Shabbat Bible Study for June 23, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for June 23, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 15 

Numbers 25:10-26:51 – Malachi 2:1-9 – Psalm 113 – Matthew 23:1-12, Ephesians 4:1-16 

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kohanim.jpg 

B’Midbar 25.10-18 – Because Pinchas was faithful and zealous for Y’hovah, his Name, and his kavod (honor and glory), and for the nation’s continued existence, Y’hovah blessed him with the covenant of Shalom. The implication in v.11 is that Y’hovah was about to wipe Israel out with the plague that had killed ≥24,000 already. In v.13 Y’hovah elaborates on the covenant of Shalom, and says that he is appointing Pichas and his sons as priests forever. Up to this time, only Aharon and his sons had been appointed priests. Now the priesthood was further defined, as I read it, to the sons of Pinchas, the son of Elazar because he had made atonement for chol Yisrael by killing Zimri and Cozbi. This foreshadows the priesthood of believers in Mashiyach, our High Priest. 

As I read the text, Zimri was the head of the tribe of Simeon and Cozbi was the daughter of a Midianite prince named Tzur. By examining the names, we can arrive at an idea of Balak’s intended plan to restrain Israel’s ability to conquer the land. Remember that he’d tried to get Bilaam to curse Israel, but Bilaam was more frightened by Y’hovah’s wrath than Balak’s, though he STILL coveted the power and position Balak had to offer. And so Bilaam suggested that Balak send Moavite women to entice b’nei Israel to sexual perversions and idolatry, and to send Midianite princesses to entice the priests and, failing that, the princes of Israel to perversion and idolatry. 

Zimri’s name (H2174) means ‘I accompany, as playing music’, from the word zimrah H2172, which derives from the root zamar זמר H2167, ‘to conserve or energize before final emergence’. Cozbi’s name (H3579) means “I lie or deceive”, from the root kazav כזב (H3576), to lie or deceive. Cozbi was the daughter of Tzur (H6698), whose name is identical to H6697 and means ‘a cliff or sharp rock’, both taken from the root (H6696) tzur, to cramp or confine. So Zimri ‘energized’ Cozbi in her ‘deception’ to ‘confine’ Israel’s influence or cause Israel to fall off idolatry’s ‘cliff’ and dash them on the ‘sharp rocks’ of perversion below. And it would have succeeded, except for Pinchas’ zealous and quick intervention. This was Bilaam’s counsel to Balak when they commiserated at the end of ch.24.

2 can play that commiseration game, though, and Y’hovah now commiserated with Moshe, telling him to vex Midian. Israel had purposely circumnavigated Midian because Midian was Yitzhak’s 1/2 ‘brother’ through Keturah, Avraham’s 2nd wife after Sarah died (Gen.25.2). Israel had been honorable throughout her journeys through the kingdoms of the land, asking permission to use the King’s highway and pledging to pay any damages to Edom, Moav and Ammon. It was only when those nations attacked Israel that they fought with them and took their territory by right of conquest. Remember that Edom came out to defend her territory, but did not attack Israel. Ammon had already taken land from Moav and Israel went around what Moav still held and through the conquered land on the north of brook Arnon to traverse Ammon on the King’s highway. Sihon of Ammon came out on offense against Israel and Israel wiped them out. Then Og of Bashan, against whom Israel did not even pose a threat, as she intended to cross Yarden south of Brook Jabbok, came out to attack Israel and he and they in turn were wiped out, Israel occupying that land as their own by right of conquest. Had all the Arab nations on the East bank of Yarden left Israel alone, none would have died or lost their lands. BTW, after entering the Covenant w/Y’hovah, Israel never suffered even a hangnail in battle until Ai. Now, Midian and Moav had attacked Israel’s character – hamotzi shem rah, creating an evil name for Israel and thereby ‘sowing discord among brethren’. By this Y’hovah is abominated. Q&C

26:1-51 – Y’hovah ordered a census taken of all the warriors of Israel, from the men beginning with the 20th year with no age limit. This speaks to the vitality of the average Israelite. Remember that Aharon lived strong and vital right up to the moment of his death, as did Moshe. Avraham and Yacov lived as vital men until the last few days before their deaths. It was how they knew their time was short – their vitality abated. I think that this census is the basis for our selective service system’s waiting until a man turns 19 before actually drafting him for service. He is actually 19 years old on the day before his birthday and begins his 20th year on his 19th anniversary of birth. The day he was born was actually his 1st birthday, wasn’t it? The common way of reckoning age in our culture is just not true. The Bible’s way of reckoning age is absolutely true. That Y’hovah ordered the census of warriors immediately after the order to vex Midian should tell you what Y’hovah now planned for Midian … (drum roll) “Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee! … WIPE OUT!” (MAN! AM I OLD?!)

Reuven numbered 43,730. When they took the census last time, Reuven numbered 46,500, for a net loss of 1870 over the Wilderness Adventure, largely Dathan and Aviram’s families. Shimon numbered 22,200, when they had had 59,300 coming out of Egypt, for a net loss of 37,100 warriors. Gad numbered 40,500 in this census, but 45,650 40 years before, for a net loss of 5,150. In all, Reuven’s camp totaled 106,430, a net loss of 44,120 warriors over the entire Adventure.

Notice that Hezron and Hamul were the sons Pharez, Yehudah’s elder son by his daughter-in-law Tamar. Pharez’ sons became the kinsmen redeemers for Er and Onan, Yehudah’s sons who died childless. Y’hovah is not mocked. Yehudah numbered 76,500, but coming out of Egypt, they numbered 74,600 for a net gain of 1950. Issachar numbered 64,300, but 40 years before had numbered 54,400 for a net gain of 9,900. Zevulon numbered 60,500, but in the 1st census numbered 57,400, for a net gain of 3100 men of war. Yehudah’s camp totaled 201,300, a net increase of 14,950 warriors over the entire Wilderness Adventure.

The camp of Rachel’s children Yoseph, as Yacov had claimed Yoseph’s sons Ephraim and Menashe as his own heirs, and Benyamin,  also showed an net increase. Menashe numbered 52,700, when they had numbered 32,200 at the foot of Sinai, for a net gain of 20,500 men of war. Ephraim numbered 32,500, but had 40,500 in the 1st census, for a net loss of 8,000. BenYamin now numbered 45,600, when they had had 35,400 coming out of Egypt for a net gain of 10,200. Ephraim’s camp therefore numbered 130,800, a net gain of 22,700 over the time of the Wilderness Adventure.

Dan now numbered 64.400, when they had 62,700 warriors 40 years before, for a net gain of 1,700. Asher numbered 53,400 men of war just before the Yarden crossing, but had 41,500 for a net gain of 11,900. And Naphtali now numbered 45,400, when they started the Wilderness Adventure with 53,400 for a net loss of 8,000 warriors. Dan’s camp therefore numbered 159,300, a net gain of 5600. So, chol Israel numbered 601,730, a net loss of 1820 men 20 years and older during the 38+ years since Kadesh and the lashon hara of the 10 tourists, who’d shouted down Y’hovah’s 2 men of war, whom I believe were the youngest of the ‘spies’. 

Some stuff that actually belongs in NEXT week’s triennial portion – These 601,730 warriors + the 5 daughters of Zelophehad would divide up the inheritance of the land. The inheritances were, I think, more or less equal per warrior of Israel. The smallest tribe would have the smallest tribal inheritance, the largest, the largest. Each tribe would divvy up its inheritance according to the sizes of the families. 

The time that Israel spent in Egypt can be approximated by the time the Levites were there. Kohath went down into Egypt with Levi and Ya’acov. Kohath’s wife bore Amram, who married Yocheved, Levi’s daughter who was born in Egypt. That’s right – Levi’s grandson, Amram married his daughter, Yocheved, Miriam, Aharon and Moshe’s mother, in the land of Egypt. Miriam was the eldest, possibly as old as 128-130 at her death, perhaps as young as 125. Aharon was 123 when he died less than a year before Moshe died at 120. Assuming that Yocheved married at the usual time that girls did then, about 14-16 years of age, and that she was born within a year of the Yacovson’s going down to Egypt, they were only in Egypt for about 100 or so years, and therefore were only slaves there for about the 80 years of Moshe’s life before the Exodus. Yocheved was very likely only in her 20s when she bore Moshe to Amram. Verse 64 tells us that Kalev and Yehoshua were under 20 when the 1st census was taken, because THEY were not numbered in that census. NONE who had been numbered in Num.1 was counted in this census – so Kalev and Yehoshua were just youngsters at the time of the Exodus and perhaps 58-60 when they crossed the Yarden. And THAT would explain their mention as the 3rd and 5th leaders among the ‘spies’ – they were younger than the other tribe’s spies, regardless their prowess as military leaders. Q&C

Malachi 2 – Malachi 2 doesn’t stand alone, and to understand what Y’hovah is saying, we need to get the background of at least the last verses of ch.1. In understanding scripture, context is king. One verse, standing alone, can be made to say almost anything. This is at least part of what Kefa was saying in 2Pe.1.20 – not of ‘private interpretation.’ 

In Mal.1, Y’hovah is speaking to the Levitical priesthood, but particularly to the High Priest, as the supreme judge in Israel and the final arbiter of Torah disputes, having the Urim and Thummim by which he can take a dispute directly to Y’hovah. In 1.10c-14, Y’hovah gets to the heart of the matter he has with the Priest. 

10c I have no pleasure in you, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of Y’hovah is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it ! and ye have snuffed at it, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth; and ye brought torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith Y’hovah. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto Y’hovah a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

The reason Balak wanted to have Bilaam curse Israel was his terror at what he KNEW Y’hovah could do to Moav and Midian, if he had a mind to – Y’hovah’s Name was ‘dreadful among the heathen”. Now, the High Priest of Israel had allowed the legitimate authority he had been blessed with to become a curse from Y’hovah Tzavaoth – who is not really a guy you want to tick off! The CinC of the hosts of heaven, whom I believe is Mashiyach ben David, was speaking to his earthly angel (2.7). If Y’hovah’s Bride (personified in the High Priest) will not honor his Name, who will? Us gentiles, that’s who (1.11)! His high priests, his angels on earth, will not sanctify his Name, so he takes it to the Gentiles, and we WILL sanctify it. 

I also think that the passage in 1.10c-14 lines up perfectly with Yochanan 2.13-18,

13 And the Iuaidoi’s (not Y’hovah’s) passover was at hand, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

18 Then answered the Iuaidoi and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

The peddlers of sacrificial animals were selling the dregs of the flock, blemished lambs and such for offerings, and they were doing it from within the Temple proper. Had they been outside in the court of the Gentiles, it would have been less of an affront to Y’hovah, but that the Priests would allow less than perfect animals to be offered showed their contempt for Y’hovah’s Name. Basically, except for a few years when the Maccabees were the High Priests, there seemed to have been no regard for Y’hovah among them. It was certainly no different in Yeshua’s days in Yerushalayim. With that background, we’ll better understand what Y’hovah is trying to tell the priests of the period @ 400BCE. (Did you notice that Yisrael went 430 years between the Avrahamic Covenant and the Exodus, and then, seemingly coincidentally, Israel went about 430 years from Tanakh’s last prophetic Word from Y’hovah to the death and resurrection of Mashiyach ben Yoseph? I just think that’s really interesting.) Q&C

Mal.2.1-17– Y’hovah is speaking directly to the HIGH priests, who are the COs of the Hebrew religion – it’s their ship to run aground and they WILL be held accountable. He opened ch.2 by saying (in a Mark paraphrase) “LISTEN UP, PRIESTS! If you refuse to hallow my Name, I will turn your blessings into curses.” 

The high priests filled their offices for an average of about 35 years each from Aharon to YehoTzadok (Y’hovah is Righteous) at the Babylonian captivity – a period of about 900 years. According to a traditional listing of the High Priests found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kohanim.jpg, there were 25-30 priests in those 900 years. After the Babylonian Captivity until the destruction of the Temple there were at least 50 high priests in only about 500 years, and MOST of those filled the office from Herod’s days until Titus destroyed the Temple. There were periods of time when the high priest would only fill the office for a year or 2. I don’t think there were a lot of folks who even WANTED the position near the end. I think they had not been trained in HOW to offer the sacrifices properly, and Y’hovah took them out because they didn’t bother trying to find out how to properly execute their office. He had certainly given them fair warning in the prophecy of Malachi. 

In v.3, he gets pretty specific, 1) corrupt seed (perhaps birth defects), 2) rub the crap of YOUR solemn feasts in your faces (not Xmas and Ishtar – those could never be confused with his feasts, but what THEY did in celebration of HIS feasts – think Yochanan 2.14-18). They are keeping HIS feasts in their own way, for their own pleasure and convenience. The one that comes to mind immediately is calling Unleavened Bread “Passover.” These are separate moedim, according to Vayikra 23.5&6. Passover is a day set apart as a preparation day for the miqra kodesh of Chag haMatzoth when the passover is eaten. They were calling the whole thing ‘Passover’, and still do (Kosher for Passover). 

That the covenant was with Levi and why can be seen in 

26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Y’HOVAH’s side? To ME! And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. (Ex.32.26)

and, speaking specifically to Pinchas,

11 Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: (Num.25.12)

In v.5, we see that Y’hovah is speaking specifically OF Pinchas

5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. (Mal.2.5)

It was Pinchas’ action in killing Zimri and Cozbi that stayed Y’hovah’s judgment on chol Yisrael, and he performed it under inspiration of Ruach haKodesh to keep Y’hovah’s Name set apart before the heathen. 

Y’hovah tells the priests of Malachi’s day that their lips should guard knowledge of Y’hovah, even as Pinchas had, because the high priest is the angel of Y’hovah, his messenger to the people. The priest’s in Malachi’s days were not after his Way, they thought the ritual and laws of the priesthood were a pain in their collective posteriors. They had caused many to stumble at Torah. That word ‘stumble’ is H3782, kashal, a root meaning to stumble or fall. The Septuagint uses the Grk diaphteirate, of the root ptaio, which we discussed briefly last week in our study of Yacov 3,

The legitimate purpose of the police and armed forces is to act as sheepdogs, protecting the flock. LTC Grossman doesn’t pull punches and he may offend you (hurt your feelings). If he does, you need to do some re-evaluation of your premises, because the world is getting more dangerous all the time. 

We NEED sheepdogs, even when their personalities make us uncomfortable. Sheepdogs sometimes offend the sheep. Oh, well! Better they have their “widdow feewings hooert” than they be eaten. ‘Hurt feelings’ is not the ‘offence’ that Yacov is talking about here. The word is G4417, ptaio, and means to trip or cause to stumble, not to “hooert someone’s widdow feewings”. If I have to hurt your feelings to get you off the siding and onto the main track, stand by; you’re going to experience some discomfort. That discomfort will have as its purpose to awaken you to danger, not to bring division but to bring you into the fold and under the protection of the Shepherd. Remember that he who sows discord among brethren is an abomination to Y’hovah’s soul (Prov.6.16, 19). The pile of Kimchee that guy is in is deep, sticky and stinky. May he not be any of us. 

The tongue that Ya’acov is speaking about is not what we assume in our modern way of thinking. It is the one that leads the sheep astray so they are more easily taken and devoured, not one that merely offends someone’s sensibilities.

The priests in Mal.2.8 were causing their flocks to stumble in their application of Torah – they had become the wolves in sheepdog’s clothing that we spoke of last week. They had become false teachers, false prophets. They had become partial in their application of Torah (v.9), applying it differently for Y’hovah’s people than for the priests, much like a US Congress that passes laws to which its own members are exempt. Vv.10-11 amplifies this rebuke, like focusing the sun’s light through a magnifying glass to kindle a fire with pinpoint accuracy. They were causing Israel to break their covenant with Y’hovah and to join herself with false elohim. Y’hovah will cut off the person who commits idolatry/adultery, and he will hold the false teacher doubly responsible for causing people to stumble at  his Covenant – possibly for EACH brother he causes to stumble (Yacov 3.1). The priests are getting a very stern warning here – repent, or ELSE … 

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Rev.2:5, 16)

The ‘them’ in Rev.2.16 is speaking directly to the priests, as they were among those who held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans – the word literally means ‘conqueror of the people’ or one who lords it over the people. A pastor or priest leads by serving and building up the flock, not by beating it down. Y’hovah will cut off the pastor/priest from the tents of Yacov – put him outside the camp of the saints – who causes his flock to stumble at guarding his covenant. It doesn’t matter how much show or how much noise the priest or pastor makes, if he doesn’t repent and return to the Way of Y’hovah – Derech Hashem – Y’hovah will disregard the offerings he makes, whether his own or the people’s. He has no regard for Y’hovah, and Y’hovah will reciprocate. 

The priest asks, “Why?!” and Y’hovah says, “Because you are unfaithful to the wife of your youth, I will not regard your offerings. I made the 2 of you 1 flesh, as I had made you and myself one Spirit. You show your disregard for me by going the way of another elohim. I will not, therefore, regard your offerings. You are, in effect, murdering innocent animals, and I will hold you responsible for their blood, as well.”

When Y’hovah says to ‘take heed to your spirit’ (v.15), he is speaking in regard to the spirit of the 2 made 1 in marriage (had he meant yours alone, he’d have said ‘thy’). Marriage is the pashat relationship that typifies the sod relationship of the faithful priest to Y’hovah. If you deal in treachery against the wife of your youth, how much more quickly will you deal treacherously with Y’hovah? He takes notice of all treachery, He has a record of it all and he shall require it of you at either the bema or GWT judgment. 

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:10)

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Eloha; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev.20:12)

Y’hovah hates ‘putting away’, sending away the wife of your youth. There is provision for a man to marry a second wife, but there is no Torah provision for divorce.

If he take him another wife ; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. (Exodus 21:10)

No man, wishing to obey Y’hovah in all his covenant, will marry a 2nd wife, for he will not be able to provide his ‘duty of marriage’ to both wives. (That verse doesn’t out and say it, but it certainly implies – to the thinking man, anyway – that multiple wives is NOT Y’hovah’s ideal for a man’s family.) Vv.17-18 say that Y’hovah is tired of our excuses for being treacherous with him. Y’hovah does NOT take delight in our evil doings, but in our obedience. And he IS an Elohim who will judge in tzedikah. “Grace” does not make evil good. Grace makes the inveterate evildoer ABLE to do good (Eph.2.10). Q&C

Tehellim 113 HalleluYah! Hallelu av’dei Y’hovah! Hallelu et Sheim Y’hovah!  The use of the untranslated word et, spelt aleph, tav, does 2 things; 1) it points to the direct object of the sentence and 2) focuses our attention on the main theme of this short Psalm –  in both cases, the Name of Y’hovah; the Almighty, the first and the last, the point man and the rear guard (not to mention covering our right and left flanks). 

I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the ending, saith Y’hovah, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

Saying, I am Aleph and Tav, the first and the last: … (Revelation 1:11a)

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:6)

I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13)

We, the servants of Y’hovah, praise his Name and bless his Name forever. How can we praise and bless his Name unless we actually know his Name? When Y’hovah walked the earth in a body of flesh, his name was Yeshua. From waking until sleeping, ‘from can see to can’t see’, we praise and bless Y’hovah’s Name. Y’hovah is bigger and more powerful than all the nations of men, and he will prove it soon enough. Who compares to Y’hovah, who has to humble himself to look at the stars he created. IOW, he looks DOWN (figuratively) to the stars from outside of this time/space/matter universe. We would be lower than the worms of the earth, except that Yeshua, who is the very Word of Y’hovah and Y’hovah in the flesh, humbled himself and came to this planet to redeem us to himself. 

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let ^this^ mind be in you, which was also in Mashiyach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Eloha, thought it not robbery to be equal with Eloha: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the tree. 9 Wherefore Eloha also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiyach is Y’hovah, to the glory of Eloha Avinu. (Phil.2.4-11).

17 But Israel shall be saved in Y’hovah with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end [that would be the olam haba]. 18 For thus saith Y’hovah that created the heavens; Eloha himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am Y’hovah; and none else. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I Y’hovah speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto an el that cannot save. 21 Tell [count] ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? hath told it from that time? have not I Y’hovah? and no eloha else beside me; a just Eloha and a Saviour; none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am Eloha, and none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth  righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall men say, in Y’hovah have I righteousness and strength: to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In Y’hovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. (YeshaYahu 45.17-25)

Did you notice that Y’hovah addressed himself in both the 1st and 3rd persons there?

Y’hovah will take the most submitted believer to lead his people – by his example, not as a lord or lady over them. Let’s juxtapose vv.7-8 with Ps.109.15-16, 22

7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 8 That he may set with princes, with the princes of his people. (113.7-8)

15 Let them be before Y’hovah continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart… 22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. (109.15-16, 22)

If a pastor, teacher, rabbi or president is acting as a lord and master over you, Y’hovah will cut off the memory of them from the earth BECAUSE they did not exercise the chesed of Y’hovah, but despised the poor and broken hearted. Because Y’hovah walked the earth in the human flesh of Yeshua, he has very real compassion for our situation – he’s lived the war that we live and knows how hard it is to be after his heart while in this sack of flesh. 

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

Rav Sha’ul expresses it best, from our perspective, in Rom.7.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of Eloha after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank Eloha through Yeshua haMashiyach Adonenu. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Eloha; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom.7.18-25)

Y’hovah will change the situation of those who overcome wickedness through the gracious power of his indwelling Ruach haKodesh (Eph.2.8-10). He will make even the physically barren to raise up spiritual seed and remain thereby in the house of Y’hovah forever. HalleluYah! Q&C

Matthew 23.1-12– The Scribes and Pharisees (S&P) have just been shut down in their examination of the Lamb by a simple question that they could not answer according to their doctrine.  

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Mashiyach? whose son is he? They say unto him, “of David.” 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Adon, saying, 44 Y’hovah said unto Adonai, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Adon, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any from that day forth ask him any more. (Mat22.41-46)

And now, before the S&P can get away, Yeshua turned to his talmidim and the crowd that had gathered for the show, and started telling them about the S&P’s false doctrines. First, he says that the S&P sit in Moshe’s seat, alluding to Torah-centered judgment, and that that is a valid place for them to judge from. But he goes on in this chapter to show that they don’t base their judgment on Torah alone, but on their own doctrines, as well. And if there is a dispute between Tanakh and their doctrine, the doctrine wins out. If that isn’t almost exactly the position of the ‘mainstream evangelical church’ today, I’ll eat my hat. Today’s ‘Pharisees’ are the average pastors and ‘prophets’, who hold to their doctrines in the face of Torah’s bedrock truth. Yeshua told the crowd that when the S&P make a decree based on Tanakh, to do it, and the same holds true of the average pastor or teacher today. The problem with the average pastor today, as it was with the S&P in Yeshua’s (and our) day, is that they only know what Tanakh they can use or twist to fit their traditions. These are the ‘heavy burdens’ that the S&P lay on the people, while not lifting a finger to do them themselves. Juxtapose v.4 here with

28 Come unto me, all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat.11.28-30)

Y’hovah’s yoke is Torah – about 600 instructions for godly living, which he helps us to bear (hence the yoke). 

The S&P’s ‘works’ are designed to make them LOOK righteous, the teffilin and tzitzioth were ostentatious and drew attention to themselves. It was not wearing the teffilin or the tallitoth that was wrong, but the showiness and drama of it all. The purpose of them, in context, seems to be to draw invitations to grand events, to be given special recognition and honor in the eyes of men. Y’hovah wants us to be servants, not masters. He will exalt whom he will exalt – those who will abase themselves – and He will abase who exalts himself. He who exalts himself, like the S&P, is exemplifying discord among brethren (Prov.6.19). 

Eph.4.1-16 – Chapter 4 is where Sha’ul starts applying the principles he’s laid out for the 1st 3 chapters. He’s telling us to help each other along – to yoke to our brethren as we walk in Torah. To walk worthy of our vocation, we urge onward and bring along those who need help and support them as one in Mashiyach, AND we acknowledge our own need for help in walking out Torah, as well. Lowliness = humility, meekness = not easily provoked or offended, to the end of eventual unity in Ruach’s Covenant of Shalom. Beginning with the word ‘unity’ in v.3, count how many times Y’hovah uses that principle in our passage. 7 times he says, ONE. Do you suppose that ‘Shema Yisrael’ was in the forefront of Paul’s mind? If we have Shalom with Y’hovah, we are one with him, so Shalom is echad; peace is unity. We do not strive for unity at all costs, but unity in the echad Spirit of Y’hovah. The 7 things Sha’ul enumerates in vv.4-6 express the spiritual echad of Y’hovah and the Body of Mashiyach. In v.11, Paul enumerated the 5 gifts he spoke of in v.8. The 5 gifts are given for 3 purposes, as Sha’ul enumerated in v.12 – to perfect the saints, to work the ministry of and to edify the Body of Mashiyach. All the things (7) are given (5) for the purpose (3) of the unity he shows us in v.13 until WE become the ‘perfect’ man. The gift of Mashiyach (v.7) + the body of Mashiyach (v.12) = the fullness of Mashiyach (v.13). 

Vv.4-13 is what Paul means in 2Tim.3.16-17

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

The more ‘perfect’ (mature in Mashiyach) are to help the less ‘perfect’ (children) to grow until they are ‘throughly furnished’ for the vocation to which they are called, until we all, as ONE new man (2.15) obtain Shalom. The more ‘perfect’ the Body becomes, the less we will be tossed about by the ‘winds of doctrine’ (v.14). The more grounded in Tanakh we become, the less we will be fooled by the ‘sleight of men’ who use ‘cunningly devised fables’ (2Kefa 1.16) to deceive ‘silly women’ (2Tim.3.6) and children (v.14) in the faith. 

We are to speak the truth in love. Torah is Truth. Yeshua is Truth. We are to build up the Body of Mashiyach out of love for Y’hovah Yeshua and for each other. V.16 shows us that each member of Mashiyach’s body is needed to help the rest of the Body grow, mature and perform more efficiently. You may be the right hand of Mashiyach’s body, and I the left buttock, but if I am not working efficiently and freely, the Body is not going to be able to perform as well as if I am fit. We might not be able to get you to where you are needed in a timely fashion. Each part is necessary for proper function. You are as, or even more, important than I am in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

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Shabbat Bible Study for June 16, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for June 16, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 14

B’Midbar 23:2 – 25:9 – Micah 7.14-20 – Tehellim 112 – Ya’acov 3:1 – 4:17

Links:

christiananswers.net/dictionary/chittim.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/tribes.html 

www.mwkworks.com/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html

B’midbar 23.2-30 – Bila’am had Balak build 7 altars and prepare 7 sacrifices, which THEY offered. I infer that Bila’am offered the oxen and Balak the rams, just from their respective positions in the sentence, but that could be wrong – I wasn’t there. But that the Moabite king offered at least some part of the sacrifices is clear from the sentence structure. Stone’s notes say that one killed the animal while the other caught the blood and sprinkled/threw it on the altar. The xlation indicates that Eloha only appeared to Bila’am on occasion, as if by happenstance. Rashi seems to indicate that once in a while El would communicate with Bila’am when it suited Eloha. The idea of 7 new altars and 7 offerings on each of these 3 occasions seems to allude to the significance of the number in relation to the offering. Schottenstein’s Chumash speaks of 7 instances of Israel’s patriarchs erecting altars – Adam, Abel, Noach, Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya’acov and Moshe, and that Bila’am may have been trying to insinuate himself among them by alluding to them and offering the eighth – perhaps suggesting a ‘new beginning’ (?). 

Each time Bila’am blessed Israel, Balak moved to another hilltop from which he showed Bila’am Israel from another angle or aspect. The aspect change and continuingly greater blessing Y’hovah gave Bila’am spoke to Bila’am. He was not going to be able to denounce Yisrael w/a curse. So he devised another means to trip Israel up – the ‘way or doctrine of Bila’am’. The ‘way of Bila’am’ (2Kefa 2) or the ‘doctrine of Bila’am’ (Rev.2) is what he suggested to the Moabites and Midianites – entice Israel to adultery and idolatry. The ‘error of Bila’am’ is to go your own way; either for financial gain or power and/or influence (Jude) among men. Let’s look briefly at the 3 attempted curses.

When Y’hovah eventually gets around to speaking through Bila’am, he speaks by parable. He says that noone can count Israel, they are as the dust, and in his blessing on Israel, Y’hovah says that they shall live alone, that they will always be a singular people – set apart by him and unto him. It’s no different today. Everyone loves to hate Israel. This speaks by parable of those who will be after Y’hovah’s heart, and it is seen walked out by b’nei Israel in history, for they HAVE maintained themselves separate from the world (no doubt through the hand of Y’hovah, even when they are trying to assimilate), even when they are in rebellion against him. Look at the Orthodox today. They usually live in communities, do business within their communities whenever possible, live within a close walk to shul, marry within the community, and so forth. This was seen in the orthodox Xian community, as well, in the lifestyles of the Puritan founders of America and is still generally practiced among the Amish and Mennonites, who also seem to live lifestyles closely approximating the Orthodox Jews and even share some family names with them. There are some spiritual blessings that come with such physical separation, even when done for purely traditional reasons – unity of religious practice being one, and material prosperity and physical familial multiplicity being another. The Amish may not live with the modern ‘conveniences’ but they are NOT financially poor. 

Then Y’hovah says (through Bila’am) that one can’t see the 1/4th part of Israel. What Balak and ALL the princes of Moav had shown him was a single ‘camp’ of Israel, the outer edge of one of the major camps, like Reuven’s camp which included the tribes of Shimon and Gad; or Yehudah’s camp, which included Issachar and Zevulon. What Bila’am could see of this 1/4th part of Israel could not be numbered and stretched beyond the horizon. I don’t know why I get this impression, but I think Balak took Bila’am to Reuven’s camp first, then Ephraim’s and then Dan’s. I don’t think Balak wanted to think about dealing with Yehudah, the ‘lion’, and his ‘whelps’; who knew the times of Y’hovah, and the art of war;

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. 33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: not of double heart (I Chronicles 12:32-33),

for when it came time to show Bila’am the 4th ¼ of Israel, Balak left with an outward display of disdain for Bila’am that I think was born of Balak’s fear. The last sentence of Y’hovah’s blessing was Bila’am wishing upon himself the death of the righteous and to be like Israel in his death, which I think was a prophecy of his ignominious death. Y’hovah let him know that he would not experience eternal life.

Balak was ticked that Bila’am blessed Israel instead of cursing him, but Bila’am objected that he had told Balak that he could not say anything except what Y’hovah had told him to say. So Balak took him to the next vantage point, which I think was Ephraim’s camp. Now, what Balak thought a change of aspect on the camp of Israel would do for Bila’am’s denunciation of Israel is beyond me. He’d seen the southern camp (if my impression is correct) and was now looking at the Western camp. At no time did Bila’am see to the camp of Levi or the Mishkan. Balak, not Bila’am, built 7 altars and offered 7 offerings on each.

Ephraim’s camp is the smallest of the 4 camps, and was the rear guard of the nation. He said, Eloha is not a man, that he should lie or a son of man that he should repent, which was Balak’s final warning from Y’hovah to repent of the evil he wished on Israel due to the lies he’d told himself about Israel. In v.21, Yhwh, his El = יהוה אלוהיו. He then tells Balak that he is bathed in iniquity and his way is perverted, and he does so by saying that he has seen no such thing in Yakov and Israel. Now, I have to wonder at this point if Y’hovah was there 38 years ago when the nation wanted to stone Yehoshua and Kalev at Kadesh, or just a few days or weeks ago when they wanted to stone Moshe and Aharon at Meribah, because I think there may have been some iniquity there. What I think he was saying is that Israel is righteous in Yhwh and in Mashiyach as his chosen people, if not in comparison to the heathen. Now, this blessing of Y’hovah COULD be the source of Bila’am’s counsel to Balak, for he says Y’hovah has not seen perversion in Israel, and the next thing we’ll see them do is to pervert their ways before Y’hovah by lying with the heathen women and bowing before their idols, or using those idols in a form of sexual perversity. We’ll see that a little later in the first verses of ch.25, and I will attempt to circumlocute the best I can – no promises. 

The ‘shout’ of the King [v.21] is actually the word ‘teruah’ which is the short staccato blasts of the silver trumpets that signals Israel to ‘execute’ the command of Y’hovah.

5 Elohim is gone up with a shout, Y’hovah with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to Elohim, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. 7 For Elohim is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. Ps.47.5-7

In the military, when moving in formation, there are two parts of every command; 1) Ready and 2) Execute, as in “Right, FACE!”, or “Forward, MARCH!” or “Company, HALT!” Israel was ALWAYS in formation, so the same applied to the silver trumpet blasts. The “Ready” command is the long, loud, tekiah that meant ‘prepare to break camp’, and “Execute” was the staccato teruah that meant “Break CAMP!” So after giving Balak his final warning that he is full of iniquity and is perverse before Y’hovah, he then – in the same breath – says that Y’hovah, the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov is with Israel and that a King is among them – the very king of whom Balak does not want to even think, if my impression is correct. Elohim brought them out of Egypt, from which the formerly great military power is still reeling and attempting without a lot of success to recover. Now, the Chumash says that Balak was a sorcerer, even as was Bila’am, so the next blessing is also pointed right at Balak as a back-handed curse. There is no enchantment or sorcery in Israel. They do not call on impish shadim for their deliverance, but are protected by the Creator of all there is, including the impish shadim that are the source of Balak’s power. Everyone will know that Balak was overcome by the Elohim of Israel, not some wicked spirit. 

Then, Y’hovah, through Bila’am, tells Balak what he most fears. Israel will rise up as a great lion to destroy his adversaries, devour their flesh and lick up their blood, which I take as a metaphor for Israel’s complete assimilation of his enemies’ possessions and source of political and economic life. Balak understood and was not pleased. The princes of Moav that were left with him also understood and I think they departed the pattern for a more inviting scene. In v.6, Balak had ‘ALL the princes of Moav’ with him. In v.17 it was just ‘the princes of Moav’, not ALL the princes. By the time we get into ch. 24, there is no mention of any princes at all. Q&C

24.1-25.9Vv.1-16 All the while that Bila’am has been going to get his instructions from Y’hovah, he has been using some kind of enchantments over Israel to bring Eloha to meet him. The sages seem to think he was trying to divine the moment Elohim would be in a ‘cursing mood’. NOW, he decides to try a new tack. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting note to 24.1-9, first paragraph and last sentence of the 2nd [pg.169]. Ahijah’s curse is pretty harsh. Also look at the note on v.2 and the camp of Israel. The blessing begins in v.5. In vv.3-4 Bila’am says in 5 different ways that he is experiencing this prophecy of Y’hovah as nothing he’d ever experienced before. His eyes are OPEN to the majesty of Y’hovah and he is finally convinced that no curse from him and the familiar spirits he was used to dealing with would have any effect. He describes the order of the Israelite camps, the combination of tight tribal relationships and the respect for each family’s dignity and honor. The ‘tabernacles’ of v.5 are the Hebrew word mishkanothecha – your (singular) mishkans, or private places of worship, or maybe to their personal tallitoth, or perhaps the future synagogues in and out of haAretz, or just a place where the family could gather for family meals or Shabbat. Vv.5-7 is taken by Ramban to be a blessing that includes their present situation in the camps of Israel (tents Ohalecha) and their future blessings in the land (mishkanothecha). In v.6, 4 similes are used that I take in the remez to refer to the 4 camps of 3 tribes each. The sages see many hints to kings and sages in Israel. I think the waters refer to Tanakh and the apostolic writings that give refreshing to our spirits. 

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Ps.1.1-3

V.7 speaks of Agag, the Amalekite king. Agag is the ancestor of Gog, chief prince of Magog. Here’s an interesting tidbit: Agag and Agog are the same word with slightly different vowel pointing, so it is possible that the sarrosh, or chief prince of Magog is referring to Gog, chief prince ‘from Agag’ (the mem prefix being a shortened form of min, meaning ‘from’). IOW, Gog is an Amalekite and ‘from Agag’. Amalek had LOTS of ‘giants’, as the 10 tourists made note of in Num.13.28-29a, when they showed their souvenirs and told Israel that they couldn’t defeat the people of the land, for there were sons of Anak – Amalekites there. 

28 Nevertheless the people strong that dwell in the land, and the cities walled, very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: (Num.13.28-29a)

What’s REALLY interesting is that Agag is the Amalekite king over whose living presence with Sha’ul (along with all the sheep bleating in the background of a victorious battlefield), got Sha’ul in deep kimchee with Y’hovah, as pronounced through Sh’muel. Bila’am saw him in his vision about 400 years before his birth and NAMED him in advance, like Koresh [Cyrus] the Persian, a Mashiyach of Yehudah, was named in advance by YeshaYahu in 44.28 and 45.1.

Balak was ticked. 3 times he’d offered 14 animals (42 in all – significant?) at Bila’am’s direction, and 3 times now Bila’am had blessed Israel instead of cursing him, like Bila’am was being paid to do. But Y’hovah has the greatest blessing yet to come to Israel. Bila’am opened his mouth one more time under the direction of Y’hovah’s Ruach. I think that Balak didn’t wait to hear it all. 

Vv.17-19 – He prophesies of Mashiyach and his ultimate destruction of Moav’s power. He says that he shall see the Almighty in a vision, hear the Words of Eloha and know the knowledge of the Most High. His next words speak of the Star coming from Yakov, the Scepter out of Israel that will destroy Moav and Seth, who, as progenitor of all the righteous seed, represents the nations of the earth (see Chumash note to v.17 on pp.172-73). Rashi sees David as the fulfillment and Ramban sees Messiah. I say, “YES!” Most prophecies of end time and Messianic events have multiple fulfillments; one more or less immediate, at least one intermediate, and the final, ultimate fulfillment that will be done in Mashiyach’s return and reign. 

V.20-24 – Eventually, Amalek will be utterly wiped out, as Y’hovah wanted Israel to do when he led them into his land. But it will be Mashiyach, the ultimate King of Yisrael, who will do that deed. In vv.21-22, he gives a similar warning to the Kenites, who seem to rule Petra and who were carried away by Asshur (Assyria) along with 10-Israel. Assyria will be difficult to defeat in battle. If current events unfold into the fulfillment of this prophecy many seem to think it may, Asshur may be what we are calling ISIS or the Moslem Bro-hood, who was ISIS’ precursor.

In v.24 I think we may have a prophecy of the soon to occur battle between the Western world (elsewhere kings of the north?) and those Moslem nations of the Middle East (kings of the south?) – perhaps Syria next, followed by Jordan and Saudi Arabia before turning their attention on Israel (Eber?). The West (Chittim, KoN) will bring it against the Middle East primarily by their navies. From the article “Chittim” in the online “Bible Encyclopedia”, christiananswers.net/dictionary/chittim.html 

…while the name originally designated the Phoenicians only, it came to be laterally used of all the islands and seacoasts which they [Phoenicians] had occupied…

Phoenicia, which is what modern archaeologists call the original alliance between David and Solomon’s Israel and Hiram’s Lebanon, colonized and/or explored the whole world for more than 2 centuries, even trading in or colonizing the Americas. The most likely nation to fulfill this prophecy (v.24) is the US with its naval/Marine aviation and Marine forces, perhaps with the help of NATO/NWO. If this happens this way, I don’t see the American/NATO/NWO forces leaving the area any time soon. There’s too much oil there for that to happen. Remember that even Israel has oil and natural gas reserves, now. I expect this soon, probably around Sukkoth, perhaps this year. (I COULD be wrong … but I DOUBT it!) Those same Chittim (ships from beyond Gibraltar) will take out Eber. Eber is from beyond The River, Euphrates, so the entire Middle East will be involved, eventually. US carriers can send aircraft on missions against defending forces from the Med, the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, and the PG in a sort of pincer attack. 

Bila’am went his way (v.25) and Balak ALSO went Bila’am’s way. This looks to me like they were going somewhere to commiserate. 

Warning! If you have young children listening, you may wish to turn down your sound or remove them from the vicinity. The allusions I am about to make may not be for their ears. I will try to circumlocute as I can, but you may not be aware of your kids intelligence and ability to reason.

25.1-9 – When Bila’am commiserated with Balak, he gave him some wicked advice (it was ‘good’ advice toward Balak’s end of cursing Israel), “If you want to defeat Israel, you have to attack their sexual purity.” And what better way than to send in some beautiful, but not-so-upright, women to entice Israel’s men to adultery/idolatry, which are things that are different only in the eyes of the perpetrators. Bila’am had Balak send beautiful, but less than pure, women of Moav to entice Israel. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting, speculative note on this on pg.174-75 (both prefatory for 1-6 and for v.2). 

If it’s true that the Moabite women were carrying idols small enough to hide in their clothing, it is also possible that they also used them in other defiling ways during the acts that would defile the Hebrew men (and perhaps women, as well). I think that these idols can be found in about any ‘Adult book/toy store’ today. I think they are talking about small-enough–to-be-carried-in-the-clothing ‘graven images’ of Ba’al. I think that I’ve circumlocuted as closely as I can in a G-rated room. Rav Sha’ul made allusion to what I am saying in Rom.1.24-27. I don’t think it would be a good idea to read that at this time, for the sake of your young-uns. I do include it in my notes.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Zimri brought a Midianite woman right to the tent of meeting and lay with her IN THE TENT! When Pinchas stayed the plague of Y’hovah, he did so by sticking them both thru with a spear and pinning them to the floor of the tent. They HAD to be INSIDE the tent of meeting for this to happen! Let me quote from my study on 17Mar12;

Num.4.38 – On the front, or east side of the Mishkan, before the entrance veil of the Tent of Meeting, was the camp of the Kohanim: the prophet Moshe, and the Priests Aharon and his sons. Moshe did not have a sukkah of his own, but actually dwelt in the Tent of Meeting, in the presence of Y’hovah. It was the Kohanim’s job to guard the Mishkan from all interlopers who got passed the 2 wheels (ophanim) of defense. As we will see in a couple of months (today), even though he had not been anointed Priest, Pinchas took his charge of guarding the sanctity of the Mishkan seriously and, using his trusty javelin, stayed the plague that Y’hovah unleashed upon Israel in Num.25. 

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

In Num.25, when Zimri took Cozbi into the ToM, he not only attempted to defile it with his own non-priestly presence, but with a complete alien who didn’t even belong in the Camp of Israel, much less the Court or the Mishkan itself. IOW, noone in the camp tried to stop the desecration of the Sanctuary. Now you might get an idea of why Y’hovah had sent a plague that killed over 24,000 Israelites in a few minutes. He was about to wipe out the entire camp. Pinchas LITERALLY saved Israel from annihilation, IMHO. Q&C

Micah 7.14-20 – These 7 verses constitute the last paragraph of the last chapter of Micah’s prophecy, where he asks a blessing on Yisrael [v.14] and Yhwh responds [vv.15-20]. Feed? thy people with thy rod? Lead or shepherd is a much better word because, while sheep are herbivores, I don’t think they are going to get much nourishment from a stick with a hook on its end. The Hebroot there is 7462, r’ah רעה, “to tend or satisfy needs”. That is the duty of a shepherd and also of a good king. He provides guidance/direction, discipline and protection all with skillful use of his rod. Carmel is from the Hebroot 3754 karam כרם, “to work terraced terrain”. Carmel, Bashan and Gilead are all hill country, where terracing makes for wonderfully fertile and useable farmland/vineyards. This prophecy is one with Millennial fulfillment in THIS earth, and well as eternal fulfillment in the olam haba, the world[s] to come. 

In v.15, Yhwh tells us that as it happened in the Egyptian exodus, so it will be in the Millennium [as well as in the olam haba] when he will give us ever expanding revelation of His works and ways, laying firm foundations and then building on those foundations. Vv.16-17 has to be millennial in its fulfillment, since the nations, the goyim, shall see and be confounded despite all their might – referring, I think, to the final Gog u’Magog battle in Rev.20.7-9;

7 And when the thousand years are expired, haSatan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog u’Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from Eloha out of heaven, and devoured them.

I think that marks the beginning of the lake of fire, which will be momentary in space/time, but take as long as it needs to take in the presence of Yhwh where time doesn’t really exist. Every bit of matter that gets thrown into that LoF will be instantly dissolved until nothing remains of it, or as Kefa puts it in 2Pe.3.7-12,

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with Yhwh as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 Yhwh is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of Yhwh will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise [Mic.7.16, ‘ears deaf’], and the elements [atoms?] shall melt with fervent heat [fission?], 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 Eloha, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Yhwh is a consuming fire [Dev.4.24, 9.3, Heb.12.29], and He does nothing except he does it to completion. 

Vv.18-20 speak of the olam haba. He will pardon the iniquity of those who trust him. He will not regard the past transgressions of those whom he pardons, the remnant, because He delights in being merciful. He will turn again [v.19], shuv שוב, literally ‘move backward’, in effect, go back to the time before we transgressed, as if we had never sinned against Him. And from THAT place, He will ‘subdue our iniquities’; He will make us as Adam was before he partook of the only thing from which he had been restricted. He will restrain or remove our evil inclination, what the church erroneously calls the “Old Sin Nature”, AND He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, as far from Him as east is from west. And He will create a New Heaven and a New Earth in which only righteousness dwells and THERE He will perform TRUTH in Ya’acov and Mercy in Avraham, as he swore to our fathers from the beginning of this Creation.

Tehellim 112 – I think that Ps.111 and 112 are meant to be read together since they are both acrostic poetry and 112 picks up where 111 left off – the fear of Y’hovah is shown in obedience to his commandments which is the beginning of wisdom. Is this Psalm about Tzadikim, the believers who will enter the Messianic Kingdom? I think so. Let’s look at Rev.12&14

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yeshua Mashiyach. (Revelation of John 12:17)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yeshua. (Revelation of John 14:12)

Now juxtapose those verses with Ps.112.1, and then see what happens to and for the tzadik who does ‘delight greatly in his commandments’. His progeny will be mighty, and blessed of Y’hovah. In v.3, they will have great wealth who live in tzedikah. Now, I think the riches are a result of the righteousness and not the other way round. Can Eloha trust you with riches? What would you do with it if you had it? Are you a tzadik? If you are, he can trust you with wealth. If not, he cannot. And he tries the hearts of men and knows who can handle it and who can’t. The upright in v.4 is speaking about Mashiyach, the Tzadik Rebbe, and his overcoming Bride. Mashiyach is the only one who can be both righteous and full of compassion, because he has suffered everything we do and knows experientially what we go through in the war that rages in our members, sin or obedience. But in Mashiyach, light arises in the darkness by his gracious compassion and tzedikah. 

In Deut.28 we are told what will happen to us if we guard his commandments, 

10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of Y’hovah; and they shall be afraid of thee. 12 Y’hovah shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 

V.5 illustrates this promise being delivered. Now, here’s what I find interesting. In both Dt.28.12 and Ps.112.5, the word translated as ‘lend’ is H3867, lavan, which is a primitive root that means “to twine, by implication to unite.” To lend, biblically, is to supply something of yourself for the benefit of another – it is a form of loving your neighbor. Remember that lending to a brother is to be done w/o interest or usury. An upright man lends and doesn’t borrow because Y’hovah provides for the upright man so that he has no need to borrow and so that he has the ability to lend with the intent of helping a brother get on his feet. He doesn’t lend indiscriminately, but uses good judgment, which is what the Psalmist means by discretion. V.6 may be a support for the idea of perseverance of saints, not as in OSAS, where all you have to do is say a prayer and there are no more worries. But the righteous man continues in his faithfulness and cannot be moved from it. He will not be worried about bad news for the economy or for the political situation because “he knows whom he has believed and is persuaded that HE is able to guard that which” the righteous man “had committed unto him against that day” of deliverance (2Tim.1.12). The Tzadik has provided for the poor among the household of faith, and even for those who come to his attention from outside the camp. He gives with the same motive with which he lends – to assist his fellow in becoming self-sufficient, for THAT is righteous giving. In the Kingdom, Mashiyach and his deputies (the Tzadikim) will deliver quick and sure retributive justice to the wicked. Q&C 

Ya’acov 3.1-18 – ‘Masters’ in v.1 is literally ‘teachers’. Teachers are more accountable before Avinu than are those they teach. Many people take on the mantle of ‘teacher’ that ought not, and many do not who ought to because of this passage. The difference is like that of a sheepdog and a wolf. The teacher who can lead is like a sheepdog, directing, watching over, and protecting the sheep under the headship of the shepherd. The sheepdog will do everything he can to protect the sheep, including fighting off the wolf. The false teacher is like the wolf in sheepdog’s clothing that would devour the sheep one at a time while they graze calmly, thinking they are protected under the watchful eye of a sheepdog. The wolves in sheepdog clothing are in line for a major judgment and condemnation from Avinu. See www.mwkworks.com/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html for an excellent article on the subject by LTC (Ret) Dave Grossman. The legitimate purpose of the police and armed forces is to act as sheepdogs, protecting the flock. LTC Grossman doesn’t pull punches and he may offend you (hurt your feelings). If he does, you need to do some re-evaluation of your premises, because the world is getting more dangerous all the time. 

We NEED sheepdogs, even when their personalities make us uncomfortable. Sheepdogs sometimes offend the sheep. Oh, well! Better they have their feelings hurt than they be eaten. ‘Hurt feelings’ is not the ‘offense’ that Yacov is talking about here. The word is G4417, ptaio, and means ‘to trip or cause to stumble’, not to “hout someone’s wittow feewings”. If I have to hurt your feelings to get you off the siding and onto the main track, stand by; you’re going to experience some discomfort. That discomfort will have as its purpose to awaken you to danger, not to bring division but to bring you into the fold and under the protection of the Shepherd. Remember that he who sows discord among brethren is an abomination to Y’hovah’s soul (Prov.6.16, 19). The pile of Kimchee that guy is in is deep, sticky and stinky. May he not be any of us. 

The tongue that Ya’acov is speaking about is not what we assume in our modern way of thinking. It is the one that leads the sheep astray so they are more easily taken and devoured, not one that merely offends someone’s sensibilities. Now, giving offense for offense’s sake is foolish, but I don’t even think THAT is what this passage is primarily about. That guy is just an anal sphincter. Yacov likens a lot of relatively small things to the tongue of the false teacher. 1st is the bit in a horse’s mouth. It’s uncomfortable for the horse, but the discomfort brings the animal under the control of a relatively small human. 2nd is the rudder of a ship. The rudder exerts a ‘G’ force contrary to the inertial motion of the ship, and can cause some ‘discomfort’ for the ship and/or crew as it changes course. As the bit and the rudder bring much larger things under control, so the tongue can do. He then likens the tongue to a ‘hatful’ of fire. 

The word ‘matter’ in v.5 is G5208, hule’, which literally means ‘forest’. A Mark paraphrase is “Look how great a forest a hatful of fire can consume.” When Yacov talks of the body in v.6, it isn’t the body of the false teacher, but the Body of Messiah that he means. One wolf can take the whole unsuspecting flock and turn them away from the True Shepherd. Look at the false teachings, like the ‘flat earth’ and ‘Paul is a false-prophet’ types, that are dividing the Messie movement. When is the Shabbat? When does the day begin? When does the year begin? What books are scripture? Which should we remove from the Bibles we have? Watch out for false teachers. 

It isn’t naturally in us to keep control of our tongues, but it IS in Ruach haKodesh to whom we CAN submit and allow to be our rudder or the bit in our mouths. Under our control, the same mouth can utter cursings and blessings, life and death. Only by submission to Ruach haKodesh can we remove the cursing and death from our tongues. 

Vv.1-12 showed the problem and the solution. Vv.13-18 make application of what we’ve learned. If you would be wise in the biblical sense of the term, walk in obedience to Torah, for THAT is the best way to show a good ‘conversation’, which is KJV speak for a lifestyle. It ought to be plain that we are after Y’hovah’s heart in the way we live our lives. 

Vv.14-18 then shows the same application by way of contrast. If you want to prove that you care not a whit for what Y’hovah speaks, walk contrary to his instructions and everyone will know that you are a person not to be trusted. This is an application of the ‘tongue’ analogy in that if your walk doesn’t reflect your talk, Yochanan would say that you are a liar and the truth is not in you. 

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I John 2:4)

Yacov fully agrees with Yochanan on this, as he tells us in v.15, because that man is after the flesh, which is at war with Ruach haKodesh (Rom.7.14-8.4, specifically 7.23). Envying and strife is earthly, sensual, devilish, because all evil comes from our lust, which refers to covetousness. And covetousness is idolatry. The wisdom from Y’hovah in v.16 is also called the fruit of righteousness in v.18. FoR = FoS

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now light in Y’hovah: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto Y’hovah. (Gal.5.8-9)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Eph.5.22-23)

Do you see any likeness between Yacov’s list in v.17 and Sha’ul’s in 22-23? I do. And, BTW, the fruit of righteousness is exactly the opposite of Midian – contention, brawling. Cozbi, Zimri’s Midianite squeeze in Num.25 today was a major source of contention for Yhwh. Q&C

4.1-17 – Yacov is still on about strife and discord among brethren and that it comes from covetousness. It has NOTHING to do with wars of nations in its primary application, though nations generally follow the character of their people. This is not written to the nations, but to ‘the 12 tribes scattered abroad’. A clearer reference to knowledge of the whereabouts of the 12 tribes, at least to the human authors of the Ketuvim haShlichim, is hard to imagine. Human historians today haven’t a clue as to their whereabouts, but Yeshua knows and told his shlichim. These wars are among the body of Mashiyach, which thing abominates Y’hovah’s soul. All the factions in the Body are due to our lusts for what is not ours by right. We saw Prov.6.16-19 earlier. All those things that abominate Y’hovah’s soul are fruits of our covetousness, as I think are ALL sins. The worst part of this approbation lust is that we are coveting the WORLD’S approval, not EVEN the kahal’s, much less Y’hovah’s. With this in mind, what do you think we’re asking for that we do not receive of Y’hovah? We ask for things WE covet, which is idolatry and he CANNOT give us that. He can let us work for it so hard that we get it, even though he isn’t WILLING that we have it. But allow it he may to teach us the lesson in a different way – one we will not like at all. We strive and fight to feed our pride, but if we will live in humility before Y’hovah, he will give us all the grace we need to overcome hardships and bickering. HaSatan inhabits our prideful bickering, but he cannot get hold of our humility before Y’hovah. When we submit to Y’hovah, which is seen in our lifestyle of obedience, we will almost certainly resist the flesh that haSatan can so easily control when we allow him to. Vv.8-10 address the Spirit of the Day of Atonement, when we afflict our souls through repentance, prayer, and fasting; humbling ourselves before Y’hovah so that he can exalt us.

We ought not utter a lashon hara against a brother. This is just another admonition against sowing discord among brethren. The wars in v.1 must be speaking of more than just back-biting and gossip, which is about as far as any teaching on James gets. Gossip is bad, but it generally is shared with one person or 2. Sowing discord among brethren is usually a much more public display aimed at causing hurt to the person generally. HaSatan LOVES it. Y’hovah is abominated by it. I think this may involve questioning a brother’s relationship with Messiah, because v.11 also speaks of his relationship to Torah. If we see a brother in sin, it is our place to point our perception out to him, as he may be unaware AND we may have misconstrued his actions. Our purpose is to bring his reconciliation to the Camp. It is NOT our place to publicly question his salvation or point out his sin to others. 

Our ONE Torah giver is able to save or to destroy (Is.33.22), and he uses the same standard in his righteous judgment of the sinner’s motives and the rightness of his action. He uses the same Torah to judge the hearts of all who stand before him – and that is EVERYONE, saint or sinner, Yisraelite or Gentile. For those who trust him, Torah is the Way of Life, Derech Chaim; for those who do not, it is the way of death, derech maveth.  

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22)

14 But the word very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love Y’hovah Elohecha, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and Y’hovah Elohecha shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deut.30.14-16, 19)

22 For Y’hovah our judge, Y’hovah our lawgiver, Y’hovah our king; he will save us. (Is.33.22 Gevurah, chesed and tifereth seen here.)

The closing verses are not admonitions against making plans. We are certainly to make plans and goals for our lives. But to announce them as if we are the Elohim of our life is foolishness, since we are not assured of our next breath, much less the plans Yacov speaks about. We ought to be constantly aware of our standing before Y’hovah, and that our lives are bound up in HIM, not in us. We can’t truly change the color of one hair on our heads. We ultimately have no control of our lives. We are utterly dependent on Y’hovah. So we need to make our plans around his will for us, not OUR will for us. And his will is that we obey him. 

8 I delight to do thy will, Elohai: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Ps.40.7-8) 

We need to be circumspect, doing all in our power to obey his commandments as we trust his Ruach to empower us, to not be double minded and unstable. Especially if we are teachers. Q&C      End of Shabbat Bible Study.

June 9, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

June 9, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 13

Numbers 22:2 – 23:1 – Micah 5:1-15 – Psalm 111 – 2 Peter 2:1-22

Links:

www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm

https://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible

www.jewfaq.org/defs/takkanah.htm

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0013_0_12945.html

Numbers 22:2-23:1– Balak’s name is H1111, waster, is from the root H1110, to destroy, (make) uninhabitable. His father’s name is Tzippor, which is the masculine form of Tzipporah H6833 (root), as in Moshe’s Midianite wife, and it means the same thing – a little bird, as hopping. This is from my notes for the Midrash of 2/18/17:

When Moshe got to Midian, he sat down near a well. Now, if he was thirsty from the long trek across the Sinai Peninsula desert, why did he sit down? Why wasn’t he getting a drink of water? Too used to service in the court of Paroh? Waiting for the shepherds to come so he could get help removing the stone that covered the well’s mouth? Maybe he was just tired. Reuel’s name means ‘friend of Elohim’, and he was the priest of Midian. When Reuel’s daughters came to water their flock of sheep, the other shepherds tried to drive them away. Maybe the shepherds were members of a rival religious gang, like the Sun Devils, or maybe they worked for one of AbiMelech’s descendants, the Canaanite king whose men stole wells from Yitzhak. When they tried to chase away the babes, Moshe, ever the chivalrous one, came to the ladies’ aid and drove off the shepherds and then watered their animals. Can you imagine the shepherds moving to chase off these young girls being confronted, as if out of nowhere, by Charleton Heston (that voice and all) in the prime of life and dressed in Egyptian military uniform and perhaps carrying the weaponry of an officer in Egypt’s army? A wrestling match or fisticuffs with a girl is one thing, but a knock-down, drag-out with a well-trained soldier who is equipped with – and knows how to use – the day’s equivalent of an M-16, Claymore’s and hand-grenades, is quite another. Of course, the girls were all atwitter about the handsome, Charleton Heston type Egyptian who rescued them and then served them. And when Reuel heard their story, he was amazed that they didn’t invite Chuck home for dinner. I can imagine him saying, “I raised you better than that! What happened to your manners?” 

It doesn’t say so, but I assume he sent them out to find Moshe and bring him home so Reuel could thank him properly. Reuel must have offered him lodging, and Moshe accepted. Eventually, Reuel gave Moshe his daughter Tziporah as his wife. Talk about a proper thank you! According to Strong’s, the 3-letter root of Tziporah’s name means ‘twitter’, like a bird. I swear to you, I looked this up AFTER I said the girls were ‘all atwitter’, I really did. Was Tziporah the eldest of Reuel’s 7 daughters? Probably though we aren’t told. Tziporah bore Gershom to Moshe in Midian. Moshe called him that because he was a stranger in a strange land. Gershom’s name literally means, ‘stranger (ger) there (sham)’ as opposed to ‘here’ (halom). I think it signifies that Moshe knew he was in exile from Israel’s place of exile, that he knew he was an exile in Egypt, and now he was an exile even from there.

Birds are considered to represent haSatan or his shadim at times. In Yeshua’s parable of the sower, the birds came and ate the seed.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: … 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth not, then cometh the wicked, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. (Matt.13.3, 19)

I think this may be a hint at the deeper meaning of Balak, ben Tzippor, the annihilator, the son of the Wicked. Balak knew that his kingdom’s number was up and that Y’hovah was going to use Israel to wipe him out, like he had Sihon of Ammon and Og of Bashan. So he called on Bila’am, the local prophet for hire. Stone’s Chumash has an interesting Prefatory note to this Sidrah, pg.856, 57.

I can understand why Moav would fear Israel after what they did by Y’hovah’s hand against Ammon and Bashan, but Israel had deliberately by-passed Moav, not even setting foot on her territory. If my postulation last week is right, they had taken all of Ammon, including what Ammon had taken from Moav, the land lying between brook Arnon and Mt. Pisgah. Now, Israel was already encamped north of Moav across Yarden from Yericho.  Israel was not threatening Moav at all. But Balak was THAT frightened of what Israel would do in future, that he sent to hire Bila’am to curse Israel. 

Bila’am was in Pethor, a city by ‘the River’, which I infer to mean Euphrates, as that is THE major river of the entire region and was called ‘the River’ in the Levant as the Nile was in Egypt. The Midrash and the Zohar, according to the note on v.5 in the Chumash, say that Bila’am was a descendant of Lavan the Syrian, Ya’acov’s father-in-law. The elders of both Moav and Midian went to Bila’am. Now, Midian had Yithro, who I think had been a prophet-for-hire, but now was a prophet of Y’hovah, so why not go to him? BeCAUSE he was a prophet of Y’hovah, they knew that Y’hovah had brought Israel out of Egypt and that Moshe was married to Yithro’s daughter so that he would not curse Israel. So they went to the NEXT most influential prophet.

The elders of Moav and Midian arrived at Bila’am’s door with the standard charge for a curse from a prophet and asked him to come and curse Israel. So Bila’am lodged them in his domicile and told them that he would enquire of Y’hovah as to what he should do. But before he could work up a good offering ELOHIM spoke to him. Now, he went to enquire of Y’hovah, but encountered Elohim. If you look at the Tree of Sefiroth, www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm, you will see that Y’hovah is the right hand, manifesting the goodness/mercy of the Almighty, while Elohim is the left hand, manifesting the severity/righteous judgment of the Almighty. 

Elohim asked who these guys were, and Bila’am answered truthfully. So Eloha told him he could not go, and he could not curse Israel for he had blessed them. So Bila’am got up next AM and told the embassage what Y’hovah had said. Do you see that Bila’am was in the dark as to which manifestation of the Almighty he had been talking? So the elders went back to Balak with their report, and Balak sent more important, and I assume more powerful military men with their hosts, princes to persuade him with a LOT more money and an offer of a LOT more power. Q&C

So Balak sent more important, and more powerful military men with their hosts, princes to persuade him with a LOT more money and an offer of a LOT more power. Bila’am made a great show of piousness with the princes, “I cannot go beyond what Y’hovah Elohai tells me.” But Y’hovah Elohai had already told him. Did he think Y’hovah was going to change his mind, just because Bila’am stood to gain a LOT more riches, power and prestige? He told the princes to hang loose while he went to enquire of Y’hovah. ELOHA told Bila’am that “if the men come to call you, go with them…” What Bila’am heard was, “Go with them”, because he had kesef (silver money) on his brain. He got up the following AM before the princes and had his ass saddled before they even rolled out. 

*** Lot’s of Mark paraphrases coming.*** Eloha was TICKED that Bila’am went with them against his explicit instructions. So, who met Bila’am along the way, but Y’hovah Tzavaoth? And Bila’am didn’t even perceive his presence – already counting the booty. The ass saw haMalach Y’hovah – THE Angel of Y’hovah, sword drawn for battle, and the ass turned aside (that was one smart ass!), maybe to give Y’hovah a cleaner swipe. Bila’am, completely oblivious to his peril, struck the ass and got her back on the way, this time through a vineyard. The path must have been quite narrow, because when Malach Y’hovah stood in the way, the ass, who was smarter than the average prophet, turned aside again and brushed into the wall, smashing Bila’am’s foot against the wall, for which Bila’am struck her again. Next, Y’hovah put himself in the way where the ass had nowhere to turn at all, so the smart ass just dropped onto her belly, the easier for Y’hovah to take off Bila’am’s head and leave the ass’ intact. A VERY smart ass! 

Bila’am got so ticked this time that he started beating the ass with his staff. So now, to show Bila’am what a dumb-ass he was, Y’hovah opened the ass’ mouth and she spoke to Bila’am, “Why have you struck me these 3 times?” And Bila’am answered his ASS (think about this, I can’t make this stuff up), “Because you’ve mocked me! If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you where you lay!” Now, had I been the smart ass here, I’d have indicated the Malach Y’hovah with my nose and said, “Why don’t you borrow HIS?” But this particular ass must have actually LIKED Bila’am, because she said, “You have been riding me since the day you acquired me. Have you EVER known me to act this way?” It was with the 2nd speech of the ass that Bila’am’s lights started coming on. He thought for a few seconds and answered (ANSWERED?!) his ass, “Er, … Uh, … No.?” 

THAT was when Y’hovah opened Bila’am’s eyes and he saw Malach Y’hovah standing over him, sword drawn and ready to let him have it. Bila’am finally got the picture and made like the ass, falling on his face. Before he let fly with the killing stroke, Y’hovah said, “Why did you strike the ass these 3 times? That dumb (speechless!) animal saved your beef bacon, boy! You disobeyed me and I came out here to let you have it. Had she NOT turned aside, your eggs would be scrambled and you would be toast by now!” (Hey! It was breakfast time!) 

So Bila’am finally got wise and confessed his sin before Y’hovah, who told him, “I’ll let this slide and you may continue with them, BUT if you open your mouth to curse MY PEOPLE, you will not live to regret it. When it comes to Israel, you will say ONLY what I tell you to say, Got it?!” Bila’am got it, alright.

Balak, heard that Bila’am was come and went out to meet him, to try to intimidate him, I think, with his importance. I don’t think that, having just had an encounter with a VERY ticked Almighty, Bila’am was real impressed. But he was still thinking about the power and the silver money in the back of his mind, as we’ll see next week. Balak said, “Don’t you know how powerful I am and how much silver money I can lay on you?” And Bila’am went back into his pious mode, saying, “I can only say what Elohai tells me to say.” Notice that at home, he was speaking of what Y’hovah would say through him, but now he was going to say what Eloha told him. He had met the wrath of Y’hovah and knew that he would never be in Y’hovah’s service again. 

Bila’am went with Balak and came to Kiryath-chutzoth, which means ‘outside the city, separated by a wall from the city’. I think the remez is that it has to do with the City of the King, the New Jerusalem, outside of which Balak is going to find himself. And not just outside the city, but outside of the entire New Creation, having been thrown into the Lake of Fire after the GWT judgment. Balak brings the prophet of Y’hovah up to the high places of Ba’al so that Bila’am could look at the edge of Israel’s encampment, and that Israel’s camp extended beyond the horizon.

Num.23.1 – So Bila’am told Balak to build him 7 altars and prepare 7 sacrifices to Y’hovah on the high place of Ba’al. I don’t think that was a wise move on Bila’am’s part. We’ll see next week. Q&C

Micah 5:1-15 (4.14-5.14 Heb.) – V.1 is the last verse of ch.4 in the Hebrew scriptures, and then goes on into what is now ch.5. Remember that in the scrolls, there were no numbered chapters or verses. That is an invention of the RC church, really, which Yehudah has adopted as an easy way to find the portion they are looking for in their Tanakh’s, though their numbering system is somewhat different. Cf. https://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible. Torah scrolls used in synagogues today do not have these chapter and verse numbers, so they still have to search for the passage they are reading on any given shabbat, and the verse in Luke where Yeshua had to find his haftarah reading in the scroll in Natz’reth (Luke 4),

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of Y’hovah is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of Y’hovah.

It is interesting to me that it was not until the Babylonian captivity that the rabbis developed the annual Torah reading schedule, which was adopted by the Masoretes. Until then, the readings were almost exclusively done over a tri-ennial cycle. 

The word xlated as ‘troop’ in v.1 (Heb.4.14) is g’dowd and shares a 2-letter root with the Canaanite deity (and Israelite tribe) Gad. If the daughter of troops is actually referring to the Canaanite Eloha, Gad (and I think it does), it properly belongs in ch.4, where Yehudah is told they will be exiled to Babylon, but that Y’hovah will not forsake them to that land. 4.14 (our 5.1) seems to say that he is going to call the daughter out of her ‘father’s house’ and back to Y’hovah, which we spoke of last week in the brief exposition of Is.27.4-5. Will the nations of the world system smite Mashiyach on the cheek with a rod? Did not the Roman soldiers do this to him during their scourging and mocking on the day of Pesach about 2000 years ago? 

And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. (Matthew 27:30)

And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. (Mark 15:19)

And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? (Luke 22:64)

Do you think the Assyrian will have his troops do any less when they gather against him to battle outside of J’lem? 

18 And the king of Israel said unto Yehoshapat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? 19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of Y’hovah: I saw Y’hovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And Y’hovah said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before Y’hovah, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And Y’hovah said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, Y’hovah hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and Y’hovah hath spoken evil concerning thee. 24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of Y’hovah from me to speak unto thee? 25 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. 26 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’ son; 27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. 28 And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, Y’hovah hath not spoken by me. (1Ki.22.18-28)

I wanted v.24 as an illustration of who was behind the slap in the face AND the rod to Yeshua’s head, but that is one of my favorite passages of scripture because it shows how Y’hovah will make a MAN of you and me when he needs us to be men – even if you are just a guy, like Micaiah was. Ahab wanted ‘yes-men’ around him. Micaiah was no lap dog. I LOVE men like MicaYahu (Who is like Y’hovah) and YirmeYahu and pray that I will have their fortitude when I need it in his service. It’s easy to talk tough when there is no immediate danger to life and limb. It’s another thing when your life may hang in the balance. May we all be filled with Y’hovah’s Ruach when he needs us to stand up like men. 

The judge of Israel in v.1 is also the ruler of Israel in v.2, melding the Melech and the Tzadik, the left and the right hands of the Almighty, and Mashiyach ben Yoseph and Mashiyach ben David that all manifest together in our MelchiTzadik High Priest and Redeemer, Yeshua ha Mashiyach. Y’hovah was born into the world in human flesh in BethLechem Ephratha. His ‘goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.’ The Hebrew sages knew that this prophecy spoke of Mashiyach before Yeshua was born,

3 When Herod the king had heard, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Mashiyach should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Matt.2.3-6)

Even Stone’s Tanach mentions Mashiyach in its circumlocution of Yeshua’s obvious fulfillment of this prophecy. Stone’s notes on vv.1 and 2;

Another name for Bethlechem Yehuda [Gen.48.7]. As the city of Ruth, a convert from Moav, BethLechem was an unlikely source of leadership,but it produced David, the anscestor of Mashiyach.

The hardships of exile will become as intense as labor pains, but it will end with the rebirth of the Jewish nation and the return of Mashiyach’s brethren.

They do the most amazing dance steps on the ‘Twister’ floor to get around admitting who he is. None is so blind as he who WILL not see. Q&C

V.3, I think, speaks of the Yehudim we just spoke of, those who will not see that Yeshua is Mashiyach, as Rav Sha’ul says in Rom.11,

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump also: and if the root be holy, so the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if Eloha spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for Eloha is able to graff them in again. (Rom.11.16-23)

This passage (vv.2-3) is a hard interpretation. But if we use the imagery of Ez.37, children of Israel = Yehudah and house of Israel = Ephraim/Yoseph, it becomes a little easier to see that the ‘remnant of his brethren’ in v.3 is speaking of those of Ephraim/Yoseph who believe and are ruled by the ruler of Israel (v.2), being brought back to fellowship with his elder brother Yehudah (v.3, children of Israel), as loosely illustrated in the parable of Prodigal Son. 

V.4 – Mashiyach stands and feeds in the strength and majesty of Y’hovah’s Name, and they, the remnant and the children of Israel, shall abide in Mashiyach, who will be great to the ends of the earth. Everyone will know who is their King Mashiyach. This peace (v.5) that exists between Ephraim and Yehudah in Mashiyach will be what the Assyrian will have to deal with when he comes against King Mashiyach and his newly united body at HarMeggido. We will be 7 shepherds’ flocks and 8 princes’ armies + Mashiyach against the combined armies of the world. And Mashiyach will dispatch them without our needing to unsheathe our weapons. Mashiyach Yeshua will ‘deliver (natsach – triumph, end resistance) us out of the Assyrian’s hands’. Shades of Is.27.4-5 AGAIN! V.7 says that we are like dew on the grass of the nations. When there’s a dew, it doesn’t miss much. He will offer his redemption to even the armies arrayed against him, and he SHALL deliver those who will forsake the Assyrian and trust him. Do you see us, the remnant of Ya’acov who live among the Gentiles (v.8)? We will be among the nations, kinda like sleeper agents of a foreign government awaiting our wake up, which will go out from Mashiyach. 

All of Mashiyach’s enemies will be cut off as his hand is raised against his adversaries. This is speaking about his REAL adversaries, haSatan and his imps who are driving the human rebellion against Y’hovah, as always, and who are really nothing to Y’hovah but comic relief. 

Vv.10-15 are addressed directly to Y’hovah’s adversaries that he is dealing with by the hand of Mashiyach Yeshua. Since immediately preceding the battle of the New World Order’s armies against Mashiyach, all the shadim and haSatan himself will be bound and cast into prison for 1000 years, the spiritual power of the Assyrian will be removed so that he and they will cower before Mashiyach’s might. There will be no shadim to perform wonderful works, like the ones that fooled all of mankind during the previous 3½ years of earth’s history. The world’s sorcerers can try to cast spells in their own power, but there will be no shadim to carry them out. All the images and groves of Satan worship will be thrown down. Maybe THAT’s what we’ll do in this battle, because we won’t have to lift even our voices against the armies of the earth, as Mashiyach will deal with them with the creative power of HIS voice, the 2 edged sword we see in Rev.19,

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 Almighty Eloha. 16 And he hath on vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Master of masters. (Rev.19.14-16)

Tehellim 111 – This is an acrostic psalm. I realize that it only has 10 verses, but it has 22 phrases that begin with successive letters of the Hebrew Alephbeit. You can see this in the Stone’s Tanach, as they precede each verse in English with the Hebrew letter that begins each phrase. Psalm 112 is also an acrostic and also of only 10 verses.

What is the ‘assembly of the upright’ if it is not the congregation of those who trust him in the Moedim and Miqra Kodesh that he has given us? I say this because the last verse of 111 and the first verse of 112 tell us about the upright being those who fear Y’hovah and do his commands; and assembly and congregation both refer to his miqra kodesh – holy convocations, which is what Shabbat and the moedim are designed for. The works of Y’hovah are those things he does to bring our redemption, as we see in our Torah portion every week. Last week we saw the annihilation of both the king of Arad, Sihon and Og. This week we saw Bila’am’s wake-up call at the speech of a ‘dumb’ (one who cannot speak) ass and the greed of one who was even dumber (though he could speak). Y’hovah’s works are great, sought out, honourable and glorious and they are righteous, because he can do nothing that is not righteous. The works of his hands are truth, justice and faithfulness. They are as relevant today as they were when he uttered the words that produced them. His redemption is done in time, but extends to eternity. For this reason we are right to reverence him, to hold him as worthy of our awe and respect just because he is who he is. 

Fear of Y’hovah has more to do with the reverence we see in v.9, but anyone who is not afraid in his presence is either wicked in the extreme, or just plain silly. Or both. Q&C

2 Peter 2:1-11 – I’m kind surprised we’re not looking at Jude today, but that’s OK. This chapter speaks to Bila’am and about false prophets every bit as well as Jude does. The whole chapter is about false prophets and how unprofitable they are to Mashiyach’s body. It follows hard on the heels of Kefa’s reminder that he was an eyewitness to the Majesty of Mashiyach manifested in all his glory on the mount of transfiguration and a voice out of the heavens declaring that Yeshua was/is the Son of Elohim. And THEN Kefa said that even his own eyewitness testimony pales in veracity to the “more sure Word of prophecy” that we have in Torah and that that more sure word than his own eyes saw and his own hands touched was given by prophets who were moved by the Ruach haKodesh. But by the time Kefa wrote this epistle, false prophets had crept into the kehalim. And if they had them then, do you suppose we don’t have them now?

Not only were there false prophets, like Bila’am in Israel’s history, there are false prophets in our present and they will abound in our future. They almost seem to be coming out of the woodwork today. The church has been inundated with them, mostly in the Word of Faith and the Prosperity crowds recently. But, as the Hebrew Roots way of thinking has caught on, the false prophets have started popping up here, as well. Beware those who so rebel against all the doctrines of the church that they believe anything that refutes what the church OR JUDAISM teaches, even though it is biblically true. Are you redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? Is Yeshua that Lamb? Is he the Son of Eloha? Is he Y’hovah in the flesh? If you hear any ‘Hebrew Roots’ teacher saying anything contrary to those true doctrines of the church, RUN AWAY as quickly as you would from a church pastor or member who condemns someone for wanting to obey the Word of Y’hovah or follow him so closely that the dust dropping off Yeshua’s shoes lands on the tops of his own shoes. 

Damnable heresies come by ‘private interpretation’ (1.20). Private interpretation is using other than scripture to interpret scripture, holding our traditions or experiences above the scripture as our basis for interpretation, or using single verses out of their context as proof texts for the damnable heresies. The reason so many in the Hebroots movement eschew Rav Sha’ul is their rejection of the traditional church’s ‘private interpretation’ of his words, as if that is what Sha’ul meant and as Kefa shows us in 3.16 of this very book. 

False prophets present themselves as prophets of Eloha, but are actually sons of perdition, bringing reproach to the Name of Yeshua haMashiyach before his chosen. Don’t look at the number of followers a man has. Numbers is not necessarily fruit unto righteousness. The number of a man’s followers speaks nothing to his personal holiness or his lock on truth. Those who are after the flesh will gravitate to his perniciousness. Look at his fruit. 

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to Eloha, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22) 

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Mashiyach; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto Eloha. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (Romans 7:4-5)

Look at the lives of his followers. Is there sweet fruit of holiness in their lives? Do they edify the body? Do they provide for their brethren’s needs when they are able? If they are apt to teach, being both well equipped with scriptural truth and able, do they then teach? Or is the Name of Mashiyach Yeshua dragged through the muck and slime due to the lies and damnable heresies the false prophet teaches? Please notice (v.3) that a false prophet will take his followers in with ‘feigned words’ and then sell them out – ‘make merchandise of them’ – when he is up against it. 

In vv.4-11, the false prophets are likened to those on whom judgment fell in the past. The judgment came down on everything around them while the godly were delivered from or through the judgment; like Lot and Noach, respectively. They were delivered either by miraculous intervention or by preparation for the judgment to come, again like Lot and Noach, respectively. Even the godly who for whatever reason, whether (for examples) it’s living in and having fellowship in the world or belief in a false doctrine, are NOT preparing, like Lot, will be delivered from the judgment to come. It would be much better to prepare and be ready so Y’hovah can keep our personal witness alive, like he was able to do with Noach. Noach overcame. Lot did not, IM (not so) HO. Notice, in vv.7-9, that Lot was a just and a righteous man, even though he was walking more in the flesh than the spirit (that is somewhat comforting to me). But he WAS delivered from the judgment that came upon the city in which he lived. His neighbors did not fair so well. 

V.10 speaks of the spiritual awareness of the people of Sedom and of the antediluvian earth, who despised the Word of Y’hovah that was delivered by the righteous men in their midst. It is easy to see why Lot was dismissed as a prophet of Eloha, because he sojourned among the Sodomites and did business with them. His lifestyle looked more like them than like Avraham. It is kind of easy to see why Noach’s neighbors despised his words, as well. I mean, how often had there been a flood? The potable water source was either springs, wells, or dew. It had never rained. There may never have been any seismic activity. But during the 120 years of Noach’s preparation, they had heard and seen his consistent word and witness, so they had MUCH less excuse than did Sedom. They had a witness of truth from Y’hovah, but despised his ‘government’, his authority to demand their obedience. So, it was not really either Lot or Noach or any of US that they despise, but Y’hovah, whose word we speak, regardless the personal holiness of the prophet. 

Who do you suppose are the ‘dignities’ of whom Kefa speaks? May I suggest that they were Lot and Noach, and in our days are … US?! ‘Dignity’ is from the greek root, dokeo, meaning ‘of reputation’, one who has a good rep – not necessarily a good rep among the hearers, but before Y’hovah, where it actually counts for something. Lot’s rep among the pagans was mixed at best, while Noach’s was solid, though contrary to them. Even if Lot’s was not perfect, his rep was good before Y’HOVAH. Lot and Noach were ‘dignities’ against whom the very messengers of Y’hovah brought no accusation before him, though they had some reason to in Lot’s case. Personally, I am more like Lot than Noach, so …

But the FALSE prophets, don’t see a problem engaging in lashon hara, which is a HUGE problem in the Hebroots ‘movement’. Beware those who speak against any respected teachers. The teacher may hold to a different interpretation of a particular passage than you or I do, and it MAY be wrong. But so may OURS be. The point is, we may disagree with Rico or Eddie or Jeff on a particular interpretation of scripture, but we must NEVER bring an accusation against their persons just because we disagree with them, especially if we’ve never spoken to them personally on the matter or read their position in detail. I disagree with Monte on the book of Hebrews, but he is a very good Torah teacher, and I always profit by hearing him teach. I disagree with Moshe Koniuchowski on patriarchal marriage, but I still learn from him on other Torah issues. It’s the same with Eddie, Jeff and Rico. They know Torah, see it a little differently than I in certain areas, but they edify me almost every time I hear them, so our interaction is profitable. I would never attack any of them on a personal level, though I may disagree with them over a fine point of doctrine. THAT kind of interaction is GOOD for the body. To engage in lashon hara or hamotzi shem ra is destructive, and it ought to stop immediately.

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six doth Y’hovah hate: yea, seven an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 20 My son, keep thy father’ commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. (Prov.6.12-21)

Stone’s Tanach has this in v.16,

Hashem hates these 6, but the 7th is the abomination of his soul;

WOW! ‘One who sows discord among brethren’ is the abomination of Y’hovah’s soul! Can you imagine anything worse in the eyes of Y’hovah than the one ‘who sows discord among brethren’? I cannot. It is the abomination of Y’hovah’s soul? So, when you hear lashon hara, rebuke it. Its only purpose is to sow discord. Privately confront the lashon hara and if there is no repentance, get away from the discord sower. Do NOT engage in lashon hara, yourself. Speak the truth when asked a pointed question, but offer no words to cause strife in the kahal of Y’hovah.

Look at the Tree of Sefiroth again for a minute (www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm). Notice the 3 pillars, and the top sefirah of each pillar. On your left, the right hand of the tzadik, is Y’hovah Abba. On your right, the left hand of the tzadik, is Ruach Aima – father and mother. The tzadik keeps Abba’s commandments, and doesn’t forsake the instructions of his Aima, but binds them on his heart and ties the knowledge of them around his neck. When we sow discord, we interfere with the manifestation of the Almighty in our hearts and minds, and block the light of Y’hovah that we emit. Q&C

Vv.12-22 – After the parenthesis of vv.4-11, Kefa gets back to the warning about false prophets. False prophets speak evil (lashon hara) of things about which they have no understanding (binah). The traits that Kefa talks about are not necessarily all manifest in every false prophet, but when you see any of these traits in a person, beware. And the more of these traits you see in a person, the less contact you ought to have with him, the more likely you are seeing a false prophet, or, at least, the less likely he is to be on your direct path to complete Shalom with Y’hovah. 

‘Eyes full of adultery’ may be physical sexual impurity, but it is ALWAYS a result of idolatry. One does not have to have graven images or oak groves to be engaged in idolatry. For many, idolatry revolves around ‘the root of all evil’ – the love of money. Prosperity preachers immediately jump to mind. I’ve come to hate the term ‘seed money’ they use, as if giving to their ‘ministry’ is going to force Y’hovah to make it rain gold and silver on them. Now, that isn’t to say that he won’t bless you if you make a freewill offering to some ministry somewhere. But he has not obligated himself to blessing a gift to a shylock who is interested in nothing more than living sumptuously on the gifts of widows and orphans and has little ‘ministry’ in mind. If you know of someone in need, and you have the ability to meet that need, you should do so out of obedience to Avinu. But if the REASON for your giving is to get more, your motive is wrong, and you will not see much increase, if any at all. There ARE true stories of businessmen who have decided to tithe their corporate profits who have seen increase in business and profits, but usually, they are giving for a right motive, and they end up increasing their giving. There was a man named R.G LeTourneau who decided on a 10% tithe and saw a large increase, who then decided to up the offering to 20%, and the cycle continued until he was giving over 50% offerings and getting business like he’d never imagined possible. But personal gain was not his motive, and THAT’s the point. A preacher living like a king on the gifts of his flock is just unseemly in my eyes, especially if there is any real poverty or need within his flock or in the congregations nearby. Tithes are meant to provide for Levites, widows, and orphans, not make their plight worse. 

The false prophets have ‘forsaken the right way’, the Way of Y’hovah – Derech HaShem. The right way is seen in Rev.12.17,

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Eloha, and have the testimony of Yeshua haMashiyach.

And,

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

False prophets have forsaken either Yeshua as Mashiyach or the Commandments of Eloha, or both. They’ve ‘gone astray’, gotten off the narrow way. They CAN get back on the right way, until they have gone so far as Y’hovah just gives them up to their sinful lifestyle,

24 Wherefore Eloha also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of Eloha into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom.1.24-25)

The false prophet becomes like Bila’am, who for transitive riches peddled his services to anyone who’d pay his fee. This was not a problem for the shadim who are no gods, but to Y’hovah, this was an abomination. Men like Bila’am are like empty wells and clouds blowing over the desert, having a lot of promising outward show, but who amount to empty suits. Kinda like the Prushim in Mat.23,

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first that within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matt.23.25-28)

Great swelling words (vanity) allure through lusts (wantonness) those who had gotten away from so-called believers who live in error. These would be either Israelites who had escaped the blindness of traditions taught as commandments of Eloha, or gentiles who had escaped the headiness of paganism and Gnosticism. They promise liberty, but how can a slave deliver a slave. They just add to their victim’s bondage, who is delivered into an even stronger bondage than they were delivered from. This makes the latter end of the false prophet’s victim very much like Lot, who experientially knew the truth, having lived with his uncle Avram for years, but wanted to live as close to the world’s system as he could, so that when his deliverance came he needed to be dragged away from his sinful lifestyle screaming and kicking. 

8 No man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither power in the day of death: and no discharge in war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. 10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. (Ecc.8.8-10)

While the believer is delivered from the eternal consequences of his sin, he must still deal with the physical consequences of it, he bears his iniquity. I think Peter uses Lot as an example from Tanach to illustrate the latter end of those Pharisees who believed, but returned to the takanot (“a law instituted by the rabbis and not derived from any biblical commandment”, not to be confused with Chukot of Y’hovah) and ma’aseh (“a factual circumstance from which an halachic rule or principle is derived”) of Judaism. Lot has already had 4000 years, and the Prushim of Acts 15 have had 1900 to remember the choices they made in this life and have yet another 1000 to live with that remembrance before all tears will be wiped away from their eyes and their memories wiped clean. But they WILL be able to enjoy eternity guilt free, thanks to the grace and mercy of our Tzadik Rebbe, Yeshua Moshienu. HalleluYah!  Q&C

End of Midrashic Bible Study Notes

June 2, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

June 2, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 12 

B’Midbar 20:14 – 22:1 – Shoftim 11:1-40 – Tehellim 110 – Yochanan 3:1-4:15

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Highway_(ancient)#/media/File:Ancient_Levant_routes.png

http://ancienthistorymaps.tumblr.com/post/124912473987/ancient-history-maps 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gal_Hartman/publication/235329899_The_Israel_National_Bathymetric_Survey_Northern_Gulf_of_%27AqabaElat_Poster/links/09e41510e10db3db94000000/The-Israel-National-Bathymetric-Survey-Northern-Gulf-of-Aqaba-Elat-Poster.pdf 

www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev5hf.htm 

www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm 

www.waytozion.org/fulfillingtorah/fulfillingtorah.htm 

B’Midbar 20:14-28 – In v.14 Moshe sends messengers to the Edomite king to ask permission to use his sidewalk. He promises that they won’t harm anything and that they’ll pay for any water their cattle might drink. Edom said, “If you use my sidewalk, I’ll send my whole family out to meet you (kinda like the Hatfields and McCoys)”.

 So rather than fight with their brother Esau, Ya’akov went the long way round.

First stop was Mount Hor, where Aharon was gathered to his fathers. Here is where we are told that Aharon was in the Meribah rebellion with Moshe. I believe the rebellion there was bitter (Meribah = bitter strife) to Y’hovah because as a result he had to keep Moshe and Aharon out of the Promised Land. Did you notice that Moshe does exactly what Y’hovah tells him, as he had before the Meribah incident? The text seems to reflect an attitude on Moshe like a whipped pup. He definitely learned his lesson, and who knows, perhaps he could get Y’hovah to repent of banishing Moshe from haAretz. 

So Moshe, Aharon and Eleazar went up onto Mt. Hor, Moshe removed the High Priest’s attire from Aharon and put it on Eleazar. Then Aharon died on the mountaintop. I think it was the Kadosh Ruach of the priest’s office that kept Aharon alive, for as soon as the mantle was passed, he died. He had full control of all his faculties until the moment of his death at the age of 123 (Num.33.39). This was the norm in the patriarchs and all those who were after Y’hovah’s heart. I pray it is the norm in our lives, as well. It will be if we follow hard on the footsteps of Mashiyach. Like Miriam, Aharon didn’t ‘sleep’. He died. In the case of believers, I think the whole ‘sleeping’ thing is an exercise in phenomenal, or apparent, language, like the words ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’, neither of which describes the actual truth, but the appearance of the truth. 

So, it appears Moshe lost both his elder sibs in the space of a week or so. That may not be right, though. The timing was not what Y’hovah was interested in conveying so much as the lessons we need to learn from the incidents. Moshe was the meekest man ever to walk the earth (with the exception of Yeshua), except for the Meribah incident. His momentary pride cost him what he held dearest in the earth – to go into the Promised Land. From then on, he was very meek once more (though there will be a few ‘passing the buck’ moments).

How many moves had Yisrael made to this point? According to Num.33.38, they had moved 34 times and it had been 40 years and 4 months from Egypt. In all, from Egypt to Jericho they moved 42 times. I counted in Num.33.5-48 once and the number seemed significant enough for me to remember. While “42” is “The Answer to the Ultimate Question to the Meaning of Life, the Universe and EVERYTHING!”, Ya’akov’s Trouble’ still jumps out for some reason. Q&C

21:1-3 – There is about to be some serious butt-kickin’ without spending a lot of time on name-takin’. But first, a message from our sponsor. The message is, “Focus on the job at hand. Keep your eyes open for trouble and a weapon to hand, just in case, because I am about to lead you into the land I’ve promised you and the present inhabitants ain’t too keen on you taking it from them.” 

Moshe sent an embassage to Esav/Edom to ask permission to walk through his territory on the King’s Highway. See [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Highway_(ancient)#/media/File:Ancient_Levant_routes.png] for a map of the “biblical” archaeologists’ idea of the probable route of from Memphis, Egypt through Aqaba/Eilat, then through either Bosrah or Rabbah (modern Amman) to Damascus and then to the Euphrates at Resafa a few miles south of Haran in Mesopotamia. Of course, we know that Moshe did NOT take that route, to Sinai but went through Eitam  and the Wadi Watir to Nuweiba and across the Gulf of Aqaba dry to Baal-Zephon and eventually to the King’s highway at Eilat/Aqaba [the closest map I could find is here https://headwatersresources.org/exodus-route-map/ and then here https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gal_Hartman/publication/235329899_The_Israel_National_Bathymetric_Survey_Northern_Gulf_of_%27AqabaElat_Poster/links/09e41510e10db3db94000000/The-Israel-National-Bathymetric-Survey-Northern-Gulf-of-Aqaba-Elat-Poster.pdf] for the most likely crossing site [IMHO]. Of course, all “biblical” maps are educated guesses at best. That “ResearchGate” link shows that the Nuweiba ‘land bridge’ is the shallowest place in the Gulf of Aden/Aqaba and it also best fits the description of the route that we see in Shemoth 14-15 [again IMHO].

From Eilat, the KH used the Eastern side of the Rift Valley to Rabbah and then split north through the Golan to Damascus, or east following, I think, the brook Jabbok to Bosrah and then the 2 branches converged again ENE of Damascus about ½ way to Tadmor. As it passed through Edom, the KH was pretty much right on the eastern ridge of the rift and ran right passed Petra. It would almost literally have been the sidewalk, though the sidewalk would have been right through the center of Edom’s kingdom. You might want to keep this map handy to reference for the march to the east side of Yarden across from Yericho. Ammon reached to the Yarden before Yisrael arrived and wiped them out. 

Yisrael went by the way of the Red Sea – south and then east around Edom so they would not have to fight their elder brother. They found themselves in a fight with the Canaanite king Arad (name H6166 means to sequester itself). He took some Israelites prisoner, I expect as slaves. When this happened the people came to Moshe and had him tell Y’hovah that if he would fight for them, they would wipe out the entire nation. Since these were the Canaanites that Y’hovah wanted Yisrael to drive or wipe out, he accepted their offer and they fought and wiped out Arad. The site of the battle was called Chormah by Y’hovah. Chormah (H2767) is from the root H2763, meaning to segregate or to keep separate, especially for destruction. When they volunteered, Y’hovah gave them their desire. 

Vv.4-9 – There is some dispute about where Mount Hor was, but seeing that Israel was traveling along the Red Sea (Eilat/Aqaba) in the south, and that Edom had already made Israel travel south so that they would not travel in their country, it figures that it must have been between Kadesh and Hevron on the north, southward along the western border of Edom to Eilat and then eastward toward Moab at Edom’s northeastern border. The way v.4 reads, I would put Mount Hor in the south and west of Edom. And it looks like they fought Arad near Mount Hor. According to Wiki, Edom displaced the Horites to take their land. 

This LO-O-O-O-o-ong way around discouraged the people and may have caused the rebellion against Y’hovah and Moshe. I take v.5 to say that Y’hovah was willing to let them kvetch until they said their “soul loatheth this light bread”, meaning the manna he’d miraculously provided for them for almost 40 years. See the way that reads, Our (plural) soul (singular). They were of one mind in this loathing. I believe this was the leftovers of the generation that left Egypt, because they were kvetching about being brought out of Egypt to die in the Wilderness – same old song, different day. 

Follows another Chukah, a decree that doesn’t make any sense to our puny brains. When they said that their ‘soul’ loathed his manna, he sent ‘fiery serpents’ to deal with them. Many were bitten and I must assume that the venom made a burning sensation, as well as the snakes being copper colored. It also looks like the bite delivered a virulent venom that made the bitten swell up and die quickly. The people who were NOT bitten (I infer) asked Moshe to intercede and when he did, Y’hovah gave his Chukah. “Make a fiery serpent of brass, hang it on a pole and anyone who looks at it will be delivered from death.” How long did it take to make a serpent of brass? Or did they have one somewhere? How can looking at a brass image of a fiery serpent neutralize the snake’s venom? The only answer is just like last week’s chukah and the red heifer – belief + action. One could believe that looking at the brazen serpent could remove the consequences of the bite, but if he didn’t OBEY Y’hovah and look at it, he would still swell up and die. As we’ll see in the Brit Chadasha portion today, Yeshua used this incident to make a point to Nicodemus about spiritual life, that the serpent on the pole was prophetic of his death on the tree. It seems that leaving the redemption to Yeshua and accepting that his death removes the eternal consequence of our sins, was foretold by Israel looking to the brazen serpent. The eternal consequences are removed, though the natural consequences may have to be dealt with. It’s just another Chukah of Y’hovah – it makes no earthly sense. Q&C

Vv.10- – After the attack of Ared’s king, noone messed with Israel again until Sihon sent a force to meet Israel in battle. Israel made a number of moves through a LOT of folks’ territory and proved Moshe’s word to Edom – they just passed through and didn’t disturb anything. They went through Oboth, Iye ha’avarim (ruins of the passers), Zared, the brook Arnon at the border of Moav and the Amorites, where Y’hovah called them to drink at a well, Beer, that he’d prepared for them. All they had to do to get the water was scratch the surface of the ground with their staves (v.18). Look at the Abrahamic Covenant in Gen.15 to see the prophecy that they are about to fulfill,

15.1 After these things the word of Y’hovah came unto Avram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Avram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Avram said, Adonai Y’hovah, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Avram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of Y’hovah came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in Y’hovah; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7 And he said unto him, I am Y’hovah that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8 And he said, Adonai Y’hovah, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. 11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Avram drove them away. 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Avram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Avram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is 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. 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day Y’hovah made a covenant with Avram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Yevusites.

Ten nations that Israel will NOT utterly cast or wipe out when they take haAretz.

***Speculation Warning!*** What follows is NOT related to any conventional thinking or wisdom that I am aware of.

Do you suppose it’s possible that all those prophesies of 10 nation confederacies against Israel REALLY speak of THESE 10 nations, and NOT the European Union, or Rome, or any of the other confederacies the conventional wisdom has cooked up? These are ALL Arab nations and they are ALL Moslem nations today. These nations occupied the entire land grant of Gen.15. I haven’t studied it closely, but I saw a Xian end-times video and the idea was still kind of fresh in my head when I counted those nations. The church’s conventional wisdom has been SO wrong on SO many things, I just think it’s possible that even Hal Lindsay and Dwight Pentecost could be wrong here, too.

****End of Speculation****

Do you think, getting back to the well on the Amorites’ side of Arnon, he could have done this all the way through the Wilderness Adventure, had they just trusted him? How many times had they kvetched about water? Every time they suspected there would be none to be had. It was only AFTER Miriam’s death that the Rock that followed them, providing water where needed ‘dried up’, as it were. For over 38 years the Rock had been their provision of water when there was none to be had in the area. Right after Miriam died, they were kvetching about water again and last week we saw the Meribah rebellion in which even Moshe sinned, though after a different manner than the people. Then, when they had to take the long-cut around Edom and they kvetched about the manna, they were judged with fiery serpents. Perhaps they got the message this time. Or perhaps the last of the fathers who came out of Egypt died in that judgment. Could it be that the generation that was born in the Wilderness had learned by experience that they could trust Y’hovah to take care of them? I think Y’hovah finally had the people he needed to go into the land and take it from the Canaanites, bringing his retributive justice on those he’d suffered long to reach through the likes of Bala’am and Yithro, prophets for hire. This generation of Israel SANG for joy at Y’hovah’s provision of water so near to the surface. I imagine that Moshe told the elders of the tribes to use their staves and start digging, and as soon as they got an inch of so deep, out started the water. How deep, really, can you dig with a walking stick?

After getting water out of the well, they set out again to traverse a few more folk’s sidewalks, until they came to Sihon’s kingdom of Ammon. I think Ammon = Amorites. They passed through 5 more encampments in the land of the Amorites until they came to Mt. Pisgah, from whence they sent the embassage to Sihon.

Edom had set up a defense, but did not attack Israel. Sihon sent an offensive force, and Y’hovah used Israel to clean his clock. Well, ‘clean his clock’ doesn’t adequately express what Y’hovah did to Sihon and Ammon. Moshe asked Sihon, king of Ammon to allow him to pass through in exactly the same way that he’d asked Edom and then proved that Israel would keep its word as he passed through all the lesser leaders’ lands. They disturbed as little as was practicable and paid for anything they used. But Sihon was presumably suspicious of any body of people that large and sent an offensive force to meet them. He’d bitten off JU-U-u-s-t a BIT more than he could chew. In fact, what he’d done was broken off a LOT more than he could even close his mouth around or spit out. Y’hovah utterly destroyed Sihon’s armies – without Israel getting a scratch. They took by right of conquest ALL of Ammon from Arnon to Jabbok. Now Sihon thought he was all that and a bag of chips because he’d throughly routed Moav (vv.27-32) and taken a large portion of what Moav had previously occupied, I think from brook Arnon through Pisgah. So, he thought Israel would be a pushover. Oops! Didn’t know how Y’hovah works judgment.

After Israel thoroughly routed Sihon and the Amorites, Og of Bashan came against them. Israel was not even IN Bashan or in any territory they’d taken by offensive means, but I suppose Og felt like he needed to avenge Sihon or something equally as silly, so he sent HIS entire army on an offensive mission against Israel and he got his clock cleaned, as well. Maybe better, because Bashan was left absolutely desolate of men. And so Israel occupied all of Bashan, as well.

22.1 – So, Israel set up their camp on the east side of Jordan, over against Jericho to prepare to enter haAretz. There won’t be another major move until Yehoshua takes them across. Q&C

Shoftim 11:1-40 – KJV translates the words ishah zonah as “son of an harlot”, but the fact that Tanakh SAYS he was a son of Gilead shows that he was, in fact, entitled to a full share of the inheritance, just like Bilhah’s and Zilpah’s sons were full heirs of Ya’acov. Stone’s Tanakh says that Yiphthach’s mama was Gilead’s concubine, and says this about Yiphthach and his mama;

From this point to the rise of Samuel, Eloha did not provide great leaders to bring Israel triumph and tranquility. There were leaders of lesser stature, victories of lesser magnitude, and even civil war and fractiousness among Israel. Now, as they sought a warrior to defeat Ammon, the people were forced to call upon Yiphthach, who did not measure up to their usual standards. 

During this time, it was still considered unseemly for an heiress to marry out of her father’s tribe (Num.36.5-9). Having broken this tradition, Yiphthach’s mother was called a zonah, literally, harlot, even though she remained faithful to her husband, Gilead (Radak, Ralbag). Though Yiphthach’s mother was called an harlot, the verse testifies that Gilead was his father to show that his brothers mistreated him, because, as a son, he was fully entitled to a share in Gilead’s estate.

Now, the way the narrative is written gives me to infer that Yiphthach was Gilead’s bachor – 1st born. If, as Stone’s postulates, his mother was of a different tribe than Gilead, she might be seen as a ‘strange’ woman (v.2, KJV) and Yiphthach rejected due to cultural norms and nothing of any real substance. 

It is quite apparent that Israel did NOT drive Ammon out of Israel’s inheritance. Remember that Ammon = Amorites – the terms are interchanged in Numbers 21, where brook Arnon is the border of Moav and Amorites, but when the conquest of Sihon was complete, Israel was in control of Ammon from brook Jabbok to brook Arnon. So the Amorites of Ammon were defeated militarily and politically, but not wiped out of existence. And by the time of Yiphthach – 300 years after the conquest of Ammon (v.26), they had congealed BACK into a regional political/military force. They probably still exist as a part of the PLO/Hamas/Hezbollah opposition in Israel. They definitely exist as a powerful force in Jordan, where the capital is Amman. 

Yiphthach became the military leader of a rag-tag group of outcasts in ‘the good land’ (eretz Tob, KJV). Blue Letter Bible has Tov as a region east of Jordan, north and northeast of Gilead, probably Aramean (Syria/Assyria). The name and location of it leads me to infer Mesopotamia. Yiphthach had had some considerable success as a leader of men and his fame had spread. Perhaps he’d conducted raids all around Gilead, but left his father’s inheritance alone, and THAT is what brought the elders of Gilead to him for relief from the Amorites/Ammon. But he’d been rejected by his brothers before, so he wanted some assurance that he would not be rejected again if Y’hovah used him to deliver his brothers. Please notice that it was Yiphthach who brought Y’hovah into the picture here, not his bro’s. They were not as close to Y’hovah as he was. He KNEW Torah, recited it from memory for the Ammonites. He wanted the elders’ commitment to allow him his proper place as the 1st born of Gilead, and they agreed to it. V.11 says that he uttered all his words before Y’hovah in Mitzpeh. 

Yiphthach sent an embassage to Ammon, perhaps to give himself time to plan and order his battle. Ammon has a LONG memory. It had been 300 years since Sihon was defeated and they demanded their land back (sound familiar? – they were pouting over their plight as ‘refugees’ without a land of their own. Boo-Hoo!). But Yiphthach told them that the land was Israel’s by right of conquest in a war that they did not start because Y’hovah had given the Amorites into Israel’s hands when Sihon went on the offensive. 

When Y’hovah heard Yiphthach’s words to the leader of Ammon, he came on Yiphthach with a vengeance. He knew his heart was after Y’hovah’s and filled him with the wisdom and power of Ruach. So Yiphthach vowed that if Y’hovah brought Israel victory over Ammon and Yiphthach safely back to Mizpeh, that the first thing that came out of his house to meet him would Y’hovah’s as a freewill burnt offering. After defeating the Amorites (and that’s about as much space as Y’hovah gives the battle in Tanakh) and upon his return to Mizpeh, the first thing to greet him was his daughter, who would be his heir, as his only child. Would he offer his daughter as a burnt offering? Y’hovah would not accept a human sacrifice of Yiphthach would he? Again, here is what Stone’s Tanakh has to say about v.35-37,

11.35 – Under no circumstances was Yiphthach permitted to sacrifice his daughter, nor could he obligate her to a course of behaviour…

11.36 – Yiphthach’s daughter volunteered to submit and he carried out his vow figuratively by having her live in seclusion … 

11.37 – Before the vow was carried out, she wanted to grieve with her friends because she would remain a virgin, never to marry or bring children into the world.

While he didn’t offer her as a burnt offering, he did what he could – he allowed her to remain unmarried and a virgin, leaving no heir. 

Tehellim 110 – This Psalm has, almost from its writing, been recognized, at least by some, as a Messianic Psalm. Here are a few paragraphs from that source of all unquestioned wisdom and erudition – Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_110 ),

“… According to Avot of Rabbi Nathan, chapter 34, Psalm 110 refers to the Messiah.

“These are the 2 anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zech.14.4). This is a reference to Aharon and the Messiah, but I cannot tell which is the more beloved. However, from the verse, “The Lord will swear and will not repent: Thou art a priest forever after the manner of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), one can tell that the Messianic King is more beloved than the righteous priest.” – The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, Chapter 34, Translated by Judah Goldin, Yale University Press, page 137-138. Footnote: This Psalm has been taken to refer to Messiah.”

As a member of the tribe of Judah, David was not a born Priest (kohen) as only members of the priestly tribe of Levi of patrilineal descent from Aaron, the brother of Moses, are entitled to the priesthood in Judaism. As the respected Jewish sage Rashi wrote,

“Because of the speech of Melchizedek, because of the command of Melchizedek, ‘You are a priest, Heb. kohen. The term ‘kohen’ bears the connotation of priesthood, servitude to the deity, and, less frequently, rulership, as (2Sam.8.18): “And David’s sons were kohanim (chief officers).””

Rashi is a very well respected Jewish sage who lived in the 11th c. CE. Rabbi Nathan, the Babylonian lived in the 2nd c. CE and had some differences with Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel (yes, THAT Gamaliel) and so is perhaps not considered ‘mainstream’ Judaism. So there is some treatment by sages of Judaism to the Messianic nature of this psalm, even AFTER Yeshua’s life on earth. There are probably quite a few references to this speaking of Messiah in the Mishnah and older sources. I assume that there was a lot of scrambling to make this NOT refer to Messiah after the shlichim of Yeshua started applying this psalm to Yeshua very early in the history of the Netzari sect of Judaism.

There are lots of places where the earth is Y’hovah’s footstool (v.1),

Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Y’hovah, and for the footstool of Elohenu (I Chronicles 28:2) 

Exalt ye Y’hovah Elohenu, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. (Psalms 99:5)

Thus saith Y’hovah, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)

Those are a few. If this psalm refers to Messiah and his footstool, it makes Messiah to be Y’hovah, which is also seen in some old rabbinic literature, mainly of mystical bent.

From “The Way of Kabbalah” by Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi, as quoted from Yashanet’s treatment of “Messiah – part 7; Messianic Figures and Ideas”, www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev5hf.htm,

“…Melchizedek plays a dual role of priestly-tzaddik and judgmental Messiah. … Metatron so closely resembles Eloha Himself that he is even called “the Lesser Y’hovah”… 

As might be expected, there is also an association between Metatron and Melchizedek in Jewish tradition:

“Metatron, legend says, has manifested throughout history as various great teachers, one of whom may have been Melchizedek, the king without father or mother, who initiated Avraham into the line.”

Yashanet goes on to observe:

… Hebrews 6.19-20 associates Melchizedek with aspects of High Priest and Tzaddik, who effects the tikkun of the heavenly Holy of Holies.

19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Yeshua, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

In 110.2, the rod of thy strength is Messiah/Metatron, the captain of Y’hovah’s hosts, as can be seen (if you want to see it) in Ex.4.2 and everywhere in the Wilderness Adventure where Moshe employs Y’hovah’s rod. He uses that rod to rule the enemies that surround him. Messiah IS ‘the beauties of holiness’ (v.3), as Paul intimates in Rom.11.22

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22)

The Sefiroth (manifestations/aspects of the Almighty) of mercy/goodness (Y’hovah’s chesed) and justice/severity (Ruach’s Gevurah) meet in the sefirah of beauty (tifereth) in the Tzadik, whom we believe is Yeshua haMashiyach (www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm). 

We’ve treated v.4 enough above. In v.5, it has been said (you know what that means) that the Masoretic scribes substituted Adonai here for Y’hovah. I have no way of KNOWING that’s true, but it would not be a great surprise to learn of its veracity. This psalm shows Messiah Yeshua’s life and ministry in every verse, IF you want to see it. If you do not, then you will not, emphasis on WILL. Replacing Y’hovah where he would then belong in this verse makes Messiah’s right hand Y’hovah – shades of the tree of Sephiroth, where the Tzaddik’s right hand rests on the merciful and gracious goodness of Y’hovah. His right hand strikes through kings of the earth, something Messiah will do when he returns to the earth to deliver his own from the world system’s armies. 

In v.6, Messiah wounds the heads of many countries. Do you see the reference to the proto-evangelon in Gen.3.15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)

Messiah ben David is going to defeat both the physical and the spiritual enemies of Y’hovah in one fell swoop. I think he will bind and imprison the shadim first, which I think is the last act of his wrath, and then employ Is.27.4-5. This is from my commentary on Is.23-27, archived at www.waytozion.org/fulfillingtorah/fulfillingtorah.htm,

Vv.4-5 shows the deliberate and methodical manner of Y’hovah’s judgment AFTER his wrath is appeased. Notice that after the days of awe, there is no fury left in him. He gives the armies of the earth who come against him a choice. 

4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

 ‘Briers’ is from Heb8068 shamiyr, literally a thorn that pricks or scratches. I think it’s interesting that the late PM of Israel was Yitzchak Shamir. His name fit his personality to a ‘T’. In our verse, Yah sees it as an irritant. ‘Thorn’ is from Heb7898 shayith, scrub or trash, wild growth of weeds or briers. I see them in this prophecy both as terrorists and as tares sown among the wheat, good for nothing except to be burned. So the minor irritants that do nothing but choke the spiritual life out of his people are about to be burnt in the fire of judgment. This judgment is not meted out in fury, remember, but in objective, deliberate righteousness. Those who would destroy Y’hovah’s bride will be dealt with in decisive calm.

BUT, before he does so, he understands that among the tares are those who have heard and understood the gospel, so he throws in,

5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.

Y’hovah actually offers his salvation to the ones arrayed against him in battle, and it is not an idle offer. IF they will take hold of his Strength (Mashiyach is Y’hovah’s right hand and right arm), not only MAY he have peace with Y’hovah, but he SHALL have peace with Y’hovah. To have peace with Y’hovah is the gospel in a nutshell, the simplest way to put humanities need. We need to be at peace with our Creator. Mashiyach is that peace. Do you see the mercy of Y’hovah here? I do, in spades. Those who were sent by their legal authorities to make war with Y’hovah are individually offered peace – last chance. This proves 2Pe.3.9 is true, Y’hovah is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

110.7 leads me to infer that he is not very worried about the battle arrayed against him. He takes the time to drink some water from the brook and to ‘lift up the head’, I think of those who have just trusted him to deliver them from among the armies of the earth.

I COULD be wrong … But I DOUBT IT! Q&C

Yochanan 3:1-4:15– What follows is taken from my presentation of The Life of Yeshua haMashiyach – A Messianic Perspective © 2005-2012 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries, which was written as a presentation to a weekly bible study for a group of mostly Sunday keeping Xians. 

The discourse on the new birth, Jn.3.1-13 – We’ll be on this one for a while, so curl up, get comfortable, but don’t go to sleep. The dialogue/discourse seems to take place shortly after the cleansing of the temple. Yeshua was doing miracles at the temple to authenticate his message and show the mercy of Elohim to the common folk and the Jewish leaders. Nicodemus seems to be the leader of a wing of the Sanhedrin, or at least its spokesman, however, he also seems afraid for his position, because he comes to Yeshua at night. His group saw the miracles and came to the proper conclusion that Yeshua was a prophet, at least. He says, “For no man can do the miracles you do, except Elohim be with him.” Now we can only guess at what Nicodemus was going to ask or discuss, but Yeshua changes the subject before Nic even gets started. In fact, I think he cut Nic off in the middle of his introduction. It’s as if Yeshua were thinking, ‘OK, Nic. Looks like there are a few of you who are thinking scripturally. Now, can you stand a little more light? Or will you scatter like roaches when I turn it on?’ What Yeshua says is, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Elohim.” Was there a Rosh Chodesh, a new moon, that night that he used as an object lesson?

Now, I think that this was not the response Nic was expecting. He was expecting denial or acknowledgment of the fact he’d stated. Instead he had to shift gears to handle a sudden blind turn. “Born again? What’s that?” Yeshua was a master people handler. He knew just how to get a man off his guard to get him thinking in a different way, to get him on the right track. Nic had come for some type of approval and instead got a mind boggling wake up. He reverts to what I call the prophetic smart-alec tense. I think he’s trying to regain his intellectual equilibrium and just throws out something to buy some time. The response is almost dripping with sarcasm, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” “What if mosquitoes had machine guns? Would frogs mess with them?” Nic expected his response to be taken as a put-down or a rebuke and to have Yeshua back off, but Yeshua never got defensive. Only a guilty man has to be defensive. Yeshua was always on the righteous attack. He moved on with a little more light. Yochanan 3:5-8, “Yeshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [8] The wind (G4151, pneuma) bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (G4151, pneuma).” 

Born of water Nic understood, it was the born of the Spirit part that had him off kilter. This was a new concept to him. To be born of the Spirit is to have the life of Yeshua quicken or activate your own human spirit by the infusion of the Spirit of Elohim and his Mashiyach. Until such time as you are born of the Spirit, you are spiritually dead in Adam, your human nature being all there is to drive you. But when you are ‘born again’, your spirit is made alive by the generating, quickening power of the Ruach ha Kodesh, and it is that living Spirit that drives you to be what Elohim intends you to be. To be born again and to follow after the human spirit is of all circumstances and lifestyles the most miserable – it is to be driven of the waves and tossed (James 1.6 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Y’hovah, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.), never to be used fully of Elohim and never to be able to do comfortably as your human spirit tells you because it will be at war with the Spirit of Mashiyach that dwells within (Rom7.14-23, 24-8.1).

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of Y’hovah after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank Y’hovah through Yeshua haMashiyach Adonenu. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Y’hovah; but with the flesh the law of sin. 1 Therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 

Yeshua intimates the warfare to come in v.6. He says, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The two will be present together in the believer, the one warring constantly with the other, until the day when we receive our glorious new bodies. That day is not far off. I would that it were so, now! 

Yeshua says (Mp), ‘Don’t be amazed that I say you must be born again. You see the effects of the Spirit of Elohim all around you, just like you see the effects of the wind. You have no idea where the wind comes from, and neither do you know whence comes the Spirit, but the effects are there just the same. Look at the evidence and deduce its origin. Believe what the Spirit of Elohim tells you.’

Nic showed himself to be intellectually honest, anyway, by asking a reasonable question, “How can these things be?” He was really trying to deal with this as truth, I think, but the concept was outside the box he’d been trained in. When you’ve been trained to think a certain way, it is very difficult to change it, especially as you grow older, and in authority and stature. If you change your epistemology, the underlying base or foundation upon which you build your thought process, the way you think, everything you do and have is affected. You, in effect, need to rebuild from scratch because your foundation is different (and THERE is the root of the difficulty we have with our Xian brethren.)

Yeshua says (again, Mp), ‘If you don’t get it, being the teacher of Yisrael, how am I going to make the common folk understand? Are you so educated that you can’t see simple spiritual truth? Look, I’ve told you what I know to be true experientially. I’ve done this stuff and you don’t believe me. If I can’t get simple truth through your thick skull, how am I going to make you see the really heavy stuff? Noone has ascended to heaven to bring you these truths, but I’ve come from heaven to bring them.’ And by the way, he used the prophetic perfect tense to say this, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven,” thus intimating that he had already ascended and was in both ‘places’ simultaneously (“even the Son of Man which is in heaven”, which is not a physical place), though his death is still 2-3 years away. He speaks IN TIME, but says that he is simultaneously outside of time. Q&C

Vv. 14-21 are where Yeshua tells of eternal/everlasting life, and what qualifies a person for it. He tells of his crucifixion and how the serpent in the wilderness foretold of it, how those who looked to the brazen serpent (today’s Torah portion Numbers 21) were saved from death, though not necessarily the natural consequences of their sin (Pain and sickness). So those who look to him crucified and resurrected for their redemption will see eternal life, though some consequence to their actions may be experienced (v.14-15). The reason for the lifting up of the Son of Man was so Elohim could shed his love abroad to every man (v.16-17). V.18 tells us that if we believe on Yeshua, we escape condemnation. We are already condemned before anything else happens. By our very nature, which is to commit sin, we are condemned to the Lake of Fire. We are condemned because we witnessed the light that Elohim sent, and preferred darkness instead (v.19). The reason we preferred darkness is that the light shines on our actions and exposes them for the wickedness they are. We hate the light because it exposes our sin, and we want to go on believing how good we are (v.20). If we did what was right we would want everyone to know, but our deeds are sinful and so we shun the light, like cockroaches, and bask in darkness.

Elohim is not sending anyone to the Lake of Fire, we are sitting on the train, happily headed there of our own volition, because we chose to sin when given the choice. Elohim has made a way of escape from that train and to one bound for eternal life, but few will make the track change. It seems perilous to change from one track to the other, jump off one train onto another while the things are moving, and in our own strength it is quite impossible. We’d be dashed to pieces by the relative motion of the trains on opposite headings. But Yeshua is like a conduit through which we can move from one train to the other with very little jolt to our systems. The effects of inertia are almost nonexistent, until we try to reenter the first train in our own power to try to help others off. Only through the ‘Yeshua conduit’, as it were, his Spirit’s power, can we affect the ones to whom he sends us without the shock of inertia. The sudden jolt is what shuts most people off to service to the Master. Ask him for his guiding, protective and powerful hand in your life, and see if he won’t answer in the affirmative. Then see if you like the light of truth. Q&C

54). Jn.3.22-36 – There isn’t much said about the early Judean Ministry of Yeshua, other than he baptized folks and hung around. The real details given are about Yochanan and his reaction to the ministry of Yeshua in the rest of the chapter.

V.23 tells us that Yochanan was still baptizing near Salim in Aenon. This is the only appearance in Scripture of these two place names, but they are similar to Jeru – Salim and En-Gedi.

Aenon means a cloud, a fountain, or his eye, while En-Gedi means eye or fountain of a goat (and if you saw the terrain, you’d understand). “(the fountain of the kid) is a celebrated place about 400 feet above the west shore of the Dead Sea and about thirty-five miles southeast of Jerusalem. Immense fountains of warm water flow out from beneath limestone cliffs and cascade down to a small but wonderfully fertile plain, half a mile broad and a mile in length (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).” When David was on the run from Saul he holed up at En-Gedi. “David hid from Saul in the “strongholds of En-gedi” and in a nearby cave cut off a portion of Saul’s robe rather than take his life (1Sa 24). Avraham rescued Lot from a coalition of kings near here (Gen. 14:7).” I think, therefore, that Aenon is En-Gedi. This COULD be wrong.

One of the meanings of Salim is path. Yochanan may have been here to “make his paths straight.” Matthew 3:3 “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (40.3), saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make his paths straight.” Mark 1:3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make his paths straight.” Luke 3:4 “As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make his paths straight.” The ‘Highway of our YHVH’ must be nearby, and sure enough, Yeshua was baptizing nearby, as well. It was spring and the various wadis that empty into the Dead Sea run at this time, so it is the right time to be baptizing. Yochanan chose his place to baptize because there is warm water there year-round. 

Yochanan’s disciples and the Jews were in a controversy over purification. They are baptizing for the remission of sins, to fulfill the requirement to re-enter the camp after having become defiled somehow. This is long before the crucifixion, in fact the Kingdom has yet to be offered to the Jews, so even Yeshua’s baptism is for purification. I think this was the point of discussion. Both groups are coming to Yochanan to settle the dispute. I suppose that the Jews would go as far as Yochanan to show how good they were, but not so far as to follow Yeshua. How far do you go to prove your worth to Elohim? Will you even be baptized to show how good you are? Give 10% of all you own? Teach Sabbath/Sunday School or a Bible study? None of these things are bad, unless you are using them to prove your worth to Elohim. Elohim thought you were worth the life of his Son. How much can you add to that? Your righteous deeds are worthless to Elohim except as fruit of a changed life. Quit giving to get. Start getting in order to give. 

They tell Yochanan that Yeshua is baptizing and the reason Yochanan is seeing less people is that Yeshua is drawing more to himself. Yochanan says (Mp), ‘Elohim has sent them to him. I told you I’m not Mashiyach, but you’re still here. I was sent before Mashiyach, get it? He came after me, get it? Look, he’s the bridegroom and I’m the best man. This is his show, not mine. I’m just the M.C. As such, all the joy I’m going to get on earth is already mine. I’ve had my day in the sun and now it’s his turn. I’m going to let you all in on something. He came down from heaven, I’m just a guy. He is so far above me that I can’t give you a close enough analogy. I can tell you what I think about stuff, but he’ll tell you what Elohim thinks about stuff, because Elohim has sent him. He testifies to heavenly things that he has seen and heard with his own eyes and ears. With us, Elohim has to dole out his Spirit in doses we can handle, but Elohim doesn’t have to worry about that with Yeshua, because Elohim sent him from heaven. He’s Elohim’s Son, to whom Elohim has given all things. Believe Him and your eternal life is sure. Refuse to believe him and your destiny is just as sure, for the wrath of Elohim is yours.’ (end Mp) If they were listening (and many were not because Yochanan still had disciples after he was thrown in prison) they left Yochanan and were after Yeshua. We’ll have to see when the rest of Yeshua’s disciples were called. He only had 5 up to now. 

Did you notice that Yochanan said, ‘He’s the bridegroom?’ Remember the wedding feast? Who was congratulated for holding the best wine for last? Wine represents life, and joy and the blood of the bridegroom, which he promises to shed for his bride. Life on this earth after salvation can be hairy at times, but if you’re led by the Spirit of Elohim there is joy even in the worst circumstances. But Yeshua holds the best wine for last, when we’ve left this earthly tabernacle for life in eternity. 

4.1-3 – Yeshua learned that the Pharisees heard of his attracting more disciples than Yochanan, and left for Galilee. But he took an unusual, direct route for a Jew. The Jews wanted no contact with the Samaritans and so went the long way round, through trans-Yarden, to Galilee. He went through Samaria, rather than around it. We know that he had a divine appointment, but the disciples were in the dark as to why he took the direct route. Q&C

55). The Water of Life, Jn.4.4-15 – It says that “He must needs go through Samaria.” Why? As we saw before, they could have used the normal route and circumnavigated Samaria altogether. But Yeshua had a divine appointment to keep. Yeshua must have walked like a trucker drives. If you draw a straight line from Jerusalem to Nazareth, Sychar is not more than 2 miles off the line. The most direct route went right past Sychar, where there happened to be a well and a nearby town to which he could send his disciples to buy chow. 

Sychar was at the foot of Mt. Gerizim, the mountain of blessing. The name is of Hebrew origin (H7941, from 7937 shakar שכר, to drink to the full) and means “to get drunk, to express unreal thoughts”, which is probably what the Samaritan religion was like; a mixture of Egyptian Golden Calf and Y’hovah worship, which is a quite unreal way to think, and had been for about 950 years by this time.

So, Yeshua leaned on the well waiting for the woman to show. The time is about noon. It is a good bet that most of the women came out to the well in the morning or the evening, or both, to draw water, not in the middle of the day. In the desert, one stays out of the sun as much as possible when it is at its zenith. This woman was not associating with the other women of Sychar, because she was a strumpet, as Yeshua would tell her in a bit. Notwithstanding his knowledge of where he was and to whom he spoke, Yeshua asked her to give him a drink. Did he do this to initiate the conversation, or because he was thirsty? Yes, probably! 

She was amazed that anyone would talk to her, especially a Jew! Jews wouldn’t speak to an upright man of Samaria, much less a wayward woman. But here is a Jewish man engaging a less than upright Samaritan woman in conversation. There are several social strata being bridged here, but Yeshua does it as a matter of course. There was no class or caste system as far as Yeshua was concerned. He saw a lost soul who needed a Saviour. She asks why he would talk to her, and he replies, “If thou knewest the gift of Elohim, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” How’s that for a curiosity approach? He was telling her that he had something she needed, and she was nibbling at the bait, cautiously. She asks if he is greater than Ya’akov. Now, in the Middle-East there is noone greater than his father – it is a patriarchal society, and Jake was a patriarch. If this man is greater than Jake, he must be Mashiyach, the Son of Elohim. But her question is more a jibe, as if to say, ‘you’re not greater than Ya’akov.’ 

Yochanan 4:13-15, “Yeshua answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” 

4.15 All she heard was ‘never thirst’ and in her mind that meant ‘never have to humiliate myself and come out here to draw.’ She did like we do, she selectively heard what she wanted to hear and disregarded the rest. Like us, when we hear Philip. 3:10a, – “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,” but we forget to hear the rest of the verse, “b, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”, so is the woman at the well. She didn’t hear the really good news and understand the real point because she was thinking on one plane – she was totally inside a box of her own creation, so Yeshua takes another approach, which does the trick of getting her outside the box. 

However, that brings us to the end of our portion for this week. So … Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible study.

Shabbat Bible Study for May 26, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for May 26, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

B’Midbar 19.1-20.13, No Prophet, Tehillim 109, Yochanan 20

Links:

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

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

The Hebrew root of heifer is Hey, Resh, Pe (H6510). It is used 22 times and usually is xlated as kine or cow, but 6 times KJV has heifer, 5 times in Num.19 and once in Hosea 4. Stone’s Tanakh xlates it ‘cow’ all 22 times it is used. The water of separation, made with the ashes of the red heifer, were used to sanctify the vessels of the tabernacle, the basins and such that were used in the Mishkan service. Application of the ‘heifer water’ was by sprinkling from a sprig of hyssop. W/o the red heifer, there could be no approach to Y’hovah’s presence. Until just a few years ago, there had not been a red heifer in Israel in almost 2000 years. There is still question about the kosher nature of the red heifer that they did breed. How many NON-red hairs will make it unfit for use? 2? 10? Even 1? With the breeding of the red heifer and assuming that it is kosher, the vessels can be purified and the actual practice of Hebrew Torah observance can once again take place – if they had a tabernacle or Temple to work in. I believe the necessary vessels and tabernacle are already available. It’s the Mount being closed to Jews that’s keeping it from occurring, though they COULD go up to Shiloh in Ephraim, West Bank, where Yhwh’s Name – יהוה – is actually written in the earth. I saw a satellite photo of it on line a number of years ago, and I am having trouble finding it now. It may have been taken down. 

Vv.11ff show one use of the water of separation. If a man touched a dead body, he was unclean for 7 days. On the 3rd day, he would purify himself w/water of separation and on the 7th day, after a 2nd sprinkling, he would be clean. Why the wait? Perhaps the separation on the 3rd day has to do with resurrection and clean on the 7th has to do with Sabbath rest?  Good possibilities. Does the 3rd day mean the 3rd day after the defilement or the 3rd day of the week? I’m curious what Rashi has to say about it. It says if he was not separated on the 3rd day he was not cleansed on the 7th.

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

B’Midbar 20 – Here they are in the 1st month in Kadesh, where Miriam died. Was this the 2nd year out of Egypt, or the 40th? I lean toward ‘no,’ though I have no evidence to back me up. I think it was neither the 2nd nor 40th. All we really know is that Miriam died sometime after Shavuoth of year one and before Sukkoth of year 40. I lean toward 38 or 39 years after the Exodus, mainly due to what comes up later in the passage. And it says she died, not that she slept. I don’t know if we die and our souls/beings go to paradise, or if our flesh sleeps and our spirits go to Y’hovah to await the resurrection of the body. But the KJV seems to lean toward die/paradise for believers and sleep/wait for unbelievers. Again, it’s an I think versus an I know, so I won’t be dogmatic about it. You think what Yah is leading you to think. As far as I’m personally concerned, it doesn’t matter. One way or another, the next thing I’m going to know after I croak is that I am in Yeshua’s presence never to leave him again. That’s enough for me. 

The next verse tells us that we were right back to complaining [this is the Meribah rebellion] to Moshe and blaming him for the weather and lack of moisture. Actually, we were using Moshe and Aharon as our whipping boys because we couldn’t lay a glove on Y’hovah, with whom we were really mad. But Mo took it personally. And who can blame him, really. He’d just lost his sister and we started in on him without so much as a, “We’re sorry for your loss, bro.” When Y’hovah commanded Moshe to take the rod and speak to the Rock, he grabbed the rod, smacked it against the Rock twice and said, “Shall WE fetch water out of this Rock?” The water came gushing out of the Rock in anticipation of John 7.37-38, 

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. [38] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38 (KJV)

However, Y’hovah was ticked at Moshe and Aharon for the 2 smacks and the use of the 1st person plural, as if THEY were bringing the water out of the Rock. In this 8-word speech, Moshe became something other than meek, and the pride of that moment cost him dearly. He would not lead us into Canaan and Aharon wouldn’t either. (Chumash, pg.139, note on v.8; THE Rock)

Notice in v.11 the rod of Y’hovah became Moshe’s rod once more. From Exodus 4.20 until now it was the rod of Y’hovah, but now it is Moshe’s rod. I think this shows the pride that manifested in Moshe for which he was punished. This is the only time in the entire journey that he manifested anything other than a Messiah-like attitude.  Q&C

In v.14 Moshe sends messengers to the Edomite king to ask permission to use his sidewalk. He promises that they won’t harm anything and that they’ll pay for any water their cattle might drink. Edom said, “If you use my sidewalk, I’ll send my whole family out to meet you (kinda like the Hatfields and McCoys). So rather than fight with their brother Esau, Jacob went the long way round.

First stop was Mount Hor, where Aharon was gathered to his fathers. Here is where we are told that Aharon was in the Meribah rebellion with Moshe. I believe the rebellion there was bitter (Meribah = bitter strife) to Y’hovah because as a result he had to keep Moshe and Aharon out of the Promised Land. Did you notice that Moshe does exactly what Y’hovah tells him, as he had before the Meribah incident? The text seems to reflect an attitude on Moshe like a whipped pup. He definitely learned his lesson, and who knows, perhaps he could get Y’hovah to repent of his banishment from haAretz. 

So Moshe, Aharon and Elazar went up onto Mt. Hor, Moshe removed the High Priest’s attire from Aharon and put it on Elezar. Then Aharon died on the mountaintop. It was the Kadosh Ruach of the priest’s office that kept Aharon alive, for as soon as the mantle was passed, he died. He had full control of all his faculties until the moment of his death at the age of 123 (Num.33.39). This was the norm in the patriarchs and all those who were after Y’hovah’s heart. I pray it is the norm in our lives, as well. It will be if we follow hard on the footsteps of Mashiyach. Like Miriam, Aharon didn’t ‘sleep’. He died. In the case of believers, I think the whole ‘sleeping’ thing is an exercise in phenomenal, or apparent, language, like the words ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’, neither of which describes the actual truth, but the appearance of the truth. 

So, it looks like Moshe lost both his elder sibs in the space of a week or so. That may not be right, though. The timing was not what Y’hovah was interested in conveying so much as the lessons we need to learn from the incidents. Moshe was the meekest man ever to walk the earth (with the exception of Yeshua), except for the Meribah incident. His momentary pride cost him what he held dearest in the earth – to go into the Promised Land. From then on, he was very meek once more (though there will be a few ‘passing the buck’ moments).

How many moves had Yisrael made to this point? According to Num.33.38, they had moved 34 times and it had been 40 years and 4 months from Egypt. In all, from Egypt to Jericho they moved 42 times. I counted in Num.33.5-48 once and the number seemed significant enough for me to remember. ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ jumps out for some reason. Q&C

Ezekiel 44.29 – ‘They’ is speaking of “the Priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok”, as that is the last 3rd person plural noun named in v.15. Beginning there this whole chapter speaks of them, the priests who stayed faithful to Yhwh when all the rest of Israel and Yehudah went astray (like Xianity Today, which is why I’ve been calling that magazine for over 25 years, “Xianity Astray”). In Yehudah’s history, Zadok and Ahimelech, son of Abiathar, were the priests while David was king and at the time that Absalom’s rebellion took place. Zadok wanted to leave Yerushalayim with David, but David told him he’d rather that Zadok stay behind and be an [worst haughty Monty Python French accent here] ‘agent provocateur’, to give Absalom conflicting advice as that of Ahimelech and also to keep his ears open and send his son as his messenger to David (2Sam.15), so that he’d know Absalom’s plans.  

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

In vv.21ff, David asks Y’hovah’s blessing on himself. In v.21 he says Y’hovih Adonai. I’m no Hebrew scholar, but I think the long ‘e’ vowel under the vav makes that say ‘my Y’hovah’. In v.26, David addresses Abba as Y’hovah Elohai. I know for certain that the ending on Eloha makes that personal – MY Mighty one. 

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

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

Q&C

Yochanan 20v.1 destroys the ‘sunrise service’ of the church, doesn’t it? How can they hold a sunrise service when he was already out of the grave ‘while it was yet dark’? From my weekly bible study in the life of Messiah (a 5+ year ordeal):

241b). In Mat.28.1 we have an interesting turn of phrase that the TBSL (Thompson Bible Software Library – my outline is the harmony of the gospels there) editors left out. It says, “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” It was still the Sabbath when the Marys went to the sepulcher. It says ‘as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.’ The Sabbath ends at sundown on Saturday, not at sunup of Sunday, so they were going out to the tomb BEFORE or just after sundown. W1828 has this definition for dawn, 

“4.  To begin to open or appear.” 

So dawn doesn’t merely refer to sunrise of a day, but the beginning or opening of anything. Strong’s G2020 is the greek word used, which means “to begin to dawn, to draw on.” So the end of the Sabbath was drawing on toward the first day of the week. Sundown was approaching. As they drew near the sepulcher, there was an earthquake.

They were coming to SEE the sepulcher. They were not necessarily coming to anoint Yeshua’s body at this time, but possibly to assure Mary Magdelene of the location, planning to come out ‘while it was yet dark’ (Jn.20.1) the following morning.

If I am correct about the timing there wouldn’t be time or light enough to do the anointing that evening. I think this shows they were just making sure of the tomb’s location so they could start out early next morning as the sun began to rise. 

V.9 says they as yet didn’t know the scripture about Yeshua rising from the dead. Of course, he’d told them about it on more than one occasion (Mk.8.31, 9.12, Lk.9.22), but they were unable to comprehend it. This is good, because Satan didn’t comprehend it either. Had he, he’d have done all in his power to STOP the crucifixion. There is no pashat prophecy of Mashiyach rising from the dead. There is a hint to the prophetic, sod level in Ps.16.10,

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Since Ps.16 is a Psalm of David, he is saying that Yhwh would not leave his soul in hell, but for David to call himself Yhwh’s Holy One would be the height of effrontery. After the resurrection, this is probably one of the scriptures Yeshua used to open the eyes of the talmidim on the Emmaus road. It took the event to make the psalm recognizable in its Messianic, prophetic nature. The remez is often not easily seen until AFTER the events it hints at.

At first, Mary didn’t recognize Yeshua when she spoke with him, thinking he was a gardener. But when he spoke her name, she recognized him. Again, from my weekly study:

Mary turned twice in this passage. First she turned to face Yeshua (v.14), and then, while she was looking at him, he spoke her name and she turned herself again (v.16). I think the second turn was NOT physical, but spiritual and emotional, for she recognized who he was. The joy must have been like an Almond Joy, indescribably delicious. 

Yeshua told her not to touch him for he had not yet ascended to his father. I think this is because he was about to go do the high priestly chore of offering the firstfruits wave offering on the morrow after the weekly sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which also began the ‘counting of the omer’ to the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost. This wave offering was of the ‘firstfruits of the dead’, men who had risen with him and appeared to many in the city. 

Mat.27:52-53, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, [53] And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” 

He needed to be ritually pure to do that, so he could not come in contact with anyone first … That afternoon or evening he was ASKING to be handled by anyone who didn’t believe he was really there, that he was an apparition. The reason Yeshua would not let Mary touch him in our passage had NOTHING to do with her sex. It had everything to do with his duty as the new “high priest after the order of Melchizedek” and the Bikkurim wave offering he was about to perform.

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Ps.110.4

6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Heb.5.6, 10

20 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Heb, 6.20

11 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) Heb. 7.11, 17, 21. 

Q&C

That evening, he appeared to ten of his talmidim in the place where they hid from the Iuaidoi, the leaders of the Jewish religion. He didn’t knock or open the door. He didn’t walk through the wall. He was just there. In his resurrected body, he was able to do what no human had done since Adam’s fall – he traveled at the speed of thought. His existence was no longer limited by time, space and matter (a condition he must have found extremely frustrating, at least I would). He now exists outside of time and space and can insert himself anywhere and anywhen. It is for that reason that I think that both the Angel of Y’hovah who spoke to Avraham at Mamre a few days before Sedom and gAmorrah got toasted and the one who appeared face to face with Ya’acov, Moshe, Y’hoshua and others was the resurrected Yeshua. I have no proof, only speculation and educated guesses. But the hypothetical is possible, given what he did that evening.

When Thomas was in the room 8 nights later (maybe he had to work the drive-thru window at Hardee’s every evening after the 1st day), Yeshua appeared again in the same manner. When Tom saw it with his own eyes, he finally accepted the truth of Yeshua’s resurrection. Peter alludes to this in his 1st epistle.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV)  

    Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yeshua haMashiyach, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Yeshua haMashiyach from the dead, [4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, [5] Who are kept by the power of Elohim through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yeshua haMashiyach: [8] Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: [9] Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 

What is all this stuff about remitting sins and retaining sins? Is this ability limited to ministers or priests? W1828 says this under ‘remit’;

  1. To pardon, as a fault or crime. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them. John 20.

Do you have power to remit all my sins? No! And neither does anyone other than Yhwh. You have power to remit my sins against YOU, or to retain them if I refuse to repent after attempts at reconciliation. That is all that says. I do not stand in Y’hovah’s stead in the forgiveness of all your sins, and neither does anyone else. Only Y’hovah can ultimately forgive my sins or yours, RC dogma notwithstanding. 

Yeshua did many wonderful miracles in the presence of his talmidim. We are told about only a few, because the oceans aren’t large enough to hold the ink, nor is the sky broad enough to receive the script of all the mighty works he’s done since he created the universes with a word from his mouth. 

V.31 gives us the whole purpose of the besorah of Yochanan – to tell you enough that you can believe that Yeshua is Mashiyach, the Son of the Living Eloha to the end of your obtaining eternal life by eating the Bread of Life, drinking the Water of Life and experiencing the Spirit of Life. IOW, so you could choose life – Yeshua who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  

    I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deut. 30:19 (KJV)

L’Chaim! To LIFE!   Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for May 19, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for May 19, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 10 

Numbers 17:1 – 18:24 – Ezekiel 44:15 – Psalm 108 – Hebrews 5:1-6:3

Links: 

B’Midbar 17.1- – There is no break in the action from ch.16. The plague has just been stayed by Aharon’s quick obedience to Moshe and the faithfulness of Elohim. Y’hovah is going to show the elders of all the tribes who his chosen vessels are and which tribe would have the service in the Mishkan. The elders of each tribe were to bring their walking sticks to the Mishkan, after having written his name on it. Each gave his rod to Moshe, who then took them into the Mishkan to lay before Y’hovah on this side of the veil. The next morning, Moshe brought out the rods and all were as they had been the day before EXCEPT Aharon’s, whose rod had budded, brought forth buds, flowers AND almonds. Then Y’hovah ordered Moshe to bring the budded rod back into the Mishkan for safe-keeping. There are interesting notes in Schottenstein’s Chumash on pp.124-125. We see this in Heb.9

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. [Heb.9.3-5]

The people were afraid to come near the Mishkan [vv.12-13] for fear of another plague breaking out and they all dying. So Y’hovah made provision in …

B’Midbar 18.1 – What does it mean that Aharon and his sons and his father’s house shall “bear the iniquity” of the sanctuary and their priesthood? Schottenstein’s Chumash has a pretty good explanation on ‘bearing iniquity’ [associated with] your priesthood” on pg.125. Sounds OK, but I don’t buy it as the ultimate understanding. 

Now, I am a lover of the ‘law of first mention’ when interpreting scripture, so let’s look at the use of that phrase from its first use in Ex.28.38. 

36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, Kodesh LaY’hovah. 37 And thou shalt put it on a techayleth lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before Adonai.

How can the Kodesh things, the very things Y’hovah has ordered Moshe to have Betzale’el and Aholiav make to exacting specifications and then set apart unto himself, bear any iniquity? Isn’t iniquity Torahlessness? What Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon says of H5771, avon in this passage in Ex.28.38 is that Aharon bears, as in carries away, the iniquity of others. Seems that every accoutrement the High Priest wears in some way supports his being the one who carries the iniquity of those for whom he offers an offering so that that offerer is accepted in the High Priest’s mediation before Y’hovah. The High Priest, Aharon in our passage, carries away the iniquities of the offerer and transfers his “Kodeshiness” to the offerer: in exactly the same manner as our Mediator, Y’hovah Yeshua, transfers iniquity from, and holiness to, us. Aharon then offers the offerer’s animal as the substitutionary atonement for the iniquity that he carries FOR the offerer. Noone but the Kohen Gadol was allowed to offer on the altar of burnt offering. If anyone else, from another Kohathite to any other Levite [vv.2-3a] to just a guy from the 12 Tribes in the outer camp tried to approach the altar, he was TOAST – he literally bore his own iniquity, as Sha’ul explains in Rom.6.23a

For the wages of sin is death, …

The other Kohanim and Levi’im were to ‘shamar’ the Tabernacle from anyone of the 12 tribes getting too close, so that they would not ‘bear their own iniquity’ to Y’hovah and receive their wages. This was probably why Korach went into the pit with Dathan and Eliav; he didn’t guard the inner circle, like he should have. He fraternized with the Reuvenim. Meanwhile, v.3b says it was the Kohen Gadol and his family’s job to shamar the Mishkan and the Kodesh Kadashim from the other Kohanim. 

v.4 says that the Levi’im were all to help the Kohen Gadol in any way they could to shamar the tabernacle precincts. No Yisraelite not of the tribe of Levi was to come further into the Tabernacle area than the brazen altar, where he would slaughter the animal to be offered [these are freewill, sin and thanksgiving offerings] and take what was not Y’hovah’s or the Kohanim’s portion home and prepare it for the party. All this was done, according to v.5 so that there would be no more plagues in the camp of Yisrael.

Vv.6-7 are direct instructions to the Kohanim to guard their office. Anyone other than a Kohen of Amram’s house to come near the Mishkan was a ger and his life was forfeit. In light of this and that the charge to shamar the Mishkan was given to Aharon uv’nei Aharon, do you think Y’hovah would hold the Kohen Gadol responsible for the Yisraeli ger’s death? I think it may be likely. I ALSO think that it didn’t happen after this last plague that Aharon stopped by standing in the gap between Y’hovah and the living in the camp in ch.17.

I don’t know if Aharon had any idea just how much slaughter there would be in Yisrael, but I think that Y’hovah gave him all that he did in vv.8-19 as a way of softening what they would have to endure in the way of the emotional trauma and then the hardening that would have to take place due to the constant bloodletting, which HAD to take its toll. 

V.9 says that they were to eat their portions mikodesh hakadashim, from the holiest of the holies and v.10 says they shall eat it b’kodesh hakadashim, IN the holiest of holies. Now, noone but the High Priest and even HE only on Yom haKippurim could even ENTER b’kodesh hakadashim, so this MUST mean something else. The priests were to eat their portions in the courtyard of the Mishkan, not in the Mishkan itself. This designation of the Courtyard as kodesh kadashim MUST be as it is compared to the camp of Yisrael. On pp. 127-28, Schottenstein’s has an excellent comment [they mainly agree with me, so …].

Vv.15-17 list the 3 types of things that are redeemed and not offered in Yisrael, 1] the bikkurim of clean animals that can be offered are given to the Kohanim to be used for offerings, 2] the firstborn of all Yisraeli families are redeemed for 5 shekels of silver and 3] firstborn male donkeys are redeemed with a lamb. Salt is virtually indestructible, so a salt covenant is eternal in v.19. In v.20, the Levi’im have no land inheritance, for Y’hovah is their inheritance. 

But Levi DOES get the tithes that are brought up by Yisrael unto Y’hovah. Tithes were not primarily in specie money, but are 1/10th of the actual crops that were brought up to the various Moedim/Kodesh Miqra of Y’hovah. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a good comment on pg.129-30.

In vv.25-32 The tithe of the tithes that were given to the Levi’im in lieu of a land inheritance is given to Aharon or his successor as Kohen Gadol. I infer that this tithe from the tithes was distributed among the courses of priests in the Temple times. Q&C 

Yechezkel 44.15 – The order of Y’hovah for b’nei Aharon to be the ones to offer in the Tabernacle is further restricted to b’nei Tzadok, which family of Aharon is, like b’nei Levi in Ex.32, the only one to stay faithful to Y’hovah to the last man. They all followed in their father Tzadok’s footsteps when he [and his brother Aviathar] remained faithful to David in the Absalom rebellion [2Sam.18]. B’nei Tzadok = Sons of the Righteous. Q&C 

Tehellim 108 – There are 3 stanzas to this Psalm; vv.1-6, 7-9 and 10-13. Vv.1-6 have the Psalmist praising Y’hovah for his mercy, truth and power whereby the Psalmist has obtained his deliverance. He is expending his own glory to bring all glory to Elohim of his salvation. He sings Yah’s praises while playing the psaltry and the harp, all things he did remarkably well, according to the sages. He calls on the psaltry and harp to awake as he awakes in the morning to bring his praises to Avinu in v.3. Then in v.4 he notes that Eloha’s mercy, or goodness, reaches even higher than his truth, or severity [Rom.11.22-23].

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for Eloha is able to graff them again.

His goodness, indeed, reaches higher than his justice.

In vv.7-9 the Psalmist relates how Y’hovah will defeat the enemies of Israel and her Elohim and take possession of the enemies’ lands for his service. There is an interesting idiom in v.9; “Over Edom I will cast out my shoe.” This exact phrase is used in Ps.60.8. I think this is a reference to an ancient custom in the Middle East, which we see in Ruth 4, where Boaz is negotiating with the nearer kinsman [cousin] to Chilion, Ruth’s husband. 

5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. 7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. 8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi. [Ruth 4.5-9]

According to the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, 

This custom does not refer to the law about refusing to marry a brother’s widow [Dt.25.7-10] , but was usual in the transfer of inheritances. For this relative was not a brother, but simply a kinsman; and theshoe was not PULLED off by Ruth, but by the kinsman himself. The Targumist, instead of his shoe, renders ‘his right hand glove,’ it probably being the custom, in his time, to give that insteadof a shoe. 

 I think that Y’hovah is saying that he disavows Edom as its near kin [Edom was the son of Lot, Avraham’s nephew] and passes the right of redemption to another.

Then, in vv.10-13 David relates how Y’hovah will overcome Israel’s enemies and deliver his own into his Kingdom. V.11 has a LOT of added words, and I think it should read, “Eloha hast not cast us off, and will you not, Eloha, go forth with our hosts?” The psalmist then importunes Eloha to help because it is useless to get help from men when it is only through Eloha that we can do valiantly; for HE, and NOT WE, will walk all over our enemies. 

14 And the armies which were 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 his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Master of masters. [Rev.19.14-16] Q&C

Ivrit 5 – Ch.4 ended with this passage;

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Yeshua ben   Eloha, let us hold fast our profession. 15 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. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Rav Sha’ul, or his talmid [perhaps a High Priest], who wrote this letter [IM not so HO], contrasts the high priesthood of Aharon to the High Priesthood of Yeshua, our MelchiTzadik, Righteous King. The contrast is that every day in the Mishkan/Beit haMikdash, the Aharonson had to offer sin offerings for himself BEFORE he could offer any other on the off chance that he’d inadvertently committed a sin or omitted a duty. But Yeshua had lived a life in the same flesh that we and Aharon and his sons have, tempted in the same way we all are, yet without ever sinning, either by committing what he was commanded to NOT do or by omitting to do what he was commanded TO do. For the MelchiTzadik, the King of Righteousness, there is no need for a sin offering. Paul, or his disciple who wrote this letter, started to make the case in ch.4 that Yeshua was our MelchiTzadik and he builds his case right through ch.10, where he culminates it with vv.26-31, 

26 For if we [kohen hagedolim] sin wilfully {by offering the goat of atonement on Yom haKippurim [IMO – MP]} after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace. 30 For we know him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith Y’hovah”. And again, “Y’hovah shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim”.

For a Netzari believing priest [Acts 6.7c – a BUNCH of ‘em] to offer the Atonement would be a denial of and a profanation of the Name of Y’hovah. And since they ‘were obedient to the faith’, they were outcasts among the political leaders of the religion. If it wasn’t Sha’ul who wrote this book, it was one of these Netzari Priests [IM not so HO}. 

In vv.1-4, the Aharonsons can have compassion on us when we sin and desire to offer our offerings so that we can make tikkun, reconciliation, a reality in our own lives, because they have experienced it, even the need to make tikkun. As we saw in our Torah portion today, only Aharonsons may offer at the earthly sanctuary, for only Aharon and his sons have been appointed and ordained of Y’hovah for that purpose. Anyone usurping that position is a dead man walking.

Vv.5-6 makes it plain that Yeshua [that is, the flesh and blood man] did not raise himself up to his position as MelchiTzadik, but the Ayn Sof, El Shaddai, did.

I will declare the decree: Y’hovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. [Ps.2.7]

Y’hovah hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.    Y’hovah at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. [Ps.110.4-5].

V.7 refers to Yeshua’s prayer in Gethsemane, at least. “And was heard in that he feared”. Yeshua’s prayer in the Garden the night before he died was heard because he FEARED Y’hovah. I think this passage gives us the proper understanding of the word fear. To fear Y’hovah the way Yeshua feared Y’hovah was to submit to him, to obey him, in all we do. Yeshua feared Y’hovah, who was able to deliver him from death. It was not hard for Yeshua to believe in deliverance from death, since he had been Y’hovah’s ‘channel’ of delivery on at least 4 occasions; the last one, Elazar, just weeks before, was still ‘big news’ the night of Yeshua’s death on the tree. Paul is still referring to 4.16-18 in v.8, where he says Yeshua learned obedience through his fear and suffering; through his obedient submission to the will and plan of Avinu for him. The result of his fear [v.9] was his resurrection through which he conquered the human fear of death

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. [Heb.2.14-15]

Also, please notice that he is the cause of eternal life in those that obey Y’hovah. Our obedience shows forth our love for and fear of Y’hovah. Another result was that he fulfilled [v.10] his call as the MelchiTzadik High Priest.  Sha’ul would have tried to explain it to these priests except they were ‘dull of hearing’ [v.11]; AENT says ‘impeded’ and gives a good comment on that choice of words in note 30 on pg. 406. Q&C

Vv.12-14 – Some of these priests had been believers that Yeshua is Mashiyach for DECADES, but Rav Sha’ul [or his talmid] doesn’t have the time to try to get them to understand mysteries deeper than what he is explaining. After all this time, they should be teachers, not toddlers. It is for that very reason that he is going to spend the next 6 chapters explaining their position and their danger in what I think they were considering; returning to their service in the Temple sacrificial system, particularly the Yom Kippurim atonement, as referenced above [near the top of p.5]. I think he is kinda taking them to the woodshed with the next remark;

… such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Moshe Koniuchowski’s comment on v.12 is instructive;

You have the need that someone teach you AGAIN the first principles of the primary writings of Y’hovah [Torah – MP].

He told them that they are slipping back into the trust in the traditions as equal to, or even superior to, Torah. The author likens the traditions to pablum and Torah to strong food on which you must ruminate and work over with determination to get the best nutrition for your soul. I think that was meant to be an awakening slap in the face to these men who were well trained in Torah and Mishnah. He is trying to get them to see that it is primarily Y’hovah’s Word, not the oral traditions that need to be trusted and obeyed. Not that there is anything WRONG with traditions, per se; but they are just that, men’s traditions and they could be wicked in the extreme;

The heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked: who can know it? I Y’hovah search the heart; try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways; according to the fruit of his doings. [Jer.17.9-10]

Paul [or their brother Kohen] was urging them to think according to Torah.

Ivrit 6.1-3 – And he goes on to ‘leave behind the basics’ and teach them things deeper than the pablum he’d just told them they were swallowing because it was “easier” or would make their lives simpler. He goes on to teach meat, not pablum. But our portion ends with v.3 today, so I am not going to continue beyond this; 6.1-5 is a parallelistic outline showing the good and the evil he’d finished ch.5 unveiling. Let me show you [if I can] what I see there [I hope this works out in the net postings]:

Men who have done A should then do B:

A. Left the Elementary Principles [vv.1-3 lay another foundation for]

1. Repentence from dead works

2. Faith toward Elohim [obedience]

3. Doctrines of Mikvoth [baptism]

4. Laying on of hands

5. Resurrection of the dead

6. Judgement and Reward

B. Continue on to Torah’s perfection [Vv.4-6], for they who have

1. Descended into mikvah [been washed by the pure water of the Word]

2. Tasted the heavenly gift

3. Made partakers of Ruach HaKodesh,

4. Tasted [but not fully experienced] the good Word of Elohim and the

5. Power of the Kingdom and New Creation

Then he iterates the outcome of those who have done all of that and turn aside from it to go back to what will make their lives easier [like going back to the Temple offering system, which is of no efficacy and is an insult to Y’hovah Yeshua and Ruach l’chesed, who bought them with his own blood] to renew them once again to repentance. That is SOBERING, folks. Those who leave behind the Way of Y’hovah Yeshua and his Torah for the elementary things of mens’ traditions have denied the One who bought them, they have walked all over Yeshua, thought Ruach haKodesh’s power is less than worthless.

Our author RE-iterates this in ch.10.26-32; here it is once again, in case you missed it a few minutes ago:

26 For if we sin wilfully [by denying our Master Yeshua and leaving the Way Of Elohim] after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace. 30 For we know him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith Y’hovah”. And again, “Y’hovah shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim”. 32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye received mikvah, ye endured a great fight of afflictions …

Live WITH the afflictions. Live THROUGH the afflictions by the power of Ruach haKodesh! Remember what Yeshua would do if you deny him

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. [Mat.10.32-33]

 Q&C

If it hasn’t been mentioned yet, May 20 on the common calendar is Chag haShavuoth, or Pentecost, to Christian believers. This was the day on which the Covenant was given on Mt. Sinai [Ex.20.1-24.16] AND the day on which Ruach haKodesh came upon Yeshua’s talmidim as recorded in Acts 2. This is the day in the not too distant future when I think the 144,000, 12K from each tribe of Yisrael in Rev.7.5-8 and 14.1, will be anointed. I think they will be resurrected direct from their life without tasting death and will have been the leaders of the various kehalim in the previous 3½ years. Of course, those are italicized I thinks, and I COULD be wrong. But I DOUBT IT! 

May it be both correct … AND TOMORROW.

End of Shabbat Bible Study Notes.

May 12, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

May 12, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 9 

Numbers 16 – 1 Samuel 11 – [No Psalm] – Jude

Links:

B’Midbar 16.1-4 – Think about the way the tribes are encamped in the Wilderness; Reuven’s tribe is just a short putt away from the Kohathite Levi’im, and I infer from that that Korach and the Reuvenim involved in the whole plot thing are near neighbors. Korach MAY have instigated the rebellion, but I think  that the Reuvenim at least egged him on. Korach, son of Yitzhar, was a Levi, a son of Kohath; a Kohen, though NOT a son of Amram and, therefore, not of the Kohen Gadol’s line. He had duties within the Mishkan and in service to it, may even have been one who carried the Ark or another piece of the Mishkan’s furnishings. Now, Korach may have been k’vetching, or maybe he was just listening to the Reuvenim; Dathan and Aviram, sons of Eliav, and On, son of Peleth k’vetch; but these 4 men led a group of 250 famous and tough mostly Reuvenim [IM not so HO], along with some Levi’im to raise their k’vetch to Moshe’s face. I think that was pretty gutsy; or maybe it was just STUPID. Had they not seen that even Miriam was not immune to Y’hovah’s wrath when it came to Moshe? Did they think they would get away with this attempted mutiny? Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting prefatory note on this chapter on pg.112.

Now, in the natural, the k’vetching is understandable. In pretty quick succession the 12 spies had been sent into the land [ch.13] to check it out and came back with a glowing report of the land and brought out some incredible souvenirs, but the 10 spies-turned-tourists had discouraged the people about the giants in the land that in the physical should eat Israel’s army for breakfast, as the 57 Muslim nations should do with present day Israel were it not for Y’hovah’s favor. The whole nation turned on Moshe, Aharon and the 2 mighty men of valor and threatened to stone them all [ch.14] just before Y’hovah intervened [scaring the bejeebers out of the Israelites for a time] and told Moshe to step aside while he fried the nation’s bacon for them. It was only Moshe’s intercession that kept any of them alive for the next 39 years. A group who understood the rebellion they had committed and were seemingly repentant, then wanted to go into the land they were told they could not enter and a bunch [maybe not all] who, again would not listen to Moshe nor obey Y’hovah, died at the hands of Amalek and Canaan. Almost immediately after that [15.32ff], perhaps the very next Shabbat, a guy goes out to pick up sticks on the Shabbat. Y’hovah’s judgment is that the people should stone him outside the camp, which Israel did, I think grudgingly, and THAT brings us to this Korach rebellion against Moshe and Aharon – NOT openly against Y’hovah, but against Israel’s human leadership, which is really the same thing, since they are Y’hovah’s anointed, His mashiyachot. 

Korach and the [I think] Reuvenim instigators came to Moshe and accused him of lording it over chol Yisrael, I think, projecting their own spirits on their leaders, which people are wont to do. Moshe’s response, like with the people who wanted to stone them and follow the tourists back to Egypt, was to fall on his face before Y’hovah in the sight of the whole lot of them. Evidently, Y’hovah spoke to Moshe’s spirit and gave him the idea of the test that would convince Yisrael, if not the instigators. 

In vv.5-11, Moshe gave the Word of Y’hovah to Korach and the would-be Levi’im who were with him in the rebellion. He said [in a Mp] “Each of you take a censer and fire and incense and meet me here in the morning, so that Y’hovah can show chol Yisrael who are his mashiachot [anointed ones]. You guys don’t know the depth or odor of the Kimchee you are stepping into. Do you think it is a minor thing to have the exalted duties you have as Y’hovah’s bikkurim? Do you not know the HONOR you have already received? Do you think you have these things because you DESERVE them? And you want MORE? And I can understand your contempt for me, but why in the WORLD would you k’vetch about Aharon?!” [end of Mp]

Then Moshe called for the Eliavim instigators, Dathan and Aviram, who didn’t even go up for this meeting. They basically told Moshe to pound salt, and then we see what is probably the REAL source of the rebellion; Dathan repeats [v.13] the opening words of Moshe to Korach [v.9], “Is it a SMALL thing …”, but he then gives the witness that Y’hovah gave of haAretz, and that the 12 spies had confirmed, to EGYPT! – “Is it a SMALL thing that you have taken us from a land flowing with milk and honey.” Did he not remember the subjugation of Egypt and the back-breaking labor without rest there? I don’t think he forgot. I just think he was positioning himself to be king, and had tempted Korach with the High Priesthood. Dathan’s reply shows all of this [IM not so HO], the attitude of rebellion and setting himself and Korach up to replace Moshe and Aharon. Dathan’s accusations against Moshe in v.14, caused Moshe’s righteous indignance in [Mp v.15], “Y’hovah, don’t accept their offering. I haven’t profited in the least while standing in the gap between them and you. Do what you will with these ingrates.” Then he turned to the rebels and said [vv.16-17], “Bring your fire-pans and incense in the AM and we’ll see who Y’hovah will choose” … and to Korach he said, “You and your would-be Levi’im and Kohen Gadolim and Aharon will stand before Y’hovah tomorrow and Y’hovah will choose.”

So, next day there were 250 Levi’im and would-be Levi’im [probably Reuvenim], and Aharon, standing before the Mishkan with their fire-pans with incense and fire, and Y’hovah’s kavod stood above them and said to Aharon and Moshe [Mp], “Back away from the people of Yisrael just a bit. I’m going to wipe them out.” Moshe and Aharon heard that and immediately fell on their faces before Y’hovah and interceded for the people once again, to which Y’hovah replied [v.24 – Mp], “OK, but tell the congregation to back off a bit from the rebellious group’s encampment, ‘cause THEY are toast!” This gives me to infer that Dathan and Aviram’s tents were adjacent to Korach’s in the camp, Korach’s in the inner circle of the Levites and Dathan and Aviram’s just outside the inner circle in Reuven’s camp.

So Moshe went down to the rebels’ campsite and stood between the people and the rebels to protect the sheep who followed the wolves. Then Moshe told the sheeple [v.24, again in Mp], “Back away from these guys and don’t touch their stuff or you will get what Y’hovah gives them.” Then he spelled it out to them all, Dathan, Eliav, Korach and all their families standing in the tent doors [Mp vv.26-30]; “If these 3 families die normal deaths, I am not the anointed of Y’hovah. But if the ground opens underneath them and swallows them whole with all that they possess, I most certainly AM the Mashiyach of Y’hovah to you.” No sooner did the last quotation mark leave Moshe’s lips [vv.31-34] than the earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, Eliav and Korach and all that pertained to them whole and then closed up again in the sight of chol Yisrael. Then, just to drive the point home [v.35], fire came down from Y’hovah and devoured the 250 would-be Levi’im and their incense, NOT by way of accepting the offering, but of punishing the presumptuous bad actors. Reminds one of Rev.20.9, does it not?

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from Eloha out of heaven, and devoured them.

Then Y’hovah instructed Moshe to have Aharon’s son, Elazar, gather up the 250 censers to be beaten into a covering for the altar as a sign to chol Yisrael. I infer from this that it was obvious that the altar’s brazen covering was from the 250 individual censers, so one must have been able to see where 1 censer ended and another began; perhaps they overlapped and one could see the rim of one censer against the body of another. The sign was to make Yisrael remember that no non-Levi could offer at the altar on Y’hovah [vv.37-40].

Yisrael was not finished being stupid, though. In vv.41-50 they k’vetched about Moshe and Aharon AGAIN!, “You’ve killed the people of Y’hovah!” Since they didn’t seem to get that it was Y’hovah who had killed the rebels, not Moshe, the cloud covered the Mishkan once again and Y’hovah’s kavod appeared to chol Yisrael. I infer here that before Moshe could turn and fall before Y’hovah to intercede for Yisrael the plague broke out, because Moshe just told Aharon to quick, like a bunny, get a censer and some incense and get between the living and the dying in the camp in an attempt to stop the wrath of Y’hovah against the people. It worked. Only 14,700 were wiped out that day by the plague that Y’hovah sent against them. So, altogether we see about 15,000 people destroyed among the children of Yisrael in less than 24 hours; 14,700 here, 250 would be Levi’im and Korach, Dathan and Aviram and all their families the day before. And, if you remember our study from 3 weeks ago, it seemed to all start when they left the comfort of Rephidim, with the camp in one place, as well as all the water and food they could eat and drink, to go into haAretz. Q&C

1Sam.11.1-15 – In Sh’muel Alef 10, Sh’muel had anointed Sha’ul as king of Israel, but the sons of Beliya’al [10.27] murmured against Sha’ul’s kingship, not bringing the new king any gift at his coronation – kinda like the rebels’ rejection of Moshe and Aharon. Sha’ul said nothing about it. Our passage for today begins with a man of Ammon named ‘Snake’ besieging Yavesh Gilead and the elders of Yavesh offering to serve him as tributaries. Nachash comes back proposing to the inhabitants that he be their protector under the condition that he be allowed to put out the whole town’s right [dominant] eyes. Now, the men of Yavesh didn’t think that proposal was all that and a bag of chips, so they counter-proposed to send to chol Yisrael for help, and if there isn’t a reply in 7 days time, they would accede to his demand. For some reason Nachash agreed to this and Yavesh sent to Giveah for deliverance. 

King Sha’ul, meanwhile. had returned to his flocks and when he heard the news, Ruach haKodesh came upon him to gather the men of chol Israel to battle with Nachash. His method of calling was a bit unusual. He butchered a yoke of oxen and sent the pieces to the 4 corners of Yisrael with the message that such would be the fate of the cattle of any who would not come up to Yavesh in aid to their Israelite brethren. Chol Yisrael obviously thought he could make it happen because they came up as one man to Sha’ul and Sh’muel to defend Yavesh against ‘The Snake’. When they numbered the men of Yisrael, there were 300,000 and from Yehudah came up 30,000. Seems interesting that there was a difference between Yehudah and Yisrael here, long before their supposed ‘division’ in Rehovoam’s reign. We will, in fact, see the same division when David ascends to the throne of Yehudah in Sha’ul’s stead, when there will be a 7 year period of division between Yehudah and Yisrael. 

When Yavesh’s messengers came to Sha’ul at Giveah he sent word by them that they would be there by noon the next day. Those messengers must have seen the number of Yisraelites arrayed at Giveah, because the zechanim of Yavesh were overjoyed and got kinda cocky with Nachash. They said [Mp v.10], ‘Tomorrow, we’ll come out and you can do what you will with us.’ Nachash must not have heard about the size of the army to be arrayed against him, because he stuck around to do what he would to Yavesh. 

Sha’ul split his army in 3 [v.11] and sent them from at least that many directions against Nachash’s camp and throughly discomfited it so that the survivors slunk singly away and back to Ammon. In other words, there were not many survivors to slink back to Ammon. 

Now, those sons of Beliya’al must not have been among the Israelites who came to Yavesh’s aid, for chol Yisrael said to Sh’muel [Mp], “Who was it that said, ‘Sha’ul will not lead us?!’ – Let’s go GET ‘em and STRING ‘em up!” – your basic lynch mob. Sha’ul held them off from killing their Israelite brethren and Sh’muel proposed that they re-anoint Sha’ul at Gilgal and reaffirm his kingdom, which they did with a rip-roarin’ party. Yisrael had a king, by acclamation.  But he wasn’t Y’hovah. Q&C

No Psalm

Yehuda – was the brother of Yeshua and Ya’akov, Yoseph and Shimon; the son of Miriam and Yoseph;

And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue:and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Miriam, the brother of Ya’akov, and Yoseph, and of Yehuda, and Shimon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. [Mk.6.1-3]

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s [Yoseph’s] son? is not his mother called Miriam? and his brethren, Ya’akov, and Yoseph, and Shimon, and Yehudah? [Matt.12.54-55]

But other of the apostles saw I none, save Ya’akov the Master’s brother. [Gal.1.19]

Yehudah says that he is the eved of Yeshua and the brother of Ya’akov (who was the Nasi of J’lem, a respected and high-ranking official within the Temple; quite possibly the ruling elder who succeeded Gamaliel, Sha’ul’s rebbe, after his retirement or death; and who wrote the book of Ya’akov [or James] in your Brith Chadasha). 

Why did Yehuda not say right out that he was Yeshua’s brother? Perhaps because he had mistreated Yeshua earlier in his life, and felt unworthy

Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. [Yochanan 7.2-3]

What Yehuda DOES say is that he is writing to the ‘sanctified’ who are called by Y’hovah. Rav Sha’ul tells us who are the ‘sanctified’ in 

Unto the kahal of Eloha which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Mashiyach Yeshua, called saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of MarYah Yeshua haMoshiach, both theirs and ours. [1Cor.1.2]

Who are ‘called’? Chol Yisrael are called in Rom.11.29

For the gifts and calling of Elohim are without repentance.

Believing Yisrael are called out of the world in MarYah Yeshua and who are, therefore blessed with mercy [rachamim], peace [shalom] and love [ahava], and to whom Ya’akov gives greeting in vv.1-2.

In vv.3-4, Yehudah gets down to business by telling the recipients that he meant to write to them about their [that is, the entire kahal’s] commonly held faith, both Yehudim and ger. This is what I have called ‘the once delivered to the saints faith’, the same one that Avraham ‘crossed over’ to from his idolatrous paganism – the belief that Y’hovah is one, and there is no other Elohim. But Y’hovah moved on him to write on ‘false prophets’ among them who would try to get them to go after a false elohim and not the Master Y’hovah who had bought them with his own blood,

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which Ruach haKodesh hath made you overseers, to feed the kahal of Eloha, which he hath purchased with his own blood. [Acts 20.28]

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into Kodesh Kadashim, having obtained eternal redemption. [Heb.9.12]

Wherefore Yeshua also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. [Heb.13.12]

And from Yeshua haMashiyach, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. [Rev.1.5]

The false prophets, who had misrepresented themselves in order to gain entry into the kahal and positions of authority therein, who were teaching that there was no need to obey Y’hovah anymore, since Yeshua had ‘fulfilled Torah’ for us, so we can [to quote Mark Call] “Go make ourselves a ham sandwich and share it with a ‘lady of the evening’. Y’hovah was just kidding when he told Yisrael to obey him because “Jesus paid it all” and we can now live any way we choose because Jesus has given us a ‘get out of hell free’ card.”

So, in vv.5-7, Yehudah reminds his audience that after Y’hovah had delivered the nation from Egypt, he destroyed all those who abandoned his work and started living as they chose to live after they had 4 times agreed to his conditions for deliverance into the promised land. Did Yehudah’s audience think they were better than the Exodus generation? We saw in the last few weeks Torah portions how

“In pretty quick succession the 12 spies had been sent into the land [ch.13] to check it out and came back with a glowing report of the land and brought out some incredible souvenirs, but the 10 spies-turned-tourists had discouraged the people about the giants in the land that, in the physical, should eat their army for breakfast. The whole nation turned on Moshe, Aharon and the 2 mighty men of valor and threatened to stone them all [ch.14] just before Y’hovah intervened [scaring the bejeebers out of them for a time] and told Moshe to step aside while he fried the nation’s bacon for them. It was only Moshe’s intercession that kept any of them alive for the next 39 years. A group who understood the rebellion they had committed and were seemingly repentant, then wanted to go into the land they were told they could not enter and a bunch [maybe not all] who, again would not listen to Moshe nor obey Y’hovah, died at the hands of Amalek and Canaan. Almost immediately after that [15.32ff], perhaps the very next Shabbat, a guy goes out to pick up sticks on the Shabbat. Y’hovah’s judgment is that the people should stone him outside the camp, which Israel did, I think grudgingly, and THAT brings us to this Korach rebellion against Moshe and Aharon – NOT openly against Y’hovah, but against Israel’s human leadership, which is really the same thing, since they are Y’hovah’s anointed mashiyachot.”

So, be careful how you speak of and treat human teachers when they prove they are human. Don’t revile them, but pray for them. They are NOT Y’hovah in human flesh. They deal with the same evil inclination and are as prone to sin as we are. Do they faithfully teach Yah’s Word? Pray for them. Did Moshe fail at times? How about David, the only man about whom Y’hovah said “a man after my heart’ [1Sam.13.14, Acts 13.22]? If these worthies could fall short, do you expect that YOU can’t? Pray for them! And beware, lest YE fall [2Pe.3.17]. There were angels, spirit messengers created for service to Y’hovah and to his people, who ‘kept not their first estate’. If these, who had access to the throne of Y’hovah, could rebel and follow a creature instead of the Creator, whom they could see, do you think you are greater? If so, you are foolish. 

Did Sedom and gAhmorrha actually burn forever? As far as the people there were concerned, yes; but those fires, like all fires, burned out when there was no more substance to burn. In the same way, the Lake of Fire, which is the final dissolution of this creation [2Pe.3.7ff], will only burn until there is nothing left to burn. That fire will be eternal for the physical things that burn up in it – as long as there is any substance to burn. But it will be momentary in the grand scheme, even as Sedom and gAhmorrha’s inhabitants deaths were relatively instantaneous, though their destruction was absolutely complete. Q&C

V.8-10, still speaking of those false prophets from v.4, has a parallel passage in 2Pe.2.4-12 

For if Elohim spared not the angels that sinned, but cast down to hell [i.e., the grave], and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned with an overthrow, making an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just [tzadik] Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For hatzadik dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed righteous soul from day to day with unlawful deeds;) 9 Y’hovah knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before Y’hovah.

12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; [2Pe.2.4-12]

These are people who, under the influence or oppression of the Adversary, practice acts and teach doctrines that Y’hovah has termed abominable. When we detect them in our midst, we need to excommunicate, cut them off, from our fellowship. These are marked by the character traits we see in v.11; the way of Cayin, the error of Bila’am, and the ‘gainsaying’ of Korach. I think the ‘way of Cayin’ is to go ones’ own way, rather than the way Y’hovah has prescribed for us – obedience to his Word. The error of Bila’am was, I think, going with the human messengers to Balak, king of Midian, for profit, as distinguished from the WAY of Bila’am, sending Midianite women to entice Israelite men to compromise themselves with the Midianite gods and rites. We just saw the ‘gainsaying of Korach’ in our Torah portion today; he coveted a position to which he was not entitled and took steps to usurp the position. 

Vv.12-13, STILL speaking of the false prophets who had crept in unawares. The word translated here as ‘spots’ is G4694, spilas, which actually refers to reefs or rocks hidden just beneath the surface of the water against which your vessel can be destroyed. The KJV translators must have thought the word should have been G4696, spilos, which actually translates as ‘spot’ or ‘moral blemish’. So, these guys are going to destroy your Feasts of Yah. They will look great and lull you into comfort until you run up against them and rip the bottom out of your boat, killing all aboard. They look great; like a big, fluffy cumulus cloud on a sunny day, or a fig tree out of season with leaves all over it but empty of fruit [Matt.21.19-20]. 

19 And when he [Yeshua] saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away.

The description as ‘raging waves of the sea’ gives credence, I think to the aforementioned KJV mistranslation of ‘spilas’ as ‘spots’ and its actual meaning as reefs or shoals.

Vv.14-15 make reference to the extra-canonical book of Enoch, which some people think ought to be canonized as well. I do not think so, though it does have some things to teach us, like Talmud and Kabbala, or even the ravings and rantings you’ve suffered through today, already. In the case of Enoch, I know that at least as much of it as Yehudah refers to here is instructive and true. Y’hovah coming with 10,000s of saints is also spoken of in Torah, in the first words of Moshe’s final blessing on Israel

Y’hovah came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand a fiery law for them. [Dt.33.2]

When he comes with 10,000s of his saints, those saints will be there to witness Y’hovah’s judgment and execution of it, not to participate. There is nothing in this passage to disabuse us of the truth that Y’hovah will perform what he has promised. Y’hovah coming with 10,000s of saints is an historical reference to the Egyptian exodus, when Y’hovah manifested himself to Paroh with judgments [his severity, Rom.11.22] and to his people in mount Sinai with his Covenant [his goodness, Rom.11.22]. He then manifested his severity against the unfaithful Israelites who, seeing his judgments 1st-hand performed on Paroh’s Egypt, thought that they would not feel his wrath if they despised his Torah. 

Let this last sentence be a warning to us, whom he has delivered from the wrath to come against all who trust in the flesh, for if we despise his Torah, will he also not judge us in our own Wilderness Adventure? Keep your accounts short with him, repent quickly. You have been delivered by supernatural means; act like it.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is Elohim which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. [Philippians 2.12-13]

For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiyach Yeshua unto good works, which Elohim hath before ordained that we should walk in them [Eph.2.10]

Don’t become like one of the ungodly, whom Y’hovah MUST judge. Remain faithful to him, as he, who gave himself for you, has been faithful to you. 

The purpose of Y’hovah’s judgment is ALWAYS to bring the object to teshuvah, repentance, and  tikkun, restoration. When we get into any kind of difficulty, we need to examine our lives to see if the root of it is sin and not harden ourselves to that possibility. We need to ask Y’hovah to show us, if it is inadvertent, so that we can confess and repent of it. He may also allow the Enemy to buffet us at times to try our faith and faithfulness. Will we pray for our brother or sister in need? Will we provide the need as we are able and as Y’hovah gives us the ability? Q&C

V.16 begins with the word ‘these’, which refers us back to the false prophets in the kahal who had ‘crept in unawares.’ Remember how Israel spoke against Moshe and Aharon over the last few weeks Torah portions? Dathan, Eliav and Korach are the ones THIS week, who tried to usurp the authority Y’hovah had ordained in his mashiyachot. The last word in v.16 in KJV is ‘advantage’, but it’s translated from G5622, ophelia, benefit or profit. Korach and Dathan were after their own ‘advantage’ and thought that Moshe and Aharon were profiting from their positions. They wanted a piece of that action. They obviously weren’t watching when Moshe interposed himself between Israel and her utter destruction those 3-4 times. 

Vv.17-19 refer the audience to Kefa’s 2nd letter

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of Elohim the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. [2Pe.3.3-7]

This speaks of the general consensus in the world, but has become very conspicuous in the ‘church’ in general in recent decades. The word ‘sensual’ is from G5591 pseukikos, psychical or ‘soulish’, carnally minded, which refers us to Rav Sha’ul’s letter to the Romans.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim: for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Elohim. [Rom.8.5-8]

Vv.20-21 is an exhortation to those of us who, in contrast to the carnally-minded false professors, are building up ourselves in “the most holy faith”; the ‘once-delivered to the saints faith’ of v.3 that Yehudah HAD meant to write about. He tells us that building ourselves up in that faith will manifest itself in our praying in Ruach haKodesh and being obedient to Y’hovah, which is how we guard ourselves in the love of Elohim.

4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. [2Jn.1.4-6]

It sure looks like Yochanan’s purpose in writing his letters was to exhort the Notzrim [lady, bride of Mashiyach] to the same thing Yehuda wrote in his – exhortation to remain in the ‘once delivered to the saints faith’. 

Vv.22-23 is an exhortation to faithfully pray for and evangelize those false professors among us who walk in the flesh and are ‘spots in our Feasts’ [v.12]. Some will be won by our compassion, showing ourselves to be different than the carnal majority. Others will be won by showing their end if they keep on as they are doing. In both ways you will be pulling them out of the fire that consumes everything that it touches; the final fire of the dissolution of all things.

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of Elohim the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with Y’hovah as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 Y’hovah is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of Y’hovah will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Elohim, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. [2Pe.3.5-12]

Vv24-25 bring it all back around to the One Y’hovah who is able to do all in and through even us, if we remain faithful to him who alone is worthy of glory, majesty, dominion and power in and through Mashiyach Yeshua. Q&C

End of Bible Study notes