Shabbat Bible Study for March 10, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for March 10, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 52

Numbers 6.1-21 – Judges 13.2-5 – Psalm 97-99 – Luke 1.8-17

B’Midbar 6.1-21 – A Nazirite was to swear off all grapes and grape products, whether fresh or fermented, and any type of vinegar, because vinegar is a fermented product of whatever fruit it is made from. A Nazirite therefore has sworn off all fermented products – anything that has or has ever had alcohol in it. If you remember Eph.5.18:

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Ruach; (Ephesians 5:18)

That MAY have to do with a Nazirite vow, but I infer from this verse that drunkenness is a cheap counterfeit of the filling of Ruach. It does not say that being drunk is a sin, but it reinforces the idea that habitual drunkenness is decidedly foolish.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.(Proverbs 20:1)

29 Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. (Proverbs 23.29-32)

The Nazirite not only swears off anything that can intoxicate, but he does not cut his hair, so that people will know that he has the vow. The one who has taken the Nazirite vow is to be acutely aware of the testimony of his lifestyle and guard his heart and mind so that people will see and glorify Y’hovah. Not cutting or trimming his hair would set him apart from the average Israelite. So, that stuff about Yeshua having long hair is probably a lie foisted on us by the church of the Middle Ages. V. 7 says ‘consecration’ in the KJV, but ‘crown’ in Stone’s translation. The unshorn hair could certainly be likened to a crown.

The vow was for a set time, during which he may not defile himself in any way – even due to the death of his parents or siblings. If the Nazirite is inadvertently defiled with a dead body, the days of his vow are forfeit. If he vowed a year-long vow and 364½ days go by and then a guy walking down the street in the opposite direction suddenly dies and brushes the Nazirite on his way to the deck, the Nazirite forfeits those days and has to begin again. When the purification week ends (cf.19.19) and he is clean, he must shave his head and on the 8th day bring two turtledoves or pigeons, one for his sin offering and the other for his burnt offering. Chumash’s comment on v.10’s turtledoves says they represent the renewing of the Nazirite’s vow and his readiness to start again, kind of like the mythological Phoenix rising from the ashes and soaring toward the heights. The 8th day symbolizes new beginnings for the Nazirite vow, as well. His head is once again hallowed and his days of consecration begin anew.

When the Nazirite fulfills the days of his vow, he brings an offering to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation consisting of a sheep of the 1st year, an ewe of the first year and a ram, all without blemish. The priest offers the sheep for a burnt offering, the ewe for a sin offering, and the ram for a peace offering. Burnt and peace offerings are freewill offerings, but the sin offering is for sins committed inadvertently or without the sinner’s knowledge – so in this case it’s a ‘just in case’ offering. He also brings a basket of unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil and the associated meal offerings and oblations. Once all the offerings are accomplished, the Nazirite shaves his head again and places the hair on the fire that’s burning his ram peace offering. Then the priest takes a wafer and a cake from the basket, along with the cooked foreleg of the ram and places them on the hands of the Nazirite and waves it all before Y’hovah as a wave offering. The foodstuffs of the wave offering are for the priest to eat in addition to the regular priest’s portion of the peace offering. 

Now the Nazirite may partake of grapes and anything fermented, once again. Why is he still called a Nazirite after his vow is complete? Probably for the same reason that a military member retains his title after his retirement. He’s EARNED it! (I am Mark Pitrone, AT1 USNR-R, Ret.) The Nazirite took a vow and honored it. Imagine if he took a vow for a year, and then there was inadvertent defiling of that Nazirite 3 different times. He is not released from the vow until it is successfully completed. He may have served that vow for 3½ years to finally finish it. No matter how long the term of his vow was, he saw it through to the end. That faithfulness will be recognized forever. Q&C

Shophtim 13.2-5 – In light of Num.6, Manoah’s wife is told by a prophet that she would bear a son and that they were to ensure that he never tasted grapes or grape products, and that his hair was uncut because he was to be a Nazirite from the womb. Shimshon never drank wine or ate a grape, nor did he cut his hair until Delilah browbeat him to find out the source of his strength. Although he didn’t have a heart after Y’hovah, as can be seen in his manner of life, he at least kept to the letter of the Nazirite vow, and Y’hovah honored that. 

V.2 says a man named Manoach [his name means ‘from or of rest’] of Tzorah [from the root tzarga צרע, which means ‘to erupt’, like tzara’ath] a city in the inheritance of Dan [root means knowledge]. Putting that all together gives us an inkling of the judgment that is about to come down on Israel’s oppressors. One who proceeds from rest will deliver Israel by inflicting the same kind of judgment on the Plishtim that they had inflicted on Israel for the last 40 years – only the Plishtim would get the payback in only 20 years.

Manoach had a barren wife, meaning she was incapable of bearing children. I does not say why this was the case, whether it was a physical impossibility for her to ovulate or if she to this point had just never conceived a child. It just says she had never borne a child. That could mean that conception had never occurred by whatever means or that what had been conceived never implanted and grew within her womb. This wife is never named. Manoach may have had other wives or concubines who DID bear. We just have no record of any. Manoach may have been entirely monogamous. which would be very different in the Israelite culture as related in the book of Shoftim to now. 

In v.3, we see THE angel of Y’hovah appearing to Manoach’s wife [she’s the only woman for whom we have an antecedent in this chapter]. I think this is a post-incarnate appearance of Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiach and I will explain why a bit later; but I will continue my comments with this as my premise. He said, “See? NOW you are barren, having not born a child: but you SHALL conceive and bear a son.” I love that word, shall. It is a word that you can put your trust in when Y’hovah pronounces it, because it is His PROMISE of His future performance. It isn’t His WILL, it is His SHALL! There is NO WAY that He will not perform it. 

Then, in vv.4ff, He delivers on that promise. It isn’t 2 seconds since He pronounced her barrenness, but here He says [Mp], “NOW”, as in from this second forward, “beware that you don’t partake in any way of fruit of the vine or eat anything unclean, because [v.5] the boy you will bear will be Notzrei, Nazirite, from his conception. You may not cut his hair nor give him any grape anything to eat or drink, even through your milk that you feed him.” That last phrase was added in my paraphrase, because it makes very good sense, given the next context. She was going to conceive by purely natural means, like Sarah and unlike Miriam of Natzreth, but she would do so at her next [and perhaps first] ovulation, which I assume was immanent. Everything “grapey” must be out of her system before she can conceive this child, because the baby will be living off her system from the moment of conception, and he MUST be Notzrei from then. If that were not so, if he was to be Notzrei from birth ONLY, she would not have to live as a Notzrei NOW. The word translated ‘beware’ is hiyshamri, which has the root shamar. to guard or keep, and in this case means to be careful to do what I urgently ask, ‘pray thee’ [v.4], to do. 

Notice that even here, Y’hovah is not commanding her, but asking her in urgency, to not partake of any ‘grapey’ or unclean thing. Our Master is NOT a bully. He sets up the parameters of kadosh, set-apart or holy, living and expects us to live by them, but He does NOT force us to obey His commands. He then rewards or punishes us commensurate to our obedience. But Y’hovah KNEW that she and Manoach would shamar to do as He asked. This is obviously a couple who lived their lives in accord with His Torah, and He was about to bless them with the son who would begin the process of turning Israel back to His ways, a thing that they were probably both urgently supplicating Him for. And here is our take away in this matter; be careful what you pray for. And if you do ask Y’hovah for anything, like the return of His and our people to His Ways or that someone receive anything from Him, be ready to be a source of the fulfillment of your requests. He’s laid it on your heart to pray; He may lay it on your heart to be the answer. If He DOES lay it on your heart to answer, do NOT hesitate. 

Tehellim 97 – No matter how bleak the circumstances look, there is always reason the rejoice, because Y’hovah reigns. We need to stop trusting our lying eyes and fully trust the Truth of Y’hovah. Clouds and darkness speak of the inability of our eyes to see Y’hovah. It is through his Word, his righteousness and judgment that are revealed therein, that we can clearly see that Avinu rules over the affairs of men. Our physical eyes and emotions see and react to things in the world, but our spirits know that it is Y’hovah’s Truth that rules over all. The enemy does everything he can to usurp Y’hovah’s position, but he is allowed to go only so far and no further, and THAT for his elect’s sake. They who are a part of the conspiracy against Y’hovah try to point people away from their plans to establish their power, saying that if there were really a conspiracy of a tiny cabal to rule the earth, it would certainly have been accomplished by now. And, if it were only THEY who were working, they might be right. BUT Y’hovah is allowing only so much of their effort to pay off with the intent of getting his people to repent and start going HIS WAY. He is allowing them to see some progress toward their goal now, but just as they think they are about to take complete control, he will come through the clouds to stop them and bind their spirit leader for 1000 years.

The hills refer to the kings of the earth, who will literally melt like wax at his return

12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the Y’hovah will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. (ZecharYah 14.12)

Not exactly a nice way to go, IMO. They would be much better off to accept his offer of Shalom. The heavens DECLARE his righteousness and his glory, so that noone has an excuse. There must be more than just points of light out there, for them to be a clear “Declaration of Righteousness.”

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

Even the ‘gods’ that foolish people worship will bow the knee to him. How much more the people who worship those false gods?

Wherefore Eloha also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiach Y’hovah, to the glory of Eloha the Father. (Phil.2.9-11)

The psalm opens talking about the darkness and clouds, and ends with his light and gladness. We have come from darkness to light, from clouds to gladness by thinking on the power, glory and righteousness of Y’hovah. And all within 12 verses. Q&C

Tehellim 98 – Every time Tanakh says ‘new song’ the Hebrew words are identical – shir chadash (H2319). The root word for ‘new’ is chadash (H2318), which is vowel pointed differently than the word we are using, H2319, though the pronunciation is the same. H2318 is the root verb, an action word, meaning to renew or rebuild. When Yeshua returns to the earth he will renew the Covenant he made with Avraham and give it as a new thing to Avraham’s seed, which, in the Gal.3.16 sense, is all who believe and put their trust in Y’hovah.  When we have that New Covenant where we can actually see it with our eyes and feel it in our hearts is when we will see Yeshua as he is, the strong right hand and set-apart arm of Y’hovah and sing his praises to the housetops so the new song will spread out over his whole creation. 

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face-to-face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Corinthians 13:12) 

Y’hovah’s salvation is shown when his righteousness is shown before the heathen. That is, when we walk in his righteousness, his salvation is on display in and through us. Yochanan the Immerser was teaching his talmidim one day:

And looking upon Yeshua as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of Eloha! (John 1:36)

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (I John 2:6)

In v.3, his salvation is also seen as Y’hovah’s remembrance of his mercy and truth toward the whole house of Israel. When Y’hovah ‘remembers’ he is not recalling something he temporarily forgot. Hebrew is a language based on action, not concept. Every Hebrew word has a verb root, every word is based in action. ‘Remember’ for Y’hovah is to consider something and act on it in a positive manner, to work to fulfill what he is remembering – in this case his mercy and truth. How does one ‘act’ truth? The root of emunah is aman – to “depend upon” or “rely upon”, which engenders the adjectives trusty and trustworthy. I will go out to do something and get sidetracked and stay busy all day doing stuff and completely forget to do what I intended to do when I started out. And I sometimes won’t remember it until the next time I’m at the place I needed to go to do that thing, Y’hovah will bring it back to mind for me and THEN I’ll do it, while I’m thinking about it. If I don’t do what I’m thinking of doing immediately, I may just space it out of my mind. Y’hovah does NOT forget. Y’hovah does NOT get sidetracked. He is an action kinda guy. He doesn’t have to remember, as in RECALL to his mind, like we do. When he remembers something, he is acting on it IN HIS TIME, the perfect time for it to come to be. 

All of history can be likened to a chess game with Y’hovah as one of the players (or perhaps BOTH of the players). He has his game planned down to the individual moves. The pieces on the board do not move themselves and Y’hovah’s opponent cannot make a move that Yah has not anticipated and already countered. Y’hovah is right this minute finishing the set up for his end game. In the not too distant future, you will see it begin. I pray that we will see his ‘checkmate’ with our physical eyes so that we can praise him and glorify him as he gets the victory in time and space and move into his Kingdom on earth. He judges righteously, using his truth as the standard, and noone is ignorant of his Truth. Once more

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

That word, ‘Godhead’ is from G2305, theoteis, rooted in G2304, theos, literally ‘divinity’ or divine nature. It refers to the immutable and unknowable, in our flesh, Almighty Ayn Sof, the very essence of Y’hovah Elohenu. This psalm is prophetic of that day of righteous judgment and how Y’hovah’s people will respond. Q&C

Tehellim 99Y’hovah malach = Y’hovah has reigned, is reigning and will reign. The root verb is used and is past tense, as all Hebrew roots are (because Hebrew word roots always refer to completed action – if this were greek, it would have the aorist tense, timeless action). I think it is for this reason that there are 3 different ways that he is proclaimed to be kadosh. First he is ‘high above all the people.’ This isn’t just a position above us in space, but a condition in time, space and energy/matter (different aspects of the same thing – matter is condensed energy). He sits on the kheruvim, so his great and awesome Name is declared kadosh, for which reasons the people tremble before him. 

The King’s strength is Mashiach and Mashiach’s footstool is the earth and his enemies thereon. 

Y’hovah said unto Adonai, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalms 110:1)

Thus saith Y’hovah, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)

Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith Y’hovah: or what is the place of my rest? (Acts 7:49)

Mashiach ha Melech is kadosh, as well.

Moshe, Aharon and Sh’muel were all men of Y’hovah, whose lives were generally in conformity to his will and plan, but each had their lapses into sight-walk. Y’hovah forgave all their sins, though he chastised them for it with the intent and also the total triumph of making them (and us, when he does it in our lives) conformed to his own image. Y’hovah’s Ruach brought their shortfalls to mind every time they were tempted to go that way again, I am sure. I’m sure because he does that with me. And I am sure he does the same to y’all. Just another way he remembers us, by recalling it to our memory when we are tempted to repeat a sin that he’s already forgiven a few hundred times. Q&C

Luka 1. 8-17 – ZecharYah (Y’hovah remembers), husband of Elisheva, Miriam’s cousin, was working his course (AviYah – Y’hovah is my Father) in the priesthood as the acting High Priest, whose duty it was to trim and clean the Menorah, and offer the incense offering on the Golden Altar every day at the morning and evening sacrifices.

7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aharon lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before Y’hovah throughout your generations. (Ex.30.7-8)

I think that ZecharYah was praying for his and Elisheva’s greatest desire – a son – while he was offering the incense. The people were also praying outside the Temple at the same time. They were probably praying for Mashiach to come and set up his Kingdom and throw off the rule of Rome. The combination of the two at this time would be too cool not to imagine it. While ZecharYah is praying a messenger appears to him in the Holy Place of the Temple at the right side of the altar of incense. The right side speaks of strength, but it also is the side where the Bread of the Presence is and that gives my speculation even more credence. This angel is carrying the people’s prayers into Y’hovah’s presence. 

Zach said to himself, “Self?! Where did this guy come from?” The angel said, “Your prayer is answered, Zach.” Zach WAS praying for a son. V.15 shows that Yochanan was a Nazirite from the womb, like Shimson and Sh’muel. Yochanan’s ministry was 3-fold: 1) To turn Ephraim [children of the northern kingdom, Israel?] back to Y’hovah Elohehem, 2) To turn the hearts of the Fathers in Yehudah to the returning repentant Ephraimites, and 3) To turn the disobedient in Yehudah back to Y’hovah and Torah obedience (wisdom of tzadikim) – all with the purpose of making the people ready for Mashiach’s arrival. 

Kind of a nice way to have your prayer answered, eh? Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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