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Two Jonahs of Leviticus 14

Written by Elizabeth Avallone. Posted in

You probably know by now that 'jonah' is the Hebrew word for 'dove' but did you know that the Book of Jonah is a 'picture' of the two Jonahs of Leviticus 14? These two 'pictures' are a 'picture' of the two works (advents) of Messiah. This article is about the two 'jonahs' used in a leprosy-cleansing ritual if the healed person is poor. I will address the Book of Jonah as a 'picture' of Messiah in a later article.

Leviticus 14 tells of the regulations regarding ceremonial cleansing from leprosy. These instructions make it sound like being healed from leprosy was not too uncommon. In fact, it was rare; so rare that everyone knew that only God could heal leprosy just as only God can make us righteous. Therefore, you have to ask why was so much detail provided regarding the ritual? I suggest the reason is because it is a picture of what Yeshua did 2000 years ago and what He is going to do when He returns.

Leprosy represents sin. We know this because in the Scriptures this disease is always associated with rebellion against God. When Moses tried to excuse himself from his assignment to lead God's people out of Egypt, God temporarily struck his right hand with leprosy (Ex 4:6-7). When Miriam, Moses' sister, tried to claim some of Moses' authority, God temporarily struck her with leprosy (Num 12:10). When Namaan the Aramean kidnapped a Hebrew girl to serve as his household maid, God struck him with leprosy (2 Kings 5). When King Uzziah offered incense at the alter knowing full well that only a priest was allowed to do this, God struck him with leprosy (2 Chron 26).

Let's look at the passage. “1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest, 3 and the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp. Thus the priest shall look, and if the infection of leprosy has been healed in the leper, 4 then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed. 5 “The priest shall also give orders to slay the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. 6 “the live bird, he shall take it together with the cedar wood and the scarlet string and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was slain over the running water. 7“He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live bird go free over the open field. 21“But if he is poor and his means are insufficient, then he is to take one male lamb for a guilt offering as a wave offering to make atonement for him, and one-tenth (of an ephah) of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and a log of oil, 22 and two jonahs (doves) or two young pigeons which are within his means, the one shall be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering.” (Lev. 14:1-7, 21-22)

Notice that the priest had to go outside the camp. Yeshua was crucified outside the city. Notice also that no matter how poor a person was, he still had to bring “one male lamb for a guilt offering as a wave offering to make atonement for him”, signifying the fact that the Lamb of God is required by all for atonement. The first dove was killed over an “earthenware vessel”. Paul calls our bodies “jars of clay”. Yeshua lived in a “jar of clay” for thirty-three years. The dove was slain over “living water”. Yeshua told us He would give us “living water”.

The second dove was NOT killed. Rather, it was dipped in the blood of the first dove. This dove speaks of Yeshua's second coming. Rev 19:13 says, “(Yeshua) is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” (This verse also shows us that Joseph was a type of Messiah because his brothers put goat blood all over his special robe.) The one to be cleansed was sprinkled seven times which tells us that Yeshua's blood makes us completely clean, perfectly clean – we cannot make something more perfect if it is already perfect. Lastly, the live dove is set free “over the open field”. Yeshua told us the field represents the world. Herein is our joy and hope. When He returns, “... the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14).

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