…and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.  

Leviticus 8:23


Some of the instructions in the Old Testament laws can be vague in their meanings.  One example shows up in Leviticus 6-8 where Moses is instructed to take blood from the sacrifice and touch it to the ear, to the thumb of the right hand, and to the big toe of the right foot.  What would such an instruction mean?  According to the website My Jewish Learning, this procedure took place through seven complete days of celebration.  For Philo, of 1st century Egypt, these instructions implied that the ears represented hearing, the hands represented action, and the foot implied the chosen path of life.  He states, “the fully consecrated must be pure in words and actions and in life; for words are judged by hearing, the hand is the symbol of action, and the foot of the pilgrimage of life.” Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra, a rabbi of 12th century Spain supported this view when he suggested that the ear represented hearing and the thumb represented action, and thus the command indicated that those who would be holy must both hear and do the will of the Father.

These thoughts can suggest to us that knowing God’s will and doing God’s will require both the mind and the body.  In fact, in the New Testament we are told that all parts of our body must work together in fulfilling the will of the Father.  We do not serve God with our hands while we are walking in the wrong path.  We do not know God with our heads while we are doing sinful deeds with our hands. The Old Testament commands give us a visible symbol of the required obedience that the New Testament lifestyle in the Holy Spirit allows us to live out in our everyday lives.  

Dalbert Walker