Monthly Archives: November 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 2, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 2, 2017
©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Shabbat 37 – 2Dec2017
Vayikra 16:1-34 – Yechezkel 22:1-16 – Tehellim 81 – Yehuda 1:6-21

Vayikra 16:1-5 – V.1 gives us a ‘time stamp’ for this chapter, “After the death of Nadav and Avihu”. This does not necessarily mean that everything in ch.11-15 occurred or was received between their deaths and now. It only means that what we see here needs to be seen in light of their deaths, and that what Y’hovah commands is done so that no other priests die needlessly or due to priests THINKING they are doing what he wants. I think that this is what Paul later called a ‘doubtful disputation’ (Rom.14.1, KJV). There is no doubt, if one is obeying the Word of Y’hovah, but when one presumes that he knows without consulting his Word he may be taking his life into his own hands. Since this chapter is about the Yom Kippur service, the implication is pretty strong that the Yom Kippur service is at least partially related to N’s & A’s sin of presumption.

The Kohen Gadol is not to presume to enter the Holiest of all at just any time he thinks is appropriate, possibly because it was he who had fashioned the golden calf before which Israel sinned (also a sin of presumption, IMO, as well as a sin of commission). And perhaps that is why he had to bring a bull of his own to atone for himself and his own family before he could approach before Y’hovah as the people’s advocate. The rabbis say that the offering for his own family was purchased from his own funds, while the goats of atonement were purchased from congregational funds, and this makes sense. Since the Hebrew letter Aleph is the first, and in the paleo-Hebrew pictograph represents the head of a bull (strong leadership), it also makes sense that the Kohen Gadol must, as the religious leader of the nation, lead the people by example and offer his bull of atonement first, before the people’s goat of atonement. He was also to bring a burnt, or freewill, offering of his own as a sweet savour before Y’hovah.

He had to put on the linen vestments to offer the atonement. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting commentary on this on pp.108-109. He immersed himself in a mikvah each time he changed garments – 5 times, and had to wash his hands and feet BEFORE he touched the new set of vestments for a total of 10 hand washings and 5 full mikvoth – 10 symbolizes ordinal perfection (10 commandments, etc) and 5 symbolizes Ruach’s grace and power to the believer. V.4 tells us the priest wears white linen vestments (בגדי לבן – bigdei lavan) to perform the atonement, and there are 4 separate linen garments; the britches, the coat, the girdle and the mitre. Also, the High Priest’s ‘gold vestments’ (בגדי זהו – bigdei zahav) are 8 in number, 4 with gold (the breastplate, the ephod, the woven girdle and the plate on the mitre that said קדש ליהוה – kadosh l’Y’hovah) and 4 without gold (linen britches, mitre, robe of the ephod and the laces that held the plate to the mitre (Ex.28). The number 4 symbolizes the creative works of Y’hovah. The number 8 symbolizes ‘new beginnings’. The atonement is what creates the ‘new creature’ that Paul speaks of in:

Therefore if any man be in Mashiach, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)
For in Mashiach Yeshua neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15)

The priest took the kids from the people and placed them at the northwest corner of the altar of burnt offering to await the choice of Y’hovah and the atonement for the people. Q&C

Vv.6, 11-14– All of the sin and burnt offerings are whole burnt offerings. None of these offerings were eaten by the priest or the people. First Aharon (or his successor) offered the bull for his and his family’s sins. The sin offering was for inadvertent sins or those committed against a lesser commandment while in pursuance of a greater one. If the Kohen Gadol committed a willful sin he was removed from his office, either by his own volition or death. Since there were only 10 high priests from Egypt to Solomon, the average length of time in office was around 50 years, and that includes the 37-38 years that Aharon himself filled the office. There is no record in scripture of a High priest resigning or dying prematurely, so chances of any of them having committed willful sin is pretty slim. [This supports my contention that Hebrews was written to priests who believed in Mashiach Yeshua and were considering return to the sacrificial service. It explains the numbered sound bite in Heb.10.26-29 after the subject matter of 7.1-10.15.] From Solomon to Babylon (mid 900s-587 BCE) there were 12 more high priests, for an average length in office of 35 years. I think it is safe to assume that willful sin was not something they did. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Pinchas, never got to fill the office because of their less than sterling character, and Eli was taken almost immediately after receiving notice of their deaths, perhaps for allowing Y’hovah’s Name to be dragged through the mud by his sons. Y’hovah could not allow an habitual sinner to represent him to his people. So there was no trespass offering for the high priest or his family. A High Priest’s willful sin brought the death sentence before it could infect the body of Mashiach, the people of Yisrael.

The manner of the sin offerings is given in Ex.29 (8Jul2017 Study) and Lev.4 (23Sep2017 Study), so there is no need to hit on the details again. The order HAD to go like this (though it is not apparent in our passage): Aharon would mikvah and put on the linen vestments (v.4). Then he would take the censer and place the fire from the altar in it and place the incense on the coals (vv.11-13), and place the censer with the smoke gushing out behind the veil, which I assume means between the incense altar and the mercy seat. He knew where that was because the poles that had been drawn partially out of the rings on the mercy seat made a bulge in the veil directly behind the incense altar. The smoke filled the Holiest of all presumably so that Aharon would not look directly on the kavod of Y’hovah. Aharon would verbally confess his and his family’s sins as he slaughtered the bull, catching its blood in a basin [possibly in the threshold of the Holy place and directly in front of the outer veil] to offer for their sins. See Schottenstein’s Chumash pg.109-110 for the preface on confession. ON THIS DAY ONLY he was to take of the blood of the bull to sprinkle 7 times on the east side of the mercy seat. Aharon entered behind the veil to sprinkle the blood of the bull for his and his family’s sins.

Next, he would go out to the ‘holy place’ designated to kill the offerings (Lev.14.13) near the northeast corner of the altar of burnt offering where the goats awaited (v.5, 8-10, 15). He brought the goats to the door of the tent of meeting, where he cast lots for the goat for Y’hovah and the goat for Azazel (according to Josephus, until the year that Yeshua was killed, the lot for Y’hovah ALWAYS was miraculously drawn first and the lot for Azazel was miraculously drawn second. After his death and resurrection it NEVER was drawn in the proper order again, signifying to me [and Josephus] that Yeshua is who he claimed to be – Mashiach ben Yoseph.) Then Aharon would (vv.15-19) slaughter Y’hovah’s goat and bring its blood to sprinkle it for the nation’s atonement in the same manner as he had the bull’s blood for his own atonement. He would apply the blood of the bull and goat to the altar of burnt offering (the holy place we alluded to earlier) and the tent of meeting to cover the sins, iniquities and transgressions of the people and make a new beginning for the nation in the eyes of Y’hovah.

Then he brought the live goat for Azazel and lay both of his hands on that goat (for both houses, Ephraim and Yehuda?) and confessed all the sins, iniquities (lawlessness) and transgressions of Yisrael, placing them on the head of the goat for Azazel, and sent the goat by a ‘fit man’ into the wilderness. This ‘fit man’ is symbolic of Mashiach, who took our sins, iniquities and transgression as far from us as the east is from the west.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalms 103:12)

Noone else but Mashiach could be fit for the task.

As the fit man was carrying our sins away for us, Aharon would go out for his 2nd mikvah and exchange the linen for the gold vestments, leaving the linen behind in the holy place in the tent of meeting. Then he would offer the burnt offerings on the altar as well as the fat of the sin offering. Q&C

About that time, the fit man was returning and doing his own mikvah and washing his clothes and re-entering the camp. Please notice that the fit man was NOT defiled until evening, even after having carried all the sins of Yisrael as far as the east is from the west and, according to the rabbi’s tradition, dispatching the goat by throwing him off a craggy cliff (Mic.7.19, “depths of the sea”) to ensure that it wouldn’t return to the camp. By this time, Aharon is finished with the sin and burnt offerings. It seems that another man COULD have taken the carcasses of the bull and goat out of the camp, but it could ALSO have been the same fit man who had taken the goat of Azazel out and had mikvah’d and come back into the camp undefiled. Again, if it was the same man, it could symbolically be none other than Mashiach. But even if these were 2 different men, they COULD have been Yehoshua and Kalev, elders of Ephraim and Yehudah, while Yisrael was in the wilderness. As the elders of the 2 Houses of Yisrael, they both were symbolic of Mashiach, Yehoshua as Mashiach ben Yoseph and Kalev as Mashiach ben David. I am not married to this, it just occurred to me as I was studying that those 2 elders were quite literally the only fit men in Yisrael, as we will see in Numbers 14

6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Kalev the son of Jephunneh, of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, an exceeding good land. 8 If Y’hovah delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not ye against Y’hovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and Y’hovah with us: fear them not. (Num.14.6-9)

Notice again that the man who carried off the carcasses and burned them without the camp washed his clothes and mikvah’d and returned to the camp – once again, not defiled although he had handled the carcasses of the animals that were offered for the sins, iniquities and transgressions of chol Yisrael. He was not even defiled until evening. I lean toward it being one man doing both jobs, and I lean toward it being either Yehoshua or the next in line to be High Priest, Elezar at this time, Pinchas in a few years.

Washing their clothes brings to mind

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our Elohim which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped Elohim, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, unto our Elohim for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation of John 7:9-14)

These are the overcomers of the great tribulation, I think. If I am right, they have walked in this world defiled by the greatest evil of men that one could imagine and have come out needing nothing more than to wash the filth of the world system off their bodies and clothing. They are ‘fit men’, able to just do a rinse and then walk among the children of Yisrael spotlessly clean. May we all attain to this place of honor by doing as Yeshua did.

Usually, the priests and Levites ate the sin and burnt offerings, but these were whole burnt offerings – everything was consumed by fire. I think that had anyone eaten of this offering it would have symbolized returning to the sins and iniquities just atoned for and there would be no forgiveness or atonement provided. Besides that, this was the only day in which Y’hovah made it mandatory to fast, for it is a day of ‘COMPLETE REST’, “no work at all”. Not ‘no servile work’, but “no work at all’. We can’t even prepare food to eat, can’t even open the refrigerator door or light a fire to cook it, even if we COULD eat. Y’hovah DOESN’T call for a fast, but the implication is pretty clear – “No work at all.” The 10th day of the 7th month is a Shabbat of rest (v.31), regardless the day of the week.

Were the High Priest and the ‘fit man’ defiling the Shabbat by doing the service of atonement? Were they exempt from the prohibition of “no work at all”? This is, to my twisted mind, a prime example of doing a greater mitzvah while breaking a lesser one. Do you think that the sin offering the priest made this day was preventing (in the biblical sense of going before or higher than) the sin of breaking Shabbat? I think so. He was personally commanded directly by Y’hovah to do the service of atonement ON the Shabbat of complete rest. If he had observed the complete rest, he’d have been insubordinate to Y’hovah. This is an everlasting statute for chol Yisrael, which includes all believers whose hearts are after his. There is no respect of persons in Y’hovah. He didn’t create second-class citizens for his Kingdom. All are one in Mashiach – Jew, gentile and Ephraimite. Q&C

Yechezkel 22:1-16 – The word ‘moreover’ indicates that there is no break in the action from ch.21. In 21.20, Y’hovah speaks against Rabbath, which is the ancient name of present day Amman, Jordan, and against J’lem. In 21.28, Y’hovah speaks a prophecy of judgment against Ammon, which is the present day nation of Jordan. He is bringing “the sword, the sword” and slaughter thereby. Sounds like today’s newspapers, doesn’t it? Like modern-day Moslem Jihad against Jordan, which is the probable next nation to be overthrown by the Moslem Bro’hood/ISIS once Damascus goes down. Just a piece of curiosity – the word translated ‘glittering’ in 21.28 is ברק – ‘barak’, which literally means lightening and implies a sword glittering in the moonlight. I see that imagery as prophetic of the Moslemist hordes of today. What kind of judgment do you suppose Y’hovah is going to rain down on Jerusalem and Amman, Jordan that will look like a glittering sword from the skies? MRBMs maybe? Medium Range Ballistic Missiles, perhaps like the Shahab 3 missile from Iran? Or perhaps cruise missiles from American ships, aircraft and subs?

He calls the city bloody, and that it sheds blood right in the midst of it. I have taken this to speak of abortions and I don’t doubt that is happening, but I think with recent events in the area, we need to think that the same kind of stuff as we’ve seen since 2011 in the Arab world is going to break out in Amman, probably with help from outside, like the ‘Occupy Cairo, Tripoli and Damascus’ Campaigns. And much of it will be backed by the regime in Washington.

10 times Y’hovah says ‘in thee’. Not in me. The actor here is going his own way and doing his own thing. I assume that this nation is ostensibly after Y’hovah, or it wouldn’t be remarkable enough to point out that he is accountable 10 times, as he did to Egypt in the plagues and the Exodus of Yisrael from her midst. All the wickedness addressed in vv.7-12 are covered in Shemoth 20 and Vayikra 18. Because of all the wickedness that the ‘bloody city’ has done (it could certainly be describing America and her political capital), Y’hovah is bringing sudden judgment. V.13 sounds like American political businessmen, the fascists who have taken complete control of the power structure in Washington, D.C. and who send our military to fight their wars of economic hegemony to build their corporate bottom line at the expense of the average American and the blood of whomever they decide to overthrow or invade next – regardless the political party ‘in power’. Their god is truly their belly and they completely dismiss Y’hovah’s instructions and commands. All they want is what they want, influence, power and wealth.

In v.14 Y’hovah asked the really telling question;

14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I Y’hovah have spoken, and will do. (Ez.22.14)

Then in v.15, Y’hovah pronounced his judgment against this wicked nation, or group of nations. When they are scattered to the 4 winds, they will experience the purging of Y’hovah. The fire of oppression will purge them of their filthiness, lewdness and sin. Y’hovah is merciful even in his punishment and will make those who hear and obey his Word fit for his use – those who washed their robes in Rev.7 and Lev.16. The whole point is to get us to remember the Covenant we have with him and live in it. Q&C

A Gittith can be either a specific type of harp OR a female resident of Gath, the city of Goliath and to which David fled during Sha’ul’s pursuit. I lean toward the harp.

Tehellim 81.1-16 – While this psalm is addressed to Israel, it never mentions Yehudah, while it does mention Yoseph. For this reason, I think it is addressing the northern kingdom and Ephraim/Menashe in particular, though it can be generally applied to chol Yisrael. It addresses conditions that had been historically attributable to Ephraim and Menashe, but can be prophetically attributed to their descendants in Western civilization.

Vv.1-5 are introductory in nature and establishes, to my mind, at least, that the intended audience is the 10 tribes of Israel in particular. It seems that vv.1&2 constitute a general call to teshuvah to the Elohim of Ya’acov and the joy it will bring for the 10 tribes. In Israel’s history, after Yerovoam caused Israel to go up and keep the Feasts of Y’hovah in Dan, all the Feasts of Y’hovah were kept a month out of time. V.3 calls for Israel to observe THE New Moon, which is a reference to Yom Teruah, not all new moons in general;

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

That specifically points to Yom Teruah, because that is the ONLY New Moon that is an appointed, solemn Feast of Y’hovah. Yehudah had BEEN observing the Feasts in their appointed times. The reason Israel is being called to do teshuvah and observe this Feast is that it is the mishpat, or judgment, of the Elohim of Ya’acov and will put all the rest of the solemnities back in their proper places.

Asaph, who wrote this psalm, was the son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo, who came back to Israel from Persia with Zerubabel. He must, to my mind, therefore be speaking and prophesying to the Samaritans who were a mixed population of the few Israelites who were left behind and the Sumerians and others who had been moved to Israel by their Assyrian conquerors in the late 8th or early 7th C. BCE. The new inhabitants asked the Empire to send priests of Y’hovah back to teach them his ways, when they could have gone to Yehudah for REAL priests of Y’hovah, not the syncretists of the northern kingdom. I think this is what Asaph is proposing to the Samaritan Israelites in the early years of Yehudah’s return from their own exile – to return to true worship of Y’hovah.

That Y’hovah had ordained the Feasts in Yoseph, I think, is a reference to that ½ of the MelechTzadik Priesthood that Ephraim received from his grandfather Ya’acov just before the old man’s death. Yoseph was the tzadik. Yehudah was the Melech. Yoseph was delivered in Egypt from his position as trustee of the lock-up (a servant to the prisoners of high rank in the court of Paroh) to the second seat of power in the empire. Yoseph was always in communication with Y’hovah, even in the prison Y’hovah was with him, and when the time was right, Y’hovah brought him to Paroh’s attention. Yoseph’s descendants and the Leviim continued to call out to Y’hovah for deliverance from their bondage in Egypt, and he answered that call, as well. I think their call for deliverance continued on the east shore of the Yam Suf after Y’hovah destroyed the armies of Paroh in that flood.

When they got to the bitter waters of Marah, Moshe (and probably Yehoshua and Kalev) kept the comm lines open to Y’hovah and saw the deliverance there. Only a week or so later (Ex.17), they were running out of water again in a place where there was no visible water to be had and the people rebelled against Moshe and Y’hovah in what is called Meribah. While the test was on the entire nation, Y’hovah was actually testing the mettle of Yoseph, for immediately after the water appeared in super-abundance, Amalek came to try to take it from Yisrael. When Moshe held his hands aloft, Yisrael prevailed over Amalek, and when his arms got tired and he needed to rest them, Amalek would prevail. So Aharon and Hur (their cousin) brought a rock for Mo to sit on and then held up his hands, which is when Yehoshua (of the tribe of Ephraim/Yoseph) wiped up the floor with Amalek and made them run away whimpering like a bunch of little girls. He tested Yoseph through Yehoshua at Meribah and with Amalek. He retested Israel 38-39 years later in Num.20. Again, the test was over water and is called Meribah, because they chided Moshe.

Here, in Tehellim 81.1-7, Asaph is trying to call to mind the history of Israel as being faithful to Y’hovah and Moshe in the Wilderness Adventure. In vv.8-16 he was calling them to that same kind of faithfulness that Yehoshua had exhibited. He told them that if they would be faithful to Y’hovah, the Elohim of their father, Ya’acov (cf.Jn.4 – the Samaritan woman at Ya’acov’s well), he would bless them with the blessings promised to Ya’acov. Y’hovah wanted Yoseph’s children in Samaria to eschew their false gods, make teshuvah and follow him and his Word. He calls them to their genetic memory. As he fed and watered Yisrael for 40 years in the wilderness, he would feed and water them, like had not happened in the north since LONG before Samaria was conquered. When I say ‘as he fed and watered them’, I refer to v.16, where he said he would give them ‘honey out of THE rock’, ‘and that Rock was Mashiach’ [1Cor.10.4], IM[not so]HO. He promised them not just the water from the rock, but delectable nourishment from it, too.

Had Yerovoam’s nation of Israel honored Y’hovah as HE wanted to be honored, rather than how THEY wanted to show him honor, they would have been exalted far above the highest they’d ever attained in history. But, much like Yehudah, they assumed the good position they had was by their own merit, and not a residual blessing from the years of faithful service to Y’hovah by their fathers.

He promises to honor us Yisraelites, IF we will hearken to his Word and obey it. This whole psalm is a Word for the ‘church’, gentiles and Ephraimites, in general – all who name the Name of Yeshua. It isn’t enough to make a mental assent to the Messiahship of Yeshua. If your lifestyle is the same today as it was before you made that mental assent, you are missing the greatest blessing he has for you. He wants to make you the same as he is, thoroughly and throughly righteous. This can ONLY show itself in your life by obeying his Word, and you can only do that by the gracious power of the Spirit of Y’hovah in your life, just like it was in Yeshua’s life. Yeshua knew the Word of Y’hovah and always obeyed it. YOU can, too, by reading his Torah, Prophets, and Writings (including the Brit Chadashah) and obeying them through the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit. You cannot overcome the Enemy without knowing the power of Y’hovah – his Word and his Spirit. Q&C

Yehudah 6-10 – The ‘angels who left their first estate’, I think, could be those who either manifested themselves as human or humanoid, or actually invaded and indwelt human bodies. Either way, this speaks of the source of knowledge that was far beyond the abilities of men to conceive, IMO. What makes those likely is the phrase in v.7 likening those spirits to the people in Sodom and Gomorrah going after ‘strange flesh’, or doing what is not ‘natural’. Sodom and Gomorrah did not suffer literal eternal fire, as they are not still burning. But that shows a biblical way of seeing eternal fire or suffering as something that completely annihilates, like my own perspective on the Lake of Fire in Rev.20 – not an eternal existence in a burning place of torment, but suffering utter destruction and total entropy, ultimate nonexistence. The wicked suffers throughout his remaining existence, which is momentary, but not l’olam va’ed.

The ‘filthy dreamers’ of v.8 refers to the ‘certain men’ of v4.

4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of Elohenu into lasciviousness, and denying the only Mara Elohim, and Maran Yeshua haMoshiach. (Jd.4)

These are the men who have, like the angels who left their first estate and like the men of Sodom and Gomorrah went after strange flesh, turned the grace of Elohim into license. These are the same men who would change the righteous justice of Y’hovah at the utter destruction of the wicked into the Draconian thought of an eternal torment in hell fire. They say that since Elohim is so gracious as to forgive us based on the finished work of Yeshua on the tree and in his resurrection from the dead, that he actually has no problem with ANY of our sins anymore. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Sin is still sin, and the wages earned thereby have never changed. To think in this way is to despise the Spirit of Y’hovah and to tread under our feet the blood of our Master Yeshua

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. (Hebrews 10:29)

These filthy dreamers care nothing for Y’hovah’s laws concerning cleanness in body, soul or spirit, they think themselves above the Word of Elohim and speak lashon hara and hamotzi shem ra against members of the body. They are foolish who will not hear the warnings Y’hovah’s people deliver. Their god is truly their belly. They speak evil of things about which they haven’t a clue and defile themselves in their flesh – eating flesh that Y’hovah has called unclean and bowing to gods of their own design and choosing that they have always followed, but changing the names of those gods to yahweh and jesus. When the great tribulation arrives (this biblical year, if my own calculations are correct – which they very well may not be), they will be sorely disappointed and may abandon what faith they have, turning completely to the enemy and pointing out believers in the One true Y’hovah, thinking they are doing Y’hovah service.

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth Elohim service. (John 16:2)
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Rev.13.15)


John 16.2 sounds remarkably like a Moslemist killing an ‘infidel’, doesn’t it?

In v.11, Jude pronounces a WOE on the ‘filthy dreamers’, who have gone the way of Cain, which I think speaks of the sacrifice he brought before Y’hovah – the fruit of his labors. The way of Abel, by contrast, is to do as Y’hovah required, the blood of a substitute. Abel obeyed, Cain went his own way. The error of Bila’am is given to us in the text, going after greedy gain rather that the way of obedience to the revealed Word of Y’hovah. The gainsaying of Korah is in promoting himself above the intent of Y’hovah. Korah thought he was every bit as good as Moshe and Aharon, and technically speaking, he was not. But Y’hovah had appointed Mo and Ahri. Korah didn’t much care about that. After all, he was a Kohen, too! The certain ungodly men of v.4 were every bit as guilty as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Bila’am and Korah. Jude likened them to the people in 1Cor.11.20-22

20 When ye come together therefore into one place is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the kahal of Elohim, and shame them that have not?

They are self-centered, despising the body of Mashiach and allowing the poor among them to even die of hunger (Jd.12), rather than denying their own momentary pleasure while allowing the poor to get a decent meal, perhaps the only one available to them. They LOOK good at a cursory glance, but have no substance (clouds sans water, blown about by the lightest wind). They make a lot of noise and employ dangerous histrionics to get attention, but believers and unbelievers alike see through it. Do you see what is reserved for them forever in v.13? The blackness of darkness, lightless emptiness like Gen.1.2

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness upon the face of the deep.

That speaks of non-existence; nothing but emptiness, nothing to form, nothing of potential difference. No matter and no energy to form matter from.

Enoch spoke of Yeshua judging them on his arrival with myriads of his faithful. This tells me that the world will actually get worse than it presently is, and its persecution of the faithful will be led in part by the church. Remember what Yeshua says to the church at Laodicea,

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation of John 3:20)

He’s OUTSIDE this church that is pretty well accepted among evangelicals to represent the church at the end of the age – the church of TODAY! Rico has a DVD teaching, Is Islam the Beast? In it he makes the observation that Moslemism fits the description of the Beast in Revelation, and it is quite well documented. I do not discount that this is a VERY real possibility. Now, the Laodicean church is expecting to be raptured out of here before the ‘tribulation week of years’. If the great tribulation, or the last 3½ years of this wicked age come upon us without a rapture of believers [and it WILL – mark my words], they will ‘take the mark of the Beast’, because they have said their fire insurance prayer and will think, “I don’t have to worry about accepting this mark of Islam, because I have my free ticket to heaven; my ‘Get out of Hell FREE’ card”, never thinking of Yeshua’s words in

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes, they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt.10.33-39)

When they accept the ‘mark of the Beast’ of Islam to preserve their worthless hides, they will deny Yeshua before men, and they will think it’s OK because they really don’t mean it. But Yeshua says VERY PLAINLY that if you deny him before men – I take that to mean ANY men, even Moslemists who are holding a scimitar above your grandchildren’s necks – he will deny you before Avinu. We must warn our kids in advance. We must be prepared for this possibility, folks. It MAY come to that, and it may be soon. Q&C.
End of Shabbat Bible Study

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Shabbat Bible Study for November 25, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 25, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Introduction: discharge unclean (1-2)

Abnormal male discharge (v.3-15)

    Normal male discharge (v.16-17)

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

      Normal female discharge (19-24)

   Abnormal female discharge (v.25-30)


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

Purification time:

evening after 7th day mikvah    

evening after mikvah

 evening after mikvah

  evening after 7th day mikvah

   evening after 7th day mikvah

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

No prophet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 18, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 18, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 35 – 3Dec2011

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


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

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

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

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

Reconciliation is always Avinu’s goal, for 

Y’hovah is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2Peter 3:9)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Form last week’s study of Psalm78;

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 Wherefore remember, that ye in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Mashiach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Yisrael, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: 13 But now in Mashiach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiach. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto Elohim in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 11, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 11, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 34

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


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

A scaly eruption of the skin or scalp.

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

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

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

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

No Prophet this week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shabbat Bible Study for November 4, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 4, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 33 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ain’t Elohim great? 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


End of Shabbat Bible Study