Skin for Skin


or The Ultimate Rip Off

“So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin!
Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.’”
Job 2:4


Part of allowing the Bible to interpret the world for us is to see the significance of things. Modern evangelicals generally pass off the weird references to things like bone, flesh and skin as though they were part of an outmoded worldview. But modern scholars are themselves still made of bone, flesh and skin. These things are significant in the created order. They communicate something to us. Bone is structure, flesh is life, and skin is glory. It is a three-level Tabernacle: Garden, Land, World, or Word, Sacrament, Government. [1]

There was some discussion recently on the BH forum about the “skin” that the Lord used to make “tunics” for Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word is singular, so James Jordan thinks it was a single animal, a single mediator picturing Christ. He is probably right, but I recently said that I thought it was likely a bull was killed for Adam and a goat or two for Eve, prefiguring the Day of Covering (Atonement). It would then have been the Lord as the Single Mediator, the High Priest making two approaches: one to cover the head, and another to cover the body. This means there would have been blood shed twice. Can this be linked to the death of Christ? Yes, it can, and in a way that few Bible expositors see because they won’t recognise repeated patterns.

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[1] Some thoughts: Just as Heaven has three levels, and its reflected glory in the Earth has three levels, so too does the Mediator. A human is mind (Word), body (Sacrament) and movement (arms and legs: Government). But the Body itself, as Mediator, has three levels, bone, flesh and skin. The Body is the Tabernacle mediating between Heaven and Earth. The Israelites were a nation of mediators of living Sacraments. Concerning priestly duties, even the purity of their skin mattered (Leviticus 13).
But there is the third level, Government, so we still require clothing. In the Bible, robes are the skin on the outer Government to others. They are signs to men, and our roles in the World of men in which we live and move. A robed man is a judge, a husband and a father.
[2] See Half the Blood
[3] See Healing in His… Tassels?
[4] See High as the Horses’ Bridles.
[5] See The Whole Bloody Bible

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2 Responses to “Skin for Skin”

  • Nathan Says:

    Thought of Jesus reference in Matthew 7:15, that speaks of false prophets who are ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. Does this scriptural motif shed some additional light on this passage? You are a lot better at this than me.

    Have recently come upon your blog and have been thoroughly enjoying and encouraged by a lot of the content.

    In Him

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Thanks Nathan. It’s always great to get some feedback that has a face (blog stats are boring).

    I was thinking about your comment this morning, and perhaps there is another facet to Jesus’ imagery. If the false teachers are wolves in sheepskin, they had to get the sheepskin from somewhere. Their ministry is an inversion of sacrificial leadership. They are predators who strip the flock and move on.