Shabbat Bible Study for July 14, 2018
©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 3, Shabbat 18
B’Midbar (Num.) 30-31, Yeremeyahu (Jer.) 4.2, Tehillim (Ps.)116, Mat. 5.33-48
B’Midbar 30– Be careful about making vows to Y’hovah, for he will hold you to your word. You’d better make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when you pledge yourself to anything. Your word should be your bond. If you are female, your head has a veto power over your obligation. I think that means that Messiah has veto power over our vows. I know it means that a father or husband has veto power, because that is the Pashat of this passage. This MAY be the source of the idea of ‘binding and loosing’, as we see in
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay on men’s shoulders; but they will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matt.23.3-4)
And since Messiah is our Husband and Abba is our Father, I think this may be the Sod, or mystery. So, if we make a vow to something in HaSatan’s kingdom, Messiah or Abba can veto that vow. This doesn’t mean he CERTAINLY will veto it, but he has the authority to do so. For example, we borrow money and vow to pay it back over time. He CAN veto that obligation. But until he unequivocally does so, we need to honor our word. When our Husband, AFTER we become his bride, does veto our vow entered into before we were his, HE takes responsibility to fulfill it (v.15). And that’s exactly what Yeshua did for us through his death on the tree. He renegotiated our vow to haSatan when we trusted him and he bore our iniquity – “the handwriting of ordinances against us, nailing it to his cross”
10 And ye are complete [perfect] in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Mashiyach: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his tree; 15 having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Col.2.10-15, esp. 14).
In keeping with this passage of Torah, Hannah made her vow known to Elkanah; that if Y’hovah would let her conceive a son, he would be a Nazarite from the womb (1Sam.1.11); and Elkanah agreed to it so that Samuel was Y’hovah’s from before his conception.
Pay off your debts as the day approaches. Gather up all your credit card bills and pay the minimums on all of them, except the smallest one you have. Pay as much as you can on that one every month until it is paid off. Then, do likewise to the next smallest one and continue in this pattern until they are ALL paid off. Then forget you have credit cards until you NEED one. Then, when you need one, pay it off as quickly as you can. Next, get your car and house payments into the mix. Pay them off as quickly as you can. The reason we are cash strapped is because we are paying so much interest on those damned credit cards. I used that word purposefully, because they are a blessing that we have allowed to become a curse to the people of Y’hovah. Satan has taken what COULD have been a great blessing and perverted our minds, making them a curse to us. As long as we only used them and then paid them off at the end of the month, thus avoiding the finance charges, they were a blessing. As soon as we got greedy and started carrying balances over to the next month in our pursuit of stuff, they became idols to us.
I think that you ought to pay your debts EVEN BEFORE you pay your tithes and offerings, if that is necessary. I mean, if you have a choice to make an offering or pay a debt, pay the debt, because one of the worst witnesses we can have to the world is to not keep our word. If we can’t keep our vows to people we can see, how will we ever keep our vow to Abba, whom we can’t see? Besides, if you get your debts paid off, you will have more to offer in the long term than you would have had otherwise. Of that I am certain.
So the general principles are: 1). Don’t make vows you can’t keep, 2). When you make a vow, keep it, even if something else that is unnecessary (like owning a new car or buying a bigger house than you need) has to suffer, 3). Get out of debt and STAY out of debt – ‘the borrower is servant to the lender’. 4). THEN bring your tithes into the storehouse.
I think I’ve meddled long enough – for now. Q&C
B’Midbar 31.1-6 – Y’HOVAH commanded Moshe to avenge Yisrael on Midian. This has to do with the ‘doctrine of Bila’am’, wherewith Midian tempted Yisrael to go after their own way in debauching the very Tabernacle of meeting in Moshe and Y’hovah’s face, and to follow the gods of the Midianite wives they took way back in ch. 25 – about a week or so ago in the chronology. Bila’am had gone over completely to the enemy (v.8). What could be a worse end for a man of Y’hovah than to die in His judgment on the heathen?
Here’s a quote from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (edited):
“All who, without commission from Yah, dare to execute private revenge, and who, from ambition, covetousness, or resentment, wage war and desolate kingdoms, must one day answer for it. But if Yah, instead of sending an earthquake, a pestilence, or a famine, be pleased to authorize and command any people to avenge his cause, such a commission surely is just and right. The Israelites could show such a commission, though no persons now can do so. Their wars (this one, anyway) were begun and carried on expressly by Y’hovah’s direction, and they were enabled to conquer by miracles. Unless it can be proved that the wicked Canaanites did not deserve their doom, objectors only prove their dislike to Yah, and their love to his enemies.”
With Y’hovah’s command, Yisrael was authorized to wipe out the Midianites.
This brings to mind the future attack on Yisrael by the Assyrian, as seen in Yoel 2.1-11. In ch.1 Y’hovah had sent preliminary judgments (insects to destroy the crops, and thereby the economy) in an attempt to get Yehuda/Zion to repent and go after Y’hovah with all their heart. However, the destruction of our economy doesn’t seem to get our attention, so he sends the Assyrian’s armies to further emphasize the point. When the Assyrian comes against us we finally get it and call on Y’hovah’s set-apart Name for deliverance. Please note that this repentance does not come until Yoel.2.12-17, so IN CONTEXT the blowing of trumpets in Zion in v.1 is an attempt to awaken Israel from their slumber in spiritual darkness. V.9 is NOT about Israel doing exploits, but of the Assyrian’s armies’ ‘urban warfare’ tactics (think about the news reports of the multi-jurisdictional ‘training exercise’ in 7 southwest states called “Jade Helm” which is going on right now in July 2015). To bring this together with our passage in B’Midbar, the Assyrian is doing Y’hovah’s will, and His purpose will result – Yehuda and Zion will repent and call on his Name (probably just when their backs are against the wall). The blowing of the trumpet in v.15 is to tell Y’hovah that Zion is ready to repent and turn to HIS way on this solemn assembly for fasting and prayer for deliverance. During the moedim, it is to announce the Yovel, the fast of Yom Kippur, the soon assembly at Yerushalayim for the Feast of Tabernacles, and the marriage of the Bridegroom to his bride. Then (v.18 – AFTER the true repentance of Y’hovah’s people) comes judgment against the Assyrian’s army as they run in disarray to escape from before the King of kings. Though he used the Assyrian’s armies as his tool, they are still responsible for their treatment of Yisrael. (I think that unless America repents, she will be a part of the Assyrian’s armies.)
31.7-12 – We see the demise of 5 kings of Midian and Bila’am. As I stated earlier, it seems that Bila’am has forsaken Y’hovah completely and gone after the loot. The king Evi’s name (from the root avah, H183) means ‘I am covetous or lustful’, which I think probably relates to Bila’am, as well. Perhaps Bila’am has taken over Balak’s kingdom and is now known as Evi, eh? This incident brings to mind the kings of B’reishit 14, whom Avram wiped out. Do you suppose this all has to do with exile and redemption? (say facetiously) NAHH! Couldn’t be! Let’s see, the kings of the East came and took Lot captive, as the Midianites had ‘taken Yisrael captive’ with their daughters. Avi goes after the 5 kings and wipes them out to redeem Lot, as Y’hovah redeemed Yisrael by wiping out these 5 kings. Are we seeing a parallel here?
By the way, did you notice that the 3rd king mentioned is named Zur? Remember him? He was the father of Cozbi, the Midianitish woman that Zimri took in the sight of the whole congregation of Israel in the Tent of Meeting?
14 Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. 15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he head over a people, of a chief house in Midian. (Num.25.14-15)
Do you think he’s there to personally avenge his daughter’s death, perhaps to kill Pinchas?
But Yisrael didn’t get the point, seemingly, since they took the women and children captive. Y’hovah’s instructions were to avenge Him on Midian – the idea being to utterly destroy Midian, and leave nothing and noone alive. The trouble we’re seeing in Lebanon and Gaza is a direct result of Yisrael NOT wiping out Midian and the Canaanites when they were told to. Have you killed or driven out Midian and Canaan from YOUR life? There I go meddling again. I’ll rest for Q&C.
Vv.13-20 – Mo is righteously ticked! They had just had a plague where 24,000 Yisraelites had died because these women had tempted Yisrael, and here is Yisrael taking them – perhaps the very same women! – prisoner! What were they thinking?!? Maybe, “Oh, There’s Delilah! I had a REALLY good time with her!” Unfortunately, they weren’t thinking (not with their brains, at least), or they’d have followed their orders. Mo gives the order to kill ALL the males and the women who had known any man. Only young virgin girls were to be spared, and then only as slaves – NOT WIVES.
Then they were told to do the ritual purification and see that the girl captives were purified, as well. 2 mikvoth were performed, once on the 3rd day and again on the 7th, just like when they were defiled with a dead body. I think the requirements were the same; that failure to cleanse on the 3rd day made the same exercise on the 7th day futile? See Num.19 for these requirements. Perhaps the 3rd day has to do with Resurrection and deliverance from sin’s consequence, and the 7th with Shabbat and deliverance from the evil inclination/sin nature?
Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:  Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. (Numbers 5:2-3 KJV)
“The Israelites had to purify themselves according to the law, and to abide without the camp seven days, though they had not contracted any moral guilt, the war being just and lawful, and commanded by Eloha. Thus Eloha would preserve in their minds a dread and detestation of shedding blood. The spoil had been used by Midianites, and being now come into the possession of Israelites, it was fit that it should be purified.”ii
Vv21-24 – Those things that could go through the fire without harm would be sent through the fire, but they STILL had to go through the water of purification, the water that had been mixed with the ashes of the red heifer (ch.19). Everything had to go through the water of purification, so that nothing would defile the camp. It is getting very close to the time for their wandering to end and to enter the Promised Land. They had to wash their clothes on the 7th day and THEN they would be clean. In Rev.7.14, we see the multitudes who have ‘washed their robes’. The word robes is from G4749, stole, from G4724, stello. Stello = ‘withdraw oneself’, or set oneself apart. They needed to be set-apart unto Y’hovah in order to take the Promised Land without loss. Hence, the detailed instructions on purification and entering the camp. We are as close now as they were then.
Vv.25-47 – Why was the spoil divided differently for the fighters and the people in general? It seems obvious that the ones who put their lives in jeopardy ought to receive the lion’s share of the spoil. It was not just the amount of spoil, but the requirement of the offering that was different. The spoil was divided in half and the fighters divided their ½ 12,000 ways. The people then divided the rest equally. Here’s what Matthew Henry says:
Out of the people’s share God required one in fifty, but out of the soldiers’ share only one in five hundred. The less opportunity we have of honouring God with personal services, the more should we give in money or value.ii
I think there is at least one other possibility – that the people in general would see (sight vice faith) that the fighters got not only a larger division of spoil, but got to keep 10x as much of their share. This would have the effect of making everyone want to participate, not just the mighty men of valour. By now, the idea must have gotten around that, as long as they stayed in fellowship and Y’hovah was fighting for them, none of their fighters even took a scratch in battle. So there was no risk, and more personal financial benefit in actually going into battle. Spiritually, even the most self-seeking person would have his faith built up by continual victory without loss of life or limb. It worked temporarily, at least. I thinki that Yehoshua had to turn away willing soldiers after this.
Vv.48-54 – Not ONE man lost in battle! This had happened once before, and would happen again in Yericho. The men had the right attitude, which probably helped in the Yericho ‘battle’. They humbly offered a freewill offering en masse in gratitude for Y’hovah’s watchfulness and protection over them. This ought to be our attitude, as well, in our victories, for it is NOT we who win, but Y’hovah through us. Q&C
Yeremeyahu 4.2 – The messianic.ws website has a one line comment on our Haftarah for today, “The haftarah portion refers to swearing “in truth, in justice, and in righteousness.”” While that is true as far as it goes, taken in context it tells us that we can not swear ‘in truth, justice and righteousness’ until we have fully repented and are following after Y’hovah’s ways and not our own. In fact, v.4 ties us more closely to our Torah portion in that it is a command to be set-apart unto Y’hovah by circumcising our hearts after breaking up the fallow ground. Fallow ground is that which has not been planted for a long while. It has become hard and resistant to seed. When we break up the fallow ground, it will initially clump. These clumps must also be disked and then plowed into rows before it can be planted. It takes a lot of work to make fallow ground fit for planting. But once the work is done and the ground is softened and fertilized, it will effortlessly bring forth a wonderful harvest. Q&C
Tehillim 116 – The connection, according to messianic.ws is in v.14, where we pay our vows to Y’hovah. But there is much more here that ties us to both the Torah and haftarah. It seems that messianic.ws keyed on the vows and forgot the 2nd chapter of Torah for today.
We see a connection to Yeremeyahu in vv.2-9, where the Psalmist testifies to Y’hovah’s faithfulness and his response to that faithfulness. This is also connected to my secondary application of vv.25-47, where the general population saw the benefit to fighting for the land and Y’hovah and was grateful for his provision.
Vv.7-14 connect us back to the 2nd chapter of today’s Torah portion, where the fighters went out and found they had taken no casualties, and where they had to purify themselves and their booty, including the girl servants, in 2 mikvot on the 3rd (Resurrection) and 7th (glorification and rest) days.
V.15 speaks to why there were no casualties. The lives of Yah’s saints are especially precious to him. We will find out how precious in the time of trouble to come. Q&C
Matt.5.33-37 – It would seem at first glance that Yeshua is contradicting Torah here. But nothing could be further from the truth. Our Torah portion for today did not COMMAND us to make oaths. It only gave guidelines for us if we DO make one, and made provision for the head of the family to veto any agreement made by one under his authority in a timely fashion. Yeshua teaches us to AVOID making an oath, because then the Torah applies and MUST be followed. He tells us that our character should be such that noone who knows us would ever require an oath of us. We should be known as scrupulously honest in all we say and do.
Vv.38-42 – Yeshua quotes a portion of a verse out of context, like most people do (Hosea 4.6 comes to mind as an especially egregious example), to point out the hypocrisy of doing so. Here’s the entire verse (first mention) with its context:
 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:  If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.
 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.  Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.  And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,  Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,  Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:18-25 KJV)
The contextual point is that there must be an appropriate judgment against the perpetrator of the injustice or loss, which is EXACTLY what Yeshua was saying here. He was NOT abolishing Torah, but applying it. This passage can be seen as Yeshua answering the objections of a man who had made a deal with a woman, but her father or husband had vetoed the agreement, thus causing a loss in the first man’s eyes. There was no actual loss, only a perceived one – and that perhaps by both parties to the agreement, and so there could be no eye for eye, tooth for tooth application.
Vv.43-48 – Yeshua was probably commenting on this very Torah portion that we saw today, for everything ties to it so well. In our portion, Israel was commanded to attack and destroy Midian. Midian had made itself Y’hovah’s enemy by trying to destroy his relationship with his bride. Therefore Midian had become Israel’s enemy. However, Yeshua was teaching a group of individuals, mostly of Judah, who hated the Ephraimite Samaritans and considered them enemies. His ministry was to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [Mat.15.24]
The hatred the Yehudim had for Ephraim had to stop, or they could never perform the final command Yeshua gives in our passage,
Matthew 5:48 (KJV)
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 KJV)
Perfect is translated from the G5046, teleios, complete. I think teleios corresponds to H259, echad, which means not absolute singularity, but unity. In Devarim 6.4 we read:
Shema, Israel; Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad.
Y’hovah is one, but there is a subject/object relationship between Y’hovah Abba, who is Ruach haKodesh, and Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach. We are to be like that with our brethren; one in spirit but with a physical subject/object difference. It WILL be this way, as seen in countless scriptures. Here are just two of them:
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. (Isaiah 11:13 KJV)
When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. (Zech. 9:13 KJV)
That will be a great and glorious day! HalleluYah! Even so, Come quickly, Y’hovah Yeshua. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study