The Deconsecration of Israel

And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. (Zechariah 14:21)

Working on a post about the use of seals in Revelation, I was looking through the uses of the word “seal” throughout the Bible. Daniel 9:24, a very famous verse, showed up, and its structure struck me as worth some analysis. If structure is indeed part of the means of the Author’s communication, it is not an optional extra.

Firstly, this stanza has an obvious “Covenant” shape. The time spoken of by the angel would bring all the promises made to Israel to fruition.

Seventy weeks are determined
(Sabbath/Genesis: Ark)
For your people and for your holy city,
(Passover/Exodus: Veil)
To finish the transgression,
(Firstfruits/Leviticus: Altar)
To make an end of sins,
(Firstfruits/Leviticus: Table)
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
(Pentecost/Numbers: Lampstand)
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
(Trumpets/Deuteronomy: Incense)
To seal up vision and prophecy,
(Atonement/Joshua: Mediators)
And to anoint the Most Holy.
(Booths/Judges: Shekinah)
(Daniel 9:24)

Sabbath is the first feast listed in Leviticus 23. Its seven day structure “determines” the shape of the entire festal year. Here, it is seventy sevens, 490 years, the “latter days” or latter half of the era of Temple worship.

City and people are the Covenant Hierarchy here, those set apart by circumcision, and the veil of the Mosaic law. People, city, circumcision and Mosaic law would all be cut off when this future time arrived.

In the big Bible picture, Israel’s entire history is “Firstfruits” (Land, then Grain and Fruit). The Bible Matrix shows us that this corresponds to Leviticus (the Levites lived “above” the Land as the “nearbringing” tribe.) The time described above would bring all nations near to God. How? By putting Israel on the Altar and setting her alight as an Ascension Offering (mistranslated “whole burnt offering.”)

Day 1 – Light – Sabbath – Genesis (animal called)
…..Day 2 – Waters – Passover – Exodus (animal cut)
……….Day 3 – Land, Grain & Fruit – Firstfruits – Leviticus (animal presented)
……………Day 4 – Governing Lights – Pentecost – Numbers (holy fire) [1]

My point is that these “latter days” of Israel’s history would prepare the world for Pentecost. To do so, she would have to be torn apart, presented as bread broken and wine tipped out. This is what is going on in the Book of Revelation, when the New Covenant words sealed in Daniel are finally opened, bringing an end to the Old. And Daniel 9:24 shows it would be done in the exact manner described in Leviticus 1-7. The words used in the three “Ethics” stages echo the five offerings:

Ascension Offering (new CreationTranscendence – recapitulates the Creation week in blood) [2]
Meal Offering (new DivisionHierarchy – the sterility of circumcision: no leaven and no honey) [3]
Peace Offering (new Ascension/Testing/MaturityEthics – the meat is divided into four shares: God (insides), priest (right thigh), priesthood (breast), worshipper (the rest). This pictures the living God dwelling in His Son, His Son’s people, and the nations for whom they mediate. This offering prefigures God bringing all men to God’s table to dine with Him.
Sin Offering (new ConquestSanctions (Atonement) – purification, the sprinkling of blood, as on the Day of Coverings. For priests, the blood was smeared on the Incense Altar (inside the tent – Eve/Jacob). For common Israelites it was smeared on the horns of the Bronze Altar (outside the tent – Adam/Esau). [4] This offering didn’t exist until the construction of the Tabernacle. It “cleans the House.” The bullock is burned outside the camp.
Trespass (Guilt) Offering (new BoothsSuccession) – as Dr. Leithart notes, this offering actually DE-consecrates someone who is holy, rendering them once again a commoner. Only priests, those consecrated, could eat of this offering. He who was bound (as a sacrifice or “nearbringing”) is now loosed. The Covenant vow is completed.

Since we are aligning these offerings with the five-fold Covenant process and the seven fold festal year, we can see that this final offering pictures the “de-consecration” of all Israel, that is, the end of the Jew-Gentile divide in AD70. Booths/Tabernacles was a party thrown by Jews for Gentile guests. The entire festal history was spent cleaning Israel up so she could serve the nations. Once the Gospel was preached, believing Gentiles came to celebrate together — EAT together — with believing Jews. After the party, God sent Gentile scavengers to “clean up” the remains of unbelieving Judah, with Roman eagles circling her carcass.

Now, what is really scary is that Daniel 9:24 appears to run these offerings backwards, a factor I have noticed in numerous places in Scripture. (If you don’t know the patterns, you can’t tell when God is messing with them to make a point!) I suppose this means that the very offerings made by Israel in her “latter days” would be her de-consecration, leading to, as Dr. Leithart notes, the de-sacralizing of the priestly nation. [5] Even her final guilt offering would be five-fold, but it would result in two Israels: one unclean, and one merely common but cleansed by Christ. For those who rejected Christ, there would be no escape from the curses of Moses. There would be no more sacrifice for sins.

The de-consecration of Israel was not a bad thing. Covenant history was moving from “Levitical” Head to “Deuteronomic” Body. All the Lord’s people are commoners, but they are also priests and prophets. Under the New Covenant, even the pots and pans are holy.

My friend Albert Garlando noticed a gem in Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Leviticus. He states that the five themes of Leviticus are:

A Holy God
…..A Holy Priesthood
……….A Holy People
…..A Holy Land
A Holy Savior [6]

Now, compare this with the structure of Daniel 9:24 above.

[1] Jesus follows the same pattern with each of the elements, bread and wine, in the last supper. See Bible Matrix II, p. 189.
[2] See James B. Jordan, Re-creation in the Ascension Offering. I know Ascension is step three, but this five-fold process as a unit is the “Levitical” step 3, the near bringing.
[3] Peter Leithart runs through these in a very helpful way in his A House for My Name, but presents the process as fourfold for some reason (pp. 87-97).
[4] The man “inside the tent” is the bridal man, the one who values the Covenant. More on this in another post.
[5] See A Jew Gets Baptism, quoting Peter J. Leithart, Defending Constantine.
[5] See also Leviticus as Literature.

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