Clean – Taher

 

 

 

 

 

The Hebrew verb “taher” (Strong’s #2891) literally means “to clean or be clean” as seen in:

Numbers 8:7 – and wash their clothes and cleanse (taher) themselves.

Derived from this verb is the noun “tahor” (Strong’s #2889) meaning “clean” and is often used in the context of “clean gold”.

And you shall overlay [the ark] with pure (tahor) gold (Exodus 25:11)

Clean gold has had all the impurities (dirtiness) removed from it.

This same word is also used in the context of “animals” to make a “distinction between the unclean and the clean (tahor)” and between “the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten” (Leviticus 11:47).

Many would consider this a “ritualistic clean” but I believe that this is a “literal application”.

Those animals which are “not allowed to be eaten (the unclean)” have within them some “impurity” in the same manner as “impure gold” does.

For instance, “pork”, an “unclean animal”, is known to “carry trichinosis”, an “impurity within the meat” and the “meat of shell fish”, also an “unclean animal”, can cause severe “allergic reactions” in some people.

When a “person came into contact with a dead body” they were considered “unclean” and were “required to wash themselves with the ashes of the red heifer” and “in seven days they would be considered clean” (taher).

Is this just a “ritualistic”procedure” or a “literal cleaning”?

The “procedure for making the ashes of the red heifer” is outlined in Numbers 19.

“The red heifer” was burned along with “cedar wood” (containing an irritant that causes one to vigorously scrub themselves), “hyssop” (containing carvacol, an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent) and “scarlet stuff ” (“tola’at” in Hebrew, “literally” the “Kermes worm” and used as “a natural anti-bacterial agent”).

This “ash mixture becomes a “potent anti-bacterial soap” when “mixed with water” and is clearly a “literal cleaning agent” to “remove the bacteria” that can be “transmitted by a dead body to the one who touches it”.

“God’s laws” were “not just a set of rituals with no physical substance”, they were “actual procedures for the preservation of life” (i.e.: salvation) from “injury or disease” just as it says in Proverbs 3:1,2.

“My son, do not forget my teaching (torah) , but let your heart keep my commandments (mitsvot) , for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare (shalom, usually “translated as peace” but “literally meaning whole or complete”) will they give you.”

Strong’s: #2891 – https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2891.htm – #2889 – https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2889.htm