Holiness, Worldly Separation
Most Relevant Verses
You must not follow the statutes of the nations I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and I abhorred them. And I promised you: You will inherit their land, since I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am Yahweh your God who set you apart from the peoples. Therefore you must distinguish the clean animal from the unclean one, and the unclean bird from the clean one. Do not become contaminated by any land animal, bird, or whatever crawls on the ground; I have set these apart as unclean for you.read more.
You are to be holy to Me because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be Mine.
“If Your presence does not go,” Moses responded to Him, “don’t make us go up from here. How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.”
Any person who does any of these detestable practices must be cut off from his people. You must keep My instruction to not do any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you, so that you do not defile yourselves by them; I am Yahweh your God.”
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, and He drives out many nations before you—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you— and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you and you defeat them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,read more.
because they will turn your sons away from Me to worship other gods. Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and He will swiftly destroy you. Instead, this is what you are to do to them: tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, cut down their Asherah poles, and burn up their carved images. For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be His own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
“When you are encamped against your enemies, be careful to avoid anything offensive. If there is a man among you who is unclean because of a bodily emission during the night, he must go outside the camp; he may not come anywhere inside the camp. When evening approaches, he must wash with water, and when the sun sets he may come inside the camp.read more.
You must have a place outside the camp and go there to relieve yourself. You must have a digging tool in your equipment; when you relieve yourself, dig a hole with it and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God walks throughout your camp to protect you and deliver your enemies to you; so your encampments must be holy. He must not see anything improper among you or He will turn away from you.
After these things had been done, the leaders approached me and said: “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the surrounding peoples whose detestable practices are like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. Indeed, the Israelite men have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed has become mixed with the surrounding peoples. The leaders and officials have taken the lead in this unfaithfulness!”
Leave, leave, go out from there!
Do not touch anything unclean;
go out from her, purify yourselves,
you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
“This is the law concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground, in order to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between the animals that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.”
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: “Tell the Israelites: You may eat all these kinds of land animals. You may eat any animal with divided hooves and that chews the cud. read more.
But among the ones that chew the cud or have divided hooves you are not to eat these:the camel, though it chews the cud,
does not have divided hooves—it is unclean for you; the hyrax, though it chews the cud,
does not have hooves—it is unclean for you; the hare, though it chews the cud,
does not have hooves—it is unclean for you; the pig, though it has divided hooves,
does not chew the cud—it is unclean for you. Do not eat any of their meat or touch their carcasses—they are unclean for you. “This is what you may eat from all that is in the water: You may eat everything in the water that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or streams. But these are to be detestable to you: everything in the seas or streams that does not have fins and scales among all the swarming things and other living creatures in the water. They are to remain detestable to you; you must not eat any of their meat, and you must detest their carcasses. Everything in the water that does not have fins and scales will be detestable to you. “You are to detest these birds. They must not be eaten because they are detestable:the eagle, the bearded vulture,
the black vulture, 14 the kite,
any kind of falcon, every kind of raven, 16 the ostrich,
the short-eared owl, the gull,
any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant,
the long-eared owl, the white owl, the desert owl,
the osprey, 19 the stork,
any kind of heron,
the hoopoe, and the bat. “All winged insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. But you may eat these kinds of all the winged insects that walk on all fours: those that have jointed legs above their feet for hopping on the ground. You may eat these:any kind of locust, katydid, cricket, and grasshopper. All other winged insects that have four feet are to be detestable to you.
“You must not eat any detestable thing. These are the animals you may eat:the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer,
the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope,
and the mountain sheep.read more.
You may eat any animal that has hooves divided in two and chews the cud. But among the ones that chew the cud or have divided hooves, you are not to eat these:the camel, the hare, and the hyrax,
though they chew the cud, they do not have hooves—
they are unclean for you; and the pig, though it has hooves, it does not chew the cud—
it is unclean for you.You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses. “You may eat everything from the water that has fins and scales, but you may not eat anything that does not have fins and scales—it is unclean for you. “You may eat every clean bird, but these are the ones you may not eat:the eagle, the bearded vulture,
the black vulture, 13 the kite,
any kind of falcon, every kind of raven, 15 the ostrich,
the short-eared owl, the gull,
any kind of hawk, the little owl, the long-eared owl,
the white owl, 17 the desert owl,
the osprey, the cormorant, 18 the stork,
any kind of heron,
the hoopoe, and the bat. All winged insects are unclean for you; they may not be eaten. But you may eat every clean flying creature.
Summoning the crowd again, He told them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. [If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!]”read more.
When He went into the house away from the crowd, the disciples asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a man from the outside can defile him? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated.” (As a result, He made all foods clean.)
“When a person has a swelling, scab, or spot on the skin of his body, and it becomes a disease on the skin of his body, he is to be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons, the priests. The priest will examine the infection on the skin of his body. If the hair in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a skin disease. After the priest examines him, he must pronounce him unclean.
“If a fabric is contaminated with mildew—in wool or linen fabric, in the warp or woof of linen or wool, or in leather or anything made of leather— and if the contamination is green or red in the fabric, the leather, the warp, the woof, or any leather article, it is a mildew contamination and is to be shown to the priest.
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: “When you enter the land of Canaan that I am giving you as a possession, and I place a mildew contamination in a house in the land you possess, the owner of the house is to come and tell the priest: Something like mildew contamination has appeared in my house. read more.
The priest must order them to clear the house before he enters to examine the contamination, so that nothing in the house becomes unclean. Afterward the priest will come to examine the house.
“Tell the Israelites: When a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a male child, she will be unclean seven days, as she is during the days of her menstrual impurity.
Or if someone touches anything unclean—a carcass of an unclean wild animal, or unclean livestock, or an unclean swarming creature—without being aware of it, he is unclean and guilty. Or if he touches human uncleanness—any uncleanness by which one can become defiled—without being aware of it, but later recognizes it, he is guilty.
These are unclean for you among all the swarming creatures. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean until evening. When any one of them dies and falls on anything it becomes unclean—any item of wood, clothing, leather, sackcloth, or any implement used for work. It is to be rinsed with water and will remain unclean until evening; then it will be clean. If any of them falls into any clay pot, everything in it will become unclean; you must break it. read more.
Any edible food coming into contact with that unclean water will become unclean, and any drinkable liquid in any container will become unclean. Anything one of their carcasses falls on will become unclean. If it is an oven or stove, it must be smashed; it is unclean and will remain unclean for you. A spring or cistern containing water will remain clean, but someone who touches a carcass in it will become unclean. If one of their carcasses falls on any seed that is to be sown, it is clean; but if water has been put on the seed and one of their carcasses falls on it, it is unclean for you. “If one of the animals that you use for food dies, anyone who touches its carcass will be unclean until evening. Anyone who eats some of its carcass must wash his clothes and will be unclean until evening. Anyone who carries its carcass must wash his clothes and will be unclean until evening.
The Holiness of the PriestsThe Lord said to Moses: “Speak to Aaron’s sons, the priests, and tell them: A priest is not to make himself ceremonially unclean for a dead person among his relatives,
You must distinguish between the holy and the common, and the clean and the unclean, and teach the Israelites all the statutes that the Lord has given to them through Moses.”
shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What’s more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has profaned this holy place.”
The Lord instructed Moses: “Command the Israelites to send away anyone from the camp who is afflicted with a skin disease, anyone who has a bodily discharge, or anyone who is defiled because of a corpse. You must send away both male or female; send them outside the camp, so that they will not defile their camps where I dwell among them.”
Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful by marrying foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. Therefore, make a confession to Yahweh the God of your fathers and do His will. Separate yourselves from the surrounding peoples and your foreign wives.”
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: You are not to eat any fat of an ox, a sheep, or a goat. The fat of an animal that dies naturally or is mauled by wild beasts may be used for any purpose, but you must not eat it.read more.
If anyone eats animal fat from a fire offering presented to the Lord, the person who eats it must be cut off from his people. Wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. Whoever eats any blood, that person must be cut off from his people.”
“The person afflicted with an infectious skin disease is to have his clothes torn and his hair hanging loose, and he must cover his mouth and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ He will remain unclean as long as he has the infection; he is unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp.
“When you offer a fellowship sacrifice to the Lord, sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. It is to be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day, but what remains on the third day must be burned up. If any is eaten on the third day, it is a repulsive thing; it will not be accepted.read more.
Anyone who eats it will bear his punishment, for he has profaned what is holy to the Lord. That person must be cut off from his people.
Anyone who touches a body of a person who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord. That person will be cut off from Israel. He remains unclean because the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, and his uncleanness is still on him.
If there is a man among you who is unclean because of a bodily emission during the night, he must go outside the camp; he may not come anywhere inside the camp. When evening approaches, he must wash with water, and when the sun sets he may come inside the camp. You must have a place outside the camp and go there to relieve yourself. read more.
You must have a digging tool in your equipment; when you relieve yourself, dig a hole with it and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God walks throughout your camp to protect you and deliver your enemies to you; so your encampments must be holy. He must not see anything improper among you or He will turn away from you.
So King Uzziah was diseased to the time of his death. He lived in quarantine with a serious skin disease and was excluded from access to the Lord’s temple, while his son Jotham was over the king’s household governing the people of the land.
But the one who eats meat from the Lord’s fellowship sacrifice while he is unclean, that person must be cut off from his people. If someone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, an unclean animal, or any unclean, detestable creature, and eats meat from the Lord’s fellowship sacrifice, that person must be cut off from his people.”
Say to them: If any man from any of your descendants throughout your generations is in a state of uncleanness yet approaches the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord, that person will be cut off from My presence; I am Yahweh. No man of Aaron’s descendants who has a skin disease or a discharge is to eat from the holy offerings until he is clean. Whoever touches anything made unclean by a dead person or by a man who has an emission of semen, or whoever touches any swarming creature that makes him unclean or any person who makes him unclean—whatever his uncleanness— read more.
the man who touches any of these will remain unclean until evening and is not to eat from the holy offerings unless he has bathed his body with water.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “If someone offends by sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the Lord’s holy things, he must bring his restitution offering to the Lord: an unblemished ram from the flock (based on your assessment of its value in silver shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel) as a restitution offering. He must make restitution for his sin regarding any holy thing, adding a fifth of its value to it, and give it to the priest. Then the priest will make atonement on his behalf with the ram of the restitution offering, and he will be forgiven.
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons to deal respectfully with the holy offerings of the Israelites that they have consecrated to Me, so they do not profane My holy name; I am Yahweh.
And the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain will be put to death.read more.
No hand may touch him; instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows. No animal or man will live. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.”
Make them linen undergarments to cover their naked bodies; they must extend from the waist to the thighs. These must be worn by Aaron and his sons whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the sanctuary area, so that they do not incur guilt and die. This is to be a permanent statute for Aaron and for his future descendants.
“Make a bronze basin for washing and a bronze stand for it. Set it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin. Whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister by burning up an offering to the Lord, they must wash with water so that they will not die. read more.
They must wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this is to be a permanent statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”
Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people. Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, dedicated to the Lord. Anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.
“Aaron and his sons are to finish covering the holy objects and all their equipment whenever the camp is to move on. The Kohathites will come and carry them, but they are not to touch the holy objects or they will die. These are the transportation duties of the Kohathites regarding the tent of meeting.
If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them to do. Then fire came from the Lord and burned them to death before the Lord.
Now Korah son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took 250 prominent Israelite men who were leaders of the community and representatives in the assembly, and they rebelled against Moses. They came together against Moses and Aaron and told them, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”read more.
When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will reveal who belongs to Him, who is set apart, and the one He will let come near Him. He will let the one He chooses come near Him. Korah, you and all your followers are to do this: take firepans, and tomorrow place fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord. Then the man the Lord chooses will be the one who is set apart. It is you Levites who have gone too far!”
God struck down the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the Lord. He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men. The people mourned because the Lord struck them with a great slaughter. The men of Beth-shemesh asked, “Who is able to stand in the presence of this holy Lord God? Who should the ark go to from here?”
When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to the ark of God and took hold of it because the oxen had stumbled. Then the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and God struck him dead on the spot for his irreverence, and he died there next to the ark of God.
Her priests do violence to My instruction and profane My holy things. They make no distinction between the holy and the common, and they do not explain the difference between the clean and the unclean. They disregard My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? read more.
Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!” When he heard these words, Ananias dropped dead, and a great fear came on all who heard. The young men got up, wrapped his body, carried him out, and buried him. There was an interval of about three hours; then his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. “Tell me,” Peter asked her, “did you sell the field for this price?”“Yes,” she said, “for that price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in, they found her dead, carried her out, and buried her beside her husband.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.
Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.
But you are a chosen race,a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.
I have given them Your word.
The world hated them
because they are not of the world,
as I am not of the world. I am not praying
that You take them out of the world
but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, having this inscription:The Lord knows those who are His, and
Everyone who names the name of the Lord
must turn away from unrighteousness.
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.