What does the Hebrew word for consecrate mean? How does something become consecrated? Why does that even matter? Does anything in the Hebrew letters give us more insight into the meaning? Will we find another connection to Messiah? Let’s investigate.
The word consecrate appears three times in the book of Joshua. It first appears in Chapter 3 verse 5 of our Ancient Prophetic Text where we read:
And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
The word sanctify is Qadash or consecrate. Next, it is found in Chapter 7 verse 13:
Up, sanctify the people and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, there is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel; thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
Again, the word sanctify is Qadash or consecrate. Finally, it appears in Chapter 20 verse 7:
And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountains of Judah.
The word appointed is again Qadash and we see that in each case the people or the cities are to be set apart from everything around them. The verb used here means to pronounce or make clean, or to dedicate something or someone completely, or to make holy.
It is important to pause here for a moment to consider that for the Hebrew people everything can be separated into only two possible categories. Something or someone is either Qadash or it is Chalal which means profane or common.
Let’s compare the letters in each of these words to see what mysteries we might discover.
Consecrate or Qadash is spelled Qoof Dalet Sheen.
Qoof is the picture of the back of the head and means behind, the last, or the least.
Dalet is the picture of a doorway and points to a place where change can take place or a place of decision.
Sheen is the picture of teeth and means to consume, to destroy, or to press, and is the one letter God uses to identify Himself.
So the first mystery in consecrate is that Yahweh Himself wants to see us, the least, move to a new place and a new relationship with Him. But how do we do that? The numbers that these letters represent tell us. Qoof is the number 100 and speaks of the Children of Promise. Dalet is the number 4 and stands for creation. Sheen is the number 300 and points to the final blood sacrifice made by the perfect Lamb of God.
Joshua and the nation of Israel could consecrate or set themselves apart for a time but would have always needed to repeat this process because of sin. This foreshadows the perfect Qadash. It was made for the Children of Promise and planned from the beginning of creation by Elohim through the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. His blood truly takes us through the doorway into life eternal with Him.
But what can we learn about Chalal? This word also appears in the book of Joshua in Chapter 3 verse 7.
And the LORD said unto Joshua, this day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
The word begin in this verse is the word Chalal and we see Yahweh promising to take Joshua from a place of profaneness to a place of Qadash where he will be set apart in a special way.
Let’s look at the letters in the word Chalal, Chet Lamed Lamed.
Chet is the picture of a fence and speaks of a private place, or a place of refuge, or to be cut off.
Lamed, which appears twice here, is the picture of the shepherd’s staff and means to have authority, the voice of authority, the tongue, or to urge forward.
So here we see that the mystery in the letters of the word Chalal is that things in this category have been fenced-in or cut off from the voice of authority of the shepherd.
The letter Chet is the number 8 and stands for a new beginning. The letters Lamed and Lamed are the numbers 30 and 30 which point to a particular blood sacrifice, the blood sacrifice of Messiah. Incredibly, Chalal things or people are cut off or separated from the voice and leadership of the Good Shepherd, Yeshua and from His blood sacrifice. They have not yet experienced the new beginning that His blood sacrifice offers.
The writer of Hebrews explains this mystery for us in Chapter 10 verses 18 through 20:
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By an new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.
We have been consecrated by the blood of Yeshua and now can freely enter into the holy presence of Elohim. We enter through the veil which we read is His flesh. This leads us to the final twist to our mystery.
The Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote of the triumph of the Suffering Servant nearly 700 years before His crucifixion at the hands of Roman soldiers. In Chapter 53 verse 5 of his book he wrote:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
The word wounded here is Chalal which can mean to wound or break in the sense of puncture as well as to be profane. This is the ultimate indignation Messiah suffered for us. He who was perfect allowed the defilement in His flesh that passes us through the veil which once separated us from Elohim. He who was Qadash suffered Chalal so that we could be Qadash.
Bless His Holy Name.
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