Shabbat Bible Study for November 25, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 25, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Vayikra/Leviticus 15:1-33, [No Prophet], Tehillim/Psalm 80, Philippians 3:1-21

Lev.15.1-4 – The Torah for today is a subject of some delicacy, and the KJV does a good job of circumlocuting ‘the issue’. The only time up to now the KJV used the word issue is in Lev.12, speaking of the end of the issue of blood for the post-partum woman. So the law of first mention would tell us that an issue is from the central region of the body, unless otherwise specified. 

The man with the issue is unclean [tamei]. These verses discuss what constitutes an issue from a man. As a woman with the issue after bearing a child is unclean for a specific length of time, so is the man with the issue. An issue is any fluid that is released involuntarily from the body. What we’re dealing with here is a ‘running issue’, one that is fairly continuous but may be off and on with some regularity. This implies an internal infection or malady, and is symbolic of what issues forth from sin in the life of the believer. The reason for the law of the unclean spoken of here is to keep the infection (and the sin it represents) from spreading to the camp in general. The man and all his belongings on which he has lain or sat are quarantined from the rest of the camp. The camp is supposed to be set-apart to Y’hovah, and the unclean [tamei] persons needed to be separated from them against the chance that they would be infected or made unclean.

vv.5-10 – Anyone who helped to remove the man and his stuff from the camp became unclean until evening, assuming the man helping washed himself thoroughly after his contact with the unclean man or thing. One was not made unclean by touching the clothing of the dead body, but was defiled by touching the clothing of the person with an issue. Why? I think this is because death, in and of itself, is not contagious, while the underlying cause of the issue might be. The symbolism here is that the sin of even one man in the camp affected everyone he came in contact with (death did not, necessarily), which is the reason for removing the guy in the first place. The effect of the sin may have been negligible at first, but the longer left unrepented of the greater the effect could become. 

That is exactly what happened in the Western European church, including (or especially) in America. The longer we allow(ed) sin in our midst, the greater the effect on society as a whole, until we’ve reaped our present state of degeneracy. In the name of PC ‘tolerance’, we allow such wickedness as adultery, sodomy and abortion and Yah will have to judge this nation or issue a formal apology to Sodom and Gomorrah. America has a running issue, which we need to call to its attention and offer to help stanch or her blood will be on our hands:

[2] Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: [3] If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; [4] Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. [5] He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. [6] But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 

    [7] So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. [8] When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. [9] Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. [10] Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? [11] Say unto them, As I live, saith Adonai Y’hovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:2-11)   

It’s passed time for us to awaken from our slumber and warn our nation. The people in general will not like it, and they probably will not heed the warning, but every man that Yah can use us to turn from wickedness or to influence toward repentance and trust in Yeshua will be one more brother in the Kingdom and one less soul hellbent for destruction. And then the blood of those we were supposed to warn will not be on our hands. So, America, are you listening? “As I live, says my Master, Y’hovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn America from your evil ways; for why will you die, America?”   Q&C

Vv.11-12 – The wording in 11 is somewhat ambiguous, and could be taken 2 ways: 1). To merely touch a defiled man did not transfer the defilement. If one washed before doing anything else, he was still clean; 2) If the unclean man washed his hands before touching another, his defilement was not transferred. I think this may be the origin for those signs we see in restaurant rest rooms, ‘employees MUST wash hands before returning to work.’ 

Any thing the unclean touches becomes unclean, even the vessels from which he eats or drinks. An earthen vessel is porous and may retain bacteria or viruses in the pores, and so had to be broken before anyone else used it. A wooden vessel would probably have been painted or sealed with a sealant before use. All one needed to do with them was wash them. The breaking of the earthen vessel hints at the death of Yeshua’s body for our sins. As the earthen pot took on the man’s defilement and was broken, so Yeshua took our sins on himself and suffered their punishment for us. 

Vv.13-15 – When the issue was healed, the man had to wait 7 days to be sure that it was completely healed. Then on the 8th day (a New Beginning), he would take 2 pigeons or turtledoves to the priest as a sin and burnt offering, just like the woman would after her post-partum issue (Lev.12). I think that, like the woman with the 12-year issue in Matt and Mark’s gospels, the length of the uncleanness would inspire greater gratitude and care to remain clean. There was no need for a lamb or goat in this instance. Why? That wasn’t a rhetorical question. I haven’t the slightest idea why. The woman who bore a son was to bring a lamb (if she could afford to do so) for a burnt offering. Was it assumed that the one with the issue was not wealthy enough to offer a lamb? Was even a wealthy man with an issue cut off from his wealth or business while in quarantine?

Vv.16-18 – Here’s a subject that is really delicate for a male to discuss. The translators did their best circumlocution here. The subject is lying with a woman in an unmarried state and/or spontaneous or nocturnal emission. It would make a man unclean until evening, as well as the woman who shared his bed. It does not say his wife, but “the woman also with whom the man shall lie” shall be unclean until evening. She may be a concubine or a prostitute or some other woman not his wife. This cannot be speaking of the marriage bed, which we see in Heb.13.4 is undefiled. 

13:4 (KJV)  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers Elohim will judge. 

Deut. 23:10-11 (KJV)  If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: [11] But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. 

This is a test of a man’s character, in that he would have to separate himself from the camp, which might necessitate his revealing the reason to someone. But if he were to go secretly into battle in the defiled state he could jeopardize the entire army. And a battle could erupt at any time in the wilderness. 

I think that De.23.11 gives us the formula for cleansing oneself at the end of the day. ‘When evening comes, he shall wash himself and be clean when the sun is down.’ Wash at evening offering time and be clean at sundown.   Q&C

Vv.19-24 – A woman’s issue has to include blood to be defiling. This has to do mainly with niddah. Other than that, the deal is the same as the man’s issue. Whoever touches or is touched by the unclean is defiled [tamei], whatever the person sits or lays upon is unclean [tamei] and will render anyone touching it [tamei] unclean. The remedy to the uncleanness by touching the unclean person is the same, wash at twilight [evening offering time] and be clean at dark. The niddah does not defile the woman in itself, as she has no choice in the matter. The reason it defiles her is that the blood is a result of Adam’s sin. There was no blood shed before Adam’s sin. 

Nice circumlocution in v.24, huh? So the man who gets ‘her flowers’ upon him becomes unclean for 7 days from ‘the point of infraction’, to use a ‘guy’ [football] term, not from the beginning of her niddah. HIS bed then becomes defiled. Do you suppose there’s a reason for this? If I may think out loud for a minute; What was the reason behind the woman’s uncleanness for the 7 days of her niddah and the 7 days following? Practically, there were 2 purposes in this: 1) to ensure that the issue was really over; 2) to bring her to her most fertile time of month. Y’hovah wanted to bless Yisrael beyond her due, and children are a blessing from Yah. How would you arrive at this blessing quicker than forbidding the marriage act for the 1st 14 days of the woman’s cycle (at least) and making the 15th through 18th days the most fertile time of her cycle? You may see that this was alluded to in the time of Yeshua’s burial – into the ground ‘between the evenings’ of the 14th  of Aviv and raised between the evenings of the 17th

Vv. 25-33 – Here is the scripture that appertained to the woman in Matt. with the 12-year issue of blood. As long as she had an issue of blood (her flowers – KJV), she remained unclean. 12 years without the camp would do funny things to you, I reckon. Everything on which she sat or lay down upon would be [tamei] unclean, and would make anyone who touched it unclean. She HAD to be put outside the camp to protect the rest of the people. The cleansing process for touching her or her stuff was simple enough, the same as the others mentioned today, but one would be forced to stay without the camp until evening, as well. 

But once the issue is stanched, she had to remain without the camp for 7 extra days, to ascertain that the issue was truly healed. On the 8th day, there would be a New Beginning. The offering is the same as for the man with the issue, 2 pigeons for a sin and a burnt offering. Lambs need not apply. 

v.31 says that the reason for the separation of the unclean from among the congregation, or rather the congregation from the unclean, was to protect the people from defiling the tabernacle where Yah’s Panai [presence] appeared and being wiped out for it. These issues were only as a result of Adam’s sin that Yah would have to punish with its wages (Rom.6.23a).

Leviticus 15 is arranged as a chiasmus (parallel statements, inverted order): they ascend from abnormal to marital, then descend to abnormal.

 

Introduction: discharge unclean (1-2)

Abnormal male discharge (v.3-15)

    Normal male discharge (v.16-17)

          Marital relations (v.18, both male and female)

      Normal female discharge (19-24)

   Abnormal female discharge (v.25-30)

 

Conclusion: keep separate from uncleanness (v.31-33)

Purification time:

evening after 7th day mikvah    

evening after mikvah

 evening after mikvah

  evening after 7th day mikvah

   evening after 7th day mikvah

I do not agree with the commentary here, but the construction was interesting to me and so I offer it here for your interest. Q&C 

No prophet

Psalm 80.1-6 – Also offered for your interest, Shoshannim-eduth means ‘lily or trumpet of witness’. The Psalmist praises the Shepherd of Yisrael for leading Yoseph like a flock. This shepherd lives between the cheruvim. Who is this shepherd?

Psalm 23:1 (KJV) Y’hovah is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

Eccles. 12:11-14 (KJV) The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. [12] And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. [13] Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohe, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. [14] For Elohe shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 

Jeremiah 31:10 (KJV) Hear the word of Y’hovah, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

Ezekiel 34:12 (KJV) As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 

Ezekiel 34:23 (KJV) And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd

Zech. 13:7 (KJV) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith Y’hovah Tsavaoth: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. 

Matthew 9:36 (KJV) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd

John 10:2 (KJV) But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 

John 10:11-12 (KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. [12] But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 

John 10:14 (KJV)  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

John 10:16 (KJV) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd

In v.2, we see a strange grouping. I understand Ephraim and Manasshe being together in Yoseph, since they were his sons, but why is BenYamin included? OOoo! OOoo! Pick me!! In Numbers 2.18-24, we find the answer. On the west side of the camp in the wilderness one would find the camp of Ephraim, and flanking him were Manasshe on the one side and BenYamin on the other. Ephraim’s oth, or sign, was ‘the archer’ according to Bob Wadsworth of Biblical Astronomy. The order in which they would leave camp was Judah’s camp, then Reuben’s camp, then the Tabernacle and all the Levites, then Ephraim’s camp and then Dan’s camp. So when the Tabernacle went forward, Ephraim was right behind it. Just like it says in Psalm 80. And for whom did the Shepherd come? 

Jeremiah 50:6 (KJV) My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. 

Matthew 10:6 (KJV) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

Matthew 15:24 (KJV) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

The house of Yisrael = the lost sheep, is often called Yoseph and generally refers to the 10 northern tribes, the kingdom of Yisrael. Y’hovah ‘stirring up his strength before Ephraim’ points to the end of days, just before he returns to restore the Kingdom to Ya’acov. He’s on his white horse, awaiting orders from Avinu. He is gathering his sheep.

In v.3, the Psalmist asks Elohim to turn us to him again, and let his face shine on us, as in the days of old. 

Psalm 85:4 (KJV) Turn us, O Elohim of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. 

Lament. 5:21 (KJV) Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

The psalmist asks in vv.4-6 how long it will be that Yah allows us to be rebellious. Our prayers are vain when we are in sin and we can’t overcome anything. He seems to know that the rebellion in us is insurmountable and the enemies of Yah just laugh us to scorn without his grace and power to live Torah. Only by his grace can we overcome his enemies. And they are HIS enemies, not really ours.   Q&C

In vv.7-13 the psalmist once again asks to be turned, this time by Elohim Tsavaoth. He’s growing ever more specific as to the object of the request. It was Elohim Tsavaoth who brought Yisrael out of Egypt, prepared the promised land by casting Canaan out and planted Yisrael there, giving it deep roots. The vine grew so large that it cast a shadow over the hills and its branches were like cedar trees. He gave Yisrael the entire promised land from Nile to Euphrates, but then allowed the pagan nations to punish her for her unbelief. 

Vv.14-18 has the psalmist asking for deliverance by the same right hand of the same Elohim Tsavaoth who brought them out of Egypt. He calls El’s attention to the plight of Yisrael, the vine that HE had planted was burned and cut upon by the heathen round about, and asks that Yah return them to himself. He asks that Elohim Tsavaoth place his hand on the ‘man of his right hand’ (Yeshua) and that he quicken Yisrael so they could call on the Name of Y’hovah. 

1 Cor. 12:3 (KJV) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of Elohim calleth Yeshua accursed: and that no man can say that Yeshua is Y’hovah, but by Ruach haKodesh.

When the psalmist asked that Yisrael be quickened, he was asking that they be born again. The natural man has natural life, but the man who is born again has had his human spirit quickened. He HAS life. Death for him will be a seamless change from this life to the life to come. 

V.19 has the 3rd request that Yisrael be turned by the power of Y’hovah Elohim Tsavaoth. Have you noticed that there was a progression in the psalmist’s requests for shuv or turning. First he asked the Elohim who delivered them to turn Yisrael. Then he asked Elohim Tsavaoth who planted them to turn Yisrael. And finally, after the request that Yisrael be quickened so they could call on his Name, he calls on his Name, Y’hovah Elohim Tsavaoth to turn them to himself. The progression is ever more specific, ever more powerful, ever more personal, ever more intimate in nature. The psalmist went from intellectual knowledge to intimate knowledge of the Creator of the universe in just 17 verses. He went from just a guy to the bride of Y’hovah, to whom Shlomo’s Song is written.   Q&C

Phillipians 3 – Sha’ul says writing the same instructions are not grievous, nor are they a bother to him, because he knows how badly the young believers need the exhortation. The greek word translated ‘safe’ is asphales – from the negative prefix a + sphallo = w/o fail. He wanted to make sure they would not fail in their walks with Y’hovah. He goes on to repeat what they’ve already heard a number of times before; beware dogs (gentile unbelievers), beware workers of iniquity (antinomians), beware those who would have you mutilate yourselves. The operative words here are concision and circumcision. In my western gentile mind I always thought these were 2 ways to say the same thing. But on further review I call the play differently. Concision = katatome – that is, to cut down or off. Circumcision = peritome – or cut around. I don’t believe that the concision would actually cut off that which the circumcision would cut around. I believe their reliance on the works of the Oral Law would ‘cut off’ the new believer from his reliance on Y’hovah Yeshua’s gift to them. Hence the warning to beware the katatome. Contrary to popular western gentile opinion, this does not rescind or devalue the circumcision of the flesh. That is an important act of obedience, which, like the obedience of mikvah baptism, is NOT NECESSARY to justification or salvation. It IS however a test of one’s willingness to obey, ASSUMING IT’S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. The concision would have even those who had been circumcised go through the ordeal again(?), to ensure obedience to their precise prescription of righteousness, a prescription issued by Nikolaitan frauds who would have proselytes hold to their traditions above the written Torah. 

Sha’ul as much as endorses circumcision when he says, “We are the circumcision”. I think he refers to the same circumcision that Abba wants in us, the circumcision of our hearts. 

Deut. 10:16 (KJV) Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 

Deut. 30:6 (KJV) And Y’hovah Elohecha will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Y’hovah Elohecha with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. 

Jeremiah 4:4 (KJV) Circumcise yourselves to Y’hovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 

Ezekiel 44:9 (KJV) Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. 

Romans 2:29 (KJV) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of Elohim. 

Col. 2:11 (KJV) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Moshiach:

Y’hovah Yeshua is a lot more concerned about your heart attitude than the outward sign of obedience. Circumcision of the flesh profits nothing in your standing with Messiah. Your heart is what really matters. Circumcision of the heart will manifest itself in us by our willing submission to our respective heads. In Eph.5.21 we are told to submit ourselves ‘one to another’, NOT, as the spurious new translations say, ‘to one another’. Where is the order if we are to submit to each other, regardless our scriptural head? Our submission is to our head. Headship is defined in Eph.5. Fathers are to submit to Messiah, wives to their OWN husbands, children to their parents, all as Yeshua is submitted to Avinu. ‘As’ = in like manner. If we are submitted to our head, as Yeshua is submitted to Abba, we are circumcised in heart. Does this negate the outward sign of circumcision of the flesh? That Ezekiel passage would argue against it. It deals with the Kingdom Temple sanctuary. A priest in the Kingdom MUST be circumcised in the heart and in the flesh. Is it your heart’s desire to serve in the Kingdom sanctuary? You need to be circumcised.   Q&C

Vv.4-11 – Sha’ul’s credentials are impressive. After telling his audience not to put confidence in the flesh, he lists all those things by which the Pharisees had confidence; his birth in Israel, lawful circumcision, standing in the community and before Torah and his zeal for the Oral Law. He says that he is blameless before Torah. Blameless isn’t innocent. There are a few people who are blameless, even though they transgressed Torah. Here are a few; 

Matthew 12:5 (KJV) 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? 

Luke 1:5-6 (KJV) There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisheva. [6] And they were both righteous before Elohim, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Y’hovah blameless. 

1 Cor. 1:8 (KJV) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach. 

Philip. 2:15 (KJV) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of Elohim, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 

1 Tim. 3:2 (KJV) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 

Since all have sinned, all are to be blamed. But the faith of Yeshua makes us blameless. Sha’ul, living in the Pharisee traditions before his repentance on the road to Damascus, was blameless before Torah in that he trusted in Yah’s promises and was therefore in compliance with the ordinances of the sacrifices for sin, shalom, hodu and etc. Only two other people are designated BY NAME as blameless in all of scripture – ZacharYah (remember Yah) and Elisheva (Elohim of the sevens [oath]), the parents of Yochanan the Immerser. They got it, they lived their names. This won’t sit well with our RC friends, who believe that Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, who rejoiced in Elohim her Saviour (Lk.1.47), was not just blameless, but SINLESS. May they repent of that blasphemy and fully trust in Yeshua’s finished work. 

Sha’ul considered all the credentials as meaningless, the time spent acquiring them a total waste, comparing what he’d lost before men (his impeccable credentials) to that which was thrown to the dogs; table scraps at best when compared to the voluminous reward he’d get in the Kingdom, both in this life and in the one to come. Not that his education didn’t serve him and the cause of Messiah well, but that all that learning and zeal were worthless in regard to his own justification. 

He was still observing Torah, as can be seen in v.11, where he says, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” One does not attain save by striving. He was still obeying the Commandments of Y’hovah Yeshua (Mat.7.24, Jn.14.15, 21, 15.10), which are none other than the Commandments of Sinai (Jms.4.12, Is.33.22).   Q&C

Vv.12-16 – Sha’ul uses a parallelism in v.12, ‘attained’ and ‘perfect’ are synonymous. He acknowledges his imperfection and inability to attain to the high calling, but that doesn’t keep him from striving for it – pressing toward the mark – just the same. He says in v.12 that he ‘follows after’. Follows after what or whom? That for which he is ‘apprehended of Messiah’. Apprehend is from greek katalambano, to hold down. So Sha’ul was working out his salvation by following after Yeshua as he followed after Torah. He knew he had yet to hold it down, having fallen short of the mark. But, knowing that his justification was not dependent on his performance, he decided to forget his past failures to measure up and strove to attain the high calling of Elohim in Messiah Yeshua. To what are we called? How about priesthood in the Kingdom? (Ex.19.6) How about marriage to the Creator of all there is? How about eternal life? Those are pretty nice things to which we’ve been called. They are worth apprehension, don’t you think? I like what Moshe Koniuchowski said in his commentary on this passage; “

Torah was never given to impart salvation, or an eternal right standing with Y’hovah. It was used to lead us to Moshiach, and now guides us by Moshiach, who alone imparts righteousness. Moshiach Yahshua uses Torah to guard us from being led astray.

Vv.17-21 – Sha’ul gives a pretty gutsy call to his audience, “Follow me as I follow Messiah.” He was asking people to do what he did, as he strove to do what Yeshua did – obey Y’hovah Elohenu via submission to the Ruach haKodesh in his compliance to Torah. He uses the same term (skopeo) to refer to the mark of the prize of the high calling, as he does to point out who we are NOT to emulate and mark them and have nothing to do with them. 

The enemies of the torture stake of Messiah mind earthly things. In v.15 we were supposed to be ‘like minded’ or ‘thus minded’, minding the same thing – sanctification after justification. Those who are after the flesh mind things of the flesh; ‘eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die.’ They will reap as they’ve sown, eternal destruction of soul and body, and shame. But our ‘conversation’ is in heaven. Conversation = manner of life. If our manner of life is in heaven even as we live on earth, what will it be like after Yeshua changes our bodies to be just like his? Then we will have apprehended as we have been apprehended of Messiah. Perfectly. Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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Shabbat Bible Study for November 18, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 18, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 35 – 3Dec2011

Leviticus 14:1-57 – 2 Kings 7:1-16 – Psalm 79 – Ephesians 4:1-32

Links:

Vayikra 14.1-32 – There was a procedure to follow to declare a metzorah, one with a leprosy, clean. “He shall be brought to the Kohen” implies that not just any Kohen would do – this must mean the Kohen Gadol. V.3 says that the Kohen would go out of the camp to do the service, so the metzorah must have been brought to the outskirts of the camp for the process to be undertaken, in this way the metzorah is brought to the Kohen and the Kohen goes out to meet him. This reminds me of the prodigal son and his Father:

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (Luke 15.17-24)

There was no question in the Father’s mind of accepting his son back into the family. He had been waiting for this day, and when it came, he didn’t wait for his son to finish his script, but as soon as he KNEW that his son repented, humbled himself and sought reconciliation the reconciliation was accomplished. As this is applied to the whole people of Y’hovah, the principle is

13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chron.7.13-14)

Reconciliation is always Avinu’s goal, for 

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. (2Peter 3:9)

2 birds are brought as atonement for the metzorah, which to me is reminiscent of the 2 goats for atonement on the day of atonement. The one bird is killed by slitting its throat over an earthen vessel filled with mayim chayim – living, or running, water – and the living bird, the scarlet thread, cedar wood and the hyssop are then dipped in the water mixed with blood, and the living bird, like the scapegoat, is set free outside the camp. According to the Chumash (pg.90), the cedar wood symbolizes the haughtiness of the metzorah that enabled him to speak slander about another and the scarlet thread and the hyssop each symbolize the humility it took to admit his sin and repent. Then the water is sprinkled 7 times on the metzorah. Did the Kohen use the hyssop to sprinkle the blood and water on the metzorah, or was it like the oil, where the Kohen dipped his finger in the oil and sprinkled it 7 times toward the mercy seat?

The blood of the slaughtered bird being mixed with water reminds me of 

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (John 19:34)

Did Yeshua’s death not atone for our tzara’ath? Was he not our atonement? Did his death not reconcile us to Avinu? Are we not clean of our defilement and infirmity because he was offered once for all our sins? 

After the metzorah washes his clothes and his body, and shaves all his hair off, he is declared to be pure, but not entirely, yet. He still is not allowed to live in his tent in the camp, though he may walk freely within the camp, without telling everyone that he is unclean. But on the 7th day he shaves ALL his hair, including his eyebrows, washes his clothes and his body and he shall be clean! HalleluYah! This accomplishes a complete reconciliation of the man who has gone completely after his lusts, been given over to them by Y’hovah and been excommunicated for his sins. THIS is the heart of Y’hovah, and it should be our heart, to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in Messiah. 

On the 8th day of the cleansing and reconciliation of the former metzorah, the sin and trespass offerings are made. There is mention of sin (chattath) offering and trespass (asham) offering in the same breath and in juxtaposition to each other. They are obviously different offerings (v.13). The Schottenstein’s Chumash translates ‘asham’ as ‘guilt’. Seems that when the scripture speaks of ‘trespasses and sins’ it is really referring to different, though related, things. Asham is H817, from the root H816, meaning to be guilty, or perish. Chattath is H2403, an offense, from H2398, chatah, meaning to miss. Asham looks to me like a ‘sin unto death’, and chatah is a sin NOT unto death;

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1Yochanan.5.16-17)

I think both need to be atoned for, but the one is MUCH more serious, and is the one that results in tsara’ath, being cut off from the people – excommunicated, as if dead. What did the prodigal’s Father say? 

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. (Lk.15.24)

Vv.14-18 are VERY reminiscent of the anointing of the Kohanim. The priest now takes some of the blood of the trespass offering, the one male lamb, on his (I infer, left) thumb and spreads some on the middle of the right ear, then the right thumb and then the right big toe of the former metzorah. Then the Kohen pours some of the log of oil into his left hand and dips his right thumb in the oil to rub it over top of the blood on the right ear, thumb and big toe of the former metzorah. This signifies, to my mind anyway, that the newly reconciled man will sanctify what he hears, what he does and where he goes by the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit. The rabbis, in Schottenstein’s Chumash (pg.92), say the former metzorah vows to improve himself in mind, deed and effort (as in forward movement). Great minds and all that. The Kohen then dips his finger into the oil and throws it toward the sanctuary 7 times before pouring the rest of the oil from his hand onto the former metzorah’s head, making atonement for him. The only difference between this service and the anointing of the Priests is that there is no trespass offering for the priest. Sin and burnt offerings are for both the people and the priests. The sin offering is for inadvertent sin, while the trespass offering is for willful sin. The High Priest could not sin willfully and retain his office. The 2nd male and the ewe lambs are offered as sin and burnt offerings. There is nothing saying which is which, so I infer that either the male or the ewe was acceptable for either the sin or the burnt offering.

If the metzorah is poor, and cannot afford 3 lambs, he may substitute 2 turtledoves or 2 pigeons for the 2nd male and the ewe lambs. Atonement is NOT for only the rich. The poor are afforded the same opportunity to be reconciled, as Y’hovah is no respecter of persons. But the trespass offering is ALWAYS a male lamb and 1/10th ephah of fine flour mingled with oil as the grain portion of the offering. The sin and burnt offerings are identical for the poor and the rich except for the animals offered. All the applications of blood and oil are identical.  

14.33-57 – The law for cleansing a tzara’ath in a building or garment is pretty simple. In a garment, try to wash it out. If it washes out, quarantine it for a week to see if it comes back. If it does, burn the garment; if it doesn’t, declare it clean. Same idea with a tsara’ath in a building. Remove the affected stones and mortar contacting those stones, and scrape them clean. If the tzara’ath returns, tear down the house and dump it outside the camp; if not, wait another 7 days. If it doesn’t return, the house is clean. The offerings are exactly like the second step of the metzorah cleansing; slaughter a bird over an earthen bowl with mayim chayim in it, dip the live bird, scarlet thread, cedar wood and hyssop in the water mixed with blood, sprinkle the blood/water mixture on the building and set the living bird free outside the camp. Declare the building clean. Q&C

Melechim Bet 7.1-16 – Backstory – The Syrians had besieged Samaria and there was a general famine in the city that had gotten so bad that some women had entered an agreement to eat their babies. And, as always happens in situations like this, they ate the first baby, but then, when they weren’t so hungry, the 2nd mother tried to renegotiate. So the first took her to the king, who, upon hearing the story rent his clothes, revealing the sackcloth he was secretly wearing in mourning for the state of his nation. So the king went to Elisha and told him that he understood that this famine was from Y’hovah and asked the prophet what he should do. 

In v.1 – Elisha prophesies that within 24 hours the siege would be lifted and food would be plentiful and cheap in the city. See the price of food? A shekel for an omer of wheat or 2 omer of barley – must have been near Pesach or Shavuoth? The king’s chamberlain, who was with the king, scoffing, asked how this was possible? Elisha told him he would see the prophecy come to pass, but would not eat the produce of it. Cut to the city gate portico, where sit 4 lepers trying to decide what they ought to do about the pits in their own stomachs, when one of them says, “If we stay here, we’ll starve; if we enter the city (where noone will allow us to go anyway) we’ll starve. SO-O-o-o, [let’s go to the Syrians. If they give us food, we’ll be saved; if they kill us, we’re no worse off than if we do nothing.” So they went to the Syrian camp, which they found abandoned. Seems Y’hovah had caused the Syrian host to hear the chariots of at least 3 armies coming against them and they ran like rats from a sinking ship or little kids run passed a cemetery on Hallowe’en. The 4 lepers did what any red-blooded Israelite would do. They went investigating and found that the food was still hot and the beer was still cold, so they sat down to eat and drink. Then they noticed all the loot! So they hid a tentful of loot for themselves, and then looted another tent before their consciences stirred within them. And they said, “You know, there’s a whole city over there who would dearly love to eat some of this food, and it’s not right that we let them starve to death over night. We need to tell them.” This ought to be our attitude when we see people in need of Y’hovah’s love and mercy.

They knocked at the gate and told the porter, who went and told his supervisor who sent to the king who sent some investigators who found everything as the lepers had said (except for the 2 empty tents). The king’s investigators followed the trail of discarded stuff that the Syrians dropped to make it easier to run faster (from the chariots of all those armies that Y’hovah made them think were actually there) all the way to the Yarden crossing. They went back and told the king, who sent his chamberlain to be the traffic cop at the gate, and the people went out to the Syrian camp and took its spoil. And guess what? That day wheat sold for 1 shekel and barley for ½ shekel per omer, just like Elisha had said the day before. And the king’s chamberlain, who didn’t trust Y’hovah’s Word, was trampled in the people’s feeding frenzy like a guy at Target on Black Friday. This feeding frenzy is like the one in the camp of Israel when the quail rained down on them in Num.11.31-35:

31 And there went forth a wind from Y’hovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’ journey on this side, and as it were a day’ journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Y’hovah was kindled against the people, and Y’hovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. 35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

Form last week’s study of Psalm78;

Kibroth-haTa’avah means ‘the graves of lust’. It was, quite literally, their refusal to trust Y’hovah and lust for flesh that killed them.

It was the same for Yerovoam’s chamberlain – AND the guy at Target. But what makes the Target thing so hideous is that NONE of those people who trampled the guy to death were starving; in fact, some were morbidly obese. It is evident that we are even more wicked in America today than Yerovoam’s Samaria was in Elisha’s days. Q&C

Tehellim 79.1- – This psalm MAY have been like the one Elisha prayed for Samaria when it was under siege. He may have prayed as Daniel did in ch.9 of his book, taking ownership of the sins of his nation, repenting for the sins of his fathers and political leaders, and asking Y’hovah’s forgiveness for it all. Other than Elisha and his school of the prophets, I cannot imagine who would enter into that kind of intercession for Yerovoam and Samaria. It is the kind of intercession that we need to enter into for our nation, Israel and world so that Y’hovah can send Mashiach to make all things right. The time is getting shorter every second before the world goes completely to hell in a hand basket. We need to stand in the gap for the remnant, like Moshe stood in the gap for Y’hovah’s Name’s sake.

Asaph began this psalm (vv.1-4) with an imprecation against the heathen who were trampling over J’lem like the people of Samaria over Yerovoam’s chamberlain. When Mashiach returns he will do to the heathen what they did to J’lem in Asaph’s day, except that his servants will bury the heathen’s dead. Then in v.5 he asks Y’hovah to remember J’lem and her people. He prays more imprecations on the heathen who are destroying Israel and spoiling the nation. In vv.8-12, he asks Y’hovah to remember us and NOT our iniquities, to cleanse us of the filthiness of our sin. “Prevent” means to go before and guard our way. He tells him to guard his own Name from the reproach of the heathen. In v. 11 he tells Y’hovah to listen to the prayers of the saints as they cry out for his deliverance and in v.12 to give the heathen 7 times the insults and disgrace they have leveled at Him and his people. Did you notice how many requests and how many commands? Q&C

Ephesians – Preface – Like most of Paul’s writings, Ephesians has 2 basic parts, a doctrinal dissertation and a practical application of the doctrines just ‘disserted’. Beginning in 1.12, it looks as though Paul begins usual practice of pronouns to designate various groups of people in his audience; ‘we’ generally refers to Jews, ‘you/ye’ generally refers to gentiles and ‘us’ almost always refers to believers in general. This is not a hard and fast rule, but is generally true. As examples of this idea let me quote 2.8-17;

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

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 Mashiach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Yisrael, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: 13 But now in Mashiach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiach. 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 Elohim 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.

Every instance of the 2nd person pronouns in that passage refers to the Ephraimites, or gentiles in the target audience. “Peace” in Ephesians, at least from this point on, means unity in the body. We’ll touch on that as we go through 

Ephesians 4.1-11 – Paul opens our passage with a ‘therefore’, let’s see what it’s there for. 

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Mashiach may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Mashiach, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of Elohim.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him glory in the assembly by Mashiach Yeshua throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph.3.14-21)

I don’t know of anyone who can pack more truth into so few words as Rav Sha’ul. I am going to have a hard enough time unpacking some of ch.4, so let it suffice to say that the ‘therefore’ is to remind us of the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit working in us so Mashiach’s oneness with Avinu can also work through us on earth. THAT is the vocation to which we are called and in which we should walk. Can you see the tie-in to our Torah for today? It spoke of the metzorah’s cleansing and reconciliation to the body, and Rav Sha’ul is speaking of the reconciliation of Ephraim and the acceptance of full gentiles to believing Yisrael. To walk worthy of that calling is to follow Yeshua in Torah and accept any who would walk in it, whether Jew, Greek or Ephraimite and to do so in humility, doing all we can to keep unity in the Spirit that empowers us. Shalom = echad, peace = unity. 

In vv.4-6 we see 7 ways that Y’hovah is echad and in which we are echad in Mashiach; 1) One body consisting of many members, 2) One Spirit indwelling all believers – every member, 3) One hope or earnest expectation of Y’hovah delivering on all his promises, 4) One Master who is Mashiach Yeshua, 5) One faith of Mashiach working in us all, 6) One mikvah into the body by the Spirit and 7) One Elohim, the Father of all that is. All 7 of these things are supplied by Mashiach Yeshua to unify the body. 

We all receive power (grace) according to the gift of Mashiach, each as he needs and is able to receive. 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of Elohim:

Those 5 gifts are enumerated in v.11; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We all receive all these gifts in varying measures, but usually one is prevalent with the others in support. Notice that teachers is listed last. I think that’s because it is the most universal of them all, for we are all able to teach and we all DO teach whether we know it or not. We teach others by our walk in Yeshua, even if we never say a word. A famous old monk named Frank once said, “Always preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.” 

What is it that we teach people by our lives and lifestyles? There is no truer indicator of the validity of our faith than how we live. Do we truly endeavor to walk as Mashiach did? Or do we just go through the motions in front of other believers? In light of today’s Torah portion, what do our words about other believers say about us – are we metzoroth in waiting? Nothing will create a ‘middle wall of partition’ quicker than slandering another. And, by the way, slander is not talking about a person in front of them, but spreading twisted truths or outright lies about them when they aren’t around. I pick this particular chattah, offense, because it’s one we can ALL identify with, because we all are or have recently been guilty of it. I know. I’m meddling. But my meddling is personal to me, too. Ya’akov, Yeshua’s brother, says in his book;

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue IS a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we Elohim, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of Elohim. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife: there confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3)

We need to watch our mouths that we not cause harm to another’s reputation by accusing them to others without their knowledge or ability to respond. Now, here’s the rub: to comply with this passage and stop slandering others, most of us are going to have to live with a lot fewer words proceeding from our gaping maws. Q&C

Vv.12-16 – The purpose, which is 3-fold, for the 5 gifts is given in v.12 – for 1) perfecting the saints 2) to do the work of the ministry 3) of edifying the body of Mashiach, until we become a ‘perfect man’, which is a full manifestation of Mashiach in our body. So, what we’ve seen in the last 10 verses (4-13) is 7 things [divine perfection] that are given to us through 5 gifts [grace, which is power given] for the 3-fold (solid, substantial and complete) purpose of building One unified and complete (perfect) body of Mashiach. The gift of Mashiach (v.7) + the body of Mashiach (v.12) = the fullness, completeness, unity and perfection of the Mashiach in v.13. V.13 is the outcome of 2Tim.3.16-17;

16 All scripture given by inspiration of Elohim, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of Elohim may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

When Torah is applied to the heart and life of a believer, he is fully equipped not only thoroughly, but throughly – it permeates his being, and he becomes a faithful follower of Mashiach, an overcomer if you will. When a group of believers who are throughly furnished to do their work in the body get together, that body becomes essentially invincible. Has anyone here ever been a part of a local assembly that fits this description? Yeah. Neither have I. But I have been at assemblies where there were some whom I considered to be overcomers – they were way beyond me in their walk of faith. I would consider them ‘fathers’ to my ‘young man’ or even ’little child’ status. 

12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of Elohim abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1Jn.2.12-14)

We need all these gifts to graduate from being little children, liable to being blown this way and that by every wind that arises (v.14), and to come to a full knowledge of the truth of Torah. Those ‘winds of doctrine’ are what Rav Sha’ul calls ‘doubtful disputations’ in Rom.14.1, those things that may be interesting or ‘new’ to our thinking, but are not clearly taught in Torah. Torah needs to be our banner, our standard to follow because IT is all we can be assured is true in this world of ‘sleight of hand’. It was by sleight of words that haSatan deceived Chava. It was by sleight of hand that Lavan deceived Ya’acov with Leah. We need to carefully guard our hearts from the sleight of men, who do the work of haSatan in leading the credulous away from the narrow Way of Y’hovah. That word, ‘sleight’, refers to that which LOOKS good, but is dishonest or not scriptural – like crooked dice (the meaning of G2940, kubeia] in a game of ‘chance’, which is anything but ‘chance’ when the gimmick is employed. We are not to employ trickery, but to speak the truth as we grow into the likeness of Mashiach. Each member of the body is joined to Yeshua by the grace [power] of Ruach, which is the ‘joint’ that supplies each of us the ability to work together in unity. Without Ruach we are divided, alone.

Vv17-32 – Paul applies all of the 2nd table of the Mitzvoth in the next 16 verses. His basic audience is the Gentile/Ephraimites in Ephesus. Remember that Ephesus was the seat of Diana worship, a cult revolving around temple prostitution, from which MOST if not ALL of the former idolaters of the Ephesian assembly was saved. For them to follow after Mashiach would truly set them apart from their neighbors and friends. He exhorts them to NOT walk as others do in Ephesus, but to walk after the Torah. They had emerged from the darkness of sin and various perversions in which they were truly alienated from Y’hovah. They had been given over to the basest sins and thought nothing of it, but now the Spirit was witnessing to them against their former lusts, and Paul touches every one to ensure they know where NOT to walk. 

He tells them to put off the ‘old man’, by which I believe he means the fallen nature of Adam, which is to feed and encourage the evil inclination. Sexual sin is the first one he deals with because that is the lifestyle of Ephesus, the thing most likely to draw them away from Y’hovah. He then counters that with an exhortation to renew their minds, as he had the Romans in 12.2;

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim. (Romans 12:2)

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

He tells them to eschew the old and put on the new by going after Elohim, like David did. He then applied the lesson he spoke of at some length already – the sleight, or cunning craftiness, of men, or to put off all lying. Next he discusses the 6th commandment briefly when he exhorts them to be angry with the lifestyles of their neighbors, but not to sin in that anger. That is the easiest way for us to give haSatan a stronghold in our lives and minds. Next he talked about working an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, to not steal in any way. He again touched on being careful with our words and attitudes in v.29. V.30  speaks of grieving the Spirit, but it is preceded and followed by verses that deal with the tongue. Do you suppose that our tongue provides us with our best chance of grieving the Spirit? We are not to treat our brethren with any kind of malice, but we are to address our sins with LOTS of malice – we are to put those sins away from us and hate them, but be kind and tenderhearted towards each other and forgive each other as Y’hovah has forgiven us, i.e.; completely and then forget the slight or offense, because if we remember the offense, we are not truly forgiving it. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 11, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 11, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 34

Leviticus 13:29-59 – [no Prophet] – Psalm 78- Luke 5:12-15

Links:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/scall 

Vayikra 13.29-46 – What the heck is a ‘dry scall’? I looked at my own dictionary and ‘scall’ wasn’t there, so I went online and found this definition for ‘scall’ @ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/scall 

A scaly eruption of the skin or scalp.

I have seen psoriasis that fits this description. Psoriasis is not leprosy, is it? The only places in scripture where the word nethek or נתק is used is right here in Lev.13, beginning here and ending in 14.54 – 14 uses of the word nethek in 9 verses. Nethek is a certain type of tzara’ath, which KJV translates as leprosy. This is a spot of baldness on the face or head completely surrounded by hair that MAY have yellow hairs within it. This is other than normal male pattern baldness of the hairline or crown of the head and must be where hair had been before. If the kohen judges it to be a nethek and not deeper than the skin, he will quarantine the infection for 7 days and then inspect it again. If the nethek hasn’t changed, the cohen will then shave the man’s head except where the nethek is and quarantine it another 7 days. If there is still no change or it is getting better, the kohen will declare the man tiyhayr – clean. 

If, however, the nethek spreads any, even after he’s been previously declared clean, his infection is then declared defiled or tamei. If discoloration of any kind appears, it may be a sign of sin in the person’s life and he ought to have it examined to see if some correction is necessary. If the discoloration is just that and not an infection of any kind, the person is declared clean. 

Regular male pattern baldness is not a cause of more than a cursory look, but if a scab or infection appears on the bald spot or below the hairline, it needs to be isolated and go through the inspection process. If it is determined to be a tzara’ath, the man is isolated. He must live without the camp, wear clothes of mourning, leave his head unshorn (Chumash), his clothes shall cover his lips and as he walks among people he shall tell people that he is defiled. This sounds as if it is a contagious infection. In light of the Chumash’s notes on vv.45-46 (pg.617), it is obvious to everyone that this man is receiving his due chastisement for sin. It is expected that people who see him will not treat him with contempt, but that they should pray for his repentance and reconciliation to Y’hovah and the people.

Vv.47-59 – Now Torah discussed tzara’ath of things rather than people. In clothing made of linen, wool or leather, a greenish or reddish spot appears in the warp or woof is a tzara’ath contamination. Warp is the lengthwise threads and woof is the crossing threads, which indicates that the material has been cut for use or is a part of an existing garment. These spots sound like mold to me, and it would seem that if it is a mold it is feeding on something in or on the fabric. If it is appearing on leather it is likely unfinished leather. According to the Chumash’s notes, these are only declared tamei if they belong to a man of Israel and are undyed fabrics or untanned leather. The stained or otherwise affected garment must be quarantined or the affected area clearly marked off for 7 days so that it can be determined if the affected area has changed. If it has changed, it is declared tamei and burned. If it has not spread, the garment will be washed and then quarantined another 7 days. If the spot doesn’t reappear, it will be washed again and is declared tamim, but if it doesn’t wash out or comes back, it is declared tamei and burnt, as well. Q&C

No Prophet this week

Tehellim 78 – Each verse is a parallelism. The generation to come speaks of the final generation. Asaph speaks for Y’hovah in this maschil. Maschil is an instructive or contemplative poem. Comes from the root H7919 sakal, to be circumspect or intelligent, maschil means ‘from circumspection or intelligence’. So I’M going to have trouble with this, but y’all will get it pretty quick.  

V.1’s parallelism has to do with listening to what Y’hovah is saying through Asaph. To ‘give ear’ is to cup your ear, azan, to pay attention. To ‘incline’ from H5186 natal, a primitive root, meaning to ‘stretch out’, to actively listen or engage your brain to understand what Asaph says. The reason we need to pay careful attention and engage our brains (v.2) is that he is going to speak in parables, ‘dark’, or mysteriously shrouded sayings. He is going to say things that will be properly understood on the ‘peshat’ level. We are going to have to understand the allusions and metaphors that Y’hovah is going to use. In a way, Torah is a parable, a thing only to be fully understood on a level deeper than the surface of the page on which it is written. But the key to understanding the dark sayings is to be found in (v.3) what they know of Israel’s past from the fathers. The reason we need to know history is that it has this funny habit of repeating itself if we don’t learn its lessons. Witness the recent headlines to see if I’ve got that wrong. We will teach our children (v.4) our history; how Y’hovah has delivered us, and all that he’s provided for us, in hopes that they will not repeat the mistakes of past generations. Always remember that biblical history is prophecy of the end of days. 

In vv.5-8, Y’hovah provided a Torah for us to live by AND a testimony to the awesome works he has done in our behalf, and it is our duty to teach our history and Torah’s commandments to our children, so that THEY may live by them and then diligently teach them to their own children – a thing that not all of our fathers did well. It seems that Rav Sha’ul was not the originator of discipleship programs:

1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. (Titus 2.1-8)

Discipleship had been a practice in the Hebraic mindset for millennia before Paul.

V.9 makes a reference to Ephraim turning back, but there is no biblical record of this in Israel’s history to this point. The word translated as ‘turned back’ is “H2015 hâphak, A primitive root; to turn about or over; by implication to change, overturn, return, pervert.” In all that we of Ephraim “turned our backs to him”. We did not ‘turn back’ him, but turned our backs to him. Remember that this is a ‘dark saying’, so the deeper meaning is not in the open or on the surface of the page. There is a tradition that Ephraim had left Egypt 30 years before the rest of Israel (while Moshe was w/Yithro in Midian), having misinterpreted the prophecy to Avraham of the 400 years. Vv.10-11 allude to this, while more openly speaking of their later unfaithfulness under Yerovoam. Ephraim was said to have left Egypt alone and to have been turned back by the Canaanites. They took the prophecy of Gen.15 to have begun when it was given to Avraham, but it was meant to begin with the birth of Avraham’s seed, Yitzhak. 

12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he [Y’hovah] said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. (Gen.15.12-16)

Note the ‘great darkness’ on Avraham. This was another ‘dark saying’, which is why Ephraim didn’t understand about its fulfillment. Avraham himself may not have understood it. Yitzhak was born on the 14th day of the month of Spring (Aviv) and CCd on what would become the last day of Matzoh (ULB). And I think Israel was delivered out of Mitzraim on Yitzhak’s 400th birthday. Zoan may have been another name for Succoth, where Israel went on the night of the Passover to gather Yoseph’s bones. It was a ‘store city’ near the mouth of the eastern branch of the Nile delta (TBSL 4449 – Archeological Supplement) and was pretty much in a straight line from Israel’s place in Goshen to Eitam. Q&C

In vv.14-35, Asaph rehearsed the history of Israel’s generation that left Egypt, how they tested Y’hovah with their murmuring and kvetching and how he supplied not only their needs but their lusts so they could see, if they chose to, how their own lusts were NOT good for them, but waiting on him WAS. Vv.19-20 are illustrative as they noted his provision of water, and then demanded flesh to eat. He sent a ‘fire’ against them that burned in their hearts and minds so that when he provided the object of their lusts – quail – they consumed it raw (no reference to preparing it to eat, either by cleaning or bleeding it) and received a plague as a result.

31 And there went forth a wind from Y’hovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let fall by the camp, as it were a day’ journey on this side, and as it were a day’ journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Y’hovah was kindled against the people, and Y’hovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. (Num.11.31-33)

Kibroth-haTa’avah means ‘the graves of lust’. It was, quite literally, their refusal to trust Y’hovah and lust for flesh that killed them. Y’hovah will always give us the desires of our hearts, so we must be ever vigilant as to the nature of our desire, for he will use it to bring his wrath against us. Y’hovah’s wrath is turned against those who refuse to trust him for their deliverance, those who will not wait on him and his best. It seems to take an unmistakable demonstration of his wrath to get our attention, and when he finally has it, it takes almost no time for us to forget the wrath he just recently sent. When he executed his judgment on them, they repented and enquired earnestly after his will (v.34) and we remembered his provision (v.35) – for a while.

But before long, we forgot again; we said everything he wanted to hear, but didn’t really believe it, (vv.36-42). And he, once again, showed his longsuffering nature to us and let us have enough rope to hang ourselves again. But he never forgot our fallen state, that we had skins of flesh that obstructed our view of his righteousness; he remembered that HE himself had such a body of flesh, which was in all points tempted to sin, just like ours, and he therefore compassionately exercised his mercy and grace towards us. And we forgot once more his wondrous works in the whole Wilderness Adventure. We provoked him by limiting his influence in our own lives, not ALLOWING him to do his mighty works in and through us. It is truly impossible for us to comprehend the endlessness of his power. 

In vv.43-55, Asaph remembered all that we had forgotten, how Y’hovah had brought judgment against Paroh and his armies and how he delivered us from Egypt, the Amalekites and even into the Promised Land, where he gave us the inheritance he’d promised Avraham’s seed. But even after he’d done all that for us, we STILL turned away from his Way and went in our own ways and after other elohim. We Ephraimites built images and groves and offered sacrifices to other gods to the point that he finally had to deliver to us a bill of divorce (Jer.3.8). They had even held the ark itself as an idol, as if the piece of furniture would be their deliverer, and brought it, as their god yehovah to defend and fight for them in battle (1Sam.4), and Eli, the High Priest, did nothing to stop them. Philistines took Shiloh, killed Eli’s sons Hophni and Pinchas and carried the ark to Ekron, where Y’hovah caused an outbreak of hemorrhoids (v.66) and knocked the statue of Dagon down on his face before him. And if what Ephraim did wasn’t bad enough, a couple of hundred years later Yehudah went even further astray in that they and their Aharonic priests, worshiping, bowed to the rising sun in the threshold of the Holy Place of Shlomo’s Temple (Ezek.8);

16 And he brought me into the inner court of Y’hovah’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Y’hovah, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Y’hovah, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. 

But he didn’t divorce Yehudah. Had he done so, Yeshua would be a bastard and not a son. Ephraim’s sin was egregious enough that it moved Y’hovah to remove his glory from Shiloh of Ephraim (v.60), his people (eventually) to exile and to erect the Temple in Yerushalayim. He could not (from our perspective, at least) do the same with Yehudah as he had with Ephraim and still have a vessel of honor from which to bring his Messianic prophecies to pass. Instead, he CHOSE Yehudah and his Mount Zion and David, the man after his own heart, to deliver Israel once again from their oppressors. And Y’hovah once again feeds us according to the integrity of HIS heart and guides us skillfully by his own hands through his Ruach haKodesh in us – if we will follow. Q&C

Luka 5.12-15 – From my study of “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach;

The basic facts of the incident remain almost identical in all 3 gospel passages that deal with it, We’ve already read Luke.5, so here’s the rest;

1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Yeshua put forth hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Yeshua saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Matt.8.1-4) 

40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Yeshua, moved with compassion, put forth hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. 43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Yeshua could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter. (Mk.1.40-45). 

Look at all the apparent contradictions! Mat says he’s just come down from the mountain, Mark says he was just walking along, and Luke says he was in a certain city when the leper came to him. How can these all be true? How about, he was walking along the street of that certain city just after he came down from the mountain? No contradiction, just additional facts for different audiences and from different authors. ‘If you will’ and ‘I will’ are the main points here. The leper (tsara’ath) believed that Yeshua could do whatever he willed to do, because the leper believed that Yeshua was who he claimed to be – Y’hovah Elohenu. Yeshua is always willing to cleanse us from our evil inclination or sin nature, of which leprosy is a type. By healing the (tsara’ath) leper Yeshua was illustrating that fact. In every gospel account, Yeshua commanded him to go do the letter of the law, offering the gift as prescribed in Lev.14. He was not to do this as an act of penance or contrition, but for a testimony to the Jews. Elohim is not so pleased with offerings as he is with the heart of the one who is offering. And the offering was always – always – for a testimony of the penitent’s heart, not a penance. 

If Yeshua had touched the leper while he was still leprous, he would have been defiled, ‘unclean until even’. His touch is not what healed the leper, but the Word of his mouth. He only touched him to prove to his audience (that’s us) that the healing had occurred and was complete. The man who had been a leper was wholly clean – tamim – at Yeshua’s Word. Q&C              End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 4, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 4, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 33 

Leviticus 12:1-13:28 – 2 Kings 4:42 – 5:19, Isaiah 66:7 – Psalm 77 – Matthew 1:18-24, Luke 2:21-24

Links

http://www.messianic.ws/Commentary%20Y-2/Y2-33.htm 

Vayikra 12.1-8 – The uncleanness spoken of in this passage is not the same kind of uncleanness we spoke of last week in ch.11, where the animals were intrinsically unclean. It is the commonness associated with us when we have unconfessed sin or, as is discussed here, that of a woman when she bears a child. Why is she made common by the natural process of bearing a child? I don’t know, but it is possible that it is a part of the curse on Chava due to her having been so easily deceived by haSatan in the garden. 

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Gen.3.16)

But the use of the word unclean is unfortunate because she is a human and humans cannot be made unclean any more than a pig or a camel can be made clean. As we’ve discussed for the last 2 weeks, there is NOTHING in Torah that even suggests that a human is anything other than clean, though sin or circumstance can defile him temporarily, unable to offer an offering in the Temple and perhaps need to be quarantined for a time, as is the case with the woman in our passage and the ‘leper’ in ch.13. Here is an excerpt out of this week’s Torah commentary from http://www.messianic.ws/Commentary%20Y-2/Y2-33.htm  

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God covered them with skin. The Bible says nothing about animal skin (except in very liberal translations). An ancient Hebrew understanding is that they were covered with human skin – foreskin and hymen. Henceforth, they would bear children that would inherit Adams nature of sin. The children would be (tazria) conceived in a state of (chet) sin, and born with a nature of (avon) iniquity – they would not have to be trained to sin, but would rather need training to be holy. David said, 

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). 

David’s father and mother did not sin in having a sexual relationship, and the conception was holy – but there was (tumah) spiritual impurity.

“The creation of human life is the most sublime phenomenon in the universe. By bringing it into being, man and woman become partners with God, Who gives soul to their offspring. But this new life begins with tumah, spiritual impurity” (Chumash: Tazria).

A boy is to be circumcised on the eighth day of his life (Genesis 17:10-12). This is seen as representing going back to the state before the fall of Adam – before the covering of skin. The blood of the circumcision is called a token of the covenant – the covenant of his father to bear a child for the Kingdom of God. This portrays the eighth millennial day, when the child may be completely holy eternally, the design of creation. This eighth-day circumcision relates to the time following the seven days when a mother undergoes ritual purification, in today’s chapter Tazria (verses 2-3).

When a woman marries, and the marriage is first consummated, the hymeneal blood is called a token of her virginity – for the covenant with her husband to bear children for the Kingdom of God, holy offspring. The breaking of the hymen is seen as representative of going back to the state before the fall into sin. This token of the hymeneal blood was saved as the token that she had kept herself a virgin to bear children in holiness for the Kingdom of God (Deuteronomy 22:15). Today’s chapter Tazria speaks of this token hymeneal blood as maqor dam – the issue of her blood (verse 7).

The time that she is quarantined is 7 days in her commonness and then 33 in her purification for a boy and 80 days total for a girl (14 + 66, RESPECTIVELY). In the case of bearing a boy, she is common and quarantined for 7 days, but on the 8th day her quarantine is lifted for the CC of her son and then she continues for the next 33 days in her purification. THAT is how important Y’hovah holds CC for Israel. I don’t see any reason to think that she is to remain quarantined, but she probably stayed at home for that 33 days. Then she brings her offerings for sin and a freewill offering. If she bears a girl, the times are 14 days in her commonness and 66 in her purification – again I really haven’t any idea why the difference. I don’t think bearing the daughter makes the woman more defiled, unless there is something to that deception thing above. Possibly it has to do with the inherent life-giving ability of females, who carry the potential of new life within themselves. I think it just is what it is – a chuk – something for which we have no logical explanation, but that is commanded of Yhwh.

If the woman is able, she is to bring a lamb of the first year and a dove or pigeon to offer to Y’hovah as a burnt and a sin offering, respectively. If she cannot afford a lamb, then she is allowed to bring two doves or pigeons. The dove or pigeon for the sin offering is for unintended or inadvertent sins. The burnt offering is for a ‘sweet smelling savour’ unto Y’hovah, I think representing our obedience, which is always a pleasant thing to Y’hovah.

V.7 speaks of her being cleansed from her issue of blood – maqor dam – after her offering. In Mat.9.20, we see the woman with a 12-year issue of blood. 

20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. (Mat.9.20-22) 

Could it be she missed making the offering at the end of her time of commonness or purification? Perhaps circumstances precluded her getting to the Temple? Just blew it off, maybe? Or perhaps, like the man born blind in Jn.9, this was specifically for the glory of Y’hovah Yeshua. I lean towards the last, because the Greek word for ‘whole’ is sodzo, which means delivered or saved, akin to Hebrew hoshiYah/Yehoshua.
As an aside, I heard something recently that was interesting and that I’d never considered before; The woman with the 12 year issue comes to Yeshua in the middle of another episode, when the ruler of the synagogue, Yair [Jairus], had asked Yeshua to come to his house to heal his daughter of death. The parallel passage in Luke 8.41ff tells us that Yair’s daughter was about 12 years old, and that the woman with the 12 year issue accosted Yeshua on the way to Yair’s house. Could it be that the woman was Yair’s wife and that she’d had that issue since the birth of her daughter? Thank you Zerubabel Emunah for that thought. I think it likely, though not certain. Q&C

Vayikra 13.1-28 – A Levite would not do. Only a Kohen could do the tzara’ath inspection. If the priest determines that the man is plagued with ‘leprosy’, he is immediately declared unclean and quarantined without the camp. Look at the Introduction to this passage in Schottenstein’s Chumash on p. 76, note. 

OUR High Priest is Yeshua, so we need to have him keep us apprised of our condition, by his Ruach haKodesh. Keep this prayerfully in mind as we finish the Torah portion today.

If the infection is not deeper than the skin, the priest would confine him separate from both those declared Tzara’ath/tamei and the camp for 7 days, after which he would re-inspect the man’s skin. If the effected area hasn’t changed, he will remain in isolation another 7 days, after which, if the infection is no worse or has gotten better, the man will be declared clean. But if the affected area grows, he will be declared unclean and set without the camp. The idea is to keep him from spreading his sin to others in the camp. 

In v.12 we see that his tzara’ath has spread to his whole body, and is declared CLEAN! Why? Because his sin is obvious to the nation that everyone knows and he cannot affect the kahal, so he is not quarantined. Here’s a familiar Brit Chadashah passage to consider:

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Eloha; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev.3.14-18)

Do you see that if you are receiving a butt-whoopin’ from Y’hovah, it is because he loves you and wants to lead you to repentance and a mending of your ways? The same applies to the tzara’ath, here. To apply Rev.3.15, if you are hot after Y’hovah, you will be ever faithful to confess and repent and to stay in close fellowship with Y’hovah. If you are cold, you care not a whit of your sin and will eschew anything having to do with Y’hovah. But if you are lukewarm, you will have an appearance of being after his heart, but a less than active approach to your repentance and turning to his Way. The parallels are obvious to me: 1) the one who is hot after Y’hovah is the one who, upon inspection, has no sin issue; it doesn’t go beneath skin level, isn’t allowed to affect his relationship with Y’hovah; is inadvertent or unavoidable; he offers the sin and burnt offerings as we’ve seen in previous weeks, and is pronounced clean; 2) the one who is cold to Y’hovah is one whose sin is obvious, as is the tzara’ath throughout the sinner’s body and the believer will want nothing to do with it or him; 3) the one who is lukewarm is the one whose active, unrepented and unconfessed sin infection must either be confessed and repented of or excised, or his infection will eventually grow like a cancer and kill the kahal. Shades of 21st C. Messiantics and Churchianity, where Mat.18.15-17 is treated as if it was never written.

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell unto the kahal: but if he neglect to hear the kahal, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Or one with tsara’ath and declared tamei. Q&C

Melechim Bet 4.42-44 – Baal-shalisha is not a place, but a title. Names, both personal and place names, mean things all through scripture, and are often very instructive as to a man’s character or political power. It seems so here. Baal-shalisha is a title rather than a personal or place-name, like Ravshakeh in 2Ki.18-19 and Is.36-37. Ravshakeh means Great or Head Water-bearer – he basically carried the Assyrian king’s water – he had the king’s ear and was a highly trusted official, I think 2nd in command of the armies of Assyria. 

The same applies to Baal-Shalisha, which means 3rd lord. This guy was, at this time, the 3rd in command of the Syrian army under Naaman and may actually have later BECOME RavShakeh – 2nd in command. This was a good-will embassage, if I don’t miss my guess, to lay the groundwork for the events in ch.5. That would mean that this short, 3-verse portion is parenthetical and that ch.4 and 5 are not necessarily strictly chronological. I think there’s a paragraph change in the KJV for a reason. If I am correct (and we all know I am 😉 ), Naaman or someone of authority in his command found out about the need in the school of the prophets (the sons of the prophets in 4.38ff), and supplied it by way of introduction for what’s coming in ch.5.

Some of the details are interesting; 1). Baal-shalisha sends the gift by another’s hand (tells me he thinks it may be beneficial to go to Elisha and wanted him to think favorably about Naaman, but could not take it himself for some reason); 2). the gift is barley firstfruits, so the time of year is spring and probably during the Feast of Matzah, which the sons of the prophets have observed; 3). Elisha’s servant doesn’t know much about the power of Y’hovah, or he’d have just done what the man of Eloha had commanded without giving him the ration; 4). Elisha provides a foreshadow of Mashiach by feeding the 7000 ‘sons of the prophets’ on the basic rations of 100 men (a 70-fold+ increase), and had leftovers, like Yeshua fed 5000 from a young man’s sack-lunch (a 5000-fold increase). You might think that the increase given here would have made a believer out of Elisha’s servant, but it certainly didn’t have a lasting effect, if it did at all. Q&C

Melechim Bet 5.1-19 – Naaman is a tzara’ath. The root word is the same as metzorah, motzi ra – he who creates wickedness or spreads an evil report (motzi shem ra – makes a bad name). His job, as the ‘RavShakeh’ of the Syrian king, is to try to take a besieged city with as little bloodshed as possible, which means he had to spread an evil report or ‘slander’ the city’s king and his government to the people of the city. Witness the words of RavShakeh in ch.18-19 and in Is.36-37. He was engaging in PsyOps before there WAS such a term, trying to get the people to rebel and remove the king from power or influence him to surrender. Well, that is essentially Naaman’s gig – to win in battle if necessary, but to leave as much of the infrastructure intact as possible. He was the ‘neutron bomb’ of the day – take out the opposition without destroying more than was necessary. His job was to twist the truth to his king’s advantage. And it worked fairly well – but the slander left Naaman with his plague. 

Y’hovah doesn’t send such maladies to just anybody. He puts them on those he wants to use for his own kingdom, to influence them to repent. In Naaman’s case it worked. He had an Israelite girl, who was a believer (perhaps a daughter of a prophet?), as servant to his wife, and who brings up Elisha and the miracles Y’hovah worked through him. Naaman was probably a good boss and a righteous individual in his personal and home life, for the girl seems to genuinely care for him. Naaman’s wife told her husband what the girl said and he told his king, who immediately sent an embassage to Yehoram, king of Samaria. Yehoram is fit to be tied, as the Syrian kings letter specifically says that Yehoram should heal Naaman (who, I think, just happened to show up at the gates of Samaria with the letter – and an army in tow). Yehoram is not exactly a godly man, but he knows full well that he is NOT a god and thinks the Syrian king is looking for an excuse to attack Samaria (which ALSO may have been true). Yehoram, in this case, did what was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, by rending his clothes – humbling himself before Y’hovah. That action was enough, in conjunction with the food sent to the sons of the prophets (I think), to get Elisha’s attention and move him to action on Yehoram’s (and Naaman’s) behalf. He told Yehoram to send Naaman to him.

Naaman came to Elisha ready to watch the usual dog and pony show the priests of Ba’al did to get their god’s attention. But when Elisha sent his servant to give Naaman the message to do a 7-fold mikvah in the Jordan, Naaman is incensed! “Why did he not come out to ME? Do I not have the power right here in my train to wipe out this pip-squeak country?” 

Naaman’s pride was almost his undoing. Fortunately for him, he WAS a good boss and actually listened to what his advisers said. Now, here is where I think Baal-Shalisha steps back into the picture. I think he’s the guy who spoke directly to Naaman, saying “If he’d told you to go out and do some exploits, would you not have done so gladly? What can it hurt to dunk yourself 7 times in this mud-hole of a river?” Naaman, in effect had said, “That can’t do anything about my plague!” and Baal-Shalisha said, “It couldn’t hurt!” So Naaman relented and obeyed the prophet. And he came out from the 7th dunking with skin as smooth as a baby’s butt. 

THIS was a paradigm changer for Naaman. He immediately trusted Y’hovah as the only true Elohim. I’d be willing to bet (I am not a gambling man, but I think I’d win this one) that Naaman, to honor Y’hovah and Elisha, helped keep Syria’s king from attacking Samaria, at least for as long as he was the leader of his army. Naaman offers a generous gift to Elisha, but he, like Avraham with the king of Sodom and Ephron the Hittite, refused a gift that might make him beholden to Naaman or the Syrian king, or might tempt him with the luxury it would provide. 

So instead, Naaman asked for, and received, 2 mule loads of Israel’s earth to take home so that he could raise up a proper altar on which to make offerings to Y’hovah. Also he asked for, and received, pardon in advance (Elisha said, “Go in peace.”) for going into the Temple of Syria’s false god in respect of his king (keeping the 5th commandment, by way of acknowledging whose authority he was under). 

As Naaman is fading into the horizon, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha (whether the SAME servant as before is not clearly known), went out to meet Naaman and lie to him to enrich himself in violation of the 10th commandment. Naaman was more than happy to give a gift, thinking that Elisha was asking through him. Gehazi asked for 1 talent of silver (between 80 and 120 pounds of silver – a lot of dough), but Naaman was so ecstatic that he gave him 2 talents AND the servants to carry it back to the city’s tower, where they hid it from Elisha. Elisha, knowing in the Spirit the answer already, asked him where he’d gone giving him a chance to come clean) but Gehazi tried to cover it up, which is always a bad thing, especially with a prophet of Y’hovah. Elisha put the plague on Gehazi, and he went away whiter than snow – a tzara’ath. He’d spread a false report to Naaman, taken even MORE than his greed had desired and then spread another false report to his Master, the prophet of Y’hovah. He had done the same stuff that caused the trouble of tzara’ath in Israel in Lev.13. He had the infection everywhere, so he was able to walk in society, but he was obviously a sinner and noone would ever trust him again in Israel. Only repentance and confession could render him or his natural offspring clean again.

YeshaYahu 66.7 – Does this passage speak specifically of Miriam and her delivery of Yeshua in the sukkah and laying him in the animal’s feed trough? Was her delivery something different from all other women’s because she conceived and bore and named her son without the usual intervention of a male of the species? Could be. Q&C

Tehellim 77 – It begins with repentance. When we call out to Y’hovah, he responds in his mercy and grace by sending his deliverance. In this vein, look at the AENT on Lk.1.72-73 (note 18 on pg.147).  Will we see Y’hovah remembering us and his oath to us in this Psalm? Don’t be surprised if we do. In v.2 Asaph thinks of the running sore that defiled him, causing his exile, and won’t allow him to rest. In v.3 we are kvetching about his failure to deliver for us, but aren’t seeing our need to repent of the sin that brought our calamity upon us. The trouble we are in is given to remind us of our sinfulness, as is the tsara’ath of the Torah and haftarah today. He chastens only those whom he loves. Even Gehazi could repent and be made perfectly clean again, as Naaman had been. 

In vv.5-6 he calls himself to remembrance and makes a diligent search of his heart to get all of his sins repented and confessed so that Y’hovah can make his skin as smooth as a baby’s butt. Our song in the night represents our hope of redemption from exile.

Vv.7-9 should be seen as one subject. The answer to each individual question is, “NO!” But look at what the questions are, while remembering the note from the AENT. V.8 covers Yochanan, Elishaba and ZecharYah, Y’hovah’s grace and mercy that comes when he remembers his covenant oath with us. At this point, after Asaph asks these questions in light of what his heart knows of Y’hovah, his outward attitude changes from kvetching to a certain hope of Y’hovah’s deliverance.

In vv.10-11, Asaph owns up to the trouble being himself and not Y’hovah. He remembers the right hand of Y’hovah, he remembers his righteous acts in Israel’s defense and deliverance from bondage. Our take away from this is that when it seems to us that he doesn’t care or will not relent in his chastening, we need to remember his faithfulness to forgive when we turn from our ways to his Way. We also need to remember his past acts for us, so that we can remind HIM and understand that he WANTS to bless us, not chasten us. We CAN call on him to bless us and keep on doing so until he delivers. He has delivered both houses of Israel, the sons of Jacob and Joseph (Yehudah and Ephraim). 

The waters of v.16 represent the world system, which remembers but would rather forget, Y’hovah’s deliverance of his people from their bondage in the nations and his promise to do so again. I think the waters themselves may remember when he parted the Yam Suf and the Yarden to allow them to walk dry across them. The forces of nature did everything they could to frighten Israel to not follow after Y’hovah in v.17, but we followed as closely as we could to maintain our composure. V.19 has always said “ocean currents” to me, and I have no doubt that Israel had figured out that they exist long before Asaph wrote this. But modern man is arrogant enough to think that this was knowledge that noone knew before he discovered it for himself – like the modern historians who think that sailors in Israel’s days never went far out to sea for fear of dropping off the edge of the world. Sailors have known for millennia that staying close to shore is a LOT more dangerous due to rocks and shoals than venturing into the deep. The reason the crow’s nest is way up there is so they can know when to trim sails and start sounding for the bottom. One large rock anchored to the bottom can thoroughly mess up a beautiful cruise. Q&C

MattitYahu 1.18-25 – As soon as Miriam got the announcement from Gavriel about being the mother of the Mashiach, she left to visit with her cousin Elishabah (God of the oath), where she hung around until Liz bore her own miracle baby, who would grow to be Yochanan (Y’hovah’s Gift or Mercy) the Immerser.

From my study on The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach ©2000-2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries:

37d.) The angel appears to Yoseph (Mat.1.20ff) – Miriam returned from Elisheva’s house and was found with child. She had some cockamamie excuse that the child is of the Ruach haKodesh of Elohim, but how many do you think believed her? Not even Yoseph. He was ready to quietly put her away, until he was awakened from a sound sleep by someone he’d never seen before. Twice (Mat.1.20&24) we are told that this was the angel of Y’hovah. I think that this is not Gabriel, or he’d have been named. What messes with our Greco-Roman minds is that The Angel of Y’hovah in the Tanakh, the one who spoke directly to men face to face, was, in my mind, the risen Yeshua – the Angel of Y’hovah in Gen.18, the Angel that wrestled with Ya’acov in Gen.32, the one who spoke to Moshe in Exodus-Deuteronomy and the Angel of Y’hovah’s hosts that spoke to Yehoshua in ch.5 were all the resurrected Mashiach Yeshua. Matthew was written to Jews, to prove that Yeshua was the Mashiach. [Now, another aspect of the angel of Y’hovah that is a possibility, as we heard from Mark Call in our replay of TTRT from 11/9/11, was that ANY angelic messenger from Y’hovah, sent by him on a particular mission, is acting in Y’hovah’s Name and is exercising Y’hovah’s authority. He can rightly be characterized, while on this mission authorized by Y’hovah himself, as the angel of Y’hovah. But I still think it was the risen Yeshua.] The Jews would have known that Gabriel was the special messenger of Elohim to Yisrael, so why not mention his name if this is, in fact, Gabe? The angel being Gabe position is strengthened by the probability that Yoseph was praying earnestly regarding what to do about Miriam. Anyway, this appearance is enough to convince Yoseph to marry his wife post-haste, despite the ridicule to follow. 

Notice the salutation of the angel, “Yoseph, thou son of David.” How many sons of David were around right then? Unless Yoseph’s progenitors were still alive, no others. This is a title unique to the royal line and we see this royal bloodline in Mat.1.1-17. Although other sons of David than Solomon existed, it was through Solomon that the royal line ran. Each chief heir of David was the unique son of David, the heir to the throne. This described Yoseph, son of Jacob, son of David. 

24 As I live, saith Y’hovah, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; 25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. 27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return. 28 This man Coniah a despised broken idol? a vessel wherein no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of Y’hovah. 30 Thus saith Y’hovah, Write ye this man childless, a man shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. (Jer.22.24-30)

This is a prophecy concerning the royal line of David. This Coniah is the same king as Jechonias in Mat.1.11. He is the last wicked king in a long line of wicked kings, punctuated every 4-5 generations by a good king in Yehudah. He was so wicked that Elohim removed the blessing of the kingdom from his line forever. But then how could Yeshua prosperously reign on the throne of his father David? 

Look at Luke 3.23-38, where we have the genealogy of Yeshua through Miriam. In v.31 Miriam is in the line of David through Nathan, another son of David. 

31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,

Here is the answer to the riddle. Miriam was a blood descendant of David, which explains why she had to go to Bethlehem with Yoseph to be taxed (though, being married to Yoseph may have had SOMETHING to do with it, even if she were of Naphtali or Dan). She gave Yeshua the physical claim to be called the son of David. The legal right came when Yoseph, the rightful king of Yisrael, named the boy at his circumcision. When he did that he made Yeshua his principal heir, and, therefore, the NEXT rightful, legal King of the nation of Yisrael. Yeshua is not physically the son of Yoseph, but he is legally and royally. He is not Jechoniah’s seed. Yoseph, a physical descendant of YechonYah was precluded from the throne. Yeshua is not. Therefore, Yeshua was no Crown Prince, but King from the moment of his circumcision/naming, since only he could BE King.

Ain’t Elohim great? 

Notice also that the genealogies seem to converge at Shealtiel (Salaltiel) and Zerubbabel (Zorobabel). There must have been some kinsman-redeemer action happening here to keep the line of Nathan from being wiped out (Lk. 3.27, Mat.1.12, Ezra 3.8, 1Chron.3.19, 2Sam.5.14). The kinsman-redeemer begat children for his next kin (a brother or a cousin) to keep the line going and the property rights in the family. For as long as it took for the line to be renewed, that is how long the redeemer’s line would be considered a part of the male-less line. In this case it took two generations to beget a male to carry on the family property rights. It is as kinsman-redeemer that Yeshua begets us to Elohim. Our next kin had to beget us into the line of Elohim, so that we could partake of the blessings of His family. Only a sinless kinsman, Yeshua, could do this. BTW, this means that even Miriam was a physical descendant of Shlomo through the kinsman redeemers, as well.

It is important that Yoseph not ‘know’ Miriam until she bore her son and named him so that the prophecy of Is.7.14 could be fulfilled. The virgin had to be such right until the naming of the child or the prophecy would be unfulfilled – ‘and call his name Immanuel.’  Yoseph obeyed completely. He took Miriam to wife, he knew her not and he named the child Yeshua, not Yoseph. I think his next son was named Yoseph 

55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Miriam? and his brethren, Ya’acov, and Yoseph, and Shimon, and Yehuda? (Mat.13.55). 

Q&C

Luka 2.21-24 – Also from my study on The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach –

41). The presentation in the Temple and the words of Shimon and Channah – Lk.2.22-38. – Yeshua was 40 days old when they brought him to the temple. Leviticus 12:2-4,

“Speak unto the children of Yisrael, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 3And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.” 

This was not for circumcision, which was done on the 8th day and possibly by Yoseph. There is nothing that says the boy needs to be circumcised at the temple, only that he needs to be circumcised. The baptism of babies is done at the liturgical assemblies and that is the reason some think Yeshua was brought to the Temple when he was 8 days old. It is a leftover of Catholic tradition. It is interesting that the Catholic right of baptism is performed when the child is about 40 days old, which gives a bit of credence to the idea that baptism is to Catholics what they think circumcision is to Jews. Yeshua was being presented before YHVH as the firstborn of Yoseph’s family, as was commanded in the scripture (Ex.13.2, 12-13). It was here that Yoseph adopted Yeshua. When Yoseph named Yeshua, he claimed him as his principal heir. The offering was to make the mother ceremonially clean after her days of purification and had nothing whatever to do with the baby (Lev. 12.8), weakening the idea that he was brought for circumcision. Notice that Miriam brought two birds, not a lamb and a bird. This gives the lie to the prosperity crowd, Yoseph was not a rich man and neither was Yeshua. Neither was he homeless, as the SJW crowd wants us to think. Yoseph was an independent businessman, like most of the men here, and was therefore almost, but not quite, broke. 

Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for October 28, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for October 28, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Vayikra (Lev.) 9-11; Melechim Aleph (1Ki.) 8.56 – 58; Sh’muel Bet (2Sam) 6.1; Tehellim (Psalm) 76; Mk 7.1 – 23

Links: 

www.messianic.ws 

http://www.jewfaq.org/sages.htm 

Vayikra 9.1-4 – Remember that last week we talked about the 7 day ‘training’ of Aharon and his sons under the tutelage and supervision of Moshe. The 7 days were symbolic of the 7 spirits of Y’hovah, the 7 sayings of Mashiach on the tree, the 7 days of creation and the 7 millennia of earth history (both past, present and future), as well as the myriad other references to 7’s in scripture. During our discussion last week, I slipped into ‘church-speak’ when referring to the offerings in that I confused the sin offering with the trespass offering. They are different. Sin offerings are for inadvertent sins or those against brethren, while trespass offerings are for sins committed when we know better and specifically against Y’hovah. The golden calf was a trespass. We knew better, but did it anyway. Y’hovah would have been perfectly righteous in wiping out the whole people, and threatened to do so. It was only the importunity of Moshe that held off Y’hovah’s wrath against us and resulted in an offering for our knowing trespasses. I think it was the law of this offering (and the Levitical priesthood who offered it) that were added for transgressions in 

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 (KJV)  

We begin now on the 8th day, which symbolizes new beginnings, and the eternal ages after the judgment, destruction and new creation of ‘shamayim v’eretz’, the heavens and earth. There is no trespass offering in chapters 8-11. There are only the offerings of the covenant – sin (for atonement), burnt (for a sweet savour, 8.21), peace (for hodu, 7.12) and grain offerings. These offerings will be made in the Millennial Kingdom, as well. Will there really be offerings made in the eternal ages? 

The possibility exists that these offerings were to be a onetime deal. It seems that Moshe ordered this offering just this once, since there is no commandment to do this ‘l’olam va’ed’. Perhaps these offerings will be made once – as was the offering of Yeshua on the tree, at the beginning of the eternal ages, to set apart the people for all eternity. That last was pure speculation, and I would not be the least surprised if I were wr… wro-o… mistaken.

First comes the sin offering to cover the high priest’s unintentional, inadvertent sins and reconcile him to Y’hovah. There is no trespass offering for the high priest. He is a picture of Yeshua as our Melech-Tzadik high priest. I must assume, therefore, that if the High Priest sinned willfully he was disqualified for the job before Yah. This strictness is due to the fact that he represented Y’hovah to the people, as well as the people to Y’hovah. Yeshua would be absolutely sinless. The High Priest had to be, as nearly as humanly possible, as well. The sin offering was Yah’s gracious provision for his human frailties.

Next came the burnt offering of the priest, a sweet savour to Y’hovah. Did this represent the priest’s prayers before Yah, as the incense represented the prayers of the tzadikim? That’s it for the priest. I guess he was assumed to be at peace with Yah and in a constant state of thanksgiving (hodu). The people had all 4 offerings to offer. Q&C

Vayikra 9.5-24 – In chapter 8, the priests and the people (through their elders) had been set-apart and consecrated to Y’hovah’s service. There is nothing to indicate that during the week of the priest’s consecration …. the priests were set apart from the rest of the congregation for a week – was that not the exact time that the bride and groom were set apart from the rest of the society after the Ketubah was completed? The week of consecration could well have been the time of consummation of the ketubah between the priests (bride) and Y’hovah Yeshua (groom). If so, the new beginning of this eighth day is the beginning of life as the new completed entity, which had been 2 incomplete entities only a week ago. Why didn’t I see the marriage parallel before I wrote this in 2014? Churchianity, I guess.

There was nothing that happened during the marriage week to indicate that anyone had sinned. The offerings that we see in 9.5-21 are all for the inadvertent sins of the people and the priests and for a sweet savour – ‘divine deodorant’ if you will – and hodu, or thanksgiving. The entire nation of Yisrael had kept itself set apart, and when they obeyed in their offerings they were accepted before Y’hovah. Aharon gave the Aharonic benediction (Num.6.24-27) to the people for the very first time and came down off the altar of burnt offering. 

Moshe and Aharon went into the tabernacle of the congregation – the set apart place – and came out again. I think that Moshe took Aharon in to Y’hovah’s presence as a sort of introduction. Aharon had caused Yisrael to sin with the golden calf. Now, he had been consecrated to Yah’s service and was taken into his presence as ‘resurrected’ in spirit; born-again. When Moshe and Aharon cleared the door of the tabernacle and together gave the same blessing, Y’hovah appeared in his shekinah before the entire congregation and answered by fire, accepting both the Aharonic priesthood and the offerings. He was very well pleased in all that had been done up to now. Q&C

3 types of fires, acceptance 9.24, strange10.1, judgement10.2

Vayikra 10.1-11 – Nadav and Avihu (N&A henceforth) picked up censers and put fire in them and then applied incense to it in the same manner as they had been trained. They did what they thought was right, and exactly as they had done in the past, but did it without awaiting instructions from Y’hovah concerning the proper method. This may have been the accepted way to burn incense in Egypt. Up to this point, when they burnt incense, they applied a new fire to it. In this instance, they applied the true incense, but Yah wanted HIS fire to be used, not ours. On re-reading the text, I don’t really think it was the fire that was the issue. N&A had acted presumptuously, in anticipation adding to what Yah had commanded thus far. They may also have been usurping the role of priests before Aharon, and attempting to gain attention and favour before chol Yisrael. They should have waited for instructions, which would have come shortly enough (ch.16). This would have glorified Yah and set HIM apart before Yisrael. Ain’t hindsight grand? 

The fire of Y’hovah’s acceptance [9.24] now became the fire of his judgment. This destruction came from Y’hovah, not Elohim. It was therefore gracious and merciful. We’ll discuss that in the next paragraph. Don’t walk ahead of Y’hovah; wait on his time. We are to follow him as closely as we can, endeavoring to put our feet right into the prints he left us, letting the dust he kicks up settle on the tops of our our feet. We are not to go before him in our strength, but to follow him and act in his strength.

I think that this was not Elohim’s judgment and punishment for sin, but Y’hovah’s gracious provision for N&A. As of a moment before, the boys had been in perfect fellowship with Y’hovah, who had accepted their offerings and answered by fire. N&A sinned due to presumption and possibly in despite of Yah’s word. I think Yah took them before they did anything else wrong, because the wages of sin, EACH sin, is death. Each had one sin on his account and could not have met the price if he’d sinned again. I also think that Aharon’s speech to Moshe in v.19 bears this out.

This is also a warning to us. N&A had been accepted as the bride. What happened when the bride sinned against Y’hovah? They were immediately cut-off from the people so that sin could not infect the whole body. Could this be a picture of the Northern Kingdom that quickly slipped into idolatry and were given a ‘get’ of divorce by their husband, Y’hovah Elohenu? I WANT to and actually DO think that N&A were born again, and that they will be in the Kingdom. We’ll see.

The text seems to indicate that the boys were burnt, but not their coats, which their uncles used to carry their remains out of the camp. Y’hovah is a consuming fire (Dev.4.15, 24), but he is selective about what or whom he consumes. In Rev.20.7-10 he consumes the entire population of the earth, save the camp of the saints, and in Rev.11.5, only those who would hurt the witnesses are consumed. In Vay.9, he consumed only what was offered on the altar. Here, only the brothers are consumed, their clothing left intact. This was another gracious provision of Y’hovah, so that the uncles could do what they needed to do without touching the carcasses of N&A, and being defiled thereby. (More in ch.11.) I also think that N&A died instantly, without suffering at all, again by the gracious provision of Y’hovah.

Aharon, Elezar and Ithamar were told NOT to mourn. Y’hovah’s judgment was just, though a shock to all the people. Aharon and the boys were Y’hovah’s representatives to the people, as well as the people’s representatives to Y’hovah. They needed to reflect Y’hovah’s justice and righteousness. As we’ll see later, this was difficult to do, and understandably affected them physically and emotionally, but they needed to stay fixed on Yah before the nation, not their personal circumstances. 

Aharon hears personally from the last person he wants to hear from right now. Y’hovah tells him to not come before him under any influence of alcohol. OUI (Offering Under the Influence) is not acceptable. It could be that N&A had been drunk and that was a factor in their sin. The addition of this requirement at this time indicates that such may be the case, just as the addition of the tzitzit came immediately after the incident of the sabbath breaker in Num.15. Also, he is told to make a difference between the profane and the set apart, clean and unclean – another indication of N&A’s offense. 

We are set apart. We live by a different standard than the rest of the world. This doesn’t make us intrinsically better than the world, just different, and the difference is supposed to be obvious. N&A were not as different from the world as they should have been.  Q&C

Vayikra 10.12-20 – Moshe told Aharon and his remaining sons to take the meat (grain) offering without leaven and to eat it beside the altar, because “it was their due.” Aharon and the boys who remained were not especially hungry right now, what with the memory, and scent, of their son and brothers still hanging in the air. No matter what Moshe had commanded them about mourning outwardly, they had to have been affected inwardly. I think Moshe was, also, though he was putting a bold face on. Moshe reacted emotionally by putting on a ‘tough guy’ air, demanding that every ‘I’ be dotted and every ‘T’ crossed, as if nothing had occurred – or rather to ensure it didn’t happen again. But how could a father and his remaining sons do those things that showed joy and thanksgiving for their standing before Y’hovah at a time like this? They did what had to be done in public, eating of the meat offering beside the altar, but to eat the flesh of the peace offering in the Kadosh place would have been an absolute sham. That was why Aharon and the boys burnt the flesh on the altar. He in effect told Moshe that he could not go on as if his elder sons were NOT killed that very day, and that Y’hovah knew that his heart would not be in it. When Aharon explained it to Moshe, he understood and relented. He may also have been more of a comfort to his brother and nephews, at least in private.

I think that in v.19, Aharon says that N&A had offered their sin and burnt offerings. The wages of sin, EACH sin, is death (Rom.6.23a). So, theoretically and technically, we have it in our power to pay for ONE sin. The moment there is a second sin we can’t pay our own debt. Unlike the FED and the US Treasury (and their presses), there just isn’t enough currency to make the transaction. In that case, we need to have someone else make the payment for us. HalleluYah! Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach has done that for us. In ch.9, each person in the whole nation was made clean and righteous and accepted before Y’hovah. When N&A sinned, Y’hovah had to act decisively to stop it in its tracks. Before they could sin a second time, he removed them from the Yisraelite gene pool. This had at least 2 effects as I see it (and I truly COULD be wrong on this); 1) N&A paid their debt in full – if I’m correct, this is the only time that ever occurred, 2) the people got a graphic warning about the wages of sin. Q&C

Vayikra.11.1-29 – is all about clean and unclean flesh foods. There is no time frame given, but Yisrael was in a clean and reconciled condition, so I think it must have been relatively soon after ch.10, though I doubt that it was the same day. It seems that Yisrael would be allowed to eat only cloven-hoofed ruminants, like deer, cows, goats and sheep. These animals were clean and good for offering to Y’hovah. This is an example of how we are set-apart unto Y’hovah as he is set apart. Animals that chew the cud are invariably vegetarians and grazers. You will notice that there are no predators or carrion eaters among the lists of clean animals. Buffalo, giraffes and other cloven-hoofed ruminants are also clean to eat, though not in plentiful supply in Yisrael. 

Clean fish are those with scales AND fins. Not one or the other, but both. Shellfish of any kind, eels, sharks, and catfish are not clean. In vv.10-12, Y’hovah makes it clear that these are abominable in his sight. He uses the term ‘abomination’ 4 times to make it clear to us that we are not to eat any fish without BOTH scales and fins. It must be very important to him. Sea mammals are off limits, since they neither chew the cud, have cloven feet, nor do they have scales. I saw something called ‘kosher shrimp’ the other day. Shrimp are shellfish – no scales. How can there be anything that remotely resembles ‘kosher shrimp’? I Googled it and found it’s like imitation crabmeat that’s made with Pollack and has no crab in it. As with any analogue of this sort, if you eat it, be sure it’s truly clean before buying it. We bought ‘turkey bacon’ that was flavoured with bacon fat – decidedly NOT clean. Yah had reasons to not allow these things in our diet besides obedience. All shellfish are bottom feeders; they clean up the bottom of fecal matter and dead stuff. Most fish with skin, like sharks and catfish will eat anything available. Like pigs, they may taste good, but they are unhealthy to consume and full of abominable stuff.

As for birds, unless they are predators or carrion eaters, they are clean. Most, if not all clean birds, like chicken, partridge, duck and goose eat vegetables or insects that eat vegetables. Hawks, eagles and owls are all predators. Ravens and vultures eat carrion, as do certain species of stork. A lapwing, according to W1828 is a ‘sea crow’, which hints at its relation to the raven, a carrion eater. Of course a bat is a mammal, and neither chews the cud nor has cloven hooves. For those of you who are looking forward to US Thanksgiving, you may rest assured that turkey is clean to eat. Just be careful of the stuffing and other trimmings. Sausage stuffing baked in the bird, a traditional favorite, would contaminate the whole bird. 

The only insects that are declared clean are locusts, beetles and grasshoppers. Many think that the locusts and wild honey that were the staples of Yochanan the Immerser’s diet actually referred to the bean pods of the locust tree, whence comes carob. But it’s listing among flying creeping things shows that there is no need to try to vegetarianize ol’ Yochanan. Locusts are clean to eat. Yochanan caught them and impaled them on a spit of some type and let them dry. Then he would grind them fine with a mortar and pestle and use them like flour in a cake [thank you, Zerubabel Emunah]. Seems a little more appetizing than grabbing one up and crunching through its exoskeleton, doesn’t it? I think this is a gracious provision of Y’hovah for the time of Ya’acov trouble when locusts will have eaten all the grasses on earth (Joel 1). Locusts and grasshoppers will be plentiful, while bread and grains will be VERY hard to get, and VERY expensive when you can get it (Rev.6.6). All these insects are vegetarians.

All animals with paws are unclean to eat. Dogs, cats, rodents, etc. are unclean. Most of them are predators or carrion eaters. Are you seeing a pattern here? We are to eat only those animals that do not eat other animals, their droppings or their remains. For that matter, our basic food is supposed to be fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables. We were only supposed to eat flesh on special occasions or as a part of an offering to Y’hovah. When Yisrael was on the move, there wasn’t time for cleaning and cooking animals. Yah had our souls AND bodies in mind when he prescribed these dietary commandments. So be of good courage, bite the bullet and be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Q&C

Vay.11.24-47 – Starting in v.24 we see lots of rules about handling ‘carcasses’. W1828 has this:

“CARCASS, n.1.  The body of an animal; usually the body when dead.  It is not applied to the living body of the human species, except in low or ludicrous language.”

So generally speaking, a carcase is a dead thing. To touch a dead thing makes one unclean. To touch an animal that is unclean to eat does not make one unclean, i.e., to pet your dog or cat does not make you unclean. One who is unclean by touching a carcase must wash himself with water and be unclean/common until evening. So N&A’s uncles were not rendered unclean, IF they didn’t touch the boy’s bodies, hence my assertion that Y’hovah selectively burned their bodies and NOT their coats. The vessel that touches the dead body is made unclean (v.32), but the person who touches the vessel is NOT declared unclean. The unclean vessel must be washed quickly (before evening) to be made clean for use again (a metal or living thing) or it must be destroyed (earthen vessels). 

It is interesting that if an animal that may be eaten dies, there is no difference between just touching it, bearing it or eating it, the person who does so is unclean until evening. The word ‘die’ in v.39 is Strong’s H4191 muwth, and means die quickly or suddenly, not of a disease. In ch.7.24 we see that that which ‘dieth of itself’ or is killed by beasts is not to be eaten at all. The word found there is H5038 n’belah and means carrion. The one was healthy and died suddenly; the other’s circumstances of death are unknown. 

In v.36 we can see that a pool of water could not be made unclean by the presence of a dead animal in it. Only the water that actually touched the carcase is made unclean. I assume that if one drew water from upstream of the carcase, he was safe. Standing water or a cask of water would be another thing entirely. Running water = mayim chayim. Plenty of water = mikvah, a pool of water fed by a stream of mayim chayim

Vv.41-43 declare all serpents and small mammals and insects (other than those discussed previously) abominations to Y’hovah. To not do as Y’hovah commands concerning them (IOW, to sin) will make you unclean, defiled or abominable to him. After telling us this, he gives the ‘enabling clause’ (vv.44-47). An enabling clause is that which declares the authority to make the demand or commandment valid. In this case it is this:

Leviticus 11:44-45, (KJV) “For I am Y’hovah Elohechem: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [45] For I am Y’hovah that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be Elohim unto you: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

We had been consecrated (set apart together – made echad in our set-apartness, both with each other AND with Y’hovah) in ch.9. Now we were to be set apart from the rest of the world and unto Y’hovah by our lifestyle of obedience to him. Look at how many times in 4 verses Y’hovah uses the idea of sanctification or set-apartness. V.44, ‘sanctify yourselves’, ‘be holy’, ‘I am holy’, ‘neither defile yourselves’; v.45, ‘be holy’, ‘I am holy’; v.47, ‘make a difference’ (actually Strong’s H914 badal, the root of havdallah). There are 7 references to holiness in the enabling clause. I think it’s important to him. It ought to be important to us, as well. Q&C

Melechim Aleph (1Ki.) 8.56 – 58, Sh’muel Bet (2Sam) 6.1 – This is an admonition to keep on doing the Word of Y’hovah by the enabling power of his Ruach haKodesh. It is Y’hovah who inclines our hearts to do his Word. In the natural, we have more inclination to evil (yetzer hara, what the church mistakenly calls the ‘sin nature’) than inclination to righteousness (yetzer hatov); an imbalance of inclination we inherited from Adam. He was created, according to the Ramchal, with both inclinations in perfect balance, no weight to one side or the other. When Adam chose to disobey, he gave himself and his progeny (that’s us) a stronger inclination toward evil. Only through Y’hovah’s power can we overcome our yetzer hara by starving it through not doing the negative mitzvoth, and strengthen our yetzer tov by feeding it through doing the positive mitzvoth. Among the mitzvoth we are to keep are those we discussed earlier today, dealing with kosher or kashrut – proper. The rabbi’s have taken kashrut to extremes that Yah never intended. We’ll discuss this in our B’rit portion today. 

The only thing I see in the Sh’muel Bet passage that ties it in is the reference to the ‘chosen men of Yisrael’. Chosen is from Strong’s H970 bachuwr, selected, tried. This is how we ought all to be, chosen, selected, tried and found worthy. Q&C

Psalm 76 – This is one of the places where Judah and Yisrael refer to the same nation, as the parallelism in v.2 shows. In this psalm, Judah : Yisrael as Salem : Zion. The whole psalm refers to Y’hovah Elohenu as the object of both worship and praise. The difference is subtle; Worship is thanking Elohim for who he is, i.e., the creator; praise is thanking him for what he’s done, i.e., his creation. It is in Zion that he breaks the arrows, bows, etc. of his enemies. This is prophecy of the day of Y’hovah. Stop and consider that for a minute. No matter how bleak it may get for Torah keepers, and it will get bleak, remember that HE will break their weapons in Zion, his dwelling place. No weapon formed against us can prosper, as Y’hovah is in control. 

Isaiah 54:11, O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires… 17, No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. [Isaiah 54.11,17]

In vv.4-9, the psalmist starts by worshipping Elohim. The mountains of prey are where the enemies of Yah are torn asunder in the same manner they plan to tear up his people. The most valourous of the enemy’s men are confounded, unable to fight effectively against Y’hovah. It actually looks as if Yah puts a deep sleep on them all. Have you ever been in a deep sleep, perhaps in a dream, from which you awoke to find yourself temporarily unable to determine if you were still asleep or awake, if what you were experiencing was physically real or just a dream? I think that’s the stupor Yah will put our enemies in. I think that’s what he did in,  

2 Chron. 20:22-23, “And when they began to sing and to praise, Adonai set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Yehudah; and they were smitten. [23] For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.”

Y’hovah turned each nation’s jealousies against them, so they gave up the alliance and fought each other. He’ll do it again for us, as he did for Yehoshaphat and Yehudah. There is a caveat to this promise, though. The promise is made to the meek of the earth. I think of meekness as quiet, trusting strength of purpose, as exhibited by Yehoshaphat. The meek are often thought weak by those who don’t know Y’hovah or his Torah. To be meek is not the same as being weak. W1828 says this:

MEEK, a. [L. mucus; Eng. mucilage; Heb. to melt.]

1.   Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.

 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men. Num.12.

2. Appropriately humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations.

Moshe did not just roll over and play dead when he was challenged. He let Y’hovah Eloha do his battles. Y’hovah Elohenu promises the same kind of victory to us. We just need to wait on his timing, and he’ll show us how the battle is his and we may not have to raise a finger to win it (though we must be prepared to raise our weapons at his call, as was Yehoshaphat’s army). Meekness is not weakness. It is strength of character.

Vv.10-12 show man venting his wrath against Yah’s people, but also Yah restraining man’s wrath. While he’ll let us experience some of man’s wrath to help temper us and train us, he will not allow man’s wrath to overtake us. The offerings we saw in vv.8&9 are emblematic of the offerings we ought to make to Y’hovah, who is worthy to be feared. If we keep our vows to him, he will cut off the spirits of princes that come against us. Princes in v.12 is Strong’s H5057, nagiyd, a military commander. He will terrorize the kings of the earth who come against us. No, no weapon that they devise against us will prosper. Q&C

Mk.7.1-5 – The Pharisees and their scribes from Jerusalem ‘came together’ against Yeshua to question him about whatever they could find against him. They were searching for stuff with which to accuse him. When they saw the talmidim eating without washing their hands and arms up to the elbows, they pounced on it, like a cat on a mouse. They didn’t recognize the ‘Lion of Judah’, who could easily take care of himself and his own. Of course, he didn’t recognize all their traditions, so I guess they were even. 

Not all traditions are bad. It is holding tradition as equal to revealed scripture that is wicked. Our Torah passage today shows when we are to wash in water. There isn’t anything there about washing up to the elbows every time we eat or because we were in the market. The tradition was instituted because one could inadvertently touch something defiling. However, if they did, they’d still be unclean until evening, not just until they washed. They’d set up a fence to protect them that, in this case, was of no use.

They asked about ‘hand washing.’ Remember when Yeshua washed his disciples’ feet? Peter said ‘Give me a bath’, but Yeshua said that they were altogether clean. They only needed to wash their feet – the part of their bodies that necessarily came in contact with “the world system”. By having to wash the hands, the Pharisees were saying that their ‘works’ were “of the world’s system.” The Pharisaic system of traditions that placed a fence around the Torah and then demanded stricter obedience to them than to written Torah had only recently been started. Hillel and Shammai, the founders of two sects of the Pharisees, had only lived in the near past, only a generation or 2 before the common era, or 10-20 BCE. So their influence was not all pervasive among the Hebrews, yet. I think that when the Iouaidoi talked of ‘the elders’, they meant Hillel and Shammai.  

Please notice the verbiage of v.3 (all the Jews) and juxtapose it with v.14 (all the people). The ‘christian church’ would have us believe that ‘Iouaidoi’ = the entire nation of Yehudah, and by extension anything or one who holds to Torah. Peter shows us differently right here. The Jews, “Brit Chadasha”ically, were those who had been trained in ‘the traditions of the elders’ at a Pharisaic or Sadducaic ‘shul’, i.e., the Iouaidoi, leaders of the religion, NOT the people in general. Try to keep that in mind as you read the B’rit Chadashah. By this time ‘the Iouaidoi’ had become as much (or more) a political association as a religious one. The Hebrew people going to synagogues and the Temple were being taught by the Rabbis, who were dominated by ‘the Iouaido’. Where do you think the Socialist/Communist organizations got the idea to take over the  schools training teachers in America – Columbia, Harvard, etc.? If you control the educational training system today (shuls), and thereby the people’s school system (synagogues) in the next generation, you control society in the next century. Once that is achieved, all you need to do is vilify and demonize the ‘loyal opposition’, i.e., religious or nationalist patriots (Torah keepers), to the ‘rabble’ through the media (like Herman Cain or Clarence Thomas) and you have total control. The Iouaidoi did not have total control, yet, in Yeshua’s day, and never did have it until the destruction of the Temple and the ‘Jewish’ uprising of c.130-135CE. Once the Netzarim were totally excluded from Judaism, the coup was complete. Where do you think Sol Alinsky learned it? Q&C

Vv.6-13 – Yeshua’s answer is quite pointed. He goes directly to scripture to counter tradition and show them their own error. He quotes:

Isaiah 29:13, “ Wherefore the Master said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

And then he condemns their adherence to traditions above Torah. Our Torah portion does mention washing vessels that have come in contact with defiled things, but the tradition has gone 4 or 5 ‘better’, by making sure everything got washed before it was used, whether or not it had been defiled. This is not a bad thing, in itself, but enforcing adherence to it goes beyond Torah, as Nadav and Avihu had done. The Iouaidoi were, in effect, making their whole group sin as had N&A, and they wanted to make the entire nation do so. I don’t for a minute believe that they INTENDED to make everyone sin after the similitude of N&A, but that would be the effect. Yeshua would have saved them that condemnation. I truly think they were ignorant of this great sin they were bringing on the nation, that they were every bit as ignorant of their sin as we were in the church.

Jeremiah 16:19 (KJV) Adonai, 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 things wherein there is no profit.

Y’hovah winks at ignorance, looking on the heart, but willful ignorance is another matter, and therefore, the fathers who knowingly started the whole thing bear their guilt. Most of the leadership knew that they were going beyond Torah, but their ‘fathers’ had told them it was OK. By the same token, we knew that the 7th day was the Shabbat, but our ‘fathers’ had told us it was OK to keep the day of Baal, as had their ‘fathers’ told them, etc. 

Vv.14-23 – The church would have us believe that Yeshua is teaching us that the ‘kosher’ laws are no longer applicable. So, in the previous verses, he is telling the S&P not to add to Torah, but here he is telling the people to diminish from Torah? ‘Oh, what a tangled web …’ Here are a couple of scriptures that should prove that assertion WRONG:

Deut. 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Y’hovah Elohecha which I command you.”

Deut. 12:32, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

So the church would have us believe that he broke these commandments in one instance, while insisting on adherence to them in another? So NOW who’s holding the traditions of men as equal or superior to the Torah of Y’hovah?

Vv.18-19 – 

“And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him; because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purging all foods.” 

The last clause is often mistranslated “Thus He declared all foods clean” [NASB – a translation of the Westcott/Hort ‘New’ Greek text of the age of denial – 1850-80), when it actually means that our bodies purge themselves of the waste left after digesting the foods. Foods are defined in our Torah portion today and all foods had already been declared clean in Lev.11. That translation is inconsistent with the subject of the passage. It would also be contradictory to Torah; Yeshua did not come to contradict Torah – Matthew 5:17, and Peter did not know about this ‘change’ after spending years with Yeshua – Acts 10:14. The problem here was not that some Pharisees were insisting on kashrut laws that Yeshua had abolished. The problem was that some Pharisees sought to publicly find fault with Yeshua, by putting minor stricter-than-Biblical standards ahead of major Biblical judgments. While hand washing is good, making it a requirement above providing necessary food was simply looking for an excuse to condemn Yeshua – which falls under the category of murder – character assassination. 

Peter’s vision (Acts 10) . . . . Peter ate nothing, because he was still under the false idea – or had recently come to believe another fence the Pharisees taught – that a gentile was unclean because he was a gentile. That was what the vision of Acts 10 was given to disprove. Peter, having spent years with Yeshua, still knew of no change in kashrut laws. The Iuaidoi generally saw gentiles as unclean like pigs and believed that a gentile coming in contact with a kosher Jew made that Jew ‘common’. God presented a vision of all types of beasts in contact with one another and ordered him to kill and eat. When Peter refused, saying that he’d never eaten anything “common or unclean”, we see the problem. There is NOTHING in Torah that says that a clean animal is made common by contact with an unclean animal. And man who was defiled by sin or contact with a corpse was cleansed by washing himself in water and waiting for the evening offering. The purpose of the vision, as Peter says himself, was to disabuse him of his “stinkin’ thinkin’”, to tell Peter not to avoid gentiles whom Y’hovah had cleansed. Something that is unclean to offer or eat can NOT be made clean, or Y’hovah changes – and that can NOT be, for he says, 

“For I am Y’hovah, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

In Acts 10:28-29, Peter said to Cornelius and friends,  

28 Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing [Mark edit: according to tradition] for a man that is Iuaidoi to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

Paul’s instruction (1 Corinthians 10:25-31) is also instructive in this regard;

25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is Y’hovah’s, and the fulness thereof. 27 If any of them that believe not bid you, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is Y’hovah’s, and the fulness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another’s conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 

Paul is not requiring gentile Corinthians to eat only rabbinic certified kosher food: he says to eat what is sold in the markets, but he is referring to that which God defined as food (Lev.11). Even having been offered to idols does not change the permissibility of the food to be eaten [food offered to idols was commonly sold later in the markets], but we must not partake of food in such a way that we would appear to be worshipping idols. The bottom line is this: do we speak and eat according to our own feelings, or grow in learning and practicing what God says? Do we perform worship services according to our feelings, or learn what God designed?” Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for October 21, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for October 21, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 – Shabbat 31

Vayikra 8:1-36 – Yechezkel 43:27 – Tehellim 75 – Gilyahna 20:1-15

Links for this week:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dastar#Helmet_exemption 

http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm

Leviticus 8.1-12 – To paraphrase Marvel Comics’ “Thing” of the  Fantastic 4, “It’s Anointin’ Time!” It is Moshe’s privilege to perform the first offering of each kind under the “Law Y’hovah Added” to the Covenant (Gal.3.19), and to anoint the priesthood. Moshe showed Aharon how to offer each type of offering after having TOLD him how. If Moshe was a good supervisor, he watched Aharon the first time or 2 that he performed each type and was available to answer questions or give direction when needed. You know that Ruach was there guiding Moshe through the original offerings and as Aharon learned, as well, making sure that he would instruct Aharon properly. Moshe did what Yeshua did;

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.(I John 2:6)

Moshe brought Aharon and his sons, the animals for offering and the set-apart garments to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. This is the Mishkan, I think, not Moshe’s tent. I think it unlikely that the whole congregation of 2+ million people in the camp were able to fit in the space between the altar of burnt offering and the tabernacle, but the elders of the tribes and families could, so that is likely.  After explaining that Y’hovah had commanded him to do what he was about to do, he mikvah’d Aharon and his sons, who must have been clothed in their holy underwear for the mikvah. Then he put the coat, the girdle, the robe and the ephod on Aharon and then tied it all together with the ephod’s hooks and laces. Then he attached the breastplate with the inset stones and placed the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate. Then he placed the mitre on his head and the crown on it.

The Urim and the Thummim were ‘oracular’ stones, according to Christian theology – they would give indication of how to proceed in any situation that arose that was not covered by revealed Torah. Rashi says the Urim and Thummim was a piece of parchment that contained the ineffable Name of Y’hovah (Zohar says it was of 42 letters), and was placed in the fold of the breastplate. As we said when we saw Bezaleel making the thing, it was a solid plate of gold, about 18”x9” with 12 holes cut in one side of it to anchor the stones representing the tribes and the other side with the parchment Urim and Thummim behind the stones. When a question not covered by revealed Torah arose, they would ask Y’hovah for the judgment and the stones would ‘light up’ (Urim – from the root עור – ohr, light) specific letters in the tribal names. When read properly, the answer was complete and perfect (Thummim – from the root תממ – tamiym, perfect or complete). So the Urim and Thummim gave perfect light. I think this was the source of the mishpatim or ‘judgments’ that are referred to throughout scripture (or at least until the Ark, the oil for anointing, the Breastplate and the other furnishings of Schlomo’s Temple were hidden during YechonYahu’s reign, perhaps by the hand of YiremYahu (?). 

The golden plate, or crown, with the words “Kadosh l’Y’hovah” engraved in it was placed on the front of the turban/mitre and attached over top and around the sides with a techeleth ribbon. There must have been some loop or something on the back of the turban to anchor the ribbon and the crown to the turban. This was NOT a mitre, like you see the pope or bishops of the liturgical churches wear. If the turban was tied like a Sikh’s dastar it might have held the crown in place. (see one at https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dastar#Helmet_exemption) The turban is a symbol of spirituality and holiness in Sikhism. If that is similar to what Aharon and his sons wore, it definitely sets the High Priest apart here.

Then Moshe took the anointing oil and anointed the entire Mishkan and all its furnishings and then the altar and all its utensils for service to Y’hovah. He sprinkled the oil on the altar 7 times. The oil itself symbolizes the Ruach haKodesh, and the 7 times symbolizes the 7 spirits of Y’hovah [YeshaYahu 11.1-2] as manifested in Mashiach [YeshauYahu 11.3-4; see the representation of the Menorrah at http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm];

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And (1) the spirit of Y’hovah [Eyn Sof] shall rest upon him, the spirit of (2) wisdom [chochmah] and (3) understanding [binah], the spirit of (4) counsel [chesed] and (5) might [gevurah], the spirit of (6) knowledge [netzakh] and of (7) the fear of Y’hovah [hod]; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of Y’hovah: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (YeshaYahu 11.1-4)

Next he anointed Aharon. That he anointed the Mishkan and Aharon first, before he dressed and anointed Aharon’s sons set the High Priest and the Mishkan on a separate level of holiness than the rest of the priesthood. That he anointed the Mishkan and the furnishings and utensils, even those outside the Sanctuary – the Laver and the altar, set all of them on a similar level, as well. The anointing oil ran down Aharon from the top of his head to his feet, symbolizing the mikvah in Ruach haKodesh [baptism of/in the Spirit] Q&C

Vv.13-39 – Next, Moshe put the priestly garments on his nephews; the coats, girdles and headdresses. Then he brought the bull for the sin offering and had Aharon and his sons lay hands on it for a sin offering. Then he took the bull and slew it in the holy place set apart for that purpose, between the altar and the Mishkan, and took the blood of the bull and smeared some on the horns of the altar to purify it. Then he poured the remaining blood on the ground in the place where he had killed the bull. Then he pretty much field dressed it, removing the innards, the kidneys, the diaphragm and the fat associated with them and burnt them on the altar, but the rest of the bull was burnt without the camp. That which was set apart unto Y’hovah went up as a sweet savour to him, but the rest bore the sins of the priests and had to be burnt outside the camp, for they had to be free of sin to be the mediators between Elohim and Yisrael. They had to offer this sin offering every day to be certain of their standing, for they may have sinned accidentally or unknowingly. I think that had they missed doing this offering, they might have been struck dead on the spot. Our Melchizedek Priest has no such need to offer for sins, at all;

For One Elohim, and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the man Mashiach Yeshua, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [1Tim.2.5-6]

For he hath made HIM sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of Elohim in him. [2 Cor.5.21]

Next came the ram for burnt offering, which Aharon and his sons laid hands on and then Moshe slew it. He took the blood and threw it on the altar in the Northeast and Southwest corners, ensuring that all 4 sides got blood on them (so the blood could be seen from all directions). Then he butchered the ram, burnt the head and the pieces parts and fat, washed the legs in the laver and then burnt them. The whole ram was burnt on the altar. 

Next came the ram for consecration, which Aharon and his sons laid hands on as Moshe slew it, catching the blood. Moshe then took some of the blood on his thumb and rubbed some on Aharon’s right ear (always listen to the voice of Y’hovah), right thumb (do all for the kavod of Y’hovah) and right big toe (serve Y’hovah everywhere you go) before throwing the rest of the blood on the altar in the same manner as the other’s blood. Then Moshe took the fat, the rump, the kidneys, the diaphragm and the fat associated with them, along with the right shoulder and one unleavened bread, one unleavened cake and one wafer and placed it all on Aharon’s hands and then one by one on all his son’s hands and then waved it as a wave offering to Y’hovah. Then he burnt it all on the altar, a consecration offering for a sweet savour to Y’hovah. Then he waved the breast as a wave offering for his own part and burnt it, all of this as Y’hovah had commanded him.

Then Moshe took of the anointing oil and of some of the blood from off the altar (I think that which had been thrown on it before) and sprinkled it on Aharon and his sons and all their garments to sanctify them. Next Moshe told Aharon to boil the remainder of the consecration ram’s flesh and then eat it with the remainder of the bread at the door of the tabernacle, as much as they could eat. The remainder was burnt on the altar. Aharon and his sons were to remain in the Tabernacle for 7 days of their consecration, “that they die not”. And so they did as Y’hovah had told Moshe they needed to do.

I think the 7 days may have been a training session for the priests and Aharon. They got training in obedience, and possibly they all got to do some of the daily offerings under Moshe’s supervision and guidance. I merely apply what I would do if I had 5 guys who needed to learn and had their undivided attention for a week. At least some of the rabbis agree with me. Q&C

Yechezkel 43.8 – For context we have to go back to v.5 (actually ch.40), where the antecedent to the pronouns in the following verses occurs. The antecedent is Y’hovah, whose kavod fills the house, which is the house of Y’hovah. The man spoken of in v.6 is also Y’hovah, as can be seen in the previous chapters, where the man with the measuring reed (40.3-4) can only be Y’hovah in the flesh, and also in the juxtaposition of Y’hovah and the man in 43.5-6, which makes the case that they are one;

3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, a man, whose appearance like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. 4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel. (Ezek.40.3-4)

This is either the same man as in 43.6-8 or he hasn’t been introduced to us yet. This man says ‘the place of MY THRONE’ and ‘MY HOLY NAME” in v.7. It is Y’hovah, no doubt in my mind. The man, Y’hovah in the flesh (Yeshua), said that Israel had defiled his Temple and his land ‘where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever’, affirming the promise to Israel through Ezekiel. He said that they were exiled due to their whoredom with other elohims and that they had defiled his Temple with the bones of kings because Schlomo had built his palace abutting the Temple. I think it was the king’s bedchamber that abutted the Temple. The Gate of the Guards was in another part of the same wall in the palace. Y’hovah sets a zoning regulation here – his Temple will stand apart alone. In that way, no king will defile his Temple again by dying in his own bed.

2 there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth , square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. 3 And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary, the most holy. (Ezek.45.2-3)

Of course, when this Temple is built, there will be no more kings dying in the palace, for that king will be King Yeshua haMashiach. 

Yechezkel 43.27 – From about v.18, Yhwh gives Yechezkel instructions on dedicating the Temple that are pretty much identical to those Moshe was given in our Torah portion, right down to the sons of Zadok, like Aharon and his sons, being sequestered from the people for 7 days to learn their jobs and to become intimately familiar with the presence of Yhwh. And then, on the 8th day, they take up their ministries in the Beit haMikdash. Q&C

Tehellim 75 – This is a Messianic Psalm, for the speaker, addressing Elohim, says he will receive the congregation, H4150 moayd, the people coming up for Shabbat and the Feasts. It also speaks of the New Earth, for in v.3 the earth and all that inhabit it are dissolved, like in Rev.20 and 2Pe.3.10-12,

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 godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Elohim, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

He also bears up the pillars of the earth – no merely human king could claim this. Selah.

We get some biblical definitions in vv.4-5. Wicked people speak with a stiff neck, which is likened to lifting up the horn to go into battle against Y’hovah. This is the same behaviour he tells the foolish not to pursue. The horn seems to be used by the wicked to call allies from every direction except heaven’s (north) to themselves against the King. But Elohim, from whom comes promotion, judges righteously (v.2), putting down a wicked ruler and raising up a godly one. 

V.8 speaks of the cup of judgment, wine mixed with dregs (the bitter sediment that settles to the bottom of the wine in the bottle). In the wedding proposal, the prospective groom asks his intended to marry him, promises to provide a home and the necessities of life and then, to seal the agreement for himself, takes a sip of wine from a cup. Then he offers the cup to his intended. If she takes it and takes a sip, the marriage is both agreed to and accomplished and the two are now one – betrothed and legally married, though they do not live together until the groom’s father TELLS his son to go and get his bride. Whatever wine is left in the cup is also called the dregs. So the groom and his intended each drink of the wine and leave the dregs. In v.8, the wicked try to look like the bride, but all they get is the leftover wine and the bitter scum at the bottom of the cup. This puts me in mind of “the wine of her fornication”, Rev.17.1-8:

1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication [the dregs?]: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Yeshua: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. 7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The wicked woman and her followers whose names are not in the book of life, drink of the dregs left by the groom and his bride, and receive the bitter Wrath of Y’hovah. But the Bride both sings Y’hovah’s praises and has Yeshua, the horn of their strength, exalted forever, while the horns of the wicked imposters are cut off. Q&C

Gilyahna 20.1-3 – By this time in a trip through Revelation we have seen all types of angels. There have been angelic spirits (7.1), there have been angels who have revealed that they are just men and that John should NOT worship them (19.10), there have been angels who worship before Y’hovah’s throne (7.11), there have been angels who delivered all kinds of messages to the earth from Y’hovah (many), and we have seen an angel who is strikingly similar to Messiah (8.3-5). THIS angel in vv.1-3 is a very powerful angel, in that he can lay hold of, bind and muzzle haSatan. This angel could be any one of these types. HaSatan is not necessarily any less powerful than he’s always been, but this angel has total control of him. I think it could well be Michael, but it could be just a guy like you or me, as well. This revelation is ‘in the spirit’ – outside of time and space. It could be anywhen. And the angel could be any one of the above or something entirely different. But we know that at LEAST this angel has power over haSatan, who was once the most beautiful, talented and powerful of all the angels of Y’hovah – so much so as to pretend for his throne. And he will again after his release from his bondage in the Abyss at the end of the Millennium. 

This angel “shuts up” haSatan. This could mean that he closes him away in solitary or he literally muzzles him, thereby removing his ability to lead others astray. I lean toward the latter, at least, that this angel muzzles haSatan somehow. Or perhaps “Yes!” There will be a millennium on earth in which men will be left without destructive outside spiritual guidance, and they will still rebel against Y’hovah’s commands.

16 And it shall come to pass, every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Y’hovah Tsavaoth, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, whoso will not come up of the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Y’hovah Tsavaoth, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that none; there shall be the plague, wherewith Y’hovah will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zech.14.16-19)

There is no Satanic influence to help them rebel, but rebellion occurs nonetheless. The Millennium truly is a time when man cannot make the excuse, “The devil made me do it.” It is just the evil inclination, what the church calls the Old Sin Nature (OSN), that leads men to rebel. Men choose to rebel of their own free will. It is for this reason that I think haSatan gets a lot more credit than he is due. He doesn’t need to do a lot of tempting to sin because if he just leaves us to ourselves, we will likely sin by ourselves. Man will be left without excuse before Y’hovah himself, who sits on the throne in J’lem. 

Vv.4 – Who are ‘they’ who sit on the thrones as judges? I think the verse goes on to explain who they are. The 2nd instance of the simple sentence “I saw” is italicized in the KJV – it was added by the translators. I think that sets up a false dichotomy, that they who sit on the thrones in judgment are those who overcame by staying faithful unto death in the time of Yacov’s trouble. Let’s read that verse without the added words, and then from the Aramaic/English New Testament:

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yeshua, and for the word of Elohim, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Mashiach a thousand years.

And I saw thrones, and (persons) sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them, and to the souls that were beheaded for the testimony of Y’shua and for the Word of Elohim: and these are they who had not worshipped the beast of prey nor his image; neither had they received the mark upon their forehead or on their hand; and they lived and reigned with their Mashiyach those thousand years. (AENT)

This could also be the ‘hosts’ that follow Mashiach Yeshua on white horses in 19.14, the resurrected saints in his train and/or angelic spirits, and this may not be an either/or, but a ‘yes’. “They” who sit on these thrones could well be none other than those who were beheaded for their faithfulness and for their witness to the Truth of Yeshua haMashiach, possibly including the saints seen under the altar when the 5th seal is opened, and who were resurrected for the purpose of being witnesses to Yeshua’s claiming the throne he earned by his death on the tree and being the firstfruits of the dead. They were faithful witnesses to Truth in their mortal life and the first thing they get to witness in their resurrection (besides Yeshua himself on his white horse) is Yeshua claiming his reward. HalleluYAH! Q&C

Vv.5-6 – The ‘rest’ of the dead and the first resurrection refers to Dan.12.1-2;

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, everlasting contempt. 

This is not a slam dunk for 2 resurrections, but juxtaposed with our verse, the case can be made. But add to this equation Lk.14.14 and Jn.11.24-25, the picture sharpens a bit:

12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the tzadikim. (Lk.14.12-14)

23 Yeshua saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Yeshua said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (Jn.11.23-25)

All these passages taken together make the 2-resurrection idea plausible – one for the righteous and the other for the wicked. I don’t think that any righteous individuals will die during the Millennium, and only those who absolutely refuse to obey the King will die during those 1000 years. I think that death may be reserved to only those who will not submit to King Yeshua’s authority, and that’s why someone 100 years old dying will be a sure sign of his reprobate condition, even if he is torn by animals or crushed by a tree.

There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)

The resurrected dead are immortal, incorruptible and righteous. They CANNOT die again for 

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)

These have been judged, never to be judged again. Q&C

Vv.7-10 – As we’ve seen in Zech.14, there will be a requirement for all to come up to J’lem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) in the Millennium. This will be one of the ways in which the reprobate will be marked as such by their deaths. If they fail to come up one year, they will receive no rain. If they fail to come up a second time, they will receive the plagues of Egypt on themselves;

there shall be the plague, wherewith Y’hovah will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zech.14.18b)

I think this will be the usual mechanism for a death to occur in the Messianic Kingdom, though perhaps not the only one.

So after a few people die as a result of NOT going up for Sukkoth, EVERYONE will go up every year – but MOST will not like it. They’ll say (in private), “Who is this ‘King’ to demand our appearance every year for Tabernacles? Who does he think HE is to make me do this against my will? I have RIGHTS!” 

In a Kingdom, you have the right to obey the King and do as he allows or commands. In a Kingdom, the King is sovereign, not the individual, as was intended in the American Republic, where the citizen is sovereign UNDER ELOHIM. Even the sovereign American citizen is subject to a higher authority – his Creator, who endowed him with unalienable rights – unalienable, that is, by any but the Creator who gave them to us in the first place. 

When haSatan is loosed from his bonds and the muzzle is removed, he moves at the speed of thought (which only immortals can do unless acted upon by Y’hovah himself) to get together every person who hates the bother of going up to J’lem for Sukkoth or who doesn’t like all the restrictions of Torah on their lives. That means everyone who is not of the remnant, who go up gladly to their appointment with their King. The VAST majority of humanity will follow this powerful, spiritual being to go up to J’lem to overthrow that tyrant King and kill all those holier-than-thou types in their camp. They think to themselves how EASY this is going to be, since they outnumber the saints by a margin of at least 19:1, perhaps 49:1. What they fail to consider, and what haSatan has conveniently NOT told them, is that the King happens to be the Creator of the Universe and Y’hovah Tzavaoth. So, the nations of the earth follow haSatan as the ultimate Gog uMagog invasion of haAretz and King Yeshua calls fire down out of heaven to devour them, starting the Lake of Fire burning with a fervent heat – thermonuclear dissolution of all matter, as we see in 2Pe.3.10-12;

10 But the day of Y’hovah will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Then all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Elohim, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

The word translated ‘element’ is G4747/48, stoicheion, set in order, orderly. The elements will lose all their order. In physics, that is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, or entropy, in action. Things left to themselves, with no intelligent influence or input, go from greater order to greater disorder. This is a LAW of physics. Nothing has ever been discovered that negates it. But somehow, the elements hold together, even against physical LAWS, like the Laws of electro-magnetism. Science has no experimental explanation of this, so they assume an as yet undiscovered sub-atomic particle and call it a ‘gluon’. We have an explanation called Yeshua haMashiach, the Word of Y’hovah. 

HaSatan, who deceived the nations, is thrown into the Lake of Fire that burns with fire and brimstone wherein were thrown the Beast and False Prophet, and haSatan will be there l’olam va’ed. I don’t necessarily believe that the Beast and False profit are still there (the ‘are’ in the KJV is added and completely changes the understanding of the passage), or will be l’olam va’ed, but they WERE thrown in there 1000 years before. Perhaps this Lake of Fire and Brimstone is outside of the physical Universe of the New Creation and is prepared specifically for rebellious spirits.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41)

Spirits do not die – they are eternal. Flesh is temporal. Spirits cannot burn in a physical fire; flesh does and is destroyed. Is there a ‘spiritual fire’ that can affect temporal creatures, as well? Only Y’hovah knows. If so, that may be what is being referred to here in v.10. Q&C

VV.11-15 – Everything in the physical Universe flees from Y’hovah’s face, sounds like a cloud rolling away or in on itself to me. I think it’s describing in other terms the dissolution Peter told us about. Meanwhile, here is the resurrection of the wicked dead, alluded to in Dan.12.2 and spoken of here in v.12. I don’t see any indication of any righteous dead here. I think they were all resurrected to their reward in the 1st resurrection. I can see where the righteous, who were in the camp of the saints, could be judged here on the same basis as the resurrected were – the blood of Mashiach and trust in his finished work for their justification. That they never died physically, [IMnotsoHO] makes them the progenitors of the New Creation’s population. Now, they were born with the same evil inclination (OSN) that you and I were and they are going to populate a Creation in which there is no sin or death. So what happens to their OSN/evil inclination? 

I believe it will be miraculously expunged from their beings, by what mechanism other than the Word of Yeshua’s mouth I have no clue. What I do know is this:

4 And Elohim 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)

That these have tears wiped away from their eyes assumes there were tears to wipe away. In order to do this the memory of all that can cause sorrow must be expunged as well as the OSN/evil inclination. There will be no memory of death or disease, no memory of those we loved who would not turn from their own ways to Y’hovah’s, no memory of even a headache or toothache. The former things are ‘passed away’, removed from our memories, even as our sins are removed from Y’hovah’s – as far as the east is from the west. 

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know Y’hovah: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Y’hovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. [YirmeYahu 31.34]

19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. [Mic.7.19]

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. [Ps.103.12]

But that all follows the Judgment of the wicked and the execution of that judgment.

The book was opened that holds the record of each life, which is judged according to the objective standard of Torah – the 2nd book that is opened. Also the book of life is opened. The sinner is shown that the Creator of the Universe, who sits in righteous judgment, using his Torah as his standard, is judging everything, even every idle thought and every unthinking action of his life. And he knows he is in deep KimChee. He also may have memory of the threat of punishment in hell for all eternity, and he is scared to death of living forever in torment. When judgment is pronounced and he is shown the manner of execution, I believe that THAT is when he voluntarily falls on his knees before Y’hovah Yeshua and praises him for his mercy, even in his final, righteous judgment.

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isaiah 45:23)

10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess [swear] that Yeshua haMashiach is Y’hovah, to the glory of Elohim the Father. (Phil.2.10-11)

The wicked, I think, will be dissolved in the same manner as the old creation, in a moment at the sub-atomic level. There will be no torment for the wicked men, they will be annihilated in an instant. And their relief will show in their submission to and praise of Y’hovah Yeshua.

Even death and hell will see annihilation in the Lake of Fire. And since death is dissolved last (1Cor.15.26), this must be the time the OSN/evil inclination and all memories of the saints who were encamped for Sukkoth are wiped clean, as well.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 

55 O death, where thy sting? O grave, where thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:26, 55)

Death and the grave (hell) have been thrown into the Lake of Fire to be utterly dissolved, along with all whose names are not found written in the Book of Life. 

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)

Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

October 14, 2017 Shabbat Bible Study

October 14, 2017 Shabbat Bible Study

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Vayikra (Lev.) 6:19-7:38 – Malachi 3:7-12 – Tehellim (Ps.) 74 – MattitYahu (Matt.) 23:1-39

Vayikra 6.19-23 – On the day Aharon was anointed (H4886 – mashach, the root word for Moshiach) Kohen haGadol (High Priest), and every day thereafter, he would make an offering to Yehovah of 1/10th ephah of fine flour, ½ at the morning and ½ at the evening offering times – it was one offering made in 2 installments. 1/20th ephah of flour mixed with oil was to be baked in a pan (pancakes?) in the morning and another in the evening. It was to be offered whole on the altar of burnt offering as a sweet smelling savor unto Yehovah, as was EVERY meat (food, meal, grain – not flesh) offering made for the Kohen haGadol. It was NOT to be eaten by the Kohan haGadol, but completely burnt on the altar. This service is in addition to his service at the incense altar and at the menorah at the times of the morning and evening offerings. I think that this bread was offered before he did the other 2.

(Speculation Warning!) It occurs to me that this may have been a shadow-picture of the Moshiach’s everlasting service as the Kohen haGadol of the MelchiZedek line. The flour and oil being baked in a pan and broken would represent his once for all substitutionary offering of his body on the tree. If this offering were eaten by the Kohen haGadol, it would picture Moshiach eating his own flesh. Moshiach’s flesh was not broken for any sin he committed, but for the sins WE committed. 

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (YeshaYahu 53.3-5)

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (I Corinthians 11:24)

If the Kohen haGadol had eaten any of the bread of HIS meat offering, it would signify his receiving back into himself the sin he had made the offering to be loosed from. The priest was to eat a portion of the bread offerings offered by everyman, but not his own. I think that shows Moshiach ‘eating’, as it were, our punishment for the sins of the flesh, which the bread/meal/grain represents. But his flesh was offered completely unto Yehovah, having never committed a sin. 

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

The Kohen eating the meal offering of the man presenting it metaphorically pictures Moshiach’s taking ownership of the presenter’s sins and taking the punishment for them on himself, like Daniel took ownership of chol Yehudah’s sins to repent of them and confess them for the nation, thereby breaking the curse. In Orthodox Jewish tradition, a tzadik can atone for another’s sins. Yeshua is the ultimate tzadik. Paul’s is the only reference to Moshiach’s body being broken for us, and I think he was referring to this Kohen haGadol’s bread offering for himself every morning and evening. This is an offering Yeshua will never have to make for himself. (End of speculation)

Vv.24-30 – The priest could not eat of the sin offering he brought for himself, as we said before, but he must eat of the sin offerings others brought for their own sins, from those parts of the animal that were set apart unto Yehovah (slightly different for each different animal offered). This sin offering and the portion the priests ate was kodesh kadashim, most holy. Now, the priest offering the animal could not possibly eat ALL of Yehovah’s portion for every animal offered, so all the males of the Kohanim were allowed to partake of it. But the priest actually offering the animal MUST eat some of it, or the offering was not properly offered and presumably might not be accepted. I think the elder Kohen would have had his fill of flesh by the end of his course’s week. 

The Kohen would kill the animal between the altar and the tent of meeting. When it says ‘holy place’ here [v.26] it isn’t speaking of the Sanctuary where the incense altar, the menorah and the table of showbread were, but in the place set-apart [holy] for the purpose of killing the burnt and sin offerings. This is where ZacharYah ben BarachYah was killed according to Yeshua in Mat.23.35 and Luke11.51, I think during Herod’s search for Yochanan the Immerser (ZacharYah’s son by Elisheva Lk.1), Herod mistakenly thinking Yochanan was Moshiach. In that way, ZacharYah was a foreshadowing (in microcosm) of Moshiach’s substitutionary death. 

When the priest’s garment was sprinkled with blood as the animal was offered, he needed to have it washed. The priests must have been lined up to make these offerings, because I find it hard to imagine that the priest would not get blood on his garments every time an animal was killed. He could not present the offering of a second animal until he had been thoroughly cleansed of the 1st animal’s blood, a change of clothes and a mikvah, at least. This is all about individuals bringing sin offerings for themselves. But if the blood was to be taken within the Sanctuary or the Mishkan, the animal was to be offered completely; all the blood, all the flesh and all the fat and skin were to be burnt on the altar. No animal whose blood was to be taken within the Sanctuary was to be eaten by the Kohanim. But a part of every animal that individuals offered was to be eaten by the priest officiating and Yehovah’s portion eaten by the whole house of Aharon. Q&C

7.1-7 – The blood of the sin offering, which is kodesh kadashim, was not thrown on the altar, as the trespass offering’s was. The priest would take the blood of the trespass offering and throw it on the northeast and the southwest corners of the altar, ensuring the blood got on both sides of the corner so the witness of the offering could be seen from every direction. The portion for the priests was the rump. All the rest of the trespass offering are considered the ‘bowels’, which represent the emotions of the man offering the animal and this, IM[not so]HO. is what is in mind in the phrase ‘bowels of mercy’. 

Vv.8-10 – The meat offerings are of 2 types, ‘mingled w/oil’ and ‘dry’. The dry are those that are pan fried and unleavened, while those ‘mingled w/oil’ are leavened and baked in an oven. The leavened bread would not be burnt on the altar as the unleavened would. The unleavened bread represented the rededication of the presenter to Yehovah after his trespass, while the leavened bread would represent the fullness of the life to follow his acceptance. 

V.11 – Peace offerings are a general category of free will offerings, which is then more closely defined as specific types of peace offerings. These are not offered to MAKE peace with Yehovah, but to thank him for the peace that exists between him and us. 

Vv.12-14 speak of thanksgiving (todah) offerings. Notice the 4 types of bread, 3 unleavened and 1 leavened. The rabbis say that there were 10 loaves of each type offered by the presenter and that 1 of each type was given to the priest actually offering it and the rest went to the whole course on duty. They also say that ALL priests had to partake of EVERY offering, as they were Yehovah’s representatives and the offering was incomplete until all the priests partook of it in Yehovah’s stead. I don’t think that was necessarily true, but that meant that there could be no trading of portions going on amongst the priests. None of this went on: One rabbi says to another,  “Moishe, you like Abe’s unleavened bread and I don’t; and I like Benny’s leavened bread and you don’t; so let’s trade.” Hey, maybe Yehovah preferred Benny’s leavened bread, too, but he accepted both on the equal basis of their heart attitude so the priests had to eat the bread in the same Spirit of equal acceptance based on the heart of the presenter, not his skill in the kitchen. 

V.15 says that the flesh of the thank offering was to be eaten before the morning sacrifice following the offering. I think any flesh left over would be added to the fire of the morning offering or burnt at the presenter’s home. The rabbis say this is because we have numerous things to be thankful for every day – even what seems bad, because Yehovah makes all things for our good. Sounds like Rom.8.28, doesn’t it?

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Elohim, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Wow, I thought that Paul guy said Torah was abolished and that the traditions of the elders were useless – NOT! Vv.16-17 say that if the peace offering is for a vow or some other free will offering, the flesh could be eaten over 2 days and a night, which I think means it would be burnt at the time of the 2nd day’s evening offering. To allow the flesh to be eaten on the third day would make the offering unacceptable. V.18 says the soul that eats of the flesh of that offering on the 3rd day would bear his iniquity. This is not speaking of the priest eating the flesh of the offering, but the presenter and his family. Usually, when a freewill offering of whatever type was made, the presenter would plan a party for his family and friends and they would all partake of the flesh of the animal – a kind of ‘block party’. It was the presenter’s duty to ensure the burning of any leftover to the evening of the 2nd or 3rd day, depending on the type of offering. This is ‘like’ the Pesach offering that was to be totally consumed by the morning, either by ingestion or by burning at the morning offering.

V.19 says that any flesh touching any unclean thing was not to be eaten, but a clean individual could eat the uncontaminated flesh. Therefore, it must have been OK to excise the common flesh and burn it in fire, but leave that which was yet clean to be eaten. This is reminiscent of discipline in the assembly, which is clean. But when sin is found in it, it must be either cleansed (repented of and confessed) or excised (cutting off the sinner from fellowship). Shades of Acts.10 and 1Cor.5, eh? 

Vv.20-21 say that any man in an unclean (common) situation who partakes of the freewill offering unto Yehovah shall be excised from fellowship – excommunicated. He KNOWS his condition and partook anyway – despising the Word of Yehovah; from such turn away 

THIS know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2Tim3.1-5).

Vv.22-26 speak of the fat of the offering set apart unto Yehovah. No fat of any kind of animal that is clean to offer to Yehovah may be eaten; regardless any attempt to make it OK. The fat and the blood are reserved to Yehovah. So, you CAN eat your steaks rare (bloody) and the fat with them, but you are commanded NOT to. You MAY not. You may as well be eating pork and lobster. If you do, the congregation is commanded to excise you from fellowship until you repent and confess. The fat of clean beasts that just die or are killed can be used as lubricants or preservative, but they may not be eaten.  

And if you didn’t hear it before, just to be sure Yehovah tells us once again not to eat the blood of any animal, whatsoever. I don’t know about you, but I have a natural aversion to consuming blood of any kind. The appearance of anything made of blood is offensive to me. I went to a luau once where the pig’s blood had been made into ‘blood pudding’, and I have to tell you that just the look of it made me want to vomit. It was truly disgusting to me, though I ate freely of the pig, not knowing the prohibition of either eating pig or blood applied to me. I think the natural aversion we have to consumption of blood is one we ought to heed. How do you know you have a natural aversion? Usually, if your belly feels like it’s twisting itself in knots just thinking about or looking at something, that’s a good indicator that you ought not go there. Some other things I have a natural aversion to are beheading and abortion. I don’t often subscribe to my feelings, but that gut-twisting is one I heed. 

Vv.29-38 – The sons of Aharon were to receive the breast that was offered as a wave offering and the right shoulder that was given for a heave offering as their due from every peace offering, whether a todah or a vow or a guilt offering. The Aharonic priest had no personal inheritance in Israel among the 12 tribes. They were given precincts within 48 cities, 6 of which were cities of refuge, but the cities were still a part of the inheritance of the tribe in which they were located. So, there were little privileges that Yehovah gave them, like these parts of every sacrificial animal. It was theirs as a portion of their anointing from Yehovah. 

I think that vv.37-38 mark the end of all the new commandments and offerings that were given as a result of the transgression in the golden calf incident – the end of “the law that was added” according to Paul in Gal.3.19.

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)

In the millennial kingdom, these offerings will still be performed by and for those who have not trusted Yeshua’s finished work of atonement and reconciliation to Avinu. It is these people who will be taught Torah by those who rule and reign with Messiah. Q&C

Malachi 3.7-12 – I’ll start in v.6 to give the context. Yehovah told Yehudah that the only reason that they still exist is because he is Yehovah and he does not change. He’d made a promise to Avraham that he will never forsake. He may drive them into exile among the Edomite nations of the world, but he will never utterly forsake Israel. He sent Yeshua to gather 10-Yisrael back to him out of the nations into which he’d driven them. He will send Yeshua a second time to gather Yehudah (2-Israel) back to him out of the nations into which he’s driven them. They are both, for the most part, STILL wandering out of his Way, Ephraim and Yehudah. 2-Israel/Yehudim hold to some of Torah, as long as it goes along with the traditions of Talmud, Mishnah, Zohar and etc. 10-Israel/Ephraim holds to some of Torah, as long as it goes along with the traditions of their Xian denominations. Neither truly recognizes that the other is his brother for various reasons we won’t go into. Each is the betrothed bride of Yehovah, the one (Ephraim/10-Israel) was divorced for her infidelity in Jer.3.8 (but reconciliation provided under the conditions of Deut.24.1-4 as Rav Sha’ul explains in Rom.7.1-4), while the other (Yehudah/2-Israel) also went after another lover (but was never divorced, or Yeshua would have been a mamzer, a bastard, and not eligible to be our redeemer) and is wandering to this day. But the reconciliation is awaiting them both. The time that is upon us, or will be soon, will make them both forsake their own ways and call for Yehovah’s Salvation – “Hoshienu!” Yehovah will answer as Yeshua haMoshiach coming with clouds of witnesses:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [i.e.; Moshiach] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (Daniel 7:13)

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)

Are those ‘tribes’ the 12 tribes?

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.(Mark 13:26)

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes as a flame of fire, and on his head many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of Elohim. 14 And the armies in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of El Shaddai. 16 And he hath on vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND MASTER OF MASTERS. (Rev.19.11-16)

Those armies/clouds do not fight. I think they are an army of angels and an army of resurrected men (1Thes.4.17) who come as witnesses to the ‘battle’. 1 army + 1 army = armies. These truly are Tzavaoth haGanah L’Yisrael, the Hosts of the Defense of Yisrael. The true Defense of Yisrael IS Moshiach ben David. The Hosts shall be extraneous in the Day of Battle, except as faithful and true witnesses to the action.

V.7 has Yehovah pleading with the priests to make teshuvah – to return to his ways and to forsake their own. But the priests do not see that they NEED to return, don’t recognize their own idolatry. They sincerely ask, “Wherein shall I return?” Yehovah says in v.8 that they have robbed him, about which they ask, “How have we robbed you?” Yehovah says in tithes and offerings. Reminds me of Matt.25.41-46: the ‘goat’ nations.

The peddlers of the Word of Yehovah, both Xian and Jew, have made this one of their catch-phrases. But they misapply it, failing to see that it is THEY who are robbing Yehovah. They use it as a jumping off point for ‘guilting’ their followers out of their property so that they (the peddlers) can live sumptuously (splendidly and lavishly). The great prophets of scripture seldom lived in the style of the modern Word-peddlers, like Ernest Angely or Kenneth Copeland, and never at the required expense of the people to whom they ministered. In v.9, Yehovah says the priests are cursed with a curse because they are not bringing the people’s tithes to the storehouse. The storehouse was where the Levites brought the widow and orphan tithe to be distributed by the Levites. The Levites took more than their due from these tithes and left many of the widows and orphans starving in the cold. THIS was how they robbed Yehovah. ALL the tithe was not going where it was supposed to go. The Levite portion of these tithes was to provide the Levites enough food to eat, not enough wealth so they could ride to the meeting house in the back of a stretch chariot or fly in a personal B-757 to ‘minister’ to the poor. Here is what FAITHFUL priests and Levites did in ChizkiYahu’s days;

8 And when ChizkiYahu and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed Yehovah, and his people Israel. 9 Then ChizkiYahu [Hezekiah] questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And AzarYahu the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since began to bring the offerings into the house of Yehovah, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for Yehovah hath blessed his people; and that which is left this great store. 11 Then ChizkiYahu commanded to prepare chambers in the house of Yehovah; and they prepared, 12 And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated faithfully: over which ChananYahu the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next. (2Chron.31.8-12)

Yehovah told the Levites of Malachi’s time that if they would do what ChizkiYahu’s priests had done, the same outcome would apply – they wouldn’t be able to find room to store all that Israel would bring, if they would be humble servants rather than proud rulers. Not only would he provide abundantly for the people, but Israel would receive all the blessings of Deut.28.1-14. May teachers today apply this to ourselves. Q&C

Tehellim 74 – Asaph appears to have been the leader of David’s choir and very skilled in music. He wrote Psalms 50 and 73-83. This MAY have been written by a scribe in ChizkiYahu’s reign by this name. When Asaph wrote this psalm, Israel had fallen so deeply into idolatry that it was as if Elohim had forsaken them, which may have been the general feeling in Hezekiah’s Jerusalem.

Asaph understands why Yehovah is chastening Israel, but reminds him of his past mercies and deliverances in hope that Yehovah will relent in his judgment against them. It certainly seems, in the early verses anyway, that Yehovah had left the building. When Asaph tells Elohim to ‘Lift up thy feet’, he is saying “Come swiftly to our aid”. ‘Perpetual desolations’ speaks of the destruction that Assyria had already inflicted on Yehudah both as he passed through to Egypt and now on his way back home to Nineveh. The sanctuary of v.4 could be the actual sanctuary of the Temple or the set apart land of Israel. In v.4, the word translated as ‘congregations’ in the KJV is from H4150, mo-ayd, which properly means appointment or set time. Edom has always looked for the best day to come up against Israel before he attacked her. Egypt and Syria, with a coalition of lesser Arab/Moslem forces, came against Israel in 1973 and after initial surprise brought some Moslemist gains, Israel soundly defeated the Moslem coalition and sent them running home to mama, licking their wounds. The Moslems attacked on Yom Kippur, when the cowards knew Israel’s Defense Force would be in a condition more or less of stand-down. The IDF no longer goes into a stand-down like condition, and all leaves are subject to immediate cancellation. Yom Kippur is the holiest of all the Moedim in Israel’s thinking. Had the Egyptians pressed their advantage early, had Syria been able to continue out of the Golan, things might be very different now. In v.4, Asaph told Yehovah what he already knew, that Yehovah’s enemies were oppressing Israel. Of course, it was Yehovah who had brought his enemies against Israel in the 1st place with the expectation that the nation would do what Asaph was doing in this Psalm, taking ownership of their sins, repenting of and confessing them. If this was the ‘ChizkiYahu Asaph’, the king himself did this and, as can be seen in the 2 Chron. quote above, the people also generally revived for a time. This is the purpose of Yehovah’s chastisement. When we are being chastised, we need to see where our idolatry lay, repent of it and trust Yehovah. 

Vv.5-8 is talking about phallic pagan images being made by a Hebrew artisan and Israelites making offerings to Yehovah before them. The Assyrians are coming in and knocking the Yisraelite idols down and burning them. The Assyrians were getting rid of what they considered pagan gods [which they were], while actually doing Yehovah’s work for him. Had the priests kept the people honest or the prophets been able to get through to the Yehudim, there would have been no need for Edomite Assyria to conquer 2-Israel and Yerushalayim. In v.8, the word translated ‘synagogues’ is again H4150 – moayd. It seems that Yehudah was worshipping Yehovah through these images and in the groves at the appointed times for Yehovah’s Feasts. Syncretism had reared its ugly head, as Yehovah had warned chol Yisrael about in Dt.12.2-4

2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: 3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. 4 Ye shall not do so unto the Y’hovah Elohechem.

I don’t remember where he changed his mind. We just saw that he held the later Israelites accountable for their idolatry, but he didn’t utterly destroy them for Avraham’s sake. He had Assyria do what Yehudah would not. If this is Chizky’s Asaph, the revival came shortly after this was written.

Vv.9-11– It would seem that Issachar has no representatives in Israel, for they were wise in discerning the times

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. (I Chronicles 12:32)

Asaph was among those who had forgotten the Torah of Yehovah. Remember that the book of Torah was not found until ChizkiYahu’s grandson YoshiYahu’s day. Asaph wants to know why all these calamities are happening to the nation. “The Assyrians are tearing down our high places, our images and groves that are dedicated to Yehovah, and we can’t understand why” seems to be what he’s saying. Why had Torah been lost in the 1st place? I think because they stopped referring to it, no king except possibly David had made his own copy of it, as Yehovah had commanded, and it had fallen into such disuse that it ended up on a high shelf in some storeroom in the Temple basement, gathering dust. But he does call on Yehovah’s Right Hand to come to their aid. He’s calling on Yehovah’s Salvation – Yeshua. 

Vv.12-22 – In v.12 he started to rehearse a brief history of Yehovah’s deliverance from Egypt; dividing the sea for Israel, taking down leviathan and the dragon that attacked Israel. Notice that leviathan has ‘heads’ – a multi-headed sea monster. This reminds me of Rev.12 and 17. In v.16 he rehearsed what he knew of Creation, how Yehovah had made all there is from nothing. Then he called on Yehovah’s power to deliver Israel once again for his name’s sake (v.18). Turtledove is a reference to the offerings of the poor, who could not afford to offer a lamb or a goat to reclaim their cleanness from defilement. The dark places of the earth are those nations into which 10-Israel had been exiled from her own land. Asaph calls on Yehovah to remember Israel’s poor and oppressed. When Yehovah remembers Israel, he does something good for them.

And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before Y’hovah Elohechem, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. (Numbers 10:9)

When a believer tells Elohim to not forget an enemy, he is asking Yehovah to bring judgment against him. Q&C

Mattityahu 23.1-12 – Yeshua tells his disciples that when the S&P expound on Moshe’s Words to do what they say, but that they should not walk in the S&P’s ways, because they were hypocrites – giving proper counsel from Torah, but not doing according to those words themselves. They walked contrary to what they professed to be Yehovah’s way. Yochanan had somewhat to say about this in his 1st epistle:

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua haMoshiach haTzadik: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God 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. (1John 2.1-6)

In v.4 he tells them that they set up impossible requirements from their traditions on others but only do them to be seen of other men – men-pleasers. They love the adulation and the respect they get due to their positions – approbation lust was their downfall, as it is for modern day peddlers of the Word, like EA and KC. They love their titles, but have less care for their charges, the people they were anointed to serve. Yeshua warns US to not be called “My Great One” or ‘My Master’ – rabbi. We are called to serve, not to be served or made rich financially. It is Yehovah who will provide our needs who teach. And he will do it in his way and not ours. What we need to do is wait for his provision and not try to help him provide it. We need to trust him to provide as he has promised to do. He will probably take us to the very brink before providing, but he SHALL provide. And I am preaching to myself, for I have been guilty of NOT trusting him, of walking according to MY sight and not according to my faith and trust in HIS faithfulness to HIS promises. 

Vv.13-22 – Yeshua starts pronouncing a series of ‘Woes’ on the S&P. The first woe is more or less general, shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men who are seeking it (gentiles discouraged from Torah observance) neither going in themselves. The Woes that follow get very specific. One enters the kingdom by trusting Yehovah, which is shown in keeping his commandments – by living Torah. V.14 ties this passage to our Haftarah and our Psalm. Oppressing widows and orphans is something Yehovah truly hates, or he wouldn’t bring it up so often. In v.15, when the S&P DO make a proselyte, the convert is made even more zealous for the traditions than their teachers, as can be seen in those Messianics who have ridden the pendulum from the replacement theology extreme of Xianity to complete distrust of anything after Malachi [2Chron, in TNK]. Man, do we see this in the Hebrew Roots believers today! If I don’t call the Saviour YaHuShuWaH or Avinu YaHuWaH, or some other made up name that someone has convinced you is THE correct way to pronounce the Name of Yehovah, I am lost and going to burn. And haSatan sits back and laughs us to scorn. Meanwhile, Yeshua will come back and show us we were ALL wrong and rebuke us for our pride and arrogance. You want to say YaHuShuWah, go for it. I am not justified by saying his Name properly, but by trusting what he did for me. I am not progressively sanctified by pronouncing his Name properly, but by obeying his Commandments. I will not be any more glorified in the resurrection than you because I pronounce his Name properly. And neither will you. If you are THAT sold out to your tradition, please just leave this room. I would rather that we love each other THROUGH our differences [as long as we both trust the same Yehovah who Created the Universe], and you will sooner or later create division over a very minor theological point. It isn’t worth it. If you want to hang around here, learn that not everyone can be as perfect as you or me, but we are all children of our King Yeshua haMoshiach, who is Yehovah in the flesh. DON’T BE PHARISEES, PLEASE! Q&C

We have 4 verses/4 Woes, so far. Vv.16-22 has the S&P as the blind trying to lead other blind men to the truth. If you swear by the Temple, so what; but if you swear by the GOLD in the Temple, well THAT’S something else again. This is another tie to our haftarah, isn’t it? In the offerings, the altar makes the offering holy, not the other way round. In the same way, it isn’t the gold that imparts holiness, but the presence of Yehovah in the Temple. This is what the Freeflow Dollars, the Kenny CaintCopes, the Ernie Angles and the Henny Binns need to learn. All that treasure is nothing compared to our service to Yehovah. 

In vv.23-24 Yeshua makes the point that the tithe is important, but not as important as righteous weights, measures and judgment. The S&P were making their personal tithes more important than how they treated Yehovah’s people. Yeshua said they were blind to the truth of Yehovah’s Word. 

Vv.25-26 Yeshua condemns their men-pleasing at the expense of their personal holiness. They keyed on what they LOOKED like to the hoi polloi, and less on what Yehovah alone could see in them. If they concentrated on their personal holiness, the outward expression would take care of itself. In vv.27-28 he pressed the point with the beautiful exterior of the casket that is full of dead men’s bones (sin) and uncleanness (that which makes the clean common). 

Vv.28-33 Yeshua addresses the Pharisee’s attitude of self-righteousness at the excesses of the fathers by pointing out their fathers’ flaws, but not applying the lessons to themselves. The S&P don’t recognize the generational curses that are on them from the fathers to whom they say they are superior. We are often guilty of exactly the same thing – well, I am anyway. I often read of the patriarchs in scripture and wonder how they could be so obtuse, without realizing THAT I HAVE KNOWINGLY DONE THE SAME THING. And I think that this is a common human condition, because it’s always easier to see the speck in our brother’s eye than the log in our own. Let us determine NOW that we will break this cycle in our own lives, that we will take ownership of our generational curses and repent, confess and renounce them for ourselves and our families. 

Yeshua then issues the warning and the possible curse in vv.34-39. He is WARNING the S&P that he will be doing this. He says “I” am going to send you prophets, scribes and wise men to teach you where you are missing the boat, and you are going to imprison, persecute and kill them. I think he had Rav Sha’ul specifically in mind here, because this describes what they did to him almost to a ‘T’. He says that they are going to do these things so that he can require all the righteous blood shed from Abel all the way to ZacharYah ben BarachYah, the father of Yochanan the Immerser, as we spoke of earlier and as we come full circle. Vv.37-38 is a curse put on Yerushalayim and her ‘house’ – Yehudah. It’s not for Yehovah’s not calling and drawing them, but for their attitude of superiority and refusal to accept correction; OR to receive gentiles who want to follow Yehovah and his Torah. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study