Shabbat Bible Study for February 23, 2019 

Shabbat Bible Study for February 23, 2019 

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 – Shabbat 3 Adar Alef

Num 19:1-22; Eze 36:16-38; Psalm 109; 1 John 1:1-10

B’Midbar 19 – speaks of the red heifer and the rites appertaining thereto. There doesn’t seem to be an age requirement, only that it be without blemish and never have had a yoke on her neck. Webster tells us it is a “young cow”, so it is a female. Webster also tells us it is a yearling, which means it is at least a year old, but not yet 2. I infer this to mean that the red cow would likely show white hairs after her 2nd birthday. In Judges 14 it speaks of a man plowing with another man’s heifer, or, working a man toward a desired end by using his wife to convince (or, in Samson’s case, NAG [v.17]) him to do it. The heifer was taken without the camp and slain before the priest, who would take of her blood and sprinkle it 7x before the tent of the congregation (into which the congregation was NOT allowed to go – only priests). She was then burnt entirely with the priest adding hyssop and cedar wood and scarlet to the fire. The priest would wash his clothes and himself and be unclean until evening. Then a third clean man would gather up the ashes and store them in a clean place for the people to use for waters of sanctification, for the purification of sin. All 3 men were unclean until the evening AFTER a mikvah. Schottenstein’s Chumash has excellent prefatory notes on pg.133. 

This parsha is called “Chukath” – Decrees. Y’hovah’s Chukath are things that he said that don’t make sense to us puny humans. For instance, the red heifer is burned by the 12 tribal elders of the people before the priest (I assume this is the case, since the KJV is very clear that it is the people who do this, using the 2nd person plural pronoun, ‘ye’, when Moshe and Aharon are speaking to B’nei Yisrael), and the act makes the elders unclean until they do a mikvah and then await the evening offering. The priest officiating (NOT the Kohen Gadol, but his deputy) adds hyssop, cedar and scarlet wool and is also contaminated, needing to do a mikvah and await the evening offering. Then a 3rd man or group of men gathers the ashes of the red heifer and takes them to a clean place without the camp, after which he also must mikvah and await the evening offering. All of this was done to create the additive to the water of purification. Everyone acting to create the additive is contaminated by that action, but the ashes added to the water would allow purification of that which would be sprinkled by the water. It doesn’t make sense to us. This is the nature of a chukah. The fact that the decree does not make sense does not mean that we can ignore it or not obey it, any more than our inability to understand the truth makes the truth less true. We obey the chukim/decrees because Y’hovah commanded us to.

The Hebrew root of heifer is parah, from the root (H6565) parar פרר, ‘to separate out parts’. It is used 22 times and usually is xlated as kine or cow, but 6 times KJV has heifer, 5 times in Num.19 and once in Hosea 4. Stone’s Tanakh xlates it ‘cow’ all 22 times it is used. The water of separation, made with the ashes of the red heifer, were used to sanctify the vessels of the tabernacle, the basins and such that were used in the Mishkan service. Application of the ‘heifer water’ was by sprinkling from a sprig of hyssop. W/o the red heifer, there could be no approach to Y’hovah’s presence. Until just a few years ago, there had not been a red heifer in Israel in almost 2000 years. There is still question about the kosher nature of the red heifer that they did breed. How many NON-red hairs will make it unfit for use? 2? 10? Even 1? With the breeding of the red heifer and assuming that it is kosher, the vessels can be purified and the actual practice of Hebrew Torah observance can once again take place – if they had a tabernacle to work in. TSK has this interesting note on the red heifer;

The following curious particulars have been remarked in this ordinance:

1. A heifer was appointed for sacrifice, in opposition to the Egyptian superstition, which held these sacred, and worshipped their goddess Isis under this form; and this appears the more likely, because males only were chosen for sacrifice. So Herodotus says, they sacrifice males, both old and young; but it is not lawful for them to offer females.

2. It was to be a red heifer, because the Egyptians sacrificed red bulls to the evil demon Typhon.

3. It was to be without spot, having no mixture of any other colour. Plutarch says, the Egyptians “sacrifice red bulls, and select them with such scrupulous attention, that if the animal has a single black or white hair, they reckon it αθυτον, unfit to be sacrificed.”

4. Without blemish. (See note on Lev 22:21.)

5. On which never came yoke. Because an animal which had been used for a common purpose was deemed improper for sacrifice. 

I believe the necessary vessels and tabernacle are already available. It’s the Mount being closed to Jews that’s keeping it from occurring, though they COULD go up to Shiloh in Ephraim, West Bank, where Y’hovah’s Name – יהוה – is actually written in the earth. I saw a satellite photo of it on line a number of years ago, and I am having trouble finding it now. It may have been taken down. The Hebrew letters יהוה were clearly seen in the satellite photo in the shadows of the hills.

Vv.11ff show one use of the water of separation. If a man touched a dead body, he was unclean for 7 days. On the 3rd day, he would purify himself w/water of separation and on the 7th day, after another sprinkling, he would be clean. Why the wait? Perhaps the separation on the 3rd day has to do with resurrection and clean on the 7th has to do with Sabbath rest?  Good possibilities. Does the 3rd day mean the 3rd day after the defilement or the 3rd day of the week? I’m curious what Rashi has to say about it. It says in v.12 that if he was not separated on the 3rd day he was not cleansed on the 7th. THIS gives some credence to the assertion that if one does not believe in the resurrection of the dead, one is not purified for the Kingdom.

It did not have to be a priest who sprinkled the water on the people and vessels; any clean man could do it. The clean man who is doing the sprinkling becomes unclean until evening after the required mikvah, because he touched the water of separation, though he did not have to be sprinkled with the water first (more evidence of a chukah). I assume that each person who needed to be sprinkled would have to find a clean man willing to sprinkle him. Both would remain unclean until evening.  Q&C 

Yechezkel 36.16-38 – The first 15 verses of this chapter show us that in the same way that Israel had to be cleansed of defilement from the ‘golden calf’ by sprinkling with the ‘water of separation’, so will Aretz Israel have to be cleansed from its defilement by the people of Israel when they went their own way instead of Y’hovah’s Way. They had shed blood on the land in making offerings to idols and so they had to be put ‘outside the camp’ and the land now needed to be washed clean. V.17 speaks of ‘the uncleanness of a removed woman’. Dahekizzat? MAYBE 

And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven  days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. 20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. 21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the even. 22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the even. 23 And if it on bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. 24 And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. 25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she unclean. 26 Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. 27 And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the even. 28 But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 30 And the priest shall offer the one a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before Y’hovah for the issue of her uncleanness. 31 Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that among them. 32 This the law of him that hath an issue, and whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith; 33 And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean. [Lev.15.19-33]

But we are all as an unclean and all our righteousnesses as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. [YeshaYahu 64.6]

Y’hovah sees the uncleanness of the woman with an unusual issue of blood as if it were like idolatry, or perhaps the unclean issue is a punishment FOR idolatry. This might shed light on the woman with the 12-year issue of blood in Lk.8. Let’s also look at the 2 verses immediately preceding the woman with the 12 year issue, as it MAY also shed light on that passage.

And, behold, there came a man named Yair, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Yeshua’s feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Yeshua said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Yeshua said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. 49  While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50 But when Yeshua heard he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit [breath] came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

These 2 seemingly distinct occurrences are linked, IM[not so]HO, by the 12 years, which I think links us back to the Torah portion and its reason for being; namely, Israel’s idolatry of the golden calf at the foot of Sinai. If the rabbis are correct that the red heifer was for cleansing the defilement Israel received because they bowed before the golden calf and called it Y’hovah, perhaps the woman with the issue and all the people who were defiled by the woman with the issue of blood were cleansed by the water of separation; that water being made the water of separation by the ashes of the red heifer, then does it not possibly follow that the woman with the issue in Luke 8 had been guilty of idolatry? She had tried everything shy of confession and repentance, which I think is typified by her resorting to going to Yeshua for her cleansing, but on the ‘down low’. The 12 years comes into play because 12 tribes had participated in the worship of the golden calves; only Levi refraining; and that shows that chol Yisrael can make the same approach to and through Y’hovah Yeshua, who is the antitype to the red heifer. Let’s see if there are any other links we can make from this haftarah to the Torah parsha or the Brith Chadasha. Q&C

V.21 shows us that it was the pity Y’hovah took for his Name’s sake, which was dragged through the mud by Israel’s idolatry, and the subsequent judgment Y’hovah brought against them in and through their captivity. Therefore, in vv.22-23, Adonai Y’hovah told Zeke to tell Israel that he was going to show both Israel and their captors the power and Set-Apartness of his Name by bringing judgment against Israel’s captors for their profanation of his Name. 

Then he switches gears in vv.24, saying that he will bring Israel out of the nations, presumably as idolaters still [which the majority of Israelis are today], and deliver them to Israel, perhaps as ‘secular Jews’ and ‘political Zionists’. But in v.25 he begins to show what he will eventually do for these Israeli idolaters. He will do exactly what he did for Israel in the wilderness; sprinkle them with clean water of separation to cleanse them of the sin of idolatry. He will also give them a new heart [v.26] like the one Yeshua gave to the woman with the 12 year issue. He will use that water of separation to remove the stoney heart and replace it with a fleshy one. And he will put his own Ruach in them [v.27], as Yeshua did for Yair’s daughter, reviving them to lovers of Y’hovah who will prove their love by keeping his commandments.

V.28 he begins to refer to the Millennial Kingdom, but also to the present day nation of Israel, for even in its lack of fealty to Him and his commandments, he still blesses her for the fathers’ sakes. Yisrael SHALL be his people and He will be their Eloha. He promises physical multiplicity, the mark of obedience, in vv.29-30. And it seems as though the result of that physical multiplicity will be Israel’s realization that it has been wicked and she repents, for he cleanses them of ALL their uncleannesses. But why does he say that he will ‘call for the corn [grain; barley, wheat, etc; grasses] and increase it, and lay no famine upon you’? Obviously he implies [or at least I infer] that SOME one is experiencing famine. If my opinion is correct that this refers to the Millennial Kingdom, the only people who will be experiencing famine of grasses/kernels will be those who refuse to make aliyah for the Feast of Sukkoth – and probably for the 2nd time.

16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Y’hovah Tzavaoth, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, whoso will not come up of the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Y’hovah Tzavaoth, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not [aliyah], that there shall be the plague, wherewith Y’hovah will smite the heathen that come not up [make aliyah] to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. [ZecharYahu 14.16-19]

What were the plagues that struck Egypt? Hail to destroy the barley that was in the ear and then Locusts to destroy the wheat and other grain grasses.  

The blessings on Israel continue in v.30 where he grants even MORE physical multiplicity to her, even in her unbelief. Perhaps the famine that comes on Egypt and the nations that refuse to make aliyah to Chag haSukkoth awakens Israel to her need to repent, for v.31 says that she remembers her sinful ways, loathes her own walk in idolatry and disdain for Y’hovah’s Way and does repent and start to walk in it.

And WHY does Adonai Y’hovah bring this physical multiplicity to his people in their land [vv.32-34], even before she turns from her own way and unto His Way? For His Land’s sake! He didn’t just promise the Patriarchs the land, but he promised haAretz that His People would dwell in it and care for it. 

He commands the house of Israel [just Ephraim? or BOTH houses?] to be ashamed and confounded for her ways. 

42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. 43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. 44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I Y’hovah Elohehem. 45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be Elohehem: I Y’hovah. [Lev.26.42-45]

Those same heathen that watched Y’hovah bring Israel out of Egypt and deliver them to the Promised Land in the ancient Exodus will notice that He is blessing his land with Israel again in vv.35-36. The transformation the heathen see baAretz, in the Land, in v.35 will witness to them of the power and majesty of Y’hovah, who does this for Israel; both the people and the land in v.36.

In vv.37-38, Y’hovah likens Israel to the flock of J’lem that was kept in BethLechem and from which the Pesach Lamb was selected each year, the flock whose shepherds came to witness the arrival of Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiach. Truly Yeshua and Yisrael are inextricably linked. Y’hovah will increase, give physical multiplicity, to Yisrael as his set-apart flock and will show it to the world in the return of the King and of the cities that had lain waste. Q&C

Tehellim 109 – This is a perfect example of an imprecatory psalm. David prays down judgment on his enemies who hate Y’hovah and his servants. The enemy in this psalm, I think, is Absalom. V.4 says that because David loves Y’hovah they are his adversaries – yis-tenuniy – satan, even though he has prayed for them. So he asks that Satan be the right hand of their adversary. Imprecation is very often Y’hovah’s will for us. Yiremyahu, Yeshayahu, and Yechezkel all prayed against Y’hovah’s enemies who were within the camp, often the priests of Judah who were sucking up to the king to gain political power. David does the same here in vv.6-20. V.8 is my prayer for the American President, regardless who he is, until the President turns from his wickedness and to the righteousness of Y’hovah.

In vv.21ff, David asks Y’hovah’s blessing on himself. In v.21 he says Y’hovih Adonai, which is the appellation of the Divine Name that Encompasses all 3 of the major titles of the Almighty Ain Sof; YHWH is vowel pointed as is Elohim and then he is called my Master. In v.26, David addresses Abba as Y’hovah Elohaiy. I know for certain that the ending on Eloha makes that personal – MY Master, MY Mighty one. 

Vv.28ff, make it clear that David isn’t worried about their cursing if Y’hovah is blessing him. ‘Let them curse me, as long as you bless me. No matter what they do or say, I will Bless Y’hovah.’ When David says ‘the poor’, he is speaking of the poor in spirit, not necessarily the financially poor. When Yeshua said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, this is who he was talking about, those who are not necessarily after monetary riches, but the richness of the Ruach of Y’hovah and HIS Kingdom.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

Q&C

1Yochanan 1.1-10 – Yochanan puts his own imprint on this letter immediately by saying ‘the beginning’ – B’reishith, as he did when he opened his besorah, ‘gospel’. The Aramaic primacy of Yochanan’s writings is very apparent, as Andrew Gabriel Roth makes abundantly clear in  note 2 (on pg.650) of the Aramaic-English New Testament. The Word of Life is none other than Mashiyach Yeshua, as Yochanan has pointed out both here and in his witness to the good news by which we know that we can be made partakers of the Shema and made one with Avinu through the shed blood of our Mashiyach Yeshua. Yochanan tells us in v.2 that the eternal life of Yeshua was with Avinu and manifested in Mashiyach to Yochanan and the other Shlichim (is that right?), Peter, James, Sha’ul, etc – the ‘we’ of v.1. It looks as if Yochanan was writing for a group, or perhaps that what he wrote was checked or approved by a group, even as was the letter sent from Yerushalayim to the kehalim in the nations in Acts.15.19-28. Perhaps it was the same group of zechanim and shlichim. The fellowship Yochanan refers to is the outworking of the echad nature of Y’hovah, the ultimate goal of our halacha, and the ultimate truth of the gospel – Y’hovah wants us to be echad with him, and has made the way himself in the life of Mashiyach Yeshua (Gen.22.8 KJV). And even at that, the revelation that Yochanan had was only a small part of all there is to understand about our Master Yeshua haMashiyach. He said what we understand OF him, which tells me Yochanan knew he’d merely scratched the surface of the Truth that will unfold to us when we see him as he is.

Yochanan just loved the account of Creation, it seems, because he is always alluding to it. Here he goes to the first thing Y’hovah created ex nihilo – light. In fact, it CAN be said to be the ONLY thing he formed ex nihilo, if you want to, because it can be shown via Einstein’s famous equation e = mc2, that all matter is a condensation of light energy. To show this in reverse, think of nuclear fission, where a hydrogen atom is split in two by a charged neutron. The original atom has a known mass, or weight. When the atom is split in 2, the weight of the 2 resulting atoms is slightly less than the weight of the original. The difference is the radiated energy that is used to heat the water into steam to drive the turbines for electrical generation, or to sustain the reaction in an explosion. All radiation is light in motion, whether that light is visible or not. The visible spectrum is a very tiny fraction of the total light spectrum. And what does Yochanan say in v.5? Elohim is light and in him is no darkness at all. IOW, Elohim is the full spectrum of light. He makes everything manifest by his light, both in a physical and in a metaphorical sense. If we have no physical light, we are blind – in the dark. If we have no spiritual light, we cannot comprehend Y’hovah’s truth and our hearts are full of darkness. When his spirit is at work in us, we are able to ‘see’ or understand things in his Word that may not be apparent in the words written on the page, as I think I have with some of the inferences I’ve drawn in our Studies of his Toroth. That is not to say that light is Elohim, for it certainly is not. But when he formed light, he was manifesting and explaining himself in a way that we could understand, and by his light we can ‘see’ his truth. Look at Is.45.7;

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Y’hovah do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

When he said he ‘formed’ light, he was saying that he gave it shape, as it were, or made it so it would be apparent to the matter he would shape from it, and as a consequence something came to be that had never existed before – darkness, or the absence of light. Before he ‘condensed’ the light into physical matter, there was no darkness because there was nothing physical to get in the way of the light to cast a shadow. As we remove our man-made traditions and dogmas from our thinking, it allows the light of his Truth to shine into us, through us and out from us. 

In v.6 remember that fellowship with him is oneness with him, we internalize his Word in us and begin to let the Light of his Word shine through us. But if we walk in darkness, don’t do what his Word says (starve our inclination to good) OR do what his Word forbids (feed our inclination to evil), we make ourselves liars and prove that the truth has no place in us. I used to think this was right – that it didn’t matter how I lived my life, as long as I’d said the ‘sinner’s prayer’, I was going to be in the Kingdom. Look at how v.8 amplifies v.6. If we say our sins are gone, but have our halacha in darkness, we lie to ourselves and really care nothing for the truth. But even worse is how v.10 amplifies 6&8. If we say that we haven’t sinned we make HIM a liar, and the truth isn’t a part of us. 

But if we walk in the spiritual light of his Word of Truth, as he IS that light, we will be echad with each other as Mashiyach and his Abba are echad, and we will also be echad with Y’hovah. And that Word of Truth will enlighten our minds to any sin in our lives so that we can repent of it and confess it to Avinu, applying Mashiyach Yeshua’s blood to it, washing it away as with the water of purification so we can get back to living in his True Light, and reenter the camp. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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Shabbat Bible Study for 16 February, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for 16 February, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 – Shabbat 2 Adar Alef

Deut 25:17-19; 1 Sam 15:1-34; Psalm 140; 2 Thess 2:1-17

Devarim 25.17-19 – Amalek! Y’hovah commanded Israel to remember Amalek for the purpose of destroying him, completely wiping his memory off the earth so that noone else would EVER remember him. Unless I misunderstand scripture here, this is the root of ALL the problems of the Middle East today – Israel did not remember her charge, which was given her less than 2 weeks before she crossed Yarden to enter her promised inheritance. She was to destroy Amalek and his memory from the earth. When Mashiyach comes in his glory, HE will remember this command that he gave Israel and he SHALL carry it out, with cool deliberation and dispatch.

Amalek was one of the ‘Dukes of Esav’, Esav NOT being a county in Tennessee, nor did he drive a beautiful, built-up stock car and lead the rebellion, good-natured as it was, against Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe ‘PEEE’ Coltrane. Amalek was a seriously bad duke, and, if it was possible, his progeny got worse as it progressed through time. Amalek was Esav’s grandson, the son of Eliphaz and Timna. Eliphaz’ mother was Adah, whose name (H5711) means ‘ornament, or morning’, but the root of whose name (H5710) means ‘to decorate or adorn or, in Arabic, broad stone for covering a grave’. So Eliphaz’ (H464 – my god [el-H410] is gold [pazaz – H6337]) wife, (gravestone-like scab) bore him Amalek. BDB has no meaning for Amalek’s name, as if Y’hovah has never taken enough thought of him to characterize him. Names are important in scripture, because they tell you their owners’ character. This is why it is so incredible, to me anyway, that Y’hovah actually WANTS to give us his Name – it denotes the gift of a change of character. I don’t know about y’all, but I surely need it.

In Ex.17, immediately after the gift of manna [which followed quickly after the water gushed forth from the rock at Rephidim], Amalek attacked Israel at Rephidim. Had they attacked BEFORE the manna had been given, I suppose that Israel would have despaired for lack of strength to fight. This is what Y’hovah referred to in our Torah passage. Amalek came up against the stragglers, usually the old or injured who were least likely to put up a vigorous fight. It is a particularly cowardly way to fight, something like the rotten Amalekites who struck down the Israeli family in their sleep 3 years ago – including the 4-month old infant girl. That little girl looked just like my grandson Micah did at her age. Of course, all babies look pretty much alike – Winston Churchill, sans cigar. But that fact should drive the point home to each of us who is a parent or grandparent (hard to be the latter without being the former) that the scum that perpetrated that cowardly attack truly deserve to die an ignominious death.

Here’s what Y’hovah has to say about Amalek after the battle at Rephidim:

14 And Y’hovah said unto Moshe, Write this a memorial in a book, and rehearse in the ears of Yehoshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Y’hovah-Nissi: 16 For he said, Because Y’hovah hath sworn Y’hovah war with Amalek from generation to generation. [Shemoth 17.14-16]

In light of Moshe’s words in Ex.17, it looks like the promise to ‘utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven’ is a prophecy for the end of days.

Besides king Agag, whom we’ll see in a few minutes for our haftarah reading and study today, who else of prominence in Israel’s history was an Amalekite?  The first name that comes readily to mind is Haman (p-tui), a distant son of Agag (Esther 3.1), which is kind of topical since it is Purim time [this Tuesday evening, the 19th]. 

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, the people of Mordecai. (Esther 3:6)

Is this not the Moslemist creed today? To the Moslemist, the only Satan greater than the United States is Israel. Please hear this, because it could very well tell you a person’s character. If a person sees Israel or Jews as the greatest evil on earth, an evil that needs to be wiped off the earth and their very memory removed from the earth, think ‘Amalekite spirit’. In that light, you can see that the spirit of Amalek and the spirit of Esav/Edom are one and the same – haSatan, the adversary of Y’hovah. Isn’t it interesting that the Amalekite and the Israelite are of diametrically opposed spirits, Israel of Y’hovah, the Spirit of Liberty and Amalek of Allah, Y’hovah’s adversary, the spirit of conquest and domination? I think the Enemy really thinks he stands a chance BECAUSE Y’hovah will not force compliance on his children, like haSatan does on his. Q&C

1Sam.15.1-21 – It was time for Israel to do Y’hovah’s will with Amalek, to thoroughly remove even his memory from the earth. And that is the instruction Y’hovah gave through Schmu’el – nothing that drew breath was to live in all of Amalek. Sha’ul numbered his troops – not really a census, so no need to pony up the ½ shekel for the Temple. Why the differentiation between 200K footmen and 10K men of Yehudah? Were the footmen all from Ephraim? Were the Yehudim mounted? Perhaps the Yehudim were all captains? So there are 210K soldiers of Israel to go against Amalek. Sha’ul wisely told the Kenites to get out of Dodge, so the innocent would not be condemned with the guilty. The Kenites had NOT done to Israel what Amalek was being condemned for.

“Utterly destroy” means utterly destroy. Nothing of what Y’hovah told Sha’ul to destroy was to remain. These marching orders were clear and concise. There was no room for asking questions or creating loopholes. When Sha’ul started the smiting, he kept it going until he got almost to the border with Egypt. I think this may have been in the area we now know as “the Gaza Strip”. It was here that Amalek was soundly defeated and everyone but Agag (and presumably his children) was killed. Now that ONE exception would come back to haunt the Israelites in their captivity when Ahasuerus (Artaxerxes) of Persia came to power and had as his vice-regent Haman (p’tui), the Agagite, as well as today in the Moslemist hordes. 

Sha’ul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, etc., and WOULD not utterly destroy them. This was not a mere slip, or a pang of conscience at the bloodshed. This was willful disobedience, disguised as reverence to Y’hovah. Sha’ul had become too big for his britches, and the people had decided that they knew better what Y’hovah wanted than he did himself. What it REALLY was was the same kind of thorn in the flesh that Paul had – covetousness. They weren’t coveting what the Amalekites had, but what Israel already had. Paul coveted his position as a Jew, a Pharisee and likely successor to the chief rabbinate of J’lem. That was his motivation in persecuting the Way, I think. As to king Sha’ul and the people in 1Sam.15, why give offerings to Y’hovah out of their own flocks, when these were perfectly good, clean and acceptable (in the people’s eyes) animals to offer to Y’hovah? The answer lies in David’s response to Ornan’s offer of his threshingfloor free of charge in 2Sam.24

And the king said unto Aravna, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto Y’hovah Elohai of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. (II Samuel 24:24)

As David would not offer that which had cost him nothing to Y’hovah, so should Israel not have been offering someone else’s flocks to Y’hovah. These flocks were NOT theirs to offer as Y’hovah had commanded them to be slaughtered along with all of Amalek. Weren’t these flocks Y’hovah’s to begin with? Had he wanted these animals offered to him, would he not have said so? What they’d done was destroyed the Amalekites’ ‘traif’ [unclean garbage] and kept the good stuff for themselves. 

Y’hovah told Schmu’el that he repented of making Sha’ul king. Had Sha’ul stayed true to the course Schmu’el had started him on, what would have been the result? I think Yehonathan would have made an excellent king of Israel. Schmu’el loved Sha’ul, there can be no doubt, and he had very high hopes for him and his line. Schmu’el interceded for Sha’ul through the night. When Schmu’el arose the next AM from his intercession, he was told that Sha’ul had gone to Gilgal, one of the places in which Schmu’el judged Israel (7.16), so it looks like Sha’ul had no idea that what he’d done was sin, because he drove all those sheep before him to offer them to Y’hovah through Schmu’el. I think haSatan’s spirit of Amalek was already upon him and deluding him. 

But the Ruach haKodesh was upon Schmu’el. When Sha’ul said, “I have performed the mitzvah of Y’hovah” with the accompanying satisfied grin, Schmu’el said, “Then what’s all this bleating and lowing that I hear?”, implying strongly, “You were told to kill everything that breathes in Amalek.” Sha’ul answered (I assume kind of ‘taken aback’ by the condemnatory tenor of Schmu’el’s words), “The people saved the best of Amalek’s animals to offer to Y’hovah?” Schmu’el interrupted the king, knowing that what he said was an excuse. He said, in effect, “Shut up, and LISTEN to what Y’hovah told me last night.” Sha’ul said, “Go ahead.” 

Schmu’el said [Mp], “You were humble once. What happened to the man who I anointed king? Y’hovah sent you out with a simple mission: utterly destroy the Amalekites and their property. Why did you take their property as spoils of war, when you were told to kill all the Amalekites and their field animals that took breath?” But Sha’ul protested [Mp], “I DID exactly what Y’hovah said, and I brought Agag, their king and killed all the Amalekites. It was the PEOPLE who took the spoil to sacrifice it to Y’hovah in Gilgal. That’s what we came here for!” This, as I read this passage, was true, but it was not righteous. Do you see that distinction? What Sha’ul said was true – their motive was to offer all these animals to Y’hovah, not to keep them for themselves. But behind their motive was their covetousness over what they had. Why offer what has cost you time and energy to acquire, when you can offer the fruits of someone ELSE’s labor, which happens to ALSO be theirs as spoils of war? Schmu’el should have changed Sha’ul’s name to ‘Buck’ at this point, because he was so good at passing it. Q&C

Vv.22-34 – To obey is better than sacrifice. Y’hovah didn’t ASK for sacrifice, He commanded the utter destruction of Amalek. If we obey, we have no need to sacrifice anything. And this particular sin was rebellion against the command of Y’hovah, which is exactly the same to Y’hovah as witchcraft. And then trying to excuse it was as bad as Torahlessness and idolatry. Sha’ul and the people had made themselves gods this day. Schmu’el told Sha’ul [Mp], “Since you’ve rejected Y’hovah’s Word, he has rejected you as king.” 

Now that he’d been called out, Sha’ul was remorseful, but the remorse was over his punishment, not that he’d sinned and truly desired repentance. He said in v.24 that he’d transgressed Schmu’el’s words, as if Schmu’el was concerned about people obeying him. I can’t help but think that Schmu’el was getting sicker and sicker of Sha’ul’s fawning and brown-nosing with each word that left his mouth. He actually asked for Schmu’el’s forgiveness and that Schmu’el turn WITH HIM! But who is Schmu’el to forgive Sha’ul’s sin? Sha’ul was completely deceived by the evil spirit; to the point of thinking Schmu’el would turn away from Y’hovah’s commands with him and follow after the spirit he was after. The sin was transgression of Y’hovah’s Word. 

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also Torah: for sin is the transgression of Torah (I John 3:4)

Schmu’el could and WOULD not step into Y’hovah’s place and pronounce him guiltless. Schmu’el got it, now. 

As Schmu’el turned away from Sha’ul, Sha’ul grabbed his mantle, the kanaph of his me’il from Hebroot ma’al מעל, ‘to deceive or cover up’ with a cognate of ‘garment’. This MAY have been his tallith Gadol, the skirt of which is ‘kanaph’, the same word translated as ‘wings’ in 

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

The kanaph is the hem of the tallith, as we see in Mat.9:

20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour [Mark edit – that instant].

When Sha’ul grabbed his mantle, it ripped. Ruach used this as an object lesson, “So has the kingdom been rent from you and given to a friend of yours.” Of course, David had yet to meet the king, as far as we know, so Sam is speaking in the ‘prophetic perfect’, as if it had already occurred (it won’t until the NEXT chapter). Schmu’el told Sha’ul that Y’hovah would not repent of this decision. He MAY forgive the sin, but the decision was made and would not be changed. Sha’ul was the last of the Benyamite dynasty in Israel. Yehonathan would not sit on the throne of Israel. The Strength of Israel [v.29] = Mashiyach Yeshua, the right arm of Y’hovah, the Word of Y’hovah, the Lamb of Y’hovah and the Lion of Yehudah. 

In both vv.15 and 30, Sha’ul calls the Almighty, “Y’hovah Elohecha” and not “Y’hovah Elohenu”. The distinction is really quite glaring. Sha’ul did not worship Y’hovah in spirit and truth, but in the flesh. Schmu’el knew that Sha’ul would not carry out the Word of Y’hovah in regard to Agag, perhaps out of fear that if he raised his sword against a king, it might portend the same for him. So Schmu’el had Agag brought before him. Agag, the ever-jovial tyrant, says “Hey! Sam! Good to see you! Put her there, old chum!” So Schmu’el did – he put his sword about 2½ feet deep into Agag’s chest and sliced him into pieces. Maybe he did the same thing tradition says Shem did to Nimrod, and sent his pieces all over the known world as a warning to fear Y’hovah and NOT men. So, Schmu’el went his way to Ramah and Sha’ul to Giveah, and never in this world would the twain meet again. Q&C

Tehellim 140 – Do not vv.1-2 speak of conditions in American government: indeed, MOST human governments of late? It seems that if America is not engaged in a war, she is looking for an excuse to go to war. The American government already has military men stationed in over 190 nations to combat ‘terrorism’. Is it any wonder that many people see the American government as the greatest terror threat in the world? Is it not possible that they see America as a fulfillment of v.3 (Selah – stop and consider that): forked tongues and poisonous words that weave a web of deceit that can easily take in the unwary or unscrupulous? Please notice that after David considered v.3, he immediately asked Y’hovah to keep him safe from those adders and spiders. All of vv.4&5 amplify v.3 and then David stops to consider it all again. A gin, in the way the word is used in KJV, is a snare for catching game. After considering the wickedness of those who arrayed themselves against him, David calls on Y’hovah to shema his voice and his requests, and asks his guidance and protection from his enemies and their gins. By the way, another definition of ‘gin’ is a device that supplements human strength to multiply the effectiveness of work done, like the ‘cotton-gin’ [probably short for ‘engine’] of Eli Whitney.

In vv.9-11, David gets down to specific imprecations against his enemies; that they be entangled in their own words, that they get burned by their own devices, and fall into the pits they’d set for him. The wicked spirits that drive these violent men will eventually turn on them, overthrow them, and tear them to pieces. Then in vv.12-13, David shows that his trust in Y’hovah will be his strength and assurance; that Y’hovah will take up the cause of his righteous men who are afflicted by the wickedness in the world. Remember that ‘afflicted’ and ‘poor’ (v.12) are references to exile and dispersion from Y’hovah and his land. V.13 shows that even though we may be in dispersion and exile, if we are after his heart, desire to be righteous, and exalt his Name, he will regather us to himself so that we may dwell with him in his Kingdom. Q&C

2Thes.2.1-5 – The chapter opens with Rav Sha’ul admonishing the Thessalonians about what people are saying he said that may be contrary to what he told them when he was with them. Someone had told them that Mashiyach had gathered the dispersed of Israel and they were ‘Left Behind’ – he’d forgotten about them. So Paul had to do some damage control. Recent news has been pretty bad, and I take all the news in the world as warnings of judgment from Y’hovah that has the purpose of causing his people, both Jew and gentile, Yehudah and Ephraim, male and female, bond and free, to repent of going our own ways and to turn back to His Way. Recent world events should NOT be causing us to fear that he is not faithful to us, but is evidence that he IS faithful to his Word and that, if we will walk in it, he will also be faithful to keep his promises to us. What we need to remember is that, even if this is marking the beginning of the Great Tribulation, these are but the beginning of birth pangs. There will be about 3½ years of sorrows to follow and they will get worse and worse until Mashiyach bursts through the clouds to cut short the days of judgment before ALL life is destroyed. The Thessalonians, being very new believers, and not well-grounded in Tanakh, were easily shaken by the twisting of the scriptures perpetrated by Paul’s antagonists – the Iuaidoi/Judaizers/circumcisers. These Pharisees were not so worried about teaching the truth of Tanakh, as in assuring that these gentiles be traditionally proselytized and CCd into Judaism BEFORE being allowed membership in the Netzari kahal. These guys were still mad at Paul for abandoning his enviable place as the chief talmid of Gamaliel and, I think, his possible position as the next chief rabbi of Jerusalem. 

The day of Mashiyach was not ‘at hand’. That phrase means ‘immanent’. He told them not to worry that that day was close or had already happened, but that there were signs that MUST be fulfilled before the Day of Mashiyach was on the horizon. The BIG one that Sha’ul had told them about was the ‘apostasy’, the ‘great falling away’, that had to take place and also the revealing of the ‘man of sin’ [MoS] or ‘son of perdition’ [SoP]. I think this is speaking of the anti-Mashiyach [A-M]. Anti can mean against, but it can also mean counterfeit – one who LOOKS like Mashiyach, but is NOT. V.3 says he must be revealed, and v.4 tells us what to look for – that which will reveal him. The anti-Mashiyach will go into the Temple of Y’hovah and sit in the Temple, showing himself that he is Elohim. Of ALL the furnishings in the Temple, is there anything on which one can sit? The Menorrah? The Incense Altar? The Table of Showbread? The Ark with the Mercy Seat? UH-OH! There it is. The Mercy Seat, on which the blood of the goat and bull of Yom Kippur is offered. 

How will sitting on the mercy seat show the son or perdition that he is Elohim? Remember when David wanted to bring the Ark up to Jerusalem?

And when they came to Nachshon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of Elohim, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of Y’hovah was kindled against Uzzah; and Elohim smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of Elohim. And David was displeased, because Y’hovah had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day. (II Samuel 6:6-8)

Now, what should happen if the SoP, MoS, A-M actually sits on the mercy seat? Well, if history were to repeat itself, he should be struck dead on the spot. If he wasn’t killed on the spot like Uzzah was, this would be a powerful witness to the deity of Anti-Mashiyach for those who are not intimately familiar with prophetic scripture, wouldn’t it? 

Of course, the glory had long since departed the mercy seat:

Then the glory of Y’hovah departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.19 And the cheruvims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also beside them, and stood at the door of the east gate of Y’hovah’s house; and the glory of the Elohim of Israel over them above. (Ezekiel 10:18,19)

23 And the glory of Y’hovah went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which on the east side of the city. (Ezekiel.11.23)

Ruach haKodesh left the Temple and never returned until it came in the body of Yeshua haMoshiach ben Yoseph, but never took up its proper place between the cheruvim then. Anti-Mashiyach will take that seat, if my guess is right, based on our passages in Yechezkel, and here in 2Thes.2. Ruach will return to the Millennial Temple in the person of Yeshua ha Mashiyach ben David. Q&C

Vv.6-12 – So, “what withholdeth”? The canned Xian response is, ‘The Holy Ghost’, but I think that’s forcing a meaning on the text. What is the purpose of that which withholds, unless it is ‘that he might be revealed in his time’? I think it’s the ‘mystery of iniquity’ that is holding back the revelation of MoS, SoP, AM, because that is the most natural flow of the letter. Why would the mystery of iniquity be withholding the revelation of AM? Thinking out loud, here. Iniquity = Torahlessness. Perhaps the refusal of the apostates to consider Torah relevant to them makes it unnecessary for the AM to be revealed. Maybe haSatan hasn’t needed to reveal himself in man by lying wonders, signs and spiritual power because the church has made iniquity a watchword of what they call faith, which is really just an excuse to live in disobedience to Y’hovah. This shouldn’t be seen as an indictment of the whole church, but definitely it is for most, if not all, of the ‘pop-culture’ church that’s on TV, the web and radio that I’ve seen. Now that some of the church is coming out from among them, becoming separate and refusing to touch the unclean things, haSatan will have to show some miraculous events at the hands of his personal Beast and False Prophet (who you will remember I think are the counterfeit of Y’hovah, Moshe and Aharon) to keep the church complacent. 

Are vv.8-9 saying that Yeshua’s coming is waiting for haSatan’s revelation of power? The word ‘after’ MAY mean ‘in accord with’ or ‘seeking’, as in ‘after my own heart’, or it could be a time reference. If it is a time reference Yeshua will not come until after haSatan shows his power by the unrighteous deceit of the Beast (MoS, SoP, AM – all designations of this Amalekite spirit; haSatan) and the False Prophet, and that is exactly what we see in Rev.13-19. Them that perish are those who believe the deceitful power of haSatan is actually the working of Y’hovah. And Y’hovah will allow them to believe that lie because they have no love of Torah, which IS the Truth of Y’hovah. The fact that they do not love Y’hovah’s Torah is why Y’hovah will make the working a haSatan look truly miraculous, perhaps so that even HE thinks he can work miracles like Y’hovah can. When you know that you are a charlatan, but begin to believe that the illusions you perform are really spiritual power, you are the most deceived of all. I think it may be true that even haSatan will believe he has creative power because of the strong delusion Y’hovah sends into the earth – otherwise, why would he have any idea that he has a chance to defeat Yeshua and his Abba in the ultimate Gog uMagog rebellion at the end of the Millennium? Strong delusion indeed!

Vv.13-17 – Do you see that Y’hovah has chosen all his children from the beginning to salvation through setting us apart by his Ruach and the accompanying love of the truth – his Torah? If you have no love of the Truth, you can pretty well be assured that you have no spiritual life in you. If that is your situation, turn from your wicked ways, abandon your iniquity and turn to the Living Torah of Truth, Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach, to walk in the same manner that he walked while he lived on this earth – in complete submission to his Father by the leading of his Ruach haKodesh. V.14 says he called us to salvation by ‘our gospel’ or ‘preaching’, to be to the kavod, glory, of our Master Yeshua haMashiyach.  In v.15, Paul makes mention of ‘the Commandment’ that they were taught. Paul did not have time in Thessalonica to teach them Talmud/Mishnah traditions. He was only there for 3 weeks, so they got a crash course in Ex.20 and some specific commands that came under the 10 ‘outline headings’, I’m sure. This is the 2nd letter we have in our possession, but there is evidence of a possible 3rd letter to Thessalonica. In his closing to this chapter, Sha’ul gives them more comfort which is what he has tried to do throughout. They had heard from some CCers that Mashiyach had already returned and left them, which is what Paul started out to try to calm. In comforting them, he gave us a pretty brilliant treatise on what MUST happen before AM is revealed, which occurs, according to the rest of scripture about 3-3½ years before Mashiyach comes at the end of this age. And they can take consolation in the fact that they love Y’hovah’s truth and walk in it, and so ARE established in every Word of Torah and in their performance of it as evidence of the same. BTW, IF AM, MoS, SoP is revealed THIS year, it MAY happen on 15 April [OOO! Tax day], or 10 Aviv, the anniversary of Yeshua’s entry into J’lem on the back of a donkey [just to complete the counterfeit]. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for February 9, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for February 9, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 –  Shabbat 1 Adar Alef 

Exo 30:11-16; 2 Ki 12:1-17; Psalm 62; John 2:13-25

Shemoth 30.11-16 – The procedure for a census and reason for doing one is the 1st  subject addressed this week. It was to be done so that a collection could be taken. Each male aged 20 years or more would give a ½ shekel ‘ransom’ for his soul. If there were a census without a collection or without a command from Y’hovah, there would be an accompanying plague. The census was not to be done just to do one or to satisfy the curiosity of the king, but only when Y’hovah commanded it to be done. David found out about this when he ordered a census without the command from Y’hovah in 2Sam24.1-4, 8-16:

1 And again the anger of Y’hovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 For the king said to Yoav the captain of the host, which with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. 3 And Yoav said unto the king, Now Y’hovah Elohecha add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my Master the king may see: but why doth my Master the king delight in this thing? 4 Notwithstanding the king’ word prevailed against Yoav, and against the captains of the host. And Yoav and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel …   8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Yoav gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10 And David’ heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto Y’hovah, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Y’hovah, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of Y’hovah came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith Y’hovah, I offer thee three; choose thee one of them, that I may do unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of Y’hovah; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So Y’hovah sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, Y’hovah repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of Y’hovah was by the threshingplace of Aravnah the Yevusi. (2Sam.24.1-4, 8-16)

Yoav AND the captains of the hosts of Israel brought warning before the king, who is elsewhere described as ‘a man after mine heart’ by Y’hovah himself. They knew this was in direct contradiction of the Word of Y’hovah, and SO DID DAVID, but his word [and Y’hovah’s decision to bring judgment against Yisrael] prevailed over the objections of Yoav and David’s mighty men of valor. They did their job and brought warning.

17 Ben-adam, I have made you a watchman to Beit Yisrael: therefore listen [shema שמע ‘hear and do’] to the words from My mouth, and give them warning from Me. [Yechezkel 3.17 Restoration Scriptures]

I do not think that the angel that smote Israel was Y’hovah himself, but that he used the Adversary for this plague. The angel of this pestilence was about to wipe out the entire population of Jerusalem before Y’hovah restrained him, and he would have done it gladly. THE Angel of Y’hovah stood at the threshingfloor of Aravna to stop the angel of the pestilence. HaSatan destroyed until he came face to face with Mashiyach, and he dared not go further. 

This threshingfloor, that became the site of the future Temple’s Kodesh Kadashim, was the geographical center of the earth’s landmasses, indeed, in my opinion, of the physical universe and, for that reason, has become the most desired and most conquered piece of real estate on earth. HaSatan wants it for his own throne. A few weeks ago I postulated that a line drawn north and south through the cornerstone of the Temple and extended through the poles would cross more land mass than any N/S line drawn anywhere else in the world; and that the same was true of an East/West line drawn latitudinally around the earth crossing the same cornerstone. It is indeed the center of the landmass of the earth. That is because this is the place Y’hovah would place his throne, for the ark that Israel was going to build for Him was to rest there. The Holy of Holies is ‘spiritual space’ in which there is no time. Believe it or not, Sir Isaac Newton (in his treatise on Optics in 1704) derived this theory from scripture and the Zohar, which is called the Book of Lights. In his quest to discover the deep things of Elohim, Newton had developed the scientific method of investigation. 

As an interesting note, exactly 25.20 statute miles due east of the Temple’s cornerstone (which is exposed through the pavement on the NW corner of the Temple Mount under the ‘Dome of the Spirits’, NOT the Dome of the Rock) lies the north peak of Mt. Nebo, from whence Moshe looked on the Promised land before he died. If you had a strong enough telescope, you could look through the East Gate and into the Temple from that point on Mt. Nebo, 25.20 miles away. The royal cubit of the Temple and its furnishings is 25.20 inches. 2520 = 360 (as in degrees of a circle and days of a prophetic year) x 7, ½ of which is 1260 (as in 3½ prophetic years). Make what you will of that tidbit. I have, and I find it absolutely amazing how MANY important end-of-days prophecies are influenced by these numbers.

The ransom (v.12) was to be a head tax, not an income tax. Every male aged 20 years or more, regardless his wealth, gave the ½ shekel tax for the maintenance of the Mishkan. The ½ shekel was to ransom them from the ‘appearance of evil’ 

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (I Thessalonians 5:22)

as they were NOT to trust to power in numbers, but to the Spirit and Power of Yeshua haMashiyach as the right arm of Y’hovah. Q&C

2M’lechim 12.1-17 – In the Torah portion we saw why Y’hovah required the ½ shekel atonement money. Here we see an application of it. But before we go there, I just have to wonder, “Why didn’t Yehoyada have Yehoash tear down the high places?” If I were the high priest, I would lobby hard for that. ChizkiYahu did it (18.3-5) a few years later. Why did it take so long for a king of Yehudah to do this? ChizkiYahu was the 1st king since David to have his land officially free of pagan altars. Remember that Shlomo had raised up his OWN high places! Where was the High Priest for these hundreds of years? While Yehudah was a monarchy, it was a theocratic monarchy – the religion was intimately connected to the government, or should have been. Whenever David asked the Priest to enquire of Y’hovah, he prospered. When he failed to enquire of Y’hovah, he did not. ChizkiYahu seemed to get it, at least early in his reign. 

What is spoken of in 2Ki.12 is probably the ½ shekel, but this passage is about the people bringing an offering to the temple and depositing it in a ‘chest’. I assume that Yehoash gave the order relatively early in his reign, so why did it take 23 years before the priests started to collect the shekels (v.6)? I think that it is PROBABLY the ½ shekel, but it doesn’t seem to be in conjunction with a census. It seems that everyone who came up to the Temple just dropped his ½ shekel into the treasury. Perhaps they used this as a sort of census, multiplying the total offering in shekel’s by 2, and thereby arriving at a good estimate. Yehoash gave the order to collect the ‘tax’ to YehoYada, but after 23 years, no repairs were being made to the Temple as he had ordered. Seems [to me, anyway] that the priests were using the money for their own purposes. Now he told the Priest to stop using the ½ shekel for his own use, but to apply it where it belonged. So the priests stopped using the money for their own purposes and began collecting it for the upkeep of the Temple, as it was commanded of Y’hovah in Ex.30. The word the KJV xlates as ‘chest’ is the same word it xlates as ‘ark’, as in ark of the Covenant, arown, from the Hebroot 717 arah ארה, ‘to contain, to take or hold’ . It was just a box with a hole cut in the lid. When it got full [v.10] they counted it into the treasury and hired repairmen for the work. I guess the priests were just human beings, after all, because they seem to have used the offerings for their own, and not their intended, purpose for all those years. Kinda like the prosperity preachers of today. The contractors dealt faithfully with the priests, so faithfully that the priests didn’t account for the money. Perhaps it was guilt, because the grunt laborers seemed to be more faithful to Y’hovah than the priests had been. I think the ‘trespass money and sin money’ that v.16 speaks of is actually the ½ shekel of Ex.30 that was for atonement for inadvertent sins, as provided for in 

If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of Yhwh; then he shall bring for his trespass unto Yhwh a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: [Lev.5.15]. 

Q&C

Tehellim 62 – Our Elohim is the source of my salvation, not any mere man, including me. I shall not be greatly moved means that I may sin, but my Rock and my salvation is my advocate before Elohim, the Supreme judge of the Universe, and I SHALL not be greatly moved from him. When we begin to go to the right or the left, our Rock will lead us back to the path of the tzadik. V.3 should be a comfort to us, as it is addressed to the wicked men who work against us, who want to draw us away from the Way of Elohim. They shall be slain in the end that act duplicitously to bring us to ruin because they are jealous of the tzadik’s promotion before Elohim. Stop and consider that! This reminds me of 2 BIG hit songs by “The O’Jays” back in the 70’s; “Smiling Faces, SOMEtimes” and “The Backstabbers”.

“They smile in your face,

All the time the want to take your place.

The back-stabbers!”

 

“Smiling faces, Sometimes

Pretend to be your friend.

Smiling Faces show no traces

Of the evil that lurks within.

Smiling faces, Smiling faces Sometimes – 

Hey! They don’t tell the truth.

Smiling Faces, Smiling Faces, tell LIES – 

Well, I’ve got proof.”

It is ours to trust Elohim Yeshua to carry us through the tough times the enemy throws at us, and the men he uses to try and discourage us will see great judgment against them. 

In vv.5-8 we see that our trust is only in him – men may fail me; I may fail me; but Elohim is a bedrock foundation and sure fortress who will never fail me. I will not trust to myself or to any other man, for Elohim is my Rock and my salvation. Elohim is Yeshuati. He is not only MY refuge and strength; he is OUR refuge and strength. Stop and consider that! He has us ALL, as his bride, in his ‘covert’

2. Law (speaking of a woman) – married and under the authority and protection of her husband. [W1828]

He can protect and strengthen us ALL at once. Elohim represents the Severity of the Almighty, but he is severe only to those who will not walk in his way. 

In vv.9-12 we see the vanity and worthlessness of those who would make us fall. They will know what Belshazzar found out in Dan.5 – they have been weighed in the balances and have been found wanting. The tzadik is not to trust to his riches, nor is he to oppress the poor or the widow or the orphan. He is to provide all the compassionate help he can provide. Don’t let a rising personal economy lead you from the truth. Watch your soul, not your wallet, and always remember that Elohim is the only real source of strength you have. Power only belongs to Elohim, and he is also merciful (though that is not his primary attribute as Elohim) in that he judges those who come against his own and rewards each man according to his obedience to his Commandments. Had Adonenu Elohenu NOT tempered his righteous judgment with his mercy, we’d have all been toast before we were born, and he’d have been righteous in his judgment.

Did you notice that Y’hovah never appeared in this Psalm? But there was compassionate mercy shown to his tzadikim throughout. The idea that Elohim has no mercy is not correct, nor is it true that Y’hovah is ALL mercy and compassion. Y’hovah will show his wrath before very long, assuming that we’re not experiencing it on this earth right now. Soon we will see the Day of Y’hovah’s Wrath, and believe me when I tell you, it will not be pretty to behold. Q&C

Yochanan 2.13-25 – [Remember that ‘the Jews’, Greek Iuaidoi, in Brit Chadashah (and this commentary) = the political leaders of the religion, not the rank and file people; the ‘officials’] I find it fascinating that Yochanan calls this ‘the Jews’ passover’, as if it is different from Y’hovah’s Passover. Was it? Well, in Leviticus 23, Passover is one thing, and Unleavened Bread is another. On Passover, the 14th day of the first month, between the evenings – that is, I think, between the evening offering (around 3 o’clock) and sunset, each family’s Passover Lamb was slain. If they were in Jerusalem, this must be done at the Temple. If they were in their homes, it could be done by the bachor, and the blood poured out on the ground. Then the lamb was taken home (or to wherever they were encamped) and roasted whole on a spit to be eaten that night after sundown that began the 15th day of the first month, as it had been done in Egypt. While the Passover lambs were slain in Egypt on the 14th between the evenings and his blood painted on the doorposts and lintels before sundown, the actual passing over of the houses with the ‘chet’ ח painted on the door did not occur until midnight on the 15th. The Jews in Yeshua’s day called the whole deal – from the evening offering on the 14th until the end of the Feast of ULB at sundown of the 21st – Passover. Is there any real difference? I think. The Passover was an evening offering to morning offering deal, since the lamb had to be eaten or burnt by then. It was Unleavened Bread that extended for 7 days. There was a brief overlap, but they were separate moedim, according to Lev.23.5-6. Perhaps it was just convenient to call the 7 whole days Passover, but it wasn’t what scripture referred to as Passover. Scripture calls Passover the ‘14th at even.’ This year, that will be Friday, April 19th [65th anniversary of my birth/1st day of my 66th year], between about 3PM and sundown. Seder begins @ 1830, very close to sundown in Ohio.

Yeshua never missed a presentation moad, Pesach, Unleavened Bread, Shavuoth or Sukkoth in Jerusalem. In fact, he never missed any Feast, not even the post-babylonian exile Feasts of Purim and Hanukkah. When he got to J’lem for Pesach in his first year of ministry, he found money-changers and sacrificial animal salesmen (guaranteed to NOT be the best of the lot) hawking their wares in the Temple itself.

Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith Y’hovah. (YirmeYahu 7:11)

So he literally drove them out with a whip of cords. I think he was making himself known as a prophet of Y’hovah. He quoted Ps.69.9

For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;

Of course, he was immediately challenged about his authority to do what he’d done. AENT has this verse and note:

“What sign do you show us that you do these things?” Note = an idiomatic expression meaning, “Prove to us that you have the authority to do these things.”

He told them, 

“Destroy this house, and in 3 days I shall raise it up.”

Of course, he NEVER spoke to the Iuaidoi in anything but sod level of understanding, so they didn’t get it, that he was speaking of his own body, which he would raise from the death they would inflict on him. When he rose from the dead, his talmidim understood what he meant by this, but even they didn’t get it until they had the affective action to refer to. Until his resurrection they didn’t have the antecedent incident to give it meaning to them. His resurrection gave them understanding of TONS of scripture that was unfathomable to them before. 

It says in v.23 that in the Feast day, many in J’lem ‘believed in his Name’. I think that means that many believed that he was what his Name said he was, Y’hovah’s Salvation, because they saw the miracles that he performed before them. Please note that the last word of v.24 in the KJV is supplied by the translators. The word is ‘men’. Without that word, the whole passage changes. It says that he knew ALL. Not all men, but ALL! And because he was omniscient, he had no need of testimony about men, because he knew what was in man – an evil inclination and a wicked heart that no man can know. Q&C

What follows is from my work, The Life of Yeshua haMashiyach – an Hebraic Perspective, 

51, 52). The first Passover/Cleansing of the Temple – Jn.2.13-17. The only mention of the Passover is in the first verse, and it’s just a passing reference at that. It was important to note that Yeshua went to the Passover in Jerusalem, but what he taught was less important than what he did. The whole rest of the passage has to do with the cleansing of the Temple. He made a scourge of cords and went to town. The people watching must have thought he was nuts, swinging a handful of cords and driving out the animals and the moneychangers and engaging in table-tipping and money spilling and just generally making a rather chaotic situation that much more turbulent. 

He drove out the sheep and the oxen, but told the dove sellers to leave. Notice that they were; sheep, not lambs; and oxen, not bulls. Webster’s has, 

“OX, n. plu. oxen. pron. Ox’n. The male of the bovine genus of quadrupeds, castrated and grown to his size or nearly so.  The young male is called in America a steer.  The same animal not castrated is called a bull. These distinctions are well established with us in regard to domestic animals of this genus. When we speak of wild animals of this kind, ox is sometimes applied both to the male and female, and in zoology, the same practice exists in regard to the domestic animals. So, in common usage, a pair of bulls yoked may be sometimes called oxen. We never apply the name ox to the cow or female of the domestic kind. Oxen in the plural may comprehend both the male and female.” 

So the priests and Levites had decided that, rather than destroy such a valuable animal as a bull, they could substitute a gelding, a eunuch, a steer for a bull. This is not a perfect animal, as required in the Torah, and it paints a very bad picture of the sacrifice of Yhwh Yeshua haMashiyach, who is represented in the constellations as, among others, Taurus the bull.

Sheep are any animal of the sheep kind, but a lamb is the young animal of that kind. Webster’s has, 

“LAMB, n. Lam. 1. The young of the sheep kind. 2. The Lamb of Elohim, in Scripture, the Saviour Yeshua haMashiyach, who was typified by the paschal lamb. Behold the lamb of Elohim, who taketh away the sin of the world.  Yochanan 1.” [names ‘Hebraicized’]

The Iuaidoi, Jews, had decided that any sheep would do, not necessarily a lamb of the first year as specified by the Torah. Again the picture of the Lamb of Elohim is marred by their insertion of that which was not of Elohim. The defiling of the Temple with the moneychangers and the merchants was but an outworking of the defiling of their hearts. They’d fallen for the same line Eve fell for in the garden, “Yea, hath Elohim said?” They’d changed the word of Elohim to suit themselves. And Yeshua was ticked. He didn’t mess with the doves because they were the only animals there that the Torah specified to be used. If a person could not afford to offer a lamb or a bull, they could offer a pair of doves (Lev.5.7). Also, the dove is a picture of the Ruach haKodesh (Jn.1.32). So he tells the sellers of doves to get out of the Temple grounds to do business, for his Father’s house is not a storefront.  Q&C  

Vv.18-25 – The Iuaidoi challenged Yeshua’s authority to do what He’d done, because only a prophet, a priest or a king [each was anointed for the office] was able to do what Yeshua had done and He was unknown to any of them. Remember that the Iuaidoi, almost universally translated ‘the Jews’ in English translations of the Brit Chadasha, were not the common people of Yisrael or even all of the scribes and Pharisees, but the political leaders of the religion in Jerusalem, much like the Pope in Roman Catholicism, the Metropolitan of Eastern Orthodoxy or the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, whose office the first two are emulating. They demanded a ‘sign’ from Him that He was anointed to an office to which THEY had not anointed Him. 

Yeshua’s answer was somewhat cryptic, referring to prophecies and some rabbinic interpretations of them; “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for February 2, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for February 2, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 48

Deuteronomy 30:11-31:30 – Jeremiah 12:15 – Psalm 144 – Matthew 11:7-30

Links: 

Evening of the 5th will be the dark of the moon beginning Adar Aleph, this being a leap year in the Hillel calendar to keep the feasts in line with the seasons of the year. Therefore we will take a 4 week hiatus from the regular Torah portions and use the ones that fill in the 4 weeks of this leap year as can be seen on the calendar at www.messianic.ws. We will return to the regular cycle on March 12th, the first shabbat of Adar Bet – I think. There are 4 readings left in this triennial cycle, which ends on 2 April. Pesach will be on the evening of 19/20 April, about as late in the year as is practicable. It will probably be a COLD sukkoth this year.

Devarim 30:11-20 – There are numerous notes in Schottenstein’s Chumash that are really VERY good and I want to share them all with you now. They may be found on pp.192-193. I want you to see the likeness of Sforno’s note on v.14 to Rav Sha’ul’s testimony in Romans 10.6-10)

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Mashiyach down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Mashiyach again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Master Yeshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Elohim hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (reread Sforno’s note)

It is not too difficult to live in the instructions of the Almighty. You don’t have to travel to Alpha Centauri, or scale the highest mountain or any such Otis Reading or Gladys Knight kinda thing to get to a place where you can enjoy the blessings of Y’hovah for your obedience. It’s right here with you, right there in your heart and right there on your lips so that you can CHOOSE to obey … or not. Abba puts it right there in your mind and heart and then he leaves it up to you to fulfill it in your life. He’ll even help you to keep it ever before you so you won’t forget AND He’ll supply the power you need to get it done. But he will NOT force you to obey him. YOU have free will and must act through your own volition. If you didn’t have free will, there would be neither accountability for your disobedience, nor reward for your compliance. If YOU decide to follow his instructions in righteous living, HE will empower you to live by them. But what happens when you decide to disobey, when you fail, even though he has provided all you needed to obey EXCEPT your volitional choice to disobey? Let me step you through what Yeshua did to make an escape hatch for you. 

1st of all, 

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)

Webster’s 1828 has this for 

Propitiation is the act of appeasing the wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person.

So, Yeshua appeased the wrath and conciliated the favor of Y’hovah, which means he paid the penalty, which is death, for all the sins of the whole world for all time in his one offering on the tree. 

2nd, 

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto Ruach of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)

Since Yeshua fulfilled the type of the sacrifices, anyone offering a sacrifice for sins is treading on Messiah, counting his blood profane, or, in context, just another offering, no different than (that’s what profane means – common, not set-apart, lo Kodesh) the blood of bulls and goats. But it is because Yeshua’s offering paid the penalty for ALL sins, willful or unintentional, of ALL people for ALL time (1Yochanan 2.2). If this is not true, we are of all people most to be pitied, because EVERY ONE OF US has sinned wilfully since we were justified freely by the gracious act of Y’hovah Yeshua on our behalf, and we are therefore all doomed to the Lake of Fire, even though we were once justified. 

3rd, what if I DO sin after I have been justified? Am I no longer justified? If so, neither is Rav Sha’ul because he SAID so in Rom.7

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life [Dt.30.15-16], I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it [the commandment = the tool that sin used to slay] slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? Elohim forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of Elohim after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank Elohim through Yeshua haMashiyach our Master. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Elohim; but with the flesh the law of sin. 

Through Yeshua, though,

8 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. 2 For the law of Ruach of life in Mashiyach Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohim sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. (Rom.7.10-8.4)

So, 3rd, “therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach.” We garner no blessing in our sin, but Yeshua took our condemnation on himself, substituting as only a tzadik rebbe can for his talmidim. What follows is an excerpt from my study of B’reishith 37 on 11/2/2013 [we’ll see it again this Nov/Dec.]:

“From Wikipedia on characteristics of a Tzadik:

In classic Jewish thought, there are various definitions of a tzadik. According to Maimonides (based on Tractate Yevamot of the Babylonian Talmud, 49b-50a): “One whose merit surpasses his iniquity is a tzadik.”[1] According to the Tanya (based on passages in Tanakh and the Talmud), the true title of tzadik can only be applied to one who not only never sins, but also has eradicated any inclination to do so. 

That describes ONLY Yeshua, Y’hovah Tsidkenu. Also from Wiki, on ‘Becoming a tzadik’:

According to the definition of the Tanya (Ba’al Shem Tov’s ‘magnum opus’) that a Tzadik has no evil inclination, only a select few predestined to attain this level can attain it.

That describes noone except Yeshua, as Y’hovah in the flesh. Also from Wiki, quoting Menachem Schneerson, from Likutei Sichot, Vol.2, pp 510-511:

In 1951 the seventh Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson said a similar statement [11] regarding the practice by Hasidim to have a Rebbe act as an intermediary with Elohim on their behalf. He explained, “The Rebbe is completely connected with his Hasidim, not like two separate things that connect, rather they become completely one. And the Rebbe is not an intermediary which separates, rather he is one that connects. Therefore by a Hassid, he with the Rebbe with Elohim are all one … Therefore one cannot ask a question about an intermediary, since this is the Essence of Elohim Himself clothed in a body.” 

Understand that if one is a rebbe, he is an intermediary between Y’hovah and his people, and essentially Elohim in the flesh. If someone wants you to be his rebbe and you accept the position, or if you consider yourself a rebbe, you are not in good standing with Y’hovah Yeshua, the only true Tzadik Rebbe.

For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Mashiyach Yeshua; (I Timothy 2:5)

Yeshua was and is THE Rebbe, THE Tzadik, and THE Sanhedrin knew it – it was evident in his life and lifestyle. Did Caiaphas know Yeshua was the tzadik rebbe when he said it was expedient for ONE to die for his people than for the whole people to perish? (READ THIS Jn.11.47-57, esp. v.50), or was it a Ruach inspired slip of the tongue?”

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of Elohim that were scattered abroad [12 Yisrael, Yacov.1.1, 1Pe.1.1]. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. 54 Yeshua therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim [there’s some foreshadowing for you], and there continued with his disciples.

55 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then sought they for Yeshua, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.” End of quote from Midrash of 11/2/2013

The remedy for our willful sin (and most sin in a believer is willful) is found in 1Yochanan 1.9

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And if our enemy keeps beating us up, condemning us to us, we have an Advocate that has already pled our case before the Supreme Judge, Y’hovah El Shaddai, who has declared us innocent because the sins have been propitiated and he has chosen to forget them (…I will remember their sins no more. Jer.31.34). Since they are no longer in his memory, they no longer exist – POOF! They are gone like a wisp of smoke in a tornado. 

So, the claim that our willful sins are not covered by Yeshua’s death on the tree does not stand up to the sniff test. It is a tool of the enemy to keep us under his control. If Yeshua’s death is NOT the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, the scriptures lie. If you maintain that his death was NOT for ALL sins, which includes intentional sins, YOU lie. His ONE substitutionary death as our tzadik rebbe paid for every sin ever committed, past, present and future and, therefore, there is no more sacrifice for sins. 

Knowing all this, it behooves us to choose life, which means to obey Y’hovah’s Word and ensure a long life baAretz, in the land he has promised us. Q&C

Devarim 31.1-30 – Moshe begins to wrap up his life in prose to B’nei Yisrael. He tells them that he is now 120 years old and ‘can no longer go out and come in’. Now, that does not mean that he was an invalid, but that Y’hovah had told him that his mission was ended and that Yehoshua would be taking them out and bringing them in from now on. I know this because I jumped ahead in the narrative to 

6 And he [Y’hovah] buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. (Devarim 34.6-7)

Moshe was every bit as vital at the end of his life as he had been at 40, when he killed the Egyptian and fled from Paroh’s wrath. I truly don’t think he aged a day in the Wilderness, because he spent so much of that time in the presence of Y’hovah; in ‘spiritual space’. 

He told Israel exactly how Y’hovah would go before them and do to the Canaanite nations exactly as he had done to Og and Sihon, the Amorite kings on the east side of Yarden. I think those victories were still fresh in their minds, having been won not more than a week or 2 before, perhaps less. Y’hovah had brought Yisrael through those battles without a scratch to any one of them and would continue to do so as long as they remained faithful. And even that victory would be a test of Yisrael’s faithfulness. He was going to deliver the Canaanites unto them and Y’hovah would see how they followed his instructions

that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you (5b).

V.6 is the first of 3 admonitions to chizqu v’imtzu, be strong and courageous, which in context has to do with following Y’hovah’s mitzvah to utterly destroy or drive out the Canaanites from his land. Why do you suppose Moshe needed to remind them to be courageous before the enemies that Y’hovah would help them vanquish? May I suggest that the Canaanites were of Nephilim descent and were, therefore, of great stature; perhaps bordering on giantism, like Andre the Giant compared to Hollywood’s Mickey Rooney? The 10 tourists didn’t become tourists for no reason, after all. Their own testimony was

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:33)

Schottenstein’s xlation is

… The Nephilim, the sons of Anak, [who is] from the Nephilim …; xlated from Hebrew,

… hanephilim b’nei Anak min-hanephilim …

It wasn’t that the spies were cowards, but that they were very normal humans who were walking in their sight rather than trusting in Y’hovah. Now Yisrael had been through battle after battle and had proven Y’hovah, as well as themselves, over the last 2-3 weeks. Y’hovah and Moshe knew the nature of man and knew that this admonition to courage was necessary. As they would see in another month or so, it wasn’t courage that Israel would need, but faithfulness to not covet things of value and beauty, like Achan’s idol.

The very next words out of Moshe’s mouth, vv.7-8, are to encourage Yehoshua to strength and courage as well, for cowardice or hesitation in the commander can filter down to the troops. He said chazak ve’ematz, which is exactly the same admonition he’d just given to the nation, except in the singular. If the commander is weak or fearful, that attitude will filter down through the ranks, which will either make the troops fearful or make them disrespect or despise the commander, which is absolute hell on unit morale and cohesion. This is one of the reasons Gen. Patton was so successful in battle. His men knew, even when they said ‘Ol’ Blood and Gutz’ meant ‘our blood and his gutz’, that he was no coward hiding behind his troops, but was a tactical field commander who would fight right alongside them (which is ONE reason that he wasn’t a strategic commander, like Eisenhower – Patton had to be IN it, not in a ‘war room’; he had to ‘feel’ and see the battle as it unfolded and adjust to developing situations). Yehoshua would be the tactician baAretz, in the land, and do as Y’hovah commanded the strategy. 

Then in vv.9-13 & 26, Moshe wrote all that he’d been commanded that day into the Torah of Moshe, which Y’hovah commanded to be read aloud in its entirety before B’nei Yisrael at the Feast of Sukkoth in the year of release, or the Sabbatical Year (Shemitah), and which was to be stored ‘at the side of the ark’ (v.26); which implies a receptacle for the Torah attached to the ark, not that it should be under the ‘mercy seat’ inside the ark itself. The Torah was to be read to remind chol Yisrael about Y’hovah’s requirements for righteous living and to teach those who would join Yisrael or be born into Yisrael of their end of the covenant; obedience. 

Jeremiah 12:15 – We need a little context, so …

14 Thus saith Y’hovah against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass that if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name “Y’hovah liveth”; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith Y’hovah. (Jer.12.14-17)

Y’hovah knew before he took them into the land he’d promised to their fathers, Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov, that they would go their own ways and turn to the gods of the nations that they were going into the land to dispossess, and that he would send them back into captivity. But he also knew that they would come to the ends of themselves and call upon his Name for deliverance, and that he would turn his face back to them and forgive their sin and heal their land, as he had promised Shlomo. Vv.14-15 speak of Ephraim being carried off to Assyria and the faithful remnant of Yehudah that lived among the Ephraimites would be kept from exile with Ephraim. Then if Ephraim will return and diligently learn the ways of Y’hovah, he will bring us back to our land and our inheritance. But, if people of Ephraim will NOT hearken to the Words of Y’hovah and return and diligently follow him, they will be left to their own desires, given to their sin, and utterly destroyed, even as Yisrael utterly destroyed or drove out the Canaanites. 

I think that the 2 sticks Ezekiel speaks of in 37.15ff are today represented by biblical Zionist Jews who are looking for the Mashiyach to come soon (as opposed to the secular Zionists that are the ruling elite in political Israel today), and believers in Mashiyach, regardless their ancestry, Ephraimite or gentile. 

Remember that if a goy comes out of his nation and asks for refuge in Israel (Eze.47.2), he is not to be turned away, and he may choose which tribe he will live among. That goy becomes a ger and lives in Israel to learn the ways of Israel. It MUST then be the same for returning Ephraim, who is of the dispersed of Israel, as for the abject goy. Q&C

Tehellim 144 – The Y’hovah who teaches David’s hands and fingers to fight, who is his good fortress, high tower and deliverer that subdues nations under him is none other than Yeshua haMashiyach. He marvels at how and why Y’hovah even considers man, and then explains why he marvels. Man is really not anything in comparison to Y’hovah, so why should he think anything of him; why bother? I don’t think David had the historical context to realize that Mashiyach was able to empathize with our infirmities, because he suffered, from the foundation of the earth, all that we ever had or would suffer.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb.4.15) 

Vv.5-6 speak of Y’hovah’s greatness and the grandeur of his deliverance and then in vv.7-8 he makes the comparison to the lowliness of wicked men and how they work to deceive the righteous. David likens the wicked men who wish to deceive to the waters and asks for Y’hovah’s deliverance from them. In vv.9-10, David talks of how he will sing Y’hovah’s praises with his voice while playing his guitar or harp because of the deliverance he provides the king from those wicked men. 

David uses the same imagery in v.11 that he used in vv.7-8, “strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” The first use refers to the strange children as ‘great waters’. Let’s see where David has used this metaphor before;

For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Psalms 32:6)

Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (Psalms 77:19)

In both these verses the ‘great waters’ are referring to the wicked nations. In 32.6, the greatness of those nations does not affect the ability of Y’hovah to deliver his children. In 77.19, we see that Y’hovah is the one who truly controls those nations as they come against his children, even though those great waters do not perceive Y’hovah’s control. 

23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of Y’hovah, and his wonders in the deep. 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cry unto Y’hovah in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31 Oh that men would praise Y’hovah’s goodness, and his wonderful works to the children of men! (Ps.107.23-31)

Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 3 And say, Thus saith Y’hovih; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: 4 He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. 5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. (Ezek.17.2-6)

3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. 7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. 8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. 9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. 10 Therefore thus saith Y’hovih; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; 11 I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. (Ezek.31.3-11)

Here is why those ‘great waters’ exist; so that Y’hovah’s children will call on him for their deliverance FROM those ‘great waters’ that look like they will overwhelm them; like David does in our psalm today; and so that they will praise him in that deliverance. In those last 2 passages, the reference is to ‘the Assyrian’ – same imagery seen in both passages. The top twig is planted near great waters – the world system. Land of traffick, city of merchants – could be NYC or London or some other business capital. 

Suffice it to say that ‘great waters’ does not generally bode well for the earth and may cause a lot of worry and fear for those who do not have Mashiyach Yeshua. Those who truly trust Y’hovah will have nothing to fear, though they still might, if they rely on what their eyes see and not what objective truth tells them.

Vv.11 David asks for riddance and deliverance from the great waters so that he can live in vv.12-14, the blessings that flow from obedience and trust in Y’hovah’s promises. The word “Happy” in v.15 literally means ‘straight’, from the root ashar אשר, ‘to progress or move forward’. The 3rd person singular of ashar is yashar, which is translated upright, but literally means ‘he is straight’. That people whose Elohim is Y’hovah is Yisrael, believers from all ages and places throughout history, and they are happy because they are upright before and progressing toward echadity with Y’hovah. Q&C

Matthew 11:7-30 – What follows was taken from my Bible Study “The Life of Yeshua haMashiyach”, in which I used Thompson Chain Reference Bible’s ‘Tree of Yeshua’ Life’ as an outline. 

86). Yochanan the Immerser commended, (Matthew 11:7-19, Luke 7:24-28) – Here is a difficult passage to grasp. Yeshua speaks about Yochanan in what seems to us a veiled manner, rather circumlocuting than getting to the point, or perhaps triangulating. What does he mean by ‘a reed shaken by the wind’? I had a very hard time with this until I looked up reed in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, where he says 

‘2. A musical pipe; reeds being anciently used for instruments of music. 3. A little tube through which a hautboy, bassoon or clarinet is blown.’ 

A reed shaken by the wind puts out a sound commensurate in pitch with the size of the tube, like when you blow across the opening of a jug or bottle – the pitch depending on the amount of liquid in the jug, or the difference between a bassoon and a clarinet. Yeshua says the people went out to hear a reed played by the shifting winds (Eph.4.14), waiting for him to say something they wanted to hear (1Tim.4.3-4), to justify their own sin while accusing other men of theirs (Rom.2.15). But Yochanan the Immerser was more like a woodwind played by the very mouth of Elohim; the oboe of Y’hovah, so to speak. There was no shifting doctrine from Yochanan, as there is none from any other Spirit led preacher. He may have played different tunes at different times, but each with the same basic truth, skill and power supplied by the Ruach ha Kodesh. 

Yeshua next asks if they were going out to see a man in soft raiment. This is easier for me to understand, because this is what most assemblies have in their pulpits today. We have preachers who soft pedal the gospel and the doctrines of the bible in such a way as to not offend anyone in the pew. They couldn’t take the chance of losing all that revenue. Most people want someone to comfort them in their sin, not challenge them to live righteously by speaking the truth in love (Eph.4.11-16), for it is love that motivates the preacher to challenge us to live as we ought. This is not the love of a friend (phileo) nor of family (storge) nor of the marriage bed (eros), it is the (agape) love of Elohim that constrains him to warn you of your sin and your need to get right. 

Next Yeshua asks if they were going out to see a prophet. Since the other two reasons for going out to see Yochanan were self-serving, this one must be too. They were going out to see an oddity, a curiosity, not to be challenged or taught sound doctrine. That is why Yeshua tells them that here was the greatest prophet the world had ever seen, greater than EliYahu or Elisha or even Moshe. He wasn’t just any prophet, but the one who was to be the forerunner, the one that was to announce the coming of the King. Had they accepted Yeshua, Yochanan had fulfilled the prophecy. Q&C

In the times before television, radio and such, when someone of great importance was coming toward a town a forerunner was sent ahead to warn the people to be ready for the visit. Now we just see an ad telling us that the person or event is scheduled for such and such a day and time. Advertising has taken the place of the forerunner. Yochanan was sent to announce Yeshua’s arrival, and he worked in the same Spirit that worked in EliYahu (Mal.4.5-6). EliYahu will be coming again very soon to announce the Kingdom of Heaven once more. Yeshua will not be taking out full page ads in USA Today or the NY Times, but I have no doubt that CNN will carry the story worldwide of the weirdo in the sackcloth and ashes heralding the return of King Yeshua. The leaders of the pop-religions of the earth will treat him the same way the Jews did Yochanan, as a curiosity, a wild eyed fanatic to be dismissed as just another crackpot TV preacher. Won’t they be surprised? 

Yeshua uses the phrase, ‘he who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ He is saying that he is speaking in a parable or of a spiritual truth, not a literal one. The phrase is used but twice in the OT, both times to tell Yisrael they don’t get it, to wise up. In Deut.29.2-4 Moses tells the people that Elohim has shown them all kinds of miracles and wonders, but none has gotten the spiritual truth he was trying to get them to understand. They saw the miracles, but didn’t care to see beyond them. A miracle would meet their perceived need of the moment, and so it was good. They didn’t see that all things, even the seemingly bad things, work together for good for those who love Elohim, the called according to his purpose. Sometimes when bad things happen to us it is Elohim’s last resort to get our attention, we won’t come to him until things are beyond our ability to make a sight-based good result. We won’t trust Elohim to do what we need until we can’t do it for ourselves. Only then does Elohim enter our thinking. Only then will we give him control. Don’t be dense, like the people of Yisrael in Eze.12.1-16. Even though Zeke did all YHVH commanded and said all the words Elohim gave him verbatim, yet Yisrael did not listen, did not see, did not perceive. Elohim wanted their hearts, not their obligatory sacrifices. They wanted their own way. They did not have ears to hear.

Next Yeshua likens his audience to children who want everyone to play their game, themselves being the center of attention. They play the tune and want everyone else to dance. They lament their loss of followers and want everyone to grieve with them. They jealously deride Yochanan as devil possessed and Yeshua as a glutton and drunk who doesn’t physically separate himself from sinners. He says they are not children of wisdom, because they recognize neither the servant nor the Son of Elohim. They are no different than the Yisraelites that were carried into captivity in Zeke’s day. They were spiritually blind and deaf and dumb as a post. They also would be carried away 40 years hence. Q&C

87). Cities reproached, (Matthew 11:20-24) – Was Yeshua upbraiding the physical localities or the people in them? The localities had nothing to do with the judgment to come, but they would be destroyed as a result of the judgment of the people therein. It was not the city of Tyre that sinned, but the nation and tribe that resided there. They failed to recognize Elohim’s hand in their prosperity and took the glory unto themselves. Chorazin and Bethsaida are likened to Tyre and Sidon, both of which were totally destroyed in the Tanakh. In Thompson’s Archeological Supplement we read of Tyre, 

“the most famous seaport of ancient Bible lands, was located twenty miles south of Sidon on an island three-quarters of a mile from the mainland. It had two harbors, one on the north and one on the south, and its walls were exceedingly high, especially on the landward side. Here artisans made bronze, silver, and other artistic wares, and manufactured the purple dye that made Tyre famous. Its merchants traded with the many lands of the Mediterranean and even with the faraway British Isles. Kings and military men from many countries laid siege to Tyre but were unable to take the city until Alexander the Great, in 333 B.C., built a massive causeway to the island (using debris from a mainland city [Sidon] he had seized earlier) and took Tyre after seven months. But it slowly rose again and became a center of trade in Roman times (63 b.c. – a.d. 70).”

Ezekiel tells of this destruction in 27.27ff, and of its ultimate destruction in v.36. Sidon was also condemned as a chief city of Phoenicia and Philistia, though not in the same degree as Tyre, which was a center of Satanic religion (Eze.28).

 

Then Yeshua denounces his base of operations, Kafernachum, and likens it to Sodom. Could it be that the sin of Sodom was becoming rampant in Kafernachum in Yeshua day? Or is it just that Sodom would have recognized Y’hovah before Kafernachum did? Notice that Gomorrah is not mentioned. Sodom means burning and Gomorrah means submersion, which is what happened to those cities – they were burned and submerged. The Dead Sea now lies over the remains of them. Perhaps this will be the fate of Kafernachum, to lie under the waters of Galilee. More probably it has already earned its fate. It is totally desolate. Here is what Thompson’s Archeological Supplement says. 

“Here He called Matthew from tax collection, taught and preached, and did many miracles. Mashiyach predicted Kafernachum’s downfall (Mt 11:23-24), and today its scattered heaps of black basalt building stones extend for a mile along the shore of the sea”.

In vv.25-26 Yeshua briefly thanks Avinu that he has hidden the truth of what he has been teaching from the ‘wise’ men who’d heard, but revealed it to the humble people who accepted his truth as do babes every word that their parents tell them. 

Then in vv.27-30 he speaks to the people who are present. He says, “ALL things are delivered unto me by my Father.” Do you realize that this is not merely speaking of the Kingdom of God, but also all the sins that were ever or would ever be committed by you and me? If you don’t see that, just what part of the word “ALL” do you FAIL to understand? THEN he told his audience that NOBODY knows him, nor his Father except those to whom HE reveals the Father. This doesn’t mean that noone understands the existence of Y’hovah, but that noone has an experiential knowledge of either the son or the father unless the Spirit of Y’hovah illuminates that man’s mind to him, literally removes the blinders from the man’s eyes. G602 is apokalupto and it literally means to ‘remove the cover’. When Yeshua ‘reveals’ Y’hovah, removes that which covers Y’hovah from the observer that man understands the ‘mysteries’ Paul speaks of in Rom.11.25, 16.25, 1Cor.2.7, 15.51, Eph.1.9, 3.3-4, 9, 5.32, 6.19, Col.1.26-27, 2.2, 4.3, 1Thes.2.7, 1Tim.3.9, 16. Every time Yeshua speaks a parable, he is speaking a ‘mystery’ to his audience, which mystery he reveals to his talmidim 

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Mat.13.10-17). 

In vv.28-30 Yeshua calls all who are able to hear and perceive the mysteries of Y’hovah, but have to slog through life; their spirits wanting to understand the revelation of Y’hovah, but their flesh and its lusts making the full realization difficult to attain. He tells those who will hear that HE will do the heavy lifting; HE will accept the load we bear on his own shoulders when we take his yoke upon us and learn from him as we shema to his Word; HE is not arrogant and will not ‘lord it over us’ like a task-master, but will bring us along as we are able – at our own pace, so to speak; and in doing so, our souls will find rest.

14 They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time I visit them they shall be cast down, saith Y’hovah. 16 Thus saith Y’hovah, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk. (Jer.6.14-16)

22 Cast thy burden upon Y’hovah, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Ps.55.22)

Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 26, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 26, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 46

Devarim 29:10-30:10 (H29.9)- YeshaYahu 55:6-58:8 -Tehellim 143 -Romans 10:1-21

Links: 

www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm 

Devarim 29.10-15 – This whole episode began in 27.1, where Y’hovah had Moshe tell all the children of Israel that after they crossed Yarden, they would gather, 6 tribes on mount Ebal and the other 6 tribes on mount Gerezim to pronounce blessing and cursing, blessing on those who would obey their Y’hovah and cursing on those who would go their own way. The blessings and cursing were more completely delineated in Ch.28.1-29.9, where the thesis of Ch.27 is restated as the summary, “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.” This is really the theme of the entire Midrash today.

Now Moshe is telling them that they are without excuse, if they fail because the whole house of Ya’acov, which included the gerim, or strangers/mixed multitude, within their camps, was present to hear the whole thing. The strangers in their camps seems to mean that when a stranger came among the Israelites to identify with them and their Y’hovah, he chose a tribe to be a part of and he was accepted. He would willingly accept the covenant and physically become a part of the commonwealth of Israel in exactly the same way that we do ‘spiritually’ today. The rabbis don’t accept us physically unless we submit to the traditions of the elders as well as Torah, but Y’hovah accepts us when we repent and go His way (Eph.2.11-22).

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Mashiyach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Yisrael, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: 13 But now in Mashiyach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiyach.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto Y’hovah in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of Y’hovah; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua haMoshiach himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in Y’hovah: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of Elohim through the Spirit. [cf. Rev.21]

Do you see that reference in underlined, bold italics? Who were these strangers in Dev.29.11, if not strangers from the covenants of promise? Until they identified themselves with B’nei Yisrael, that is. Now they were joint heirs with the physical seed of Avraham. There was no middle wall to be broken down.

What was this enmity? This law of commandments contained in ordinances? Was it not the “Oral Torah” that was supposedly (according to orthodox Yehudism) given to Moshe on Sinai at the same time as the tables of stone? Smile and Nod. Yeshua came to call us back to the faith of the fathers, the ONCE delivered to the saints faith (Jd.3). It is the traditions of the elders that the Jews (not the common folk, but the ‘Iuaidoi’ [a Yochanine term] leaders of the Temple religion) were constantly accusing Yeshua of breaking. It was the traditions about which Yeshua always accused the Jews of holding in higher esteem than Torah. What is this ONCE delivered to the saints faith? The covenants of promise. Where was it delivered? At Sinai in Ex.19.6-31.18.

Who are the saints to whom the promises and the faith were ‘once delivered’? Eph.2.19,  

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of Y’hovah.

To which saints was Sha’ul referring? Yisraelites who were faithful to Torah and with whom the gentiles to whom he wrote were made ‘fellowcitizens’. In our passage in Devarim, the saints were the physical seed of Avraham AND the strangers in the camp who were after Y’hovah. 

Y’hovah was establishing ALL the saints as a people set apart unto himself. And not just those to whom Moshe spoke audibly was he establishing; but also those of us who would be made fellowcitizens with the saints all these thousands of years later by the preaching of the gospel of peace. I think Sha’ul had this Devarim passage in mind when he wrote both Eph.2 and Rom.11. The similarities are striking.   Q&C

Vv.18-30.10 – Going after other Elohim is the root of bitterness spoken of in Heb.12.15, which is a companion passage to this one in Devarim. In Dev.29 we are being admonished to look diligently to our walk in Torah to keep a root of gall and wormwood from springing up, as we are in Heb.12.15. Both gall and wormwood are exceptionally bitter. W1828 has:

Gall,  2. Anything extremely bitter. 3. Rancor; malignity. 4. Anger; bitterness of mind.

Wormwood, … It has a bitter, nauseous taste; but is stomachic and corroborant.

What does Y’hovah say is the natural consequence of this root of bitterness? We think,  “Y’hovah wouldn’t bring the curses to bear on ME! I have peace! So what if I go my own way and not his; if I walk after my own imagination (a word that is NEVER used in a positive context in scripture); if I am gluttonous in my imbibing of ‘feel good’ stuff! I have peace! (Famous words that we hear all the time and that are supposed to make you believe that the person has heard from GAW-Awd. What it usually means is that the person has had his conscience cauterized against any more ‘bleeding’ of guilt, he’s convinced himself that he’s ‘holy’. Of course, that’s not ALWAYS true.) I have peace!”

Not with Y’hovah, you don’t! You get to deal with the curses of Dev.28.15ff. You get to deal with the curses of Dev.29.20&21 – your name blotted out from under heaven. This is serious stuff here, folk. Separated unto evil OUT of the tribes of Israel = EXILE. Peace with Y’hovah is not a feeling or a lack thereof. It is a position. One is closer to peace with Y’hovah when he ‘feels’ guilt for his sins than when he feels ‘peace’ in his sins.

Do you see the tie in with Heb.12 here? Look at v.11, the ‘peaceable fruit of righteousness’, which comes by enduring chastening for our sins, and making straight paths for our feet to walk on. Straight paths = Torah. We cannot have peace with Y’hovah while following our own paths. And if we have no peace with Y’hovah, we will have no peace with our neighbors, either. Peace is NOT cessation of hostilities. Peace is agreement with and obedience to Y’hovah. Once real peace is achieved, cessation of hostilities will follow, as spring follows winter. 

When we have peace in our sins, we will have chastisement at best – judgment at worst. If we fail to grasp our condition and turn in repentance, we will eventually be given over to our sin. Then the other nations of the earth will wonder at why Y’hovah would abandon us after doing such wonders in our behalf. Then men will say (and not necessarily righteous men), “They went after idols and Y’hovah gave them what they wanted.” Y’hovah will say, “You want idols? Well, HERE ya go!”

When we repent and call on Y’hovah’s Name and ask him to deliver us, he will do it. It’s one of the promises he made and of which we are made joint heirs.  Q&C

Yeshayahu 55.6-13 – Last week we talked about Y’hovah LEADING and GUIDING us into exile when we go our own way, and that he is therefore right alongside us when we come to ourselves and repent. So, when is it that he can no longer be found? When will we be unable to seek him and call upon him? V.7 tells us what seeking and calling entail, namely, forsaking our way and thoughts, and repenting. So, we will no longer be able to seek him and call on him when we are no longer alive. He MAY choose to give us over to our sin before we die, but for certain our time is up when we croak. Who within the sound of my voice has a guarantee on his or her next breath? Y’hovah forbid it should happen, but the possibility exists that someone listening to me right now will die before we are finished with the Shabbat Bible Study today. Consider it yourself right now. Do you have a ‘root of bitterness’ in your life? IOW, do you have ANYTHING in your life that is not given to Y’hovah and counted in your life as dung? Here’s a good way to find out. Imagine that the jihadists have taken over America and have taken you and your family prisoner. They have you tied securely to a chair and they bring your children, one at a time, before you and say, “If you will just say ‘Allahu Akhbar’, we will let your child live. If not, we will behead him right now before your eyes.” What do you do? (BTW, you can substitute anything here – a car, a pet, a TV show. I just wanted to bring the point abruptly before your eyes.) And if you say the words, EVEN IF YOU DON’T REALLY MEAN IT, does that not constitute denial of Yeshua before men? And what does he say about those who will deny him before men? What will he do before his Father in heaven? This is serious stuff, guys. Look at Matt.10.32ff.

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt.10.32-39)

It may literally come to this, so be prepared for it. You may literally have to decide between your child’s life, or your spouse’s, and faithfulness to Y’hovah. May he grant us all the grace to endure it. 

You may not believe he’d allow such a thing, but look at v.8 – his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. We are to think HIS thoughts after him, to follow HIS ways (Torah). We think we’re all that and a bag of chips, but his ways are further from our ability to comprehend than ours are to an amoeba. 

Y’hovah’s word does to our lives what the rain and snow do to the earth – disburse the offal, cause the earth to bring forth new life, and sustain that which already is. His word accomplishes his purpose. Always! If we seek him and call on his Name, his word will cause us joy, peace, singing, the clapping of hands in praise to him. The very Creation will hallel him.   Q&C

YeshaYahu 56 – Keeping judgment and doing justice is likened to keeping Shabbat and our hands from any evil. In the parallelism, Shabbat = judgment, hands from any evil = justice, and we are blessed if we do them by laying hold of them. How do we keep from polluting Shabbat? By treating it differently from all other days of the week. On the other days of the week we are to work our living, but not on Shabbat. This was pictured in Ex.16, where we were to gather manna on the 6 days of the week, but on Shabbat we were NOT to gather manna or even go out to the field to find it (It wasn’t there anyway). We are to set it apart by not working our livings (to abstain from ALL work is technically impossible – getting out of bed is work, picking up food is work, munching is work), even as Y’hovah had set it apart at least 5 ways in Ex.16 (for 5 days leftover manna rotted, stank and bred worms; gather a double portion of manna on 6th day; no manna on Shabbat; the left over of 6th day’s manna didn’t rot, stink or breed worms; manna again on the 1st day.). 

The first tie in to today’s Torah portion is in v.3, where the stranger in the camp is to be treated as one of the physical B’nei Yisrael. In this case, I thinki it is the physical seed that HAD been separated from Y’hovah, for the stranger has joined himself to Y’hovah. If Y’hovah has separated him who has joined himself TO Y’hovah from the people, then it must be the people who have separated themselves from Y’hovah. Same with the eunuchs, who Y’hovah says ‘keep my sabbaths, choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant.’ Y’hovah says he will bring both the eunuchs and the strangers that go after him to his set-apart mountain. Y’hovah gathers strangers and eunuchs, outcasts from Israel, into his holy mount. This seems to fly in the face of Dev.23.1, where a man who has his ‘privy member cut off’ is excluded from the kahal. So is the stranger who lived in Canaan, but would not identify with Y’hovah (Dev.31.16). And not just these, but others even more vile than eunuchs and strangers. Like me … and you. 

Vv.9-12 sound like the vast majority of the ‘church’ today – blind watchmen, ignorant, dumb dogs that can’t bark (raise an alarm), lazy, asleep, greedy, looking for their own interests and not the kahal’s or Y’hovah’s, who say they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, but who really are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.  Q&C

Yeshayahu 57V.1 says that noone considers why the righteous die, that they are being delivered by Y’hovah from the wrath he is about to pour out on the wicked and on those who [quote] believe [unquote] he is, but have forsaken his ways. The ones who have forsaken him are described in vv.3-13a. Look at some of the descriptions; sons of the sorceress, seed of the adulterer and the whore (the wicked offspring of human reasoning and pagan religion, I thinki), children of transgression, seed of falsehood, etc. They slay their children under the clifts of rock (in the Tophet caves of the Hinnom Valley – here’s ‘Hinnom’ from Easton’s Bible Dictionary

A deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called “Hill of Evil Counsel.” It took its name from “some ancient hero, the son of Hinnom.” It is first mentioned in Joshua 15:8 . It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the valley was called Tophet, or the “fire-stove,” where the children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.

The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed; and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. “It might be shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment.” About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word is used eleven times in our Lord’s discourses (Matthew 23:33; Luke 12:5; Matthew 5:22 , etc.), 

pouring out drink offerings to smooth rocks of a stream (an altar), set their beds in high places (‘high’ meaning its purpose, not necessarily its elevation, where the altar is set up, temple prostitution). V.9 shows Israel covering her sores and the stench of her adulteries with perfume and ointment, hoping the king will accept her. She keeps relying on her self-righteousness in vv.10-11. Y’hovah says the righteousness of their works is unprofitable. Y’hovah won’t answer in your trouble if you refuse to acknowledge him and his blessing when times are good.

Vv.13b-21 contrast with 3-13a, showing the profit of those who put their trust in Y’hovah, having forsaken their own ways. ‘Cast up, cast up’ is a reference to Yehuda and Ephraim putting their trust in Y’hovah and clearing the way for others to follow. Wherever Y’hovah dwells is high and holy, and that is usually where people are contrite and humble, whose spirits he revives. His wrath will not last forever; he will heal the believer who has gone his own way, if that believer will but humble himself. If he stayed angry with us, we would all utterly perish. His love and mercy provides our escape from his wrath, and guarantees that he will not remain angry with us. He offers peace to both houses of Ya’akov; the one far off (Ephraim) and the one nigh (Yehuda) and then heals HIM (Ya’akov).  Carefully note the order in which that happens, please; Shalom first, then healing. Shades of how Ephraim was received in Eph.2.11ff and Acts 15 and added to the synagogues [kehalim] of Yisrael.   Q&C

YeshaYahu.58.1-8 – Ch.58 concerns Yom Kippur and the whole house of Ya’acov. Vv.1-5 show our yoke. If the burden isn’t Y’hovah’s there is no grace to deal with it. The people delight in approaching Y’hovah, fully aware of their sin. This describes both the body of Mashiyach today … and me. We should not delight in approaching Y’hovah when we should be afflicting our souls in the fast of Yom Kippur. When we see that he takes no delight in our going through the motions, we complain about it, and he says we do it to please ourselves, not to approach him on his terms. We seem to expect Y’hovah to perform for us because we’ve gone through the motions and jumped through the right hoops. It is our attitude in the fast that makes it of no value. We fast for strife and debate, trying to show Y’hovah our ‘holiness’. No, our reason for fasting does not agree with Yah’s reason for calling a fast. It seems that we do it to be seen of men, to get praises and adulation from others, not to afflict our souls in misery of our sins.

Vv.6-7 is Y’hovah’s yoke and show the 8 reasons for Y’hovah’s calling this fast. It is very interesting that this is almost exactly (6 of 8) what Yeshua addressed (2X) in the ‘Olivet Discourse’? Matt.25.32ff.

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, master, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, master, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Mat.25.32-46)

After we do the works of Torah that are listed in Yesh.58.6-7, then our light shall break forth as the morning, and our health shall spring forth speedily, our righteousness shall go before us and the esteem of our Elohim will be our re-reward – He will cover our ‘6’. Our righteousness is Yeshua. Yeshua is the glory of Y’hovah. So he leads by taking the point AND he guards our flanks. Nothing can harm us, IF we are going after him and DOING the Word.  Q&C

Ps.143 – Remember v.2 when we get to the B’rit HaDashah portion today. In vv.1-2, David is in tribulation and is asking for Y’hovah to hear and answer his cry for deliverance. He’s asking that Y’hovah look at his trust in Yah and not his works, for he knows that if Y’hovah enters into righteous judgment over him he will in no wise be justified. Yes! David! Melchizedek!

In vv.3-6 he lays out before Yah his tribulation and predicament, his enemies having it all over him in the flesh. We have more than one enemy, though. David speaks of his physical enemies, but there is an enemy that is ever present that can be inferred here. That enemy is the flesh. It persecutes our souls, beats our spirits down to the ground, and makes us dwell in darkness as if we are dead (both conditions of spiritual exile). Then David remembers all the wondrous works of Y’hovah for Israel in the past and recalls it to Y’hovah’s remembrance, while letting Yah know that he wants only a morsel or sample of what he performed for Israel.

In vv.7-12, He makes 12 supplications to Y’hovah and the reasons he’s asking them. He expects Y’hovah to grant his supplications and deliver him from tribulation. We don’t actually SEE Yah’s deliverance, but David expects it and we can infer His positive response. Q&C

Rom.10.1-21 – This is taken from my work, “Romans – an Hebraic Perspective”, which was taught as a weekly Bible Study over a period of about 6 years. 

“While looking at ch.10, let’s remember that the foundational, most basic truth of scripture is the Shema, “Hear Oh Yisrael, Y’hovah our Elohim, Y’hovah is One.” The Shema is seen in the ‘unity of the faith’, that Y’hovah is the Elohim of both the Jews AND the Gentiles (3.29), the natural oneness of Y’hovah so that all in Mashiyach are one, etc.  It is seen in nature and the nuclear family. The atom has 3 basic particles, neutron, proton and electron. Matter has at least 4 states, solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma. Time is both past, present and future. The nuclear family consists of Father, Mother and Children. The examples are numerous that Y’hovah has pointed to his echad nature in his creation. Echad does not mean merely absolute oneness, but unity in and through plurality. 

Earlier in our study of Romans, Sha’ul told us that Elohim is not merely the Elohim of the Jews, but of the Gentiles also (Rom.3.29). He treats all people in the same manner, and he always has. For him to expect different things of different people or to expect different things of the SAME people at different times would be to compromise his echad nature. 

The Jewish mystics see Y’hovah manifested in at least 10 ‘emanations’ as depicted in the Tree of Sefiroth. They are seen in 3 sublevels, each consisting of 3 attributes, headed by the absolute Truth of Y’hovah that no mere human can really comprehend. You can see allusions to this in Paul’s writings. 

His statement to ‘behold the goodness and the severity of Elohim’ (11.22) is also an allusion to the 10 emanations of Y’hovah. The goodness of Elohim is seen in his mercy to usward (the right side of the figure on the page). His mercy is an emanation that balances his emanation of severity (the left side of the figure), which is his absolute justice. The emanation of beauty (the body of the figure) is the one that binds all his emanations into a unity in the ‘Ain Soph’; the endless, unknowable truth of Y’hovah. It is the Ain Soph that we will spend eternity studying and never find an end of discovering and understanding (another emanation of Y’hovah). 

All of that to give you just an inkling of the Unity in Plurality of Yah, which is pictured for us in the unity in plurality of his people. We need to bear this in mind as we move into ch.10.

Vv.1-3 – Sha’ul addresses his brethren, which context will show is all of the Roman believers, both Jew and Gentile. At various times, he specifically addresses his Jewish brethren and at others the Gentile brethren. The subject is Yisrael, but the message is for the Gentiles, as well as the Jews. Remember the importance of personal pronouns in Paul’s writing. We = Jewish believers; ye = gentile believers; they = what the church calls ‘Judaizers’, Iuaidoi, but are contextually called ‘circumcisers’, Jews of rabbinic tradition who believe that one must fully convert to Judaism, the last act of which is to be circumcised, before they can be accepted into the fellowship. Acts 10 and 15 stand in contrast to that false belief.

His desire is the salvation of chol Yisrael. As we’ve seen already in our explanation of 8.29-30, all Yisrael shall be saved. What we’re discussing now is the body of the argument Sha’ul started way back then.

Israel has a zeal for Y’hovah, but they are blinded in part (2Cor.3.14 – they can’t or won’t see Mashiyach in the Tanakh), ‘not according to knowledge’. To what were they zealous? Look at Acts.22.3.

3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward Elohim, as ye all are this day.

Sha’ul tells his audience in Jerusalem that he was taught the ‘Oral Torah’, the law of the fathers, perfectly and was zealous toward it and toward Elohim. This is what he alludes to in Rom.11.2-3, 

2  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

They knew the ‘law of the fathers’ better than the written Torah, and held to (and still to this day hold to) those traditions and interpretations of Torah as a HIGHER truth than the written Torah. They have a zeal toward Elohim, but they don’t know what his true requirements are, being more zealous for the ‘Oral Torah’ than Y’hovah’s written word; zeal not according to knowledge. This is exactly what Paul says in a nutshell in v.3. They are ignorant of Elohim’s righteousness; that is, living according to Torah’s instructions, but go about establishing their own righteousness, which is going after ANYTHING else – whether it’s in addition to living according to Torah or in place of it. Doing Torah, remember, is not how we are saved or how we maintain our salvation. It is what we do to keep from sin AFTER we are justified which PROVES our justification, NOT to Y’hovah, but to ourselves and others. 

Noone knew this better than Rav Sha’ul, who was very zealous, as he himself testified in Acts 22.1-10. Paul did what we all do when confronted by a new paradigm that shows either we’ve been mistaken, fooled or lied to – he attacked the very truth he was convinced of, but in his pride would not acknowledge. I have been there myself, and so has everyone else who is reading or hearing this study. Once we are convinced of our own mistake or delusion, we need to come to grips with it and stop fighting it. That is what Yeshua said to Paul in Acts 9.5, 

“I am Yeshua whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” 

The truth that we know but won’t acknowledge keeps pricking us until we repent of our pride and stop kicking.

In Hebrew mysticism, knowledge is the highest level a student of scripture can attain in this life. It connects understanding and wisdom. Israel has an understanding of Torah, but little or none of Mashiyach. The ‘church’ has the wisdom of Mashiyach, but little or none of Torah. Few of either has the knowledge that Mashiyach and Torah are one, as Y’hovah is one, as we are told in the Shema. There are those who have some knowledge without either understanding or wisdom. These may actually brand us heretic because we would say that Yeshua is Torah, even though John 1 plainly says that Yeshua is the Word. The last time I checked, Torah was still in the Canon. Q&C

Paul said in v.3 that they have not submitted to the righteousness of Elohim. What is the righteousness of Elohim? Jer.33.16 gives one of the Names of Elohim as “Y’hovah Tzidkenu”, Y’hovah (Yeshua) our righteousness, and Deut.6.25 says that it is our righteousness to be in submission to Y’hovah – in obedience to his commands. Can you see that ‘they’ in v.3 means both Jews and Gentiles, who comprise Israel (without the Y)? Jews have not submitted to the righteousness of Elohim … how? I thought they had an understanding of Torah. They do, but they submit to the righteousness of their man-made traditions OVER Torah. That was Yeshua’s main point to them; he was calling them to repentance from tradition and toward Torah. They would not acknowledge that Yeshua is Torah.

Every Christian understands that, but they don’t usually see how THEY have not submitted to the righteousness of Elohim, either. They have accepted Yeshua’s free gift to them, but have not submitted themselves in that they have rejected 2/3 of Y’hovah’s revelation as binding on them. They know that Yeshua is the Word of Y’hovah, but then reject the authority in their lives of 2/3 of his very Words. So, both Jews and Gentiles, which are shown by Sha’ul to be Yisrael in Eph.2.11ff and in Rom.11.5-24, have rejected … what? Both have failed in submission to Y’hovah’s Word.

Now, remember that works of Torah justify noone. Works of Torah naturally follow him who has repented of his sins, trusted in Y’hovah Tzidkenu (Mashiyach) and studied his Word; for without knowledge of his Word, he cannot know what sin is (Rom.7.7).

In Aramaic, the Word = the Memra. The Memra in Hebraic mystical thought is the Creative force of Y’hovah The Greek calls it ‘Logos’. Creation is not a one-time thing in an absolute sense. He did finish his ex nihilo creative work in 6 days, but he must be constantly creating to uphold his creation. If he stops speaking, the universe will dissolve.

9 Y’hovah is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of Y’hovah will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Then all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ought ye to be in holy conversation and Godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Elohim, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2Pe.3.9-12)

The creation has no intrinsic being; doesn’t exist of itself. If it did, IT would be Y’hovah, like the evolutionists believe it is. Creation is the object that was created by Y’hovah, without whose Spirit’s energizing, it would just stop moving. As an example, a ball is inanimate, it cannot move by itself, it needs an outside source of energy to move it. When something pushes the ball it moves as far as the energy exerted on the ball will move it. Likewise, creation. If Y’hovah had just created it and left it to itself it would be just like our ball. Now, if Y’hovah creates something, but then forgets about it, what will happen to it? It will cease to exist (like our forgiven sins that he decides to not remember, Jer.31.34). He must keep on creating it, keep on speaking it into existence or it will cease to be. His ex nihilo creation was a one time affair, but his sustaining creation will go on until after the GWT judgment when death and hell are thrown into the Lake of Fire, which itself may be an allusion to the ultimate dissolution of all matter in 2Pe.3.9-12.

Yeshua is the Memra/Word of Y’hovah by whom all that is came into existence, consists and is sustained; 

15 Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Col.1.15-17). 

John says it in the first verses of his gospel. 

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1.1-3, 14)

John understood the concept of the Memra as an emanation of Y’hovah, the very Son of Elohim, Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach.  Q&C

V.4 is one of the most misunderstood verses in scripture. It is misunderstood because most in the church see the word ‘end’ to mean ‘doing away with’ or perhaps just to make useless or vain. Yeshua does not make Torah vain. He fulfills another meaning of ‘end’ – he is Torah’s purpose. A Christian friend of mine with whom I have a disagreement about this very subject once said he was going out street preaching. I said, “To what end?” He said to be used in the witness of the Word. He knew the meaning of ‘end’, as it is used in this verse, but he assumes through his learning and the teachings of many good men who sincerely had it wrong that it actually means Yeshua = the abolition of Torah. 

Mashiyach is the purpose of Torah, not its termination. Torah points to Mashiyach. He, in fact, IS Torah in a very real sense. Moshe DESCRIBES the righteousness which comes by living Torah. Look at Dev.30.11-14 (I know it’s in next week’s Torah portion, but bear with me.) Start in v.9 to get the context:

9 And Y’hovah thy Elohim will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for Y’hovah will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Y’hovah thy Elohim, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book Torah, and if thou turn unto Y’hovah thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

The righteousness of Torah, which Y’hovah requires of us if we desire NOT TO SIN, is right with us, not off in the far blue sky or beyond the far blue sea. We KNOW how we are to live. This is the faith once delivered to the saints (Jd.3). Biblical faith is not mere belief or mental assent to a series of theological truths. It is DOING what Y’hovah requires. The Israelites that Sha’ul was speaking of in vv.1-2 were zealous, but not for this righteousness. They had works of righteousness, unmixed with faith. 

In reality, Torah is still in force and has the same dual nature it has always had; it convinces us of death and evil while it brings life and good to those who trust Y’hovah and follow him (Dt.30.15). If that were not true, my Xian friend would not go street preaching, for that is HIS (that is, both my street-preaching friend’s and Yeshua’s) end in doing it – to convince folks of the death and curse of disobedience in going their own way and to show them the life and blessing that comes from repentance and obedience to go Elohim’s way. 

 V.5 continues the thought in v.4, 

“For Moshe describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” 

Does it say that we live eternally BY keeping Torah, or that Torah is the guide by which we live our lives? The latter, no doubt, ‘for by works of law shall no flesh be justified.’ 

V.6 begins with the word ‘but.’ The Grk word is de, which can be translated any of 5 or 6 ways, including and, or, but, also, moreover, now. If the author meant ‘the opposite’, he would probably have used alla as he did in Rom.1.21, ‘neither were thankful, BUT’. It means to go the exact opposite direction to that prescribed. Alla is always negation, while de denotes affirmation. 

So, the ‘righteousness which is of faith’ speaks to the righteousness we perform because we have faith, which according to Eph.2.9 is a gift from Elohim, not of ourselves lest we boast. But what does the righteousness which is of faith say? (Notice the # of the pronoun)

Dt.30.10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Y’hovah Elohecha, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto Y’hovah Elohecha with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

Why is the Word nigh unto thee? It is so that you can do it. 

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1.22) 

The pronouns are all 2nd person singular. Y’hovah, through Moshe, was speaking to each of us, individually. Notice that when the objects of the verses (thee, thou, thine, etc.) speak, they use the first person plural. Each was looking for a corporate justification, sanctification and glorification, when Y’hovah gives all that to individuals who THEN become parts of his body and corporately receive rights and privileges. We are graffed into the root of Yeshua individually, but the graffing makes us members of an assembly. Each is taken from one group; i.e., the lost, to become a member of another; i.e., the found, the justified.

So let me disabuse you of a grievous error of the church; Torah observance was NEVER about salvation. The Hebrews did NOT have to keep Torah perfectly in order to be saved. Had that been true then all those animal sacrifices were just useless cruelty imposed by Y’hovah – a thing that is impossible. A sacrifice was needed to make the offerer blameless before Y’hovah. ‘Blamelessness’ is the key. The blame was transferred to the offering. Remember that the apostle Sha’ul was blameless according to Torah 

4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in TORAH, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Mashiyach. (Phil.3.4-6), 

as were Elisheva and Zacharyah, Yochanan the Immerser’s parents; 

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named ZacharYah, of the course of AviYah: and his wife of the daughters of Aharon, and her name was Elisheva. 6 And they were both righteous before Elohim, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Master blameless. (Lk.1.6). 

Let’s look at the word blameless.

In 1Cor.1.8 (also 1Tim.3.10 and Tit.1.6&7), the Greek word is anengklaytos, unaccusable, irreproachable: literally uncalled out. This implies that we are not always blameless. We are made blameless by the application of 1Jn.1.9 – confession and repentance. In Philippians, the word is amemptos, irreproachable, without fault. In 1Tim.3.2 (also 5.7), the word is anepileptos, from a negation of epilambanomai, literally unarrested, not seized. In 2Pe.3.14, the Greek word is amometos, without censure, unable to discredit. Notice please, nowhere does the word mean innocent. It means that we are unchargeable with any crime or wrongdoing. Our blame has been transferred to another so that we are found ‘Not Guilty’ in Y’hovah’s court. This was the purpose of the animal sacrifices in the Temple. Those of us who are in Mashiyach have no need for the animal sacrifices; in fact, we would be sinning grievously to perform one for a sin offering because we’d be saying that Yeshua’s once for all offering was insufficient in our eyes. Heb.10 says,

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

That was the whole point of the book of Hebrews, for the believing Priests who believed [“not a few” in Acts 6.7] in Jerusalem were actually considering going back to the Temple to offer sacrifices for sin. Everything that came before was for the express purpose of getting here, and everything that follows illustrates it. Paul was telling them that the sin sacrifice in the Temple is so much wasted effort; there is no more sacrifice for sins (v.26). Not only that, but to offer a sin offering when one knows that Yeshua’s offering was sufficient was walking all over him, counting his offering unworthy and thinking the Spirit of grace of no value. If you can find a better definition of blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, I’d love to see it. 

The nation was saved by the blood of the Lamb at Passover, as are we. They were to shema Torah, that is to hear it and obey it (kill the lamb and spread its blood on the doorposts and lintel) because Y’hovah saved them from physical Egyptian exile, as Yeshua (who is Y’hovah) saves us from our spiritual Egyptian exile (in the world), and will do so again physically when the ‘greater Egypt’, the NWO and the Anti-Mashiyach Satanic system, imposes itself on us, demanding our worship. Our salvation and their salvation was, is and always will be by the same means: trusting Y’hovah to deliver on his promises by the instrumentality of his Mashiyach. Yeshua’s ONE offering both saves us and ATONES for us, making us all more than blameless before Avinu. He makes us clean. He reconciles us to Abba. We still need to repent and confess when we sin, but there is no more need for sacrifice to make us blameless. Our reconciliation and propitiation has been made by the death of Y’hovah Yeshua, ONCE. Q&C

Vv.7-9 – Paul is making another Midrashic point. He is quoting De.30.10-14 and applying it to going after Mashiyach. Mashiyach Yeshua IS Torah, so the application is absolutely valid (as if it needed my endorsement, eh?). The point of the whole passage is that those who were in the wilderness (like us) and about to go into the Promised Land (like us) had Mashiyach right there in their hearts and minds in the form of Torah for the purpose that they (and we) obey it and him. Look at De.30.10 and 14 again. What are we supposed to hearken to? The Voice of Y’hovah; the Memra. What is it that is very nigh? The Word; the Memra. Yeshua is the Memra of Y’hovah, his Word and his Voice. He was right there with them in the Shekinah.

So, in v.9, what is it that we confess? Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach; the Memra; the Voice and the Word of Y’hovah. What do we believe? That Elohim has raised Yeshua from the dead. A parallel passage to this is Phil.2.10-11,

10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiyach is Master, to the glory of יהוה the Father.

That is another Midrashic application of Is.45.23 to Yeshua. That passage from Isaiah is also recited every day by the Orthodox Jews in their Aleinu prayer (We shall extol). 

All the world’s inhabitants will recognize and know that unto thee every knee should bend, every tongue should swear (Isaiah 45:23). Before You, Adonai Elohenu, they will bend every knee and cast themselves down and to the glory of Thy Name they will render homage and they will all accept upon themselves the yoke of Thy kingship that Thou mayest reign over them soon and eternally.

For then shall the words be fulfilled, “Y’hovah shall be king forever” (Exodus 15:18) and “Y’hovah shall be king over all the earth; on that day shall there be one Y’hovah and His Name one.” (Zechariah 14:9).

Paul is showing the Jews in Rome and in Philippi that Yeshua is the answer to that Aleinu prayer that they had been reciting for over 500 years by the time he wrote his epistles. 

In v.9-15, Paul describes justification. Remember to put this passage in its overall context. The Roman believers are mainly gentiles who are attending one of the synagogues there for biblical instruction. Remember also the Jerusalem council in Acts.15, where the gentiles were told that their justification is valid and they needed to hold to a few requirements to attend the synagogues. Look at Acts.15.19-21 Ya’akov, Yeshua’s brother presiding.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to Y’hovah: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moshe of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

Please notice that it was expected of them that they go to the synagogue on Shabbat to receive more instruction in righteousness (2Tim.3.16, 17), which comes from Torah (Moshe). There was no need to require but the most basic things of the gentile converts. If they were really after the heart of Y’hovah, they would hear his Torah and obey it. The gentiles were justified at the time they trusted Y’hovah Yeshua, as were the Yehudim who asked the question of the council in the first place. Now they needed some instruction, as they could not be expected to know all Y’hovah’s righteous requirements for living in an instant of time. 

In vv.9-10, we see what proves our justification – belief and confession of Y’hovah Yeshua. Then in v.11 we see that those who are truly justified will not be ashamed of their justification, which shows in the public confession of belief. Everything from then on requires Torah instruction. 

Vv.10-13 – So which is the formula, confess and then believe (v.9) or believe and then confess (v.10)? The answer is … YES! They work in conjunction towards our justification – the one synergistically complementing the other; like soup and sandwich, spaghetti and meatballs, cheese and wine, Rowan and Martin, Martin and Lewis, Lewis and Sullivan, Starsky and Hutch, etc.

V.11 quotes Is.28.16, kind of, again. Isaiah says that he that believes shall not make haste. We spoke of this earlier. If we get ahead of Elohim, trying to help him out, like Avraham and Sarah did, we run the risk of messing it all up and Y’hovah will have to deliver us supernaturally, as he did Avraham and Sarah. They believed his promise, but were impatient for his fulfillment. This almost always spells trouble. The verse from Isaiah that Sha’ul misquoted midrashically at the end of ch.9, he misquotes again right here. Paul again makes it clear that Yeshua is the Rock of Offense. The important word in v.11 is ‘whosoever’, because Sha’ul defines it in v.12 – No difference between Jew and Greek. Why? There is no difference because they each serve the same Y’hovah who calls them. Both Jew and Gentile are saved by calling on the same Y’hovah. Q&C

Vv.14-18 – Paul is still speaking of Israel, his brethren after the flesh. But he is making the case here that ‘they’ are without excuse, which is the reason he is torn up about their having missed Mashiyach Yeshua and the Kingdom that he offered. They were thinking in the pre-conceptions of their rabbis, much like I used to think in the pre-conceptions that I learned in Bible school. I thank Y’hovah every day that he didn’t let me finish and go on to Cementary, where they add a lot of hardener to the mud. I had an instructor who said, “Gentlemen, your minds are moosh. It shall be my job to form and aggregate them.” He was going to take my soft heart and shape it the way HE wanted and then make that form unbreakable, i.e., hard. The rhetorical questions Paul is asking here are not to the Roman Xians whom he is trying to encourage to preach Yeshua to the Jewish unbelievers, though that may also be a valid application. It is to prove that Israel after the flesh KNEW what their calling was and that they failed in it. 

Israel was to be different from the nations in a number of ways to show that they served a different Elohim. The things that made them distinctive were designed to make the nations jealous (and it succeeded where it was applied). If Israel would DO what Y’hovah told them and maintain the distinctions, Y’hovah would bless them beyond reason. The blessings would be so readily apparent that the pagans would naturally want to know why and Israel would be able to do the work of the evangelist: “We serve the Elohim of the universe, not a local deity. We plow the same ground that you plow, but we have a garden and you have a desert because the Elohim we serve blesses us with abundance for no other reason than that we serve him and are called by His Name.” 

Is that what Israel did? Some did I’m sure, but for the most part they were just like you and me – on again, off again. And the more they were off; the harder it was to turn back on; corrosion on the wires or something. Have you ever tried to start your car when there is a great buildup of corrosion on the cables? Sin corrodes. You have to clean the connection before the juice can flow. When there’s sin on your heart, it needs to be cleaned so the Spirit can move through you. Yeshua cleans the crud. Israel’s pagan neighbors never heard of Y’hovah because Israel kept the blessing to itself. Instead of encouraging them to come to assemblies to learn of Y’hovah’s Torah, they shut them out. Do you see a ‘Court of the Gentiles’ anywhere in the blueprints for the Mishkan (tabernacle)? How about the Beit haMikdash (Temple)? Is Elohim the Elohim of the Jews only, Or of the Gentiles also? Yes, of the gentiles also (3.29). 

The idea was that people were to live for Y’hovah and show their distinction in their obedience and the blessings that accrued therefrom. This would engender jealousy and a desire for the same blessings. This would make the called out people of the nations ask. If the pagan comes to you to ask what is reason for the hope that is within you, he already believes that you have a knowledge that he needs and he wants that knowledge. Y’hovah has pre-qualified him for you. So you get to tell your pagan buddy about Y’hovah Yeshua. So you get to teach him Torah so he can go out and preach in the same manner, by his new and distinct lifestyle of obedience to Y’hovah and His blessing. And the cycle will continue. 

The gospel we are preaching is the simplest thing in the world. Y’hovah has given all mankind a blueprint to follow. It is called Torah – instructions. If we follow the instructions, he blesses us. If we don’t follow the instructions, he curses us. Do all the people who are called by the Name of Y’hovah Yeshua obey? Will every pagan who asks obey? No way, dude! But if they believe what you say about Y’hovah, they will obey; they will have Shalom with Y’hovah, and all the blessings that follow. And that will encourage them to keep on in obedience, which will bring the same blessings and perhaps even more. And that will bring people to them who want to know. And the cycle continues. 

So who calls upon whom? Yes! He calls us to call upon him. How can one call on Y’hovah’s Name if they never hear (Sh’ma) it? If an unbeliever knows his Name, and speaks it, he is as guilty of taking his Name in vain the same as a believer is if he denies Him or acts outside of His character. How can they hear if noone tells (kara) them? How can one tell who isn’t sent (sholiach)? In v.16 we see that not all obeyed the gospel of peace. It does NOT say ‘not all believed’, but ‘not all obeyed’. OBEYING the gospel is biblical faith. BTW, if not ALL obeyed, SOME must have obeyed – RIGHT? So we first get peace (justification), then healing of our sinfulness (obedience). The one follows, indeed necessitates, the other. No peace/no faith.

V.17 says that FAITH is by hearing, which is by the Torah of Elohim. ‘Hearing’ would be translated from Hebrew ‘Shema’, which is not just receipt of an auditory message. It includes receipt and acknowledgement of the receipt by doing what the message says. Israel knew their present predicament was coming, if they believed Moshe. Unfortunately, most didn’t. Moshe had told them that provocation would come from ‘not my people’ (Lo Ammi? Hos.1). Then they failed to heed the Nevi’im, as well, for Yeshayahu said that these ‘Lo Ammi’ would find Y’hovah when he manifested himself to them, while Israel would not hearken to Y’hovah’s repeated attempts to call them to repentance and obedience. The “Lo Ammi” would not replace Israel, but be graffed into the root of Mashiyach, as we can see in Romans 11. Another time.

Now Yisrael in v.18 DID Shema. All the earth heard their report. Some believed; some didn’t. When I say the whole earth heard, I mean the whole earth. During the reigns of David and Shlomo, the Israelite/Lebanese navies (Phoenicians) went all over the world. They set up fortress cities in strategic places to keep the world’s treasures to themselves. Carthage, in Africa, was an Israelite garrison, as were Cadiz and Majorca in Iberia/Spain. The Carthaginian navy guarded the Straits of Gibraltar to keep other Mediterranean powers IN, and any extra-Mediterranean powers OUT. As the Phoenician navy went all over the world, they carried the gospel of Shalom with Y’hovah with them. Q&C

Vv.19-21 – Who is the foolish nation? First of all, what is a fool in biblical parlance? Ps.14.1 and 53.1 say respectively

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no Elohim. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Abominable works = disobedience.

1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no Elohim. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. Iniquity = Torahlessness.

So, a fool is an Elohim unto himself. He thinks there is no ‘higher power’ to which he will answer. So a foolish nation is one that believes IT answers to no one. Sounds like – US!

 

Who do you suppose those who are no people could be speaking of? Hos.1.8-9 says

8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 Then said Elohim, Call his name Lo-Ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your Elohim.

Hosea is written specifically to the northern 10 tribes of Israel who were carried afar off and assimilated into the nations of the earth. They eventually migrated all over the known world, and remember that the whole world was known to the sons of Ya’akov. SO! A foolish nation who is not a people will provoke the Jews to jealousy. Who would that be? 

It had been Yehudah’s and Israel’s job to follow Y’hovah and receive his blessings so they could provoke the nations to jealousy. Israel went after other Elohims and was divorced from Y’hovah and sent into exile ‘afar off’, but Yehudah also went after other Elohims but was NOT divorced and a believing remnant was kept ‘nigh’. But even the believing remnant went astray. They kept fealty to Y’hovah’s Torah, but they also trusted the ‘Oral Torah’ – and some trusted ‘oral torah’ more than Y’hovah’s written Torah. These were nigh, but not on Derech Hashem, the way of Y’hovah. Now look at Eph.2.11-22 keeping all that in mind.

In v.20, Sha’ul tells us that in 65.1 Isaiah was speaking about US, gentiles after the flesh and in v.21 he says that in 65.2 Isaiah is speaking about the Jews, Israel after the flesh.

I am sought of them that asked not for me ; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. (That’s us, Israel) 2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people (That’s Yehudah), which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

That sounds like Hosea 1.10, where Y’hovah says he will call those who are NOT his people ‘My people’, and those who have not obtained mercy, ‘Mercy’. And Paul has shown us in Eph.2 that Yeshua’s purpose was to call gentile Israel to himself after their 750-year exile and to call Yehudah away from the siding they’d gotten themselves stranded on. 

The Jews got themselves all puffed up with their position in Y’hovah’s kingdom plan. When they refused to listen to their Creator when he came to speak to them pan’yim l’pan’yim, face to face, he left them to their prideful attitude – but he did not forsake them; like the 7K of whom EliYahu was clueless. He left them a faithful remnant, as he always had, who trusted him and not their own wisdom. Then, he set about to fulfill his promise to ‘provoke to jealousy by a nation not called by his Name’ – gentile-ized/paganized descendants of the 10 northern tribes and some mixt multitude gentiles. Now the believers in Yeshua have been made the head and not the tail (Dt.28.44), instead of Yehudah. 

We do not have to do the will of Y’hovah. We can do our own thing. We have free will. But, if we do our own thing, we get to be the tail and not the head, the debtor instead of the lender. To quote Mel Brooks from The History of the World, Pt.1, “It’s good to be King!” 

However, we need to be careful not to do what Yehudah did in pride of our being made partakers of the Commonwealth of Israel and graffed into the root of Y’hovah Yeshua. It is the Commonwealth of YISRAEL, not of the gentiles. The root is Yeshua, but the olive tree is YISRAEL. We’ll look at this in greater detail in ch.11 – another time. Q&C

End of Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 19, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 19, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 45

Deuteronomy 28:1-29:9 – Isaiah 55:2 – Psalm 142 – John 14:1-31

Links: 

Devarim 28:1-14 – To ‘hearken diligently’ is to pay attention, to not only hear the words, but to actively listen. The Hebrew says, if you sh’moa tish’ma; a double use of the same root verb, shema, which indicates an intensive application of the root verb; to internalize the action so that it causes a lasting effect on your way of living. I think you can say the same thing for the double use of the phrase, “if you hearken … to the Voice of Y’hovah Elohecha.” Not just to hear it, but to make his Word an integral part of your life. “IF” you’ll do that, the blessings will follow, like spring follows winter. They won’t follow for long, because before very long they will overtake you and actually lead you for as long as you shema hakol Y’hovah, listen to Y’hovah’s voice. 

V.3 begins the list of blessings, as they follow to v.14. These blessings don’t spring up fully developed as soon as we start obeying, but they build up until we can actually recognize the blessings as Y’hovah enumerates them. We will be blessed where we are. We will be blessed in our persons, in our produce, in our livestock and, if we live within the walls of a city, in our businesses. That which we use to carry or to store our produce will be blessed. I think this has to do with not seeing any disease or plague in our stuff, like mold (leprosy of the house) or pests (like mice in the storehouse). We will be blessed in all we do, whether at home or on the road. Our enemies will be united as they attack us, but will be in total disarray as they run from us, like the British troops from Old Hickory’s at New Orleans in 1814. Y’hovah brings all these blessings because we are careful to do as he has commanded us and not to slip to one side or the other. The whole earth will see that we are blessed and will be afraid to go against us in anything, knowing that Y’hovah will protect us and curse them. They knew what had happened to Paroh and Og of Bashan. And as long as we do not decline to the right or to the left, Y’hovah will continue to bless us. 

Until the 15 years between 1947 and 1962, this blessing was the story of the united States of America. When the British marched on Lexington and Concord, the British Empire was the world’s SuperPower. Noone in his right mind would pick a fight with England. 

James Warren first proposed the ‘Committees of Correspondence’ to Samuel Adams, which was a letter writing campaign between patriots in all the colonies, documenting the usurpations of King George III. On June 16, 1775, he was the President of the Massachusetts Provincial Council that wrote this;

Resolved in Provincial Council, Watertown, Massachusetts, June 16, 1775:

“As it has pleased Almighty Elohim in his providence to suffer the calamities of an unnatural war to take place among us in consequence of our sinful declensions from him and our great abuse of those inestimable blessings bestowed upon us, and as we have reason to fear that unless we become a penitent and reformed people we shall feel still sorer tokens of his displeasure, and as the most effectual way to escape those dissilating (breaking open) judgments which so evidently hang over us, and if it may be obtained, the restoration of our former tranquility will be that we repent and return everyone from his iniquities unto him that correcteth us, which if we do in sincerity and truth, we have no reason to doubt but he will remove his judgments, cause our enemies to be at peace with us, and prosper the work of our hands.”

At the time he wrote that, America was a 3rd world country. By the 1860’s Britain was still powerful, but in decline and America was growing by leaps and bounds because the people walked in Y’hovah’s commandments. By 1920, America had eclipsed Britain in power; both economic, military and political. This was all because America was a Elohim-fearing nation until the 1920s. The government had already begun the gradual declension to its present pitiful state of Godlessness and the church leadership was slipping into and teaching lawlessness, but the people were still by and large Elohim-fearing. Even when the Supreme Court threw Elohim out of the public schools in the 1960s, the people were still, by and large, God-fearing. But when official America turned its back on Y’hovah, he allowed them to start to really feel his curses. The blessings that were the rule, began to slip away and the curses started to creep up behind. By the late 1970s, less than 10 years after the Supremes made Molech worship a government sanctioned religion, the balance had occurred and by the late 1980s the balance had obviously changed to more curse than blessing. Because the changes were gradual, we didn’t notice so much as it was happening, but now, those of us who are old enough to remember what America was like before the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s are beginning to die off. And those of us who are still alive in another 5 years will know that we allowed it to happen because we liked our sin more than we loved our Mashiyach. 

Let’s see what the curses look like and ask ourselves if they are not happening to one degree or another as we speak. Q&C

Vv.15-68 – BUT, if you DON’T obey my commands; if you breach our contract, all these curses will come to you. Notice that the general tenor is that the curse is the opposite of the blessing, very much like what was to be pronounced from Mounts Gerezim and Ebal after they crossed Yarden to receive the land of promise. Again, the curses will eventually overtake us, pass us by and be waiting for us in our future – if we let it get that far. Remember that these curses are meant to encourage our repentance, not to physically destroy us. But that will be the ultimate result if we do not repent and start going his way.

The list of curses begins with the thesis statement; curses in the cities and in the fields; in the petty supplies in your house and in the grand supplies in your storehouses. You will start seeing diseases in the produce of your fields and businesses and birth defects among your children and your livestock. The basket and store (v.17-18) I see as metaphors for women’s wombs and by extension of the curse of abortion in our own day.  Most, if not all, you do will come to naught. Chumash has an interesting comment based on Ramban on pg.174. I see from applying Ramban that government sanction of abortion brings the curse on the wombs of America, which we have seen in her declining birth rates, followed by a curse on her wealth. Did you know that in 1960, 90% of Americans (180M) were native born, but today fully 1/3 (90M) are foreign born? Our population has grown by almost 150 million in that time, but almost all of the growth is from “immigration”, whether legal or illegal. From v.21 on, Y’hovah gets extremely specific about what will befall us, and there are 48 verses of curses to come. 

Here are some of the curses Y’hovah promises us if we refuse to obey him. V.20, the thesis statement of the rest of the chapter, says ‘cursing, vexation and rebuke’. ‘Cursing’ is from H3994, merah מרה, ‘to oppose’, an execration, meaning a great loathing or contempt. ‘Vexation’ is from H4103, m’humah, with a root H1949, huwm הום, meaning uproar, agitation. And ‘rebuke is from H4045, migereth, root H1605, ga’ar גער, to rebuke, inhibit or chide. The mem prefix usually means ‘from’. So, when we contemptuously disregard his commands and forsake our covenant with him, Y’hovah is going to send contempt from agitated scolding. He’ll be ticked and we’ll get back everything we gave him. He is going to 

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. (Proverbs 26:5)

A part of that is that he will ‘make the pestilence cleave’ to us in v.21. America’s farmers are not going to like the next sentences. No matter how hard we try, v.22 says we will not be able to escape the (meanings of the root words follow the KJV word in parentheses) consumption (emaciation), fever (burn), inflammation (flame), burning (glow – dry up), sword (drought with a cutting effect), blasting (scorch) or mildew (pallor – yellowish green of young, unhealthy vegetation) (7 types of curses which seem to mostly talk about the effects of a drought) until we either die or repent and start going his way. All of those Hebrew words are plural, which means whatever the root is, we’ll be getting it in spades. 

Vv.23-24 speak about what the drought will seem like to the not-so-casual observer. Stone’s Chumash has a VERY interesting comment by Rashi on v.24, pg.176. What rain may fall will make the effects of the drought even worse. Can you say “dust bowl”? I saw some of that in 2015 year on my trip home from Colorado; clouds of dust rising as much as 100 feet with each passing car on the dirt roads of Nebraska – Indiana. If there had been severe winds, they might have caught the dust and carried it to the clouds, where it might have fallen as dirty rain. Add the dust kicked up by normal activity to the mud falling and you can see some major damage to any crops that may break through the surface. 

Vv.25-26 has the blessing of the enemy’s fear of us turned to a curse against us. As a result of our military rout, armies fleeing in abject terror from their adversaries, we will either be carried away to other nations as slave labor or be left, dead and dying to the scavenging carrion eaters. The animals that are feeding on the carcasses will be so hungry that they will not be frightened away, but guard and fight for their source of meat. 

V.27 – Survivors of the hasty retreat will find themselves with ulcerous growths on their skin like those of the 6th plague of Egypt, 

8 And Y’hovah said unto Moshe and unto Aharon, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moshe sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Paroh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Paroh; and Moshe sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth blains upon man, and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moshe because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. (Ex.9.8-11)

But, as if the ulcerous boil weren’t enough, they will get to deal with hemorrhoids, scabs (kinda like psoriasis), and an itch that will not abate, as well. All of this will result in the conditions in vv.28-29. 

Oh, JOY! I truly can’t imagine NOT going mad after living this far into a drought, being defeated in a military rout and watching thousands of my countrymen die before my eyes, the resultant sickness and disease, and with no end in sight, ESPECIALLY knowing the cause. The blindness of heart that he speaks of in v.28 is illustrated in v.29, where one can’t see any way out and there is noone to help. A sightless man could expect that someone will help him find his way during the day, but the sighted might not recognize his blindness at night. And during a time of not just physical, but also spiritual darkness, the natural man will likely be thinking of only himself and not even consider a fellow in need. Q&C

Vv.30-35 speak of what will happen to the blessing of multiplicity in all they do when Y’hovah removes his mercy because they have forsaken his covenant. Their wives will be taken by other men; children taken from before their eyes and delivered into slavery in a distant place, perhaps never to be seen again; fruits of their labors stolen and not returned; property destroyed with no recourse or any benefit derived; all in addition to the plagues of Egypt being visited on them. 

Vv.36 says that Y’hovah shall deliver them and their king into exile to serve other, lesser Elohims. This exile will make the one in Egypt look like a midway ride; harrowing but fun. 

Vv.37-42 speak of the wasted effort in all they do. Their enemies will see them and actually understand that this calamity has fallen on them because they forsook a covenant made with Y’hovah, and perhaps even recognize that it is Y’hovah who is using Israel’s enemies to bring the chastisement and cursing upon his people who are too spiritually dense to understand. 

I think I see the 2012 growing season in vv.38-40. There was so much loss of feed crops in America’s plains that the cattlemen are selling portions of their herds for slaughter rather than pay the higher cost for feed. This may have kept the price of meat more affordable in the groceries for awhile (if you consider the meat prices affordable), but what will happen if there is ANOTHER bad growing season due to the continuing drought and the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest source of fresh water in the WORLD, greater even than the Great Lakes? Higher feed costs, a smaller supply of meat and a greater demand for produce to feed people will drive all those prices through the roof. 

Vv.43-44 have the strangers within our gates being set above us, lending to us and not borrowing from us, leading us about like beasts of burden by the rings in our noses. 

Bottom line is that America and the rest of the formerly Xian/Yisraelite world is in breach of contract with Y’hovah, and he is merely fulfilling his promise to us. 

Vv.45-57 speak of absolutely horrendous conditions in which Israelites are reduced to the most abominable practices just to stay alive. It reminds me of some of Yeshua’s prophetic words

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (MathitYahu 24.5-13)

AENT has in v.13, “But whoever has patience until the end, he will have life.”

Yeshua was very general in that speech, but he was a LOT more specific in our Torah parsha for today, where he says very plainly that the further into debauchery and iniquity they go, the more horrendous will be his chastisement until they either repent or perish. Because they would not serve Y’hovah, but their own bellies, he will send these curses to them, with the purpose of getting them to see how they have forsaken him and lost his blessings because of it; those blessings being given to their enemies until they are completely used up with no chance of them ever being restored – UNTIL Y’hovah’s people repent and cry out for his deliverance.

Once again, we see in vv.45-47 that the curses will not just pursue them and catch them, but overtake them so there will be absolutely no way to escape in their own strength. They thought that all Y’hovah’s blessings were theirs by RIGHT! They are NOT; they are theirs by covenant, which they broke! When Israel is in bondage to their enemies in v.48, they will be given bare subsistence, like the poor of the third world today, or worse, and will serve the needs and wants of their masters. Basically, Uncle Esav will hold all the cards for a while. Q&C

Vv.49-51 sure look to me like what’s about to befall America, perhaps before the next Presidential election (if there is one). America is so deep in debt that she is all but owned by China, the last 4 administrations have pretty much given every natural resource to them as payment for all the debt they have purchased, and they will demand payment soon to keep the cash flowing and the illusion alive. After all, China will need to keep our market alive to sell the crapola they produce. This is all a re-enactment of the Assyrian coming against Israel and Yehudah, placing J’lem under siege in ChizkiYahu’s days (Is.36-37), except that I don’t see a king of ChizkiYahu’s stature or humility in D.C. and haven’t in at least 35 years, maybe 60. Hell, maybe 100! V.52’s walls can be seen as America’s economic power, which has become mainly agricultural since we’ve shipped most of our manufacturing OUTCONUS, and perhaps even its military power being brought to nothing. As a result, vv.53-57 will follow close after the power vacuum is felt; the nation that so recently led the world in all important areas will be reduced to not just cannibalism, but to cannibalizing each person his own children. Again, this very thing was seen in the Assyrian siege of J’lem and will be seen again in America. But America will go down to ruin because there is no king like ChizkiYahu here. The one we have now is marginally better than the last 4, but he really ain’t no prize. Though he COULD be, if he were to truly repent and shuv to Y’hovah. 

Vv.58-62 – Because they have broken Y’hovah’s covenant by refusing to obey his Statutes and Commandments, Y’hovah will send all the loathsome diseases that he had sent on Egypt to get Israel to see what her obstinacy has wrought for them. But v.61 goes even further, saying that not just the plagues of Egypt, but NEW plagues that never had been up to that point, would be visited upon them. Let’s see, AIDS, Ebola, MRSA, the flesh eating virus, and more were all unheard of 40 years ago; and only Y’hovah knows what else he’ll allow our germ warfare guys to invent between now and ‘Stuff Hits The Fan’ day. 

Vv.63-68 – Y’hovah was delighted to bless us when we obeyed, and he will rejoice to remove those blessings and send the curses, knowing that they will cause his own to repent and call out to him for deliverance. He knows that the majority will just despair and not repent; they will curse him to his face for the calamity that he TOLD them would come if they forsook their covenant with him, but they forsook it anyway. They will actually blame him for faithfully keeping his Word to them when they became unfaithful and went to serving other Elohims of their own making. 

May this NOT be anyone reading or hearing this Bible Study today. May we all humble ourselves; seek HIS face and trust to HIS protection and not our own devices. If we are sensitive to the Spirit of Y’hovah and ask his counsel in all that we do, we will more likely keep from getting into the curses and stay under his blessings. As was the case with the blessings, the curses will build up ahead of us and take a while to get completely passed, even when we repent and start going his way again; we STILL have to bear the iniquity of our sins, which means suffer the physical consequences of our actions. But the blessings will begin to mix in with the residual curses and we SHOULD be able to see the tide turning before very long. Stick with it! Y’hovah has made the promise that IF you turn to him he will bless you. Every action that we take is followed by reward or punishment. The result follows the cause like spring follows winter and when we keep our eyes on the high calling of Mashiyach Yeshua and Y’hovah on his throne, we will head inexorably in the direction of his blessings. 

There is a major difference between Dev.28 and Vay. 26. Vayikra 26 is addressed to the nation as a whole, in the plural by Y’hovah Elohechem; but Devarim 28 is all in the singular, as if each individual was being addressed personally by Y’hovah Elohecha.

Devarim 29.1-9 – these last few verses of the 2nd iteration of Torah in Moshe’s own words are a kind of brief summary. In a mark paraphrase, Moshe said, “You saw what Y’hovah allowed Egypt to do to you, and how, when you called on him, he delivered you; and you saw how he sustained you for 40 years in the Wilderness by providing your every need of food and drink and miraculously preserving everything you own, not even allowing your clothes or shoes to wear out; and you saw how, when Og, the giant king of Bashan, and Sihon, the giant king of Ammon, came out against you that Y’hovah delivered them into your hands without you even suffering a hangnail. As Y’hovah was for you in Egypt and in the Wilderness, so will he be when you cross Yarden to take the land that he promised our fathers, Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov. Keep on trusting him, being faithful to his covenant and he will keep on protecting, preserving and polishing you to be all he intends you to be. Q&C

Isaiah 55:2 – This verse just points up the idea that all that effort you expend avoiding obedience only goes for nothing. All you get from dismissing your covenant with Y’hovah is wasting and frustration. It would be so much better and truly easier if we would just hearken diligently and obey his commands, for the blessings will just flow as if without any effort at all. Remember the first words of this Study? Moshe says that if we ‘hearken diligently’ to his commandments he will bless us out of our socks. YeshaYahu repeats it here. In both cases it is a restatement of the root word sh’ma שמע, to hear and do. This time it reads shim’u shamoa, rather than sh’moa tish’ma. The “double use of the same root verb, shema, indicates an intensive application of the root verb; to internalize the action so that it causes a lasting effect on your way of living.” When we do this with the Word, it feeds our spirit the stuff it needs to grow closer to what Y’hovah’s ultimate purpose is for our lives, to have our minds transformed into the image of Yeshua haMashiyach’s (Rom.12.2). 

Tehellim 142 – This psalm has a pretty cool chiastic structure. Let me print it for you.

1 I cried unto Y’hovah with my voice; with my voice unto Y’hovah did I make my supplication. 

2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. 

3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. 

4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 

5 I cried unto thee, O Y’hovah: I said, Thou my refuge my portion in the land of the living. 

6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 

7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

It’s a kind of descent into despair until the answer comes to David and then he ascends out of the ‘slough of despond’ (Pilgrim’s Progress) and into his full blessing.

David must have been reading Devarim 28 just before he wrote this Psalm, because it is such a great answer to the despair that must have come over Israel as they heard Moshe’s prophecy of what would befall them in future, as it nearly did to me as I worked my way through it this week. I am less worried for me than I am for the average human in the next few months or years. The trials will come and they will be hard to endure, and the average human has neither refuge nor hope in Y’hovah. The average human lives, or will live, in the despond of v.4,

4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

But, unlike the average human, David knows what needs to be done in that situation – turn to Y’hovah in repentance and contrition and he will turn the cursing into blessing, even as he turned blessing into cursing when we despised his covenant. Quicker, I would think, because he wants nothing so much as to bless his children. We will still have to contend with, bear, the physical consequences of our iniquities, but the blessings will begin to make them bearable, then make up for them and eventually, as we remain faithful to our covenant, the blessings will overtake the consequences and make them as a minor annoyance, as he promised, until the day we see him as he is and live in 100% blessing and shalom with him in Yeshua’s Kingdom and olam haba. Q&C

Yochanan 14:1-31Immediate background – In ch.13, Yeshua had told his talmidim that he was going for a while to a place they could not follow him, referring to his death

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

and Kefa asked why he couldn’t follow, not understanding the sod nature of Yeshua’s words. Yeshua answered him with a prophecy of what would transpire that very night while he was being ‘tried’ by the Jews (which word, I believe, refers to the Iuaidoi political leadership of the religion in Yerushalayim, not the ‘man in the street’).

38 Yeshua answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

And that is what set the stage for 14.1. 

Remember that there were no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts; chapters and verses are a relatively modern convention. Yeshua was still addressing Kefa about the thrice denial he’d just prophesied. I think that the exchange between Kefa and Yeshua in 13.36-38 was in confidence, and then in ch.14, he changed to addressing the whole group of talmidim to quell their similar apprehension at his last words to the group in 13.33-35. 

All 4 gospel writers recounted this event, but this time Yochanan agrees with 2 of the synoptics (Matt and Luke), but the 2 synoptics are slightly different than Kefa’s own account of the story in the book of Mark, which I think has an additional detail the other writers left out; that the cock would crow twice. Kefa knew ‘the REST of the story’, having known the whole thing first hand. Now, as you read ch.14, think ‘sod’ level, not just pashat. If you just think in the concrete, word on the page, sense and disregard the metaphorical sense, you will never understand Yeshua’s words. All through ch.14 (in fact, almost every word of Yeshua in Yochanan’s besorah is sod), Yeshua is speaking with at least a dual meaning. 

He told the group (Mark paraphrase) “Don’t be concerned! y’all believe Elohim, believe me, too.” He says that he is Y’hovah in human flesh right there. Remember what ‘in my name’ means; ‘in my authority’ or ‘in the same Ruach as mine’. Same thing here; ‘in me’ and ‘in Elohim’ are synonymous terms and he equates his Ruach with the Ruach of Y’hovah, which are echad and the same on ALL levels of PaRDeS. 

He goes on to say that there are many mansions, or dwelling places, in Abba’s house. Again, this has at least 2 levels of understanding; in this life (Temple and kahalim) and in the one to come (New Creation). He then makes reference to two things that he will do in the future, in the time his flesh is in the grave and also after his bodily ascension 40 days after his resurrection. He is preparing a place for each of us and for all of us in both spheres, temporal and eternal. And since he is preparing for us, he will return to receive us unto himself. This is Hebraic wedding-speak. Once the Ketubah (betrothal and legal marriage, but not co-habitation) was entered into, the husband would go back to his father’s house and prepare for his bride; he would build a home for them to live in and a business to support her. Only when his abba said the husband was ready to receive his bride to their new life would the Nesu-in, the marriage celebration and consummation, take place. This is the allusion Yeshua is making to his ‘macho-man’ talmidim, and they understood it full well. Then he said in a remez, or hint, that they knew where he was going and the Way to get there, but Thomas asks for clarification, being somewhat denser to the metaphor than even Kefa was. Yeshua answers with an even deeper reference in v.6. He said 

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to haAbba, but by (or through) me.

Each of those direct objects is a reference to the Word of Y’hovah. The Hebrew word for “Way” is Derech, as in Ramchal’s book Derech Hashem, “The Way of Y’hovah”. The Hebrew word for “Truth” is emeth, as in Yochanan 17.17, “Thy word is truth”, and Ps.119.160, “Thy Word is True”. The Hebrew word for “Life” is chai, as in Prov.3.1-2

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Yeshua is affirming the truth that Yochanan spoke in ch.1.1-4, 14,

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Q&C

In v.7 Yeshua uses another remez to tell them that he and Avinu are echad and the same. He says that because they know him they know Avinu. Now, I think Philip is asking Yeshua to reveal the glory of Y’hovah to them right there on the spot in v.8. Perhaps Kefa, Yacov and Yochanan had told them about Y’hovah speaking to them on the Mount of Transfiguration

1 And after six days Yeshua taketh Kefa, Yacov, and Yochanan his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moshe and EliYahu talking with him. 4 Then answered Kefa, and said unto Yeshua, Adoni it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Yeshua came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Yeshua only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Yeshua charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man … (Matt.17.1-9a)

If it were I, I’d have a REALLY hard time not telling the other 9 about it. And I think it was the same for the ‘inner circle’. Do you think that, if YOU were up on the Mount and saw the glory of Y’hovah, YOU’d be able to contain YOURself? If so, get over yourself and think again. Anyway, Yeshua says to Philip in vv.9-11 (Mark paraphrase), “Are you dense? I have been revealing his glory to you since the day I called you. I and Avi are ECHAD! (Jn.10.30)” 

He speaks in the remez again in vv.10-11 when he tells them that he is in Avi and Avi is in him. Y’hovah is the Ruach of Yeshua. Yeshua says he will cause the resurrection of the dead (Jn.6.39, 40, 44, 54). I don’t think that the flesh of Yeshua does any resurrecting or any other miraculous work by its own power, but by the power of Ruach of Y’hovah that indwelt him from the moment of his conception. In the literal sense, then, Y’hovah is IN Yeshua, and in the metaphorical sense, Yeshua is IN Y’hovah. He then makes the same statement as he did to the Pharisees, “Believe me or believe my works, it’s all the same.”

Then, in vv.12-14, he drops a bomb on them (Mark paraphrase), “You think I’VE done some wonderful works? YOU will do GREATER works than these! If you ask anything in MY NAME, I will do it.” There is no doubt in my mind that Yeshua is telling his talmidim that he is Y’hovah in human flesh. Moshe never told Israel to ask Y’hovah for anything in Moshe’s name, but Yeshua is telling his talmidim to ask in Yeshua’s Name, and that HE, Yeshua, will do it! To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, either he is as crazy as a man who claims that he is a poached egg, or he is a liar, or he is who he claims to be. There isn’t any other valid option. ALL of the men present with him in that room believe he is who he claims to be – and so do I. 

In vv.15-18 Yeshua drops another bomb. He again equates himself to Y’hovah by saying that the commandments are HIS and he expects us to obey them. Only AFTER that does he say that he will pray, or ask, Abba to give you another Comforter, as if the one follows the other. I infer that to mean, ‘show me your active, volitional choice to obey and I will give you the Spirit of Y’hovah to empower your obedience’. That’s the grace by which we are ‘saved’ (Eph.2.8). As to the Ruach who comforts us, Yeshua also equates himself to that Spirit of Y’hovah,

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14.18)

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, Ruach haEmeth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)

Y’hovah is echad (Dev.6.4) and the Spirit of Y’hovah is the Spirit of Yeshua, there is no differentiation between them. Only the flesh of Mashiyach Yeshua is different in any way; Y’hovah, Elohim, and Mashiyach are all one Spirit of the Almighty, echad. 

Vv.19-20 are another bomb, I think. He says that the world, by that I infer the world’s system, can’t see the spiritual truth that he is presenting, but they can because they understand, at least ‘in utero’, what he is saying to them and that they shall truly ‘get it’ when Y’hovah’s Ruach comes on them at the upcoming Feast of Shavuoth, Pentecost. Then they will know experientially that as Y’hovah is in Yeshua and Yeshua in Y’hovah, Ruach of Yeshua and Avinu will reside in them. And, in v.21, when Ruach haKodesh takes up residence in the spirits of men, he will empower them to shema, hear, know and do, Y’hovah Yeshua’s commandments, and thereby prove our love for him. Q&C

Vv.22-31 – Yehudah asked him how it will be that the talmidim will see him, but the world will not. So Yeshua goes into an explanation of how Ruach will illuminate our minds to his truth. If one loves Yeshua and his Word, Y’hovah will love him and Ruach of Y’hovah Yeshua will live in him, and that Spirit of Truth will reveal the truth to us, 

But Elohim hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Elohim. (I Corinthians 2:10)

Yeshua says that we can know those who love him by how they walk. Are they walking in his commandments? If yes, you are looking at a brother or a potential brother, because these are not the words of the man Yeshua, but the very Words of Y’hovah Elohenu. He tells them that Ruach will bring all things that he has taught them to their remembrance when they need it. I pray Y’hovah that he will do that with us when we need it in the not too distant future. 

Yeshua knows that the talmidim are feeling some apprehension because of his words about leaving and sending his Ruach to guide them, so he tells them that the Shalom he has with Y’hovah is the same Shalom he will leave with them. When Yeshua said that he followed up by telling them to not be troubled or afraid, because it is by his going to Avinu that he will be able to come to them by the instrumentality of Ruach haKodesh dwelling in them. Then he said (Mark paraphrase), ‘I tell you this now, so that when it comes to pass you will believe and KNOW without any doubt that I am who I claim to be and will do what I promise to do. I won’t say a lot more in this world, because the enemy is about to be given some more rope with which to hang himself. But, so the world will know that I love Abba, and as Abba has told me, I now tell you – keep my commandments. I have another appointment tonight, so let’s make like a tree.’ Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 12, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 12, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 44

Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26 – Isaiah 60:1-22 – Psalm 141 – Revelation 21:9-22:7

Links: 

http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm

Devarim 26:1-27:26 Vv.1-11 speak of the firstfruits of the harvests. The firstfruit would technically be the very first fruit to ripen on the stalk, vine of branch; like the first ripe fig or bunch of grapes or head of grain. The ‘sages’ say that the farmer would inspect his crop and the first fig he saw that was ripe he would tie a thread (a techeleth thread? – it doesn’t specify) on that branch to designate it and bring that produce to the Kohen as the firstfruit offering to Y’hovah. If this were the case, I must assume that every farmer in Israel, which was an agrarian society, would carry his firstfruits to J’lem at every ‘presentation Feast’, along with any tithe he would bring. I don’t think that either the firstfruit or the tithe could be brought from any distance for UnLeavened Bread (ULB), because the day of Chag haBikkurim isn’t until the 1st day following the Shabbat during ULB, UNLESS they waited to go up to J’lem AFTER chag habikkurim. But what if chag haBikkurim fell on the LAST day of ULB? The general barley harvest may not commence until the Kohen haGadol cut the first sheaf of barley on chag haBikkurim. It could be that both the barley and the wheat firstfruits would be brought at Shavuoth time. I’m thinking about this as I type, so thank you for indulging me. So, now let me look at Lev.23 for some clarification.

4 These are the feasts of Y’hovah, holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth of the first month at even Y’hovah’s passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month the feast of unleavened bread unto Y’hovah: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Y’hovah seven days: in the seventh day an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work. 9 And Y’hovah spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before Y’hovah, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Vayikra 23.4-11)

It looks as if I was wr…; It looks as if I was wro …; It looks as if I was wro-o-…; It looks as if I was mistaken about the harvest commencing AFTER the high priest cut the sheaf on chag haBikkurim, but that the people brought the firstfruits of their barley FOR chag haBikkurim. I based that thinking above on Michael Rood’s teaching on the Feasts of Y’hovah for “The Prophecy Club”. I think he based that teaching on what he had learned of the actual practice of Israel, and I think that info came from Nehemiah Gordon. I may be wrong about that. At any rate, the harvest may not be complete by then, but they would have to harvest at least SOME of the crop to bring the bikkurim for the Kohen to wave before Y’hovah on chag haBikkurim, according to Lev.23. What they could not do was PARTAKE of the harvest until the bikkurim had been offered. 

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your Elohim: a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

After the offering of the bikkurim they could begin to use that harvest’s produce. 

Why do we call Ya’acov a Syrian in v.5? Could be that all the boys, except Benyamin, were born in Lavan’s country, and even he was probably conceived there. That might qualify him for the designation. Stone’s Chumash has a midrashic ‘translation’, or rather paraphrase’, derived from Rashi. It says “An Aramean tried to destroy my forefather”, but that doesn’t fit the rest of the verse very well. KJV actually has a more correct, or at least a more literal, translation. 

V.7 leaves me with an impression that Israel had forgotten Y’hovah during her bondage in Egypt, for they call Y’hovah “Elohai Avotenu” , the Elohim of our Fathers, not “Our Elohim”, and that it was when he shema’d their call to him that they accepted him as Elohenu. 

Vv.12-15 – The confession of tithes – Schottenstein’s Chumash has a good commentary on this passage on p. 164, as well as on v.12, specifically. The rabbis take v.14 to say that on the day of a close relative’s death, the mourners are not to eat of the ma’aser sheni, the tithe we set aside for ourselves. I think this may be one reason that the people who come to ‘sit shiva’ with the mourners bring a meal or a portion of a meal to share with them. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting note on v.15, again on pg.166. In light of that one exception I infer that when Israel performs all the mitzvoth of vv.12-15, Y’hovah’s attribute of justice (Gevurah) is set aside and replaced by his attribute of mercy (chesed), each attribute being found in the middle of the tree of sefiroth, which are tied together by his attribute of beauty (tifereth).

In vv.16-19 Moshe admonishes us to remember to do all that Y’hovah has commanded us in his mitzvoth, mishpatim and chukim, because we have said that he is Elohenu and he has said that we are Ami, and to make Yisrael in all ways ‘high above all the peoples’ he has made. This will be seen in the Kingdom, when Yisrael makes up a vice-regency under King Mashiyach.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Mashiyach, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

which refers to

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. (Isaiah 32:1)

Isaiah 32.1 specifies a bit of the general promise of Dev.26.19 and Re.20.6 makes a bit more specific. Some of Yeshua’s Kingdom parables add some meat to the bones in Devarim, Isaiah and Revelation. Q&C

Devarim 27.1-25 – In 26.7 Moshe spoke of Y’hovah Elohai Avotenu to whom Yisrael had called for deliverance out of Egypt. In 27.3, he speaks with the elders (zachanim) of Yisrael of Y’hovah Elohai Avotecha and the land flowing with milk and honey that he is about to deliver them into. The reason the elders are there with Moshe is that Moshe was not going into the land with them, and there was a need to make the connexion between the zachanim and Moshe in everyone’s mind. He is placing his authority on these zachanim. Also, later in the chapter, they will be seen as the representatives of their tribes on either Mt. Ebal or Mt. Gerezim (the mount of blessing). I think that these elders were to write the Toroth on the 12 natural, uncut stones of the altar they were going to build on Mt. Ebal (the mount of cursing). They were to whitewash the stones and then write the Torah on the stones. It says that they shall write all the words of Torah on the stones, so either they had some humongous stones and some very fine paint brushes; OR they wrote only the 10 words on the stones. I have no doubt that Y’hovah could and did work a miracle to allow the Torah to be read and understood by anyone who read it from these stones. The ‘sages’ say that they were written in the 70 basic human languages of the 70 nations of the earth (cf. Schottenstein’s Chumash on vv.3&8, pp.167-168). The words “very plainly” in KJV make me infer that the 10 Words were what were written, not 70 copies of the entire Torah in all the 70 languages of the earth. The print would have to be VERY tiny to have all 70 languages on the stones, or even to have only the entire Torah in Hebrew.

Then, in v.12-13, Moshe separated the tribes; whose zachanim would stand on Gerezim and whose would stand on Ebal to proclaim the blessing and the curse. It’s interesting, to me anyway, that the 4 middle sons of Leah and the sons of Rachel were assigned to stand on the Mount of Blessing, while the physical bachor, Reuven, and Leah’s youngest were assigned, along with the concubine’s children, to stand on the Mount of Cursing. I understand that Yoseph and Yehuda, the tzadikim of Ya’acov, would have to be among the tribes on the mount of blessing. But what the actual significance of that is, I do not know beyond that Reuven had lost his bachor blessing as a result of his going in unto Bilhah and that none of the handmaid’s children were included in the group on Mt. Gerizim. I mean, why not exclude Shimon and include Zevulon? And why is Levi on the mount of blessing AND in the valley? What part of Levi is on Gerezim? Are only the Aharonic priests and Levite elders (Merari, Gershom and Kohath elders) in the valley and the rest on the mountain? (That last is what Chumash says.) 

In vv.14-26 we see the curses that were to be pronounced, but where are the blessings? Remember vv.11-13

11 And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, 12 These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin: 13 And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

The tribes on Mount Gerezim stood to bless the people, while the tribes on Mount Ebal stood to curse the people. So where is the blessing? I believe that first the Leviim in the valley pronounced the 1st blessing and the people on Mt. Gerezim both received it and agreed to it for the whole nation. Then, 2nd, the Leviim in the valley would pronounce the 1st curse and the people on Mt. Ebal both received it and agreed to it for the whole nation. And then the process repeated itself through the entire list of curses, like this:

[14b 1) “Blessed the man that maketh [not] graven or molten image, an abomination unto Y’hovah, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth in secret.” And all the people shall say “Amein”!]

15 “Cursed the man that maketh graven or molten image, an abomination unto Y’hovah, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth in secret.” And all the people shall say, “Amein!”

[15b “Blessed he that setteth [not] light by his father or his mother.” And all the people shall say, “Amein.”]

16 “Cursed he that setteth light by his father or his mother.” And all the people shall say, “Amein.”

And so on to the end of the chapter. There are 12 blessings and 12 curses; one each for each tribe (and possibly each stone in the altar.) Schottenstein’s Chumash has some corroborating speculation on pg.169-70; vv.14, 18, 20-23.

V.17 speaks of moving a boundary, as we touched on last week. Human government, especially of the socialist/communist/fascist type (IOW, the World System as it is today), is constantly moving the borders by adding laws for the specific purpose of making law abiding citizens into felons. The laws are passed with the certain knowledge that otherwise law-abiding citizens will break them, like the State of New Jersey did in December 2018 by making it a felony to have a magazine of more than 8 rounds in any semi-auto weapon, even for off-duty policemen. The minute a policeman goes off duty, he must remove the magazine from his service weapon and replace it with a ‘baby’ magazine, or face felony charges if he is caught. 

V.25 will be a source of America’s curse – because murdering the innocent, especially on the altar of Molech, as in abortion, is abomination before Y’hovah.  Q&C

YeshaYahu 60:1-22 – We closed our Torah parsha today with the blessings and curses that were pronounced on the people who would shema Y’hovah’s Words or despise, ma’as, them, respectively. In this chapter of YeshaYahu, we see fulfillment of those blessings on the faithful, which will see partial fulfillment in the millennial Kingdom of Mashiyach, but ultimate fulfillment in the New Creation. Vv.1-5 = tribulation; 6-17 =Yeshua’s Kingdom; 18-22 = New Creation.

Vv.1-5 In the time of Yacov’s trouble there will be a readily discernable difference between Y’hovah’s own and the rest of humanity, because Y’hovah’s glory will be evident on us. We will be like a lamp in a dark room and the light of our lamp will be Mashiyach Yeshua. It is obviously Tribulation time and Y’hovah arising shows that his personal interest in our lives is unmistakable. The difference will be so stark between the powers of the earth and the Power working in us that the nations will see and desire our light, which will draw them like moths. All you’ll need to see the nations coming to you will be to lift up your eyes. In some, it is easy to see now if your eyes are open to it. Sometimes, the most obstinate people are that way because their human spirit desires what we have, but the wicked spirits they have allowed into their lives are rebelling against it. They WANT to believe and have Ruach haKodesh ruling their heart of hearts, but are influenced heavily by the power and spirit of this wicked age. When our eyes are open to see the Ruach haKodesh, we are able to see the desire in the spirits of the people with whom we deal and know if they are wanting the shalom we have with Y’hovah or not. In the not too distant future, we will see a lot of this and Ruach l’Y’hovah will allow us to discern them from the rabble.

Vv.6-10 – We will see all manner of men from the nations, represented by camels, dromedaries and other unclean animals, bringing their gifts to Y’hovah as the Egyptians did in the Exodus. This time, however, they will bring them willingly unto Y’hovah, not just to get us out of their land and be rid of the curses being brought against them and their lands. Nebaioth and Kedar are the eldest sons of Ishmael, and were nomadic shepherds, Bedouins, as it were. The ‘rams of Nebaioth’ are the gifts they would bring unto Y’hovah. It seems that Y’hovah will accept the clean animal offerings of even the most wicked nations when they come to our windows to partake of the light shining forth through us in the Day of Y’hovah’s Kingdom. Not only will the nations bring their gifts to King Mashiyach, they will give us passage to haAretz from the 4 corners of the earth. They will come in droves to help us rebuild haAretz. They will see that, while Y’hovah chastised us when it was necessary, when we turned to him he responded in perfect shalom v’rachamim. I think it will be this mercy and peace shining through us in the midst of persecution that will draw them to us in the 1st place.

Vv.11-17 – The mercy and peace will be so apparent in us and the nations will be drawn so fully to that rachamim v’shalom that we will not have time to close the gates to our cities and we’ll leave them open to receive them. They will come with all their power ready to use it for Y’hovah’s glory. The word translated ‘forces’ is Strong’s

2428 chayil khah’-yil from 2342 chayal חיל, ‘to concentrate power and resources’; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength:–able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces …

All the power of the nations will be at the disposal of King Mashiyach and his people. They shall depose any authority that will not serve Mashiyach and his vice-regents. Lebanon will once again be a willing ally of Zion, as in the days of David and Shlomo. Its glory will once again be stupendous, and that right quickly. Lebanon today is largely wasteland due to the Amalekites who rule there, but in the Kingdom days, it will once again flourish to bring its glory to Mashiyach’s feet. “The Zion” is not political Zion that rules Israel today, but true Biblical Zion under the King, Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach.

12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of Y’hovah. 

14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith Y’hovah. (Zephaniah 3:12, 14, 20)

We had been hated and so that our neighbors made it a point to avoid going through us, now they are flocking to our borders for the peace and mercy to be found there, as in 

18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Y’hovah Tzavaoth; one shall be called, The city of destruction. 19 In that day shall there be an altar to Y’hovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Y’hovah. 20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto Y’hovah Tzavaoth in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto Y’hovah because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 21 And Y’hovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Y’hovah in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto Y’hovah, and perform it. 22 And Y’hovah shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it : and they shall return even to Y’hovah, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom Y’hovah Tzavaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (YeshaYahu 19.18-25)

V.16 is an allusion to the best the nations have to offer gladly made at Zion’s disposal in the day of Y’hovah’s Messianic Kingdom. V.17 shows that where we had good and strong, we shall have best and brightest freely given for our use in Mashiyach’s Kingdom. The word translated ‘exactor’ is Strong’s H5065

5065 nagas naw-gas’ a primitive root נגש, ‘to push, press for negative reasons’; to drive (an animal, a workman, a debtor, an army); by implication, to tax, harass, tyrannize …

But in that day, our taskmaster will be righteousness, not cruelty, and those in authority will be watchful for everyone’s shalom v’rachamim.

Vv.18-22 – There is a shift in the time spoken of beginning in v.18, as it seems that the evil inclination/OSN has been eradicated. I therefore infer that beginning in v.18, Isaiah was seeing the New Creation. The first few words make it plain, since “Chamas shall be no more.” HalleluYah! No more violence, which is a consequence of our inclination to evil. The source of wasting and destruction is wiped out, hence the rest of v.18. Vv.19-22 are unmistakably New Earth, as the sun and moon are not necessary to give us light, for Y’hovah’s glory will be all the light New Yerushalayim/Zion will need. These verses tie into our Apostolic text for today. As in our Revelation passage, it does not say the sun and moon don’t exist – in fact this passage says they do and never dim, so the entire earth will have light at all times, for the moon will not ‘withdraw itself’. I think that means that it will be in its full phase l’olam va’ed. V.21 says that the people will be ‘all righteous’ – no evil inclination or what the church calls the OSN, and v.22 says that the physical multiplicity that Y’hovah promises the faithful will take full effect. I think that within a very few decades, we will have to begin ‘expanding our coasts’. Isaiah tells us elsewhere that ‘of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.’ I take that very literally, and I think that it means that all that folderol of intelligent life on other planets and that they colonized the earth is a counterfeit of Y’hovah’s actual plan that humans in their original ‘unfallen’ state will colonize all those planets throughout the New Heavens. I COULD be wrong … But I DOUBT IT! Q&C 

Tehellim 141 – This psalm seems to be our prayer during that part of the tribulation that we just saw in Is.60.1-5. If our attitude then is like David’s was in this psalm, we will be very well off, indeed. Let’s see if David gives us a kind of outline for a prayer of supplication and praise.

David acknowledges that he is in need by calling out to Y’hovah, and then specifies how he wants Y’hovah to respond. He wants Y’hovah to hear his prayer and to answer it timely. He likens his prayer to the incense that is continually rising as a sweet savour; his hands lifted up in praise to the wave offering to Y’hovah, because that is what they ARE like to Y’hovah. He wants Y’hovah to guard his mouth from froward speech; to keep his heart from straying toward men’s rewards. He tells Y’hovah to lead the righteous men around him to get his attention when he is about to do something wrong; like Joab did when David commanded the census to number his fighting men, as if to go out conquering for conquering’s sake; and like Nathan did when the Bathsheba ‘affair’ came to light. He knew that, even though he would not like to hear the rebuke from his juniors and peers, such righteous men would help him to stay on the strait and narrow way. Righteous men are not afraid to ‘speak truth to power’. When his righteous counselors who watched out for him are up against it in battle, David’s prayers lift them up as a wave offering before Y’hovah for him to help them through whatever calamities may befall them in their righteousness. Even if he should suffer defeat in battle David’s trust is in Y’hovah, so he tells Y’hovah to keep him from the traps his wicked enemies have laid for him to fall into. In fact he wants his enemies to be taken in the very snares they set for him. 

David is expecting an affirmative response from Y’hovah in everything he says. He expects that his enemies will be given the same treatment they designed for him; like a false witness is due, because that is exactly what they are doing. His wicked enemies know, like the Chaldeans knew about Daniel, that they would not get David into a snare except they got him looking at anything but Y’hovah and his will. A few times, they got him to take his eyes off the prize, but David was sensitive to Y’hovah’s presence and knew when he was ‘off’. And he was humble enough, even as king, to recognize the righteousness of the men Y’hovah used as prophets to him – even Joab, who was not all that righteous much of the time. But David always returned in short order when he was chastened.

So, what can we take as a template from this prayer of David? 

1st, remember that your prayers are like sweet incense and your praise is like a freewill offering to Y’hovah. He truly does NOT desire blood; he shed his own to ransom us. What he wants from us is our conscious and willing worship and praise, which, when we are fully engaged therein, we will not be in sin. 

2nd, He is not after long prayers, so get to the point. Look at the verbiage David uses: ‘make haste’, ‘shema my prayer’, ‘set a watch’, ‘keep my lips’. David is not asking, he is commanding (Is.45.11, KJV & Stone’s Tanakh) and expecting a positive result. This is because he knows Y’hovah’s will is to do these things. So, 

3rd, make your needs known to Y’hovah so that he can deliver them: not as though he didn’t know them before you did, but because he wants us to consciously depend on him for our every need. 

4th, tell him that no matter the outcome of your skirmish with the enemy, your heart is fixed on him and his will and that you are trusting him to guard and keep you through to the end. Q&C

Revelation 21:9-22:7– To get the flow, let me summarize vv.1-8 before we get to 9-27. This is taken from my Midrashic Bible study on 8Jan2011 [perhaps updated].

Rev.21:1-8 – Yochanan saw the New heaven and New earth in which there was no more sea and the New Jerusalem descending from Elohim to the New Earth. The sea has always represented the masses of unbelieving humanity, the world system, in biblical prophecy. That there is no more sea is significant in that light. When Y’hovah creates the NEW heaven and earth there will be no sin and, as such, no sinful world system. THIS will be a place where he can finally bring his Bride – his Father’s House is the New Earth, wherein dwells righteousness, including Avinu. He will dwell permanently with us on his New Earth. The tears that he will wipe away are those of sorrow for the ones who were cast into the LoF and thoroughly consumed. How will he wipe those tears away? I mean, how will they STAY away? The only thing that makes sense is that our memories will be expunged of what causes us sorrow; whether personal, like loss of reward for evil done in the flesh; or memories of loved ones lost. 

18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. [Micah 7.18-19]

By what mechanism he does that is conjecture. I know of nothing in scripture that sheds light on that mechanism. Perhaps He will share HIS ability to choose to not remember it so that it just ceases to exist, like our forgiven sins.

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. [Jer. 31.31-34]

Y’hovah doesn’t ‘forget’, like we do. He CHOOSES to not remember. And when He does that, the thing he chooses to not remember ceases to exist, because when he ‘remembers’ his people, he acts for their good, even if we don’t like it at the time. As to tears of joy, the joy will be so all-pervasive as to exclude tears, because the idea of joyful tears requires there be a contrast. Joy will be a constant condition. 

It is in v.5 where I see that he’s removed the evil inclination/sin nature from those who were faithful unto the end, who came up to Jerusalem for the last millennial feast of Tabernacles – he makes ALL things NEW. Don’t ask me what the mechanism is by which he does that, either. All I know is that those words are ‘faithful and true’, that those saints go somewhere, and I see a New Heaven and a New Earth that will be ruled by Mashiyach ben David. Is.9:

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty Elohim, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Y’hovah Tzavaoth will perform this.

No end of the increase of government and peace = New Heavens/New Earth. No death, no sin, but ever increasing population to govern in peace = expansion of that government and population to the other planets and the stars, ALL of which are brand new and unsoiled by sin, and, therefore, PERHAPS all habitable. That thought kinda gives new weight to the parable of the pounds in Lk.19, doesn’t it?

Do you know the biblical definition of a liar (v.8)? 1Jn.2.

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

So, if you SAY you know him, but your lifestyle and normal walk is that you do not keep his commandments, you are a liar and you have no place in the New Heaven and Earth. 

Vv.9-14 – Watch how this narrative goes and we will see some interesting stuff that we MAY not have seen before. One of the messengers that poured out a vial of Y’hovah’s wrath came to conduct Yochanan on a brief tour of New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb. The Bride exudes the Shekinah of Y’hovah. Her light is like that which shines through a perfect diamond that is perfectly cut, showing all the colors/attributes of the Light that shines through her. The wall has 4 sides of equal proportion, each having 3 gates of a single pearl corresponding to one of the tribes of Yisrael, which reminds me of the 3 tribes in each of the 4 camps around the Mishkan in the wilderness. Are the gates of the east wall those of Yehudah, Yissachar and Zevulon (B’midbar 2); the west wall those of Ephraim, Menashe and BenYamin; and etc.? I think it highly likely. The wall has 12 foundations, each corresponding to one of Yeshua’s Talmidim. Could it be that each foundation sits under one of the gates to the city? 

Vv.15-21 – The messenger is given a reed with which to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. The city measured 1500 miles square around the foundation, as well as 1500 miles in height, and the walls were 144 cubits in height (and/or perhaps depth). V.17 has the first indication that the messenger was a man and not an angelic spirit. The wall of the city was of jasper; an opaque precious stone of silica base and almost any other mineral from which the jasper derives its color; and the city itself of gold so pure as to be clear. The streets seem to be of the same purity of gold. Our 99.9999% fine gold would be no better than dry-patch for those streets. The foundations, named for Yeshua’s Talmidim, are each of a different precious stone. 

Vv.22-27 – Not only is there a single throne on which sit both Y’hovah and the Lamb, but the temple AND the light there are also both Y’hovah and the Lamb. I must therefore assume that Y’hovah Elohenu and the Lamb are One. Please refer again to the Tree of Sefiroth (http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm) and understand that Y’hovah Elohenu manifested in the human flesh of Yeshua AND that the Jewish sages have always seen the center pillar of that Tree as a manifestation of Mashiyach, the perfect melding of the righteousness (left hand/Spirit of Elohim) and love (right hand/Spirit of Y’hovah) of the Almighty. As we saw in YeshaYahu today, just because there is no need for the sun and moon to give their light in the city doesn’t mean they do not exist. The sun and moon DO give their light to the earth, but are not NEEDED in the city, because the glory of Y’hovah lightens it from everywhere so that there is no shadow there. The way v.23 is worded, the Lamb IS the glory of Elohim. All the nations of the earth will bring their glory into the city and offer it before the Almighty, who is the ultimate source of the light and the glory. It all comes from him, so it is only right that we bring it back to him. Nothing will enter into the city, the Bride of Mashiyach, that can defile. There is nothing in the New Creation that CAN defile. 

Rev.22:1-7 – The Aleph and Tav of 21.6, the one that points out the direct object of Y’hovah’s Creation, said he would give of the water of the river of life freely to any who thirst. Here we see the water proceeds out of the throne of Y’hovah and the Lamb, so he is the source of mayim chaim. There is a single throne on which sit both Y’hovah and the Lamb. The river flows down the median of the boulevard of the city and is straddled by the roots of the tree of life (one tree, roots firmly planted on both sides of the river – another allusion to Mashiyach, like the center pillar of the tree of Sefiroth?). 

Jer.17.7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in Y’hovah, and whose hope Y’hovah is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The tree is obviously nourished by the water, for its leaves heal the nations. Do you suppose all 70 nations of the earth are represented in the Bride? Could well be, since all the nations bring their glory to the Lamb/Y’hovah/Elohim. 

“There shall be no more curse” – The curse of sin is exile and death, so there will be no more of that. The totality of who Abba is will be always on our minds and thoughts. There will be no need of phylacteries to remind us. We will be ever mindful of him. 

Is.2.2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Y’hovah’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Y’hovah, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Y’hovah from Jerusalem.

The phrase, “No need of candle, nor light of the sun,” does not say that they do not exist. They are unnecessary in the city, because Y’hovah/the Lamb is there. He is the source of ALL light  – his light, his Shekinah, permeates the city, where there is no need of the sun or any other source of light. In the city and, therefore, in the Bride, light just IS. It will permeate everything. The messenger says in v.7

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Yochanan fell down at the feet of the messenger and was immediately scolded for it, “HEY! I’m just a guy like you! I am a doer of the commandments. Don’t you dare worship me! You worship Elohim!” But Yochanan understood that the messenger he was talking to was Yeshua because he said, “Behold, I come quickly”. So, was it improper for him to fall at his feet to worship? I think that the idea was to not bow to the man Yeshua, but the Spirit of Y’hovah Elohenu. If we read the rest of ch.22, we will see that there is never a change of speaker from 21.9-22.20a. Yochanan never says a word until 22.20b. Has anyone else ever seen that this messenger is the resurrected Yeshua himself? Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study