Hebrews far and wide are struggling to walk the walk and continue on the path of righteousness Yah has set before them. Truth be told, that path is fraught with difficulty and trial, because we have enemies everywhere, both in the world we can see and the one we cannot. One thing Hebrews have to realize is that being set apart is truly what is needed in order to complete this walk. But what does it mean to be set apart? And what are the consequences of failing to set oneself apart?
When the people of Israel were freed from the bondage of the Egyptians, and led into the wilderness to serve Yah their Elohim, Yah intended to make them a set apart people for all time.
26 You must be pure because I, Yah, am pure. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.
“I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own,” says Yah. There are various Hebrew words used throughout Scripture which all boil down to this basic meaning in English: “set apart,” or “separated.” In the case of Leviticus 20:26, the Hebrew word used for set apart is transliterated badal, meaning:
(to separate, to disjoin, as two places by a veil, fence, wall (see Ex. 26:33). Things previously mixed together (see Gen. 1:4).
Among the other senses for this entry are “to separate from the rest, to select out of them,” and “to depart from a place,” among many others. To review, Yah literally separated the children of Israel in a physical sense, by taking them from among the people of Egypt and removing them from their land altogether. And he also created a fence or wall to keep them separated, and that wall was the miraculous cloud, which turned into a pillar of fire at night.
20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
Yah instructed Pharaoh to let his people Israel go so that they could serve him in the wilderness (see Exodus 7:16). In order to properly serve him, Israel had to be set apart from the corrupt nation that held them captive. Being set apart meant, in part, Israel being removed from among the heathen, and then having a wall of separation created so that no interaction could continue between them. As in one of the senses of set apart, which we covered above, Israel was previously mixed together with Egypt, like an exotic fruit salad, and Yah decided to pick out the fruit he preferred, the kind that was to be pure as he is pure.
Being set apart also means that you are marked as one of Yah’s and are designated for his service. Those who are set apart belong to Yah in other words, fulfilling an exclusivity that is clearly spelled out in Scripture. Those who do not belong to Yah do as they please, seeing they are lawless. But Yah’s property, his set apart people, operate within the framework of his law and remain within his possession, not being corrupted by any outside forces or people, because they are faithful to him.
3 Know that Yah has set apart the faithful for Himself; Yah will hear when I call to Him.
The time will come when Yah will again remove his people Israel from among the heathen nations, so they can serve him and be set apart in every sense. This is the promised regathering which is spoken of in several important prophecies. Yet this setting apart will be the substance of the shadow that was the Exodus from the bondage of Egypt.
25 Thus says Yah Elohim, When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to my servant Jacob.
While we await this glorious regathering, which will be the ultimate setting apart, we must do what we are able to in order to set ourselves apart now, while we are still among the heathen nations.
Many translations state, I will demonstrate, show, or manifest “my holiness” in the sight of the nations, but the term he “will be sanctified” or “consecrated” in Israel “in the sight of the nations” is more accurate. The Hebrew word for sanctified or consecrated is qadash, word 6942 in the Strong’s Concordance. Gesenius’ Lexicon gives it the chief sense, “to be pure, clean. [U]sed of physical purity and cleanliness.” In other words, by setting Israel apart, Yah intends to display or manifest his spiritual purity in the sight of all the heathen nations through Israel! They are to be his conduit of purity in this earth, the nation or final world kingdom or government to which people of all nations will join themselves.
1 When Yah will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
While we await this glorious regathering, which will be the ultimate setting apart, we must do what we are able to in order to set ourselves apart now, while we are still among the heathen nations. That means ceasing from their abominable practices, such as the observance of their pagan holidays: Easter, Christmas, and the like. We must adhere to the command given to Israel in ancient times:
2 Thus says Yah, do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them;
3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion.
Jeremiah 10:2, 3
Yah is about separation and grouping. In Genesis 1 we see that light was separated from darkness, and day from night, long before the sun, moon, and stars were created, which meant that those bodies did not have to exist to mark light, darkness, day, and night. Likewise, animals are separate and distinct in his eyes, and they are to be grouped accordingly:
10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.
How much more does he view the prized jewel that is Israel? How much more should they be separate from the world, and the things of the world, in heart, mind, spirit, and even a physical sense. When we do not set ourselves apart from the nations, we will be absorbed into their practices and modes of living, eating abominable things, observing days dedicated to pagan deities, and serving them, and we will ultimately be counted among those who are destined for destruction.
31 But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the heavenly messengers with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 All the nations will be gathered before him; and he will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
33 and he will put the sheep on his right, and the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
41 Then he will also say to those on his left, Depart from me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his messengers.
Matthew 25:31-34, 41
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Right on point. Excellent mixed fruit analysis. Scripture-based; easy to understand and absorb; refreshing and inspiring. Very good work! All praises are due to the Most High Yah!