“Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.””
Holiness has to do with purity, yes. It’s the act of not mixing. It’s by implication separate, sacred, sinless.
When God tells Moses to remove his sandals, if the removing of the sandals meant merely to do away with the uncleanliness then unless there was a non dirt floor around the burning bush, Moses would still be touching dirt and his feet would become dirty upon the removal of his sandals. But the reason God asks Moses to take off his sandals is because THIS particular ground is NOT the same as the other grounds Moses has touched. By removing his sandals Moses was removing the foreign dust and dirt on the sandals from interacting with the burning bush dust and dirt that was holy. There was an act of separation involved.
By implication holiness means pure or sinless, or uncontaminated because provided there is no mixing something holy takes on all these qualities as a byproduct. When a man remains a virgin until marriage, he is pure. When he marries his wife and separate her from all the other women, he, by definition will be pure and undefiled because he does not mix with other women. He also sanctifies her provided she doesn’t mix with other men. The husband has the expectation that the wife will be holy toward him, meaning exclusively his and his alone. No one else, no foreigner will come and mix within the marriage. A mixed marriage or an open marriage is not a holy thing and thus given marriage is a sacred act, an open marriage is an oxymoron, it’s technically not a marriage.
When at the temple the utensils were consecrated to the Lord, this meant that their whole use was limited to the temple. The priest could not make an exception and bring some home for a day because he was short a few spoons. In doing so they would cease to be holy. They would no longer be purely and exclusively for the temple, they would be thus contaminated.
Going back to the burning bush, when something common touches something sacred, it takes on the properties of the sacred, provided the sacred is not being desecrated.
Example of desecration using the marriage example. If the wife has an affair she is no longer holy to her husband but the husband is still holy. Desecration would mean the husband is forced to sleep with another woman and he does. Like wise the altar doesn’t become desecrated until its use is deliberately used for unholy purposes, like deliberately burning a pig on the altar. If the pig touched the altar it doesn’t desecrate the altar, although a legalistic priest would contend with the idea.
“And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.”
By Moses keeping his shoes on, all his past visited places would become sacred and holy but of course God wasn’t going to rubber stamp Moses’ prior walks on the territories of the other gods assigned to the nations Deu32:8ESV,DSS,LXX
When a man who is a virgin takes a woman, even if that woman was promiscuous prior, by entering into the covenant with the man she is now sanctified through him, provided she remains exclusive and faithful.
When God who is Holy, uncreated, Holy, undefiled, Holy, uncontaminated, accepts someone in a covenant with Him, God is expecting that person to remain exclusively His. Even when He subjects them to the test, they must only appeal to Him and not to the fallen sons of God assigned to the other nations.
There was the holy place at the tabernacle and the holy of Holies. In the HH only one person, once a year could enter. Even the Holy place was restricted. Holiness is about access. God is not accesible except as He deems fit.
The king in Israel was not allowed to offer sacrifices, it was restricted to the priesthood. Saul lost his kingdom, another became a leper. Holiness is about exclusivity. Exclusivity is about access. Access is restrictive.
The firstborn of livestock or the first fruits were holy into the Lord. They were not for anyone else. They were exclusive. God’s holiness is exclusive. It’s privileged. It’s restricted to the favored.
To sanctify is to make holy or to make exclusive, limited, restricted and of higher value. Samson the nazarite was holy to the Lord and had to refrain from certain things. Holiness means and requires deliberate consecration.
An athlete the more competitive and the higher the league the holier he becomes, he does not engage in certain activities, doesn’t eat certain food, drinks or alcohol (or drugs), has a set sleep cycle, have a well regimented life. God being above all, as he is uncreated, is highly highly highly selective.
Holiness means separate and as a byproduct of separation that which is holy is also pure, undefiled, sinless and without error or sin. Holiness has to do with the relationship between subjects, either they accept exclusivity and thus are holy or they reject exclusivity and are not sacred and holy