Tzaraat, Gan Eden, and the Age to Come

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Gan EdenIn this study, we will be focusing on the issue of tzaraat on houses and how this appears to be connected with Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden) and the age to come. This important passage in the Torah has been sadly overlooked by many as they’ve mistakenly been led to believe that these instructions are outdated and void of any value, but with Yah’s help, we will soon discover that nothing could be further from the truth.

We know that YHWH has declared the end from the beginning (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 46:10), so may He graciously open our eyes and reveal to us wondrous things from His Torah (Tehillim/Psalm 119:18).

The Prophetic Laws of Tzaraat

In the fourteenth chapter of Vayikra/Leviticus, we are given the laws regarding the issue of tzaraat on houses. Tzaraat (צָרַעַת) is the Hebrew word often translated as “leprosy”, and it is an affliction that can manifest in three areas:

  1. Human skin
  2. Garments
  3. Houses

While there are many things to explore in regards to the various cases of tzaraat, we will mainly be focused on tzaraat and houses in this study.

Before we jump in to things and begin to make some connections, let’s carefully review the passage regarding tzaraat on houses:

“And YHWH spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give you as a possession, and I put the leprous plague in a house in the land of your possession, and he who owns the house comes and tells the priest, saying, ‘It seems to me that there is some plague in the house,’ then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest goes into it to examine the plague, that all that is in the house may not be made unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to examine the house. And he shall examine the plague; and indeed if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be deep in the wall, then the priest shall go out of the house, to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days. And the priest shall come again on the seventh day and look; and indeed if the plague has spread on the walls of the house, then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which is the plague, and they shall cast them into an unclean place outside the city. And he shall cause the house to be scraped inside, all around, and the dust that they scrape off they shall pour out in an unclean place outside the city. Then they shall take other stones and put them in the place of those stones, and he shall take other mortar and plaster the house. Now if the plague comes back and breaks out in the house, after he has taken away the stones, after he has scraped the house, and after it is plastered, then the priest shall come and look; and indeed if the plague has spread in the house, it is an active leprosy in the house. It is unclean. And he shall break down the house, its stones, its timber, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place.” –Vayikra/Leviticus 14:33-45

So, let’s recap what we’ve just learned…

When a home owner finds a plague of tzaraat in his house, he is to report it to the priest. The priest will then empty the house, examine the house, and if it is found that there are ingrained greenish and reddish streaks on the walls of the house, the priest is to go out of the house and shut it up for seven days.

On the seventh day, the priest returns.

It is at that point, that he is to reexamine the house to see if the plague of tzaraat has spread. If it has, the priest is to command that the stones containing tzaraat are taken away and discarded in an unclean place outside the city. The interior of the house is then scraped, and the dust is to also be poured out in an unclean place outside the city. New stones and mortar are then brought in and subsequent repairs are made. If the plague comes back in the future, the entire house is to be torn down and carried to an unclean place outside the city.

There is one more thing to quickly take note of before we move on. The Hebrew word translated as “plague” is nehgah (נֶגַע), and it can also be translated as “mark”. Remember that our Creator has a mark? We are told that it is His Torah (Devarim/Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Devarim/Deuteronomy 11:18), His Festivals (Shemot/Exodus 13:9, 16), and His seventh-day Sabbath (Shemot/Exodus 31:13, 17). Not surprisingly, Satan also has a mark (Chazon/Revelation 14:9-11). Notice that both marks are located on the hand and forehead, but we are told that YHWH’s mark is also to appear on our houses (on the doorposts and gates, Devarim/Deuteronomy 6:9).

Now that we’ve laid the foundation, let’s explore some possible connections and see if we can also draw some prophetic insight from what we’ve just learned. Let’s go back to the beginning.

Gan Eden (The Garden of Eden)

In B’reisheet/Genesis 1:1, the very first letter that we find is a bet (בְּ). In case you didn’t know, the letter bet is representative of a house (remember, Hebrew reads right to left).

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ

Is it mere coincidence that the very first letter in the entirety of Scripture is representative of a house? I don’t believe so.

As we continue reading on in the first chapter of B’reisheet/Genesis, we are given very important details concerning the creation account. Keeping all that we’ve gone over thus far in mind, let’s have a look at Iyov/Job 38 (and pay careful attention to the terminology used)…

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of Elohim shouted for joy?
Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;” -Iyov/Job 38:4-10

In the beginning...“Foundations”, “measurements”, “stretched the line”, “foundations fastened”, “laid its cornerstone”, “doors”, “bars”… this is none other than house building language.

As we continue through B’reisheet/Genesis, we come to the third chapter. Up until this point everything on earth (“the house”) was perfect — but serious problems occur when Adam and Eve disobey the simple instructions given to them by YHWH (“the house Owner”) and wind up consuming that which was prohibited. It is at this point, that sin and death (“the plague”) enter the world (“the house”).

The “greenish” or “reddish” plague mentioned in Vayikra/Leviticus could very well be connected with the (green) tree of the knowledge of good and evil (which was possibly bearing red fruit), or it might be tied in to the leaves of a fig tree which were sewn together to cover Adam and Eve after they discovered their nakedness (the fig is a greenish and reddish fruit). Keep in mind that we are also described as the temple (or “house”) of Elohim, so the leaves which covered the skin of Adam and Eve could also be seen as something covering the “walls” of their “houses” and be representative of the plague (sin and death) which had just entered the world…

“And what agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols? For you are the temple of the living Elohim…” -2 Qorintiyim/Corinthians 6:16

Additionally, remember that tzaraat can also plague garments (Vayikra/Leviticus 13:47-59). In the Scriptures, we are told that garments symbolize works of righteousness (Torah obedience), and we do in fact have an instruction which could even be considered a “mark” for our physical garments:

“My tongue shall speak of Your Word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.” -Tehillim/Psalm 119:172

“I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.” -Iyob/Job 29:14

“I will greatly rejoice in YHWH, my soul shall be joyful in my Elohim; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” -Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10

“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” -Chazon/Revelation 19:8

“Again YHWH spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of YHWH and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your Elohim.'” -Bamidbar/Numbers 15:37-40

But there is yet another connection pointing us back to the Garden. Let’s look at the Hebrew word which has been translated as “reddish”:

אֲדַמְדָּם

The word translated as “reddish” is adamdam, and it contains the very name of Adam (אָדָם)!

So we have a house that is now afflicted with a plague. The next step according to Vayikra/Leviticus 14 is for the owner to notify the priest, who will come and examine the owner’s house. If YHWH is the Owner of “the house”, who would be “the priest” that comes to examine things? Check out how Targum Onkelos, an interpretative Aramaic translation, renders B’reisheet/Genesis 3:8…

“When they heard the sound of the Memra of the Lord God walking in the garden as the day was ending, then Adam and his wife hid from before the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the garden.”

What is “the Memra”? It is none other than the “Word” of Elohim — the very manifestation of YHWH…

“‘The Word’, in the sense of the creative or directive word or speech of God manifesting His power in the world of matter or mind…In the Targum the Memra figures constantly as the manifestation of the divinepower, or as God’s messenger in place of God Himself, wherever the predicate is not in conformity with the dignity or the spirituality of the Deity…Like the Shekinah, the Memra is accordingly the manifestation of God.” -Jewish Encyclopedia

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. He was in the beginning with Elohim…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” -Yochanan/John 1:1, 14

“But Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” -Hebrews 9:11

So we see that it was none other than Yeshua who was in the garden with Adam and Eve. Yeshua was the Priest who was there “walking” in Gan Eden, and it was Yeshua who emptied the Garden and shut it up…

“therefore YHWH Elohim sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” -B’reisheet/Genesis 3:23-24

Vayikra/Leviticus 14 then tells us that the house is to be shut up for seven days. With that in mind, consider the following passages…

“For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.” -Tehillim/Psalm 90:4

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” -2 Kepha/Peter 3:8

On the seventh day (during the seventh 1,000 year period), the very Priest who was in Gan Eden with Adam and Eve will return once again to reexamine the house. It is at that time, that He will take away the tzaraat-plagued stones (the people who possess the “mark” of the beast) and Satan will be locked up for 1,000 years…

“He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” -Chazon/Revelation 20:2-3

Remember that at the beginning of this study, we briefly touched on the topic of the “marks” of YHWH and Satan? Scripture tells us that YHWH’s mark is His Torah, Festivals, and seventh-day Sabbath, but what about Satan’s mark?

Here are a few good clues:

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Master will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” -2 Thessalonians 2:7-8

“And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yeshua.” -Chazon/Revelation 14:11-12

LawlessnessIn 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul names the antimessiah as “the lawless one”. The word translated as “lawless” is anomos (ἄνομος), and it is defined as “destitute of Mosaic Law”. Remember that in Revelation 14:11, we’re told that those who worship the beast will indeed receive “the mark of his name” and that they will have no rest (they chose not to observe YHWH’s Sabbaths).

Also, note that Paul makes mention of the “mystery of lawlessness” in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The word translated as “mystery” is the Greek word mysterion (μυστήριον), and it can also be translated as “hidden thing” or “secret thing”. The mark of Satan is living contrary to our Creator’s Torah, and while the fruit of his mark can certainly be witnessed in the way one lives their life, it is not (at this time) a physical mark that manifests itself on the bodies of those who worship the beast. The mark of Satan is so well “hidden” that there are billions of people who are bearing his mark completely unawares, and in fact, a great many of those who bear his mark even believe that they are servants of YHWH. Satan indeed masquerades as an angel of light (2 Qorintiyim/Corinthians 11:14-15), and he has deceived the whole world (Chazon/Revelation 12:9).

Scripture tells us that while Satan’s mark may remain hidden at this time, that will change in the future when the first bowl of wrath is poured out and those who are carriers of the beast’s mark will be plagued with sores…

“So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.” -Chazon/Revelation 16:2

Do you see how this all of this is connecting? It is truly remarkable. Here is one more related passage to consider before we move on:

“But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against YHWH his Elohim by entering the Temple of YHWH to burn incense on the altar of incense. So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of YHWH — valiant men. And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to YHWH, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from YHWH Elohim.’ Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of YHWH, beside the incense altar.” -2 Divrei HaYamim/Chronicles 26:16-19

In the above account, we see that King Uzziah became proud and transgressed against YHWH’s Torah. He desired to do what was right in his own eyes instead of humbly walking in obedience to the commandments of the Creator, and as a result, we see that tzaraat broke out on his forehead. Once again, we see the strong connection between the mark of the adversary, rebelling against the Torah of YHWH, and tzaraat.

New Beginnings

At the end of Yeshua Messiah’s 1,000 year reign on earth, Satan will be loosed to stage one final act of rebellion…

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from Elohim out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” -Chazon/Revelation 20:7-10

So we discover that the plague which will be dealt with at the beginning of Yeshua’s 1,000 year reign will indeed return, and we must now go back to Vayikra/Leviticus 14 to see what is to take place next:

“And he shall break down the house, its stones, its timber, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place.” -Vayikra/Leviticus 14:45

It is at this point that the plague of tzaraat will be dealt with permanently. Satan and death will both be cast into the lake of fire (Chazon/Revelation 20:10, 14) and “the house” will be completely torn down and replaced. There will be a new heaven and a new earth as the “eighth day” (following the seventh 1,000 year period) begins, and we know that the number eight is representative of new beginnings…

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Elohim, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the Tabernacle of Elohim is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. Elohim Himself will be with them and be their Elohim. And Elohim will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.'” -Chazon/Revelation 21:1-4

We are told in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 46:10 that YHWH declared the end from the beginning. After everything is said and done, in Revelation 22 we find ourselves right back where we started, in Gan Eden with the Tree of Life in our very midst! This time, however, we will forever bear YHWH’s mark on our forehead instead of the adversary’s, and tzaraat will never again plague the house that our Creator built…

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the Tree of Life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His Name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for YHWH Elohim gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” -Chazon/Revelation 22:1-5

“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of Elohim.” -Chazon/Revelation 19:13

I truly hope that you have been blessed by this study, and that you now have an even greater appreciation for the precious Word of our Creator. May He continue to reveal His Truth to all of us as we seek Him diligently with all of our heart, soul, and strength.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” -Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 29:13

*Have something to add? Please share your comments below...
4 Responses to “Tzaraat, Gan Eden, and the Age to Come”
  1. Sheryl Lynn Storch

    Excellent study!!! Shabbat Shalom!!!

  2. Randy Mitchell

    I like it! Much to consider and probably graduating applications. I recall a teaching or reference in the Talmud that equates the destruction of the Temple to this portion in Leviticus.
    Personally, I agree and love the light that the Memra teaching throws on the relationship between the Word and Hashem, the Father. I never refer to the Word though as Yeshua before his incarnation. It just keeps things clear and in order.
    Blessings!

  3. Terry Buddrow

    Interesting, makes sense. Have to meditate on it more. I am wondering why you mix Hebrew with English? I speak, read & write English. I do not know the Hebrew language at all. Although I can read your post and simply ignore the Hebrew I was just puzzled why you do it?

    • Jason

      Hi Terry, thank you for your comment…

      Mixing Hebrew and English is actually quite common in the world of Torah study, especially so when our English translations don’t properly convey the true meaning of the Hebrew text (as is the case with tzaraat).

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