Shabbat Bible Study for June 30, 2018
©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Triennial Torah Schedule Year 3 Sabbath 16
B’midbar 26:52-27:23 – Yehoshua 17:1-7 – Tehellim 114 – Ephesians 1:3-23
B’midbar 26.52-65 – These 601,730 warriors + the 5 daughters of Zelophehad would divide up the inheritance of the land. The inheritances were more or less equal per warrior of Israel. The smallest tribe would have the smallest tribal inheritance, the largest, the largest. Each tribe would divvy up its inheritance according to the sizes of the families. But to ensure that everyone would know that Y’hovah was making the inheritance a gift from himself, and that there was no human partiality involved in assigning the inheritances, lots were drawn. Vv.55-56 indicate that the names of the tribes were put into one receptacle and the numbers of the inheritances were placed in another. Then a tribes lot was selected from the one and the inheritance was selected from the other by the priest, presumably by use of the Urim and Thummim. The largest tribe (Yehudah) received the largest land grant and the smallest tribe (Shimon) got the smallest (interestingly, in the heart of Yehudah’s land grant and completely surrounded by Yehudah, as if it was understood that Shimon’s would be annexed into Yehudah). The tribal leaders then divided up individual family inheritances by a similar process within each tribe. The Levites did not inherit land grants, but shared in the 48 Levitical cities for the people to come to for refuge, guidance, and Torah judgments.
The time that Israel spent in Egypt can be approximated by the time the Levites were there. Kohath went down into Egypt with Levi and Ya’acov. Kohath’s wife bore Amram, who married Yocheved, Levi’s daughter who was born in Egypt. That’s right. Levi’s grandson, Amram, married his daughter, Yocheved – Miriam, Aharon and Moshe’s mother, in the land of Egypt. Miriam was the eldest, possibly as old as 128-130 at her death, perhaps as young as 125. Aharon was 123 when he died less than a year before Moshe died at 120. Assuming that Yocheved married at the usual time that girls did then, about 14-16 years of age, and that she was born within a year of the Yacovson’s going down to Egypt, they were only in Egypt for about 100 or so years, and therefore were only slaves there for about the 80 years of Moshe’s life before the Exodus. Yocheved was very likely only in her mid-20s when she bore Moshe to Amram. Verses 64-65 tell me by way of inference that Kalev and Yehoshua were under 20 when the 1st census was taken, because THEY were not numbered in that census. NONE who had been counted in Num.1 was counted in this census – so Kalev and Yehoshua were just youngsters at the time of the Exodus and perhaps 58-60 when they crossed the Yarden. And THAT would explain their mention as the 3rd and 5th leaders among the ‘spies’ – they were younger than the other tribe’s spies, regardless their prowess as military leaders.
And Y’hovah spake unto Moshe face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Yehoshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. (Exodus 33:11)
That is not conclusive proof, but an inference that I take from the verse. In regard to Yehoshua’s name in Ex.33.11, Schottenstein’s Chumash has a very interesting note on pg.248. I think Joshua and Kalev were not yet in their 20th year at the Num.1 census, but had entered their 20th year by the time they spied the land in Num.14, and their youth would also explain why the other spies disdained their counsel.
About 38 years of the Wilderness Adventure took 13 chapters to describe. The other 1½ or 2 years took 3½ BOOKS to describe. I don’t think there was much going on for those 38+ years. It looks like there was a LOT of dissatisfaction in the camp all the time, but only the important stuff is reported in Torah. The day-to-day life of Israel was like day-to-day life today. Not much happened out of the ordinary. People were born and people died. Papa did what was necessary to feed his family and maintain the sukkah. Mom kept everything at home working according to plan. Kids were raised in the nurture and admonition of Y’hovah. It was just life as usual; long periods of boredom, punctuated with brief intervals of abject terror.
B’midbar 27.1-11 – Zelophehad’s daughters came to Moshe to preserve their father’s seed-line. Zelophehad had had no sons, but 5 daughters, and his line would end unless an arrangement could be made. So the daughters came to speak to Moshe about their family problem. Notice that they did not complain, or kvetch; they just came to Moshe with their issue and he, seeing their point, turned to Y’hovah, exactly as it was supposed to work. And along comes a mishpat, or judgment, direct from Y’hovah. They made it a point to tell Moshe that their father was not among those with Korach or Meribah. He had died due to his own personal sin against the Almighty, not in one of the plagues that befell the nation. IOW, he had been absolutely loyal to Y’hovah and to Moshe and Aharon and submitted to their lawful authority.
The meanings of the girls names could be seen as a progression of their decision to go to Moshe with their problem and proposal and the disposition of the issue. Machlah is derived from the Hebrew root H2470 chalah חלה ‘to weaken’. She was the one who was worried about their father not having an inheritance and that idea wore away at her peace and she couldn’t let it go. Noah is derived from the root H5128 nuwa נוע meaning ‘to move staggeringly toward a goal’, “Should we bring the issue to Moshe’s attention or not. I want papa to have an inheritance, but I don’t want to look like a kvetch.” H2295, Choglah’s derivation is uncertain, but when translated into English is ‘partridge’, a small, ground-nesting, game bird. Choglah wanted to have a piece of ground on which to nest. Milchah is a variant form of Malchah – queen. She wanted a place over which she would have authority, as would the aimah of a family. Tirtzah H8656 means delightsomeness, from the root H7521, ratsah, to be satisfied, pleased with, delighted. Machlah was not content that her father was without an inheritance because he had no son. Noah wavered between raising the issue with Moshe or not, but Choglah wanted to have a place to nest, and Machlah a place to have some rightful authority, and when they got finished with the enquiry to the Supreme Judge, Y’hovah, they were satisfied and delighted that their father was re-inherited. The point of the matter is to bring your concerns to Y’hovah and he will see you through to his desired end. What I find REALLY fascinating in this whole passage is that out of 602,000 Israelites, there was only Zelophehad who was without sons. And it was this episode that was the catalyst for the giving of the inheritance laws that follow. This is a progression of who is the nearest kin to redeem a man’s line. If a man has no sons, then his eldest daughter gets the inheritance, and presumably her son continues her father’s line. If he dies childless, his brother then acts as kinsman redeemer. If he was an only son, then the inheritance goes to his uncle, who will act as kinsman redeemer for his nephew. And if there is no uncle, it will go to the nearest relative to raise children to him (as I think happened with Ruth and Boaz). King David had that kinsman redeemer action in his lineage (Boaz as redeemer for Elimelech’s line) and there seems to be at least 2 generations of kinsmen redeemers (Shealtiel and Zerubabel) between the Babylonian captivity and Miriam’s husband, Yoseph, in David’s line.
Vv.12-23 – Y’hovah told Moshe to go up Mount Avarim to be gathered to his fathers in the same manner Aharon had been. I think this was Mount Pisgah, as we’ll see in Deut.34, but it is called avarim here, because it will be the place from which Moshe will avar, or cross over, to his inheritance and his ‘mantle’ will ‘cross-over’ to Yehoshua. Moshe’s meekness and his love for Israel shows again here, when he petitions Y’hovah to not leave Israel without a clear indication as to his successor as leader of the people for both governance and war. To ‘go out before them’ means to lead them both religiously and politically, I think, and to ‘go in before them’ is to go into Y’hovah’s presences as their intercessor with Y’hovah. To ‘lead them out’ deals with leading them in battle and to ‘bring them in’ speaks of leading them into their rest in haAretz. Moshe was worried that Israel would disintegrate into various factions. I think he recognized that there was a built in strife between Yehudah and Ephraim that could only be rectified through the object lesson of the Mishkan – Mashiyach, the tzadik rebbe, Y’hovah in the flesh – as illustrated by Yehudah’s and Ephraim’s relative positions in the camp. The most direct route from Yehudah’s tribal camp to Ephraim’s tribal camp was through the Kodesh Kadashim.
Y’hovah told Moshe to take Y’hoshua, bin Nun (remember the note from pg.248 of the Chumash?), before Elazar, the Kohen Gadol, and also before chol Israel to anoint him as Moshe’s successor, so that there would be no question as to his authority. Moshe and Elazar laid hands on Y’hoshua and ordained him as the leader of Israel. Y’hoshua was recognized as binun, a person of understanding.
That Moshe put ‘of thine honour upon him’ shows that even a man of the stature of Y’hoshua could not compare to the intimacy that Moshe had with Y’hovah. Moshe spoke panayim l’panayim, face to face, with Y’hovah, as a man speaks to his friend.
And Y’hovah spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Y’hoshua, bin Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. (Exodus 33:11)
Y’hoshua was as close as any man could come to Moshe’s intimacy with Y’hovah, as he seldom left the tabernacle of testimony, but even he could not boast his friendship w/Y’hovah. It is a testimony to Moshe’s meekness that he did not flaunt that intimacy to chol Yisrael, or even to Aharon and Miriam. He really seems not to have thought of any but Yisrael when dealing with Y’hovah, and I can only surmise that this was the REASON Y’hovah was able to treat Moshe like a close friend. The only man ever to live on earth who was meeker than Moshe was Yeshua, who, as Y’hovah in the flesh, knew the absolute meaning of ‘meekness’, having taken on the human body of Yeshua and condescended to fully experience life and physical death in the flesh so that he could exercise absolute compassion to usward. Q&C
Yehoshua 17:1-7 – This haftara deals mainly with Zelophehad’s daughters, whom we’ve treated to some extent already, so I will not go into any great detail on this Haftarah. The way this passage reads to me, it looks like the sisters got their father’s portion from Shechem to around Ayin Tappuach – the fountain of the Apple Trees. Tappuach was the town that belonged to Ephraim, but whose orchards, it seems, were a part of the inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters.
Tehellim 114 – V.1 seems to show that Israel and the house of Yacov are synonyms, as Israel came out of Egypt, and the house of Yacov from a people of a strange language. This may speak of the historical Egyptian exodus, but it may also prophesy of the Greater Exodus that is yet to come – the exodus of chol Yisrael from the 4 corners of the earth at the call of Mashiyach. The ‘4 corners of the earth’ speaks of the world system, of which Egypt is a type. If this is primarily a prophecy of the end of days, then Mashiyach ben David, who is the ultimate son of Yehudah (haMelech), is the ‘sanctuary’ and Yisrael, who is after Y’hovah’s heart and awaiting Mashiyach’s call (haTzadik), is his dominion. This is exactly what I understand to be the truth, as I compare scripture with scripture. Yehudah kept Torah intact, set apart (the sanctuary), for the 3½ millennia since she received it. Israel kept dominion over the earth through her dispersion to the 4 corners and her domination of the political, scientific and cultural aspects of the nations. The Red Sea and Yarden were both held back and allowed Israel to walk through dry. But scripture does not tell us about ‘mountains skipping like rams and hills like lambs’ when Israel historically came out of Egypt. They MAY have, but there is no biblical evidence to support it. So, I take this to be a prophecy of the end time Exodus of the seed of Avraham from the 4 corners – metaphorically, Egypt.
If the Egyptian Exodus is just a taste of the Greater Exodus, as 1Cor.10.1-4 & 11 seem to indicate (and it was), the hills dancing for joy is probably a mild picture of what’s coming. Vv.5-6 ask the creation what troubled it that it acted as it did and vv.7-8 answer for it – Y’hovah is what made it react. His very presence made in history, and will make in future history, the waters divide, the mountains and hills quake and almost literally dance for joy. His presence, seemingly in time, as he escorted the house of Yacov out of Egypt, will in like fashion escort his people from the 4 corners and to haAretz. I suspect the means of conveyance will be the same – we’ll walk and he will part the ocean to allow us to walk across dry. Perhaps there will be a great up-thrust via an earthquake or other seismic disturbance that will create a similar land bridge as remains in the shallows between Nuweiba and Baal-Ziphon in the Gulf of Aqaba. However Y’hovah plans to make it happen, it absolutely shall, because he has said he will do it. Q&C
Eph.1.3-6 – Remember whenever you are reading or studying Ephesians that the pronouns Sha’ul uses are VERY important. ‘We’ means men who, like Paul, were born Jews, i.e.; of the tribes of Yehudah, BinYamin or Levi, and have come to the faith of Yeshua (there may have been a very small percentage of the house of Israel living among them in Yehudah). ‘You’ means men who were born Gentiles who have come to the faith of Yeshua (it is likely that a good sized percentage of these were descended from one of the 10 tribes of the House of Israel – it had been 750 years since those tribes dispersion and assimilation into the world system). ‘Us’ means all the we’s and you’s who are now one in Mashiyach Yeshua’s Netzari sect of Judaism. The point of this epistle is the unity of the body of Mashiyach. The epistle was written to a synagogue in Ephesus that included ‘Jews’ and ‘Gentiles’, some from each group having come to the faith of Yeshua. It is also likely that the makeup of the synagogue was becoming more heavily salted with Gentiles as time progressed in Ephesus because the influx of new Gentile converts to the Netzari sect of Judaism was likely greater there than the influx of new traditional Jews. By this time the Jerusalem council was a piece of history and the 4 guidelines passed down from it were known in the diaspora.
Sha’ul begins with a blessing on the Almighty Y’hovah Elohenu, whose Ruach HaKodesh quickened the egg of Miriam and indwelt Yeshua from his conception, as he indwells us from our ‘spiritual conception’ in Mashiyach (v.14). The Almighty has blessed us with ‘all spiritual blessings’. Here’s a sample of his spiritual blessings and of his identity,
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Y’hovah appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am (El Shaddai) the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (Genesis 17:1)
And God Almighty (El Shaddai) bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; (Genesis 28:3) (Yitzhak to Yacov)
And God said unto him (Yacov), I am (El Shaddai) God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; (Genesis 35:11)
He that dwelleth in the secret place of (Elyon) the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Shaddai). (Psalms 91:1)
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith Y’hovah (Yeshua), which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Shaddai). (Revelation 1:8)
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Y’hovah (El Shaddai) God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Revelation 4:8, quoting Is.6.2-3)
And I saw no temple therein: for Y’hovah (El Shaddai) God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (Revelation 21:22)
I think that last ‘and’ shows that Y’hovah El Shaddai and the Lamb are the identical Ruach haKodesh, the latter being Y’hovah El Shaddai in human flesh – that there is ultimately/spiritually no difference between them.
He blesses us with all spiritual blessing ‘according as he has chosen us in Mashiyach’. My online dictionary defines the phrase ‘according as’ to mean ‘depending on whether’. That means that Y’hovah has blessed us with all spiritual blessings depending on whether he has chosen in Mashiyach. I think it would be well if we were to look into Paul’s meaning of ‘chosen in Mashiyach’. I studied Paul’s progression in Rom. 8
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom.8.28-30
What follows is my understanding of this passage, as gleaned from elsewhere in Romans.
Vv.29-30 – Here’s a ‘hard saying’ of Sha’ul, like Peter talks about in 2Pe.3.16. But I think the reason is that we use numbered sound bites instead of looking at the context, like Peter says, wresting it. Remember that ch.8 is the foundation for the arguments of the rest of the book. These verses say,
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
These 5 words; foreknow, predestinate, call, justify and glorify; are all verbs, and they seem to indicate a progression of actions taken upon believers by Y’hovah. If we see evidence of these things occurring in us, we can be pretty well assured that we are his. The church has done all kinds of mental and scriptural gymnastics trying to explain the seeming inconsistencies of this text in juxtaposition to others. But if we’d just look elsewhere in Romans for Sha’ul’s usage of these words in like context, it would clear right up for us.
Whom did Y’hovah foreknow? The answer is given in Rom.11
1 I say then, Hath Elohim cast away his people? Elohim forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Avraham, of the tribe of Binyamin. 2 Elohim hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Eliyahu? how he maketh intercession to Elohim against Israel, saying, 3 Master, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of Elohim unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (1Ki.19.18)
This tells me that Paul spoke of those who followed Y’hovah (the 7000 faithful) as those whom Y’hovah foreknew. This includes us, if we have not bowed the knee to Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
He is speaking specifically of believing Israelites, but it extends to all who worship Y’hovah in Spirit and in truth, without intentional or known compromise. Kind of gives new impetus to “Come out from among them, be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing,” doesn’t it?
Now, whom he foreknew he did also predestinate. Predestination is a tough saying of Sha’ul because it seems to contradict free will. But it really doesn’t, and here’s why.
Paul has a definite meaning for predestination, and he shows it in ch.11.
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Now the word ‘shall’ is much more powerful that the word ‘will’. Y’hovah can will something, and it not come to pass. After all, he wills none to perish and that ALL should come to repentance, but that isn’t what actually happens. But if he says, “I SHALL do such and such,” you can put that in the bank and collect the interest. It is an unconditional promise to perform. It is predestined. The promise is that it shall be done. We just have yet to see the performance. The 2008 US Senior Open was at the Broadmoor course in Colorado Springs. There were people who had purchased their tickets and reserved rooms at the hotel in 2005. That is an earnest expectation and belief in a promise. I have my ticket to the show, but the performance is yet in the future.
ALL ISRAEL shall be saved also refers to the return from exile in Babylon and Assyria, from which only a remnant of Judah and Benjamin returned along with so small a number of the other tribes that they could not be considered even a remnant and were counted as parts of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In the future redemption, ALL Israel SHALL be saved. It is predestined.
Those who are predestined are the ‘called according to his purpose’. We see this in – you guessed it – ch.11.
28 As concerning the gospel, enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of Elohim are without repentance.
Believing Yisrael is called of Elohim. Did you notice the jump from v.5 to v.25 in ch.11? I hope so. The verses in between 5 and 25 show HOW Israel means those who believe Y’hovah and are the called according to his purpose in 8.28.
What does Paul mean by ‘justified’? He tells us in – you guessed it again! – ch.11.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed Elohim, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Justification is the outworking of Y’hovah’s mercy in that we don’t get what we deserve; i.e., destruction. We could not justify ourselves before him, so he had to work a plan where he could show his mercy and justify us freely by his grace (3.21-26).
Those of us who believe Y’hovah and do not bow the knee to Baal are predestined to partake of his glory. We do not now look as if we are glorified, but these promises (8.29-30) are past tense. He HAS glorified us and we can put that in the bank and collect the interest, too.
So, whom did he foreknow? Who has been predestinated? Who has been called? Who has been justified? Who has been glorified? Chol Yisrael – All Yisrael are the foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified children of Elohim. Does this mean that every physical descendant of Avraham is included? Rom.9 says,
6 Not as though the word of Elohim hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Avraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh (Ishmael/Esau), these are not the children of Elohim: but the children of the promise (Yitzchak/Ya’acov) are counted for the seed.
According to Eph.2.11ff all believers are of the Commonwealth of Israel, and according to Rom.11.6-24 all believers are graffed into the Root of Yisrael. So Yisrael must therefore mean all believers who are not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit of Elohim (8.1), whether Jew or goy.
So, whether Jew or goy, Yehudah or Ephraim, physical descendant of Avraham or a whomsoever who has the faith of Yeshua, all those 5 verbals apply to you; foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified – all of it, according to vv.4-6, accomplished in Mashiyach ‘before the foundation of the world’, ‘according to the good pleasure of his will’, and ‘to the praise of the glory of his grace’. I’d say we’re in a pretty good situation if we ‘love Elohim and are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8.28) Q&C
Vv.7-23 – Our redemption is through the blood of Mashiyach, who, as the last Adam, paid the debt owed by the 1st Adam, ‘propitiated’ his sin, and overcame the penalty that was passed on to his offspring. I don’t know about Adam’s passing a sin nature to us, but that his decision to accede to his evil inclination may have passed a genetic tendency to the same accession is not an unreasonable possibility to me. As we inherit our father’s ‘stuff’, we also, if we are honorable men, will see all his debts paid, if there are any. It is the spiritual debt that we, as it were, ‘inherit’ from Adam and that is propitiated by Yeshua’s death on the tree. W1828 has this definition for propitiate
1. To conciliate, to appease one offended and render him favorable.
Propitiation is the act of making reconciliation for the offender to the offended, to appease his wrath and make him ‘propitious’ (kindly affectioned, favorable). Yeshua’s death did not merely propitiate Adam’s sin, but the sins of the whole world.
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)
It is by this propitiation that we obtain Y’hovah’s forgiveness. The payment has been made and the debt no longer exists for us who have turned to Y’hovah for that redemption. It was Y’hovah’s gracious personal payment of our debt through the death of Yeshua on the tree that made known the mystery of his will, ‘that in the dispensation of the fulness of times’ he would reconcile all things to himself in Mashiyach. Yeshua’s death as propitiation for us is the linch-pin in his plan. Many dislike the word ‘dispensation’, but I believe it perfectly describes how Y’hovah works his ‘shalls’. He dispenses his grace over time, working through his Word,
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [those] weaned from the milk, drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This the rest ye may cause the weary to rest; and this the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of Y’hovah was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Is.28.9-13)
That which is dispensed is not varying degrees of grace, as the church erroneously teaches, but varying degrees of understanding of his plan and the ‘shall’ of it (precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little). If we knew the details of each step he would take along the way to fulfilling his ‘shall’ for us, we would do like Avraham did, and go in unto Hagar to help Y’hovah fulfill his will. I believe that the ‘Hebrew Roots’ ‘movement’ is an example of the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ by which he is gathering the lost to himself, including those who are ‘lost’ or, better said, ‘fenced in’ by the false teachings of ‘dispensationalist’ ‘replacement theologians’. That so many are recently being awakened to this is, I think, among the last moves of Y’hovah toward the ‘fulness of times’ and ‘the fulness of the gentiles (Rom.11.12, 25)’, which phrases are synonymous to my mind. Yacov, of course, spoke of this in his blessing on Ephraim,
19 And his father refused, and said, I know, my son, I know: he [Menashe] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. (Gen.48.19)
‘Multitude of nations’, melo hagoyim’ can also be translated ‘fulness of gentiles’, and I think it is this to which Sha’ul refers here when he says ‘fulness of times’ in v.10. Paul says that the fullness of times will bring about the reconciliation, not only of us to Y’hovah, but also of the ‘you’s’ and ‘we’s’ to each other. If Ephraim has indeed become a ‘multitude of nations’ or the ‘fullness of the gentiles’, does that not mean that the nations of the world are full of Ephraimites?
As you remember, from our look at Rom.8.28ff, ‘we’ are predestinated; ‘we’ referring to Avraham’s seed, both physical and spiritual. But in vv.11-12 he is speaking specifically of Yehudah, through whom the world has received the oracles of Eloha. In this light, he then tells the Ephesian kahal that it was the Yehudim who first trusted Mashiyach. He MAY be speaking of the Yehudim who trusted Yeshua through the words of the schlichim about Yeshua haMashiyach after his resurrection and the pouring out of Ruach on Shavuoth, but I think he was actually thinking about all the Patriarchs, prophets and people of Yisrael from the days of Adam. On this I COULD truly be wrong … but I DOUBT IT! And I doubt it because Y’hovah Yeshua will judge the whole world by the same standard – Torah! Torah is known to every person in the world, whether he understands the fact or not. And he knows to whom he will answer, whether he wishes to admit it or not.
In vv.13-14, Sha’ul shifts to speaking to the gentiles specifically, saying that the Gentiles (ye) have now trusted the same Mashiyach that believing Yehudah (we) has been trusting for millennia. And, as an earnest of that, that the promises made to Avraham are now shared with ALL of Avraham’s seed (Gal.3.29), he tells them of the Spirit of Y’hovah that seals them. Ruach haKodesh in us is our proof of the fact of our reconciliation to Y’hovah by the blood of Mashiyach until the physical redemption of the whole of creation unto Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach. If the earnest is an indwelling and sealing Ruach haKodesh NOW, isn’t it true that it also was before? I think so (Heb.13.8).
Yeshua haMashiyach; the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
I think the patriarchs and prophets were all filled and sealed with Y’hovah’s Spirit, like believers are today. I see no reason to think or assert that they are not. There are no 2nd class citizens of Y’hovah’s Kingdom, which is the point Sha’ul is trying to make with this letter to the Ephesian kahal; indeed, the case can be made that this is the central theme of the apostolic texts – no more Jew or Greek, no more male and female, no more bond and free – all are one, as “Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad”.
Paul has taken notice of all the gentiles who are coming to the faith of Yeshua and are coming to the synagogues to hear the Torah read and discussed, that he knows of their love for ALL the saints; Jew and gentile, male and female, bond and free; and he intercedes for them upon his every remembrance of them. I think this ‘love for all the saints’ is that to which Yeshua refers as their 1st love;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Rev.2.2-4)
It looks as though Sha’ul’s prayer for them was answered, but they let their knowledge and understanding of Y’hovah get to their heads by the time of Yochanan’s Revelation, and they’d become rather judgmental. This was not the case in the early 60s CE, but was by the early 90s CE. The difference may be that the 1st generation of saints was dying out and the new generation, who’d grown up in the kahal, did not have the memory of life before Yeshua’s propitiation – like is prevalent in today’s kahal.
The hope of his calling in v.18, speaks of the earnest expectation of Y’hovah’s deliverance of his promised inheritance in US! We are Y’hovah’s inheritance (v.18) that he has wrought in Mashiyach (v.20) by resurrecting him from death! It SHALL come. Y’hovah has promised it. You can put it in the bank and collect the interest. He will not deny himself the inheritance he has worked so hard to re-acquire after Adam’s sin. Y’hovah has set Yeshua haMashiyach as his right hand. The preposition ‘at’ is translated from the Greek word en, which literally means IN. Y’hovah has set Yeshua IN his right hand. He is Y’hovah’s executive officer, set FAR above every other power in creation, executing Y’hovah’s will over it. Do you remember the “Tree of Sefiroth”? (www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm) In it, Mashiyach, the tzadik rebbe who perfectly melds the just righteousness of Elohim with the mercy/grace of Y’hovah, is the center stand (like in the menorah), and he is standing on the World of Action, the Kingdom. Quite literally, the World is his footstool.
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)
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is Eloha’s throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (Mat.5.34-35)
As his footstool, the world of action is under his feet. Right now, the Adversary is allowed control of the world of action, but when Yeshua haMashiyach takes his Kingdom, the scriptures will be fulfilled,
Y’hovah said unto Adonai, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalms 110:1)
For David himself said by Ruach haKodesh, Y’hovah said to Adonai, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Mark 12:36)
The chapter ends with another look at the ‘fulness’ we spoke of earlier. His fulness will be the fulness of the nations, his Body. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study.