Shabbat Bible Study for October 7, 2017
Year 2 Shabbat 29
Leviticus 6:8-18 [Heb.6.1-11] – Jeremiah 7:21-27 – Psalm 73 – Mark 12:28-34
Vayikra 6.8-18 – These verses add detail to some offerings spoken of in chapters 1&2. V.9 seems to be saying that the offering stays on the altar all night and needs to be kept burning through the night. It is the priest’s job to keep the fire burning through the night, for the fire must never go out. I assume the on duty priest would need to check on the altar’s fire at intervals through the night to assure it not be quenched or go out. The symbolism seems to be that the fire of our devotion should not go out, that we not let our devotion waver. A passage that comes to mind from Brith Chadasha is Rev.3.14-19:
14 And to the teaching overseer of the congregation of the Laodikeia write; These things says The Amein, the Faithful and Emet witness, the first cause of all the creation of Y’hovah; 15 I know your mitzvoth that you are neither cold nor hot: I desire that you were cold, or hot. 16 So then because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold, nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with ointment, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and make teshuvah. [Gilyahna 3.14-19]
The kahal in Laodicea had allowed their fire to burn down to barely smoldering coals. They had allowed themselves to ‘assume room temperature’, spiritually speaking, so that they didn’t stand out at all from the world around them. Had they been ‘cold’, like the hyper-literalists in “Bible-Believing, Fundamentalist, Evangelical, ‘New Testament’ Xianity”, Gah-lory to Gaw-awd Amen!; at least their witness would be to something remotely scriptural, regardless the rigidity of their belief and practice. They would be like yeast kept in the refrigerator – and the sin in their lives would be dormant. Had they been ‘hot’, like the hyper-spiritualists in the “Holy Ghost Baptized, Tongues-Speaking, Miracle-Working, Demon-Casting-Outing Pentecostal ‘New Testament’ Xianity”, Gah-lory to Gaw-awd, Amen!; at least their witness would be to something remotely scriptural, regardless the lack of restraints in their belief and practice. They would be like yeast cooked in bread – and the sin in their lives would be killed. Instead, the Laodicean kahal had become so like the world around us that the world had infiltrated the kahal and sin ran rampant in the ‘community of faith’, as we see in what is considered by the world as ‘Mainstream Xianity’ today, or ‘Xianity Astray’. We need to keep our fire going, like the Pentecostal, while maintaining the structure of that which is revealed to us in the text of scripture, like the hyper-literalist. We each need to
15 Study to show yourself approved before Y’hovah, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of emet. [Timtheous Bet 2.15]
Chumash has some interesting comments on 568-569 [all underlined portions] regarding vv. 8-9.
Vv. 10-11 say that the kohen must wear the linen britches directly over his skin and the other garments over them. He was then to remove the previous day’s ashes from beneath the altar and lay them on the ground of the outer courtyard while he changed into another set of garments before he carried the ashes to a clean place outside the Tabernacle precincts and, perhaps, the camp.
Vv.12-13 talk of the fire itself upon the altar. This fire was to never go out. The kohen would bring new logs and lay them on the fire, as it was necessary to keep the fire burning while they were in or not changing camp. In the 40 years Israel was in the Wilderness Adventure they only pitched 42 camps. They are camped in Camp #11 in the Wilderness of Sinai at the time they received Vayikra/Leviticus. They were awaiting the completion of the Mishkan and the Kohanim were receiving their training and these orders of their service. I bring these facts up to show that in the 39 years they used the Mishkan in the Wilderness Adventure, they only pitched 28 camps. Striking Camp, moving to the next site and pitching camp was no minor event for the 2-3 million Israelites who started out from Goshen, much LESS the larger group who actually crossed over Yarden to enter the land. Do you suppose the kohanim conducted drills to make the exercise more or less automatic?
All of that to say that the firepans used to carry the still burning fire from camp to camp were only needed 28 times. Otherwise, it was a kohen’s job to keep the fire stoked through the night. TruthinKen shared with us a week or 2 ago that the idiom “as a thief in the night” often referred to the tradition that the Kohen Gadol would sometimes enter the Mishkan to see if the duty kohen was watching that the fire not go out. If the Kohen Gadol found the duty priest napping he would actually set his clothing afire. I don’t think it would take but 1 or 2 of these incidents happening before the men on watch ensured that they stayed awake throughout their shift and kept the fire going. [Mk.13.33-37]
Vv.14-18 deal with the minchah, or regular daily offerings, that opened and closed the kohen’s daily service. This was a ‘meat/meal’ offering of an handful of fine flower, oil and frankincense that would be burnt on the fire. The remainder of the flour would be used to make unleavened cakes for the kohanim to eat during their service in the Mishkan [cf note in Chumash on pg.571, v.8]. This meat offering was for only the male kohanim to eat during their service in the Mishkan and in the service area. None was to be taken home to the wife and little kohanim. Whatever touched the unleavened cakes was rendered set-apart, or holy. We see this in Mat.23
16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, Whoever shall swear by the Beit HaMikdash, it is nothing; but whoever shall swear by the gold of the Beit HaMikdash, he is a debtor! 17 You blind fools: for what is greater, the gold, or the Beit HaMikdash that sets apart the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 You blind fools: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sets apart the gift? 20 Whoever therefore shall swear by the altar, swears by it, and by all things on it. 21 And whoever shall swear by the Beit HaMikdash, swears by it, and by Him that dwells in it.
There are instructive notes in Chumash on pg.571 [right column]. Q&C
YirmeYahu 7.21-27 – It looks like Y’hovah is ticked at the priests for adding a lot of halachoth to the service of the Temple, and possibly to the halachoth required of the people in their everyday lives, that he never commanded in Torah. Yeshua never rebuked the S&P for their adherence to Torah, but took them to task for the ‘burdens grievous to be borne’ [Mat.23.4, Lk.11.46] they added to Y’hovah’s instructions [see Chumash’ commentary on 6.11 for an example].
V.21 sets the stage for this short Haftarah portion, which is a stern rebuke to the people for disregarding or despising his commandments. He tells us in v.22 that he expects us to know what those commandments are because he gave our fathers to have instructed us in their requirements and their performance. In v.23 he tells us what was required of our fathers and therefore what is also required of us to receive his blessings; obedience to his commandments.
In v.24 our fathers went after their own counsel and imaginations, not Y’hovah’s, and it seems to be saying that if one isn’t moving on a direct path to the Eternal, he is moving away from him. Remember how far off the desired path you can go if you are only ¼ degree of course – the difference between the Straits of Gibraltar and the English Channel if you are off that little to the north all the way from Norfolk, Va. So, although at the end of the journey you are closer to Gibraltar than to Norfolk, you STILL have to travel that much further to get to where you actually wanted to go when you left. And the course you have to travel may be a LOT more difficult to traverse than the one originally planned. To avoid this, all we need to do is keep our eyes on the goal – echad l’Y’hovah. It IS simple, but it’s also easier said than done.
In v.25 he tells us that even though he sent the prophets and other servants to recall us to obedience, we had not hearkened to them, but followed our father’s example of disdain and disregard of the promised chastisement for such. And since Y’hovah is slow to anger and merciful, they thought they could get away with their disdain forever. Y’hovah’s prophets gave them warning of the coming judgment, but they said to and among themselves that Y’hovah didn’t really care if they disobeyed – he would forgive them and leave all as it had always been. But Elohim is NOT mocked and he SHALL perform all he has promised; the blessings AND the cursings. He is quick to commend obedience and slow to deliver punishment, desiring that we turn from our wickedness to his abundant life. But if we show our continued obstinacy, he will reward it with his promised chastisement.
In v.26 he told YirmeYahu that Yehudah had become progressively worse than all their fathers had been and in v.27 he had his prophet proclaim the impending doom that would come. Remember that Y’hovah sees everything that has, does and will occur from his position of timelessness all at once. He knew before he spoke the command to YirmeYahu that Yehudah would once again disdain and despise his Word as delivered by the prophet. He knew that YirmeYahu would literally plead with the priests and the king to obey Y’hovah’s voice so the promised curses could be avoided, but that they would once again refuse to repent and return to Derech Hashem, the Way of Y’hovah; and he told this to YirmeYahu, knowing that even KNOWING their fate, YirmeYahu would deliver the message with the same heart attitude that Y’hovah had; one of humble importunity, with a desire for their blessing and NOT of their chastisement with exile to Babylon.
Is Y’hovah calling you to repentance? If so, do not disdain his entreaties; answer the call. Turn from your wicked ways and toward his merciful acceptance and deliverance. Q&C
Tehellim 73 – The Psalmist notes the difference in the lifestyle of the wicked and the tzadikim and it nearly causes him to stumble. As if in answer to YirmeYahu, Asaph explains why the wicked seem to prosper, while the tzadikim seem to suffer through life. In v.1, Asaph assures us that Elohim is good to Yisrael, IF they have a clean heart; if they desire to walk after his Spirit. Notice the capitalization in this scripture quote;
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Moshiach Yeshua, who have their halacha not after the flesh, but after the Ruach. 2 For the Torah of the Ruach of chayim in Moshiach Yeshua has made me free from the torah of sin and death. 3 For what the Torah could not do, because it was powerless regarding man’s weak flesh, Y’hovah sending His own Son in the likeness of that same sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned all sin in man’s flesh: 4 That the tzedakah of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who have their halacha not after the flesh, but after the Ruach.6 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Ruach the things of the Ruach. [RomiYah 8.1-6 Restoration Scriptures]
After assuring Yisrael of the goodness of Elohim towards them, Asaph talks about the seeming contradiction that almost caused him to just abandon his righteousness.
Beginning in vv.2-3, he starts to list some of the ways he perceived Y’hovah as being unfair to his children. He knows that Y’hovah has promised an abundant life to those who obey him, but he also sees that the wicked seem to live in more luxury and comfort than Y’hovah’s followers, and he says that he was jealous of their ‘prosperity’. Are you listening, you “prosperity doctrine” adherents? The very basis of your doctrine is covetousness. That would be #10 of the ‘Big 10’, brothers.
In vv.4-5 he names a couple of specifics that he noticed in the lives of the worst sinners in his environs. They seemed to be full of vigour and natural power to the very end of their lives, and they seemed to live disease and ‘legal trouble’ free. In v.6, Asaph draws a conclusion from what he has observed to this point; that these wicked men are prideful that noone can or will come against them and they become tyrannical in their dealings with those they consider “lesser” men. They become despicably like the classic cattle baron in a John Ford western movie in vv.7-9.
In vv.10-11, they draw lesser men of the same type to themselves and, like the cattle barons of the John Ford westerns, use all the hired ‘ruffians’ to take control, knowing that even Elohim will not or cannot do anything to them. If he could, wouldn’t he have done so? Even Asaph began by thinking the same thing; “If Elohim loves his people, why does he allow them to be oppressed by the wicked like this?”
In v.12 Asaph observes that the oppressors live with wealth and power and it seems to multiply to them, and in v.13 he remarks that he has lived godly, that is in observance of Y’hovah’s Word and mitzvoth, in vain. In v.14 he speaks of all the calamities that seem to follow him around like the storm-cloud that was always following Joe Btzfzptlk in the Snuffy Smith/Barney Google cartoons, when he was living life after Y’hovah’s heart. From Asaph’s perspective, his obedience was completely in vain.
In v.15 he says that he has not spoken what he thinks for fear that doing so would drive Yah’s children away from him. When he thought about it from his human perspective in v.16, it was too painful for him.
But when he entered the presence of Y’hovah, he was made to understand the end of the wicked rich. V.17 begins the reconciliation of all the seemingly incongruous outcomes he had witnessed. When he came into the presence of Y’hovah, he saw why the wicked seemed to prosper, while the godly seemed to barely scrape out a living. The wicked may live sumptuously, but they are being set up for a fall. When they see their end, they will wish they had lived differently, but then it will be too late to repent. They had lived well at others’ expense. But when Y’hovah dealt with them, they knew that they had been the oppressors and had no excuse. They had despised Y’hovah and NOW they were going to receive the just recompense of their actions. And when Asaph sees the justice of Y’hovah meted out in vv.21-22, he repents of his own faithlessness, seeing that Yah may be slow to anger with the hopes of drawing the object of his wrath to himself, for a dead man cannot repent. But there is an end, even to the patience of Y’hovah and when he brings the justice, in His mercy it is swift and sure.
Then in v.23 he acknowledges that even in his near despair, Y’hovah was there with him, holding his right hand and guiding him through life according to the counsel of his Word. When Y’hovah walks alongside us holding our right hands, that means that we have given him control of our strength, but that his strength is still available to him for our protection, and even though we have no control, we are absolutely secure. Asaph recognizes in v.24 that his end is in the kavod, or glory, of Y’hovah, which is Yeshua haMoshiach.
V.25 in TNK says “Whom else have I in heaven, and when I am with you on earth, I have no desires.” Asaph understands in v.26 that Y’hovah is all he needs; all WE need and truly desire. Even when our flesh dies or our hearts fail us, Y’hovah is there to empower us and quicken us to his service.
In. v.27 Asaph says the wicked who are afar off from Y’hovah will die and have nothing. That there is a future state of reward and punishment is understood by all but the most militant rationalists. They had had the reward for all the ‘good’ they did in this life because they had no true life in them and could only be rewarded in this life. THAT is why the wicked live so well and we cause ourselves to be jealous of their lifestyles. But in v.28 he sees that his reward is MUCH greater than the temporal riches the wicked who ‘lived well’ enjoyed. Asaph [and WE, if we remain faithful] will inherit in the land and receive chaim from Y’hovah, and THAT in an abundance that the temporal riches of this world could never even approach. Q&C
Yochanan Moshe [John Mark]12.28-34 – The context of this episode is the Sadducees asking him what to them was a real poser; 1] A man died, leaving his wife childless, 2] Moshe says that a married man who dies childless but has a brother, the brother is to take in the surviving wife and raise a son for the deceased man, 3] the man who died had 6 brothers, each of whom in turn took in the widow, but all died childless, 4] the woman died childless [and now comes what they considered the poser], 5] in the resurrection whose wife is she, since all had had her to wife? What convoluted logic one can use to shore up his false doctrine. Yeshua disabused them of their rejection of the resurrection, which this particular lunacy is meant to ‘prove’ true. Yeshua answered their question by rebuking their misunderstanding of scripture, which they claimed to hold to above all else, including the traditions of the Pharisees [of whom Yeshua was ‘taught’ (Jn.1.24-27), and the Sadducees knew it]. They were trying to trip Yeshua up with the ‘party spirit’ to which politics is so sold out. Yeshua was no ‘party man’, possibly our founding fathers’ lowest epithet.
Yeshua’s answer was pointed; you are so sold out to your false doctrines that you don’t understand what the resurrection is or what it means. The resurrected flesh is not that by which the race is meant to promulgate [and is, therefore, either NOT like Adam and Chavah’s pre-sin flesh OR their fall was figured into Y’hovah’s command to ‘be fruitful and multiply’]. There is no physical reproduction in the resurrection. According to what we KNOW from scripture, all the physical progeny of the New Creation will have to come from the ‘camp of the saints’ at the last Feast of Tabernacles of the Kingdom Millennium [Rev.20.9]. The resurrected flesh neither marries nor is given in marriage. Then Yeshua asked his own poser to them; Y’hovah, when he talked to Moshe from the burning bush said “I am the Elohim of Avraham, and of Yitzhak and of Ya’acov”, all of whom were dead when Y’hovah spoke to Moshe from the burning bush. ‘Y’hovah is NOT the Elohim of the dead, but of the living. Ye do GREATLY err.’
The Sadducees were totally dumbfounded [I’m guessing the Prushim had been flummoxed by that question before], so a scribe asked Yeshua the LAST question that proved his fitness to be the Lamb of Elohim [which process began in 11.27]. Please notice that the scribe did not call Yeshua ‘Master’ [Rabbi = my master, my Great One] in his original address, as had the Prushim, Herodians and Sadducees. He was going to reserve judgment until he heard the answer. “Which is the first commandment of Torah?” Yeshua answered with, ““Shema, Yisrael! Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad. V’ahavtah et Y’hovah Elohecha b’chol l’vavcha uv’chol naphshecha uv’chol m’odecha”. And the 2nd is like it, “V’ahavta l’reyacha kamocha”. ” And the scribe said, “Well, Rabbi, you have spoken truth. There is one Elohim and no other elohim besides him. To love Elohim with all the soul, mind and strength and to love one’s neighbor as himself is worth all freewill offerings and sin offerings.” I have an inkling that this may have been Sha’ul of Tarsus for this reason;
9 But beware lest by any means this liberty of yours becomes a stumbling-block to those that are weak. 10 For if any believing man sees you who has a true da’at of Y’hovah sitting to eat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him who is weak be encouraged to eat those things which are offered to idols? 11 And through your indifference shall the weak Yisraelite brother perish, for whom Moshiach died? 12 But when you sin in this manner against the Yisraelite brothers, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Moshiach Himself. 13 So, if meat causes my Yisraelite brother to stumble, I will eat no meat while the olam hazeh stands, lest I cause my Yisraelite brother to stumble. [1QorinthYah 8.9-13]
KJV says that Yeshua noticed that the man answered ‘discretely’, which word is translated from G3562 nounechos, which is a compound of G3563 nous referring to the intellect and G2192, echo which means to hold or reverberate, to think deeply about or to roll around in one’s mind. When Yeshua understood this, he said, “You, my friend, are not far from the Kingdom of Elohim.”
The political religionists that had been examining him for flaws and could find no fault in him decided that trying to entrap him with his words was useless and that his easy ability to show the fallacy of their interpretations and applications of scripture was driving their own disciples, like the scribe above, away. If they let this one live, their positions and livelihood were in jeopardy, and I don’t mean the game show. From this point in time, the politicians of religion were looking for a chance to take him quietly and kill him. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study