Shabbat Bible Study for February 24, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for February 24, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

B’Midbar 4.17-5.10 – 1Sh’muel 6.1-21 – Tehellim 94, 95 – 1Corinthians 12

Num.4.17-20 – Y’hovah was concerned that the Kohathi would do something inadvertent that would cause them to die, like bumping into the ark when they put their shoulders to it, or got too close to the Kadosh Kadashim and saw the ark uncovered even in the corner of their eyes. They would have their boundaries set by Aharon and ElAzar, and would not be permitted into the Kodesh Place while the coverings were being placed on the furnishings for transport. From the messianic.ws website:

Moses and Aaron were responsible for planning and supervising the work of the Kohathites, so that they did not commit any capital offenses in carrying out their duties. Each of the 2,750 eligible Kohathites, by name (v. 32), was given a specific task to be performed in a specific order, so that there would be no accidental overstepping of boundaries, which would bring death. (V.20) Aaron and his sons were required to wrap the holiest items, and then the Kohathites could carry them, without being able to look upon them.

There is a debate about what the problem was: were the Kohathites afraid to perform tasks for the Tabernacle, and therefore had to be assigned definite tasks? Or were they so eager to do the work, that they had to be assigned limited tasks so as not to accidentally push too far and die?

I think it was a case of ‘mind your own business’, the Kohanim had the right to go into the Kodesh Place during their service to Y’hovah, but not at any other time. They had two one-week periods of service every year in which they could go into the Kodesh Place to serve. None of them had any business there at any other time. Only Aharon’s family had the right to be in the Kodesh place daily, and even that had to be in compliance with their duties in the service of Y’hovah. Nadav and Avihu found that out the hard way, going unbidden into the Kodesh place and performing what Y’hovah had not commanded, offering ‘strange fire’. Aharon, ElAzar and Ithamar had learned that lesson, as well. It was the Amramite’s job to cover the furniture and set the poles for transport. It was the Kohathites’ job to shoulder the furnishings during transport.

4.21-28 – The Gershonites got to tear down and set up the coverings of the Tabernacle itself, after the furnishings were covered. Each of the families within the tribe of Levi had a specific burden assigned by Y’hovah through ElAzar. I think they were given burdens commensurate with their numbers and abilities to carry. There were 7500 Gershonites from the age of 1 month, 2630 of age to serve in the Mishkan. Most could bear some load during the journeys from camp to camp and in the land. I think they got the coverings for the Kodesh and Kadosh Kadashim because they were of a greater weight than the curtains of the outer court and it may have been more labor intensive than packing up the outer court or it’s furniture. There were 2 wagons to carry the heavy stuff (Num.7.3, 6-7). Ithamar was the captain to whom Gershon reported during any movement. 

4.29-33 – The Merarites had the burden of the outer court hangings and the poles and boards of the Tabernacle. Because they were the smallest family, 6200 from 1 month, 3200 of age to serve in the Mishkan, and got the lions share of the weight (the hangings of the outer court, the poles of the outer court and the Tabernacle and the boards of the Tabernacle) they got 4 wagons to carry all the heavy stuff (Num.7.8). More than ½ the Merarites were able to perform service in the tabernacle. Merari also reported to Ithamar.

The Kohathites were the largest tribe at 8600 from 1 month, but with only 2750 of age to serve in the Mishkan. Their job in transit was to actually carry the ark, the table of showbread, the altar of incense and the 7 light lampstand/menorrah. The Kohathites reported to ElAzar.  What do all these numbers mean? I haven’t a clue! But they are important and are dripping with substance or Y’hovah would not have revealed it to us. It could have to do with the numbers 8600 and 2750 both adding to 14 – 2×7. The gematria is a fascinating, and extremely deep and mysterious method of interpretation of scripture, one into which I am not equipped to delve. So, I will leave it to better-trained minds than mine. 

5.1-10 – Anyone who was defiled or unclean was put without the camp until such time as they were made clean again. For some it would be a matter of a mikvah and wait until evening. For others it would take quite some time, if it ever happened. The leprosy, tzara’ath, was a symbol of sin in the camp, which is why the leper was put out of the camp until such time as he was healed and could show himself to the priest. Y’hovah would not have sin or anything that defiles in his presence. 

The restitution made for a trespass was to be made for the benefit of the one who committed the trespass, as well as for the victim. It was important that the restitution be made to impress on the trespasser what the fleeting benefit actually cost him. I don’t think the money was the issue, but the spiritual cost of trespasses. That is why Y’hovah made provision that if there was no next-of-kin to whom to give the restitution; it was to go to the priests as unto Y’hovah. Y’hovah certainly didn’t need the money, so it must have been to show the spiritual cost of stealing, and that it was ultimately stealing from Y’hovah. Again, from the messianic.ws website:

The Torah is here teaching that it is forbidden for us to take anything that Eloha has not given to us, whether great or small, whether from a wealthy person or someone whom we think “owes us”, or anything we have dedicated – such as tithes separated but not distributed.

The person, who would serve Eloha, must have this heart attitude to desire holiness. Continual repentance is a requirement to be clean. Saying, “If I have sinned, forgive me,” is insufficient toward Eloha or man. One needs to seek Eloha’s word to show him his errors, and make restitution, and correction of his ways.  Q&C

1Sam.6V.1 – Y’hovah MUST have waited for a while to start bringing the plagues of the mice and rrhoids on the Plishtim gen-pop, because the ark was in Plesheth for 7 months [v.1] before they sent it away. If those plagues had come upon chol Plesheth from the beginning, they would not have kept it a week. Well, *I* wouldn’t have, anyway. I’d have been 100% ready to send it away when Dagon was turned into a plain old headless fish after the 2nd night; and I’d have been more than 50% sure after the 1st night. 

But the Plishtim had a DI-lemma on their hands. They knew that they had REALLY ticked Y’hovah off and wanted to get the plagues shut off NOW! Maybe just sending the ark back to Israel wouldn’t be enough and the plagues would continue. So [v.2] they got all their prophets, pastors and evangelists together to work through all the doctrinal folderol and figure out how to appease Y’hovah. 

At least SOME of these men of GAW-AWD must have been regular prophets for hire, like Bila’am, because they came to a conclusion quickly [which would NOT happen at ALL if they were all 21st century CE Christian and Messianic leaders]; they would send the ark of Elohim on a freshly built cart [v.7] made with freshly milled wood and drawn by 2 milk-cows which had never before been yoked for work. WITH it they would send a trespass [vv.3-5] offering of 5 golden mice and 5 golden rrhoids in a wooden box; one mouse and one rrhoid for each of the kings of the Pentapolis [v.8]. These guys were the corporate leaders of their fiefdoms, like the commanding officer of a ship of the line in the US Navy. Each of the kings, WAS the city like each of the ships’ COs IS the ship. When ANY CO of ANY Navy ship steps aboard or off any ship, his own or another, he is piped aboard or ashore as “USS X, arriving/departing.” So, each king of each city had a golden rrhoid and a golden mouse made and placed them in the wooden box. I assume there was one mold made of the rrhoid and one of the mouse and the kings provided the gold to be cast in them, though it COULD be that each king had to have a replica of his own personal rrhoid made to place in the box/coffer. I ALSO assume that each king then placed his rrhoid and mouse of gold into the box himself, the images consecrated by each of the kings unto Y’hovah, the Elohim of Israel. This was SERIOUS; these kings HUMBLED themselves before Y’hovah AND their own people [at least the sculptor who fashioned the rrhoids]. KJV says they made a ‘coffer’ into which these kings put their ‘golden jewels’, double entendre NOT intended – but still kinda funny. The word that’s translated ‘coffer’ in KJV is H712 argaz [ארגז], which is probably from the root H7364 ragaz [רגז], which means to quiver or tremble in fear. These kings were literally quaking in their boots – well … sandals. BTW, the word argaz is used 3 times in TNK, all in this chapter [vv.8, 11 and 15]. This word was coined specifically for this story IM[not so]HO. The point is, the Plishtim kings were scared spitless. 

The prophets for hire also recommended a way to know if this stuff was truly from Y’hovah or if it was just happenstance [v.9]. The test would be that they would put the ark and the box with the trespass offerings inside on the new cart of newly milled wood and then yoke the milk cows to the harness of the cart, point it in a neutral direction and just let the yoked cows go where they would. If they got to the road and turned toward Israel, the whole incident was a judgment from Y’hovah. If they just went straight ahead into a field or turned away from Israel, the whole thing was just happenstance and the kings could get their gold back. 

Vv.10-12 says they did exactly that and the milch-kine went by the quickest route toward BethShemesh, the nearest Israeli city to Ekron, Plishtim kings following at a respectful distance [v.12&16]. The cows made the typical bovine ‘lowing sound’ as they went, I assume so get the Israelis attention to the return of the ark.

Well, that worked, because the Bethshemites who were out reaping their wheat fields [v.13] saw the ark and shouted for joy at the ark’s return to Israel. That they were reaping the wheat, I think, times this to sometime before either Shavuoth or Sukkoth. When the cart got to Israel, they stopped in the field of Yehoshua, a BethShemite, in which field was a large stone [H68 – even] on which the men of BethShemesh offered burnt offerings of the milch-kine using the wood of the cart for the fire [v.14]. The events of v.15-18 must have preceded those of v.14, since the Levi’im had to remove the ark and the coffer before the men could tear the cart up to use to burn the offering of the cows. Now, the Levi’im were probably not there immediately upon the ark’s return to Israel and did not move the ark or the box before the event of v.19, because I don’t think the Levi’im would have allowed the men of the town to remove the kapporeth, had they been there. But the men looked INTO the ark, so they HAD to remove the mercy seat/cheruvim from it. For this bit of foolishness, I also blame Eli and his sons, as well as the local Levi’im, because if Torah had been properly taught to the people they would not have chanced Y’hovah’s wrath. 50,070 men died in this particular plague sent by Y’hovah for their temerity. So, joy turned to mourning that day in BethShemesh. I think news of this incident would have cured Israel of any such foolishness in the future. The BethShemites certainly learned a lesson that day. Perhaps it is still alive in the corporate memory of the town? The Bethshemites learned that Y’hovah is not One with Whom to trifle. They learned to ask if such actions were permissible, first, before taking their lives into their hands again. They learned the lesson well enough [v.21] that they sent embassage to KirYath Je’arim to come and get the ark and take it up their way. Notice that they didn’t admit to KiriathYe’arim WHY they wanted them to come get the ark. They were as frightened as had been the Plishtim.

Q&C

Ps.94.1-6 – This psalm illustrates the passage in Is.43.5-10. The exiles are crying out to Y’hovah in vv.1-11. Basic compassion is a thing of the past, because their religion is false and unclean:

Pure religion and undefiled before Eloha and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

Abortion and Infanticide are commonplace among the people of the world. So-called ‘ethicists’ in America have decided that killing a perfectly healthy newborn who would live in poverty is morally right. The words ‘ethics’ and ‘morally right’ have become lies to mollify the consciences of the wicked and convince them of their righteousness. Those in exile see this perversion of the wicked and cry out for Y’hovah’s deliverance.

Vv.7-11 – speaks about us all at times. Even those of us who are called by his Name choose to NOT recognize his omniscience and omnipresence. Even WE sin in the false notion that he will not see or hear us, don’t we? I do. When we forget or ignore his omni-everything; THAT is when we sin. But he created the eye and the ear! Are we STUPID? Or are we just arrogant? Fear of Y’hovah is keeping him in the forefront of our thoughts in all that we do and think; not to relegate him to some recess of our brains only to be trotted out when we need something. 

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with Eloha. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Master knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. (1Cor.3.18-20)

The exiles recognize their error in vv.12-15 and make teshuvah, repentance, and I think this refers to the believing remnant in both Yehudism and the ‘church’. Though individuals have and will be broken off from the natural olive tree due to their personal unbelief (Rom.11.16ff), the whole nation of Israel has never been and never will be forsaken by Y’hovah, regardless the replacement theology of modern Xianity. Replacement theologians pick and choose the part of the metaphor of the root, olive trees and branches that Paul uses in Rom.11 (all of which is ancient Hebrew ‘mystical’ thinking – mystery, or sod). They grab the root and branches, but disregard the trees themselves. It follows, as spring follows winter, that if the root is Messiah (and it is), and the branches are individuals that partake of the fatness of the root (and they are), then the trunk of the tree must be chol Israel from which SOME of the natural branches were removed to make room for the wild branches. And if SOME of the natural branches were removed, then SOME or MOST of the natural branches remain in the trunk that carries the fatness of the root to the various branches, or members of the tree.  

Whence comes the ‘wild tree’? From the ‘cutting’ that Sennacharib took and planted into the foreign ground in Assyria when he carried off the 10 northern tribes of the nation of Israel. That cutting took root and then cuttings from it were taken throughout the world, where they took root, as well. That ‘the church’ has the ‘graffed in’ revelation painted quite clearly by Rav Sha’ul, she is, therefore, even MORE accountable than was Israel and MORE likely to be broken off for unbelief than was Israel. 

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if Eloha spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (Rom.11.18-21)

In vv.16-23 the repentant become witnesses to his truth. Will YOU and I stand up for him and his truth? Will we call out the unrighteous and their works to and for all who will hear or listen? If you WILL stand and speak for him, Y’hovah will be your strength, and his mercy towards those to whom you speak will hold you up, when you are in danger of slipping. When you are in the midst of troubles and the enemy puts various and contrary thoughts in your head, it is Y’hovah’s comfort that will delight your soul. 

Vv.20-21 describe our satanic world system to a ‘T’. The governments of the NWO system pass new laws every day that make more and more of things we do in everyday life new crimes. Is this NOT what they did to Daniel in 6.5 of that book?

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Dani’el, except we find it against him concerning the law of his Eloha. (Daniel 6:5)

That’s what they are outlawing in America today with Congressional broad-brush regulations and the presidential ‘end-arounds’ of Executive Orders as if he were the sovereign king of the United States. When they come for you, and it is likely they will, maintain your INNOCENCE and your 1st Amendment RIGHT to freely practice your sincerely held beliefs, which MANDATE you to call out their wickedness for all to see and hear. YOU stay faithful to Y’hovah’s Truth and pray him to help you hold it up for all who can to see and hear. He will be your defense and your Rock of Refuge. He will bring swift judgment against your persecutors in his time. Let HIM bring the judgment and the condemnation on them. You proclaim his Truth, as he gives you the utterance. 

Ps.95 – More of the witnesses to truth witnessing to truth. The first 6½ verses are the witnesses praising Y’hovah for his mercy and grace in delivering them from the exile. Then in v.7b he changes direction by pleading with the redeemed to hear Y’hovah’s voice and not harden our hearts as our fathers did at Sinai. Those who were graffed into Yisrael’s olive tree, made members of her Commonwealth, and made partakers in the vine could be removed as easily as they were added. The generation that hardened their hearts were the ones who had lived under the Egyptian thumb and been partakers of the Egyptian culture and religion. They hardened their hearts because they knew the Egyptian system and incorporated it into their worship of Y’hovah. We need to guard against this same type of hardening, or their end may be ours – denial of the rest we are promised due to our unbelief.  Q&C

1Cor12 – The engrafted Gentile children of Ephraim had gone after ‘dumb idols’, the very thing the psalmist warned us about in 95. “When you see a ‘wherefore’ or a ‘therefore’, look to see what it’s there for.” It is BECAUSE we were led away by dumb idols that Sha’ul takes the time to address spiritual gifts. There is a possibility that the gentile Ephraimites might return to the pagan Satanic counterfeits of the Y’hovah given spiritual gifts, which are very real (both the counterfeit & true). Just because something ‘spiritual’ is happening doesn’t mean it’s of Y’hovah. That is a truth many don’t or won’t understand. 

Spiritual gifts are given for the profit of the entire body of Messiah, not primarily for the profit of the individual (vv.7, 12). Each is given ALL of the gifts, some gifts being stronger in one individual than others, but each having a primary gift for the edification and profit of the entire body. Each needs the other in order to function. If I have the gift of prophecy and you have the gift of healing, what profit has the body if I die because I didn’t come to you because you are not a prophet? The point is that we ought not be proud of how Yeshua is using us and our particular gift (as if it was due to our efforts), we ought to be about using our gifts to the profit of the entire body, Ephraim and Judah. 

Acts 5.1-16 – ChananYahu (Ananias) lied to the Spirit of Y’hovah by SAYING they were giving the total of what they’d sold their possession for when they actually held some back. This was a sin of covetousness, which they tried to cover with the lie. ChananYahu’s wife was a conspirator with him in the covetousness and the cover-up. As with the provocation spoken of in our 1Cor. passage, there was only one way to deal with it. To quote Barney Fife, “Ya gotta nip it in the bud, Andy. Nip it in the bud!” The sin could not be in the camp. Y’hovah made extreme examples of ChananYahu (Y’hovah has favored) and Sapphira to protect the infant body of Messiah from the infection. The next few verses show what happens when the camp is pure and set-apart – the immediate result is fear of Y’hovah and there is great growth in both the spiritual maturity and numbers of talmidim. As a side effect, the power of Abba is seen in the miracles that follow the talmidim’s proclamation of the gospel of peace.

Juxtapose the 1Cor12 passage on ‘spiritual gifts’ to the signs that followed the schlichim of Yeshua. When Sha’ul said ‘best gifts,’ what did he mean? In Acts 5, it seems the best gift was that of healing. It was an unmistakable sign of the power of Y’hovah and it caused people to ‘fear’ him. I think that ultimately to ‘fear’ Y’hovah is the opposite of despising him. When you fear Y’hovah, you consider him and his will in your every move or thought, as we spoke of earlier. When people started thinking about Y’hovah’s will for them and that he cared enough to touch them individually, Ruach brought many to knowledge of himself. I think the case can be made that, at that time anyway, healing was the best gift. Perhaps today it is the discerning of spirits, or prophecy. I believe that each era has its own ‘best gift’ – and not just each era, but each little congregation has its own best gift. But I think Yeshua told us what the best gift is:

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? [13] Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. [14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. [16] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. [17] If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:12-17)  

Service is the best gift. That was the point of the Torah portion for today – the Levites and their service.

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Shabbat Bible Study for February 17, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for February 17, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 49 

Numbers 3:1- 4.16   –   YeshaYahu 43.1-13  –   Psalms 92&93  –   Ivrit 12

Link:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fulfilling-Torah-Ministries/184107628292771?sk=notes 

B’Midbar 3.1-10Vv.1-4 – Here we see Moshe and Aharon and Aharon’s sons named as priests of Y’hovah. V.1 named all the sons of Aharon ‘on the day that Y’hovah spoke to Moshe on mount Sinai’, which I take to mean on Shavuoth, when he gave them the 10 commandments. Only Aharon’s sons are numbered here, not Moshe’s. Moshe’s sons, Gershom and Eliezer, are not listed in this chapter – in my opinion, because they are not in the camp of Moshe and Aharon. In fact, there is no mention of them in the books of Moshe after Ex.18. I think that Moshe’s sons are back in Midian with Tzipporah and Yithro. They are not named anywhere in this passage, though the Schottenstein’s Chumash postulates that v.27 names Amram’s sons and that this includes Moshe’s sons as sons of Kohath. However, v.17 names all the same names as sons of Kohath, and that is also how they are listed in v.27, not as Moshe’s sons. Would these be the sons of Tzipporah? Or the sons of Moshe’s mysterious ‘Ethiopian (H3571 Kushiyth or  Cushite) wife’ that ticked Miriam and Aharon off so in ch.12? My opinion is that Moshe married one wife, Tzipporah, and that her umpty-ump grandmother was Avraham’s wife/concubine Keturah who was possibly a dark-skinned woman, as her name means “that makes the incense to fume”. If that were the case, Tzipporah could easily have been a dark skinned Midianite. This is all speculation on my part, but it is also speculation on the parts of all the rabbis consulted in the Chumash’s commentary, for there is NO EVIDENCE to work with in this matter anywhere in Torah. 

V.4 tells us that Nadav and Avihu, who died for offering ‘strange fire’, offering incense out of time and out of order, had no sons. In fact, Elezar’s and Ithamar’s sons are not named here, either. We hear little, if anything, about them until Zimri, the Israelite, takes Cozbi, a Midianitish woman, into the Tent of Meeting to have forbidden sex in a forbidden place in Num.25, and Pinchas, Elezar’s son, ran them both through with a javelin, thus staying the plague that had broken out. Pinchas became the successor to Aharon as High Priest as a result. No Levite is ever anointed except the Kohen haGadol, and that only after the predecessor, well …. deceases, dies. Pinchas got the distinction of having his sons appointed as priests in perpetuity 

10 And Y’hovah spake unto Moshe, saying, 11 Pinchas, the son of Elezar, the son of Aharon the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his Eloha, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. (Num.25.12-13)

I see a connection here to the Satanic counterfeit in Rev.13, where the False Prophet/junior Beast is able to do miracles in the presence of the Beast, as Aharon’s sons Elezar and Ithamar minister before Aharon. 

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Rev.13.11-17)

Of course all that so-called ‘spiritual power’ is satanic sleight of hand and human reverse engineering of demonically inspired technology at work. It will fool the gullible and unaware, even among folk we assume are among the elect. So be watchful. Trust only Y’hovah, and no man. 

Vv.5-10 – The Levites are appointed as the servants of the Kohanim and the Tabernacle, as the Kohanim are appointed to the service in the Tabernacle. Each is to jealously guard his office, to sanctify it from b’nei Israel, who sinned in “The Golden Calf Affair” (sounds like a movie title). This is where our Constitution found a separation of powers in government as a very good thing. Congress should be putting a stop to the ‘rule by executive order’ the President has enjoyed for over 150 years. Only Congress can guard its power, as only the judiciary can guard its power, as only the executive can guard its power. Congress’ failure to guard its power from both the executive and the judiciary is the main problem with our American Republic today. Levi is not just given to Aharon as servants in the Mishkan, they are n’tunim n’tunim,“PRESENTED presented”, to Aharon and his sons for service (KJV says ‘wholly given’). Y’hovah doesn’t repeat himself in this way very often. He does it to make it unequivocally known that this is their calling and noone else’s. Q&C

Vv.11-38vv.11-13 – Here is the only thing even close to ‘replacement theology’ you’ll find in scripture. Levi ‘replaced’ the physical bikkurim. V.12 says, in a Mark ‘pigeon-Hebrew’ translation, “And I, behold, I have taken to me the Levi’im from among the children of Israel in place of all the firstborn that open the womb (pether rechem) among the children of Israel…” KJV seems to be very close to right on the money (it usually is). It was for the sin of the Golden Calf that the firstborn of Israel were no longer counted as the firstborn of Y’hovah and Levi was appointed the substitutionary, or ‘replacement’ firstborn. The firstborn were supposed to have performed all the service to the Aharonic priests and the Tabernacle, so they had been set apart by Y’hovah when he DIDN’T kill them in Egypt on Pesach, and now again he sets them apart with the loss of reward for their sin. As always, the loss of reward as consequences of our actions serve to remind us to remain true to Y’hovah’s Word. 

During the Wilderness Adventure and the first few Kohen G’dolim in the Land, they stayed true. After the division of the nation in Reho/Jerobam’s day, the decline went rapidly in the sanctity of the priesthood. There had been some that were less faithful than others up to that time, but as a general rule, the High Priests and the Levites were truly sanctified men who ruled their own houses and the religion well. I think the reason we know about the rotters among the priests and Levites in the historical narratives of Judges, Kings and Chronicles is to make the point that they were ‘just guys’, like the rest of us, if they didn’t work at their sanctity through obedience to Torah. The vast majority did. Those who didn’t were ‘set-apart’ in their own right by getting mention in the historical narratives and especially later in the prophets. The further the priests and Levites got from their personal sanctity, the further Israel and/or Yehudah slid into spiritual adultery with false elohim. We who take it on ourselves to teach others are worthy of the double honor when we stay truly set-apart to the Word in our walk and our words. We are also worthy of double judgment when we stray from our sanctity in walk and word. 

Vv.14-16 – The census of the Levi’im is commanded. This is also a way that Levi was sanctified by Y’hovah – they were counted from one month old and there was no limit to what age they could be counted. If there was a 125-year old Levite male, he was counted. If a male Levite child was at least 30 days old, he was counted. It does not say, of the 1st month, but 1 month old. If the child lived that long, his chances were excellent to live to serve, barring unforeseen circumstances, like war, famine or disease.

The Levites were to pitch their camps in close proximity to the Mishkan, to guard it from improper approach by the other tribes of Israel. Levi’s sons, Gershon, Kohath and Merari, were the houses of Levi, which were further broken down into families. The Levite houses were to be assigned general duties in service to the priests and the Mishkan. The families were assigned their special duties, which are not enumerated by family. There were 8 families in the 3 houses of Levites. Gershon, being the firstborn of Levi was the house counted first, then the house of Kohath and finally Merari. 

Vv.17-26 – The house of Gershon, which camped on the back, or west, side of the Mishkan (closest to the Holy of Holies), between it and Yoseph’s camp, consisted of the families of Livni and Shimei, and totaled 7500. Gershon’s zachan, elder, was Eliasaph (my Mighty One gathers), whom I assume camped closest to the Mishkan on the west. His job was to oversee taking down (gathering) and building back up the Holy place and the court, including all the hangings, door curtains and cords appertaining thereto. 

Vv.27-32 – The house of Kohath, which camped on the left, or south side of the Mishkan, between it and Reuven’s camp, consisted of the families of Amram, Izhar, Hevron and Uzziel and totaled 8600. Kohath’s zachan was Elizaphan (my Mighty One treasures), whom I also assume camped closest to the Mishkan on the south. His job was as lieutenant to Elezar, who had overall command of the movement, while Elizaphan actually had charge of the work of ‘carrying’ all the furnishings of the Mishkan; ark, altars, Menorah, tables, the instruments used in the sacrificial service and their coverings. The Kohanim actually placed the coverings over all the stuff used, but the non-priest Kohathites carried them from camp to camp. 

Vv.33-37 – The house of Merari, which camped on the right, or north side of the Mishkan, between it and Dan’s camp, consisted of the families of Mahli and Mushi and totaled 6200. Merari’s zachan was Zuriel (My Rock is the Mighty One), whom I also assume camped closest to the Mishkan on the north. His job was oversight of the boards, with their bars, sockets and fillets as well as the tent pegs and cords (like guy wires) to tether the poles to the ground for both the Mishkan and the court. 

Vv.38 – On the front, or east side of the Mishkan, before the entrance veil of the Tent of Meeting, was the camp of the Kohanim: the prophet Moshe, and the Priests Aharon and his sons. Moshe did not have a sukkah of his own, but actually dwelt in the Tent of Meeting, in the presence of Y’hovah. It was the Kohanim’s job to guard the Mishkan from all interlopers who got passed the 2 wheels (ophanim) of defense. As we will see in a couple of months, even though he had not been anointed Priest, Pinchas took his charge of guarding the sanctity of the Mishkan seriously and, using his trusty javelin, stayed the plague that Y’hovah unleashed upon Israel in Num.25. 

The definition of ‘stranger’ is different in different places. The word here is H2114 zur, which Stone’s Tanakh translates as alien. In this case, it means anyone who is NOT a Kohen. If a non-Kohen Kohathite tried to get into the Mishkan, Aharon or one of his sons, or even Moshe was to stop him by whatever means was necessary. If a Danite, even if it was the elder of Dan, tried to get into the Levite wheel, it was Merari’s job to stop him from going any further, and so on around the camp. The last defense in the outer wheel was the elder of the Camp – Nachshon, in Yehudah’s case. If the non-Levite got passed the zachan of the outer camp, it was the Levite’s job to stop him from going further. 

In Num.25, when Zimri took Cozbi into the ToM, he not only attempted to defile it with his own non-priestly presence, but with a complete alien who didn’t even belong in the Camp of Israel, much less the Court or the Mishkan itself. IOW, noone in the camp tried to stop the desecration of the Sanctuary. Now you might get an idea of why Y’hovah had sent a plague that killed over 32,000 Israelites in a few minutes. He was about to wipe out the entire camp. Pinchas LITERALLY saved Israel from annihilation, IMHO. Q&C

Vv.39-51 – If we take the totals of each camp of Levites, we see that it adds up to 22,300 Levi’im. But v.39 is specific in saying there were 22,000. V.39 is not wrong, since 22,000 are certainly contained in the 22,300, but why is there such a blatant discrepancy? 

Schottenstein’s Chumash gives a reasonable explanation on pp.20-21. Among the Kohanim there were firstborn of the Kohanim who needed to be redeemed by a 5 silver shekel offering. Their dedication to the service of Y’hovah could redeem one person, but not 2. If he was counted as the redemption of the physical firstborn of another Israelite family, he could not redeem himself, and so had to pay his own redemption price – 5 silver shekels. 

Perhaps the 300 had a physical blemish that made them ineligible to serve in the Mishkan as it says in Lev.21.16-24;

16 And Y’hovah spake unto Moshe, saying, 17 Speak unto Aharon, saying, Whosoever  of thy seed in their generations that hath blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of Elohaiv (his Eloha). 18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; 21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aharon the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of Y’hovah made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of Elohaiv. 22 He shall eat the bread of Elohaiv, of the most holy, and of the holy. 23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I Y’hovah do sanctify them. 24 And Moshe told it unto Aharon, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel. (Lev.21.16-24)

There may be other possibilities, but those come to mind readily. We are not told right here in the immediate context why the discrepancy, but it is for good reason, I’m sure. Q&C

4.1-4 – The next thing Y’hovah commanded Moshe to do was to take another census of all the Kohathites between the ages of 30 and 50, the ones who would be used in the service of the Mishkan and who would actually carry the articles of the Mishkan from camp to camp. Moshe and Aharon are sons of Kohath, so what the Kohanim did when the Mishkan moved was given here. 

When the order came to break camp, the first thing the Kohanim did was the cover the ark with the veil that hung between the ark and the Altar of Incense. Only the anointed Priesthood was allowed to see what lay within the Mishkan. This would be the only time Elazar or Ithamar would see the ark, and that for the briefest time while they covered it with the veil. This veil was perhaps 4-6 inches thick and made of gold thread, Techeleth, purple and scarlet wool and fine twined linen, cunningly woven to portray the angels of heaven in service in Y’hovah’s throneroom. The Mishkan itself, the inner covering of the Most Set Apart place, was made in the same fashion as the veil, so that when the Kohen Gadol went inside to sprinkle the blood of the goat on the Kipporah, he would see the angels ministering all around him in the ceiling and veil and the reflexions in the gold walls. They would cover the ark with the veil, which was covered with the badger’s skin and then that was all covered by a techeleth colored wool covering. The Hebrew word xlated badger in the KJV is tachash, which the Chumash explains was a beautiful multi-colored antelope that has since gone extinct. The tachash, or badger (KJV), naturally had a ‘coat of many colors’ that would link it to the Tzadik, Yoseph. Since there are two covers of 2 different materials that need to be coupled together it COULD be that they represent the House of Yehudah and the house of Yoseph, rejoined in Yeshua, our MelchiTzadik High Priest. 

When they finished with the ark, they moved to the Table of the Bread of the Presence, which had a techeleth woolen cloth spread over its surface and the plates and utensils associated with it laid out on top of it along with the Bread of the Presence arranged on it, which was then covered by a scarlet woolen cloth, all of which was then covered with tachash skin and the staves inserted in their gold rings. This is the only thing that has any scarlet covering, signifying that Y’hovah sees us through the Tzadik’s coat of many colors, which he also sees through the blood of the Lamb, Yeshua.

Next they would cover the Menorah with a techeleth blue woolen cover under which would go all the cups, snuffers, and such utensils as were prescribed for use with the candlestick. Then all those accoutrements and the menorah were placed in a covering of tachash skin and the poles affixed to it. 

Next they spread a techeleth blue cover on the Golden Incense Altar and then cover the whole thing with tachash skins and place the staves for carrying. The menorah, Table of bread of the Presence and the Golden Altar were covered first with a woolen blue cloth, signifying the divine nature of all the ministries done there. Even the Incense Altar, which incense represents the prayers of the saints, is a ministry of Y’hovah for us. From my study of Romans 8,

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, do we with patience wait for. 26 Likewise Ruach also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Ruach itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what the mind of Ruach, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to Eloha. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Eloha, to them who are the called according to purpose. (Rom.8.24-28)

Ruach helps our infirmity, our longing for the completion of our redemption, by interceding with Avinu on our behalf with groanings so deep that they can’t even be spoken. In other words, if you think YOU can’t wait for your resurrection and adoption as Avinu’s sons, Yeshua’s and Avinu’s Ruach longs even more so. 

Vv.27-28 – I think the mind of the Ruach in v.27 is speaking of the spiritually minded man (v.6), or the one who is walking after Ruach l’Elohim. Ruach searches our hearts and makes intercession for us in keeping with the will of Elohim. I don’t know if you see it this way, but this is saying that even when we are NOT praying in the will of Elohim, Ruach l’Elohim is. Our prayers are not answered the way we think they should be because WE are petitioning Y’hovah outside of his will. But Ruach prays IN the will of Y’hovah and THAT prayer IS answered perfectly. And so, all things work together for good to us who love Y’hovah and who are the called according to his purpose because Y’hovah’s will is being performed in us, whether we like it or not. Our circumstances may seem tumultuous and terrible, but Ruach in us is interceding for us so that it will all work to our ultimate good and to his glory.

The tachash skin that reminds me of Yoseph’s coat of many colors, also suggests that everything that Y’hovah sees from his throne is seen through our Tzadik rebbe, Yeshua. 

Once all the furnishings of the Mishkan were ready for transport, the Kohathites could come and do their duty of carrying it all to the next camp. All they had to do was wait their turn to march. 

The weight of the ark is variously estimated at between a couple of hundred to 500 pounds in itself, but once the 4-6 inch thick Mishkan and veil and their tachash skin covering laid on top of it, it HAD to go more like 750-1000 pounds. I seriously doubt that 4 Kohathites could even lift it, much less walk anywhere with it. It would be difficult for world-class power-lifters to lift it. I think the rabbis’ speculation is correct; Y’hovah did all the heavy lifting, carrying the ark and its coverings, as well as the priests themselves, from camp to camp. The priests’ of course, had to walk as if it was needed, even though their feet never made contact with the ground, like Yisrael did when she crossed the Red Sea [and the Yarden] ’dry’. Q&C

YeshaYahu 43.1-7 – The first 7 verses of the Haftara deals with chol Yisrael. Now chol Yisrael includes both Houses, Yehudah and Yoseph. When Ya’acov was returning to haAretz from Charan, he encountered Y’hovah and they wrestled all night. After the original “WRESTLEMANIA!” Y’hovah told Ya’acov that he was changing his name to Yisrael. Now Y’hovah had told Avraham what his son’s name would be, but he’d never changed a man’s name due to the man’s refusal to let him go without receiving his blessing. Yisrael means, “He shall be a Prince of El”. Hence, “I have called you by name.” This can be applied to all those who are the called according to his purpose, who endure unto the end. Yisrael had brook Jabok and the Yarden to cross before he was home baAretz, and Y’hovah promised him that he would carry him through (that could be our tie-in to the Torah portion). We get to walk through the fires of tribulation to try our faith and faithfulness. He will see us through all of them if we trust in him and not our own strength. As Yeshua said,

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. (Matthew 10:19)

But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. (Mark 13:11)

11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Lk.12.11-12)

If the time comes that we are taken captive for our faith, just don’t worry about what you’ll say to them. Praise Y’hovah that you get to be his witness and pray that he will speak through you. He’s already promised you that he will be with you, as he was when Ya’acov met Ishmael, and when Rav Sha’ul met the CCers in Antioch, and when Kefa met the Chief priests in J’lem. None of us has the power to stand like they stood, but He can do it through us, if we’ll get out of the way and let Him. 

To prove that He is for us, he says that he gave Egypt, Ethiopia and Sheba as ransom for the nation Israel. Then he backed up that ransom by delivering us through the trial of the Wilderness Adventure, even though we’d murmured against Him as many times as we had tribes in the desert. He’s done so once, and he will do so again, as he says in v.4-5. Why are we honourable? Is it for something we’ve done? Or is simply because we are precious in his sight? As he gave Egypt, Ethiopia and Sheba, so he will give men and peoples to deliver us from the 4 winds who have called on his Name. He created us, NEW creatures, made for HIS glory.

Therefore if any man be in Mashiyach, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

I take that to mean that when one trusts Y’hovah, he is made new, as was Yeshua upon his resurrection. We may not see it now, but we will when he calls us from the 4 winds.

Vv.8-13 – Blind and deaf are allusions to people in exile from Y’hovah’s presence. So the blind who have eyes and the deaf who have ears are those who have the ability to see and hear, but who will not. This is an allusion to Armageddon at the end of THIS ‘age’ and also to the final and ultimate Gog uMagog rebellion at the end of the Kingdom Millennium. At least at Armageddon there will be exactly this kind of offer made to the armies that come against Yeshua haMoshiach at his return to deliver His people in Israel. 

4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. (Isaiah 27.4-5)

Those who come against him will be given a choice to take, keep on against Yeshua and choose death or turn to him in faith and choose life, making Shalom with him. Those who choose life SHALL have Shalom, and go into the Millennium to replenish the earth. The ‘former things’ in v.9 is literally rishon (same root as reishith, rosh) – ‘the first’ or ‘beginning’, as in the original creation. He challenges them to bring their personal witness to the beginning, OR shut up and agree that he is Truth Incarnate. We who agree are his witnesses and his chosen servants, who know that he created all that is and who also sustains it. 

In v.11, Y’hovah says I, I am Y’hovah, and there is no Saviour but me. He has declared, delivered and shown when we were faithful to him, as no other people have EVER been. THAT is why he has never forsaken Yisrael. THAT is why he will deliver us again, and call us back to him from the 4 corners of the earth, and noone will slow him down. Q&C

Tehellim 92.1-5a – “To give thanks to Y’hovah and to sing praises to Elyon’s Name is good”, is as literal a translation as can be made to v.1. It is a mitzvah, a righteous act, to give thanks and sing praises to his Name. We are supposed to do mitzvoth, to bring praises to the Most High’s Name thereby, to ‘prove’ to ourselves and to those who see our good works ‘what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elyon’ (Rom.12.2). No good deed will go unpunished (by the world), or unrewarded (by Y’hovah). When we show his faithfulness to deliver on his promises to us, we generally tick the world off and it tries to shut us up, which brings even MORE reward from Y’hovah, if we remain faithful to him. HaSatan hates it when Y’hovah gets the hodoth (glories) and zamriym (praises). So when we sing his praises we get a double blessing; the blessing from Y’hovah and the attack of the enemy, which results in more blessing from Y’hovah, if we endure it with patience, trusting him to lead us, to flank us and to cover our 6 (there are those 4 camps again, seen from a different angle). 

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. (Psalms 142:7)

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalms 32:7)

In what do we triumph? We triumph in the works of Elyon’s hands, not our own. He receives our praises in the same manner in which we offer them; in the how AND in the why. V.5 is a transition from our praise to Y’hovah for his works to our wonder at Y’hovah for his ways. 

Vv.5b-9 – When it talks about Y’hovah’s thoughts being deep, the Hebrew word is machsh’vothecha which has a root chashav (H2803) that means ‘to weave a plan’. Isn’t that exactly what he does? He pronounces a judgment for example against YechonYah’s seed that none will prosper on the throne of David – and none ever does. But he’s also promised David that his seed would rule a worldwide kingdom. How can these BOTH be true?! By the plans of Y’hovah, who weaves the thread of his truth around all the seemingly insurmountable judgments that he has pronounced on his unfaithful children, like he had Bezale’el work the gold and fine linen with the woolen yarn in the Mishkan and the High Priest’s vestures. 

YechonYah certainly will have none of his seed prosper on the throne of David. And David will certainly have his Seed rule a worldwide Kingdom. And it will be true, both in metaphor and in physical fact. Y’hovah is a wise painter, who will not paint himself into a corner. We may not see the escape route in advance, but rest assured that it is there. 

The carpenter of Nazareth, Yoseph, was the legal heir to David’s throne by direct father-to-son inheritance through the seed of YechonYah, as can be seen in Matthew’s genealogy. It is obvious to even the most casual observer that Y’hovah’s judgment was in full force at that time. 

But in Luke’s genealogy, we see Miriam’s lineage through a different son of David. So Yeshua IS a literal, physical son of David through Miriam’s umpty-ump prophet grandfather Nathan, and legally the Seed of David through Yoseph, Miriam’s husband, the rightful heir to the throne through his umpty-ump grandfather, YechonYah. Yoseph’s act of naming the boy at his CC and his dedication conferred all the rights and privileges of the firstborn on his adopted son, Yeshua. Y’hovah’s thoughts, his machsh’vot are very deep indeed – intricately woven and of cunning work, like the fabric of the Mishkan and Aharon’s vestures. The man who sees only the pashat, which is like a skin of flesh, without seeing the deeper truths; the bones, meat, and sinews that the skin of pashat covers; may know the works of Y’hovah, but will not know his ways:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Y’hovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

And so we begin to understand why the wicked prosper, when we understand that there is a natural law of sowing and reaping, that what we do has consequences, whether for good or ill. We reap what we sow. The most wicked man who ever lived has done some mitzvoth, even if by accident, and MUST reap the rewards of those mitzvoth. This is why the wicked live better than they deserve in this life, because they have no eternal life in which to garner the reward for their mitzvoth. V.9 says they will be scattered, yithpardu. I think this speaks of the utter dissolution of the wicked in the Lake of Fire. This is also why the righteous seem to suffer more than they deserve in this life (especially when seen in light of the wicked living well), because they will receive no condemnation in the olam haba, the world to come, and MUST therefore reap the harvest of their fleshly deeds in the flesh. 

Vv.10-15 give us a preview of the great blessing that comes to the righteous in the olam haba. It is also briefly described in Rev.21-22.

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from Eloha out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of Eloha is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Eloha himself shall be with them, and be their Eloha. 4 And Eloha shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev.21.1-4)

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of Eloha and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of Eloha and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Rev.22.1-4) 

Tehellim 93 – There just isn’t much I can add to the pashat of this psalm. Y’hovah, the King of the Universe, is invincible. Those who are his are as invincible as he, because he has promised that he will guide and guard his own in his strength. What have we to fear? The Creator of all that is, also sustains his creation and is in complete control of it. He doesn’t micro-manage it, except as he uses it to bring judgment against those who call themselves his own and still disregard or despise what he says. The whole creation speaks of his power, and those who claim to be his ought to know better than to despise or misrepresent who he is. Q&C

Ivrit 12.1- – Wherefore means ‘for this reason.’ The chapter previous is called the “Faith Hall of Fame” and tells about the tribulations endured by the heroes of the faith once delivered to the saints – the faith of the Patriarchs. Let’s just look at the last few verses of Ch.11.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah; David also, and Samuel, and the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and mountains, and dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 Eloha having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Heb.11.32-40)

Because all the heroes of Tanakh were heroes, even with all their shortcomings, they are or will be witnesses to our walk of faith. We ought to take heart even in tribulation that we will receive like reward to theirs in the resurrection, if we stay as faithful as they did. 11.39 above talks about faith. But faith, in the Hebraic sense, is not just acceptance of a fact or doctrine. Biblical faith includes actions that are commensurate to our belief. An old pastor from 35 years ago once said, “Our belief is that by which we live. Belief = live by.” What he meant was if our faith doesn’t change the way we live, it is only a ‘said faith’, not real faith. 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of Eloha: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiyach Yeshua unto good works, which Eloha hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph.2.8-10)

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (Jas. 1.21-25)

So, because we are surrounded by witnesses who have already lived through the kind of stuff we are beginning to see all around us and we know that they were able to handle everything the enemy threw at them by the mercy and grace of Y’hovah, we should KNOW that we are also able to withstand the enemy’s onslaught. We should KNOW that we CAN run the race with patience.

Vv.2-3 agree with 

4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of Eloha perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1Jn.2.6)

We look to Yeshua as our standard, who knew no sin, who kept Torah, and whose Ruach empowers us to do the same. And our walk should reflect that power to obey. And when we get our minds and eyes off Yeshua and his Word and fall short, we know that he will be faithful to forgive us when we confess and repent our sins.

V.4 is interesting, because it is in context of looking to Yeshua. When did he resist sin unto blood? Beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane that was all he did on that Passover about 1985 years ago. From the first drop of blood he sweat out that night to the last drop of blood he shed on the tree at evening offering time, as the passover lambs were being slaughtered, he was resisting unto blood. We MAY have to resist unto blood. No matter to what degree we will need to suffer, if at all, he will be there to strengthen both us and our resolve to stand fast in him. Q&C

Vv.5-8 refer not only to the cloud of witnesses, but also to the purpose of the letter, the fact that the Hebrew believers in Mashiyach were considering going back to the sacrificial system because their lives were so much harder as the Netzari branch of the Hebrew religion was being persecuted in the Temple and synagogues by the CC faction. The author (I think it was Sha’ul or one of his close talmidim) tells them that what they are experiencing is chastisement for their sins in the flesh. Just because we are in Mashiyach does not mean we are exempt from the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. We will have eternity to enjoy the rewards we garner in this life, but have only this life to receive recompense for the sins we enter into by acts of volition. If we receive no chastisement for our sins in the flesh it is a good indication that we are counterfeit believers. 

We may also suffer at the hands of wicked men because of our walk in Mashiyach, which makes them uneasy. When THAT happens we need to 

… count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (Jas.1.2-4)

Vv.9-13 – If our human parents chastise us for disobedience, and we honor them for it, why would we NOT honor Y’hovah Avinu for the same reason? By the way, in the context of the great cloud of witnesses, the KJV translation leaves something to be desired. The translation is a good literal translation, but there is another perfectly acceptable literal translation that better fits the context. KJV has “Father of spirits”, but it could as easily read “spiritual fathers”; i.e., Avraham, Yisrael, the patriarchs and prophets of Y’hovah, who comprise the “cloud of witnesses”. I think it could go either way or, more likely, both ways. Whatever, the choice before us is life, which is our commanded choice in 

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love Y’hovah Elohecha, that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which Y’hovah sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deut.30.19-20). 

Our human fathers chastised us according to their standards, but Avinu’s Word holds us to a perfectly righteous standard. And as we said earlier today, 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Eloha, to them who are the called according to purpose. (Rom.8.28)

He chastises us for the purpose of making us fit to be partakers of his holiness. We take no pleasure in it while we are subjected to it, but his chastisement has a yield of the fruit of Shalom with him, which is the purpose for which we were created in the 1st place.

So, IN the chastisement, praise him for it, lift up your hands and your hearts to him and thank him for the chastisement and suffering he puts us through, because when we endure it by his power, we become more like his beloved Son, Yeshua haMashiyach. 

V.13 tells us to make straight paths to walk on – it says nothing about finding a straight path, but MAKING one. We already know what the straight path is – Torah. We need to consciously walk in it, having strengthened our ‘feeble (paralyzed) knees’ so that we can walk without a limp, which would naturally lead us off the narrow way. ‘Feeble knees’ gives me the impression of fright – knees knocking so badly that we can’t walk a straight line. It’s kind of like failing a field sobriety test. But if you aren’t drunk (or afflicted with vertigo as a result of kissing 1000 lbs. of falling tree), you should have no problem passing a field sobriety test. Even I can walk a straight line (though it ain’t easy). I take this as a picture of our walk in Mashiyach. It is sometimes a struggle for me to walk in a straight line, the more tired I become, the more likely I am to ‘wander a bit’. I cannot work in construction as a carpenter, because that would take climbing ladders and walking scaffolds. But I don’t have trouble staying on the strait and narrow path to life; Torah – unless I get in myself, which will wear me out quickly. Then my knees get feeble, my balance gets off and I have to work harder to stay on the straight Torah path to life. That’s when I need to remember to rest in Mashiyach’s power and let my batteries recharge. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

Shabbat Bible Study for February 10, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for February 10, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 47

Numbers 1:1 – 2.34 – Hosea 2:1 – Psalm 91 – Luke 15.1-7, Revelation 7:1-17

Links:

http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/four.htm 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind 

http://www.messianic.ws/Commentary%20Y-2/Y2-47.htm 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Westminster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckingham_Palace 

I had a mix-up last week, when messianic.ws had us in Num 1. We’ll make up for it now. Num.1 and Lk.15.1-7 from last week’s study portions are herein added.

Numbers 1:1-54 – Everything that has transpired between Ex.12 and Num.1 has taken 1 year and about 2 weeks. Generally, the events in Torah are to be seen as chronological, unless there is something in the text to indicate otherwise. Ch.9 tells of the first Passover in the Wilderness Adventure, which was 2 weeks before this census. V.1 tells us the date is the 1st day of the 2nd month of the 2nd year out of Egypt when Moshe was told to number the men of Israel from the 20th to the 60th year, men of war, according to their tribes and families. The elders of each tribe were to go with Moshe and Aharon throughout their tribal encampment to number all the men of war-fighting age. That this is given in other than the normal order sets it apart. The reason for this anachronism is not stated, but I think it was to make the point that their defense was not an afterthought, but the first order of business.

I think the order that is given in vv.5-15 are the actual order they were counted, beginning with the sons of Ya’acov’s wife Leah, then the sons of Rachel, followed by the sons of the concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah. The sons of Ya’acov’s wives are listed in birth order, though the sons of the concubines are not counted in any particular order, not even by where they pitched in the camp. Perhaps the camp was not ordered for battle or march as yet. We’ll see that in next week’s parsha. Perhaps this census was used to determine how the camps would be arrayed. Perhaps the anachronism is to have the order of the camp presented before the chronological narrative takes center stage, so there won’t be an unnecessary interruption in its flow.

This was an actual headcount, a direct order from Y’hovah superceding Ex.30.12-13, just this once;

12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto Y’hovah, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of Y’hovah. (Ex.30.12-13)

In every other census, they were to simply count the amount of silver that was offered by the souls and divide by 2 to arrive at the full number. But looks as if Moshe and Aharon personally spoke to each man of every family in every tribe, that each man personally gave his name and lineage to Moshe.

18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.

This certainly seems like a personnel inspection conducted by the CinC (Moshe) and his executive officer (Aharon), with the commanding general (elder or zachan) of each tribe accompanying him. If this is right, every soldier would get a personal few seconds or minutes of face time with the Prophet Moshe. I do not know how much time Moshe had had with ANY of the men of Israel, other than the elders, up to now. It is possible that this was the first face-to-face between the vast majority of b’nei Israel and Moshe. There were so many men in each of the tribes, it is possible that this was the first face-to-face between the zachanim and the men of their tribes. This would be a good thing in the long view, as now the elders and the leaders would have seen the face and heard the name of each man being sent into war, and that would make for as little war-fighting as practicable. The armies now had human faces, they were more than just numbers. This might be a good practice for every CinC. It might make for less military adventurism in political leaders. A CinC must not be afraid to use his military, when required, but he also must not be quick to use it except in self-defense. Israel had already fought defensive battles with Amalek at Rephidim. As long as the cause was just and they were in right standing, Y’hovah protected Israel in battle. If there was sin in the camp, the protection was lifted. It would ever be so in Israel’s/Yehudah’s history. 

The number of men of war in each tribe is the subject of the next portion of the chapter. I infer from v.18 that the character of each elder is expressed by his name. Reuben had 46,500 led by Elitzur, whose name means My El Fortifies; Shimon had 59,300 led by Shelumiel, whose name means El is my Peace; Gad had 45,650 led by Eliasaph, whose name means My El gathers; Yehudah had 74,600 led by Nachshon, whose name means enchanter (this may tell us why Kalev, that dog of a gentile, soon became the elder of Yehudah); Issachar had 54,400 led by N’thaniel, whose name means El is my Gift (or Giver); Zevulon had 57,400 led by Eliav, whose name means My El is Father. Yoseph was broken down by his 2 tribes, Ephraim and Menashe. Ephraim had 40,500 led by Elishama, whose name means My El hears; Menashe had 32,200 led by Gam’liel, whose name means El is my reward, so that Yoseph has a total of 72,700. BenYamin had 35,400 led by Avidan, whose name means My Father judges; Dan had 62,700 led by Achiezer, whose name means My brother helps; Asher had 41,500 led by Pagiel, whose name means El is my intercessor; Naphtali had 53,400 led by Achirah, whose name means My brother is wrong or evil, but whose father’s name, Eynan – the last name listed means ‘Having Eyes’, for a total of 603,550 men of war in Israel. If we juxtapose the first and last names, Elitzur and Eynan, it says that Elohim protects by watching. His protection goes before and he’s watching our 6. 

Levi was not numbered with the other tribes because they were not men of war, but were instead the substitutes for the first-born of each family in Israel. They were to minister in the Mishkan and bear it and its accoutrements in their 42 moves from camp to camp, and into haAretz.

The tribes were to pitch according to their tribes and their standards all around the Levites, who encamped just outside the Mishkan so they could be in close proximity to their charge, and be the last line of defense of the Mishkan, if need be. The order of the camp had not been specified, yet. We’ll see that in a few minutes, Y’hovah willing and the creek don’t rise. Q&C

B’midbar 2:1-34 – Each Tribe had its own standard, H1714 – degel, a banner or flag by which the families were to pitch their sukkoth, each family in the camp corresponding to his tribe. I assume that each camped according to his family, as well. The ‘ensign’, H226 – oth, of his father’s house was the individual tribal banner. So the degel of the House of Yehudah was the ‘Standard’ of Yehudah’s camp, which included the tribes of Yehudah, I think flanked by the tribes of Yissachar and Zevulon, each camping under their oth. I picture them in my military mind leaving camp by ranks; the center rank being Yehudah, followed by the right rank of Yissachar and then the left rank of Zevulon; and so on through the camps. It could also be that Yehudah camped to the East side of the camp, then Yissachar immediately to his west and Zevulon between Yissachar and the camp of Moshe, Aharon and their families. The Mishkan was at the center of the camp, as we discussed last week. The camp’s leading tribe’s oth, Yehudah’s in our example above, was also the camp’s degel, or main banner, I think. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a good note on v.2 concerning the banners and ensigns on pg.9-10. So the eastern camp was under Yehudah’s banner and ensign. Which led off when they broke camp, followed by Yissachar and Zevulon. The Chumash notes that the camp had a radius of not more than 2000 cubits, or the outliers would be unable to go to the Mishkan on Shabbat. I do not think that is correct, because getting all 2.5 million Israelites into a circle of at most 4000 cubits diameter, or an area of about 12.5 million square cubits, including the Mishkan and its court and the adjacent camps of the Levites, would be very tight. There were no hi-rise Sukkoth. 

The tribal camps correspond to the main constellations of the zodiac/Mazzeroth, and the main camps correspond to the 4 creatures of Revelation and the 4 sides of Ezekiel chapter 1’s chariot. Here’s how I think it looks:

Judah – Aries

Issachar – Taurus           East Camp   –   Lion’s face

Zebulun – Gemini

 

Reuben – Cancer

Simeon – Leo                   South Camp  –  Man’s face

Gad – Virgo

 

Ephraim – Libra

Menashe – Scorpio        West Camp   –   Ox’s Face

Benjamin – Sagittarius

 

Dan – Capricorn

Asher – Aquarius           North Camp  –  Eagle’s face

Naphtali – Pisces

 

This order of tribes and their corresponding constellations is exactly how they appear in the heavens. The Mishkan and its furnishings and the aron, or ark was central to the nation both in the camp and in the 42 moves during the Wilderness Adventure. Yehudah’s camp moved first, followed by Reuven’s camp, followed by the Levi’im and the Mishkan, followed by Ephraim, Menashe and BenYamin, the sons of Rachel’s camp, followed lastly by Dan’s camp. Chumash says that there is a dispute about where the Levites were in the marches, but v.17 looks pretty unambiguous to me; the Mishkan, priests, and Levite attendees went after Reuven and were followed by Yoseph. We’ll get a good look at the Levites’ camps next week. Q&C

Hosea 2:1 – Hoshea’s wife, Gomer, represents the world’s religions, beginning w/Judaism and mainstream Xianity but including all the pagan/heathen belief systems. It is ‘syncretism’, or mixing Y’hovah’s Torah with the religions of the world, that he hates and must address in his children. It was the official syncretism of Yerovoam’s national religion, mixing the pagan practices with the Name of Y’hovah that eventually got the 10 northern tribes of Israel exiled from their inheritance baAretz, in the land. It was the same syncretism in the leadership of Judaism that got Yehudah exiled, which exile is STILL experienced by MOST of the practitioners of the religion. If we were not all guilty of this syncretism, we would have long since been recalled to our tribal inheritances baAretz. The Jews who have gone back to haAretz are there trying to force Y’hovah’s hand, IMHO. They are not there in answer to his call, but in reaction to the Satanically driven anti-Semitism they’ve experienced throughout the world. They reason that they will always be discriminated against in the goyim nations of the world, so they need a homeland of their own, and stepped out ahead of Y’hovah’s call. This has NEVER worked out for Avraham or his seed. And the goyim are doing everything in their power to make this most recent attempt fail, as well. I think it is only a matter of time before Israel will be overrun by the goyim nations, almost to the point of utter destruction. It will only be when they have their backs against the wall, with absolutely nowhere else to turn that they will call out, “Hosheanu”, to Y’hovah for his deliverance. And he SHALL answer with Y’hovah’s Salvation – Yehoshua haMashiyach. Yehudah will then see him whom THEY pierced, repent of their 2000-year rejection, and JOYFULLY proclaim in fulfillment of prophecy, “Baruch haba b’Shem Y’hovah”, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of Y’hovah!” 

And that is when we’ll see our Haftarah proclaimed by Avinu,

Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruchamah.

Call your brethren, “My People” and your sistren, “Mercy”. I think that will be the call on the heathen nations’ armies to repentance and to change sides to Yeshua, as he says he’ll do when he returns to deliver Zion,

4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers, thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me. (Is.27.4-5)

I look forward to him offering his mercy, grace and shalom to the goyim arrayed against him, and accepting them as his people, if they turn from their ways to come to him. That goes for all the armies and also all the outright pagans and all the syncretists among them. Q&C

Tehellim 91 Vv.1-4 uses 3rd person to describe Mashiyach and how he deals with his own, and then in vv.5-15 he uses 2nd person to speak comfort to Mashiyach’s people in tribulation and exile. The psalm applies to all who dwell in the secret place of Y’hovah. What else would the secret place be, but the Kodesh Kadashim? And who else would be in the secret place but his Bride? We need to remember, even when the whole world turns against us and all looks bleakest, that we are hidden in Mashiyach, he is our refuge and fortress. He will deliver me from the snare – even if I get caught in a secret trap, Mashiyach will deliver me; even when there are dread diseases running rampant in the world, he will deliver me from them, either by surviving it or not contracting it. One of the most grievous pestilences of my generation has been AIDS, from which I have been delivered by practicing the only safe sex there is, total monogamy. Funny thing … my wife has also been delivered from AIDS and all other STDs by the same practice AND we have helped to deliver each other thereby. Isn’t it interesting that Y’hovah protects his people who follow his commandments? It’s very simple, though often not easy. He even protects those who are NOT his people when they follow his commandments. Curious, no? If we’ll trust him even in the bad circumstances, not thinking them anything that can truly harm us, he’ll deliver us through it all. Torah observance is our defense (even in court). 

Vv.5-15 – What follows speaks of our tribulation(s). Compare the tribulations in 6-9 with the horsemen of Revelation, of whom we should have no fear. Y’hovah will provide all his Bride’s needs through tribulation. Do you seriously think that 1000 enemies will fall at our side and 10,000 at our right hand because WE had anything to do with it?  

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. (Psalms 73:23)

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. (Psalm 142.3b-7)

Look at 3b, “In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.” This is how the Beast system will be able to persecute and prosecute believers, they will make laws against keeping Torah. It is how they have ALWAYS worked. 

4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find against him concerning the law of his God. (Dan.6.4-5)

They make laws that create new classes of criminals where there was no such class or law before. Every new rule or regulation makes otherwise law-abiding people guilty of another crime. It may be that the new criminal is completely unaware of the new regulation or rule he is ‘privily’ guilty of breaking – like the USAPATRIOT Act did. THAT is setting a ‘fowler’s snare’ (91.3). When they bring you up on charges for anything that is contrary to Torah, you may truthfully plead, “Innocent” (do NOT plead ‘Not Guilty’ – maintain your INNOCENCE). They created laws for the specific purpose of charging us (and others like us) with made up crimes. If you are truly keeping Torah in every place it applies to you, you are innocent before the Supreme Judge of the Universe. We who make Y’hovah our dwelling will not experience the rewards of the wicked, we will only see our adversaries rewarded therewith. And then he will wipe away all tears from our eyes and all those memories of wickedness from our minds 

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev.21.4)

What blessings follow those who follow Y’hovah’s Torah? Remember last week’s Torah portion, Lev.26.3-13? Let me refresh your memories:

3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your Eloha, and ye shall be my people. 13 I am Y’hovah Elohenu, which brought you forth out of the land of Mitzraim, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

And what does David describe in Ps.91.5-15? Now, the political ‘powers that be’ may imprison and/or mistreat you for your faith, but only YOU can make yourself their bondservant/slave. You do that by surrendering to their will and not submitting to Y’hovah’s will. Remember Andy DuFraine in The Shawshank Redemption. He’s a great metaphor for this thought. Like Yoseph in Mitzraim, he was in their custody, but he was never their prisoner. They controlled his body, but they could not control his mind without his active cooperation, which he never gave them. If (or perhaps WHEN) the time comes, it is YOUR attitude and where YOUR trust lies that will decide if you are in exile/prison or merely in custody. Do not be insolent or arrogant. But do not willingly comply with their iniquity. Y’hovah will repay our persecutors and will reward our faith and  

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (Ps.91)

Here we have Y’hovah speaking of Mashiyach/Yisrael (pashat), who was in all points tested like we are, and also Mashiyach of his Bride/Yisrael (sod). Q&C

Luke 15.1-7 – 165). Parable of the Lost Sheep – Remember that he used the last passage to weed out the show seekers, those who were just hanging on to see miracles, and who are really not seeking after the Father. 

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have  to finish? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14.25-35)

So here we have publicans and sinners, who heard what he just said, coming near to him. They were hearing a message of hope for themselves that they never heard from the Jews, the leaders of the Hebrew religion. The scribes’ and Pharisees’ attitude toward them was clear in v.2. These were the scum of the earth, as far as the Jews were concerned, and never mind that they were sons of Avraham as well. The Jews, the political/religious leadership of the Hebrews, didn’t offer the gospel of the kingdom to the gentiles like they were supposed to, and now we know why. They didn’t even offer it to sons of Avraham that they deemed unworthy, so why offer it to Goyim? I mean, besides the fact that they were commanded to preach the gospel of peace between Y’hovah and man 

44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. (Ps.18.44) 

9 Y’hovah preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. (Ps.146.9)

1 For Y’hovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. (Is.14.1) 

9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold Elohechem! (Is.40.9) 

7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Elohecha reigneth! (Is.52.7) 

15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off. (Nahum1.15) 

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom.10.15) 

Yeshua begins to preach the gospel in a parable that noone could misunderstand. If you have a flock of 100 and 99 are always nearby, but 1 strays, you go looking for him, right? You’re relatively certain the 99 will still be near the sheepfold when you return from your search, so you go looking. Now, will not Y’hovah do the same? When he has a flock of 100 and 99 of them don’t stray from the safety of the fold, but one goes missing, he looks for that stray until he finds him. The publicans and sinners must have rejoiced to hear this parable. It told them that Y’hovah had not and would not forsake them, anymore than he’d forsake you. Jn.10.27-30 speaks to this end. Yeshua and Abba will not leave us nor forsake us. We may backslide, we may forsake him, but he will not forsake us. He will look for us until he finds us. He will not, however, force us to return, but, like the father of the prodigal son (Lk.15.11-32), will give us time to repent and return to him. The implication is that the Father sends his Spirit to seek us, and he calls us to repentance. It is then up to us to heed the call and turn to him. When we turn to him and begin to approach, he takes hold of us and carries us into the safety of the fold. And then he throws a rip-roaring party. The key is the repentance, the change of mind from that which we want to that which he wants for us. This is occasioned by the renewing of our minds by the application of the Word of Y’hovah, and transformation thereby into the likeness of Moshiach, the living, breathing Word, so we can “PROVE that good and acceptable and perfect will of Eloha”. As the old saying goes, ‘The proof is in the putting,’ or in the doing of the will of Avinu. Q&C  

Revelation 7:1-8 – Imagine for a minute what it would be like if there was no wind. What conditions would it take to have no wind? I got this from the source of ALL objective truth; Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind 

“Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air… In meteorology, winds are often referred to according to their strength, and the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration (around one minute) are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale, storm, hurricane, and typhoon. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth… Wind is caused by differences in pressure. When a difference in pressure exists, the air is accelerated from higher to lower pressure.”

So, what conditions would it take to have no wind? Pretty much all of those processes would have to stop operating for a relatively long period of time. Y’hovah is going to have 4 spirit beings exert that kind of power over the physical creation (4 is the number of creation according to Bullinger’s Number in Scripture). Whether that power is special for just that time or is the spirit’s normal ministry is not clear in the text. Shadim have shown the ability to affect physical things in their attempt to counterfeit Y’hovah’s power. According to eyewitness testimony, physical objects have vanished from their normal place and reappeared in another by the actions of shadim. Y’hovah may not work that way most of the time, but he most certainly CAN if he wants to do so. I will not try to stop him, anyway. 

Another angel comes from the east, whether terrestrial east or celestial east it doesn’t say, and tells them to not do their ministry until the servants of Y’hovah are sealed in their foreheads. This is a reference to the ultimate fulfillment of

2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. 3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which the writer’s inkhorn by his side; 4 And Y’hovah said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. (Ezek.9.2-4)

I think this will be the ultimate fulfillment of the outpouring of the Ruach haKodesh on a Shavuoth in the not very distant future. The 144,000 will be 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel listed. If you look at the http://www.messianic.ws/Commentary%20Y-2/Y2-47.htm entry for this week, you will see a comparison of the tribes as listed in B’reishith 29 and Rev.7. Messianic.ws makes a valid point that Ephraim is possibly not listed for the same reason as Dan in Rev.7 – both were seats of Yerovoam’s ‘golden calf’ worship in the Name of Y’hovah. However, both Ephraim and Menashe are of Yoseph, so Menashe is effectively listed twice here. Remember that Ephraim was taken by Ya’acov as his bachor instead of Reuven. Perhaps this is what Ya’acov alluded to in B’reishith 48

19 And his father refused, and said, I know my son, I know: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. (Gen.48.19-20)

In the British Israel theory, Ephraim = England and Menashe = America. But England, more precisely the Cities of London and Westminster, is, in MY opinion, the seat of the Beast political and economic systems and prominent in the Beast religious system, as well, and that it uses the USofA as its military ‘right arm’ today. Wiki has some good articles about the City of London https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London and the City of Westminster https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Westminster, where Buckingham Palace, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckingham_Palace, originally known as the Queen’s House, where Elisabeth I first resided as Queen, is. The Cities are across the river Tyburn from each other, both have the Thames as their southern borders. It is possible, though speculative on my part, that the reason Ephraim is not in the list of tribes in Rev.7 is its prominence in the Beast System. 

V.4 says that there are 12,000 from ALL the tribes of Israel. Of those listed, only Yehudah, BenYamin and Levi were NOT carried off to Assyria and lost in the world. Only Y’hovah really KNOWS who is of what tribe, if any, among the gentile nations. Only Y’hovah can direct the angel to place his mark on the foreheads of those people. I believe that I am of one of those tribes, but I do not KNOW certainly, because the records for those tribes after the Assyrian captivity are lost to history. As of today, there is a 2800-year gap in the genealogies. For instance, who can KNOW they are of the tribe of Asher or Yissachar? It MAY be possible to trace your ancestry to Yehudah, BenYamin or Levi, but even THAT would have to be open to some doubt. But Y’hovah KNOWS. And he will guide the angels to mark the right people. 

I think that the 144,000 will live through at least the majority of the ‘Time of Trouble’, and perhaps all the way through to the return of Yeshua, when they will be either translated or resurrected to teach Torah to the nations.

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 (amiym, Heb root) shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Y’hovah, to the house of the Eloha of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go Torah, and the word of Y’hovah from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3)

1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, the mountain of the house of Y’hovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations (goyim, Heb. root) shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Y’hovah, and to the house of the Eloha of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for Torah shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Y’hovah from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1&2)

The prophets YeshaYahu and Micah were contemporaries and quite probably knew each other through the school of the prophets. These prophecies’ similarities are striking. The people of their day got 2 witnesses from 2 men who were both known to be prophets of Y’hovah. I think it is possible, perhaps probable, that as the amim hagoyim come up to Zion for instruction, they will be assigned one of the 144,000 as their tutors in Torah, as well as their vice-regents and judges under Torah’s authority. The people of the nations will be coming up to Jerusalem at least once every year for the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech.14). Perhaps they will have ‘speed of thought’ transport with their tutors? Q&C

Vv.9-17 – The multitude that no man can number that stand before the throne of Elohim include the souls who are under the altar in ch.6

9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they should be fulfilled. (Rev.6.9-11)

Those under the altar are given their white robes as an earnest of the promise given to them. Those who stand before the throne are the brethren who are those who shall be killed for the testimony. It is a subtle difference, but those under the altar have been killed for their testimony and will join those who shall be killed for their testimony. The 5th seal of Ch.6 is clearly seen as happening chronologically before the 7th seal is opened revealing the great multitude of Ch.7. The 1st is included among the 2nd and ALL are praised for their faith and faithfulness to Yeshua and Avinu. There is a difference, although very subtle between the 2 groups. The saints beneath the altar in ch. 6 are given clean white robes, while the multitude washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, which implies that they paid the price AFTER the saints had already received the earnest of their inheritance. Were that not the case, the time reference wouldn’t make any sense. What we are seeing in 7.9ff MAY be the scene after the last saint dies for the testimony of Yeshua and keeping Torah. I think that will happen very shortly before his return to haAretz, perhaps during the last few days of the Jewish month of Elul here on earth. 

Washing robes is seen in Torah during the offering of the Red Heifer, and other things that make the one touching it unclean until evening after a mikvah. I assume the mikvah was done while wearing the clothes to be washed. This can be seen 26 times in Lev.11, 13-17 and Num.19. I think they washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb by accepting death by martyrdom rather than denial of the Lamb who bought them. I pray that this is the testimony of all who hear this today who are NOT of the 144,000. May all y’all (and me, too) be faithful to Y’hovah Yeshua. The multitude that stands before the throne in ch.7 will dwell in the New Earth, as I read v.15.

I think v.12 may be another reference to the 7 Spirits of Y’hovah, as seen in ch.1, 3-5, as well as 

And the spirit of Y’hovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Y’hovah; (Isaiah 11:2)

In v.13, one of the elders speaks to Yochanan. This is one of the elders referenced in 4.10

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (Revelation of John 4:10)

It is possible that this refers to the 24 elders we will see in the next few weeks when we see the camp of the Levites around the Mishkan. All the sons of Levi + their sons + the grandsons of Aharon = 24. The traditional Christian interpretation may also be true, 12 tribal patriarchs + 12 apostles, as in the foundations and gates of New Jerusalem. 

The multitude is made up of people who suffered enough during the tribulation of Ya’acov that they will never suffer any pain of any kind. The list of things they will not ever experience again may be instructive of the types of pain they were subjected to in the attempt to get them to deny Yeshua and Y’hovah Avinu. 

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (Rev.7.16)

They were deprived of food and/or water and/or subjected to pain of burning by sun and/or other means. And they were strengthened in their spirits by the power of Ruach haKodesh to endure unto the end. Determine that, if it comes to it, you will rely on the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit to endure the hardship and then if it comes, give your body to him as a living sacrifice. HE will carry you through and only have to endure what he knows you can endure and then he will personally wipe all tears from our eyes and all memory of the abuse at the hands of men. Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for February 3, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for February 3, 2018
©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Lev 26.3 – 27.34; Jer 16.19; Ezek 12.20; Is 1.19; Psalm 90; John 15.1 – 27

Lev.26.3-13 – Y’hovah promises blessings without end (Eph 3.20 – “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”) IF we will walk in HIS ways and not our own, “‘If you walk in my statutes, and keep my mitzvot, and do them;’” Compare this to Ex.34. Shortly after ‘the transgression’ of the golden calf, Y’hovah promised Moshe to go with him to the promised land (Ex.33.14 – “My pan’yim will go with thee, and I will give thee nuwach [rest, a dwelling place]”). Moshe’s answer was “If your presence DOESN’T go with me, don’t lead us out of here.” Moshe is still interceding for Yisrael. Y’hovah granted Moshe’s request because in 33.17 he said (in a Mark paraphrase), ‘I like you and I am your friend.’ Then in Ex.34, Moshe plays that card. In vv.5-7 Y’hovah proclaims his Name to Moshe, ‘Y’hovah, Y’hovah Eloha’. It’s interesting that he gives 3 names. Y’hovah = the grace and mercy of Elohim, while Eloha = the righteousness and judgment of Y’hovah. The use of Y’hovah twice shows his character of responding with double blessing to those who will walk in his judgments and statutes and commandments, while judging righteously and not over-punishing for any offense – the wages of sin is death, not deaths. Juxtaposing v.6 w/v.7 we see how his character is shown by his Name. There are 3 actions in v.7 that correspond to his Name in v.6; 1) Y’hovah keeps mercy, 2) Y’hovah forgives iniquity and transgressions, and 3) Eloha visits iniquity, not clearing the guilty. He is twice as ready to bless as he is to punish.

Back to Lev.26 – While he only lists 10 verses of blessings for obedience vice 30 verses of curses for transgression, the blessings will be twice as fruitful as the curses. After listing all the curses for 30 verses, he shows his mercy again by saying that he will still forgive our iniquity IF and WHEN we repent and do his commandments, judgments and statutes. He is twice as willing to show mercy than judgment. Now let’s look at the particulars a bit closer.

Particulars of blessing (v.3-13) – Can one walk in Y’hovah’s statutes and guard, or keep, his commandments, and still not do them? W1828 says this for

STATUTE, [L., to set.]
1. An act of the legislature of a state that extends its binding force to all the citizens or subjects of that state, as distinguished from an act which extends only to an individual or company; an act of the legislature commanding or prohibiting something; a positive law. Statutes are distinguished from common law. The latter owes its binding force to the principles of justice, to long use and the consent of a nation. The former owe their binding force to a positive command or declaration of the supreme power.

So we can view Y’hovah’s statutes as his positive commandments, i.e.; what we’re told to do;

Dt.6.4, Sh’ma, Yisra’el: Y’hovah Elohenu; Y’hovah is one: 5 and you shall love Y’hovah Elohecha with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
Ex.20.8, “Remember the day of Shabbat, to keep it holy. 9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work, 10a but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Y’hovah Elohecha

A commandment, on the other hand, is a bit different. W1828 says

COMMANDMENT, n.
1. A command; a mandate; an order or injunction given by authority; charge; precept.
Why do ye transgress the commandment of Eloha. Matt. 15.
This is the first and great commandment. Matt. 22.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. John 13.
2. By way of eminence, a precept of the decalogue, or moral law, written on tables of stone, at Mount Sinai; one of the ten commandments. Ex. 34.
3. Authority; coercive power.

For a positive commandment, there is no need to coerce, but sometimes there is for a negative commandment, such as

Ex.20.4 “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the shamayim above, or that is in the eretz beneath, or that is in the water under the eretz: 5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Y’hovah Elohenu, am a jealous Eloha, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my mitzvot.

or

13 “You shall not murder.

The answer to the question above is, ‘I don’t think so.’ The verbs parallel each other in v.3. To walk, keep and do are all synonymous. So whether the command is positive or negative, a blessing is attached to our compliance, and a curse to our non-compliance. So, to have Y’hovah’s blessings, comply. His blessings are enumerated in vv.4-13.

4-13 – The 5-fold blessings that Y’hovah enumerates are all associated with the Messianic Era and the Ages to follow the recreation of the heavens and earth; 1) plenty in harvest, 2) peace in the land, 3) physical multiplicity of children and livestock, 4) lack of either human or animal enemies and 5) the presence of Y’hovah among us. Q&C

The curses associated with non-compliance are manifold and much more detailed. I think the detail is given to help discourage disobedience. Contrary to the doctrine of absolute sovereignty/no free will, it didn’t work as Y’hovah would have had it because of the yetzer hara, the evil urge of man. When Y’hovah created man, he wanted us to freely choose to love him and obey him. In order for us to be truly free to choose, he created us without any inclination toward either good or evil. It would be our choice to obey and incline to good or disobey and incline to evil. When Adam chose to disobey by NOT disavowing his wife’s vow, he inclined toward the evil and passed that inclination to his descendants. The church calls it, erroneously, the sin nature. What is more true is that man is born with both an urge toward spiritual good (yetzer tov) and an urge toward fleshly evil, inclining more toward the evil due to the choice of our father Adam. Now, we can still choose to obey and in that become more like Mashiyach, feeding our urge to the good, or we can choose to disobey, feeding our urge toward evil. It follows that when we feed one urge, we starve the other.

Vv.16-17 – The first curse for disobedience is terror of our enemies because Y’hovah has set his face against us (do you think THAT may be the driving force behind the ‘War on Terror’?). In Num.6.25, the Aharonic blessing, Y’hovah’s face shines on us, he turns his face toward us. IOW, the Aharonic blessing presumes that we obey Y’hovah! The result of Y’hovah setting his face against us is that we will be ruled by those who hate us. Is this not the facts of life for American ‘Xianity Astray’ – ruled by those who hate us? These are the subtle hints to repent. Guess what happens if we’re too dense to get it?

Following are 4 sets of 7 curses associated with our disobedience. If you just read each grouping, enumerated in vv.18-20, 21-23, 24-26 and 27-39, you’ll see clearly that each set of 7 plagues is progressively more severe. This puts me in mind of the groups of judgments from Yah in the book of Revelation, the seals (ch.6), trumpets (8-9), thunders (mentioned but not enumerated in 10.2-4) and vials (16).

Vv.18-22 – First the rain stops and the ground hardens like our hearts. Then the animals come along, and animals don’t all run on 4 legs. They abort our children, pass diseases like mad cow on our livestock, reduce our populations and make everything we do and everywhere we go profitless. If we’re STILL too dense to understand our situation, there’s more to come.

Vv.23-33 – Up to now, Y’hovah has been on our side, gently nudging us in the right direction. Now he’s going to get seriously serious about showing his displeasure. He is going to get personally involved in awaking us to our need to repent and do HIS will (Ps.40.8). He’ll bring in serious enemies, not just to chastise us but also to remove us from the land by stages. Stage 1 = siege (v.25). Stage 2 = scarcity (v.26). If that doesn’t get us to repent, Y’hovah will finally get mad. Scarcity will become famine [Stage 3], which will result in cannibalism, and finally [Stage 4] death by starvation. Then he’ll allow the desecration of the corpses by burning them on the same pyre as the idols we follow after. Abhor is an especially strong word. W1828 says

ABHOR’, v.t. [L abhorreo, of ab and horreo, to set up bristles, shiver or shake; to look terrible.]
1. To hate extremely, or with contempt; to lothe, detest or abominate.

After subtly, gently and then more seriously trying to get us to repent without success, he’ll treat us as we’ve treated him. We must obviously have rejected him to get to this point of debauchery and decay, so he will reject us in return. Even our enemies will be amazed at the rejection Y’hovah heaps on us for such willful disobedience and spiritual adultery. But even in that rejection Y’hovah is showing his mercy. It is in his rejecting us because of our idolatry that he makes it possible for the gentiles to be engrafted into the nation of Yisrael (Rom.11.15-23).

15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if Y’hovah spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Y’hovah: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for Y’hovah is able to graff them in again.

He is Y’hovah; Y’hovah Eloha, doubly ready to show grace and mercy instead of judgment, as we saw earlier.

Vv.34-35 – His final rejection is actually ejection from the land. Remember that the land belongs to Y’hovah, not Yisrael. Remember what we saw last week:

Leviticus 25:23 (KJV)
The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.

When we reject him, it is his right to drive us off the land as he did in the 8th and 6th centuries BCE and again in the 2nd century CE. Those who are NOT killed in the sieges, the famines and the pestilences resulting therefrom, will be carried away and subjected to servitude by fear of our enemies. We will trip over each other in our haste to escape the personal retribution that Y’hovah inflicts via our enemies.

Vv.40-46 – But, when we confess our lawlessness and repent of it, calling out to Y’hovah for deliverance, he will return us to his land. I believe this is occurring even as we speak among many in ‘the movement’. This is exactly what Daniel did in 9.4-19;

4 And I prayed unto Y’hovah my Elohim, and made my confession, and said, O Y’hovah, the great and dreadful El, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 O Y’hovah, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8 O Y’hovah, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To Y’hovah our Elohim belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of Y’hovah our Elohim, to walk in his mitzvoth, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy Torah, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Torah of Moses the servant of Elohim, because we have sinned against him. 12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Torah of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before Y’hovah our Elohim, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14 Therefore hath Y’hovah watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for Y’hovah our Elohim is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. 15 And now, O Y’hovah our Elohim, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Y’hovah, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 18 O my Elohim, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Y’hovah, hear; O Y’hovah, forgive; O Y’hovah, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own for thy sake, O my Elohim: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

This is the kind of attitude we need to show to Y’hovah in our repentance/confession of iniquity to him. Daniel took ownership of not only his own, but his nation’s iniquities and sins, and repented as the representative of the nation. Daniel was of the tribe of Judah (1.5), so he could represent the nation as a leader of the King’s line in Babylon. We need to do the same for our families as Daniel did for Judah and Yisrael. Q&C

In Lev.27.2 we see a man able to make a singular vow. Singular is H6381, pala ,פלע which means to cast off or separate. This vow is one in which the man is setting himself, someone or something apart unto Y’hovah’s service. The priest would give an estimate of the person’s or thing’s value and then lease that thing or individual until the next jubilee.

Please notice in v.4 that the estimation of value for the female between 20-60 years old is 30 shekels of silver. For how much did Yehuda sell Yeshua to the Sanhedrin? 30 shekels of silver? Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences. Yeshua died the death of the adulterous woman (Num.5.11ff)?

V.8 speaks of a man ‘poorer than thy estimation’. I don’t think that is talking about his financial portfolio so much as his health and ability to be of service to Yah. When we offer something to Yah, we are not to change what we’ve vowed (v.9-10). HananYah and Sapphira (Acts 5), who made a vow and then held some back, come to mind. All that we offer by vow can be redeemed for it’s estimation + 20% – a restocking fee, as it were. Actually, when we want back what we’ve given freely to Y’hovah, taking it back is like stealing or defrauding Yah, I think, and the restitution statute takes effect.

Leviticus 6:4-5 (KJV)
Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, [5] Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.

Vv.14 – 25 deal with giving your house or fields to Y’hovah. The value is 1 silver shekel per bushel of barley yielded per year for the 50 years between Yovels. An exact record of the field’s yield for the last few years would be required to make an accurate estimate of value. Also, the time until the next Yovel determines the amount the field is worth. 33 years until Yovel, 33 silver shekels/average bushels of barley yielded is the estimation. At least, that’s how I read that passage. If the steward wants to redeem his field he may by adding 20% to the # of years remaining – 10 years remaining = 12 silver shekels/ average bushels yield.

Vv.26 – 34 have to do with clean and unclean beasts vowed to Y’hovah. You mean we can offer unclean beasts to Y’hovah’s use? Yep. Do you suppose that the Levites used, say, camels or donkeys to carry stuff from city of Refuge to city of Refuge? I’ll bet they did! Being unclean to eat or sacrifice does not make an animal unfit for use, just as being a gentile doesn’t make a person unfit for Y’hovah’s service, especially one who would be after Y’hovah’s heart. Look at the ‘mixed multitude’ and such folk as Nebuchadnezzar or Naaman, both of whom we will see in the Kingdom of Mashiyach.

The tithe of the land = 1/10th of all the produce after expenses. If you wanted to give cash instead of the tithe in kind, you could do so by adding 20% to its value. In other words, if the total increase of your field is 10,000 bushels, your tithe is 1000 bushels or 1200 shekels of silver. You are not to inspect the yield, just count it. Same with the flocks. The tithe is for the use of the priests who are wholly dedicated to Y’hovah and have no inheritance in the land. Q&C

Is.1.19, Jer.16.19, Ezek.12.20 – Isaiah describes what will happen to us if we follow after Y’hovah’s heart. It is part of a larger passage,

Isaiah 1:16-19 (KJV)
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; [17] Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. [18] Come now, and let us reason together, saith Y’hovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. [19] If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

Sounds conditional to me, that ‘IF’ being so prominent and all. It says ‘if ye be willing and obedient’, not if you can keep every precept perfectly all the time. Does your lifestyle exhibit obedience and a willingness to change your opinions and doctrines if Y’hovah shows you new (to you) truth? If so, this promise is for you. If not, you’re in trouble, ‘cause v.20 says that he’ll make it so you’re devoured with the sword.

Jerry shows us another thing that will happen if we follow after Y’hovah.

19 O Y’hovah, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and wherein no profit.

The gentiles will seek Y’hovah out and ask him to show them the truth because he will have made them SICK of the lies their fathers have inherited and passed on to them. And whom will he use to teach them? That’s right! He’ll use YOU and me to teach the gentiles His truth. I hope I’m up for the task. How about you? I think this will be our job in the Kingdom Millennium.

But if we choose to NOT obey him, Zeke has our fate.

18 Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness; 19 And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein. 20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am Y’hovah. (Ez.12.18-20)

All that we worked for and all that we built will be in ruins because we were unfaithful to the Elohim who bought us. Do you see the contrast between Jerry and Zeke? Jerry has Y’hovah answering the gentiles who call upon him and Zeke has Y’hovah turning away fromYisrael who does not. The contrast is sharp and clear. It all has to do with heart attitude; Humility v. Pride. The bookies had Pride giving 17. Humility not only covered the spread, but won the game.

“Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall.” Pro.16.18 Q&C

Ps.90 – What better place to live than in Y’hovah? Moshe says here that Y’hovah has been Yisrael’s dwelling place for all generations, not will be, but HAS been. Moshe led Yisrael out of Egypt, in case anyone is wondering. They had not lived in the land for at least 3 generations, but they HAD been living in Y’hovah all that time. Do you suppose it’s possible that the man of El was speaking metaphorically and spiritually? Moshe says in v.3 that it has always been Yah’s way to allow nations to turn away from him, but to call out a remnant to make teshuvah, repent and return to him. Time is irrelevant to Y’hovah, the nation can be removed from him for 1000 years, or just a day and he will still call out his remnant.

I know that v.4 speaks of the original creation in days and the prophetic calendar of thousands of years. I do not disclaim that truth, but its context here is one of redemption of the exiles. He exiles and he calls his redeemed. Notice a part of the verse that is often overlooked, “and as a watch in the night.” There are at least 2 watches in the night, so to strictly interpret this passage as 1 day = 1000 years would be a mistake IF there were no other scriptural evidence to the day/millennium interpretation.

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of Y’hovah the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of wicked men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with Y’hovah as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
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 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and reverence, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Y’hovah, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2Pe.3.3-12)

Peter, under Ruach’s inspiration, arguably saw Ps.90.4 as meaning a millennium = a prophetic day, and vice versa. My point is to NOT be so wed to the interpretation as to allow your faith to be shaken if it doesn’t work out the way you thought it would. The passage’s most unstrained interpretation is that Y’hovah is timeless, having created all by the Word of his mouth and being transcendent of his creation.

Moshe is speaking of the Egyptians particularly, and men in general in v.5&6. ‘They are as a sleep’ I think that means they are not even aware of all this calamity being the judgment and wrath of Y’hovah. They just go about life as if in a sleep, they flourish and they wither and it seems like it’s just dumb luck. There is no conscious effort on their parts to be blessed or cursed, they are just clueless.

But we are mindful of him and his dealings with us. We are even more mindful of our sin and iniquity when we remember exactly how just and holy he is. Y’hovah is a consuming fire and in his wrath he will consume those who will not repent and walk in his ways. V.8 says he sets our secret sins before himself and shines the light of his countenance on them – the same countenance that Aharon said would shine on us in Num.6. I think the reason for the shining is a bit different, don’t you? We deserve to have our lives pass in his wrath – we’ve earned it. Our years are as a tale – noone would ever believe the judgment we deserve. 70 years is probably about all we could stand – 80 if we’re especially hearty, but the life is really just existing, when we are receiving his wrath. And as much as we know that our calamities are due to Y’hovah’s wrath against us we really don’t have a clue as to what we REALLY deserve (v.11).

When Moshe says teach us to number our days, I don’t think he’s talking about counting how long we’ve lived or how long we have left to live. I think he’s talking about Y’hovah teaching us to live to him one day at a time – to value the time as given unto Y’hovah. I think this is what Sha’ul meant when he said in 1Cor.15,

30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in the Mashiyach Yeshua our Master, I die daily.

The word ‘number’ is H4487, manah, to apportion. That puts a picture in my head of a butcher weighing the meat for sale. He needs to be very careful to give a just measure or he’ll displease either Y’hovah or his customer – neither is a good thing. But if he provides a just weight, everyone is happy, the customer, the butcher and Y’hovah.

While Moshe asks to be satisfied with Y’hovah’s mercy, it has been apparent throughout the Psalm. It is his mercy that lets us live through the wrathful judgments so that we will call on him to be merciful. He asks to be made glad according to the days of affliction. That might seem merciful and gracious to Moshe, but it’s nowhere close to the mercy and grace of Y’hovah, who will provide exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or even think. He asks that Y’hovah’s work appear to his servants. Sha’ul tells us what Y’hovah’s work is in Eph.2.8-10,

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Y’hovah: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiyach Yeshua unto good works, which Y’hovah hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Q&C

Jn.15.1-12 – Yeshua begins by applying Y’hovah’s covenant Name to himself and then likens himself to Israel by saying that he’s the true vine.

8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. 9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. 10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. 11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. 12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. 14 Return, we beseech thee, O Elohim of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

His audience knew that Israel was the vine of Yah in Ps.80. They also knew what he was saying, that he is the Branch and that he is the right hand that planted Yisrael.

16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. 18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. 19 Turn us again, O Y’hovah Elohim of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. (Ps.80.16-19)

Every branch in Mashiyach that doesn’t bear fruit is taken away, removed from the vine (Rom.11), but every fruitful branch gets pruned (which is not a lot of fun for the tree while it’s happening). Notice please that the branches that are removed are NOT cast in the flames immediately. He waits for the branch to wither and become lifeless – graciously awaiting the branch’s repentance and call for mercy before having it cast into the fire (v.6). In v.4 he says that only those who abide in him (the vine) can be fruitful, and in vv.7&10 he tells us what abiding in him entails – his Words abide in us and we keep his commandments. ‘Keep’ is from G5083, tereo, meaning to guard from loss or injury. In other words, we guard his commandments so we don’t lose them or let them become less than they were intended in our lives. This can only be accomplished by the work of Ruach in our lives. If we tried to keep them in our own strength, we would utterly fail. But the grace of Y’hovah is the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh, who gives us the power to overcome the world and to live and walk as Yeshua lived and walked. We CAN walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom.8.1) if we submit to Ruach HaKodesh. In v.7, if Torah abides us we will receive the desires of our hearts, because they will accurately reflect the heart of Y’hovah.

It is by keeping his commandments that we can be joyful (v.11). In v.12 he enumerates one of his commandments. Notice that in vv.10&17 he said ‘keep my commandments’ and ‘these things’ (both plural), but here he names one commandment (singular), and that it reiterates Lev.19.17-18,

17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am Y’hovah.

Notice that in Lev.19.17 we are not to hate our brother/neighbor (do you suppose that would mean Yehudah for us, and us for him? – Lk.10), but we are to rebuke sin in his life. That is one way to live out v.18 and Jn.15.12. You are not loving your neighbour by letting him sin; in fact, you are hating him. Do you think that Yeshua rebuked sin in his talmidim? You betcha! Look at Mat.16. 21-23.

21 From that time forth began Yeshua to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Rabbi: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of Y’hovah, but those that be of men.

Q&C

Vv.13-16 Yeshua speaks of us as his friends. There is no greater love than his love for us; since he gave his life that we could live. He proved that he was our friend by his substitutionary atonement. Now we show that we are his friends by doing as he commands. His commands are only those that Avinu told him to reveal to us. You mean he’s keeping secrets from us? Absolutely! If we knew all the stuff that he has planned for us, we’d be jumping off buildings in our hurry to get to it. In 17 he says, ‘These things’, not ‘this thing’, and then he enumerates one thing – to love one another, i.e.; Ephraim loving Yehuda and vice versa. He is not talking about only the command to love one another, but all the particulars that go along with loving one another. Those are the last 5 commandments (the bones) and all the commands, judgments, statutes and ordinances (the meat) that we are able to obey that fill them out.

The reason we need to love one another is given in vv.18-19 where the world hates us because we ARE Yeshua’s friends and they hated him long before they hated us. Their hatred of him causes their hatred toward us. And they do hate us. They smile at our little fringes and our love of Torah and obedience thereto, but the smile hides their contempt. Remember the O’Jays song, “Smiling Faces, Sometimes”? Now, who persecuted Yeshua while he walked the earth? The political authorities, the Iuaidoi, did it to Yeshua. Expect persecution from similar quarters. The political authorities play as if they love Y’hovah Yeshua, but their actions reveal that lie. If the political powers of the US and Israel loved Y’hovah they would not be giving away HIS land as if it were theirs to do with as they please. They prove their hatred of Y’hovah by their actions. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Yehuda and Ephraim in the land, but everything to do with the world’s treatment of the land itself. And you see who’s being persecuted in the land, don’t you? They are the religious Jews who are awaiting Mashiyach’s soon coming. When Yeshua comes in the clouds of heaven they will be the ones who say “Baruch haba b’Shem Y’hovah” – blessed is he who comes in the Name of Y’hovah. Ps.118. 21-27,

21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. 22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 24 This is the day which Y’hovah hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Y’hovah: O Y’hovah, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Y’hovah: we have blessed you out of the house of Y’hovah. 27 El is Y’hovah, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Much persecution will come at the hands of ‘fellow believers’ who will persecute us ‘for his Name’s sake’ They will think they are doing it in Y’hovah Yeshua’s Name while they will actually be taking his Name in vain, for they are worldlings, not spirit filled. They will be ‘christians’, not Jews. In America, it is ‘christians’ who hold political/judicial power.

They hate us because they first hated him, and since they hate him they also hate Avinu. We are the ‘face’ of Yeshua to the world. We sometimes don’t represent him properly, but that isn’t the point. All they see of Yeshua are we, and Yeshua is all the world will ever see of Father Y’hovah. So when they hate us, it is really Yeshua and Father who they hate.
Ps.35.19-20, 19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. 20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
Sounds like Gush Katif and Amona, doesn’t it? Bush/Rice & Obama/Clinton/Kerry and the secular government of Israel are deep trouble with Y’hovah.

The nature of Y’hovah is alluded to in v.26 twice.

But when the Comforter (Ruach/Imah) is come, whom I (Son) will send unto you from Abba , even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father (1), he shall testify of me (2):

Yeshua sends Ruach from Avinu. Yeshua says right there that these are different in a subject/object relationship. I can’t adequately explain it, except to say that Yhwh is ONE and the same Spirit is in Yeshua and Abba. If you disagree, you have a right to be wrong. The heathen have counterfeited other truths of Yah, why not this one? Cf.Mt.28.19 where there is one Name, but 3 who hold it, Father and the Son and Ruach. All manifestations of the same Almighty Y’hovah.

Yeshua is not speaking only to his talmidim in v.27, but to us as well, for he’s also known us and we have been with him from the beginning.

Eph.1.3-6
3 Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yeshua the Mashiyach, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in the Mashiyach: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Yeshua the Mashiyach to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Q&C
End Midrash

3 Exile stages of the tribes, 1) Reuben, Gad and ½ Menasshe, 2) Zevulon and Naphtali, 3) Samaria and her sisters all exiled. Talmud 110b says the ten will return and be reconciled to Judah. 2Ki.15.29, 1Chr.5.26, 2Ki.17.1-6, 23

Exile due to refusal to follow Y’hovah. 2Ki.17.7-8. They were replaced in the land by the Sumerians 2Ki.17.24 – so there would be no patriotism or affinity to the land.

Samaritans were descended from Assyrian/Ephraimite leftovers to the northern kingdom. 2Ki.24.

They who walk in darkness (no Torah) shall see a great light (living Torah). Is.9.1-2

Shabbat Bible Study for January 27, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for January 27, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 45 – 3 Feb 2018

Leviticus 25:39 – 26:2 – Isaiah 24:2 – Psalm 89 – Galatians 4:1- 5:1

Links:

Vayikra 25:39 – 26:2 – Last week we saw the ‘kinsman-redeemer’ and how that was to be played out. Basically, if your kinsman needed money, he could lease you his land for it’s market price divided by the number of years to either the Sh’mithah or Yovel year. This week we’re going to see how an Israelite could lease HIMSELF as an indentured servant on the same basis. He would sell his service to another Israelite for the number of years until the next Sh’mithah or Yovel. He would sell his service for its market value and then be cared for by the master better than the master’s other servants were. I infer that this sale/lease of the man was to the kinsman-redeemer, as well – at least he would be the first to be offered the lease/sale. This was NOT a sale into indentured service forever. The Yovel or Sh’mithah year would end the time of the service, whichever filled the term of the contract. If the kinsman-redeemer was ABLE to purchase both the produce of the man’s field AND the man’s labor AND care for his needs, he was duty-bound to do so. Of course, the man selling his produce and service must truly need to have the relief and not just be taking advantage of the financially blessed near-kinsman. I expect that the blessing on the kinsman-redeemer would be GREAT. Perhaps this was why Boaz was so blessed in Israel? We are NOT told if he’d acted as Kinsman-redeemer before Ruth’s day, but I expect that his great wealth was at least a partial reward for his obedient faithfulness to Y’hovah’s ordinances in this regard. In fact, Naomi may have known of his Torah observant reputation before returning to BethLechem. 

The Israelite brother was to be treated as a hired hand, not as a slave because he was NOT a slave, but a brother. Slaves were the master’s property; the brother was not, even though he was ‘purchased’ after a fashion. Slaves did menial work, not usually trusted with technical or precise work, but a brother was to be given work commensurate with his abilities, even if it was only fieldwork. His term of service was at the most until Yovel, at which time he was released from his debt and sent back to his inheritance. 

The idea was that he would be able to use the time of service to get back on his financial feet. This was accomplished because his needs; food, clothing, and shelter; were taken care of AND the master paid him the going wage for the day – if the man who’d sold himself into service was frugal with his wages, his time of servitude could be shortened by as much as ½. If he was frugal and worked for the master all the way to the Yovel, he could start anew with a nest egg of some considerable amount. If he were frugal AND set aside the purchase price, he would be able to buy his service back very quickly and also have a nest egg to start over.

In a way, this is what Yacov did with Lavan. He entered into service for a 7-year period – do you suppose the first year of service was a Sh’mithah year, where he could live with his brides for a year and NOT have to work the fields? And then in the next Sh’mithah he was also able to let the land and the animals/servants rest? Perhaps, though it was not certain in Laban’s home. I know what you’re thinking: this chapter has the first mention of Sh’mithah. This IS where we get the first mention of it, but Y’hovah has told us that Avraham, and presumably all the Patriarchs, kept all his Word;

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Genesis 26:5)

Compare that to what we’ll discuss next week;

1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I Y’hovah Elohechem. 2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I Y’hovah. 3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit….. (Lev.26.1-3)

Those are the first 4 of 13 verses of specific blessings that shall follow us, IF we do as Avraham did, who was merely following his Elohim as Yeshua did. 

When his term of service was over, not just the brother, but his children also, were to go out to his inheritance. I assume the wife or concubine in this case was the master’s property. But if the man went into the contract married, I assume that his wife would go out, as well. He is not sold into service forever, because he is Y’hovah’s servant and not any Israelite’s. An Israelite’s bondservants were to be Canaanite or other heathen, not fellow Israelites. The Canaanite slaves were actual property, and were willable to the next generation, but a brother Israelite was not to be treated as such, but went out to his own inheritance in the Yovel or Sh’mithah year.

If an Israelite became poor and sold himself to a Canaanite sojourner baAretz – in the land, the near kin were duty bound to redeem him, if it was in their power, or if the man became able to redeem himself, he could do so. The sojourner may not like it, but this was the Torah in Israel. Stone’s/Schottenstein’s Chumash says that this was a ger who had agreed to live according to the Noachide laws and was then permitted to live baAretz. He would have to also abide by the Torah’s ordinances, statutes, commands, and judgments. The redemption price was calculated according to the time left until Yovel, and the compensation must be fair. The Israelites were not to withhold just payment just because the ger was a ger. Honest weights and measures were always to be the norm in Israel. Now, if the man sold himself into servitude to a ger, the question comes to my mind why his kinsmen didn’t come to his aid before? Of course, that assumes that he’d approached his brethren with his need in the first place. Perhaps he was too proud to ask his brother for help. In v.49 we see the reason the Israelite who had sold his service was to be paid the going wage for service – so he could buy his service back to himself, if there was no near kinsman able to redeem him, or if all his near kin were rotters who WOULD not do their duty for their brother Israelite. Please notice that in Israel, an Israelite could purchase a ger in perpetuity, and could pass that servant on to his children as inheritance because they were his property, but an Israelite NEVER became another’s willable property. His service was limited to the next Yovel. The Israelite served Y’hovah, and never became another Israelite’s bondservant. Y’hovah owns all Israelites, and noone may purchase them as property.

Lev.26.1-2– Israel was not to make any images of wood or stone or any other material. Images in scripture are phallic symbols, a representation of the male sexual organ. The Canaanites worshiped sex in all of its aspects, because it was through the ritual sex of Molech and Asherah worship that they created the human babies for sacrifice to the false gods of those cultures. They offered the newborn babies of the temple prostitutes to Molech on the first day that the daylight part of the day grew noticeably longer, a harbinger of the resurrection of the trees and herbs of the field, after the Winter solstice – December 25th. Then on the first Sun-day following the 1st full moon of Spring (Easter), they would use the blood of the babies that weren’t born in time for the offering to Molech to ‘bless’ the altar in the Tophet cave in the Hinnom Valley where the rising sun was worshiped as the temple prostitutes engaged in the ritual sex to produce the NEXT year’s offerings for the pagan false gods. Can you imagine bowing before a giant phallic symbol – like the Washington Monument or the obelisk in the court of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican or Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park, NY? I can’t think of much that would tick Elohim off much more than worshiping sex through bowing to a giant penis. Then in v.2, he makes the point more sure by saying that we are to keep his Shabbats and honor his sanctuary. V. 2 is in contrast to v.1 – don’t do that; do this. Q&C

YeshaYahu 24:2 – Here’s vv.1-2;

1 Behold, Y’hovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

V.1 describes the earth after Y’hovah brings his judgment for failure to understand and heed his warnings that he will warn us about NEXT week in Vayikra 26.14ff. There we will see how he gives us ever more strident warnings, and our world will not heed them, mainly because our churches have convinced themselves and it has helped convince the heathen as well, that Y’hovah doesn’t work that way anymore. As it was with Israel, so it will be with the world.

Wealth, position, status will mean nothing in the days of this prophecy. There will be such economic upheaval that everyone will be on the same level. And what will the Illuminati do when they have nothing that they’ve worked for all these generations? Basically the medium of exchange – money – will be worthless and you can’t eat gold or silver. That’s pretty close to the economic conditions today. If things keep on as they have are going, and without a general spiritual ‘vival’ they will, there will be no economic activity; indeed, there will be no economy except barter. If we have nothing to barter with, how will we get the things we need unless we’ve made preparations beforehand? What good will a limousine do if there is no fuel to power it? The stuff is REALLY going to be hitting the fan before long. We will be able to barter work for goods, perhaps. Most of the people listening have made at least some preparations. Some have made none. Can you see the possibility of someone selling himself into service in those days to people who HAVE prepared? I can! The Torah for today lays out the rules for that service between believers. Y’hovah will hold us accountable for how we treat our brethren AND the ger in our midst. I can see the day when he who loaned will come to the borrower for some of the stuff he got from the proceeds of the loan. The rich, who’ve never had to fend for themselves, will be lost when the plumbing or furnace fails. They will need tradesmen to help them, and will want to pay for their specialized knowledge, but with what? If they haven’t got a valuable commodity, how will they pay? With paper money? With debt? That’s how the uber-rich will be brought low. That’s an example of how the playing field will be leveled. Everyone will finally know that paper money and debt/credit is truly worthless, and the world system’s economy will stagnate and then putrefy. Knowledge of how things work and the ability to repair them will be a valuable commodity. Intellectual capital and the ability to use it will be king. I have can build things and teach others to build things. My wife can care for sick people, as well as cook and bake and teach others to do all of that. How about you?  Q&C

Tehellim 89 – Sing along, if you know the tune to Ps.89.1

I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever! I will sing! I will sing!

I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever, I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh!

And with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness, thy faithfulness! 

And with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations!

I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever! I will sing! I will sing!

I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever, I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh!

I used to teach that to my own kids and to the kids in my Sunday School classes many moons ago. I always loved it, even with the substitute name. Y’hovah has made covenant with us, if we will stay faithful to him. 

This psalm has a unique structure in that v.2 is an overview of vv.5-18, v.3 is an overview of vv.19-28, and v.4 is an overview of vv.29-37. It interests me, no end that Stone’s Tanakh has a note to v.4 that Elohim is the speaker in vv.4-38, when there are so many 2nd person references to Y’hovah and his power and kavod. I agree that Elohim is the speaker, but I think it is Mashiach about whom he speaks.

Vv.2, 5-18 – Y’hovah’s faithfulness is established in the very heavens. As long as the heavens endure, so will his faithfulness to us-ward. Notice the likening of the heavens to the congregation of the saints in v.5. The souls of the saints do not congregate in the heavens after their deaths, but their spirits do.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto Elohim who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

There is a separation of flesh and spirit at death that negates the ‘soul’ until resurrection day. But the spirit is not, I think, without self-consciousness. When king Saul had the witch of Endor call up Samuel, she was frightened because Samuel, and NOT her familiar spirit, actually was sent to make the final pronouncement against Saul. Had it been the spirit she was familiar with, she’d have kept control, and probably not known that it was the king. 

Vv.6-18 are a kind of Micha Mocha, who is like you. The psalmist makes multiple references to the stars and the courses of nature. 6-10 speak specifically of the 1st heaven, that in which we move and all have experience, the earth and its atmosphere. He speaks of Y’hovah’s complete command of everything on and in the earth, even the forces of the Adversary. In v.10, Rahav means fierceness, insolence, or pride and Gesenius says it makes poetical reference to Egypt (Stone’s Tanakh agrees in its note to v.10). 

Vv.11-18  reference all the land of Israel, from Hermon to Tabor, even though Tabor is in the Galilee. Here’s what Easton’s Bible Dictionary says about Mt. Tabor;

The prominence and isolation of Tabor, standing as it does on the borderland between the northern and southern tribes, between the mountains and the central plain, make it a place of note in all ages, and evidently led the Psalmist to associate it with Hermon, the one emblematic of the south, the other of the north.

Hermon, about 40 miles north of the Sea of Galilee, is the highest peak in Israel – 9200 feet above Mediterranean sea level. Easton’s says;

In every part of (Israel) the Israelite turned his eye northward, there was Hermon terminating the view. One of the 3 peaks of Hermon is likely the mount of transfiguration.

Hermon is called Sion in Dt.4 and Ps.65. It may be the mount Sion John references in Rev.14.1

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

Vv.5-18 speaks of none save Mashiach, who is the fulfillment in time of the faithfulness of Y’hovah. Look at all the references to him in vv.13-18; mighty arm, strong hand, right hand, justice and judgment mixed with mercy and truth, the light of his countenance, the glory of our strength, our defense and our King. Justice and mercy are manifestations of Y’hovah, while judgment and truth are manifestations of Elohim. Those manifestations find their physical fulfillment in the person of Yeshua. Who else but Mashiach can that describe?

Vv.3, 19-28 – These verses speak of Y’hovah’s servant, David – once again, the reference is prophetically to Mashiach. In v.19, he speaks of ‘thy holy one’, which ultimately has but one reference. Both kings and priests were anointed, so both were technically Moshiachs. And the reference in ZecharYahu 14 to the ‘2 anointed ones’ may reasonably be seen as Mashiach ben Yoseph and Mashiach ben David. The sages saw 2 moshiachoth; one who would suffer for his people and  sins – Mashiach ben Yoseph,

But he (was) wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace (was) upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

and one who would deliver his people from their political and spiritual enemies – Mashiach ben David. 

5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. 6 And the disciples went, and did as Yeshua commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the multitude said, This is Yeshua the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. (Matt.21.5-11)

The prophecy that was fulfilled is from ZecharYahu 9;

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)

Yeshua haMoshiach is the ultimate Chasid of Y’hovah, the Hebrew word in v.19 is la’chasidecha, ‘to thy holy one’. Ethan the Ezrahite, who authored this psalm, knew David. He was one of the Levites who helped bring up the ark from Obed Edom’s place. He saw David as Y’hovah’s anointed king and deliverer, literally Mashiach. In v.21, Y’hovah’s hand is ESTABLISHED in David, as it is in the heavens in vv.2, 5-18, and as the enemy could not overcome David because Y’hovah was with him, so he cannot overcome Yeshua, Mashiach ben David, for Y’hovah will beat down his foes (vv.22-23). Sorry folks, but the Adversary has no chance, and neither do his minions. But Y’hovah’s faithfulness and mercy are David’s and his seed’s promised reward. Vv.24-29 describe Y’hovah’s faithfulness to David and his seed, who is Yeshua and those found in him at his appearing. 

Vv.4, 29-37 – ‘Thy seed’ also speaks of Mashiach, who is the ultimate seed of Y’hovah, as the seed the woman and the seed of Avraham. We will explore those seeds in GalutYah, I think. Notice that it speaks of only one seed, not many. 

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Mashiach. (Galatians 3:16)

There is but One seed, One Saviour, One King Yeshua, the Son of David, the Son of the living Elohim. The Seed’s children (that’s us, folks) disobey or turn away from his Torah; he will chastise them in increasingly severe judgments until they return to him. We’ll see that very graphically in next week’s Torah portion, Lev.26.14ff. But even with all the severity of the judgments, if they fail to repent and make teshuvah, Y’hovah will not utterly forsake the Seed’s children. Y’hovah will always remain faithful to Mashiach and his children. He says that ‘as the sun and moon endure forever’ so will his faithfulness to his Seed endure. So there really SHALL be a sun and a moon in the New Creation. Their light just won’t be needed in the New Jerusalem.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of Elohim did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Revelation of John 21:23)

He’s told us that he will chastise us if we turn away from his narrow way, and we are the children of Mashiach. Vv.38-45 describe the way our chastisement will feel after receiving the promises of Mashiach, but failing to live in them. 

In v.39 Y’hovah makes void the covenant OF Mashiach’s people, not his covenant TO Mashiach and his seed/children. He will honor his end of the covenant he’s made with Mashiach, because his covenant is eternal, ours are temporal. He is absolutely able to nullify any agreement we enter without consulting him because we are his ‘wife’ and Mashiach’s ‘children’. When we turn from his narrow way and make deals with the world system, the minute we turn back to him and return to his house, Num.30 applies;

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto Y’hovah, and bind herself by a bond, in her father’ house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and Y’hovah shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

The same rule applies to the husband when he finds that his wife has vowed a vow. He can void the vow and she is free of it. So Mashiach can nullify any vow we make without consulting with him. So, if we enter a vow without consulting Y’hovah and he finds out about it after the covenant has been made, he has every right to void that covenant. We had taken the throne in our own lives, crowned ourselves king. He casts that crown to the ground and destroys all our defenses and our ability to go on the offensive until we acknowledge our transgression and return to Y’hovah, our King and Deliverer, and trust HIM to be our defense and our strong right arm. 

But Y’hovah will not hide his face from us forever, if we are truly his. V.48 is an allusion to the resurrection from the dead or translation without death. We can’t keep ourselves from death. But Y’hovah CAN, and MAY, for Y’hovah is NOT a man, but the Creator of all that is. Ethan reminds Y’hovah to remember the reproach his people have had to bear and how he had acknowledged the sins of his people and claimed them as his own. Baruch Y’hovah Olam. Amein v’amein. Q&C

GalutYah 4:1-11 – This passage is an application of Prov.17.2

A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. (Proverbs 17:2)

In Gal.4, Sha’ul refers to the tutor, the governor, the child and father. My opinion is that the father represents Y’hovah; the child, the Israelite heir who needs instruction in righteous living; the tutor, the oral traditions; and the governor represents revealed Torah. The governors and tutors were the trustees of a wealthy man’s estate. In his book, Galatians, Avi ben Mordecai makes the case that the greek manuscripts only use one word to describe Torah AND oral traditions (nomos, which is mostly translated as ‘law’ in English) and that contextual knowledge is necessary to know to which Paul refers. And I contend that this is pretty much the case in ALL of Sha’ul’s letters. 

In v.3, Yeshua was born of a woman (from which you can infer ‘virgin’ since there is no mention of a man) and ‘subject to Torah’. In Phil.2, Paul describes this;

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Mashiach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the tree. (Phil.2.4-8)

He ‘subjected himself’ to his own Torah (would that Congress took notice). Then in v.4, Paul refers to those who are ‘under Torah’. AENT has a salient note in the text on pg.568. So, according to AENT, to be ‘under Torah’ is to be under ‘religious authority’, not Y’hovah’s authority (subject). We are free agents. We can subject ourselves to whomever we choose. May it be Y’hovah and his Word, and not some guy’s interpretation of another’s word, as the Prushim were. 

Paul’s use of personal pronouns in Galatians, as in all his letters, is important. When he uses ‘we’ he speaks of Jewish believers in Yeshua (subject to Torah); ‘ye/you’ refers to gentile believers in Yeshua (subject to Torah); ‘us’ refers to all believers in Mashiach; and ‘they/them’ refers to Prushim believers in oral traditions (under Torah) and full conversion to Judaism, culminating in CC, before justification. Elohim sent Yeshua to redeem ‘them’ so that ‘we’ could receive our adoption as sons of Elohim. Now, ‘we’ are no longer servants, like the tutors and stewards (Tudors and Stewarts), but sons who have Ruach in our hearts and are, therefore, partakers in Yeshua haMoshiach’s inheritance.

Vv.8-10 are a regular ‘bone of contention’ with our brethren in the Xian churches. But it ought not to be, if we read what’s written in v.8 and recognize the personal pronouns Sha’ul uses. He says, “when ye knew not Elohim”, referring to their former paganism. In this paragraph, he is clearly speaking to the gentile believers. It is the gentiles who, in v.10, were observing “days, months, times, and years”, not the Jewish believers – not even the Prushim CCers. AENT has another salient point to make on pg.569, note 51. Xmas, Ishtar, Valentine’s Day (Ooo! THAT’s gonna tick somebody off!), Hallowe’en, Ramadan, SUNday, MOONday, Wotan’sDay, Thor’sDay, Augustus, Julius, need I go on? What does this say about what Y’hovah thinks of those who keep their own favorite pagan holy days, holy months and NOT those that he commanded us to observe until the heavens and earth pass away? Paul speaks of ‘doubtful disputations’ in Rom.14.1. That which Y’hovah has commanded in his Word is not doubtful, but absolutely certain! While it may NOT result in loss of eternal life (cf.Ps.89, above), it shall result in loss of rewards, both temporal and eternal.

23 … this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your Elohim, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (YirmeYahu 7.23-24)

When a baby falls down when he’s learning to walk, he usually still moves forward, gains on his goal. Not so with us. When we fall in our spiritual walk, we always suffer loss. Take my advice and lose any paganism you are still harboring. You will suffer in the world, probably (haSatan HATES to lose strongholds among Y’hovah’s children), but your spiritual gain will be tremendous. Wait until next week’s Torah in Vayikra 26.2ff, where we will see what comes of our refusal to heed his warnings and acknowledge our sins and make teshuvah. Q&C

Vv.12-20 – Paul makes the distinction throughout this book between ‘we’ and ‘ye’, Jew and gentile believers. He is really afraid that the gentiles will go back to their paganism to have life a lot easier, as Israel was tempted to return to Egypt during the Wilderness Adventure and the Jews were tempted to go back to their oral traditions for the same purpose – think, ‘Book of Hebrews’. He urges them to follow him as their example, as he follows Yeshua. They had received his message as from Elohim, as indeed it was. In v.17, ‘they’ were definitely the ‘full conversion’ Prushim CCers, who wanted to exclude the unCC’d gentiles from the synagogues. Watch out for those who will separate from or exclude believers because they don’t think exactly the same as them on other than salvific issues, or who make their traditions salvific. Sha’ul says that he is in doubt of their sincerity toward the gospel of shalom because they are being affected by both the CCers and their former pagan buds. He then starts in on those who wish to put themselves ‘under the oral traditions’ of the Prushim to the end of full conversion and CC. He wants to know if they shema Torah, does their faith show itself by their obedience to Torah or to tradition.

Avraham had 2 sons, one of the flesh by a bondmaid and one of promise by a free woman. He then shows by allegory the similarity between being under the oral tradition and a son of the flesh, and being subject to Torah and a son of promise. Remember that the Prushim, who are for revealed Torah + oral torah, believe that both came down from Sinai. Don’t let the mention of Sinai throw you off. The bondage represented in the allegory by the flesh, Hagar and Sinai in Arabia is the need of the Prushim to maintain control by insisting on the gentiles’ full conversion, with the finalizing action being CC. That describes ‘the Jerusalem that now is’, that is; after the death of Yacov the Tzadik, Yeshua’s brother, who led the Netzarim sect in J’lem until his martyrdom. “The J’lem that now is” is in bondage to the traditions of the elders, as Yeshua said in at least 2 places.

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (Matthew 15:2)

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias [29.13] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7.3-6)

The Yerushalayim above is the New Yerushalayim that will ‘descend’ to the New Earth from the New Heavens. This New J’lem is also called the Bride of Mashiach, which I believe is the truest statement of them all, from our temporal point of view. Y’hovah will dwell there in his tabernacle, which the Bride is. He will be the light of it, as the Ruach will enlighten us all both individually and corporately. All the allegorical promises seen in all the prophets find their ultimate fulfillment in Mashiach’s Bride. 

In v.27, Sha’ul makes the connection between Sarah, the Bride of Avraham, and New J’lem, the Bride of Mashiach. And so now we, as was Isaac in v.28, are sons of promise. And then Paul makes the connection in v.29 for both the Jewish and the gentile believers between the Prushim CCers/Ishmael and the persecution of the seed – flesh vs. promise. Paul makes the application of the allegory in v.30, quoting B’reishit 21.10

Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. (Genesis 21:10)

We need to shema Avinu’s Words, prove that we’ve heard them by our obedience and STAND FAST in the LIBERTY we have therein and not get entangled in the yoke of bondage that is seen in both the oral law of the Prushim and the pagan rituals of the gentiles. Q&C

Gal.4.21-31 – The context shows that the gentiles in Galatia were being referred to as servants, and the Jews were children under the tutor. Vv.1-5 show the Jews’ (we) condition before Messiah and how they can now have the adoption as sons. V. 6 says the gentiles (ye) were proved to be sons by the Spirit in them, as it was in Cornelius in Acts 10. The gentiles in vv.7-10 are looking to go back to fleshly practices (Jewish religion), including the oral law. Paul warns them in v.11 of his fear for them in following after the Jewish Circumcisers (cf.Acts 10 and 15). He refers to the CCers (they) in vv.17, and that brings us to where our passage begins. 

Under the Law? See Misconception #3 on pg. 786 Aramaic English NT.

#3: Under the Torah:

Before showing the obvious New Testament verses on the subject, let us see the word used as “under” in the Tanakh:

They should collect all the food of the good years that are coming and store up the grain under (tachath –טחת ) the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. Genesis 41:35

Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and shall say to her, “If no man had laid with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under (tachath – טחת) the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that carries a curse.” Numbers 5:19

As we see here, to be “under” something means to derive authority from it, and this is true not just of the word that I have highlighted in Hebrew here, but several other synonyms translated into English as “under” as well.

Therefore, if we are “under the Torah”, that would mean that we derive authority from the Torah, which is a doctrine never taught in Tanakh:

Y’hovah appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for awhile, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My requirements, My commands, My decrees and My laws.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. Genesis 26:1-6

In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to My ordinances. They are to keep My laws and My decrees for all My appointed feasts, and they are to keep My Sabbaths holy…declares the Sovereign Y’hovah. Ezekiel 44:24, 27

These are just two of the dozens of other possible examples of this same idea. All the requirements in the Torah are not “Jewish” or even just “for Israel”. Rather, they are Y’hovah’s requirements, and it is from Y’hovah, and not the Torah, that justification for doing the right things comes.

In other words, if you just naturally happen to do a ritual commanded in Torah out of blind luck or because it seems trendy or cool, then by the Torah you are not justified. This idea is true even with a foundational requirement, like that of circumcision:

“The days are coming,” declares Y’hovah, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh. Egypt, Judah, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.” Jeremiah 9:25-26

Now why is this? Didn’t circumcision justify all these people? According to YirmeYahu, the answer is an eerily familiar (can you say Acts 15?) NO! Let’s hear more of this reasoning from some of the other prophets:

Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts My soul hates. They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. When you spread your hands in prayer, I will hide My face from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong and learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:15-17

For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the acknowledgment of Elohim rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6

With what shall I come before Y’hovah and bow down before the exalted Elohim? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Y’hovah be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does Y’hovah require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your Elohim. Micah 6:6-8

This is also why Abraham comes up as an example in the New Testament over and over again. The message, in each case, is the same. Abraham did a ritual, not because it seemed a nice thing to do, but because he believed the word of Elohim, who instructed him to do it in the first place! Therefore, justification for Abraham, and for the rest of us, comes in two parts:

1) Hearing and understanding the word of Y’hovah.

2) Taking what Y’hovah has said and manifesting that understanding by following his instructions.

Neither faith nor works alone is sufficient. Works without faith shows a lack of understanding the Torah, and faith without works, as Ya’akov Ha Tzadik says, is dead.

So, what is it then to be “under the Torah”? Well, put simply, “under the Torah” is not something that happened during Messiah’s time, but is a false teaching that has been rampant from the beginning of time.

For example, in Genesis 4, Cain and Abel give offerings to Y’hovah. It has been a common misconception, though, that Cain’s offering was not accepted because it was from grain, whereas Abel gave meat. The fact is, both grain and meat offerings were deemed acceptable under the right circumstances, (Exodus 29:41, Leviticus 2:1, 5:13, 6:14-15, many others).

Instead, Y’hovah rebukes Cain this way:

Then Y’hovah said to Cain, “Why are you downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7

In a sense, Cain thought he was “under the Torah”, or that by simply going through the motions of the ritual he would be justified. However, since Elohim knew his heart, He did not accept Cain’s offering.

Similarly, the Pharisees had also fallen into this trap, which is why the Baptist says:

“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones Elohim can raise up children of Abraham.” Matthew 3:7-9

Now, obviously Y’shua’s frequent rebukes on this same idea hardly need to be laid out exhaustively here. It is enough then to simply say that the Baptist did not want the Pharisees to boast in rituals or lineage alone, but actually to turn their hearts towards Y’hovah and admit their sins. With these thoughts in mind, let’s look at some more familiar verses on this idea:

For all who have sinned without the Torah will also perish without the Torah, and all who have sinned under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, will be judged by the Torah . Romans 2:1221

To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, as under the Torah though not being myself under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, so that I might win those who are under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, to those who are without Torah, as without Torah, though not being without the Torah of Elohim, but in the instruction of Mashiyach, so that I might win those who are without the Torah. 1 Corinthians 9:20-2122

If the word טחית looks familiar, it should. It is simply the Aramaic cognate of the word טחת that was referenced at the beginning of this section. Therefore, “under the Torah” really means “to derive justification from the authority of Torah and not from Y’hovah.”

For the sake of completeness however, let us check the other places where “under the Torah” appears:

But when the fullness of time was come, Elohim sent forth His Son who, born of a woman, became subject (tachyt–טחית) to the Torah. Galatians 4:4

Now, except for substituting non-sacred names, this is the way George Lamsa reads the verse, and I must say, I heartily agree with him. Instead of merely rendering טחית “under” again, Lamsa has correctly surmised that טחית can read better here as “being subject to the Torah”, which is an efficient way of bringing on the Tanakh understanding of טחת as referring to the power of various authorities. In this case the woman is subject to the Torah pronouncement that all of us are under sin. It is not the Torah itself that is sin though (Romans 7:12) but rather that the Torah tells us what sin is (Romans 7:7-9). Let’s continue this thought a little further then:

To redeem those who were under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:5

In this context, the message Rav Shaul gives here is that the proper understanding of Torah by Gentiles grafts them into Israel. This is why he says elsewhere:

Do not be arrogant, but be afraid, for if Elohim did not spare the natural branches (Jews who did not follow Torah), He will not spare you either. Romans 11:21

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that is done in the body by the hands of men)– remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now in Messiah Y’shua, you who were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah. Ephesians 2:11-13

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have this verse proving once again that the Torah itself is not the problem:

Tell me, you who want to be under the Torah, do you listen to the Torah? Galatians 4:21 

[Mark edits – Throughout the above, I edited YHVH to Y’hovah for continuity.]

So Sha’ul begins with the difference between the covenant law they want to be under in the flesh, and the covenant in which he and the Jewish believers are free in the Spirit. He goes into an analogy of Hagar and Sarah, the bond and free women, which he likens to the Covenant written on Stone and the covenant that will be written on our hearts (Jer.31.31-34). He also likens the covenant on stone tablets to the present Jerusalem and the covenant written on our hearts to the New Jerusalem, the city whose builder and maker is Y’hovah, which he calls ‘the mother of us all’.

We who are children of the promise are looking for New Jerusalem, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2Pe.3.13). 

Paul shows the Galatian gentiles exactly WHY the CCers were on about the gentiles being converted and CCd. They were after the flesh, and so persecuted those who were after the spirit (v.29). Those who are trusting in the Jerusalem that IS are carnal and in bondage. Those who trust in the promises of Y’hovah are looking for the New Jerusalem and are sons of the liberty found in those promises.

In 5.1 Paul speaks of the bondage of both the pagan gods of the gentiles and the oral law of the Jews, and the liberty of the promises of Y’hovah’s Torah. Q&C

End of Bible Study notes.

Shabbat Bible Study for January 20, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for January 20, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 44 – 20Jan2018

Lev. 25:1-38 – Jer. 36:6, 32:6-27, Eze. 34:1-31 – Psalm 88 – John 10:1-33

Links:

Lev. 25:1-7, 20-22 – Today’s Torah portion is about Sh’mithah [Sabbath] and Yovel years. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a very good prefatory statement on pg.174. Moshe must have been visiting Sinai, either by going up to it or by entering the Tabernacle’s ‘spiritual space’, all the time, for this passage is a few months after he’d come down from Sinai with the 2nd set of tables. As we are to rest from our labors on the 7th day of the Shabbat cycle, so we are to let our land rest on the Sh’mithah years. And, as we are to number the 50 days to Shavuoth by 7 sets of 7 day Shabbat cycles and celebrate the Feast of Weeks on the 50th day, so we are to number the 50 years to the Yovel by 7 sets of 7 year (Sh’mithah) cycles and then allow the land another year’s rest as IT celebrates ITS ‘Feast of Shavuoth’ on the Yovel year. When Israel came into the land they never kept a Shabbat year, which is the reason Y’hovah gave for exiling Judah into Babylon for 70years. 

In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of Y’hovah came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. (Daniel 9:2)

For thus saith Y’hovah, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. (Jeremiah 29:10)

Since it was the land that was to rest, this commandment is for Israel to perform when they would enter Canaan, not before – and technically, not after they were exiled from the land, either. But when Y’hovah gives a command, I think it is always wise to follow it, even in exile. He said, “When you come into the land that I give you.” He did not say, “will give you”, nor did he say, “have given you”; the gift is present tense in the same way as ‘by his stripes we ARE healed’ is present tense. That means he is constantly giving it to Israel – it is a perpetual gift. The gift itself is constant and is, therefore, not subject to time/space/matter constraints. Like our life in Moshiach, it dwells in Y’hovah outside of this creation; it neither ages nor requires anything to sustain it; as Moshe fasted 40 days and nights on Sinai and neither aged nor hungered nor thirsted. The gift of haAretz is eternal, but the commands to be performed are temporal and related to Israel when it dwells baAretz – in the land.

The command was to plow and plant and harvest the land for 6 years and then, in the 7th year, to let the land have its own Shabbaton, just like we were to work for our living for 6 days and then, in the 7th day, to rest. In this 7th year, they were not to actively farm the land, though they could go into the fields and use the produce of it, whatever came up of itself, for their immediate needs. They could USE the produce, but not engage in commerce with it. That should not be a problem for them, though, since Y’hovah promised that he would give them 3 years’ worth of produce in the 6th year of the Sh’mithah cycle to carry them through the 7th year and up to the harvest at the end of the 8th year, the 1st year of the next Sh’mithah. Do you see that Y’hovah is using the SAME pattern here as he used in Ex.16? If they used the 6th year as a preparation year and allowed the land to have its shabbaton, they could use the 6th year’s abundance for their staple and also use the produce of the fields for fresh fruit and veggies in the Sh’mithah for their immediate use (no canning or putting up for storage in the land’s Shabbaton), after which they could farm the land again and reap its harvest the next year. This also illustrates that there is no sin in eating that which you pick for your immediate use on the Shabbat, as Yeshua’s talmidim did on a couple of occasions. 

I can understand why a sight walk would influence Israel to NOT keep the Sh’mithah. I think that when they saw the produce of the preparation year they thought, “If this land gives this much produce every year, we’ll be rich!”, and that induced them to plant in the Sh’mithah year.  But it was Y’hovah’s intent that everyone and everything in his land would take a sabbatical, including his land. Covetousness reared its ugly head, in my opinion, and the land never saw a national sabbatical (though I assume that godly men, like Boaz, personally honored them and probably were prospered for doing so). They did not, as a nation, apply the lesson of the Shabbat cycles of days to the Shabbat cycles of years. They are beautiful illustrations of each other. Q&C

Vv.8-19 – What does ‘Yovel’ mean? The Hebrew word is H3104, which denotes a trumpet, properly a silver shofar, from the root 2986, yaval, which means to flow or bring, like a river flows bringing the water of life. The silver shofar blast was to keep flowing, bringing the good news of redemption to the Israelite bondservants. I think that means the blast would as closely as possible approximate the blast heard from Sinai in Gen.19-20 on Shavuoth – one long and increasingly louder, quavering blast. 

Y’hovah was announcing Israel’s deliverance from her bondage and to her inheritance in Mt. Sinai. It was equivalent to the nation’s initial Yovel, which was to be remembered and reinstated every 50th year. The Yovel also was meant to teach Israel that they did NOT own the land, but were its tenants. The Landlord, Y’hovah, would not allow permanent change of ownership. If you sold anything of the land, it was only the produce of the land – and that, at most, only until the next Yovel. One COULD sell the produce of the land until the next Sh’mithah, as well. But noone could sell his inheritance in perpetuity. So, in the Yovel year the silver trumpets announced the release of all debt and the reinstatement of all lands let for a price. It seems that an Israelite could let himself and his land into indentured service for a certain price commensurate to the length of time until the next Yovel. If he were to come into enough money to redeem himself, he could do so with no questions asked. 

The Yovel year was an additional Shabbaton year, so in the 6th year of the 7th Sh’mithah, Y’hovah would have to produce enough food to feed the people for 3+ years; the rest of the 48th year, all of the 49th and 50th years, and the 2nd year of the new Sh’mithah until the harvest. Israel never found out if Y’hovah could or would do so, because they never kept a Shabbat year, much less a Yovel baAretz, in the land.

Vv.23-38 – The land was an inheritance from Yhwh and was ultimately still His possession. Each family inheritance was a trust from Yhwh to that family and they were to pass it on to their children. It could NOT be sold to anyone else. The PRODUCE of it could be sold for a specified time [until Shemitah or Yovel], with the understanding that it would revert to the inheritors after that time. And the land’s produce could NOT be sold to a ‘stranger’, but ONLY to a brother Israeli. The word [v.24] KJV translates as ‘possession’ is may’achuztho מ׳אחזתו, and the root, achaz אחז, literally means ‘to take personal hold of’; and the word KJV translates as ‘redemption’ is g’oolah ג׳אלה [root ga’al ג׳אל], literally ‘to release’ as from danger or ‘to ransom’. To sell a piece of Yhwh’s inheritance in perpetuity is as if your child or spouse was kidnapped and you refused to do anything to get him/her back. And for that reason Yhwh says we are to ‘redeem’ it as soon as practicable if we do have to sell its produce for a time. 

The means by which we are to keep the land in the family and tribe is by helping our less well to do brethren through the rough patches as prescribed in vv.25-28. The sale of produce was only until the next shemitah, at the longest. If the one who sold his produce is able to redeem it early he is pay only what remains of the possession, i.e.; if he sold the produce for 5 years, but is able to redeem it 3 years early, he pays back 3/5s of the original purchase price of the produce. Whatever happens, the land reverts to the original inheritor in the Yovel. 

Property within a walled city is not subject to the instructions on redemption after the appointed time, one year from the date of sale [vv.29-30]. The property seller has a 1-year right of rescission; he can rescind the sale any time in the 1st year. Afterward, the sale of walled city property is in perpetuity. If there is no wall [v.31], the land in the towns/villages are handled as if they were in the countryside and cannot be sold and reverts to the original inheritor in the Yovel or Shemitah.

A Levi [v.32-34] can sell his Levitical city property, but, since the Levitical cities are the inheritance of the Levi’im, that property reverts to the original Levi family in the Yovel.

In vv.35-38, even the ger toshav can apply these provisions, if he needs to. He is to be treated as a brother, not a stranger. If the ger toshav needs relief, he may sell his produce and repurchase it when he can or it will revert to him in either the shemitah or Yovel. A Native Israeli may not charge the ger toshav interest on the loan, for that is what all this passage is about, but must treat him as a brother. To ensure they obey, Yhwh once again cites the ‘enabling clause’ which shows His right to demand compliance; “I am Yhwh Elohechem, who brought you forth out of Mitzraim to give you the land of Canaan and to be your Elohim.” Q&C

YirmeYahu 36:6 – In vv.1-2, Y’hovah gave YirmeYahu total recall of everything he had prophesied to the government of Israel. Then Y’hovah moved on his prophet to go ‘over the King’s head and directly to the people. That is what we see here. YirmeYahu was in prison for what he’d prophesied to them, so he gave the order to Baruch, his scribe, to write it in a book (I think the one we are reading from right now) and to go and read ALL that Y’hovah had prophesied against Israel to the kings and priests through YirmeYahu. And Baruch followed his orders. In v.9, what Baruch told the people moved THEM enough that they were in a fit to tar and feather the king. So the king called for a national day of prayer and fasting.

YirmeYahu 32:6-27 is ONE of the prophecies that Baruch read in the people’s hearing in the court of the Beit haMikdash. Y’hovah had revealed ahead of time that Chaname’el, his cousin, would come to him to redeem his uncle Shallum’s property, for YirmeYahu had the right of redemption. Shallum was the 4th son of king YoshiYahu (1Chron.3.15), the last righteous king of Yehudah, so for Shallum, the king’s son, to be YirmeYahu’s uncle, he must have married YirmeYahu’s Levite aunt. YirmeYahu was a son of Pinchas, son of Elezar, son of Aharon and had been in training for the High Priesthood when Y’hovah called him to prophesy. Now, YirmeYahu had been prophesying in Y’hovah’s Name that Israel would be taken into captivity and exiled into Babylon, but that they would return in 70 years (cf. Daniel 9.2 and YirmeYahu 29.10, quoted above). 

Now it was time for YirmeYahu to put his money where his mouth was. Chaname’el, and by extension haSatan, was testing him to see if he was REALLY a prophet of Y’hovah. He didn’t hesitate, knowing 1) it WAS his duty to redeem the land, if it was in his ability to do so and 2) that Yehudah would be back in just a little over 70 years. Of course, by that time, Shallum’s land would have reverted back to him and YirmeYahu would not see anything for his redemption price, but he also knew that he would stand blameless before Y’hovah. This was a perfect example of how Y’hovah wanted the kinsman redeemer ordinance to be done – with no thought of how it would prosper the redeemer, but how the land would be saved for the principle heir. Remember also that YirmeYahu was a religio/political prisoner (v.3), which I expect we are going to see happen pretty widely in the near future. How would he be able to WORK the land he was purchasing? There was NOTHING in this redemption for YirmeYahu except obedience to Y’hovah. 

Chaname’el means ‘Elohim has favored’. Shallum means ‘exact retribution; to requite’. Perhaps the whole ‘redemption’ idea was a way for Shallum to secure retributive justice, to his mind, for the negative prophecies YirmeYahu had pronounced against Jerusalem and Shallum’s brother, king TzedikYahu (Y’hovah is righteous). See what YirmeYahu told Baruch, the honest scribe that EVERYONE trusted, in.vv.13-15:

13 And I charged Baruch before them, saying, 14 Thus saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth, Elohim of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days. 15 For thus saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth, Elohim of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land. (YirmeYahu 32.13-15)

The king and his family knew that the end of their line was in sight. Chaname’el knew that the land would not be used, but the king’s family and the priests would be carried off to Babylon in the first wave of exiles, as YechonYahu had been about 20 years before. So, he sold it to YirmeYahu, thinking they would never be back to haAretz or the city. So, after the transaction had been duly witnessed, all the evidences subscribed, and the signatures in ink and the ink blotted dry, YirmeYahu told Baruch to put the contract in the nearest thing they had to a safe, because they were coming back. It would be about 50 years or so, but it was possible that even YirmeYahu and Baruch would personally return. His prayer to Y’hovah rehearsed the Exodus and Y’hovah’s power and outstretched arm. He as much as told Yehudah that they STILL were not trusting Y’hovah, even though they were finally believing the prophecies Y’hovah had given YirmeYahu. They had given up their false optimism and the expectation that Y’hovah would deliver them from Babylon because of whose sons they were, rather than because they actually believed that they had to obey his Word and were willing to do so. Shades of 21st c. CE ‘believers’, eh? Like the Mexican banditos in the movie, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, “TORAH!? We don’t need no STINKING Torah!” Q&C 

Yechezkel 34.1-31 – Yechezkel’s prophecy reiterates YirmeYahu’s above. He takes the priests to task for their self-seeking attitude and disobedience to their proper duties before him. They feed off the people’s offerings, taking more than Torah allowed and thereby robbing the people of their portion of the offering and robbing Y’hovah of his portion. TSK has this comment on v.2;

The shepherds of Israel, signify their kings and princes, priests and prophets; the flock, the whole of the people; the fat and wool, the tithes and offerings, taxes and imposts: these they exacted with great rigour, and even oppressed and destroyed the people to enrich themselves; but they bestowed no pains to provide for the welfare of the state, or for the souls of those entrusted to them. They knew nothing about their flock. It might be diseased, infirm, bruised, maimed, strayed, or lost, for they watched not over them.

The people were not being led in Torah instruction or observance. He gives example in vv.3-6, and pronounces judgment against the civil and religious rulers in vv.7-9. Notice how He repeats Himself in v.7 and v.9. Anytime Y’hovah repeats himself, you may be assured that it will come to pass

Then, in vv.10-16, He begins to tell of how he will recall chol Yisrael from their exile, with or without the ‘rulers of the people’ doing their part, which ruler’s part is to protect His flock. Since the shepherds won’t keep watch and bring warnings to the flock of impending doom, but instead take more than they are due and enrich themselves at their flocks’ expense, He, the Chief Shepherd [1Pe.5.4], is going to call the flocks out of their exile [v.12] and bring them to their own land. By that I take it that he will deliver chol Yisrael to their tribal inheritances in the Land through others, not of the shepherds he is addressing. Kefa implores the elders [rulers] of Yeshua’s flocks in

1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Mashiach, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of Eloha which is among you, taking the oversight, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over Eloha’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. [1Pe 5.1-4]

It is the responsibility of every shepherd to guide and guard the sheep. The shepherds of Yisrael were feeding off the sheep. But the Great Shepherd [Heb.13.20], Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiach, gave himself willingly for His sheep. In TTRT’s studies of the in the land leaders of Yisrael, we have seen that not ONE of them was up to the job. The Great Shepherd IS. The prophecies that tell how He will bring us out of exile are too numerous to list, but here are a few references to look up; Yechezkel 11.17, 20.41, 28.25-26, 37.21-22, YirmeYahu 23.3-4, 8. YeshaYahu 11.11-16. That list is NOT exhaustive.

V.16 is full of exile imagery; lost, driven away, broken, sick; and it ends in judgment for the self-serving shepherds/elders of Yisrael who allowed, perhaps caused, the exile to happen.

In vv.17-21, He is still speaking to the elders, but calls them His flock. They are being called back to His service BY the judgment He pronounces against them. Yhwh is ALWAYS about teshuvah [return, repentance] and tikkun [repairing, straightening, reconciliation]. They know the scriptures and His righteousness [tzedikah], though they have not served Him or His flock as they should. But they can turn back to His Ways and perform their proper function. Then He will judge between the ‘fat’ cattle and the ‘lean’ cattle; those of the flock who do their teshuvah and repent and those who do not or grow worse; the fat and the lean. The way I see it, the lean cattle are those not after Ruach haKodesh who drive away the sheep who are after Yhwh’s heart. He is going to rescue His flock [v.22], by one means or another. He would prefer that his appointed shepherds would repent and recall the flock they have been given to oversee. I’m sure that He will use those called out and set apart for the service as shepherds to do much of it. Rav Sha’ul reiterates Zeke’s call to all of us,

18 And all things of Eloha, who hath reconciled us to himself by Yeshua haMashiach, and hath given to us the ministry of tikkun; 19 To wit, that Eloha was in Mashiach, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of tikkun. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Mashiach, as though Eloha did beseech by us: we pray in Mashiach’s stead, be ye reconciled to Eloha.  21 For He hath made Him sin for us, who knew no sin; that we may be made the tzedikah of Eloha in Him. [2Cor.5.18-21]

I think vv.23-24 is speaking of Millennial Kingdom, and ultimately of the Olam Haba, the world to come.The flock in the Millennial Kingdom will have the Chief Shepherd on His throne and His resurrected Talmidim as local shepherds that truly DO care for their flocks. David can be seen in a lot of ways here; resurrected king David or High King [think Narnia] Mashiach Yeshua or both on their respective thrones. Remember that king David was dead these 400 years in Zeke’s day. Everyone knew he was speaking of the prophetic, end of days, future and Mashiach ben David. Everyone was watching for Him to appear. One generation about 2K years ago had it right. And the chief shepherds missed him when he was here because they were like the shepherds of Zeke’s day; caught up in the trappings of greatness and luxury and not willing to humble themselves and give it all up. 

Vv.25-28  can refer to nothing except the Olam Haba, a creation in which nothing exists except tzedikah, righteousness. Look at the conditions that will exist; Shalom will be ubiquitous, evil beast will not exist, one camping in the wilderness will have nothing to fear; [v.26] inhabitants will be a blessing, their homes and towns will be a blessing, the blessings will be as ubiquitous as the dew; the trees [v.27] will yield fruit after their kind and the earth will universally germinate and produce its grains, berries, other edibles; there will be no fear of invasion or harm from the outside, because Y’hovah shall rule through Yeshua haMashiach. The last oppressor[s] will be vanquished in the Rev.20 judgment that I see in v.27, where the guilty will be annihilated in the Lake of Fire, and the New World that replaces the old will know no sin or iniquity. The inhabitants of the Olam Haba [v.28] will dwell safely because there will be none without a renewed nature, who might threaten the Shalom that exists. 

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [Rev.21.1-2]

Vv.29-31 says there will be a plant of renown. Could this be any other than the Tree of Life that will grow in the New Jerusalem that will come down out of Heaven, as we are told in 

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, the tree of life, which bare twelve fruits, yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations. [Rev.22.1-2]

I don’t know about you, but … I CAN’T WAIT!

Tehellim 88.1- The psalm opens with Y’hovah Elohei Yeshuati – Y’hovah, my Mighty One’s Salvation, or My Mighty One is my Deliverer. To my mind, this is Yeshua’s full Name. The psalmist is calling on Y’hovah to deliver him and his nation from their trouble. The trouble may have been the one addressed in the title of this Psalm, which says A Song, a Psalm for b’nei Korach on Machalath [afflictions] L’anoth [of the eyes], which to me carries the idea of the nation taking stock of their sin and repenting of them. The opening verses bear that out. Vv.3-9 hold a list of metaphors for exile from haAretz Yisrael; the grave, the pit, among the dead, like them who lie in the grave, cut off from Y’hovah’s hand, in darkness, in the deeps, afflicted w/waves, far from acquaintance, abomination, shut up, affliction. 

Vv.10-12 speak of a dead body in the grave, where none gives Y’hovah glory or witnesses to his mighty works and ways. All men will be resurrected and Y’hovah will receive all men’s glory. The choice we have is to do so willingly and give him the praise he is due in our true submission and obedience on THIS side of the grave or to make grudging and feigned, fearful submission just before being thrown into the Lake of Fire to be dissolved in the nuclear conflagration. EVERY knee will bow to Y’hovah’s glory. The question is, “How?” The idea of Yeshua speaking to the spirits in prison may have come from this and similar passages of scripture and apocryphal books like the Maccabees, Enoch and others. While a dead body cannot praise Y’hovah, the spirit of a man severed from the body may yet be able to do so. The author certainly knew of the resurrection. V.11 speaks of the only 2 possible outcomes for the dead, resurrection or destruction, eternal life or eternal death. An annihilated soul and body cannot praise anyone or thing. From the Lake of Fire, the only declaration that will be made is “Yeshua is Y’hovah, Master of Life”, but by then it will be too late to affect any deliverance and the 2nd death will be on the verge. Deliverance from sin and death can only be affected in THIS life. Vv.11-12 have all Elohim’s wonders revealed to the sons of disobedience and the despair that parts their lips is palpable. 

In v.13, the psalmist says that he will be praying every morning, first thing, but even at that, Y’hovah is waiting – his early morning prayers do not fall on deaf ears. They do not go ahead of (prevent) Y’hovah, he is there awaiting them. The condition of the exiled believer is discouraging. But our exile is not capricious or without reason. Our fathers went after other gods and were cut off from Y’hovah’s light. We were born in bondage and await our deliverance from exile. While in the far off darkness of affliction, the outlook is bleak, unless we keep his promises to bring us back into his presence if we will repent and start to seek his face and way. Q&C

Yochanan 10:1-33– From my study in the Life of Yeshua haMoshiach ©2003-2014 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries, in which I used the Harmony of the Gospels found in the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible and “The Tree of Yeshua’ Life” for an outline.

(153-155). Parable of the Good Shepherd Jn.10.1-17 – The monologue continues, as Yeshua teaches about who his true followers are. In fact, he hardly takes a breath between Jn.9.41 and Jn.10.1. He was talking to the Pharisees who were with him, whom he said were still in their sins. It looks like the beginning of this part of the narrative was at Jn.8.12 – the light of life reference. These events all seem to have happened over the course of a few hours, or days at most. He started in 8.12 with the light of life, which I think refers to the ‘shamash’, or servant, candle on the Chanukkiah, and in 10.22 we see that it is still the Feast of Dedication, or Chanukah, which is also called the Feast of Lights. 

He started with ‘they who do not enter at the door into the sheepfold’ being robbers and thieves. These can be likened to the tares among the wheat in Mat.13.24-30, 36-43,

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. 

36 Then Yeshua sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear,

or the wolves in sheep’s clothing in Mat.7.15 and Acts 20.29. 

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

They don’t enter by the strait gate and walk the narrow way, striving for the mastery (2Tim.2.5).

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Please note that the tares and wolves is sheep’s clothing may THINK they are members of the body and in their conformity they certainly look good outwardly – until seedtime. We are told in Jn.14.6 that there is only one way to the Father, and Yeshua is that way. He is the strait gate. That gate meets each of us on our own life’s roads at different places and is wide enough for one person to enter at a time; the entry thereto is personal, not corporate. We are not saved in droves, but by little and little. And each of us has his own personal road to walk, as personal as the gate that allowed us entry. We are all different and we all are on a different road when we receive our gift of life by entering that strait gate, which is Moshiach. For any to insist that each of us walk the exact same road after we are saved would be silly. We walk by the same rules to be sure, but my way may lead me by a different route and through different trials than yours leads you. It is our goal and rules that are the same, not the paths we must traverse. Q&C

 

But thieves and robbers try to get us to look away from the goal, to rob us of the joy that is set before us. They bring in doubtful disputations, even doctrines of devils to steal away our peace. For this cause we are to study to show ourselves, not others, approved, workmen that need not be ashamed and rightly dividing the word of Truth, which these robbers profane with their vain babblings. Others are on a different road to the same goal. They are to show themselves approved by rightly dividing the Word of Truth. That word is the same, the goal is the same, the rules are the same, and the route is different for each of us because we all enter at a different point along the way. Our way is the shortest distance from the point of entry to the goal. My way may seem strange to you, or yours strange to me, but if we are both striving toward the same goal by the same rules using the same word of Truth, we will never be at cross-purposes, and we will have great fellowship in the Spirit of Abba, our Father. And therein lies the rub of heresy and denominationalism. A man is not a heretic because he sees scripture from a different perspective than I do. Indeed, that is a given. He is a heretic because he doesn’t believe what he reads and adds or diminishes from the word as it pleases him. He has attempted entry without the gate. And so we study to protect ourselves from robbers and thieves. Therefore, do not follow me because I’m ‘holy’ in your eyes, or ‘smarter than the average bear’. If anyone is to follow anyone else, it must be only as he is following Yeshua. It is much better to follow after Yeshua and not any man 

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also of Moshiach. (1Cor.11.1) 

17 For the kingdom of Elohim is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in Ruach haKodesh. 18 For he that in these things serveth Moshiach acceptable to Elohim, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Rom.14.17-19) 

8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Moshiach Yeshua my Master: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung, that I may win Moshiach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of ma’aseh/tachanoth [works/enactments], but that which is through the faith of Moshiach, the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect [accomplished]: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Moshiach Yeshua. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but one thing [he has grabbed hold of this], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Moshiach Yeshua. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, Elohim shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, the enemies of the cross of Moshiach [NOT the tree on which he was hanged, but his mission; the reason he submitted to the stake]: 19 Whose end destruction, whose Elohim belly, and glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, Y’hovah Yeshua Moshiach: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil.3.8-21) 

24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some they follow after [later]. 25 Likewise also the good works [obedience to Y’hovah’s Toroth] are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid. (1Tim.5.24-25) 

9 But they that will be rich [monetarily] fall into temptation and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of Elohim, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1Tim.6.9-12).

After all, it is Yeshua who gave his life for you, not me or any other mere man. You can never implicitly trust any mere man with your soul and your spiritual health. Only Yeshua has your best interests at heart all the time. When you start trusting someone else to lead you safely through the pits and speed bumps of life, and don’t keep your relationship to Yeshua through the Ruach haKodesh you let yourself in for a big disappointment and fall. We all need to keep our eyes on the goal. Remember what happened when Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, and others of their ilk fell. Many fell away from the faith. Others went on like there was nothing wrong, forgetting about discernment. This all came about because their eyes were on men and not the goal of the high calling of Y’hovah in Moshiach. I think, those men were (and some still are) hirelings, not shepherds, who cared more for the riches derived from the sheep than for the sheep themselves (2Pe.2). That is, of course, my opinion and it could be wrong, but I also think that I have the mind of Moshiach on this. 

If the above is true, those who follow after these hirelings are not wise, to say the least, may even be tares for, according to Yeshua’s words in v.5, ‘a stranger they will not follow.’ If they were truly following after their shepherd, they would not be following some hireling. They would know his voice and follow him. One who is led by Ruach haKodesh will discern very easily those who are after their ‘geld’ and not the heart of Abba. Q&C

Yochanan 10:14-15, 

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. [15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

True followers of Yeshua know the truth and follow after it, for Yeshua is the Truth, even as he follows after Avinu in all things. Yeshua was and is truly a man after Elohim’s own heart, as we ought to be. And so we should follow after him with others who are following after him, thereby drawing both physical and spiritual strength and encouragement along the narrow way toward the prize. We need each other to help keep the truth and the goal in our sights.

“Other sheep I have”, says Yeshua in v.16, “not of this fold.” The children of Yehudah, the Iuaidoi [Jews], were the ‘this fold’ he spoke of. A little history lesson follows. After the death of Solomon (Shlomo), the people of the 10 northern tribes asked Rehovoam, the new king of Yisrael, to give them a little tax relief. The Temple was built and paid for, as were the fleets in Aqaba and the Med, so there wasn’t any need for the high taxes they were paying to maintain services. The high taxes were just there to feed the greed of the king and his young cronies. These cronies advised that he lay heavier taxes on the whining people (so they could party all the harder), while Shlomo’s counselors advised a tax cut. Being a young man, full of P&V (‘pride’ and vinegar), he took the advise of the young men, and told the people he was going to make it even worse for them. They of course, did the Boston Tea Party thing and left him holding the bag (pun intended), which became decidedly less full than it would have been had he relented. 

I think all of the people would have left him, except that the portion of BenYamin was where the meeting took place and was under Yehudah’s military occupation [of course, the prophet had told Shlomo that his son would keep Yehudah and BenYamin]. At any rate, Yerovoam became king of the rebels, and he immediately instituted a false worship system to keep the people from going up to Jerusalem for the feasts and thereby reunite with Yehudah. In other words, he did it for political gain. He had two golden calves made, called them Y’hovah, and placed them in Dan and Bethel. Then he instituted a false Feast system, having the 10 tribes come to Dan in the 8th month instead of Jerusalem in the 7th for the feast of tabernacles, as prescribed by Y’hovah. These feasts and elohims had been called by the name of Y’hovah, but the system was not Y’hovah worship. It looked like the Egyptian/Canaanite religions, which in fact it was. They had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof, like the present celebrations of Xmas and Easter, which were foisted on us by our friends in the RC denomination. Just putting the name of Y’hovah on something does not sanctify it. Just saying, ‘in Yeshua name’ doesn’t make it holy. Taking the name of Y’hovah or Yeshua is not just invoking the name as a type of mantra, but is accepting the character and authority of that name for its sake. This false worship in the name of Y’hovah was and is a perfect example of what was meant by, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of Y’hovah Elohecha [thy Elohim] in vain.’ 

This denial of the power of the worship of Y’hovah led to their utter defeat in battle, and their being carried away into Assyria to be totally assimilated and integrated into the pagan culture. Y’hovah said, in effect, “You want to worship idols? Well, here you go!” The 10 tribes were absorbed into the heathen nations of the whole earth. Will he do any less, now?

Of course, as is usually the case with Abba, this was a curse to Ephraim/10-Israel, but a blessing to the world. In Gen.12, Avram was promised that in his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed. This was part of the reason Y’hovah allowed Israel to go into idolatry, so he could scatter the children of Israel to the 4 winds and be able to call them out from among the nations in the last days. The 10 tribes are integrated into the nations of the earth and their vast majority has no idea they are descendants of Avraham. Only Yehudah, Benjamin and Levi, the Jews, can properly trace their heritage to Avraham. But Abba knows who are his, even those of us who are gentiles, the sheep of the other fold. He is calling all of us, both Jew and gentile, back to himself and will form of the two folds one flock with one shepherd, as he prophesied in Ezekiel 37.15ff, Zech.14.9 and here in Yochanan 10.16.

Vv.17-18 tell us a lot in light of the previous verses. It is by his laying down his life that it is possible to reunite the two folds into one. Before the death and resurrection of Yeshua, gentiles had to conform to all the Toroth, including the sacrificial system, to be saved. Now, in Moshiach, all have ready access to the throne of grace through the blood of the New, or rather re-newed, Covenant. I say renewed because the greek word for new in Hebrews 8 is kainos, which speaks of freshness, not something neos, or brand new with respect to age. It is the same covenant made fresh by the blood of the Lamb. 

What was the covenant? We spoke briefly of it in the last section. The covenant is not the Torah. Torah is the conditions of life in the covenant, not the covenant itself. The covenant is based in the belief (Avram believed Y’hovah and it was counted to him for righteousness) that in Avraham’s seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen.12). This was reiterated and expanded in Gen.15, where it was solemnized in the blood of animals. The covenant has both physical and spiritual implication. It deals with all of Avraham’s physical descendants whereby I think all the nations may literally be descendants of Abe and thereby blessed. And it deals with the one true spiritual seed, Yeshua Moshiach, by whom all have access to the throne through his blood, if they so choose to approach. Remember that any approaching by any other avenue are thieves and robbers, even ‘Jews’ or ‘Xians’. The new (also can be translated freshened or renewed) covenant in Jer.31.31-34 is to the house of Yisrael (that’s us gentiles) and the house of Yehudah (that’s the Jews) – two folds, two houses, made one in the blood of the new covenant – and it will go into physical effect in the millennium (v.33, ‘after those days’ prophetically means after ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’) into which all who enter will be keepers of the Torah. Some will obey due to fear of the consequences for disobedience, and some will have it written on their hearts. This will also apply to their offspring. If they also accept the conditions of the new covenant – to have the Torah written on their hearts, which implies that they want it written there, they will willingly comply. Abba is no bully who will force his will on anyone. They must choose to be bound by the covenant even as we must to be saved. If they choose to comply by force, they will rebel at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. 

You see in vv. 17-18 that Yeshua was also given a choice. He could lay down his life if he chose, or he could keep it. No one could force him to give it, not even Abba – especially not Abba, but he had the power to give it, and thereby had the power to take it up again. There was a condition placed on Yeshua’s power by Abba. He had to lay down his life before he could have the power to take it again. This was his exercise of faith by which we were saved. This was a large part of the faith of Yeshua. Our Father promised him he had power to do it, and he believed it. It hadn’t ever been done before, that a man could lay down his own life and take it back up by his own power. That took faith. And it is that faith that is referred to in 

21 But now the righteousness of Elohim without the law is manifested, being witnessed by Torah and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of Elohim by faith of Yeshua haMoshiach unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Rom.3.21-22) 

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law [ma’aseh haTorah], but by the faith of Yeshua haMoshiach, even we have believed in Yeshua haMoshiach, that we might be justified by the faith of Moshiach, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Gal.2.16) 

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Yeshua haMoshiach might be given to them that believe. (Gal.3.22) 

9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of Torah, but that which is through the faith of Moshiach, the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: (Phil.3.9) 

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yeshua. (Rev.14.12) 

The faith of Yeshua haMoshiach is the promise of his resurrection power. He took his life up again and has power to raise me up also. I was, am and will be saved by the faith of Yeshua and NOTHING else. Q&C

These sayings caused dissension, in vv.19-21, among the Pharisees that were following him. I think he was weeding out the sign-seekers from among them. Notice I said the sign-seekers, not the sign-readers. Those who were reading the signs he showed were convinced that he was no madman or devil worshipper. The healing of the FBM [formerly blind man, ch.9] proved that to them. Those who followed him simply to see wonders performed were offended by his saying, “I have power, given by my Father to give up my life and to take it up again.” They were driven by their own curiosity or lust to seek signs. They were not driven by Ruach ha Kodesh, or Holy Spirit, to seek the truth of Abba. Those who were reading signs knew Tanakh and were after the truth. They, driven by the Spirit of Truth, saw the scriptures fulfilled and they believed.

The same cannot be said for the sign seekers and the Jewish leadership. In vv.22-31 we see their reaction to his teaching. Remember that the events of Jn.8.58-59 were only a few hours, at most a day, ago. The same feast of Chanukah, the feast of dedication or of lights, was going on as in 8.12. 

They said, “If thou be the Moshiach, tell us plainly.” He said, [Mp], “Why should I waste my breath? Look at the wonders I’ve performed in the name of Y’hovah. If you don’t believe me, believe the works that you’ve seen with your own eyes. The very wonders you’ve seen should tell you who I am without me saying so.” Others had come in the past, some quite recently, claiming to be Moshiach, who had, in their pride, brought reproach on the Word of Truth, not being able to deliver on the promise of deliverance from the gentile occupiers. Their very claims had been arrogant, and I think, the Pharisees were probably waiting for his claim so they could denounce him as just another false Moshiach. He was offering the kingdom, but he must first die for the sin and sins of the world before he could be their King. They wanted a political savior, not a spiritual Saviour; a savior from slavery to Rome, not a Saviour from slavery to sin. He knew that and would not put himself in that political position by claiming to be Moshiach in so many words, for he knew they would be misconstrued. 

He makes the point with a return to the sheep/shepherd metaphor. He says [Mp], ‘You don’t believe me because you aren’t my sheep.’ He’d told them that the father had given him sheep to bring into the fold, but that they weren’t among them. Did he deny them the ability to believe? No, repentance was still open to them, but he did know they wouldn’t because of the hardness of their hearts, their arrogance and pride at being the ‘Chosen People of Gaw-awd’. He’d told them earlier that his sheep followed him because they knew his voice. They didn’t recognize the voice of the Father speaking to them, and so they would not believe. 

Then he told them that he would give his sheep eternal life. Noone but Y’hovah could give life. He was saying he would give eternal life; the same kind of life Y’hovah had given Adam and Eve in the garden. He also said that no man would take them from him by force or subterfuge, and that no man could take them from the Father by force or subterfuge. The word ‘pluck’ would seem to indicate something done quickly, like a surgical strike by commandos. The greek word is harpazo and means to seize. It is the same word used in 1Thes.4.17 and translated ‘caught up’. It has to do with taking something from someone who has been watching for an attack 

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto Elohim, and his throne. (Rev.12.1-5). 

In other words, he’s expecting an attack from Satan and his minions, and that attack has come over the last 2000 years in the form of temptation – to wander to the left or right of the way, to espouse false doctrines, to submit to others than Abba, to compromise with the world for the sake of comfort and approbation, among others. We need to be constantly on the alert to these things in our own lives that get our eyes off the prize. 

Then he said the thing that eventually got him killed, “I and my Father are one.” He said, in Hebrew or Aramaic (which is the dialect of Hebrew used by the people at that time – Yeshua did not speak greek as a general rule), ‘aniy v’avi echad.’ This is very similar, when you think about it, to “Y’hovah Elohenu Y’hovah echad”, and their reaction is understandable, indeed required from their perspective. By saying this he unequivocally placed himself in a direct relationship to the Father in heaven. He was claiming deity. And so, out come the stones again. I’ve probably said it before, but it makes me crazy when people say that Yeshua never claimed deity. They make themselves dolts, who’ve read the surface words, but never thought about what he said and what the people he spoke to understood. Had he been a mere man, this had been blasphemy. But because he was and is who he claimed to be, there was no sin done here, and no reason for a stoning. 

He then used a scripture (one of many he could have chosen. He could have used Daniel 3.25, where the Masoretic Text very clearly says “l’bar elahiyn” – unto a son of the gods, or of Elohim) to make his point all the more clear. The AENT has a good commentary on Yeshua in the Talmud that I think is salient here. Cf. AENT appendix, “Yeshua in the Talmud”. Yeshua quoted Ps.82.6 [Mp], “If he called the men to whom the scriptures were given elohim, why do you say I blaspheme when I say I am the Son of Y’hovah? Have the wonders I’ve performed before your very eyes not shown that I am who I claim to be? Hey, If you don’t want to believe me, that’s fine. But you ought to believe what I’ve done to be from Abba. If you’ll do that, you’ll eventually believe that I am.” OOOO! Were they ever ticked?! They tried to get their hands on him, but he once again blinded their eyes, or disappeared, or whatever he’d done just a couple of hours before, and he escaped to the other side of Jordan and had more multitudes follow him. I think that those many who resorted to him in TransJordan were of the Pharisees, only by the way the narrative flows, perhaps some of those he’d rebuked in chapter 9. Whoever they were, they had been familiar with Yochanan the Immerser’s teaching and had been there when Andrew and Yochanan had talked to him about Yeshua in Jn.1.30ff. Q&C 

 

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 13, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for January 13, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 43 – 24 Jan 2015

Vayikra 24:1-23   –   (No Prophet)   –   Tehellim 87  –   Yochanan 7:1-53

Links:

Vayikra 24.1-9 – The rabbis seem to think that Y’hovah is giving these instructions a second time because the original oil (Ex.27.20) is running out and they need more. I can see that possibility, but I don’t think that was why the repetition of the command. Ex.27 is a part of the Sinai covenant that the nation Israel transgressed in Ex.32. Lev.24 is a part of what many have termed ‘the Torah of Moshe’, which was the ‘law’ that ‘was added’ as a result of breaking that covenant in the Egypto/Canaanite golden calf worship in Ex.32; 

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:19)

The commandments of the Covenant in Ex.19-31 are the Torah of Y’hovah. Leviticus’ commands are what I think is called ‘the Torah of Moshe’. This is the ‘book of the law’ that was placed in the side of the ark, not INSIDE the ark. 

Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant Y’hovah Elohechem, that it may be there for a witness against thee. (Deuteronomy 31:26)

Stone’s Tanakh reads “at the side of the ark [31.26]”. See the prefatory note for Deut.31.19-30 on pg.200, right column of Schottenstein’s Chumash. 

When Y’hovah says “Aharon shall order it”, he is speaking of Aharon and his heirs to the office of High Priest, much like the prophets refer to Mashiach when they say, “David shall be king” decades and centuries after David’s death.

But they shall serve Y’hovah Elohaychem (their Elohim), and David mal’cham (their king), whom I will raise up unto them. (Jeremiah 30:9)

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. (Ezekiel 37:24)

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Y’hovah Elohaychem, and David mal’cham; and shall fear Y’hovah and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:5)

In that day shall Y’hovah defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as Elohim, as the angel of Y’hovah before them. (Zechariah 12:8)

I think that the references to ‘Y’hovah, their Elohim’ and ‘David, their king’ both speak of Mashiach, as he is the son of both and each, and the idiom of calling the heir by his father’s name is used throughout scripture. Think of how many times the entire nation is called “Ya’acov” or “Israel”, not because that is necessarily their name, but their father Ya’acov’s; or the tribes of Ephraim and Menashe are called Yoseph. Same principle.

When it says ‘order’, it means that the High Priest’s daily duty in the Mishkan or Beit haMikdash is to clean, dress, fill and light the Menorrah. Schottenstein’s Chumash has some interesting insights about this duty on pg.169.

It was also the High Priest’s weekly duty to ‘order’ the Table of Showbread, and this was done on the Shabbat. We saw last week the weekly Shabbat was a ‘shabbaton’. It was a day to rest from labors. 

Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? (Matthew 12:5)

They are ‘blameless’ (not innocent and not perfect – blameless) because 1) this is a direct command of Y’hovah and 2) they performed a sin offering, in part, to atone for having profaned the Shabbat in performing a duty that was of greater import than the one broken;

And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. (Exodus 29:36)

The showbread represented the physical blessings Y’hovah would bestow for obedience to his commands, while the menorah represented the spiritual ‘illumination’ received from Torah study. Q&C

Vv.10-16 – The blasphemer. These 7 verses seem to be a parenthetical narrative that on the surface doesn’t seem to fit, between the High Priest’s duties in the Kadosh place and some chukim and mishpatim concerning common crimes. An Israelite man whose mother was a Danite and whose father was an Egyptian, literally a member of the mixt multitude, got into an argument with a full Israelite and during the knock-down/drag-out that ensued cursed the other guy in Y’hovah’s Name. It seems to me that when he did that, everything just stopped, like everyone within earshot took in an astonished, corporate GASP – HUH! – like when Phil Rizzuto committed an error (think of 72,000 fans at Cleveland Stadium in 1945 gasping all at once – you could literally hear it on the radio broadcast!). I think even the blasphemer knew he’d stepped in a great, big, gooey cowpie. What resulted was NOT going to be good for him. It also was not going to be good for Israel, because I think that what Y’hovah told the nation they had to do was a contributor to what cumulatively developed into the Korah/Dathan rebellion that we’ll see in a few months. 

The people took the blasphemer in charge and brought him to Moshe for judgment, but since this is the first time blasphemy had actually come up, Moshe didn’t have the Word of Y’hovah on what to do about it. Everyone knew that Y’hovah had decreed that they were not to make his Name a vain thing, but noone had any idea what the penalty was for doing so. Well, they found out. They were to take the man who cursed in Y’hovah’s Name outside of the camp and those who heard the blasphemy were to lay their hands on his head, I assume witnessing that they had heard it and were innocent themselves, and then the congregation was to stone him to death. 

We get an idea of exactly what it ultimately means, in the absolute WORST case, to ‘bear their iniquity’ from this passage. There was no opportunity to offer a sin offering, there was no atonement for the sin of blasphemy. He died in his iniquity. No entrance into the Olam Haba, the world to come. He would go to the grave to await the resurrection of the wicked, the GWT Judgment and the total dissolution of the Lake of Fire. He was toast. This was not the judgment for just a stranger or a son of mixture, but for the native born, as well. No questions asked. Do not pass go. 

I think this may be the traditional source of saying Hashem instead of the Name, Y’hovah. 

Vv.17-24 – Follows general rules for dealing with important torts and crimes. I say general, because there are exceptions to many of these. The first one mentioned is that if one man kills another, the killer is to be killed. But, as we’ll see later, that is NOT a hard and fast rule. There is provision for a near kin to a man slain avenging his brother on the manslayer with no penalty, unless he caught the guy IN a city of refuge and killed him (Num.35). The cities of refuge were designated as a place where the man-slayer could have refuge from the avenger. All cities of refuge were Levitical cities and probably had Beit Din in them, so the man-slayer could make his case that he had not murdered the other, but had accidentally slain him. If he was innocent of murder, he stayed in the refuge city the rest of his life or until the death of the High Priest. If he was guilty, he was put out of the refuge city and had to take his chances with the near kin avenger. 

If a man killed another’s animal, he needed to make restitution, like for like. The same was due to causing an injury to another person. The restitution was to be like for like, and the eye for eye, tooth for tooth doesn’t mean that if he did something to cause you to lose an eye, you had the right to gouge out his eye. It means he has to make the loss good – ensure that the one who suffered the physical loss doesn’t see any loss of life, property or lifestyle. For instance, if a singer’s voice is injured due to someone’s negligence, the negligent one needs to provide a similar income as the singer earned before the injury. This shows the Torah standard of ‘strict liability’. So, guess where the idea of limited liability insurance came from. What was good for the Israelite – Torah – was good for the stranger. There is one law for both the Israelite and the stranger – v.22. And to make that point, Y’hovah invokes the enabling clause, “I am Y’hovah Elohechem.” And Moshe told Israel Y’hovah’s mishpat and they carried out the execution. The rabbis at Artscroll/Mesorah Publications say this about our parenthesis in Schottenstein’s Chumash, pg.169-170. I think they make sense. Q&C

No Prophet

Tehellim 87.1-3 – The ‘holy mountains’ are the mountains of Judea and Samaria, what the world system of today calls the ‘West Bank’ of the Yarden River. The holiest hill of those mountains and the city that is there is called Zion. The political State of Zion does not exist today, but it will in the not very distant future, when Mashiach calls out Yisrael from the 4 corners of the earth. Zion will be born after the birth pangs of Mashiach, which I see as terror wars against Yisrael in ALL the lands to which we’ve been dispersed. I see these birth pangs beginning to take place as I type. There is a concerted effort by the world system to demonize and marginalize all real believers in Mashiach, regardless to which tradition or denomination they belong, whether Jew, Xian, Messie or without affiliation to any group. What will soon be the unifying influence is the persecution we will suffer due to our belief in Mashiach and refusal to deny him. It worked in Rwanda and Darfur, China and N.Korea. Persecution brought about the NEED to unify, if only to receive or provide support from or to people in the same kind of trouble. When you cry out to Y’hovah for deliverance, don’t be surprised if he sends a personal deliverer, perhaps an unlikely looking one, to help you through the hard days of persecution that are sent to both test your metal and build your faith – trial by fire will burn away the dross, if we endure it, and leave behind pure gold. Which brings us back to Zion, the New Jerusalem with streets paved with 1.0000 fine gold. He’ll purify us through the heat of persecution. Zion will be born in the hills of Judea and Samaria with people from all over the world who understand their heritage in Ya’acov.

Vv.4-7 – Rachav was the harlot (Josh.2.1) who protected the spies in Yir’cho, married Salmon and bore him Boaz who then married Ruth. She was an ancestor of Mashiach (Matt.1.5). When Yehudah was carried away to Babylon, many stayed faithful to Y’hovah and Daniel became the chief of the Chaldees who became the Magi of Parthia and looked for Mashiach’s sign in the heavens. Some Iuaidoi took Canaanites to wife, as Salmon and Boaz. Some went into captivity and taught the wise gentiles there about Y’hovah. Many in Israel, both houses were witnesses to Y’hovah in Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia (among others) through their business and exploration all over the world in the days of Shlomo and his sons. And from all these places are being born Yisraelites like you and me who will come to the mountains of Judea and Samaria when Mashiach sends forth his angels to draw us to himself. I think that ‘this (Zion) was born there). This is seen in v.5, where it speaks of ‘this and that man’; this man being nigh, that man being afar off

11 Wherefore remember, that ye 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 Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God 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. (Eph.2.11-18)

This man, Yehudah, is nigh; that man Ephraim/Yoseph is afar off – for now. That’s changing. Y’hovah, again, will say, “This (Zion) was born there?” Secular Zion was born in exile and made aliyah. Spiritual Zion is being born of Ephraim/Yoseph, Yehudah and whosoever wills while in exile and we will make aliyah when Mashiach calls us. The reunited, redeemed Beit Ya’acov is being born, as we speak. Q&C

Yochanan 7.1- – After the events of ch.6 – the whole Bread of Life, eat my body/drink my blood misconstruction, Yeshua went back to the Galilee because the Iuaidoi, the leaders of the Israelite religion, were out to kill him, and it wasn’t time, yet. I’m going to quote my study in the Life of Mashiach that I prepared as a bible study guide in 2003/4 and edited in 2013-14.

145). Teaching at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn.7:1-53) – The Chapter begins with Yochanan telling us that Yeshua went down home to Galilee and would not walk in Yehudah because the Iuaidoi, the leaders of the religion, were out to kill him. Yochanan also tells us that Sukkoth was approaching. I take that to mean that that Yom Kippur was already finished and it was about time to make aliyah for Sukkoth. 

In v.3. Yeshua’ brothers began berating him. It looks like they saw him as a charlatan, doing magic tricks with smoke and mirrors, a la Kreskin or Doug Henny. They would have nothing to do with him. In fact, they knew that the Iuaidoi were out to kill him and they wanted him to go where he could be taken. It reminds one of Yoseph and his brothers. It looks like jealousy rearing its ugly head. I don’t think the problem was quite the same as it had been with Joe and the boys. Ya’acov had an obvious favorite among his 12 children, as Isaac and Abraham before him had. I don’t think Yeshua’ parents made that mistake, at least not so you could tell, or there would have been some mention of it. The bible always points out the foibles of its heroes. No, I think Yeshua’s brothers were jealous simply because he never did anything wrong. Can you imagine a little goody-two-shoes like that to grow up with? But this is no Eddie Haskell type goodie-two-shoes, this kid really never did anything wrong. I am not afraid to admit that had Yeshua been my brother, I’d have disliked him, too. I would be constantly looking for some way to get him a good licking. I don’t think they hated him. In fact, I think they loved him dearly because he was not just obedient to his parents, he was probably always being of service to his siblings – which might have just thrown fuel on the fire. How do you live up to an eldest brother like Yeshua? You wouldn’t be able to be close to as good as he was. I imagine everyone would say, ‘Why can’t you be more like your brother, Yeshua?’ No, I don’t think I would like him much as a brother, though I’d love him like a brother. Do you get my drift? 

So his bro’s tell him to skeedaddle for the Feast. But Yeshua said his time wasn’t yet come. He would go up, but not now. So, the bro’s leave for their trip. I don’t think they were any different from us, so I expect they left just in the nick of time to arrive in J’lem, erect their Sukkoth, as the feast opened at sundown of the 15th of Tishri. Now the Iuaidoi had no dealings with Samaria and would take an extra day or two to walk around on the east bank of Yarden. This gave Yeshua time to rest peacefully for a day or so before going up to Jerusalem, for he intended to take the Samaria short-cut and did. That’s the ‘as it were in secret’ in v.10. No one would ever expect that a Jew would purposely cut through Samaria on the way to the Feast. Along the way he met our leprous friends and healed them. 

The Iuaidoi were actively seeking him out, and I imagine they were frustrated in not finding him. This may be seen in the mood of the question, “Where is he?” The people were divided about him being good or a liar, but there doesn’t seem to be any discussion about whether he is Mashiach. 

What follows is not an exhaustive recount of all that Yeshua taught at the Feast. He was there teaching for at least 4 days, so I’m sure he said more than 12-15 sentences. We have been given what Yochanan thought pertinent to his objective, to present the Son of Elohim to his people. Yeshua just shows up in the middle of the Feast. This tells me that it was not imperative that the men be there for the entire Feast, only that they show themselves before Y’hovah. 

Deut.16:16, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before Y’hovah thy Elohim in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before Y’hovah empty:”

The two week-long feasts gave the men a certain leeway in their arrival time, but Pentecost was a single day and there was no give in that appointment. That was why Paul was in such earnest to get to Jerusalem after his third ‘missionary journey’ (Acts 21.16). These were the times that Y’hovah received the tithes of the people (Paul was carrying tithes from the gentile believers and the diaspora) for the administration of the temple and the national government and also for the widows, orphans, (I.e., the poor) and the Levites (De.16.16, 17). 

Leviticus 23:34-36, “Speak unto the children of Yisrael, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Y’hovah. [35] On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. [36] Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Y’hovah: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Y’hovah: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.” 

That eighth day is ‘the last day, that great day’ that Yochanan tells of in this chapter. More on that later. Servile work is the job by which one’s living is made, not necessaries like cooking and such. If the wife does that daily, she was not to do it on Sabbath. The father or the kids got to cook and such 1-day a week, at least. Mom was allowed her Sabbath as well. 

There were 7 yearly feasts; Passover/Unleavened Bread, Early Firstftuits (the day after the 7th day sabbath during Unleavened Bread, the first day of the 50), Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. No servile work in any of these days, except Atonement, in which NO work was to be done. Atonement was a day of fasting and prayer and bible study, sanctified unto Y’hovah, with the end of seeing oneself as Y’hovah saw him. If this did not move one to humility and repentance, nothing would. But Tabernacles was for two purposes; to remember the 40-year Wilderness Adventure and to celebrate and praise Y’hovah for the abundance of the recent harvest. The last great day was the time for looking forward to the eternal kingdom of Elohim, when Y’hovah would make his dwelling with men – tabernacle among us, and when all the kingdom prophecies would see their ultimate fulfillment. This was to be a sanctified party before Y’hovah. Q&C

The Iuaidoi were amazed [v.15] at the understanding of the scripture that Yeshua had shown, knowing that he’d never been to seminary, or even bible school. His doctrine was in some ways unorthodox (not according to what most ‘scholars’ taught), but never heretical. Yochanan haMatbe’el [“from the ark of Elohim”?] had told the Prushim that he had been among them Jn.1.24-27

24 And they that were sent were of the Prushim. 25 And they asked him, and said to him, Why are you doing mikvot, if you are not the Mashiach, nor Eliyahu, neither Ha Navi? 26 Yochanan answered them, saying, I mikvah with mayim: but there stands One among you, whom you know not; 27 He it is, whose coming after me is preferred before me, whose sandals I am not worthy to unloose.

That was why I think Nicodemus was Yeshua’s secret disciple. He made sense when teaching from the scripture. Of course, who would better understand the Word of Elohim, and the Feasts of Elohim, than the Word of Elohim, Yeshua? Yeshua was not speaking some private doctrine of human origin (2Pe.1.20). He was giving Y’hovah’s own interpretation of the Word of Elohim (and the Feasts, as well). He told them that he was a sholiach, one sent from Y’hovah. For this reason, he said, his words were true and he was righteous. 

When he made the accusations that the Iuaidoi had Torah but refused to guard it in their lives and were therefore going about to kill him, the people, or the rabble, said he had a devil. I think these were Jews of the diaspora who didn’t want to believe the Pharisees of Jerusalem were plotting against Yeshua. The Iuaidoi wished to kill him for defiling the Sabbath (Jn.5.1-18) and for calling himself the Son of Elohim, making himself equal to the Father. Yeshua pointed out that they circumcised on the Sabbath to be sure to do it on the eighth day and keep the Torah of Moses. But the Sabbath preceded the Law by at least 2500 years. Which should take precedence, Y’hovah’s Sabbath, which harkens to creation, or the Torah? The Yisraelites had seen that the Sabbath was about servile work (work for hire), and, therefore, necessary and good works, like saving a dying animal from a pit, or tending a man’s wounds, could be done on the Sabbath. So why were they out to kill him for healing a man completely on a Sabbath? He was challenging their human doctrine; their teacher’s interpretations of scripture; their traditions. [I can hear Tevye singing.] Traditions are important, as they help to stabilize our society, but when they can be shown to be false they should be abandoned or replaced. What traditions do you hold dear, that you will not give up without a fight? It is good that you will not let them go easily, but examine them according to the scripture and not human interpretations. The mind stretching that comes from examining your doctrines against the scripture’s simple teaching may astound you. And do it yourself, after asking the Ruach ha Kodesh’s help and guidance, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ve held to be true that was only men’s tradition. Then, if the Ruach teaches you that what you’ve held as truth was merely someone’s interpretation and tradition, repent and move on. The liberty of knowing the truth is awe inspiring.

For example, consider our Christian proximity to antinomianism when we say, ‘We are not under the Law, but under grace (Rom.6.14-15).’ Many Christians have given this as a reason for all kinds of sins they commit, though they may not think they are committing any sin because of the traditions they’ve been taught. 

What is sin, anyway? 

1 Yochanan 3:4-5, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also Torah: for sin is the transgression of Torah. [5] And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 

So is the Law done away because we are under grace? I think not! 

Romans 5:20-6:2, “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Yeshua haMoshiach our Master. 6:1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2Elohim forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” 

And what is grace? 

1 Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of Elohim I am what I am: and his grace upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of Elohim which was with me.” 

2 Cor. 1:12, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of Elohim, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.” 

Grace, then, is Y’hovah’s empowerment to live a righteous and godly life. The grace of Elohim is personified in the indwelling Ruach ha Kodesh, who makes us want to do what is righteous before Y’hovah. That is scripture truth. 

What is righteousness? 

Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in YHVH; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” 

To believe Y’hovah is righteousness. Belief is not just mental assent to the truth, but what we do with it. 

Deut. 6:25, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before YHVH our Elohim, as he hath commanded us.” 

We live in righteousness by the power of the Ruach ha Kodesh in our lives. 

Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

In order for me to be led I must be willing to follow, to obey what’s been commanded. The righteousness that we live is rewarded by the righteous Judge. 

1 Ki.3:6, “And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as this day.” 

All this is done for us by the grace of Elohim. Grace definitely entails more than just the unmerited favor of Elohim in our forgiveness. It also includes the unmerited favor of Elohim in the power given to us to live a righteous life. The only law that we need not follow is the law of sacrifices (Heb.9.19-10.1, 12), because that law is completely fulfilled for believers in the Sacrifice of Yeshua ha Mashiach, the Tzadik. Q&C

Vv.20-37 – After Yeshua told the crowd why the religious leaders wanted him dead, the J’lem natives, who knew what their rulers wanted to do to Yeshua, started thinking out loud [v.26 Mp] ‘Do you s’pose the Pharisees know this guy is really the Mashiach?’ Yeshua is up in the Temple area preaching his heart out and the Iuaidoi who want to kill him won’t touch him for fear of the people. The regulars were beginning to question the Pharisees’ traditions. They’d seen evidence that Yeshua was actually Mashiach, ‘the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his wings,’ but some, probably disciples of the Prushim, also were skeptical because they knew him and his family. Do prophets grow up from little boys? But people were thinking their way through the dilemma, which is dangerous to the traditions of men. 

Yeshua then let loose a salvo. He said [Mp], “Yeah, you Iuaidoi know me and you know where I’m from, but you refuse to acknowledge that Y’hovah sent me because you don’t really know him. I know him because I am from Him and He sent me.” This set them off. It really frosted their cookies, and they tried to grab him, but they couldn’t do it because there were people there who said out loud that only Mashiach could do the things he did. The Iuaidoi were worried about losing influence with the people. I think I have a godly hatred of politicians for this reason. Instead of doing what they believe is right, they do what will offend the least people. In this way they retain POWER. The Pharisees and Sadducees were extraordinary politicians, as are most pastors today, holding their power by deceit and subterfuge.

The Pharisees immediately got jealous of Yeshua’ influence over a large portion of the crowd. The people were asking if Mashiach would show more miraculous signs than Yeshua had shown. The Iuaidoi political religionists were losing their grip on the people, even as the priesthood has lost its grip on lay many Catholics over sex scandals. (This is a time of great opportunity to witness to the truth of scripture and to preach the Yeshua of the bible to our Catholic friends.) So the Prushim tried to take him by force, sending temple guards to apprehend him. But he told the temple guards that he would soon be returning to his Father and they couldn’t get to him there. 

The Pharisees, of course, didn’t understand what he was talking about, since he spoke deep, sod truth, not worldly. They figured he was leaving Yisrael to teach the diaspora and the gentiles [v.35], because they couldn’t go where he was going. They wouldn’t think of defiling themselves by consorting with goyim (especially with all the ritual washing they imposed on themselves)! The fact that Y’hovah expected them to be the light of the world didn’t seem to have any effect on them. They were so enslaved to the letter of their law that they refused the liberty that Torah brought. There are 613 ‘commandments’ in the Torah which, if followed, bring a remarkable freedom, and of which only a large fraction apply to any one man at any one time. Many Pharisees, because they would not live by Torah, had added hundreds and thousands of new regulations and restrictions on the people, even as our government, because WE wouldn’t submit to Torah, has added MILLIONS of regulations and restrictions for us to follow on pain of fine or imprisonment or both. This is not the government Y’hovah wanted for his people. He kept it simple. We’ve complicated it in the same way as the Prushim had, only to a greater degree. But the S & P had no idea what he was talking about because they weren’t listening to Ruach ha Kodesh. I think they let him slide for now, thinking that he was going off to Greece or wherever and they wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore, or chance losing even more influence with the people by taking him and executing him. Besides, his time was not yet. Q&C

Then came the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles [vv.37-53]. This day prophetically corresponds to the time when Is.9.6-7 will get its ultimate fulfillment, when Yeshua’ government will extend to the furthest reaches of the new heavens from the new earth. In that day the river of life will flow continuously from the King’s throne in Jerusalem and split to run to the Salt sea and the Great sea, and the Dead Sea will be healed and produce an abundance of fish (Ez.1-12). It is this river of life to which Yeshua refers when he says [vv.37-38], “If any man thirst…” On the last great day the high priest went down to the pool of Sh’loam [sent, from the same root as Sholiach] and brought water to be poured out on the brazen altar. It was as the water was being poured on the brazen altar that Yeshua uttered these words;

37 On the last and greatest day of the moed, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirsts, let him come to Me, and drink. 38 He that believes on Me, as the Keetvay HaKadosh [scriptures] have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of mayim chayim.

It was these words that were the cause of the division among the people and also the Sanhedrin. The Feasts were mikrah, or rehearsals, of the prophesied actions of Yeshua Ma`shienu.

The spring feasts and the atonement were fulfilled during his incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension. He became our Passover. He was the firstfruits of the dead and fulfilled the wave offering of the barley sheaves on the day after the 7th day sabbath during Unleavened bread before he would allow anyone to touch him, for the high priest must be ceremonially clean, free from the leaven of sin, to offer the wave offering. Then the Ruach ha Kodesh was given on the anniversary of the very day that Moses and the Yisraelites received the Law of Y’hovah on Mt. Sinai in Arabia.

The fall feasts will be fulfilled in the future during the time of Ya’acov’s trouble, the millennium and in the new heaven and new earth. The last trump (I think that’s the last feast of trumpets, but possibly the Yovel shofar on Yom haKippurim) will sound and the dead in Mashiach will rise from the graves and the remnant who are alive and remain will be transformed and never taste of death (1Thes.4.17). Does this correspond to the trumpets sounded by the angels in Rev.9? Perhaps, but that is a question open to debate, based on interpretation of the passages. Some hold the seals, trumpets, thunders and vials to be more or less contemporary; I.e., the first of each more or less corresponding to the first of the others, and so on, in time. For this to be right, the trumpets would have to sound, one each year for the 7 years of ‘tribulation’ time. In this scenario, the last trump would be 15-23 days shy of the return of Yeshua to liberate the earth. But if we look in light of the feasts, the rehearsals that Elohim set up of things to come, I think we’ll get as close as we can to the truth of the matter, for those are the prophetic seasons (see Gen.1.14 seasons, moedim) that Elohim foreshadowed in creation. The common calendar by which commerce is conducted throughout the world has NOTHING to do with what day or month or year it is in Elohim’s scheme of things. His Feasts tell us what day it is, that’s why he gave them to us at the creation of the world. Q&C

The Feast of trumpets is a day that no man can know in advance, because noone but Y’hovah knows when the new moon will first be seen over Jerusalem in ANY month. Guesses can be made, but even good guesses can be wrong. For the month of Tishri to begin the new moon must be seen above Jerusalem by at least two witnesses, not guessed at. Then that sighting must be reported to the priests who must authenticate the sighting. After the sighting is verified the priests sound the trumpets from the Temple mount and light a fire on the mountaintop to signal the beginning of the new year. Watchmen are on every hilltop in Yisrael when the new moon is ready to appear to watch for the fire from Zion so that they can light their own fires and sound their own trumpets, so that within minutes the new year is declared throughout the land by the sounding of trumpets. At the moment the fires are seen and the trumpets blast, every business must close and every Yisraelite must put off his daily clothes and put on his best and whitest garments, which have been cleaned and whitened and prepared days in advance, to celebrate the coming of a new year (cf. Mt.25.1-13 to illustrate preparation). With this in mind, consider the scripture in 

Rev. 7:9-17, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our Elohim which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’ 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped Elohim, 12Saying, ‘Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, unto our Elohim for ever and ever. Amen.’ 13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ 15Therefore are they before the throne of Elohim, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters [mayim chaim]: and Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”  

These ‘tribulation saints’ have prepared their robes by washing them in the blood of Yeshua haMoshiach. If the Jews do not as a nation turn to Yeshua until they physically see him whom they have pierced (and they won’t, for Y’hovah said so and it is impossible for him to lie), these can’t be “Jews” who were saved during the ‘great tribulation’. They must be, then, ‘tribulation’ saints. In the body there is neither Jew not Greek, all are made one by the blood of the Lamb. The body is an assembly of people called out from among the Iuaidoi and the gentiles and sanctified, that is set apart, by Elohim. Remember that Yochanan was a Jew and thought in Jewish (“OT”) terms, not those of the western gentile assembly. Let us look to what the scripture says in its context, and not what men have said about it. We should not teach ‘for doctrines the commandments of men (Mt.15.9, Mk.7.7, Tit.1.14).”

Titus 1.14 speaks of sound doctrine. What was sound doctrine at that time? Yeshua says in Mat 15.4-8 and Mk.7.5-13 that it was the Word of Elohim. It must be the same today, mustn’t it? Sound doctrine in those days was found in the scripture, the Law and the Prophets. So it is today. NT scripture can NEVER contradict OT scripture, but MAY shed more light on it. 

The Feast of Tabernacles and, especially, the last great day of the feast will be kept and celebrated in the millennium as a rehearsal for the eternal state, when Y’hovah will make his tabernacle with men in New Jerusalem. Then, everyday will be the last great day of the feast, with joyful celebration of the salvation of our Elohim and perfect fellowship with him. 

But imagine being an observant Yisraelite (Jew or Gentile) during the 2nd half of the 70th week of Daniel, when Anti-Mashiach will rule the earth and hunt down all the children of Elohim. How does one go to Jerusalem and live in a tent before Elohim for 8 days without incurring the wrath of the Beast and his False Prophet by worshipping and celebrating before the true Elohim at the probable cost of his freedom and his life? The 3 companions of Daniel, Rack, Shack and Benny (to appropriate their names from ‘Veggy Tales’), were thrown into the furnace, and Daniel into the lion’s den, for exactly this reason, following after Y’hovah and not the elohims of Babylon or the unlawful orders of the king. It will be as bad or worse for anyone trying to keep Passover, Pentecost or Tabernacles in that time. I think that at that time many who would worship Y’hovah in obedience, as he would be worshipped, will not bow down to the idols of the Beast, and that is when they’ll be taken to suffer the martyrdom of the saints of Elohim. I think these are the ones spoken of in Rev.7. I think they will be taken in their obedience to Yeshua and their Father, and they will die a martyr’s death. Either that, or they will be protected through the trouble as Shack, Rack, Benny and Danny-boy were. May it be so for all of us who are reading or listening to this, because if it is so, we will be like Rack, Shack, Benny and Danny boy and fearlessly stand for Y’hovah Yeshua while heaping coals of fire on the persecutor’s heads.

Satan has not really learned the lesson of the Roman persecution. I think that the ‘kahal’, that called out and set apart assembly of all nations – including Yisrael (Eph.2.11-18), will grow by leaps and bounds as the saints (Ps.89.5, 7; 132.9, 16) die gloriously and joyously and peacefully in their sight (Ps.116.15), just as happened in Rome under the Caesar’s.  The effect will be astonishing. Those who have not received the Mark of the Beast will be moved by the sight, or even just the stories, of the martyrs dying in such joy and peace, while those who have been ‘Marked’ will be all the more infuriated. The contrast will be re’mark’able. Those who live through the great trib, and there won’t be many, will go on to populate the millennium and eternity beyond. 

Many who heard the Words of Yeshua knew him then as Mashiach, but many doubted, not knowing or perhaps ignoring the fact that he was the Son of David, born in Bethlehem. These were followers of the Pharisees who said in v.52 that no prophet comes out of Galilee. The genealogies and the circumcision records were kept in Jerusalem (Mat.1, Lk.2). They had access to all the pertinent information about Yeshua’s birth and presentation at the temple those 30+ years before, they just didn’t bother to check or ignored the evidence. It was even possible that there were some there who remembered the night that Herod asked about the prophecy. Here were the Pharisees again teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. The scripture didn’t necessarily say that Mashiach would LIVE in Bethlehem, only that he would be born there (Mic.5.2). The controversy arose because the people listened to their leaders and accepted everything they said as true, even if it added to, took away from or went against Torah and the Prophets. Many who take the name of YHVH today do the same. Let’s be careful we are not like this. Be Bereans, not just blindly credulous to your teachers, especially this one. 

“Test the spirits, whether they be of Elohim. (1Jn.4.1)” Q&C

“There was division among them because of him” [v.43]. Is it not the same today? Yeshua said that he came to bring a sword, and not peace (Mat.10.34-36, cf.Mic.7.6). How many first generation Christians can attest to this? Your family may tolerate your eccentricity, but when you begin witnessing to them they get angry and storm about. They are trying with their whole being to shut out the truth, which will take away their comfortable, sinful lifestyle. And they watch with extra scrutiny as you live your life, looking for some reason to reject the Elohim who bought you. It has always been that way from Cain and Able right down to today. 

If you are a 1st generation believer, try to remember how you reacted to anyone who preached the gospel of peace. You would scoff, and shout them down if you could. That is all your family is doing to you. It just hurts so much more when it’s someone you love naturally, because you know their fate if they don’t confess, repent and change their direction so that they can obey the truth of Y’hovah. The hurt may even keep you from continuing to witness, because we are all naturally inclined to avoid pain and confrontation. That doesn’t negate our duty to witness, it just explains the human tendency not to, especially with family. The motivation is to keep your family together for eternity. That should outweigh your desire to avoid confrontation.

From v.44 through the end of the chapter we see what the Sanhedrin wanted and how they reasoned. ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The officers were apparently influenced by Yeshua’ words. ‘Never man spake like this man.’ Their words must have betrayed what they were thinking about Yeshua, because the Pharisees went right for their throats. ‘Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?’ [Yes, but we won’t go there.] This is where the Pharisees get a rude awakening, because their question is answered by Nicodemus, who was a ruler and a Pharisee. He was an honest man among a bunch of self-serving politicians. He would follow Torah, and not the traditions of men (v.51). The rest of the Pharisees went after him as well, trying to shout him down. ‘Art thou also of Galilee?’ Are you from the backwaters of Yisrael? Remember Nathan’el’s response when Philip told him they’d found Mashiach, Yeshua of Nazareth? ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Galilee was to Jerusalem what everything from the east slope of the Appalachians to the West slope of the Sierra Nevadas is to Washington, D.C., fly-over country. So the rest of the Pharisees berated Nic, much like our family’s respond to us 1st generation believers. 

I don’t know if Nic backed down or if he held his ground, demanding that they hear Yeshua themselves. I do know that the Iuaidoi/Sanhedrin were not pleased. There were factions in the Sanhedrin, some pro and some anti-Yeshua. When they went to their own houses, they were like boxers going to their respective corners. Minds were already made up and the fight was in a break between rounds. The bell for round 15 would sound 6 months hence, at the Passover. Yeshua went to the ‘neutral corner’ of the Mount of Olives [8.1]. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study