Shabbat Bible Study for December 23, 2017
©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Sabbath 40 – 7 Jan 2012
Lev. 19:1-20:27; Amos 9:7-15, Eze. 20:1-49, Is. 4:2-6; Ps. 84; Mat. 18:1-35
Vayikra 19.1-4 – Ch. 19 is a continuation of 18. In v.2, Y’hovah instructs Yisrael to be kadosh, or holy, because he is kadosh. Just like in ch.18, we are to separate ourselves from the pagan religions of Egypt and Canaan. He then gives another example of exactly HOW we are to be kadosh. We are to honour our parents and observe his Shabbats. Most people see the 5th mitzvah as pertaining to our person-to-person responsibility, but I do not. I see it as a person to Y’hovah responsibility. I see it this way because our relationship to our parents reflects our attitude towards the Almighty. If we fail to honor our parents, who are right here in our physical presence and perception, how will we ever be able to properly honor Avinu b’shamayim, our father in heaven, who is not? According to our passage, Y’hovah seems to see it this way, so I try to, also. And he seems to tie the ‘honor parents’ and ‘keeping his sabbath’ together. Therefore, no matter how hard one protests, keeping the Shabbat and honoring parents reflect what we truly think about Avinu. Not only that, but he invokes the ‘enabling clause’ in the same breath. HE is Y’hovah Elohechem – YOUR Elohim (or, speaking to us, Elohenu – OUR Elohim). I think he’s serious.
In v.4 he commands that we not go after other gods (as if they really exist), again because HE is Y’hovah Elohenu. He will brook no quarter on these things, as he once again invokes the enabling clause – Ani Y’hovah Elohechem.
Vv.5-8 – A peace offering is a freewill offering, and may be offered any time you wish. But it must be eaten that day and the next, and any leftover to the third day must be burnt, or the offering will not be accepted. It is abominable (cf.7.18) pigguhl, which is NOT the same as the abomination (towevah) of sodomy or beastiality. Those are utterly abhorrent. This is a bad smell, and may refer to the smell of rotting flesh, which is quite unpleasant. In the peace offering a portion of the flesh was burnt on the altar as ‘a sweet savour’ unto Y’hovah . It seems like that sweet savour would turn sour if you didn’t eat or burn the flesh in the prescribed time. It has always been obedience to the Word more so than the physical sacrifice that Y’hovah wanted;
18 And Y’hovah sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of Y’hovah , but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of Y’hovah? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of Y’hovah, and have gone the way which Y’hovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto Y’hovah thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath Y’hovah delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Y’hovah ? Behold, to obey better than sacrifice, to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of Y’hovah, he hath also rejected thee from king. (2Sam.15.18-23)
If one ate of the sacrifice on the 3rd or subsequent day, he bore his iniquity. His iniquity, I think, includes his slaughter of the animal for the purpose of rebelling against Y’hovah. To kill the animal ostensibly as a peace offering and then to despise the commandment of Y’hovah proves the lie of the sacrifice’s purpose, and Y’hovah acknowledges that by cutting off the man’s soul from the congregation. If you want shalom with Y’hovah, obey him. We can cut off a man from fellowship. Only Y’hovah can cut off a soul. Now, let’s see why Y’hovah would cut off a soul:
And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. (Genesis 17:14)
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15)
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Exodus 31:14)
But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto Y’hovah, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. (Leviticus 7:20)
And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 17:10)
Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of Y’hovah: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Leviticus 19:8)[to profane = make the holy, common]
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)
These are ALL of the instances where a soul will be cut off by Y’hovah up to today’s parsha – lack of CC, eating leavened during ULB, working on Shabbat, eating the shalom after the 2nd day (the reason given in our passage today = profaning or treating as common that which is holy), eating blood and going after familiar spirits (shadim) or wizards. ALL of these have to do with taking that which is made special to Y’hovah and profaning it or making it common.
Vv.9-12 – In light of setting something aside as special, Y’hovah talks about setting aside the corners of the field and not gleaning the vines. He thereby makes the corners and the gleanings special as an offering unto Y’hovah via the widows, fatherless and Levites. And, once again, the enabling clause – just to make sure they get it. Do NOT harvest the corners of your field and do NOT go back to pick the grapes that weren’t ready for harvest when you went through the vines the first time. That is set apart unto Y’hovah so the poor will have something to eat and possibly to sell or barter. In vv.11-12, Y’hovah likens the gleaning and harvesting the corners of the fields to stealing from the poor and swearing falsely in Y’hovah ’s Name.
Vv.13-14 – To define defrauding one’s neighbor, Y’hovah says don’t hold a man’s wage even overnight – pay your debts daily. In Matt.20.1-16, Yeshua told a parable about a vineyard owner who hires workers at various times during the day. Noone was defrauded (even the guys who worked all day for the same as the guys who worked 1 hour received what they’d contracted for) and all received their hire before the sun set like our Torah passage commands. Not cursing the deaf or putting a stumblingblock before the blind is just doing what you would have others do for you. But in a sod understanding, blind and deaf represent Israel in exile, so this is about not placing impediments that make it harder for the exiles to be delivered. Q&C
Vv.15-16 – Righteous judgment is imperative if there is going to be good government, and righteous judgment begins at the personal level. We are not to judge based on a person’s position or lack thereof, but by the revelation of Y’hovah. We are not to listen to gossip nor pass it on or make up some of our own.
12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six doth Y’hovah hate: yea, seven an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Prov.6.12-19)
We are also not to stand idly by while anyone is beaten or killed. If it is in our power to stop it, we should try to stop it, even at risk of personal injury or death. Please notice the enabling clause immediately after that last statute.
Vv.17-18 – V.17 forbids us hating another and then defines what it means; rebuke your neighbor when you see him in sin, especially if it’s one of those that could result in their souls being cut off. Don’t allow him to sin with impunity. Confront him with what you perceive as sin and find out if he is actually in sin. He may not be. That’s why this follows so closely after the admonition against slander/gossip and to righteous judgment. V.18 is speaking to true forgiveness. We are not to withhold something our brother needs because he has harmed us in the past (avenge), nor are we to provide it while raising the past issue we had with them to kind of ‘lord it over’ them (grudge). We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, which is the 2nd greatest commandment.
36 Master, which the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love Y’hovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt.22.36-40)
The 2 tables of mitzvoth that Yisrael heard with their ears in Ex.20 are summarized in this passage of Matthew, where Yeshua quotes Dt.6.5 and Lev.19.18. Again, the enabling clause makes that last, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, an imperative.
Vv.19 deals with almost any kind of mixing. Mixing is the hallmark of Babylonian worship. We saw last week that Y’hovah HATES when his people mix Y’hovah worship with the worship of Egyptian or Canaanite gods.
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am Y’hovah Elohechem. 3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. 4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I Y’hovah Elohechem. 5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I Y’hovah. (Lev.18.2-5)
No mixed seed (corn, peas, carrots and green beans in the same mound) in the garden, no mixing of different kinds of cattle (sheep and goat, etc.), no weaving linen with wool in a single garment (except in the Mishkan [Ex.27] and the High Priest’s tunic and ephod [Ex.28]). Q&C
Vv.20-22 are about a man ‘uncovering the nakedness’ of a betrothed bondwoman who has not yet been redeemed by her husband. I infer that she was a bondwoman for whom the husband to whom she was betrothed had bargained and arrived at a ‘bride-price’, but had yet to pay. The fact that she was scourged leads me to infer further that she agreed to the sexual relations and that the man was her owner. That would explain his only needing to offer a trespass offering to atone for his sin, while the betrothed bondwoman got scourged – she was his property, but she was technically married.
Vv.23-25 are about the use of fruit trees when they would enter the land. They had to leave all fruit trees to grow the first 3 years then the 4th they could use the fruit at the Feasts. Then beginning the 5th they could begin to use the fruit as they saw fit. I assume that they weren’t to harvest the fruit in the Shemitah and Yovel years. I also assume that they didn’t harvest the fruit on the tree’s 7th year and then began to follow the sabbatical years in the next cycle – or WOULD have, had they ever kept a Shemitah year. The sages say that Shemitah and Yovel are only to be practiced in the land. Personally, I think that is very convenient, especially over the last 2000 years while the vast majority of chol Israel has been in exile, dispersed throughout the world. How many Sh’mitah years has the whole nation of Israel kept since it was founded in 1948? I think you can count them without saying a word. I’m sure there are individuals that observe the Sh’mitah … well, I HOPE there are, anyway.
V.26 seems to link eating blood with witchcraft or sorcery. And I have no doubt that they are linked. My friend Bill Schnoebelen was a high priest of Satanism and practiced vampirism before he was delivered by Yeshua 30+ years ago. He has written about it in some detail. His ministry website is http://www.withoneaccord.org/ and his books are available there. He is a valuable resource on the subject of spiritual warfare.
Vv.27-28 forbid trimming beards and hair like the pagan priests of Egypt and Canaan did, or in cutting the body or printing on it, like the priests of Baal did (1Ki.18). The sages say that removing the sideburns, i.e.; shaving a straight line from the top of the ear to the temple area of the hairline, is what ‘rounding’ means. That explains this popular, stupid-looking modern practice. The priests of Ba’al worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy and while in that state would cut themselves to allow their blood to sprinkle the altar as an offering to him, to gain his favor on their crops and help in battle. Didn’t work for the 450 prophets of Ba’al in 1Ki.18.
V.29 speaks about selling or giving your daughter as a temple prostitute to Molech, Asherah or Ba’al or any of their cognates. Temple prostitution was a source of offerings for blood sacrifice to Molech at the winter solstice festival and to Asherah at the spring equinox festival. The whoredom spoken of is both physical and spiritual and is extremely wicked in both its initiating practice on the Tophet cave’s altar to Asherah and its outcome of abortion/infanticide, passing human seed through the fire to Molech. I can’t think of any more wicked evil than prostitution with the intent of breeding human blood offerings to these false pagan gods.
V.30 is given here to contrast what we are NOT to do (v.29&31) with what we ARE to do – observe Y’hovah ’s Shabbat and hold his Mishkan/Beit haMikdash in awe as special and set apart and adds “I am Y’hovah ” to make sure they get it. V.31 reiterates vv.26-29 and adds, “I am Y’hovah Elohechem” to drive the holiness requirement home; DON’T DO WHAT THE HEATHEN DO! DO AS I COMMAND! There WILL be a test! V.32 is an example of the test – how do you treat the aged. This is ancillary to the 5th commandment. Do you rely on your own wits to meet your needs, or do you ask counsel from those who are 1) wiser and 2) have greater experience than you and 3) can look at your situation objectively (which you often cannot do)? How you regard older people and whether you rely on their wisdom will reflect how you regard and rely on Y’hovah.
Vv.33-36 are all closely related. Part of what some Canaanites did was to have different weights for different people. If someone NOT of their people, say an Hebrew, came to purchase something they would use heavier weights on their scales, so they would actually sell less product to the stranger for the same money. Yisrael was to ALWAYS use the same weights and measures for everyone. If this statute were followed, the word would get out pretty quickly about the honest businessman with the just scales, and it may provide an opportunity to tell the customer about the Elohim who REQUIRES this of his people. This would have a related benefit of making the other area businessmen more honest, as well. If they didn’t use just weights, they would lose a LOT of business. I assume the Egyptians treated Yisrael like red-haired stepchildren in business, since Y’hovah reminded them of their sojourn there. He didn’t want Yisrael to treat gerim as they had been treated in Egypt. He said, “I am Y’hovah ” 15 times in this chapter – 3 (divine completion) x 5 (grace). Since we can’t perform all his statutes in our own power, he has provided all the grace we need to obey them. Q&C
Ch.20.1-7 – In ch.18-19 we saw the statutes of Y’hovah regarding wicked pagan religious practices. In ch.20 we see the judgments that Y’hovah prescribed for Yisrael and those who sojourn among Yisrael who transgress the statutes he’d just set in place. I am going to list the penalties and then the offences that they are awarded for.
Capital punishment, the death penalty, is awarded for anything related to Molech worship (Stoning v.2), cursing one’s parents (Unspecified 9), both parties committing adultery (U 10), a man and his father’s wife (U 11), a man and his son’s wife (U 12), both parties to sodomy (U 13), all parties involved in perverse sex, the man, his wife and wife’s mother (Burnt 14), the persons and animals involved in beastiality (U 15&16), and any Yisraelite or sojourner in Yisrael who willingly opens him or herself to a spirit of divination (U 27). It could be that those judgments that are unspecified revert back to the last method of execution mentioned; stoning in vv. 2-5 & 9-13, and burning in vv.14-16 & 27.
Excommunication is awarded for Molech worship when the people fail to execute Y’hovah’s judgment on him/them (E vv.3-5), consulting witches (E 6), lying with a ½ sibling – I infer without the father’s permission and a subsequent marriage based on Avram/Sarai and Amnon/Tamar (E 17), lying with a woman in her flower (E 18),
Bear their iniquity gives me the impression that they were not cut off from Yisrael, but that their sin is known, perhaps by their subsequent circumstances. A man who suddenly is living with his aunt whose husband divorced her would be a pretty good clue about what went on to cause the living arrangement. Perhaps if there are children born of their union, they are all given to the original husband and the sinners are, therefore, Childless. Everyone would know, they would bear their iniquity in public. These offenses are lying with the father’s/mother’s sister (C 19), lying with one’s aunt, his uncle’s wife (C 20), lying with a sister-in-law (C 21).
If these statutes and judgments were followed, I seriously doubt there would be more than 1 or 2 Childless or Excommunicated couples in any one community, as their circumstance would remind everyone of the social ostracism that accompanies such perversion. And there wouldn’t be a lot of executions by Stoning or Burning, either – perhaps 1 or 2 per tribe per generation. I think this is what we will see in the Millennial Kingdom. Sin of this sort will be virtually non-existent because of fear of ostracism or execution. It won’t do ANYTHING about the DESIRE to sin, but it will do a lot to deter the actual commission of sin. And that repression of sinful acts will build up animosity and rebellion against the King of kings who imposes his will on potential sinners. Hello, ultimate fulfillment of Gog uMagog per Ezek.38-39 and Rev.20.7-9.
This is the iniquity of the Amorites that Avram was told wasn’t yet full [Gen.15]. Now, in Lev.18-20, it IS full and Y’hovah’s perfect plan is to take Yisrael into Canaan within a few weeks and either destroy or drive out the Canaanites. 20.22-26 summarizes 11.1-20.21. And just to be sure there is NO question in their minds, Y’hovah reiterates that the Israelite who is a diviner or sorcerer is to be stoned until he is dead. Q&C
Amos 9.7-15 – To whom is Y’hovah speaking in v.7? I think he is speaking to ‘them’ and ‘they’ from vv.1-6. But, to quote Julia Roberts’ character to Mel Gibson’s in the movie Conspiracy Theory, “Who is ‘they’, Jerry?” We need to look at 8.14 for the answer.
11 Behold, the days come, saith Adonai Y’hovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Y’hovah: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Y’hovah, and shall not find. 13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy elohim, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. (Amos 8.11-14)
Dan to BeerSheva = the whole land of Israel, not just the northern kingdom. That quote speaks of the entire land going after the god of Samaria, Yerovoam’s y’hovah. This was the mixt worship of Y’hovah with the gods of the Canaanites; Molech, Asherah and Ba’al. Y’hovah ’s judgment is already given in our Torah portion for today. He is about to execute it. But he issues a final warning before he does so.
V.8 says the eyes of Y’hovah are on the sinful kingdom. Elsewhere his eyes are upon the righteous. Where else are his eyes? I only quote, “The eyes of Y’hovah.”
The eyes of Y’hovah are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (Psalms 34:15)
A land which Y’hovah Elohechem careth for: the eyes of Y’hovah Elohechem are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:12)
And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of Y’hovah, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. (I Samuel 26:24)
Because David did that which was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. (I Kings 15:5) [Interesting: not Bathsheva. Uriah. FT]
And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, as did David his father. (I Kings 15:11)
But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of Y’hovah, and did worse than all that were before him. (I Kings 16:25) [Suffice to say, Y’hovah ’s eyes were on all the kings in his land. FT]
For the eyes of Y’hovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. (II Chronicles 16:9)
5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of Y’hovah Elohim of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done evil in the eyes of Y’hovah Elohenu, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Y’hovah, and turned their backs. (2 Chron.29.5-6)
For the ways of man are before the eyes of Y’hovah, and he pondereth all his goings.(Proverbs 5:21)
The eyes of Y’hovah are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)
And now, saith Y’hovah that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of Y’hovah, and Elohai shall be my strength. (Isaiah 49:5) [That refers to Ruach in Mashiach. FT]
For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven [lamps of the Menorrah FT]; they are the eyes of Y’hovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:10)
Y’hovah’s eyes are everywhere, watching everything, and will recompense everyone and everything in objective righteousness, using his Torah as the standard. As he is judging Israel, whom he brought out of Egypt, so he will judge Philistia, whom he brought out of Crete or Cyprus, and Syria, whom he brought out of Kir, a fortress/prison city to which the Assyrian, Tiglath-Pileser carried Syria after conquering Damascus for what they do to Israel. The difference in the judgment of Israel over those of Philistia and Syria is that he will not wipe out Israel – he’ll leave a remnant of Yisrael.
We can look at this as an end-time prophecy and apply it to modern nations, as well. The sinful kingdom could very easily be equated with modern Israel, America, the UK, UN and/or NATO. Some believers will be preserved from among the ‘sinful nation’, but most will be wiped out. That portion of Yisrael that is not wiped out will be ‘sifted’ out of all the nations of the earth without dropping ONE grain upon the earth that is being judged. Sinners, who believe they are safe from Y’hovah’s wrath because of who they are, will die by the sword. They think that because they are of Israel, or because they ‘believe’ in their minds, but don’t walk in that ‘belief’, die by the sword (Moslemism?). They think, “Evil won’t catch ME! OR slow ME down!”
In that day, the ‘day of Y’hovah’s judgment’, is obviously [to me] Ya’acov’s trouble. I think the ‘tabernacle of David’ refers to the unity of national purpose that he brought – Yisrael was one nation with one heart, the ONLY time between the division of the Melech from the Tzadik (Gen.49) and the Messianic Kingdom to come that the nation was, or will be, ONE.
Vv.12-15 describe conditions in the Kingdom Age. Not only will the harvest last to the planting, but Y’hovah ’s people will never again be uprooted from their land, because they will live and be ruled in righteousness. Q&C
Yechezkel 20 – Ch.20-23 are all given to Zeke in 1 day. The elders who came to Zeke to enquire of Y’hovah, but they never got a chance to ask. Y’hovah just opened Zeke’s mouth. He basically said, “Don’t even open your mouths. Your hearts are evil and I won’t hear you. You hear ME!” Zeke wasn’t punishing these men for their fathers’ sins so much as warning them WHY the judgment had come and to avoid even worse by turning to Y’hovah. Y’hovah rehearsed Israel’s history for the elders who presented themselves before Zeke. In v.9, Y’hovah says that he wrought deliverance for Yisrael in the sight of the heathen Mitzraimites [Egyptians; the world system] among whom Yisrael dwelt, for his own Name’s sake, that it would be hallowed and not polluted in Mitzraim. This was done in Ex.32;
11 And Moshe besought Y’hovah Elohaiv, and said, Y’hovah, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, “For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?” Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit for ever. 14 And Y’hovah repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
The phrase “I lifted up my hand unto them” [vv.5a&b, 6 & 15] means he promised them by his own power. He gave them his statutes and judgments (as in Lev.19-20) that they might live in them, but they rebelled and he then ‘lifted up his hand’ to sware that they would NOT enter his land, because they despised his judgments, statutes and Shabbats. But for his Name’s sake he did NOT destroy them in the wilderness, he just allowed those whom he’d brought out of Egypt to die off before crossing Yarden and carried their children into the land. Vv.18-20 refer to his “2nd law” or deutronomy, as he gave it in Dt.30-34, just before the Yarden crossing. He told them then, as he had their fathers in our Torah portion, that he was Y’hovah Elohecha, who brought them out of Mitzraim. But even those whom he carried across Yarden into the land polluted his Shabbats and despised his statutes and judgments. 4 times now (vv.5a&b, 6 and 15), Y’hovah had lifted his hand to vow his protection over them, if they would walk in his Word, and 4 times they rebelled. If you remember, in Ex.19, 20 & 24, Israel had ‘lifted up the hand’ to promise that they would obey Y’hovah in all he told them through Moshe. So in v.22, he withdrew his hand, and again wrought for his Name’s sake, that it not be polluted in Israel. In v.23 he lifted up his hand to promise that if they would NOT walk in his statutes and judgments he would scatter them to the goyim. Six times, to v.24, that they polluted his sabbaths; 6 being the number of man, falling short of Y’hovah ’s perfection or adding to Y’hovah ’s grace. The children of Israel that came into haAretz gave their children to Molech, Asherah and Ba’al. So, Y’hovah gave them over to their own judgments and statues and then brought their own judgment on them to urge them to repent and know that only Y’hovah is Elohim. And they did not repent.
So, after rehearsing the Exodus to the elders of Israel in Zeke’s day, Y’hovah is going to get to why he won’t hear them beginning in v.27. After telling Israel that they were NOT to offer their offerings except at the tabernacle or Temple, they offered in the high places and groves, like their fathers had in Egypt. Y’hovah called it “Bamah” (v.29), which means “What house is this?” It was certainly NOT the one he commanded them – and it was like that right up until then. These elders who came up to ‘enquire of Y’hovah ’ were offering in the same groves and high places as those who were judged in the land during the time of the Judges. The judgment of Y’hovah is in vv.30-32, and if only we HRs, the church and Jews of today would take heed of it, their (and our) troubles would be over;
30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? 31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith Adonai Y’hovah, I will not be enquired of by you. 32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
So, what will follow is the Messianic Kingdom that should be full of rejoicing, but will not be because the hearts of men will still be idolatrous and self-serving. Praise Y’hovah, if our understanding is correct, that we will be resurrected by that time and not subject to his decree in vv.33 – he will rule over those Yisraelites he draws out of the nations ‘with a mighty hand, a stretched out arm and fury poured out.’ The millennium will not be fun for those who are ruled in this way – the rod of iron will hurt when it comes down swiftly on the sinner. He will make them ‘pass under the rod’ – go under judgment of their sin and find acceptance in Yeshua’s finished work, IF they will repent and confess that sin. He will then purge out the idolaters who will NOT enter haAretz, which I think in this instance means the New Creation. HaAretz is the land of promise, of which the New Creation in which righteousness dwells and death is non-existent is the ultimate fulfillment.
V.40 makes it clear that in the millennium offerings will be according to the judgments and statutes of Y’hovah and in HIS set-apart Mount Zion, NOT in the high places and groves. He is bringing Yisrael into the land for the land’s sake, not for theirs. He brings them in because he promised Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov that he would. When we come there we will understand how lothesome we truly were and how only Y’hovah ’s grace could make us worthy of his promises, which he gives us ‘for his Name’s sake” (44).
When Y’hovah speaks of the judgment that is coming in Zeke’s day on these elders in vv.45-48, the reply from the elders is, “Why does he speak to us in parables?”
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Matthew 13:13)
Everything he said to them fell on deaf ears.
YeshaYahu 4.2-6 – Those who were escaped from ‘Babylon’ and ‘Egypt’, will reap the millennial benefits, while those who have not ‘escaped’, but live on will also be blessed, though to a lesser degree, by just living in that time. They will reap great benefit from the general conditions and that they are not overtly sinning. Them who escaped, ultimately, will be those who come up to J’lem for the last Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium. V.3 specifies who this will be and what rewards they will accrue. These will go through to the Olam haba, and have their inclination to evil, the OSN if you will, purged by the Spirit of judgment and burning (v.4). Y’hovah will overshadow every personal dwelling (sukkah) in the olam haba, guarding it and protecting it with his own kavod – glory. And his own sukkah will be among us in the land and the city of Yerushalayim. He’ll provide a shadowing cloud to cool us by day and a pillar of fire to illuminate our camps by night. His kavod will be a place in which we will have refuge. Q&C
Tehellim 84.1-12 – 3 weeks ago we discussed Gittith briefly. Here’s what we said then:
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.
In vv.1&2 we can surmise that Y’hovah Tzavaoth is the living Elohim. In vv.1-4 there are at least 4 (maybe 5) descriptions of our own dwelling in Y’hovah’s tabernacle, courts, altars and house (where the sparrows and swallows also find a house or nest). In v. 3 we see that the Y’hovah Tzavaoth who is the living Elohim is also our King (Mal’chi) and our Elohim (Elohai). In v.4, the Hebrew has ohd y’halellucha ‘still (or yet) you they will praise’. The way the KJV words this I thought that perhaps they would be still, or quiescent, while praising him, as in
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalms 46:10)
But ‘still’ in v.4 is from the word ohd, which means a continuance, ‘yet’ might be a better translation. Had it meant quiet it probably would have used raphah, which means to cease. English translations; none are perfect.
Vv.5-7 speaks of the trust the birds place in Y’hovah to make their nests in and around his altars where sacrifices are made. The birds show their hearts’ absolute trust in Y’hovah. The man whose heart’s trust is absolutely on Y’hovah can walk through the valley of lamentation (Baca) even while the tears are streaming down his face in quantities that would make pools in a desert and still go from strength to strength, relying on his trust in Y’hovah to get him through. ‘Strength to strength’ refers, I think, to his travel from the tabernacle to the court to the altar to the House of Y’hovah, to appear before him in Zion.
Y’hovah, Elohim Tzavaoth is the Elohim of Ya’acov. The Elohim who met Ya’acov at Bethel on his way to Charan was the same Elohim who met him at the brook Yabok and wrestled all night with him until he bestowed his blessing. Elohenu is also maginenu and is also Elohenu’s moshiach (mashiychekha). To restate the translation, “Behold our shield, Elohim, and upon your Messiah’s face.” It sure looks like our Shield is Y’hovah ’s Mashiach.
One day in your courts, O Yah,
Is to me far better
Than every treasure this world can afford
In a thousand days of this life.
It truly would be better to spend a day in the shadow Y’hovah ’s presence than a lifetime of celebrity in the tents of wickedness, because Y’hovah is both our energy and our protection. He blesses with ALL good things those who walk in his righteousness and who trust in him and not the good things he gives us. Q&C
MattitYahu 18.1-6 – What follows is from my study in the Life of Yeshua haMoshiach, which was presented as a weekly bible study many moons ago. Here are some salient excerpts.
140). Lessons in humility, stumbling blocks and forgiveness (Mat.18:1-22, Mk.9:33-50, Lk.9:46-50) – Vv.1-6 – What do you suppose brought about the reasoning? Do you think the disciples were deciding among themselves who should lead them after Yeshua was killed? Yeshua had just days or even hours before told them of his upcoming death and resurrection. It seems they fully understood that he was going to be killed by the religious politicians, but couldn’t grasp Yeshua’s saying of being ‘raised again.’ They probably figured that if Yeshua didn’t appoint a leader, they’d best do it themselves. They seem to be trying to decide who would be the ruling elder, il Papa, as the Romans would say it. Perhaps the dispute had become heated, like it would in my family. There would have been different camps. Peter was the natural leader, and the proudest of the group. Andrew would probably have taken his side. Yochanan was the closest to Yeshua, and James would have backed him, quite probably without Yochanan even knowing it. Judas was probably the most ambitious, both personally and politically. Simon Zealot would have been on his side, I think.
Yeshua, to illustrate what he’s about to tell them, grabs up a little child and plops him down in the middle of the group. Now picture this happening in your mind. Imagine how the child would probably react to being placed, without any warning, in the middle of the group of adults, one of which is possibly his father. He would wonder what he did wrong, or why he’d been singled out. He’d probably fidget about, looking at the ground around his feet, worried about what was coming – especially if he were the mischievous type. Maybe the kid had been doing something he knew was wrong when Yeshua grabbed him. He would be projecting humility, as a wise man does before a judge when he’s been caught and found to be truly guilty.
Then Yeshua said, in a Mark paraphrase, “Unless you change your attitudes to be like this child’s, you can forget about leadership. In fact, you can forget about even being part of the Kingdom.” It’s when you truly realize your powerlessness that you’ll humbly depend upon the power that only Elohim, in his mercy, can give. It is then that Elohim can put you into a leadership position.
He then shifts gears a bit. Referring now to the leader who has been transformed by the renewing of his mind, Yeshua said that anyone who receives someone like this in Yeshua’ name was in fact receiving Yeshua. But if he offends the believer [the greek word means to trip up or to entice to sin] it would be better for that person if he’d never been born. This may possibly refer to the anti-Messiah, who will cause many to stumble with deceitful wonders (2 Thes.2.1-12, Mat.24.4-31). Q&C
Vv.7-14 -Yeshua then pronounces woe upon the world because as long as the assembly, the little child, is in the world and in flesh and blood bodies the world will be a stumbling block and must be judged and punishment executed [as we saw in our Ezek.20 passage ^up there^]. This will happen at the end of the millennium, when the GWT judgment is happening, as the elements melt away under the fervent heat of Elohim’s wrath, to be recreated pure and new to be our abode for eternity.
But that is not all that has woe pronounced against it. Yeshua says, “…Woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” There is a particular man who brings a particular offense. We can surmise that that man is ‘that man of sin’ (2Thes.2.3), but what might that offense be? If that man is anti-Messiah, then the offense must be ‘the lie’ that Elohim will allow to deceive those who will not believe the truth (2The.2.11-12).
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (II Thessalonians 2:11)
What might that lie be? I can think of 3 possibilities. In Matt.24.4 Yeshua tells his disciples to be careful that no man deceive them. Many shall claim to be Yeshua, and we find this happening almost everywhere today. The prevailing wisdom of the world is that there is a ‘Christ-consciousness’ to which all may attain, and that some have, and eventually all will, become ‘avatars’, or ‘enlightened ones’, by finally realizing their ‘Christ-Consciousness’. In this mode of thinking, Yeshua attained his ‘Christ- Consciousness’ just at the time of his baptism by his ‘guru’, Yochanan the Immerser. Very appealing to the ‘I can do it myself’ crowd. And all you have to do is follow the ‘avatar’ or ‘guru’ and do everything he tells you, no matter how wicked it may be, and you to can work through your ‘karma’ and in just a few more lifetimes achieve the state of bliss that your ‘guru’ has attained. This ‘Christ-Consciousness’ is attained by finally realizing, like Shirley McLaine, that you are Elohim. It’s utter blasphemy, but that’s the world’s teaching. And people flock to such men, hoping to receive the ‘wisdom of the ages’. Yeshua has warned us against it. Elohim created the physical world ex nihilo; out of nothing. He did not break off a portion of himself to create what we can see. He fully transcends this creation while remaining immanent to it, We are not any re-formation of a part of him, but absolutely separate from him, EVEN THOUGH he remains immanent to us so that he can immediately accept us to himself upon the slightest whisper that we have acknowledged his existence and desire to know him.
In v.11 Yeshua reveals the 2nd possibility when he says false prophets will arise to deceive many. We see this in our day with many ‘thus saith the Lord’ pronouncements. When someone says thus saith Y’hovah, watch out for what’s coming. If it doesn’t come to pass or is contrary to revealed truth in the scripture, that’s a false prophet.
The 3rd possibility is centered around the prophecy of 2Thes.2:3-4,
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim.
Where does this man sit in the temple? The fact that he is showing himself that he is Elohim tells me that he is not absolutely sure at the time he walks in. How would he prove to himself that he IS Elohim? Remember when David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and he put it on the ox cart to transport? They hit a bump in the road and the Ark began to topple off the cart. So Uzzah just reached out to keep the Ark from falling and when he touched it he died. On the spot. Do not pass go. Keep that in mind when looking at the anti-Messiah in the temple. Now how many seats are there in the temple? That’s right, give that man a cookie. There is but one. Now, if the anti-Messiah is a ‘christian’ and knows his scripture, he knows that no man may touch the Ark and live. He’s the next thing to certain that he IS Elohim when he walks into the temple, and to prove that he IS Elohim, he takes the only seat in the place – the mercy seat! And he does not die! There is your strong delusion that will deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. Here is his claim to deity and the basis for the demand that he be worshipped.
We’ve seen humility and others-generated stumbling blocks, now for some us-generated stumbling blocks. “If thine eye offend you, cast it from you.” Do you suppose he means to take a part of your body and surgically remove it? I don’t think so. We are to mortify the deeds of the flesh
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Rom.8.13)
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col.3.5).
That Romans passage is in context with the death of our enmity with Elohim (v.6-16). The Colossians passage is in context of the contrast between our lives as slaves to the flesh and our liberty to follow after Elohim (vv.5-17). When we sin as believers it is because we choose to, not because we have to. Elohim has given us the Ruach ha Kodesh in our lives to empower us to live a godly life, to consider ourselves dead to sin and the flesh, and to live to Elohim and his righteousness. The Ruach ha Kodesh is Elohim’s gracious supply to us. Q&C
In vv15-18 we find the passage on ‘church’ discipline. The context is interpersonal relations, not corporate, but the principle applies. The greek word for trespass is hamartano which is to miss the mark (same word in Rom.3.23, ‘for all have hamartano’d). This is the way we are to reconcile ourselves to each other as well as to Elohim. When you sin, does the Ruach ha Kodesh let you know? If you agree with him that that was a sin, turn away from it and confess it, he will forgive you and cleanse you of all your unrighteousness. To use an apocalyptic reference, you’ll have washed your robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev.7.13-14). If you do NOT agree with him, WAKE UP!
Elohim wants us to do the same thing with our brethren. In the Avinu prayer he says, “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” If we refuse to forgive someone who has wronged us when he asks for forgiveness, Elohim will not forgive us when we ask his forgiveness. That is clear biblical teaching. So I’m telling you now, if there is someone you’ve wronged or someone who has wronged you, get it right between you so you can both get it right between yourselves and Elohim. For everything Elohim does between himself and us he’s given us a picture in our lives and relationships on earth. This is one of them. We are to model Elohim in our lives so men can see and marvel and want what we’ve got.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.  For the eyes of Y’hovah are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of Y’hovah is against them that do evil.  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;  But sanctify Y’hovah Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Mashiach.  For it is better, if the will of Elohim be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” (1Pe.3:8-17)
People will never be saved by watching your life, but in the watching they’ll desire your peace in adversity, your obvious love for the person who has wronged you. You will have provoked them to a godly jealousy. Then it will be up to you to answer when they ask the reason for your hope. Make it good.
Still on vv.15-18 – This passage has been the backing for ‘church’ discipline, and rightly so, but in most assemblies it is not rightly done, decently and in order. In today’s assembly the offended party usually goes first to the leadership with a report of the supposed wrong. In the Navy we called that ‘jumping the chain.’ I call it just plain gutless. The first thing you are to do is go directly to your brother and make known your concern. Most people today expect the pastor to do all the dirty work. It isn’t his job. It’s yours. You are to keep your hurt totally secret until you’ve had a chance to reconcile with your brother. You should not even tell your spouse. If you don’t want to reconcile, check out your own heart. If he will not hear you or if he blows you off, then it is time to get 1 or 2 others involved as objective witnesses, and I don’t mean by gossiping about him. You go and get 1 or 2 that will go without knowing the offense or even who the offending party is up front (that is being objective – he’ll hear both sides without having been able to prejudge either side), AND who agree to keep the matter in strict confidence. Anyone who violates that promise of confidence is sinning and the offender has been offended by slander. It should come as news to the witnesses when you confront the offender the 2nd time. If he blows you off in front of them AND they agree that it was a sin committed against you, THEN it is time to go to the assembly leadership. Then it is up to the pastor and the body at large to intercede with you and the offender. Always keep in mind that the object is not to put someone out of the assembly, but to reconcile brothers, as we would be reconciled to Elohim. All of this assumes a true wrong done. I am afraid that most people don’t get it right because they haven’t really been wronged, they’ve only had their feelings hurt. Usually hurt feelings are a result of pride in the heart of the offended.
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165)
That’s because it takes humility to truly love the Law of Elohim and be at peace with him. Not that I would know much about humility, personally.
The binding and loosing part always makes me a little crazy. Am I able to condemn a man? Not all by myself. If the offender will not hear the assembly, his pride has taken over. This is a sign of his spiritual condition. I think that, if he will not be reconciled with a brother, there should be a serious question about that man even being saved. If a man refuses reconciliation with a brother whom he can see, how can he be reconciled to Elohim whom he has never seen? If a man won’t love his brother whom he can see, how can he love Elohim whom he has never seen? For this reason the body gives him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his soul can be saved. Paul addresses this issue in 1Cor.5. The reason the body is to put the man out of the fellowship is to remove the sin from its midst with the object of reconciling that man to Elohim and his assembly. It worked in Corinth, for Paul writes again about the obvious change of heart in the man about whom he wrote in 1Cor.5 and 2Cor.2.5-11. Reconciliation is always the end (purpose) of discipline. Q&C
19-22 – Wherever two or more are gathered in Yeshua’s name, there is he in the midst of them. Most folks look at scriptures about the indwelling Ruach ha Kodesh and assume it means he lives within each believer, and I believe he does (Jn.14.23, Rom.8.9, 1Cor.12.17, Gal.4.6), but most of these passages are written to more than one person, ‘two or more’ (Jn.14.17, Rom.5.5, 1Cor.3.16, 6.19, 2Cor.6.16, Eph.2.2, 2Tim.1.14, 1Jn.2.27, 4.12). This is one of the reasons we are not to forsake the assembly of the brethren. We get a fresh infusion of the Spirit when we get together to sharpen iron.
The filling of the Ruach ha Kodesh is somewhat different than the indwelling of the Ruach ha Kodesh. The Ruach ha Kodesh will not fill whom he does not own. He is no squatter. Many were filled with the Spirit, David, Mary, Elisabeth, Yochanan the Immerser, Cornelius, Peter, etc. All were His dwelling place. The filling of the Spirit was not the usual experience, or it would not be so prominently mentioned at various times in the lives of the saints. The indwelling takes place at salvation. The filling comes as we need it, if we’ll allow it and if we ask for it in the circumstance. If we are allowed to be put to the test of our lives before the world, Y’hovah will fill us to bring glory to his name in the trial. That is what Yeshua meant when he said to take no thought of what you’ll say, Ruach will take care of that. I don’t think I, in and of myself, could die for the testimony of Yeshua haMoshiach, for I am a weak man. But I think Elohim will give me the filling of the Ruach ha Kodesh should the occasion arise. I can’t. But I pray that he will.
23-35 – Parable of the unmerciful slave (Mat.18:21-35) – Do you have any idea how much 10,000 talents is? A talent is between 75 and 100 pounds, depending on who the measure is for. A royal talent is closer to 100 pounds, and, since we’re talking about a king here, that is probably the one we’re concerned with. This guy owed 1 million pounds to the king. Was it in silver or gold? Does it make a difference? An ounce of silver today [10/4/17, Kitco spot price] costs about $16, and an ounce of gold about $1200. So this guy owes the present equivalent of $12M [16x75x10,000] – $120B [1200x100x10,000] to the king. It’s no wonder he was a slave, having gotten that deeply in debt. There was no way the servant was going to be able to pay that debt on a servant’s wages, so the king figured he’d get what he could out of the guy by selling him and all he had into chattel slavery. But the guy protests and asks mercy, promising to pay him every penny. The king mercifully forgave his debt and the man walks away freed from his load. But as soon as he’s out of the kings sight he jumps his fellowservant who owes him 100 pence. A penny is 100th part of a unit of exchange. So the 2nd servant owes the 1st about one day’s wage, a denarius. The fellowservant uses the identical words to ask patience, but the 1st will not show the same mercy that the king had shown him.
Remember v.20, ‘Wherever 2 or more are gathered’? That is still Yeshua’s context in answering Peter’s question (vv.21-22) about how many times he was to forgive an offending brother. The two slaves are brethren in the same way as Peter and James are, not sons of the same parents, but brethren in both Israel and their circumstances. Each is owned by another, and each owes another more than he can immediately repay. We are also in the same circumstance. We, like the 1st servant, have been bought with a price and we owe infinitely more than we can ever hope to repay. In our dealings with fellowservants of the King of kings we ought to keep this in mind, to forgive the minor trespass of our brother in light of the overwhelming forgiveness of Avinu b’Shamayim. We may be out a few bucks, or have had our little feelings hurt, but my Father gave his only begotten Son as a ransom for my soul. That is a debt which is impossible to repay. And just for good measure, after I’ve appropriated that ransom for my soul he doesn’t treat me like the slave I am, but adopts me as his own legal heir with the same rights and privileges as his freely given only begotten son!
Will my Father continue to treat me in this manner if I refuse to forgive some trifling wrong? Yeshua says no. He calls the unforgiving servant ‘wicked’, which word comes from the greek poneros, which is characteristic wickedness. This servant, I think, is in a lost condition. He will not forgive, so the king rescinds his forgiveness, which had not truly been appropriated through repentance and confession, and demands payment in full. Yeshua’ sacrifice paid the debt of every soul on earth, but that ransom is only applied when we repent and confess our need. This servant did not repent, though he confessed his need and asked for mercy. Do you have something against a brother? Have you gone to him and attempted to get your relationship right? Elohim’s gracious response to your request for mercy is influenced by your gracious response to others’ request[s] for mercy (Mat.6.12). It is no accident that the definitive passage on ‘church’ discipline is given in this chapter. The point of this entire chapter is love of the brethren shown in our attitude of forgiveness and mercy to those who offend us. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study