THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION:
From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets.
We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. The Haftarah, unless otherwise noted, will be that read in Ashkenazy synagogues around the world. The references for all texts are those found in English translations of the Scriptures.
“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath. From the day that you brought the omer (sheaf) of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:15-16).
The Parashah for this week April 23-29, 2017 is a “double reading”:
I. Thazria—“Quicken with Seed”
TORAH: Leviticus 12:1—13:59
* HAFTARAH: II Kings 4:42—5:19
II. Metzora—“Skin Disease, Leprosy”
TORAH: Leviticus 14:1—15:33
HAFTARAH: II Kings 7:3-20
* On weeks in which a “double reading” occurs, only the haftarah of the second reading is generally used.
After last week’s focus on the importance of Israel’s being ‘set apart’, of her distinguishing between the holy and unholy, the unclean and clean (Lev. 10:10)—this week’s portion continues in instruction of how this was to be worked out in everyday life. There needed to be purification and atonement made for a mother when bringing forth children; there must be measures of isolation and testing taken for outbreaks of surface diseases or blights (both on physical bodies and on dwellings), and for contaminating discharges from the body. And there was the way prescribed for restoration once healing had occurred.
When Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus) came to be born in a stable, his mother Miriam (Mary) submitted to these same instructions for purification (Luke 2:22), and when it was time for the sacrifice, she and Joseph could only afford the humble offering mentioned here (Lev 12:8; Luke 2:24). Yeshua’s coming was to “undo the works of the devil” manifest in all of these diseases, to bring atonement, redemption healing and cleansing. It is very significant that among his healing miracles, special mention is made of those involving lepers and a woman with an ‘issue of blood’.
PLEASE PRAY: as those in synagogues this coming weekend hear these words which so graphically picture the presence and result of sin in our midst and man’s need for healing and being pronounced clean—that the Holy Spirit will convict of sin and righteousness and judgment, and draw Jews to seek cleansing through the One who washes white as snow!
Martin & Norma Sarvis
The Torah and Haftarah portions for next week April 30—May 6, 2017 is also a “double reading”:
I. Torah: Leviticus 16:1—18:30
Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19.
II. Torah: Leviticus 19:1—20:27
Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15