Shabbat Bible Study for March 3, 2018
©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Sabbath 52
Numbers 5:11-21 – Hoshea 4:14, 1Shmuel 1.7-11 – Tehellim 96 – 2 Kefa 2:1-22
http://www.hebroots.org/yeshiva/ShavuotMarriageMessiah/ This link no longer works
B’Midbar 5.11-31 – This is the passage about the jealous husband/the wife he suspects has been unfaithful. Schottenstein’s Chumash will be a valuable resource in seeing the pashat of this passage, the ‘whys and hows’ of the whole process. Its overview on p.35 is very good. My question had always been, what is it that made the husband jealous? Basically, what does the KJV mean by ‘commit a trespass against him’ in v.12? Vv.13 and 14 make it clear that there is NO WITNESS to any adultery. V.14 says that she may be defiled or she may NOT be defiled – noone has any clue except the wife and the suspected ‘other man’, if he exists.
Rashi, according to the Chumash notes, says that she was seen with another man and that they were alone for a sufficient time that adultery COULD have occurred. When, this questionable activity came to the husband’s attention, he warned her to not do it again. But THEN she was seen with the other man again, and again they were alone for a long enough period of time that adultery could have occurred. NOW, the husband had ample reason to be jealous and the procedure he was to put himself and his wife through was designed to either prove or disprove the accusation.
Beginning in v.16, we see the ordeal of the bitter water. I take inference that she may have been brought into the sanctuary, the Holy place, for this procedure because 1). She was brought ‘before Y’hovah’ and 2). the priest put some ‘holy water’ (laver or red heifer water of purification?) in an earthen vessel and added dust from the ground of the Tabernacle. How would she know that the dust was actually FROM the Tabernacle if she didn’t see him take it from there? Either she was taken into the sanctuary, or perhaps, only to the outer veil of the Kodesh place. If that’s the case, they probably used water from the laver and the priest could just reach in and grab a handful of dust from the floor. After working that one out in print here, I lean toward the latter, but still see the possibility of the former.
In v.18, the priest uncovered her head. The head covering symbolized her husband’s protection from the wrath of Y’hovah, as she symbolized the Bride of Mashiach. Uncovering the woman’s head symbolizes the removal of that protection, leaving her vulnerable to personal judgment and condemnation. If she is innocent, she has nothing to fear. The priest explained what the water’s purpose was and what would befall her if she were guilty, but that, if she was innocent, she had nothing to fear. If she was guilty, however, the priest had explained the horrific suffering she would endure on her way to death.
Now, here’s the kicker. IF she was guilty of adultery and confessed, she would be divorced for cause (setting up Dt.24.1-4), but since there was no judicially acceptable evidence against her, she would have no judgment or penalty imposed on her by the court. So, confession was the logical way for her to go if she were guilty. And, if she was innocent, she had nothing to fear. The innocent woman would drink it down and the guilty woman would probably confess, not wanting to die the horrendous death described by the Kohen.
Quoting Chumash, pg.35,
“This is the only halachic procedure in the Torah that depends on a supernatural intervention…. The purpose of the ordeal was 2-fold, 1). To punish adultery and help uproot immorality in Yisrael, and 2) to foster trust between husband and wife. Once a husband has come to suspect his wife, he will not trust her, even if a court rules that he is wrong… Only Eloha’s own testimony would be convincing enough. Eloha permits the blotting out of his Name and performs a miracle to set the suspicious husband’s mind at ease.”
I wonder if this was the circumstance that confronted Yeshua in Jn.8.1-12? If it was, where was her husband? And were the accusers acknowledging Yeshua’s authority to judge as the tzadik rebbe, Mashiach? I seriously doubt that, but that this MAY be the circumstance that brought the incident to bear I do not doubt. It explains why the man is not there, and it’s just a small stretch from the ‘alone together’ causing jealousy to the jealousy ‘creating’ the sin in the minds of the accusers. Perhaps she had been brought to the priest and had refused to drink the water, all the while maintaining her innocence of this crime.
If you would like to see an excellent presentation of the penalty of the adulterous wife being paid in full in the events of Pesach and the death of Yeshua on the tree, see Eddie’s excellent treatment of it at http://www.hebroots.org/yeshiva/ShavuotMarriageMessiah/. He discusses the water of jealousy, all the curses involved and also the inability of a man to remarry a divorced wife who had been married to another man (which symbolizes a believer slipping into idolatry). Q&C
Hoshea 4.14 – The curse that Y’hovah puts on Israel is as a result of his observation in v.6.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy Eloha, I will also forget thy children. 7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: will I change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. (Hosea 4.6-8)
Y’hovah’s people are damah, made dumb or silenced, not destroyed. Our lack of da’at -knowledge – is not due to unavailability, but refusal to see or hear it. We reject da’at. And so, he turns us over to our desire, which is to be fooled. Is that not what has been going on for 1800+ years of Constantinian religion in the West? It’s gotten to the point that he doesn’t even chasten us when we go a-whoring after other gods. He just lets us go. Y’hovah will never pressure us to obedience and faithfulness to him and his Word. He will send chastisement for a while, but the more we refuse to acknowledge it, the more we reject it, the less he expects our repentance and the more he gives us over to our lusts. I have just described the United States of America and the whole Xian world. He has all but given up on this world as a result of the ‘church’ a-whoring in public, and he is about to allow us to reap what we’ve sown. I sincerely hope y’all who are listening can understand, and that you will repent and turn to his Way.
1 Sh’muel 1.7-11 – Hannah gave her son, Sh’muel, to Y’hovah; made a Nazarite vow unto Y’hovah on behalf of her son. The difference between Shimshon and Sh’muel, I think was in their training as children. It looks like Manoah and his wife indulged Shimshon, while Elkanah and Hannah raised Sh’muel to fear Y’hovah and prepared him for service.
Grammarically, the ‘he’ in v.7 is Y’hovah, as He is the last 3rd person masculine singular noun used. What it says is that Moed to Moed [if my thinking above is correct], Y’hovah is shutting up her womb and she was fasting and praying with tears to have a child. Meanwhile, Peninnah is doing with Channah as Hagar had done with Sarah centuries before, mocking and rubbing Channah’s face in her barrenness [parallel].
And in v.8, Elkanah says maybe the worst thing he could to her; “Am I not better than 10 sons to you?” Lemme tell you, guys; in these circumstances, that is not exactly going to endear you to the better half. But it looks as though it did get her to eat and drink something, since v.9 indicates that she may have done so with Elkanah before she got up to go to the sanctuary. Of course, it could ALSO be that the “they” in the verse were Elkanah, Peninnah, and their kids. KJV says she went to the Temple, but of course Shlomo, who built the temple, is yet 100 years in the future. So this had to be just a large edifice, probably the ohel. Eli was sitting in the structure near one of the doorposts. The judge might sit in the gate of the outer court to be of service to worshippers or people coming up to offer an offering. As she entered the sanctuary of Y’hovah [v.10], she was in great bitterness of soul and weeping, perhaps uncontrollably, and Eli probably noticed this and checked on her periodically.
In her overwhelming desire to have a son to serve Y’hovah, she entered into a vow before Y’hovah Tzavaoth [v.11] that if He would give her a son, he would be dedicated to Him from the womb as a Naziri, as “a razor shall not touch his head”. TSK says this about Channah’s gift of her son to Y’hovah:
Sh’muel, as a descendent of Levi, was Y’hovah’s property, from twenty-five years of age till fifty; but the vow here implies that he should be consecrated to Y’hovah from his infancy to his death, and that he should not only act as a Levite, but as a Nazarite.
Channah gave her son, Sh’muel, to Y’hovah’s strong right hand; made a Nazarite vow unto Y’hovah on behalf of her son. The differences between Shimshon and Sh’muel, I think was in their tribal heritage and training as children. It looks like Manoah, a Danite, and his wife indulged Shimshon and trained him not a whit, while Elkanah, a Levi, and Channah raised Sh’muel to fear Y’hovah and prepared him for service. Q&C
Tehellim 96 – I love vv.1-3 here. Do you see how there are 6 phrases that work together to bring glory to Y’hovah’s Name, and that it all centers on the Hebrew word Y’shuato, which means His Salvation or Deliverance? We are to witness to Y’hovah’s Deliverance from day to day to day to … You get the picture. Remember the little monk named Frank who said, “Always preach the gospel! When necessary, use words.” That’s how we are to preach Y’hovah’s Salvation, by our manners of life that will make us stand out like sore thumbs while maintaining a verbal witness, as well. If our lifestyle does not reflect our words, we will witness only to our hypocrisy, not the glory of Y’hovah.
V.4 speaks of the fear of Y’hovah. Now we have discussed the fear of Y’hovah before, and I have said that it is not just ‘reverential awe’, like the Constantinian majority loves to say, but includes the abject terror that his disfavor can inspire. But we’ve also discussed the idea that ‘fear’ of Y’hovah is the opposite of ‘despite’ of Y’hovah. To despise is not to hate or dislike something, but to think that it is without value, worthless and of no consequence or power. So, to fear Y’hovah in this sense is to think of him in all we do, which will show in the way we live. What ought to be despised in v.5 is the gods of the nations which are adept at counterfeiting what looks to the eyes like power but in reality is no power. They have no real power, only sleight of hand. Fools are ‘fooled’ by the counterfeit. But Y’hovah made all that is by the Word of his mouth.
All honor and majesty belong to Y’hovah Elohenu, the Tzadik Rebbe, Yeshua haMoshiach, who is the beautiful blending of the righteous power of Y’hovah’s Spirit and the merciful love of Y’hovah, our Father. It is Y’hovah whom we must honor, glorify and worship in the beauty of holiness. Vv.8-9 speak of offering Y’hovah worship in the beauty of holiness. An offering was made to set us apart unto Y’hovah so that he could look upon us as beautiful. THAT is, I think, the beauty of holiness.
We will be called upon, if things keep trending as they are, to glorify Y’hovah before the heathen and declare his sovereignty over the earth and all things therein. Be prepared to glorify Y’hovah before men, and he SHALL judge the people of the earth, who judge us unrighteously because we are set-apart unto him. Notice that the world is judged in Y’hovah’s righteousness, and the people are judged according to his Truth. His Torah is the expression of is righteousness, according to which all shall be judged. If you are his, you have already been judged righteous in him, and receive no condemnation
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [Rom.8.1]
2Kefa 2.1-22 – This whole chapter is about false prophets. The ‘damnable heresies’ Pete speaks of are a result of ‘private interpretations’, using something other than scripture to interpret scripture. That is not to say that there is no other source of truth. All scripture is true, but it is not ‘all truth’. By that I mean that in order to know what an author is referring to, you may need to know historical and cultural context. As an example Sha’ul says;
But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Kefa before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (Galatians 2:14)
He wasn’t admonishing Peter for keeping Torah, as our Xian brethren like to interpret, but for compelling the Gentiles to live according to the oral law of the Pharisees. (BTW, I think that the incident Paul refers to in Gal.2 may have been the spark for the Jerusalem Council in Acts15, because this is the very issue they discussed then.) The incident was early in Sha’ul’s Netzari ministry while they were in Antioch of Syria, probably between the 1st and 2nd missionary journeys. The Jerusalem council was near the end of the 2nd.
False prophets, past, present, and future, twist truth to their own ends and draw even the elect away from the narrow Way. The number of followers a man has does not determine his godliness or lock on truth. Witness Benny Hinn, for example. False prophets are after your money, your stuff or your life. False prophets of the past have received judgment on everything around them, while the faithful have been delivered, either by miracle or by personal preparation for the judgment to come. Noach prepared for the judgment to come. Lot was delivered miraculously out of the judgment against Sodom. It would have been so much better if Lot had been prepared to get his family out and to keep his personal witness intact, like Noach did.
V.5 speaks of Noach as the 8th preacher of righteousness, which I think speaks of the MelechTzadik priesthood. I don’t know for sure who the 1st 7 were (though I think among them were Adam, Seth, Enoch and Methuselah), but the 9th, IM[not so]HO, was Shem, 10th was Ya’acov, 11th was split between Yehudah (Melech Gen.49) and in Ephraim, Yoseph, (Tzadik Gen 48). The 12th and ultimate MelechTzadik priest IS Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach, who will be manifested as such on his return to rule and reign in righteousness.
Vv.7-8 speak of Lot’s being vexed with the wickedness of Sodom. Lot kinda spiraled down in a 6-step process towards his citizenship in that city, beginning in Gen.13
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Y’hovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of Y’hovah, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (Genesis 13:10-12)
In vv.10-11 he was 1) desensitized by his choice to leave the only godly man he knew and walk by sight and 2) fed the lust of his eyes in v.11. Then in v.12 he chose to 3) dwell in the cities of the plain and 4) pitched his tents so he could look on them, further feeding his evil inclination. Then in 14.12, he was actually 5) living IN Sodom (the choice he’d made long before he moved in), not in a tent outside of town. Then he 6) became an elder of the city because the Sodomites knew that position and wealth were the driving forces in his life, and that he would decide according to his lust rather than righteousness.
Lot did not have the personal commitment to Y’hovah to be delivered THROUGH the trial, as Noach did. He needed to be delivered FROM it. In the judgment to come against the whole earth, those who have prepared both spiritually and physically for it will be delivered through it – the 144K come to mind. Those who are NOT prepared spiritually and physically will be delivered from it, probably through physical death. Y’hovah will not allow his elect to suffer the judgment coming against all flesh.
There will be those who feign godliness who will suffer in the judgment and dare to say, “Master! Master! Have we not….” These are the ‘natural brute beasts’ of v.12, who ‘utterly perish in their own corruption’ – the false prophets of v.1. These natural brute beast false prophets are exposed in v.15 as prophets for hire, like Ba’alam. Now not all false prophets will exhibit all of the characteristics of vv.12-17, but if you see a teacher or a ‘prophet’ who exhibits any of them, SERIOUSLY consider going the other way. Q&C
The ‘mist of darkness’ sounds like darkness that can be felt, like the Egyptian plague. And that could be, since the words ‘mist’ (G2217 – zophos) and ‘darkness’ (G4655 – skopos) BOTH mean darkness – ‘to whom ‘DARK DARK’ is reserved forever’ is how it CAN be translated. ‘Dark dark’ is where the light does not exist. This is not a shadow, because for there to be a shadow there HAS to be light, and some matter to block it to form the shadow. Therefore a shadow is not ‘utter darkness’ because there is necessarily light all around the shadow. The holy of holies might illustrate this, because there is no outside source of light within the Mishkan proper. Y’hovah is the light of it. If he is not there, it is ‘dark dark’ inside it.
I love the phrase ‘great, swelling words of vanity’ that describes the speech of the false prophets. Calls to mind the commercial from the “Crystal Cathedral” back in the 90s and 00s, Bobby Shueller saying in his most stilted, oracular and oratorical tones, “DON’T just sta-a-and ther-re. DO-O-O-O something!” Made me want to vomit. False prophets play to people’s flesh, promising, “God wants to make you RICH!”, when all he’s really promised us in this life is food and clothing, like the sparrows and the grass of the fields. Yeshua didn’t have the proverbial pot, no place to rest his head. These are NOT things we need to strive for. He may give us more than we need when we are content with what we have.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, the words of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. (I Timothy 6:3-6)
‘They’ in v.18ff = the false prophets. ‘Them’ in v.19ff = those who were clean escaped, but are now captured by something even worse – idolatry. This is very much the same idea as Paul [or one of his close talmidim] touched on in Heb.10
23 Let us hold fast the profession of faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some; but exhorting: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb.10.23-29)
Let’s also not forget that the grafted in branches can be broken off again according to Rom.11.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Q&C End of Midrash notes.