What a fantastic Torah portion this is! I want to take you on a simple walk through the growth of a tree since this is the imagery God uses to describe His kingdom.
Day One-A seed is planted.
Day Two- The seed coat and endosperm dies, so to speak, giving its nutrients so that the embryo can live. What. In. Tarnation. This is a division between soul and spirit. A separation of the outer and the inner parts.
Day Three– The seed sprouts and becomes a stalk, a stump, or a vine. This is the word given in Genesis 1:12, “the earth (yasa: to sprout, go forth or to cause to come out) grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” It is very, very important that Yeshua rose on the third day because this is when seeds sprout!
Day Four– A tree grows a crown. This includes branches and leaves. A crown, people! How cool is that? The fourth day is all about rulership, which is typically symbolized by crowns.
Day Five– Birds nest in the crown of the tree at the fifth stage. Subjects of a kingdom dwell in safety under a healthy bough that provides protection and sustenance.
Day Six-Humanity did not create the tree but has the ability to maintain the health of the tree through watering, fertilizing, grooming, and tending to it. This is the job of the King/Priest.
Day Seven– Be still and rest in the completion of this process.
What about the eighth day? Is it the first day, the beginning of a new cycle, or is it the eighth day? One of my teachers, Mrs. Alewine, says, “Yes,” meaning it is both.
Shemini, the eighth day, is when the King plants the seed (Lv 25.21-22).
On the eighth day, Yeshua ascended to the Father fulfilling the law of the firstborn.
John 20:1;17: Early in the morning on the first day of the week (or was it the eighth day?), while it is still dark, Miriam from Magdala comes to the tomb. She sees that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb…Yeshua says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’”
Exodus 22:29-30: “You shall not delay offering the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. Likewise, you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day, you shall give it to Me.
The priest pronounces the leper and the unclean human clean at the door of the tent of meeting, on the eighth day. (Lev 14:10 &15:14) Yeshua enters the door of the tent of meeting of the heavenly tabernacle on the eighth day and pronounces us clean.
Hebrews 9:14: how much more will the blood of Messiah—who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God—cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The law of circumcision is done on the eighth day and points us to an internal circumcision, that of the heart, on the eighth day.
Deuteronomy 30:6: And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
The Temple is sanctified on the eighth day. There was a literal Temple but also His body was a Temple, so this could be when His sanctification was finished.
2 Chronicles 29:17: Now they began to sanctify on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month, they came to the vestibule of the Lord. So they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month, they finished.
At the very end of the last Torah portion and the beginning of Shemini, there is a seven-day cleansing of the priesthood where on the eighth day, they get to draw near.
Leviticus 8:33: And you shall not go outside the door of the tabernacle of meeting for seven days until the days of your consecration are ended. For seven days, he shall consecrate you.
After a failed attempt by Nadab and Abihu to draw near, God tells the people;
Leviticus 10:3: And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:‘By those who come near Me I must (will) be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must (will) be glorified.’ ”So Aaron held his peace.
On the eighth day, Yeshua drew near to God. To draw near means you are entering into a Holy place where the Divine Presence is.
Hebrews 10:19-20; Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have boldness to enter into the Holies by the blood of Yeshua. He inaugurated a new and living way for us through the curtain—that is, His flesh. We also have a Kohen Gadol (High Priest) over God’s household.
The final eighth day is at the end of Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, when we celebrate the eighth day. This is a double Shabbat. We see a shadow of this future celebration with Solomon after he built the Temple for the Holy One in 1 Kings 8:66.
Leviticus 23:36: For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day, you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
1 Kings 8:66: At that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days and seven more days—fourteen days. 66 On the eighth day, he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and went to their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the good that the Lord had done for His servant David, and for Israel His people.
Days one through seven are amazing and full of purpose and redemption, but the eighth day points us to a special Shabbat, where we are sanctified, cleansed, brought near, circumcised in our hearts, and given a holy rest. Noah’s name means rest and he is called the “eighth” person in 2 Peter 2.5. I believe this is pointing us to a special rest in the world to come.
Thankful for Yeshua bringing fulness to Shemini, the eighth day, and allowing us to not be consumed as we draw near to the Holy One.
James 4:8: Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded!
Hebrews 10:22: So let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and body washed with pure water.