Arbel overlooking the Galilee
LaMalah Children's Centre
Funds were disbursed to LaMalah Children's Centre and the Kenyan Torah community for celebrating Passover. We hope to have some pictures for you after the feast.
If you would like to donate to the Children's Centre or other Torah-based orphanages through The Creation Gospel, click on the link below. The story of LaMalah may be found at