Shabbat Bible Study for October 28, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for October 28, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

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

Links: 

www.messianic.ws 

http://www.jewfaq.org/sages.htm 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah 16:19 (KJV) Adonai, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

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

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

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

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

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

Vv.18-19 – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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