The firstborn of an unclean animal had to be redeemed by an estimation of the priest, with the addition of one-fifth (Lev 27:27; Num 18:15). According to Exod. 13:13; 34:20, the firstborn of an ass was either ransomed by a sheep or lamb, or its neck had to be broken.
Figuratively, Israel was God’s “firstborn” (Exod 4:22; Jer 31:9) and enjoyed priority status. God compared His relationship to Israel with the relationship of a father and his firstborn son. Within Israel, the tribe of Levi represented the firstborn of the nation in its worship ceremony (Num 3:40-41; 8:18).
The term “blood of Christ” designates in the NT the atoning death of Christ. Atonement refers to the basis and process by which estranged people become at one with God (atonement=at-one-ment). When we identify with Jesus, we are no longer at odds with God. The meaning of Christ’s death is a great mystery. The NT seeks to express this meaning in
The Old Testament concept of being clean can be difficult to grasp. The basic idea sounds foreign to modern ears, and the legislation that describes how that state is achieved and maintained can overwhelm us, making books like Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy much more difficult to understand. But when we acquire a clearer understanding of the notion, we find that the image of being clean is a helpful one that spreads its influence from Genesis through Revelation.
Elijah never died. Celestial chariots of fire and a whirlwind carried him away.
Since his body wasn’t destroyed, some Jews consider it reasonable that he can return. Malachi’s promise leads many Jews to believe that Elijah will become the advance man for the Messiah-or as Isaiah put it, “the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD!. . . Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together’ ” (Isaiah 40:3,5). Continue reading SECOND COMING OF ELIJAH→
Sheep appear more often than any other animal in the pages of the Bible, mentioned over seven hundred times. They often represent people, and in a special case, one particular person (discussed below). Sheep are gentle and social creatures that function best in a flock, but their individual tendencies lead them to wander. That combination requires an attentive shepherd to guide and tend a large flock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LAMB/SHEEP)→