“Ye Shall Afflict Your Souls”

Mount Azazel
Photo by deror_avi

29 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.

31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

Lev 16:29-31

It is no overstatement to say that truth and particularly God’s truth is under attack from every side.  Ironically, one of the teachings in regards to the Day of Atonement keeps getting Protestantized by saying that two goats stand for Christ, which is far beyond illogical.  It is another case of teaching what is right in one’s own eyes.

I have written about that before, though, so why bring it up?  Because it so opposes what the day stands for!

Ever consider why we are to afflict our souls?  Why not just say “fast”?  Why not, “Thou shalt not eat nor drink from sundown to sundown”?  Why “afflict” yourselves?

Not long ago, I wrote about “Pride and Sin“.  I wrote about how fasting and humbling one’s self go hand in hand.

Still, that does not answer the question, though, does it?  It still could have been that God could have instructed us to fast, right?  No, instead He chose the word “afflict”.

Strong’s H6031 is ‘anah, from which we get the word “afflict”.  It can also mean “oppress, humble, be afflicted, be bowed down”.  There are some interesting passages that use this word, which makes it obvious that it means afflicted but can be upon a continuum of severity.

  • Ge 15:13 – God tells Abram that his descendents will go down into Egypt and be afflicted, ‘anah, 400 years.
  • Ge 16:6 – Sarai deals hardly with, ‘anah, Hagar, which cause Hagar to flee into the wilderness.
  • Ge 16:9 – Hagar is told to go back and submit, ‘anah, to Sarai.
  • Ex 1:11 – Egypt sets taskmasters over the Israelites to afflict, ‘anah, them.
  • Ex 10:3 – Moses upbraids Pharaoh for refusing to humble, ‘anah, himself before God.
  • Nu 24:24 – Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel, but instead he blessed them.  One of the last parables he took up was that ships would come and afflict, ‘anah, Asshur and Eber (but the ships would be destroyed).
  • Dt 8:2 – Moses tells Israel that God led them 40 years through the wilderness to humble, ‘anah, them.
  • Jdg 19:24 – Rape is considered a type of humbling, ‘anah.
  • 2Sa 22:36 – The word ‘anah is rendered “gentleness”.
  • Ezr 8:21 – Of course, fasting and humbling, ‘anah, are often associated with each other.

So, it can be as simple as an act of submission to one who is greater all the way to subjection to violence and/or war.

So, where does the Day of Atonement type of affliction lie?  I think it means to submit one’s self to God, Who certainly is greater, before requiring a harsher type of affliction being foisted upon one.

Or, as Paul put it:

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

~ 1Co 11:31

Are you willing to submit before God?  There certainly are leaders of some of these church organizations that do not!  Why do some of you still attend there, then?  If you are clearly reading your Bibles, then you understand what you must do.

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