Outside the Camp

Just a few thoughts today about being “outside the camp”, as found in Scripture.

A Place to Meet the Lord

In Moses’ time, anyone who wanted to inquire of the LORD would have to go outside the camp. “Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. (Exodus 33:7)

A Place of Offal

Outside the camp is the place where the “flesh and offal” of the Jewish sacrifices were burned up. “But the bull with its hide and its flesh and its offal he burned up outside the camp, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Leviticus 8:17)

A Place of Uncleanliness

“As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp.” (Leviticus 13:46)

“1 The LORD said to Moses,  2 “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has an infectious skin disease or a discharge of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body.  3 Send away male and female alike; send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them.”  4 The Israelites did this; they sent them outside the camp. They did just as the LORD had instructed Moses.” (Numbers 5:1-4)

A Place of Death

“Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.” (1 Kings 21:13)

“17 But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”  18 Therefore this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: “They will not mourn for him: ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ They will not mourn for him: ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’  19 He will have the burial of a donkey– dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.” (Jermiah 22:17-19)

A Place where Jesus Went

“And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.” (Hebrews 13:12)

A Place where Christians should go

“Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” (Hebrews 13:13)



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