Monthly Archives: August 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for September 1, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for September 1, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3  Sabbath 25

Deuteronomy 3:23-29 – Jeremiah 32:1-44 – Psalm 122 – Romans 2:1 – 3:31


Devarim 3.23-29 – After admonishing Yehoshua to not fear the Canaanites, because Y’hovah would fight against them as he’d fought against Sihon and Og, the Amorite kings, Moshe turned immediately to our 7-verse Torah portion for today. He begins by saying that all he’d just told Yehoshua – about the utter destruction Y’hovah had brought against the Amorites in fulfillment of his promise to Avraham 430 years before, and how Y’hovah would continue to do so for Yisrael – was just the BEGINNING of Y’hovah’s plan for Yisrael. He exalts Y’hovah, (calling him Adonai Yehoviyh – YHWH vowel pointed as Elohim and translated in KJV as the Lord GOD) because there is no other elohim who can do all the mighty and miraculous works that Y’hovah can and continues to do. And then he asked Y’hovah to relent and allow him to walk the land of promise. Chumash has salient things to say about this in the overview of the passage on pg.26. So some rabbis think, and I concur, that Moshe was telling Y’hovah that he loved Torah so much that he just wanted to walk the land and to be allowed to perform the mitzvoth that can only be properly kept in the land. He specified 3 things he wanted to see; the land beyond Yarden, THAT good mountain and Lebanon. Moshe had already seen the land on the side of Yarden from which he spoke, which is also a part of the Avrahamic land grant. Now, he longed to walk the land on the other side of Yarden. THAT good mountain probably speaks of the mount of the Akeida, where Avraham and Yitzhak had offered (Gen.22), though I suppose it could speak of the mount of blessing (Gerizim). The Temple mount is much more likely, IMO. 

Lebanon is ALSO a part of the Avrahamic land grant, within the boundaries Y’hovah had spelled out in B’midbar 34

7 And this shall be your north border: from the great sea ye shall point out for you mount Hor: 8 From mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad: 9 And the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazarenan: this shall be your north border.

I found this on Wiki (it’s GOTTA be true!) concerning the entire land grant to Avraham:

The ‘Red Sea’ corresponding to Hebrew Yam Suf was understood in ancient times to be the Erythraean Sea, as reflected in the Septuagint translation. Although the English name ‘Red Sea’ is derived from this name (Erythraean derives from the Greek for red), the term denoted all the waters surrounding Arabia – Including the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, not merely the sea lying to the west of Arabia bearing this name in modern English. Thus, the entire Arabian peninsula lies within the borders described. Modern maps depicting the region take a reticent view and often leave the southern and eastern borders vaguely defined [or undefined – Mark]. The borders of the land to be conquered given in Numbers have a precisely defined eastern border which included the Arabah and Yarden.

Moshe asked to walk the entire portion defined in Num.34 west of Yarden. He throws the one last zing at the people for his own failing. He was the meekest mere man ever to live, but he had one fault we all have – he was willing to pass the buck. He said “Y’hovah was angry with me for your sakes.” That can mean a couple of things. That 1) Y’hovah punished Moshe because of his shortcoming that came as a result of Yisrael’s murmuring for the umpteenth time, or 2) that Y’hovah put his wrath that was Israel’s against Moshe, the appointed tzadik, as a shadow of the wrath he poured out on Yeshua as our appointed tzadik, or 3) both. The more I learn of the role of the tzadik in Hebrew thought, the more I think it was #3. I think Moshe’s only real shortcoming was his ability to pass the buck for his own descent into the flesh, which he did only once. I don’t think his repeated request to go into the land was fleshly, but truly spiritual. I also think that he saw far more in his death than he’d have been able to had he actually walked the land in his physical flesh. At any rate, Y’hovah finally commands Moshe to speak no more about it. And Moshe doesn’t (to Y’hovah, at least). Then Y’hovah told Moshe to go up Mt. Pisgah and he will give him the ability to see all he wanted to see, but not to actually walk there (until he set foot on Mt. Hermon in the presence of Yeshua; Matt.17.1, Mk.9.2). Q&C

YirmeYahu 32 – The time is near the end of TzedikiYahu’s (i.e., Y’hovah is my Righteousness) reign. This is the final siege of Yerushalayim, the last of the Yehudim to be taken into Bavel are about to be carried away. TsedikiYahu, who started out as a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar had rebelled and Neb came to put an end to Yehudah’s rebellion for good. YirmeYahu had told King TzedikYahu that this spanking was from Y’hovah, and that he should submit to it. If he did, he might come back from there before he died. So TzedikiYahu had YirmeYahu imprisoned until he would change his prophecy to match the rest of the so-called Navim, who basically blew smoke up TzedikiYahu’s posterior. 

While YirmeYahu was in the royal prison, he received a Word from Y’hovah that his cousin would come to offer his field for redemption. Then, his cousin Chaname’el came to him in the prison and asked him to buy his field in Anathoth as the kinsman redeemer (“The right of redemption is yours”, he said). Cf Vayikra 25:

23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. 24 And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. 25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. 26 And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; 27 Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. 28 But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. (Lev.25.23-28)

YirmeYahu, being a righteous man and knowing by Y’hovah’s Word that they would return to Yehudah after the 70 years were complete (25.11-12, 29.10), did redeem it from his cousin for 17 shekels of silver, so that the land he’d inherited would not be lost for his family. The redemption was before witnesses, sealed according to Torah and custom, and the deed was given to Baruch, YirmeYahu’s scribe, before all the witnesses so that noone could legitimately claim that it was not purchased legally and lawfully. YirmeYahu knew full well that Yehudah would return to their inheritance. (Anathoth was one of the 13 Levitical cities that were given to Aharon’s sons in Yehoshua 21.18. It was about 8 miles north of Yerushalayim. YirmeYahu was a son of Zadok, son of AvYathar, son of Aharon. So must Chaname’el have been.) So he told Baruch before all the witnesses to take both the sealed deed and the open deed and place them in earthen vessels for long-term safekeeping, a la the Dead Sea Scrolls. He knew they were going away into exile, and that he would need these deeds to prove his ownership of the land when he returned. 

YirmeYahu knew that they would return and the field would revert to him and his children upon their return. I infer that Chaname’el was daring YirmeYahu to “put up or shut up”, which inference I get from Jerry saying in v.8 “then I knew this was the Word of Y’hovah”, as if Chaname’el had been among the priests who were prophesying smooth words to King TzedikiYahu, and YirmeYahu didn’t naturally trust him. Of course, he could have been talking about the Word he got in v.7 and I may be all wet about Chaname’el.

YirmeYahu begins to bring praises before Y’hovah (he calls him Adonai Yehoviyh, just like Moshe did in the Torah portion today and Avraham did when he received the covenant. Look at the note to Gen.15.2 on pg.73 of Schottenstein’s Chumash) when the deal was finalized and the deeds sent off for safe-keeping with a trusted scribe. He praises Y’hovah for his mighty works and faithfulness to Yisrael over the years, even when Yisrael had not been faithful. When Israel was unfaithful for about 200 years Y’hovah brought destruction on her and carried her off to physical oblivion in Assyria – an exile from which she’s yet to return. And Yehudah, after seeing the fruit of Israel’s idolatry, did exactly the same thing, even though she had greater witness to the mercy of Y’hovah with the Temple and atonement being offered there every year, and the continual minchah offerings being offered daily. YirmeYahu sees ‘the goodness and severity of Elohim’ in the prophecy and the action he was commanded to take: severity in the coming exile, and goodness in the remnant’s subsequent deliverance back to their inheritance. He praises Y’hovah for those things he’d been shown and that he’d shared about the Chaldeans and the siege and the pestilence and such, but also that his wrath has limits, and that he will perform his promise to Avraham and Yisrael as he told YirmeYahu that his purchase would be made good. 

As if in answer to the praises YirmeYahu laid on Y’hovah, another Word came through to YirmeYahu right then. First (vv.28-36) Y’hovah describes all the ways that both houses of Israel have despised him and turned to gods that are not gods and committed abomination in his face (once again showing the severity of Elohim). But then he speaks his goodness to them (vv.37-44), that he will not utterly forsake his children, but will call out the righteous remnant of them to enjoy all the fruits of righteousness in the Kingdom of Mashiyach and (to my mind) the remnant of THAT age to the New Creation wherein dwelleth righteousness. He says he will cause that remnant to ‘dwell safely’. The remnant that populates the Kingdom will dwell in unwalled cities and villages (Ez.38-39), but there will be an ultimate fulfillment of that Gog uMagog battle in which there will be no walls around cities in the land – in the Millennial Kingdom. There are STILL walls around some cities in the land. Yerushalayim still has walls. Have you ever been to San Juan, P.R.? Talk about walls! That town has never been successfully invaded from the sea. If you go there you will understand why. To build a useable siege mound, you’d have to start a few miles out to sea in mile-deep water. There will be no such walls in the Millennium. When Gog uMagog come up against a land of unwalled villages, where people dwell safely, it can only be during the Kingdom. YirmeYahu’s prophecy here is about the New Creation where ALL will dwell safely and everyone will have Torah written on their hearts – the fulness of the New Covenant of which we partake today. 

And YirmeYahu, who never returned to his property but died and was buried in exile, will already have a field in Anathoth. Q&C

Tehellim 122 – This third song of ascent was sung on the 3rd wide step, the 7th of the 42 steps [beginning with the lower platform] leading up to the treasury. The singing of the first song was done at the bottom of the stair. Then the 3rd step up [4th total] was wider than the first 2 and when the procession got to it they would sing the 2nd song of ascent. Then the 7th step was wider than the 5th and 6th, and the 3rd song of ascent would be sung there, and so on at each 3rd and wider step until on the 42nd step [40th in total and the top platform where the gates were], the top of the stair, which is also the platform leading to the doors of the treasury, the last song would be sung. When the leaders of the procession reached that top step there would be a veritable cacophony of praise being lifted up to Y’hovah as all 15 songs were sung at once. Singing Psalms in Rounds. 

David loved going up to Beit Y’hovah. He loved Yerushalayim because it was the city of the Great King, where Y’hovah had placed his Name. The word xlated in KJV as ‘compact’ is H2266, chabar, meaning ‘connect together or joined for a purpose’. David is talking about the fact that the physical universe and the spiritual come together there. David Flynn’s Temple at the Center of Time treats this idea quite well. The place to which the tribes go up is the place where Y’hovah has placed his Name and his Testimony – Beit Y’hovah. Thrones of judgment are likened to the thrones of Beit David. I think this is a reference to the Kingdom Millennium, when the resurrected tzadikim will rule with Mashiyach – he from Yerushalayim, we [if we are of his tzedakim] from our vice-regencies in his Name. We pray for the Shalom of Yerushalayim now, but will also do so then. Prosperity for our vice-regencies may be dependent on our love for Yerushalayim and our King. If King Yeshua has Shalom in Yerushalayim as a result of our prayers, it will filter back to us and the areas over which we will have authority. This will all be done for the sake of both houses of Yisrael and the whosoevers as they are in Mashiyach, for the Shalom of Yerushalayim will spread to the whole earth. Q&C

Romiyah 2-3 – Remember the last few verses of Romans 1 as we start looking at ch.2. One of the most important rules of scripture interpretation is this: “When you see a wherefore or a therefore, look to see what it’s there for.” Wherefore means ‘for which reason or why’, while therefore means ‘for THIS reason or consequently’. Wherefore explains why it happened to them, therefore explains what will result if we don’t pay attention. Ch.2 begins with the word ‘therefore’, so Sha’ul wants us to be mindful of what he’s just said and not take him out of context. Part of the context is to whom he is writing – in this case he is writing to a synagogue in Rome that started out as a Jewish dominated kahal or congregation, but had in recent years become more and more gentile populated. This means that the paganism of Rome was beginning to be seen in the synagogue, and that was the purpose of ch.1.18-32. In other words, in this 2nd apostrophe of the letter [a rhetorical device by which he addresses a larger or different audience than the one to whom he writes primarily], Sha’ul is mainly writing to the gentiles of the Roman kahal, who were bringing their pagan practices into it. An apostrophe is a rhetorical device by which he addresses a larger or different audience than the one to whom he is generally writing.

Vv.1-4 – The last paragraph of ch.1 begins at v.24, which begins with a wherefore that refers to vv.18-23. Y’hovah had given them (the pagan Greeks) up to their own lusts because they had refused to acknowledge that he was their Maker and Master and we (gentiles) need to be mindful of that, remembering to not sin like they had and to ‘therefore’ bring the wrath of Y’hovah down on us. In all actuality, ch.1 was a set up for ch.2. Sha’ul gave them 1.18-32 to set them up for this warning. He’s saying, “You all agree that these guys deserved their judgment, but you refuse to see that you are guilty, too, and deserve at LEAST what they got.” ‘Wherein thou judgest another thou condemnest thyself’ refers to the 9th commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” The condemnation for bearing false witness is to get the same punishment that would be received if the accused were found guilty.

18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. 20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. 21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. [Deut.19.18-21]

So be sure to be guiltless before you condemn someone, or bring accusation, or gossip about someone. If you are not innocent, you will possibly receive greater condemnation than the accused because you knew the requirements and the judgments and did it anyway (Jms.3 – all of it). That this is the subject of v.1 is attested to in v.2, where we are assured of the true testimony of Y’hovah against those wicked men of 1.18-32. Perhaps it would be wiser to just keep your yap SHUT!

Think about v.3 for a minute. A Mark paraphrase of that verse in context is; “What makes you think that you can judge someone else when you are guilty of the same thing? Do you really think that you won’t receive the same punishment you want exacted on him? Don’t count on it, Bozo.” Please note that the judgment of Elohim has been given in Deut.19.

V.4 should wake us all up, too. The word ‘despise’ does not mean to hate, but to think of no value, to consider worthless, to contemn or hold in contempt. Do you think that Y’hovah’s goodness is because you deserve to not be condemned? His goodness and forbearance towards us (the fact that he doesn’t ‘lower the boom’ as soon as we sin) is to the end that we repent of our wickedness and turn to go HIS way and not our own. Now we who are sitting here, including myself, need to apply this to ourselves. We are getting a warning that if we despise his goodness to usward, we will go down the road of those he spoke about in 1.18-32. We are guilty before Y’hovah due to our own sin. The Torah was given to us to be a true witness against us in Y’hovah’s court, which (Torah) is right here in our own hearts. We need to examine our own lives to be sure that what we are doing is not sin. And sin is transgression of the Torah. To despise his goodness and forbearance is to presume that he will not judge us righteously, as it says in 

11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8.11).

Vv.5-11 tell us that Y’hovah will judge all men righteously. Look at these verses closely. They do NOT say that if you just believe scripture to be true you are saved. It says that if you really BELIEVE it, you will act like it. If the works don’t follow the belief, then the belief is not unto salvation. V.5 says that if you despise (think of no value or not to be feared) the wrath of Elohim you will partake of it. V.6 says that we will ALL be judged according to our works, not that to which we’ve mentally assented, i.e.; believe. V.7 says that we who are obeying Y’hovah will see eternal life, while v.8 says that those who are disobedient will see his ‘indignation and wrath.’ This says NOTHING about what we’ve agreed is true, but what we’ve DONE about what we’ve acknowledged to be truth. This is because, 

Proverbs 23 1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler (to partake of government largesse), consider diligently what is before thee: 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. 3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. 4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. 5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven (especially to those who are ‘given to appetite). 6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. 8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words (you’ll be sorry you took what you didn’t earn – especially the favor of the rich or powerful).

Prov.23.7 means this – Don’t listen to a man’s words to see what’s in his heart. Look at the result of his actions. He may say, “Eat my good food”, but mean, “I want to poison you.” We know a man’s character by the fruit of his deeds, not the words of his mouth. Likewise, the salvation of a man is known by his fruits, not his words. If he SAYS he’s saved, but is an habitual sinner, you can rest assured that he is NOT saved. And this is righteous judgment, because this is the test that Y’hovah is going to use. He will judge us by our works, not our words. 

Rom.2.9 says that judgment begins with the Jews 1st. This is because they have had the oracles of Elohim revealed to them and they shared them with us. And they do so every time we open the pages of scripture, for all the authors were Hebrews (w/the possible exception of Job and Luke). There is scripture that says the teacher is due a double portion (1Tim.5.17). This is true of both honor and judgment (Jms.3.1). V.10 says that blessings also begin with the Jews and afterward the gentiles. This is the way prophecy tells us it will play out in the end, also. 1st comes the time of Jacob’s trouble, in which all Israel will be tried and the faithful will call on the Name of Y’hovah; then comes the wrath of Elohim on all who oppose him, in which time all the faithful gentiles will also call on him. All who trust Y’hovah will be saved to repopulate the earth in the Millennium. All opposed will perish, and be kept in the grave until the time of final judgment. Q&C

Rom.2.12-16 – This is a very misunderstood passage in the ‘church’s’ perspective, mainly because they do not read it in context.  Vv.13-15 are a parenthetical explaining v.12. V.16 is the end of the sentence begun in v.12. The parenthetical can be removed and not do harm to the sentence – it’s there as further explanation. Here it is without the parentheses:

12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (… 14, … 15, …) 16 In the day when Elohim shall judge the secrets of men by Yeshua haMashiyach according to my gospel.

All sinners will be judged according to Torah, for sin is the transgression of Torah in 1Jn.3.4. Notice that those who sin without Torah (lawless, grk. anomos) are not judged by it, they PERISH in their Torahlessness (grk, anomos), but those who sin IN Torah are judged BY Torah. Can a person be judged by Torah and NOT perish? You betcha! What is it that Y’hovah will judge by Messiah Yeshua? 

What are the ‘secrets of men’? ‘Secrets’ is from the Greek word ‘kruptos’, the root of the English word ‘cryptic’ – secret, hidden, occult. In other words, he will judge us over what we’ve kept hidden, or what we have NOT repented of and confessed. The secret (pun intended) to being judged in Torah but not condemned by Torah is to use Torah lawfully, i.e.; use it to show us where we’ve sinned and then repent of it and confess it to Y’hovah.

1Jn.1.9, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

To be judged by Torah is to be ‘under Torah’, to be subject to it’s curse. Messiah became the curse of Torah for us (Gal.3.13). When one is in Messiah, he is no longer subject to its curse and is thus no longer ‘under the Law’ (6.14, Gal.3.23).

The parenthesis of vv.13-15 shows us the ‘doers of Torah’ are justified, whether they knew they were doing Torah or not. And those who hear Torah and don’t do it are condemned by it, regardless what they thought to the contrary. 

Jas.1.22, “… be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Rom.2.17-29 – This is the 3rd ‘apostrophe’ of the letter, a rhetorical device by which he addresses a larger or different audience than the one to whom he writes primarily, in this case specifically the Jews of Rome. In vv.4-16 he’d addressed any believer who reads the letter – his general audience, both Jew and Greek. 

Again, this is a passage that is badly misunderstood by the church due to a lack of historical and cultural context. Remember what the word circumcision meant to the Jews, and especially the rabbis. Circumcision was the last act of a proselyte before he became a full member of the synagogue and Temple. Remember also that the argument in Acts 15 was NOT that the gentiles just have their foreskins trimmed, but that they go through all the stuff that proselytes were made to do and then be circumcised and only THEN be admitted into ‘The Way’. If you keep this in mind, this scripture will NOT be so cryptic.

Sha’ul says in vv.17-20 that the Jews who are the leaders of the synagogue acknowledge the law as their guide and are thoroughly versed in it and believe it. V.17 says they ‘rest in the law” and they “boast of Eloha”. These are of the same faction as the ‘Pharisees which believed’ in Acts 15. They think that their position as teachers of Torah secures their place in the Kingdom. But the law that they are resting in is the oral tradition, not the written Word, as can be inferred from v.20. They have ‘the ‘form’ of knowledge and truth of Torah’, ‘having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof’ 2Tim.3.5. Oral Torah has a form of godliness, indeed often IS godly (when it supports and agrees with Torah), but it is mere commentary, like Matthew Henry, the Mishnah/Talmud, or Barnes’ Notes, a useful tool to help understand Y’hovah’s truth. 

These very well know Y’hovah’s will and approve it, having Torah as their basis for belief. The word translated ‘approvest’ is the greek word dokimadzo, which means to test and prove – to make current after it is assayed, as in silver and gold. It means they have tried the will of Y’hovah, found it worthy and use it like they use currency. They learned Y’hovah’s will through his Word and are certain that they can lead those who are spiritually blind (in darkness), able to teach the foolish (won’t acknowledge Y’hovah [Ps.14.1, 53.1, Prov.18.2, 24.7, Ecc.2.14)] and babes (spiritual infants, pre-teens – ruled by emotions rather than intellect). What are they thinking? All 4 types; the blind, the ones in the dark, the fools and the babes; are the same people called by different names. All of those designations are Hebrew idioms for wanting the truth on their own terms. These teachers think that they will be able to lead these people to the way of Elohim. But their lives show that they are no different from those they aspire to lead. Vv.21-23 say in a Mark paraphrase, ‘You want to teach, but who has taught you? You teach the 10 words very well by the words of your lips, but do the words of your life agree?’ This is something we all, myself included, need to keep in mind at all times. Our words should match our works, and vice versa. 

Vv.23-24 – It was the Jewish leadership’s job to bring the proselytes along in the truth of Torah. When they taught one thing with their lips and another with their lives, they brought reproach on Y’hovah’s Name. Notice that there is a period at the end of v.24. The thought is not continued into v.25 – that is a new sentence altogether. So, Paul is NOT saying, “It is written,” and then v.25ff. He is saying that the situation in v.24 is written about in scripture (Lev.24.10-23). One of the mixt multitude blasphemed Y’hovah’s Name. He was held while Moshe got Y’hovah’s counsel and then he was taken w/o the camp and stoned to death (for the purpose of removing his genes – and this sin – from the pool). Paul is saying that these men are worthy of the same punishment, were it not for the forbearance of Y’hovah (as discussed above). They need to repent and start going Yah’s Way themselves.

Vv.25-29 – Remember the real meaning of circumcision is not just the snip, but the whole process leading up to it, as discussed earlier and as Shaul discusses in these verses. True circumcision is not that of the flesh, but of the heart. Y’hovah has always wanted our hearts to be circumcised, which means set apart unto him and to obey him. As physical CC was what set Israel apart from the world, so CC of the heart is what set’s us apart from the world. It is an attitude of desire, even lust, for Y’hovah to make his heart my own – to make me echad with him. 

In v.25, Sha’ul says that the physical CC without the works of Torah is to be unCC’d in heart, while v.26 says that being physically unCC’d with works of Torah is to be CCd in heart. V.27 says that gentiles who were never ‘snipped’, but who obey Y’hovah will judge those who have been ‘snipped’, but go their own way. 

Vv.28-29 – There are physical Jews who do not know the ways of Y’hovah, while there are physical non-Jews who do know his ways. Therefore, there are physical sons of Abraham and there are nonphysical sons of Abraham who are CC’d in heart, just as there are both who are not. Those with CC’d hearts are true Yisrael. Those without, aren’t. They are not ALL Yisrael who are OF Israel. Q&C

Romans 3 – Remember what the word circumcision meant to the Jews, and especially the rabbis. Circumcision was the last act of a proselyte before he became a full member of the synagogue and Temple. Remember also that the Pharisee’s argument in Acts 15 was NOT that the gentiles just have their foreskins trimmed, but that they go through all the stuff that proselytes were made to do and then be circumcised and only THEN be admitted into ‘The Way’. If you keep this in mind, this scripture will NOT be so cryptic. 

Vv.1-4 – While we look at v.1 remember that there are words added by the translators to ‘clarify’ or ‘facilitate understanding’ for the reader who is not so well versed in the scriptures or the ancient languages. For the most part they do a good job of that. Once in a while we see some preconceptions or pet doctrines that are shored up by these additions. As an example I submit Col.2.16-17, where the translators added the words ‘is’ and ‘days’ without any real reason for it, in fact it kind of hampers the flow of the reading and thought. Here’s Col.2.16-17, the entire sentence; 

16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” [Col.2.16-17]

This passage is speaking of the Colossian gentile believers who are starting to obey Torah and forsaking their pagan ways. Their old pagan ‘pastors’ and ‘priests’ are giving them a hard time about their Torah observances of the sabbath, new moons, festivals of Y’hovah, and eating and drinking clean foods. Paul is telling them that it is not up to the pagans to judge them, ‘but the body of Messiah.’ IOW, the body of Messiah, the Messianic ‘Beit Din’, is who should judge whether their actions are in accordance with scripture (as they had done in Acts 15) not the pagans and paganism they’d abandoned. The rendering, ‘the body is of Christ’ doesn’t even fit, and the wording is awkward. “Let no man judge you… but the Body of Messiah”. A ‘shadow’ is an outline of that which is ‘shaded’, like an ‘ensample’ or an inkling of good things to come. The translators want us to think that it is the body of Messiah that is casting the shadow, when the text says that the things casting the shadow are the promises of Y’hovah for the New Creation, as is shown in prophecies of Tanakh in most of the prophets. But the sentence says, “Which are a shadow of things to come;” not which were a shadow. Messiah had already come. If it was HIS shadow that the new moons, feasts, sabbath and clean food instructions had FOREshadowed, does it not follow that Sha’ul would have used the past tense? These were and are STILL foreshadowing something, like Messiah’s return and his Kingdom at the end of the age.

Back to Rom.3.1 – There are couple of ‘wordplays’ in this verse. The word ‘advantage’ is from grk. perissos – beyond or superabundance, and the word ‘circumcision’ is from grk. peritome – to cut around. The word ‘profit’ is from grk. aphelia which literally means ‘advantage’. So the translators decided that ‘superabundance’ in clause A = advantage, while ‘advantage’ in clause B = profit. So let’s look at the change when we go ‘literal’. “What exceeding abundance does the Jew have? And what advantage is CC?” 

Vv.2-4 – “Much every way!” And the reason is that we have the Word of Y’hovah through Israel. Every human author (except Job and Luke?) was an Israelite. Just because some Jews don’t believe, does that mean the faith of Y’hovah (Torah) is useless. No way, dude! Elohim will always be the source of truth, and man the source of lies. Even though Israel did not remain true to Y’hovah, Y’hovah remains true to Yisrael.  Q&C

Vv.5-8 – What does ‘commend’ mean? In English, it means “to present as worthy of notice” But the greek word, sunestao, here literally means to ‘stand with’ or ‘together’. The greek word says that the righteousness of Elohim stands in us together with our unrighteousness so that he is not unrighteous to chastise us when we sin. I think this chastisement begins with our own knowledge of and our remorse over our sin as soon as we commit it. If we repent and confess it to him, he is righteous and just to forgive us. If we don’t repent, he will bring ever increasing and stronger chastisements until we do. His chastisement is always to the end of encouraging us to turn from our own ways and return shuv us to his way. 

But that is not what he is saying in vv.7&8. He is saying that he has taught the truth of Elohim to both Jews and Greeks, but the Pharisees are accusing him of the sin of teaching Jews to ignore Torah and not instructing the gentile proselytes in it. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we saw in our brief study of Acts 15. The Jews are persecuting him for rightly teaching the truth of Elohim. Cf. 8.          

28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Eloha, to them who are the called according to purpose.” 

The difference between these verses is that in ch.3.8 Paul speaks as a man, who is slanderously reported as purposely working iniquity to watch Elohim work it out for his good, while in ch.8 he speaks according to the Ruach, that Y’hovah is making the circumstances that confront us to work out for our good. The first is presumption and sin that Sha’ul is being accused of; the second is faith and life that Sha’ul is really after despite the accusations against him. 

Vv.9-18 – Remember that the central theme of scripture is the ‘Shema’ in Deut.6.4, “Shema, Yisrael, Y’hovah Elohenu Y’hovah echad.” “Hear O Israel, Y’hovah is our Elohim, Y’hovah is one.” The Shema is the gospel in a nutshell. As Y’hovah is one (Is.44.6 [w/Rev.1.8&11. 21.6, 22.13], 45.18&21), so should we be (Rom.15.6, 1Cor.1.10, Gal.3.28, Eph.1.10, 2.11-18), both with each other and also with him. The ultimate outcome of the gospel in us is to become one with Y’hovah, to have true peace with him.  (That was ‘plan A’ with Adam.) We need to keep this in mind throughout Romans.

Paul, a Jew, is saying that even though it is through the Jews that we have the truth of Y’hovah, Jews are not better than Greeks, either intrinsically or morally. He then proves by using scripture that this is true. In vv.10-18 he quotes midrashically (not a direct quote, but one that hits the point he is making – a common Pharisaic practice) Ps.14. 

1 “The fool hath said in his heart, No Eloha. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, none that doeth good. 2 Y’hovah looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, seek Eloha. 3 They are all gone aside, they are together become filthy: none that doeth good, no, not one.” 

He then quotes, again midrashically, Ps.5. 

9 “For no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part very wickedness; their throat an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue” 

and Ps.140. 

3 “They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison under their lips. Selah.” 

Do you see how Sha’ul juxtaposes one portion of a verse from one psalm with another portion of a verse from another psalm and quotes them as if they are one? [If they are the Word of Yhwh, they ARE!] This is standard Hebraic teaching style, one that is used repeatedly, both in scripture and in Talmud and even Zohar. He continues in the same vein in v.14, where he quotes Ps.10. 

7 “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue mischief and vanity” 

and juxtaposes it with Is.59. 

7 “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts, thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction in their paths. 8 The way of peace they know not; and no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace,” 

and Ps.36.1, 

1 “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, no fear of Eloha before his eyes.” 

I think he’s made his point that we are all one in that there is nothing intrinsically good about mankind, and that we are incapable of even seeking to do good. “There is none righteous; no, not one.” But Elohim’s plan is for us to be one with each other and with him. 

Rom.3.12 quotes v.1 above, which says, “A FOOL has said in his heart, There is no Eloha”. So when he says in the same verse, “there is none that doeth good”, to whom is he referring? If you said, “The fool who says there is no Eloha”, you would be correct. It has nothing to do with faithful Torah observance, but with the state of the children of men. Every ‘they’ in Ps.14.1-3 refers to ‘the fool’ of v.1.

The fear of Elohim is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of Elohim is 1) abject terror of what he can and is justified in doing to us, which engenders 2) awe at his majesty and wondrous works, which leads us to 3) keeping his ways as he reveals them to us. Q&C

Vv.19-20 – Who is ‘under the law’? And what law is he under? Let’s look at the context first, to see if we can answer these questions. The verse says that every mouth is stopped and the entire world is guilty before Elohim. I think we can safely say that the whole world is ‘under the law’. Everyone is under its jurisdiction and must answer to it, even if he hasn’t been made intellectually aware of its existence, as we saw in ch.1. When he becomes aware of the Torah of Y’hovah, he knows both his sin and that he is a sinner, and that he cannot be justified by doing works of Torah. 

But I don’t think that’s all that’s here. I think Paul may be talking about 2 different laws, the Torah of Y’hovah and the oral torah of the Jews. I think this is the only way to rectify the contradiction of 3.20 and 2.13 (as well as Jas.1.22). We know that there are no real contradictions in scripture, so when we see one we need to ask Abba to show us the reconciliation. The ‘2 law’ explanation is all I can figure. Let me substitute what I think are the 2 laws where they fit:

19 “Now we know that what things soever Torah saith, it saith to them who are under the (oral) law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before Elohim. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the (oral) law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by Torah the knowledge of sin” 


Jas.1. 22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

The traditions of the fathers (oral Torah) had become (and still is) as binding or more so upon the Jews as was the revealed Word of Y’hovah. Paul was at odds with the Pharisees because he was exposing the truth to the people. Q&C

Vv.21-26 – This is one sentence with at least 7 clauses. Some folks have said that the guy who punctuated the KJV must have been riding a mule with one leg shorter than the others on a very uneven road, but I think that is not true. The punctuation is important. The colon separates two different ideas that could stand alone, the second (and/or third) illustrating the first: the semicolon conjoins 2 clauses, the second adding to the first: while the comma separates phrases that say the same thing in different words. 

Elohim’s righteousness is not subject to any law because he decreed the law. Since he created it, he is not subject to it. That is NOT to say that he didn’t abide by it when he walked among us in the flesh, but that, as Spirit and the Creator of all, he cannot be subject to anything. His flesh HAD to learn to abide by Torah (Heb.5.8), to justify us thereby.

Y’hovah’s righteousness is manifested (made plain) in the Torah and the prophets (and the writings). His Word witnesses to his righteousness, which is by the faith OF Yeshua, not faith IN Yeshua. Our own faith is useless in our justification. Only Yeshua’s faith has efficacy for us. What does that mean? What is Yeshua’s faith? Does faith mean what I believe? Or is it tied up in what I do about what I believe? 

Hebraically speaking, faith is action, not thought. James’ epistle is chock full of examples of faith being the action that comes from our strong convictions, as opposed to just saying or thinking rightly. Yeshua showed his faith by doing the will of his father in heaven. In Ps.40.7-10, Messiah says, 

“7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, Elohai: yea, thy Torah within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, Y’hovah, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. 

Messiah’s faith is one that works. So should ours be.

That is not to say that what you believe is not important, for if you act on wrong doctrine it will not be a source of eternal blessing or reward to you and it may be sin. It is whom you believe and trust that decides if you have eternal life. The difference in v.22 is the difference between Jew and Greek. It is Y’hovah’s will to destroy that difference and make us and himself ‘echad’, as he is one.

V.23 is possibly the best-known and most quoted verse of the Apostolic texts. It is one of those verses that is cut and dried, no possibility of misconstruction. And it is not a new teaching; it’s been around for at least 1000 years before Sha’ul. Cf.1Ki.8.46a, Ecc.7.20, Is.64.6. All men are sinners. The glory of Elohim can’t be theirs – they can’t even approach to it. We all fall short. And it illustrates v.22, as a colon separates it. But v.24 is the other side of the seesaw from v.23. “All have sinned; … being freely justified through the redemption…” The redemption is the payment in full of the sin debt we all owed. The next colon illustrates Yeshua’s orders and the plan of Elohim to reconcile us to himself. In fact the word ‘propitiation’ is from the greek hilasterion that is from the word hilastos, which means ‘conciliate.’ The propitiation is for those who will trust Yeshua for salvation, those who are reconciled through trust in his finished work. 

The comma in v.25 sets apart two phrases that say the same thing. 

“Whom Elohim hath set forth a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his (Elohim Avinu’s) righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of Elohim;” 

Elohim set forth Yeshua as our propitiation through faith in his blood and through the forbearance of Elohim. The righteousness declared is Elohim’s in remitting our past sins.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

He (Elohim Avinu) has set him (Yeshua) forth in v.25 to DECLARE his (Elohim Avinu’s) righteousness in v.26, so that Avinu can be the justifier of all who believe in Yeshua. Avinu justifies those who believe in Yeshua by making Yeshua our propitiation or conciliation to Avinu through faith in his blood, which contextually equates to his death. 

Where is boasting? Are the Jews intrinsically better than the gentiles? No. They have had the advantage of having Tanakh, which has made them better OFF, but not intrinsically better. Cause for boasting ain’t in us, if you’ll but remember Eph.2.8-9. We are justified by faith alone, not by our works of some man made oral law. And we show our justification by our works of Y’hovah’s Torah, for Elohim is the justifier of both Jews and gentiles by faith without deeds of the oral law. We do not make Torah void: we establish it. Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible study.

Shabbat Bible Study for August 25, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for August 25, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3  Sabbath 24

Devarim 2:1 – 3:22 – YeshaYahu 1:1-27 – Tehellim 121 – Romiyah 9:1-33


Devarim 2:1 – 3:22 –  Ch.1 ends with “we dwelt in Kadesh many days”, which the sages say actually added up to 19 years +. KJV adds the word ‘there’, which gives a different meaning to an ambiguous statement. The rabbis also make an assumption. Schottenstein’s Tanakh reads, “You dwelt in Kadesh many days, as many days as you dwelt.” The rabbis assume that to mean that they spent ½ of the 38+ years at Kadesh and the other ½ in the other 27 camps they pitched in (Kadesh, called Rithmah in Num.33, was their 14th camp after they left Rameses). Well, 19+ years IS many days, so it’s possible.

Vv.1-7 – Moshe now goes to describing a few highlights of their journeys from Kadesh to their 41st encampment (42nd, if you count their departure point at Rameses, where they ‘encamped’ in Egyptian exile for about 100 years or so). V.3 has Y’hovah commanding Moshe to turn Israel ‘northward’, but their first move is toward the south to compass the land of Edom, which they were specifically told to NOT challenge or fight. They were even told to pay them for anything they used during their travels, whether food or water. V.3 is telling us that our general direction from Kadesh was northward, since the END of our journeying would be at the camp on the east bank of Yarden, over against Yericho, and our 42nd move would be into haAretz (HalleluYah!). We were to pay for all that we used in brother Esav’s land because of all the physical blessings Y’hovah had bestowed on us in our travels to this point, beginning with the gifts of the Egyptians to us as we left.

When he says that we had lacked nothing during the entire Wilderness Adventure, he means that literally. All those times when b’nei Israel had murmured against Y’hovah and Moshe were a result of our sight-walk perceptions and not the ultimate reality of our situation. Y’hovah had it in hand the whole time, regardless our inability to see it. He has it all in hand now, regardless our inability to see it. Y’hovah SHALL deliver on his promises to us. HE has the situation well in hand. If we stay faithful to him, we will see him fulfill his Word to us, because HE is faithful. Chumash’ prefatory notes to vv.1-7 (pp.13-14) is instructive in this regard.

Vv.8-12 – The ‘way of the plain’ (KJV) is Arabah in Hebrew (H6160) and it refers to the rift valley south of the Dead Sea towards Elath on the north shore of the Gulf of Aqaba ( We also skirted Moavite territory because Y’hovah had given Ar (Arabah?) to the sons of Lot for an inheritance. Moav had come to the Arabah and found it inhabited by ‘R’phaiym’ (giants), like the Anakim, which Edom called Emim. We’ll see in v.20 that Ammon called them Zamzumim. So, I think this is saying that the Rephaim is the Hebrew word from which KJV translates ‘giants’, while the Stone’s English text translates Anakim as ‘giants’, and that all the different people’s called these giants different things, but I think[1] all referred to descendants of the Nephilim (genetically modified ‘trans-humans’ IM[not so]HO) of Gen.6. When Esav came to the Arabah and its surrounding highlands, they defeated the Horites (namesakes of Mount Hor?) and lived there by right of conquest, as Israel did in the former lands of Og of Bashan and Sihon of Ammon.

After telling Moshe that Esav and Moav were in their lands by right of conquest and by gift of Y’hovah, he told them to pick up and move over Brook Zered and into Amorite occupied Moavite territory. I think that this parsha shows us that the Amorites were a confederacy of Bashan and Gilead, because THAT is the land Y’hovah gave to Reuven, Gad and ½ Menashe. The Amorites had obviously taken land that Y’hovah had promised to Moav and/or Ammon by force. Since this was ultimately territory promised to the sons of Lot, Israel did not have to ask Amorite permission to cross it, and since Amor had taken it from Moav or Ammon, there was no need to ask them for permission to cross it, either, because they no longer controlled it. We’ll see that when Israel got to river Arnon, Moshe asked the Ammonites permission to cross their rightful land. Ammon lived there by right of conquest from the Zamzummim (the Ammonite word for Rephaim) and as a gift from Y’hovah as a son of righteous Lot.

The space of time it took Y’hovah to lead them from Kadesh Barnea until the day they crossed brook Zered was 38 years in which all the men of war who chose to believe the lying eyes of the 10 tourists died, save the 2 mighty men of valor, Yehoshua and Kalev.

Vv.26-37 – A map of the area of the Sihon campaign can be seen at When they got to river Arnon, near Kedemoth, Moshe sent embassage to Sihon in Heshbon to ask permission to cross the land. He offered exactly the same to Amor as he had to Edom – shalom and a good trade partner. But Amor refused what Edom accepted and came out to attack Israel. That was a very big mistake. Y’hovah wiped them out in much the same way as he will Gog uMagog at the end of the Millennial Kingdom – without Yisraelite casualty of any kind. Y’hovah said that Amor would fall before Israel in short order, and it did. When Sihon came against them, Yisrael just waded in and wiped them out, every inhabitant of the nation that came out against them. Yisrael took all the land north of the River Arnon and left the land between Arnon and Zered, which was Ammon’s territory.

3.1- – Cf. for a good map of Bashan and Gilead. Og was a giant – a Rephe (Hebrew root = rapha, translated ‘giant’ in Schottenstein’s Tanakh). Some sages say that Moshe was afraid of Og (cf. Chumash note to v.1 on pg.21. Num.21.33, like v.2, has Y’hovah telling Moshe to not fear Og, which doesn’t necessarily mean that Moshe actually feared him. I don’t think he did). They conquered every city of Bashan – 60 walled and defended cities, as well as enough unwalled cities and villages that they didn’t bother counting them – and wiped out Og and every human being in them. This helps to explain Reuven, Gad and ½ Menashe wanting to leave their women and children on the east bank and its adjoining hills to keep the cities and villages from becoming wild again while they helped to take haAretz from its Canaanite inhabitants. It took a LONG time to take the land. It took Kalev almost 5 years to subdue Yehudah’s inheritance.

V.11 says that Og was the last survivor of the Rephaim, giants. The note in the Chumash has Amraphel saying that Og was the last of the antediluvian Nephilim. Amraphel thinks Og hung onto the side of the Ark to survive the flood, which we can see in the movie, “Noah”, which is a really bad movie, not that it is not biblical, which it is, but that it is just not a good movie. I say “bullsh-shtuff”, but that’s how a lot of rabbis think. Of course, that means that there were actually 9 people carried through the flood by the ark, not 8. It IS convenient to explain how Anakim and other giants came through the deluge, but it also means that Y’hovah failed to do what he said he would do, which is to destroy the whole race except Noach and his sons and all their wives. We know that there were at least 5 giants until David’s day, Goliath and his brothers and sons, but Og was the last of the Rephaim. Goliath wasn’t anywhere NEAR as large as Og, whose bedstead was 9 cubits by 4 cubits according to HIS size, not just any guy’s (according to Schottenstein’s Chumash). If he were 9 cubits tall, the bed had to be at LEAST 15-16 feet long and 6 to 8 feet wide. The man was truly monstrous. Remember that the end of days will see stuff very similar to what Noach saw. I think we’ll be seeing Nephilim, genetically altered organisms like those described in Genesis, before long (if we aren’t seeing them already – case in point, LeBron James, Yao, or Dennis Rodman).

The land on the east side of Yarden that Reuven, Gad and ½ Menashe took their inheritances from was from River Arnon to Mount Hermon and from Yarden to the desert in the east. Bashan was given to Jair the son of Menashe, who called it Bashanhavothjair, meaning Yair’s encampments or villages in Bashan. The rest of Gilead was given to Machir, son of Menashe. Reuven and Gad were given the valley from River Yabbok to River Arnon for their inheritance. The women and children of these tribes would inhabit, put in order and tend these inheritances while their men of war went to assist their brothers in the conquest of their inheritances.

Moshe then admonished Yehoshua to lead b’nei Israel in the fight and to not be afraid because Y’hovah would be fighting for them. Please note that Moshe used the same phrase that Y’hovah had used with Moshe in Num.21.33. I seriously doubt that Yehoshua, who had led Israel in every Yah-sanctioned battle since the Amalekites tried to steal their water supply at Rephidim – without a drop of Israelite blood spilt, I might add – was afraid any more than Moshe was of Og. It was not an acknowledgement of his emotional state, but an encouragement to remember that Y’hovah was in this fight and there was no reason to be anything but confident of the outcome. Q&C


YeshaYahu 1:1-27 – Intro – The first word of Y’hovah from YeshaYahu to Israel is one of chastisement for her rebellion and a call to teshuvah. Kinda sets the general tone of the entire book.  He says (Mark paraphrase), “Even a brute like an ox knows who his Master is. Why do you not consider who Y’hovah is and all he’s done for you throughout your history as a nation?” YeshaYahu is bringing warning to Israel that the cup of Y’hovah’s wrath is about to fill up against her. He’s fought for her, delivered her from bondage, forgiven her sins, healed her of them again and again, but the more he forgives her the more she turns to her own ways. His patience is wearing thin. I can generally get a couple of years of wear out of a pair of denim jeans, but eventually the knees wear thin and I tear out of them. It is a lot like that with Y’hovah and us. As we patch the knees of our jeans, so he applies balm and wipes away tears of remorse. But eventually we get to expect his gracious provision for our sins as our due and not as his gracious bounty towards us, and we take his forgiveness for granted. But Y’hovah is not stupid. He knows our hearts better that we, and our ½-hearted repentance is not good enough to ensure his whole-hearted forgiveness. He wants our hearts, not our words. And he sends us reminders that we need to make teshuvah. The quicker we get it, the quicker we get back on the main track. The longer we ignore the hints, the further out on the spur we get and the more severe the hints have to be before we awaken to our plight. And I say plight in the ultimate sense, because; it will take longer to get back to the main track, the more distractions there will be along the way, and the more likely we will turn back to our own ways. By the time Y’hovah called out YeshaYahu, we were way out on the spur, with many years of habitual sin to overcome to get back to the main line.

There was at least 1 backsliding and 1 revival in Jerusalem during YeshaYahu’s years of ministry. AzarYahu/UzziYahu did right in the eyes of Y’hovah (2Ki.15.2). His son, Yotham, also was a righteous king (2Ki.15.34), though the people offered incense to other elohim. Yotham’s son, Ahaz, on the other hand was a wicked king, who went the way of the people – a populist – and made his son to ‘pass through the fire’ to Molech, and burnt incense to Ba’al and other pagan elohim (2Ki.16.3-4). His son, ChizkiYahu, led a major revival and was instrumental in the defeat of Assyria’s Sennacharib when his general Rabshakeh had Jerusalem under siege and sent a letter to ChizkiYahu.

Is.1.7-9 seem to describe exactly that time in Israel’s history, in a severely sinful lifestyle, under siege by Assyria’s army and in need of deliverance from her bondage to sin. The humility of the king before Y’hovah, his own teshuvah and prayer for Yerushalayim and Yehudah were the things Y’hovah needed to see and hear from the king. When he received and read the letter, ChizkiYahu took it into the Temple and opened it for Y’hovah to see, saying that Y’hovah had to preserve his own Name and his people. Y’hovah answered the king’s humility by wiping out the Assyrian army without spilling a drop of Yehudean blood so that the 185,000 troops “arose … dead corpses.”

And it came to pass that night, that the angel of Y’hovah went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. (II Kings 19:35)

I know the dead corpses didn’t wake to find themselves dead, but using strict English grammar that IS the way it reads. The backsliding of the people under Yotham and subsequently of king Ahaz, had to have been widespread, as even the revivals in the reigns of ChizkiYahu and YoshiYahu did not overcome it. Yehudah really started its rapid move to the side tracks and social decline from Torah during the reign of Ahaz. And the teshuvah of the righteous kings did not filter down as rapidly as the decline into idolatry had filtered up (quite possibly for political reasons). When Ahaz saw the political hay he could make quickly with wickedness, he went ‘whole hog’ into it himself. Grassroots movements, sustained in their original purpose, can work wonders in a short time and then continue for generations, as happened in the united States of America. Top-down movements take longer to germinate.

V.10 is addressed to Sedom and Gamorrah, but these cities are NOT who he means. He has likened his people in Yerushalayim to Sedom and Yehudah to Gamorrah in v.9. The very small remnant has spared the entire nation to this point. This is how Y’hovah works. He will spare a multitude for the sake of just a few, as he would have done for the actual Sedom and Gamorrah, had there been any there besides Lot who were righteous. He was willing even to spare Lot’s daughter’s husbands if they’d been willing to consider that the old man was not NUTZ!

The time is coming, in fact in some places it now is, that you will be thought nutz if you warn people of impending judgment from Y’hovah. I’m not really worried about it, since most folks think I’m nutz anyway, but if you can’t deal with ostracism and contempt things will not be easy for you.

In 2006, some FauxNEWS reporters that were taken by Hamas and released after 2 weeks in captivity. I heard that they had renounced their religions and submitted to Allah for their captors. Had they not done so, they ran the risk of being beheaded, like Daniel Pearl was (Dan might actually BE the saint the media portrayed him as). I’m beginning to think that Moshe Koniuchowski and Rico Cortes may be correct about the end time beast being Islam, since their favorite form of death to the infidel is beheading. Look at Rev.6.9 and 20.4:

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of Eloha, and for the testimony which they held: (Rev. 6:9)

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yeshua, and for the word of Eloha and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Mashiyach a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4) 

I believe these describe the same group of people. Eddie has told us that there are 3 groups vying for control of the NWO, the west (NATO), the east (Russia/China) and Islam. I recently heard that Iran is backing the insurgency in Iraq because the Ayatollah is convinced that there will be ‘One Caliphate’ that will stretch from the Pacific to the Atlantic with Iraq as its center and, I presume, Babylon as its capital. Q&C

The people had continued in their sacrifices, but their hearts were like those of Sedom and Gamorrah, fulfilling the lusts of their hearts, not the Torah of Y’hovah.

8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Y’hovah: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. [9] The way of the wicked is an abomination unto Y’hovah: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. (Proverbs 15:8-9) 

Our sacrifices, Our New Moons, Our solemn assemblies are all an abomination unto him, because we are doing them for our own reasons, or just by rote. He wants our hearts, not just our works. The sacrifices were set apart unto Y’hovah, until the priest began to do them as a ritual and without a heart of repentance and the obedience that comes from it. Then, those sacrifices were just killing and the blood of those animals was on the priest’s hands. YeshaYahu knew the principle and applied it to Yehudah. Can we apply it to ourselves? 

Vv.16-19 are the heart of the passage today, and our link to the Torah portion. The generation of Yisrael that entered haAretz had hearts after Y’hovah’s own heart. They personified vv.16-19.

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness (I LOVE that phrase – Mark), and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. [22] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. [25] But whoso looketh into the perfect Torah of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. [26] If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. [27] Pure religion and undefiled before Eloha and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (Ya’acov 1:21-27)

That is Ya’acov’s description of a heart after that of Y’hovah. Is yours like it?

Vv.21-24 describe America of the 21st Cent. CE – Money that’s worthless, leaders on the take, judges who sell themselves and care nothing for justice, and legislators with the blood of innocent babies on their hands.

There is good news, though. Vv.25-27 tell of our future redemption. Even though we did everything wrong, he will graciously give us the true desire of our hearts. The one who wants him will have him; the one who wants his own life and wealth will lose it. Hey, that sounds familiar!  Q&C


Tehellim 121 – A song of degrees is a Song of Ascent, one that was sung on the approach to Zion during the Feasts of ascension to bring the tithes and offerings. As we ascend to Jerusalem for the Feasts, we look toward the hills from which Mashiyach will enter the city, specifically, the Mount of Olives. Our help IS Yeshua haMashiyach, who made all there is by the Word of his mouth.

Notice the use of ‘keep’ (shamar). Y’hovah is our keeper, our guardian. He will not sleep; he will not tire of his guarding us. 3x he keeps or guards us. 3x he preserves us. Preserve is from the same Hebrew root as keep – shamar. He keeps us 3 times, he preserves us three times, and he does it in the past and the present and the future.

‘The sun shall not smite’ – speaks of the time of trouble, when the sun will scorch the heathen. By the miraculous working of Y’hovah, we (assuming our faithfulness) will NOT be scorched by it, quite possibly while standing next to one of the unbelievers who will be in agony. HE will provide shade for us, while not providing it for the guy next to us. Do you suppose THAT might cause a little animosity? It is obvious to me that he will protect and guard us THROUGH the times of trouble to which YeshaYahu referred.

Eddie makes the point that the Psalms are all about exile and redemption. This is the first psalm I’ve seen that is not about exile and redemption. It only speaks of redemption and protection. Of course, it ASSUMES exile (trouble) from which we will be preserved.  Q&C


Romiyah 9:1-33 – Chapter 9 begins the rather extensive pericope (pronounced ‘peri-kopay’ – to cut around) on Israel, the physical descendants of Ya’acov that Paul set up in ch.8.

A ‘pericope’ is a section of text from a book or document. It has been ‘cut around’ and identified as a literary unit. The Bible is made up of myriad literary units, or ‘pericopes’.[2]

If you are looking at the notes, THIS BOX is a pericope.

An example of a pericope is Yochanan 7.53-8.12 – the woman taken in adultery. It seems to fit the narrative, but it illustrates the sin of the men and the relative righteousness of the woman compared to them. They are transgressing NUMEROUS Toroth.

Now the focus is on Israel. He [Rav Sha’ul] begins with those professing believers who are after the flesh (physical Israel, not believers in Y’hovah Yeshua) in ch.9 and ends with those who are truly after the Spirit (‘true’ Yisrael) in ch.11.

Vv.1-5 – In vv.1-2 Sha’ul says that he is constantly ‘groaning’ in his heart (Rom.8.22, 23, 26) for all Israel, his brethren after the flesh. For they were promised the adoption that Paul spoke of in ch.8, but they kept after their own way (look these up – Is.56.11, Eze.22.31, Prov.1.23-33), instead of Avinu’s Way (these too – Pro.11.20, 13.6). They more closely followed the fences (traditions) than the Torah that the fences kept and keep them (and us) from. All that Y’hovah intended to give them they forsook for their traditions. But Y’hovah has NOT forsaken them any more than he forsakes us when we stray from the Way of Life. They were given the promises, the covenants of grace, the Torah to give them life and Peace (chayim v’Shalom), and he has not forsaken those promises. When they repent of their sins and fulfill their end of the ketubah (marriage contract) Y’hovah will repent of his condemnation of them and fulfill his end of the ketubah. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, so he will give them chayim v’Shalom. Everything that WE; Judah, Ephraim and Gentiles; have received for our trusting Y’hovah and his promises were first received by the patriarchs, prophets and people who trusted Him and his promises. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the fathers and us in Y’hovah’s eyes. Those who have gone after their own gods (traditions of men) as we had and repent as we have will also receive the adoption of sons. That promise was Yisrael’s in the first place, and we, only by Y’hovah’s grace, are partakers thereof.

In v.3 we see that Sha’ul held no animosity towards those who were after his skin. They were trying to kill him, but he was praying for them and would have given up his own reward in order that they should have the veil removed from their eyes (11.25).

Vv.6-7 – In v.6 we see that, as Sha’ul reveals 2 laws in ch.6-8, he also reveals 2 Israel’s – the Yisrael that is after the Spirit and the Israel that is after the flesh. I will attempt to distinguish the 2 by calling believing Yisrael, Yisrael. ‘They are not all Yisrael who are of Israel (6b)’. The Torah has done its dual job: it has taken its designed effect: it has condemned Israel and acquitted Yisrael. Sha’ul enters into a little parable (through v.13) to illustrate the truth he’s expounding. One’s being a physical son of Avraham does not deliver the promises to him. Avraham had 2 physical sons, Ishmael and Yitzhak; only one is the son of the promise. Yitzhak had 2 sons, Esav and Ya’acov; only one is the son of promise. It’s Yitzhak and Ya’acov through whom descended the promises to Yisrael. Ishmael/Esav represent the ‘minding of the flesh’ (8.6a)[3] and its traditions – NOT the children of Elohim. Esav sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup. It doesn’t get much more carnal than that. Yitzhak/Ya’acov represent the ‘minding of the Spirit’ (8.6b) and its Way, its Truth and its Life – the seed of Avraham and the adopted sons of Elohim. So we see that they who are after the flesh are of Israel, but they who are after the Spirit are Yisrael. Please keep that in mind for the rest of the book, as it is very important to understand ch.11.

Please also notice that ‘in Yitzhak shall thy seed be called’. Those who are called are those who have been predestinated and foreknown. The foreknowledge of Eloha is a result of his attribute of eternity. He tells the end from the beginning because he IS CONSTANTLY at every point and place in history (past, present and future). His foreknowledge isn’t a general overview, but intimate and total because he IS everywhere and everywhen all at once. He knew before he placed history in motion who would have a heart to believe and these he predestined to his calling. Q&C


 Vv.8-13 – The Israel who minds the flesh are NOT the children of Eloha. The Yisrael who minds the Spirit are b’nei Elohim, the children of Eloha. Elohim’s children are the children of the promise. Paul tells us what the promise is – that Sarah and Avraham, a barren 89-year old woman and her 99-year old husband will conceive and deliver a son. The original promise was given in Gen12.15, 17-19. Avraham believed with his mind, but not his heart at that time. His faith had no works (James 2.17). The first thing he did was to go down to Egypt and plead with this wife that she tell them that she was his sister and not his wife. He didn’t fully trust Y’hovah that through his barren wife he would have a son in whom the entire earth would be blessed. What made them children of Y’hovah was their eventual belief and trust in his power to deliver on his promise. They learned that their flesh could not do what Y’hovah had promised and that only Y’hovah’s Spirit could bring their greatest desire to fruition.

The same can be said of Yitzhak and Rivkah, who waited 20 years to see the birth of their sons, Esav and Ya’acov. As with Ishmael and Yitzy, the elder brother is the child of the flesh and the younger is the child of the Spirit. The same can be seen in the parable of the prodigal son, in which the elder son (Yehuda) is after the flesh, but the younger son (Ephraim), after his initial descent into idolatrous debauchery, makes teshuvah – repentance – and returns to his Abba, expecting nothing in return, hoping to be allowed to return as a bond-servant. In the case of Esav and Ya’acov, they were separated from the womb, Ya’acov having been elect and called, while Esav was rejected by the determinate foreknowledge of Elohim. In each case it was predestined that the elder would be servant to the younger. The flesh must serve the Spirit of Elohim, or the spirit of man will serve the flesh. 

The saying Ya’acov have I loved, but Esav have I hated shows us that just being the physical seed of a patriarch doesn’t qualify us for election. By the same token, just being born of Esav doesn’t disqualify us for adoption unto life. Y’hovah looks on the heart. It is the heart of Ya’acov – which was to believe Y’hovah – that made him Avraham’s seed and what Y’hovah loved, not his birth to Yitzhak. And it was Esav’s heart – which was to feed his flesh – that disqualified him for adoption and what Elohim hates. It is the fleshly spirit of Esav that Elohim hates, not Esav himself. Likewise it is Ya’acov’s openness to the Spirit of Elohim that he loves. Y’hovah has made both types of heart come from one and the same father, so it is not unreasonable to think that any person COULD be a son of promise regardless his station or ancestry. Each will receive judgment for his own sins, but Yisrael will receive loving chastisement (5.18b, 19b), while Israel/Esav will receive just punishment (5.18a, 19a). The difference is in their hearts. Q&C


 Vv.14-18 – Here we see the logical outworking of the 2 spirits. Hyper-Calvinists see the absolute sovereignty of Elohim here, which to them negates the free will of man. Nothing is further from the truth. Y’hovah does have absolute sovereignty, but that does not negate my responsibility to obey him.

Is Elohim unrighteous to condemn sinners? WhatahNutz? He shows mercy to those sinners who will believe him, and wrath to those who will not. Paraoh chose to not believe Y’hovah by a conscious act of his will and his pride (Ex.5.2).

2 And Paraoh said, Who is Y’hovah, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Y’hovah, neither will I let Israel go.

Moshe chose to believe Y’hovah by a conscious act of his will and his meekness. Paraoh thought he was all that AND a bag of chips. Moshe knew he was dust in need of some living water so that he could be shaped into something useful. Paraoh never got over his pride of position in the world, the very thing that was Sha’ul’s thorn in the flesh (7.7ff). When Y’hovah saw that he had a heart of stone and that Paraoh would not allow him to replace it with one of flesh, he sent him more hardness – Y’hovah gives every man what he truly wants. A hard, stony heart (Mat.13 says that this is one that will not hear and heed the Word of Y’hovah. He says, “You want a hard heart? Well. HERE ya go!” as he did to Paraoh). By the same token, those who call on Y’hovah’s Name for deliverance are redeemed through his mercy. We have to humble ourselves at least to the degree that we realize our impotence to save ourselves, and to call on him who can deliver us.

Vv.19-24 – Here’s where the hyper-Calvinists go awry. They use this numbered sound-bite (v.22) out of its immediate and general context. The general context is the 2 hearts we’ve been discussing. The immediate context runs at least through v.22, where he tells us that Y’hovah is longsuffering toward the vessels of wrath. If we look into Yisrael’s history, we see that Avraham was given a promise and a prophecy in Gen.15. The promise was that his seed would be as the stars and the sand of the sea. The prophecy was that his seed would be 400 years before they could obtain the promise because ‘the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full.’ He was enduring the ‘vessels of wrath’ until their cup was full (cf. Rev.15&16).

Y’hovah’s will is that no flesh should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He shows his will in that he gave the Amorites 400 years to repent before he brought Yisrael to remove the Amorites from their land and to receive the promise Yah had made to Avraham. His will was to have the Amorites repent. He did not impose his will on them any more than he imposes his will on us. Y’hovah is sovereign, but he is not a bully. He gives us the choice to obey or not. He exercises his sovereignty in his mercy or hardening, and even his hardening is merciful.

The vessels of dishonour (v.21) are those whom Y’hovah, in his foreknowledge, knew would reject him, those who have the spirit of Esav and walk after the flesh. Notice that he endured their insolence and despite beyond any reasonable extent of patience, in the Amorite’s case (Gen.15) for 400 years (actually 430). His way of mercifully bringing judgment is gradual; first a hint, then a more urgent hint, then a warning, etc., until he finally just forsakes the object of his mercy (as the Amorites) and drives them from his sight or allows them to be wiped out entirely. When he judges a people, he uses another people as his vehicle. Israel drove out the Amorites; the Philistines badgered Israel for 450 years. Then Israel under David and Shlomo conquered the known world and held the rest as tributaries until the people went after other gods (following their leaders, of course). Then Y’hovah exiled the 10 Ephraimite tribes to Assyria, followed by Judah’s 3 tribes going into exile in Babylon. When Judah repented and called on the Name of Y’hovah (in the person of Daniel haNavi – the prophet), he delivered them back into their land. And the cycle repeated itself. BTW, as had occurred in the Egyptian exodus, only about 10% of the people returned from captivity. The rest were, presumably, after the flesh.

Do you see his mercy in his patient, longsuffering endurance of their pride and willful disregard for his Word? Do you see his mercy in the fact that he hints, then cajoles, then warns with ever increasing severity to bring about repentance, not only in his people, but even in the heathen? Do you see his mercy in his willingness to forgive at the merest sincerity in turning toward him? Even in his wrath he shows mercy because he brings it quickly and with minimal suffering. Behold the goodness and severity of Elohim (11.22).

And what of us, who have softened our hearts towards him by our positive decision to obey him? He further softens them so that his Word can take root in the good, soft earth of our hearts and bring forth fruit to his glory. He gives us what we want. As he gave Paraoh the hard heart he’d decided upon, so he will give us the soft heart of flesh that he can circumcise and hallow to himself when once we choose to obey him. Q&C


Vv.24-26 – Do you see how he juxtaposes all gentile believers in v.24 with the ten tribes in v.25? It’s there; you just need to go a little deeper into the scripture than what’s in the immediate context. You need to go from the peshat (literal) to the remez (hint, reference to Tanakh).

“…not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living Eloha.

That quote from Hoshea is in Ch.1, which begins by specifying that he is speaking mainly to the House of Israel and not Judah. Y’hovah instructs Hosea to take a whore to his wife, to signify to the house of Israel that they have played the harlot and gone after other gods. For that reason, he allows Gomer to conceive 3 children, whose names are also symbols of how Y’hovah is going to deal with Israel. V.4 (blood of Yezreel) speaks of 2Ki.9.30ff, where Yehu rode into town and had Yezevel thrown down from the tower, where dogs licked up her blood as prophesied by EliYahu. Yehu instituted the revival of Y’hovah worship, after a fashion; i.e., Yerovoam’s mixed system of worship. His revival didn’t go far enough towards true Y’hovah worship. So Yah had Hosea call his 1st born son Yezre’el to remind Israel about her spiritual shortcomings. Hosea was then told to name his daughter Lo-Ruchamah – “No mercy” due to Israel’s idolatry. Then he was told to name his son Lo-Ammi – “Not my People” due to Israel’s idolatry. 

The good news is in verses 10-11 of Hos.1, which is the hinted at reference.

10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye not my people, it shall be said unto them, the sons of the living Eloha. 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great the day of Yezre’el.

Even though Israel is called “No Mercy” and “Not My People”, Y’hovah promises to enlarge their borders and numbers and to eventually rename them “The Sons of the Living Eloha”. I think this is a reiteration of the promise made in Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim in Gen.48, where he uses the Hebrew phrase ‘melo hagoyim’ – multitude of nations, which Paul alluded to in his passage in this same section of Romans in 11.25,

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.

So, what Sha’ul has done in vv.24-26 is identified gentile believers (v.24) with the people of Israel, who WERE Lo-Ruchamah and Lo-Ammi, but have NOW obtained mercy and ARE his people. He makes the same reference in Eph.2.11ff, “aliens” (grk. apollotrioo – estranged – like a divorced spouse), “far off”, etc. IOW, whether literally or spiritually/metaphorically, gentile believers in Mashiyach Yeshua ARE the descendants of the 10 tribes of Israel, according to Sha’ul. And Yeshua HAS fulfilled his mission to bring Ephraim to repentance and brought the 2 houses together in him.

Vv.27-29 – Paul then quotes Isaiah to show that a remnant of Yisrael would be saved, while the majority in Israel would not. Y’hovah called his seed, not for the purpose of excluding any from his Kingdom, but to make it available to all, Jew and Gentile, Judah and Ephraim. If not for the remnant the entire earth would be as Sedom and Gamorrah lo-o-ng before its time. Ecc.3 tells us that there is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven, and the time of earth’s destruction by fire is not yet. 1004 years from now, perhaps; but not yet. Remember the goodness and severity of Elohim? There’s another example of it. If not for Y’hovah’s gracious provision of a remnant, earth would have been a burnt out cinder [1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still reference, the ‘redux’ is terrible] long since. 

Vv.30-33 – What shall we say then? Sha’ul uses a Pharisaic rhetorical device to make his point that the Gentiles have obtained righteousness by faith in the same way that Avi, Yitzy and Jake did, not to mention all the rest of the ‘Heroes of the Faith’ (Heb.11). But they do not replace Israel. The fact that Israel has not ‘attained to righteousness’ does not negate the faith walk, which is based in Torah obedience. The reason Israel did not ‘attain’ to righteousness is the same reason noone ever can – righteousness comes by the faith of and in Y’hovah Yeshua.

The way Israel tried to attain to righteousness was by ‘works of law’ (no definite article is ever attached to this phrase, which is only seen in Rom.9.32 and Gal.2.16, 3.2, 5&10), not by faith. Paul invented the term ‘works of law’. Works of Law has nothing to do with observing Torah. It has to do with what the Pharisees called the ‘Oral Torah’, the traditions of the rabbis. An excellent source for this is Galatians, by Avi ben Mordechai. He explains the 1st C. historical background that has come down to the rabbinic Jews in the Mishnah and Talmud. While they may be good commentaries (well, some is), they are not scripture. So they are not a source of Y’hovah’s instruction in righteousness; Torah.

V.33 refers to Isaiah 8.14 and 28.16, [Y’hovih is YHWH vowel pointed as it were Elohim, usually translated as “the Lord GOD”]

14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

16 Therefore thus saith Y’hovih, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone , a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Paul jumbles the 2 verses, lifting a phrase from one and inserting it in a re-ordered other where he changed a word and said, “he that believeth on him shall not be ashamed”, not exactly a direct quote. But this is a 1st C. Pharisaic rhetorical devise called midrash, juxtaposing one scripture with another, even making a change in verbiage to make the point. It is how arguments are made throughout the Mishnah and Talmud. Midrash was and is common practice in the synagogue. If we were to try this in the church we’d be given the left foot of fellowship, thrown out on our ears (or worse) and called heretics. Midrash assumes either that the listener has some training in rabbinic thought and a thoroughgoing knowledge of Tanakh, as the elder or rabbi of the synagogue in Rome would, or a rabbi who could explain the passage to those without the training. It’s the reason some teachers think that Hebrews should not be in the canon. It’s why Martin Luther thought James should be scrapped. They’re ‘too Jew-ey’. It’s also why so many in the church can’t seem to grasp that, even though we are unable to obey Torah 100%, it is still our standard and guide for right living before Y’hovah. Unlike the fool of Ps.14.1 and Rom.3.12, we believe there is an Eloha, and that he has given us a guide to live by – his Torah.

As to the change in verbiage, I think it has to do with the fact that whenever a patriarch ‘made haste’ or tried to hurry along Elohim’s plan by helping him out (Avi and Hagar, David and the ark, etc.), they were always ashamed. It is therefore a warning to the Romans to be patient with each other and not to get ahead of Elohim. We’ll see this developed in Rom.14. Q&C


End of Shabbat Bible study.

[1] An italicized I think denotes an educated guess, which COULD be wrong … but I DOUBT it!


[3] Pg.51, paragraph 4, above- dealing w/8.3-6.

Shabbat Bible Study for August 18, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for August 18, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 23

Deuteronomy 1:1-46 – Jeremiah 30:4, Amos 2:9-10 – Psalm 120 – Hebrews 3:1- 4:16


Devarim 1.1-4 – Now, Moshe was not saying these words at the shore of the Yam Suf, nor in Horeb, nor at Hazeroth, nor at Kadesh Barnea nor Paran nor Lavan. He spoke these words on the banks of Yarden across from Yericho. So why all the other place names? I don’t think even Moshe’s voice would carry all the way to Baal Zephon from there. All of these references are not even of places they’d been in their Wilderness Adventure. Laban is not a place but a person, Ya’acov’s father-in-law, with whom he had to deal before Mashiyach named him Israel on his return trip to the land with his wives and children. So what gives? All these things deal with places or people with whom Yisrael had ‘close encounters’. Moshe is giving Yisrael a veiled rebuke for its history of rebellion and stiff-necked-ness (I know – I just coined a new term) and natural short-comings during the Exodus. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a wonderful analysis, according to Rashi, of these references on pg.2. 

Moshe probably spent a few hours recapitulating at least the high points of the last 40 years of Israelite history. This is the 11th month, 1st day of the month and the 40th year out of Egypt, roughly 2½ months shy of the Pesach they will celebrate in Yehoshua 5.10-11. It may have been exactly 2 months before their circumcision day, which was just before Pesach that year and on the other side of Yarden. Moshe mentions Og of Bashan and Sihon of Heshbon, kings of the Amorites on the east bank, perhaps to encourage Israel after he’d just delivered the veiled rebuke for their natural rebellion, in effect saying to them that even though they were a stiff-necked lot, they were still Y’hovah’s chosen and he would still be with them as they walked in his Toroth. That should give us all hope that he will do the same for us when we sin, if we will humble ourselves to repent and start going his Way. Israel had been frightened by the Canaanites because of the tourist’s report 38+ years before, but now they had absolute proof of his ability to wipe the Canaanites out without spilling even one drop of Israelite blood on the desert sand. 

Vv.5-46 – KJV says that Moshe began explaining THIS Torah to Israel. There are a number of differences between what was written in the previous 38+ years and what Moshe explained to them in Devarim. Chumash says that Y’hovah had Moshe write down some of the oral Torah. I think he just did what KJV says, explaining some fine points of Torah for future reference. 

Horeb was the general area of which Mt. Sinai is the most outstanding landmark. I think they got very comfortable there, because he said “turn” from Horeb and journey. That word ‘turn’ is a military facing command, like “About : FACE!”. They had not been brought out of Egypt to live on manna next to a Rock that gushed forth water. They were brought out of Egypt so they could be brought into the land Y’hovah had promised their fathers. Moshe is recounting what Y’hovah would have done had they trusted him to bring them into their land at Kadesh. But they trusted the tourists more than Y’hovah and didn’t go in. This is one of the things that’s different in the re-telling here, than in the original account, since we are not told this detail in Exodus when they moved out from Horeb. Moshe tells them here that had they gone in from Kadesh, Y’hovah would have given them every inch of land he’d promised Avraham in B’reishith 15

12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Avram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Avram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites not yet full. 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day Y’hovah made a covenant with Avram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites (Kalev & Yithro’s people), and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Yevusites. (Gen.15.12-21)

(These 10 nations MAY be coming together as we speak to take what they think is their land back from Israel – a 10-nation confederacy? Let’s keep our eyes on the Middle East and see if 1 nation – like the Moslem Brotherhood/ISIS – causes 3 to fall in order to bring the other 7 into compliance; OH! WAIT! Libya and Egypt were taken down by the bro’hood and Syria is about to be taken down by ISIS, all with the help of the USofA – do you suppose?). But they didn’t trust Y’hovah and have NEVER received the entire land-grant promised to Avram, though David got pretty close to controlling it all. He’d literally told them “Come and possess the Land”, as if to say, you won’t even have to lift a finger for it – the Amorites will run like scared rabbits from before you. 

Vv.9-18 – Moshe recounts how he was unable to be their prophet, their only judge, only general, only political leader and only priest. He needed help to take care of Israel’s needs timely. So he asked Israel to choose wise men to help him bear the burden, and they chose relatively wisely. Moshe authorized a more or less military chain of command, responsibility and authority from the sergeants to the generals. And it works well, if it is used as it’s designed to work. Chain-jumping in either direction is a bad idea.

Vv.20-36 – Here Moshe recounts the mission the 12 spies were sent out on and the result of it showing that 10 tourists and 2 men of Y’hovah went into the Land. Oh, the tourists just LOVED Canaan as a wonderful place to visit, but they seemed to forget that Y’hovah had their backs when they saw there were Anakim there. And so the whole generation of men of war got to die in the Wilderness and only Yehoshua and Kalev got to enter haAretz as promised. You know, I can’t remember either of them bringing a calumnious (slanderous) accusation against any of the 10 tourists or anyone else in the Israelite camp. Yehoshua and Kalev were meek, in the same vein as Moshe. They proved their strength in battle and in right judgment – not by tearing other people down, but by being men of stalwart character. Would that I were ½ the man either of them were. 

Then Moshe took one last chance to be a Jewish mother and make Israel feel guilty that he would not be able to enter the land, but that Yehoshua would lead them in. Moshe admonished Yisrael to encourage and support Yehoshua, as Y’hovah had admonished Moshe to do. 

Moshe then recounts how the 10 tourist decided that they could take the land AFTER all, and told Moshe they would do it. But Y’hovah told Moshe to tell them that they’d blown their chance, that he would not protect them in the battle. They went up against Amor anyway, and had their butts handed to them after which they stayed in their camp at Kadesh Barnea – for 19 years, according to some rabbis. Imagine being camped within a 9 iron shot of the Promised land, at the very place from which you COULD have gone in and had it handed to you on a silver platter, and NOT be able to go in because of one wrong decision. How many of us are in exactly this situation because of our own lack of trust in Y’hovah or our own hardness of heart? Q&C

YirmeYahu 30.4 – Our verse is in a context that will enlighten us as to the timing of its fulfillment, so let’s read vv.1-10. 

The timing of v.4, which addresses both Israel and Judah, is given in vv.5-10, and it is the time of Ya’acov’s trouble, but he – that is Ya’acov, which includes both houses – shall be delivered from it. That means that Ya’acov will be IN trouble, but he will be delivered because Y’hovah Elohim of Israel will hear this voice of trembling and fear coming from his people and he will answer their cries with Mashiyach, Y’hovah Tzavaoth. This will be the ‘Greater Exodus’ of the not distant future. Ya’acov will obviously be in bondage to an oppressive anti-Y’hovah government as they cry out for his deliverance, and Y’hovah Tzavaoth will remove their yoke of bondage and break that which binds them to the oppressor, as he did in both Egypt and Persia. Then both the oppressor and Ya’acov will serve Y’hovah Elohechem and Mashiyach as one body in haAretz. 

Amos 2.9-10– As Y’hovah Tzavaoth delivered us from Egypt’s oppression and into the land, despite the power of the Amorites who were obviously trans-human giants, so he will deliver his own from oppression and into liberty by his omnipotence. 

Psalm 120 – Psalms 120-134 are called the songs of assent. When Israel brought their tithes to the storehouse, they ascended to the gates of the Temple via a set of 42 steps. Every third step was longer than the previous 2 and on each step, beginning at the bottom step (where they would sing this psalm) they would sing the succeeding psalm, so that at all times there were at least 15 different songs of praise being lifted up to Y’hovah – a veritable cacophony of praise from morning to evening on the Temple mount. 

This psalm wonderfully fits the theme for today. Moshe rehearsed the history of Israel’s repeated turning aside from following Y’hovah and of Y’hovah’s forbearance and long-suffering towards us. The haftarah tells us we will be under a yoke of bondage again in ‘Egypt’ and that when we cry out in trembling and fear, as we did in Egypt, he will hear us and deliver us from our yoke of bondage and back into our promised inheritance – the ENTIRE land grant from the Nile to the Euphrates and from the Red Sea to the Caucasus Mountains (where the Euphrates headwaters are). 

Psalm 120 seems to be speaking of a world system very much like what we see today; lying lips/deceitful tongue is about all we get from the powers that be. Y’hovah will recompense the deceivers with ‘arrows made of juniper’. I think this refers to the straightness of the arrow shaft and the intense heat given off as the juniper burns. Not only would the juniper arrow shaft provide an accurate arrow shaft, but if set ablaze would burn in its victim. Meshech is considered by many to be the ancestor of the people who settled the Moschian mountains and eventually joined with the Scythians and became known as the Muscovs, who settled in the capital city of what became Russia. The citizens of Moscow are called Muscovites to this day. To dwell in the tents of Kedar, as sojourning in Meshech, was to be exiled from Israel and cut off from the Elohim of Israel. In this exile we live among men who hate shalom. We LOVE true shalom, but the world system wants nothing but war and death, so we are ‘on the outs’ with it. But when we call out to Y’hovah for our deliverance from its yoke, he hears us and remembers us – he goes to work on our behalf. Q&C

Ivrit 3.1-6 – Who are the partakers in the heavenly calling? In Romans 8 Rav Sha’ul provides the answer. This is from my study in the book of Romans,

ALL YISRAEL 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 Yisrael 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.

If my conclusion there is true, and to the best of MY reasoning it IS, the recipients of Rav Sha’ul’s [or his talmid’s] letter to the Ivrit are a part of believing Yisrael, and partakers in the heavenly calling. Now further on in that study I also conclude that just being of the physical seed of Avraham, Israel, does not make one a partaker in the heavenly calling or a part of the spiritual ‘seed of Avraham’, Yisrael. To be of Avraham’s ‘spiritual seed’, there must also be biblical ‘faith’, which is always evidenced by works of Torah.

14 What profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one Elohim; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2.14-20)

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yeshua haMoshiach. (Revelation 12.17)

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yeshua. (Revelation 14.12)

This is Yisrael, and so were the recipients of this letter to the Hebrews. The reason for this letter, I think, is that these Ivrit believers in Yeshua haMoshiach, perhaps from among the ‘kohanim that believed’ in Acts 6.7, were considering a return to the sacrificial system that was about to be completely removed from the earth. The probationary period of 40 years from the actual atonement of Yeshua on his tree was almost over. The Temple they would have to offer the atonement in was about to be destroyed by Titus, the Roman general. Rav Sha’ul ‘remezed’ (hinted) that the Temple was about to be destroyed.

7 But into the second the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and the errors of the people: 8 Ruach haKodesh this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed until the time of reformation [tikkun]. 11 But Mashiyach being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building [the heavenly one]; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. (Ivrit 9.7-12)

Ain’t no bull or goat blood is good enough to even substitute any more. HalleluYAH!

Paul makes a reference to Moshe’s prophecy in Devarim 18 by way of a midrashic technique of comparing the lesser (Moshe) to the greater (Yeshua)

Y’hovah Elohecha will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deuteronomy 18:15)

The Notzrim had been applying this passage to Yeshua since Pentecost, at least;

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall Y’hovah Elohecha raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (Acts 3:22)

If Moshe, as a servant (lesser), was faithful in Y’hovah’s (lesser) house on earth, how much MORE faithful would Y’hovah Yeshua (greater) be in his OWN (greater) house? That heavenly tabernacle in which Yeshua offered his OWN blood was the one he’d built by his own power that was the template for the copy Moshe built on earth. Sha’ul then concludes the first 6 verses with an admonition, “IF we hold fast.” This is one of the phrases that tells me that the believing Jews were considering a return to the now fulfilled sacrificial system. I think their fellow Jews, both Pharisees and Sadducees, were hounding them about their Notzrei lifestyle and eschewal of the blood of bulls and goats for their atonement. It would make life easier if they went back to the sacrificial system. Q&C

Vv.7-12 – This is a single sentence with a parenthetical insert. The sentence stands alone and reads 

7 Wherefore, 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living Elohim.

The parenthetical introduces the next argument that Paul will use to try to convince the believing Ivrit to stand faithful to Yeshua, who IS the living Elohim.

(as Ruach haKodesh saith [Ps.95.7c-11], To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

On that portion of the Psalm, I had this to say in the Bible study of February 24, 2018,

In v.7c he changes direction by pleading with the redeemed to hear Y’hovah’s voice and not harden our hearts as our fathers did at Sinai. Those who were graffed into Yisrael’s olive tree, made members of her Commonwealth, and made partakers in the vine could be removed as easily as they were added. The generation that hardened their hearts were the ones who had lived under the Egyptian thumb and been partakers of the Egyptian culture and religion. They hardened their hearts because they knew the Egyptian system and incorporated it into their worship of Y’hovah. We need to guard against this same type of hardening, or their end may be ours – denial of the rest we are promised due to our unbelief. 

Sha’ul is making the same case to the Ivrit as David did, to not add to the work of the Way of Y’hovah. The work of atonement is complete in Mashiyach. It is now time to rest in that atonement and to stand in that rest. To do less or to go back to the atonement of bulls and goats is essentially the same as Israel sinking back into their Egyptian idolatry. No matter how bushy the mustache you paint on a pig, it’s still a pig. No matter how you protest, “it’s all for Y’hovah”, Xmas, Ishtar and all the pagan feasts are still idolatry. Your place in eternity may be safe, but you are not pleasing Y’hovah with that part of your walk. And it is arguably worse if you despise Yeshua’s blood and the work of Ruach haKodesh

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 Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (10.23-29)

Vv.13-19 – After quoting Ps.95 to make his point, Rav Sha’ul tells them to stand together, exhorting each other and building up each other’s faith and faithfulness to Yeshua, as he has been faithful to them (vv.2, 6). They are to do this daily ‘while it is called Today’. That means don’t wait until tomorrow, do it constantly. Stand fast in the calling to which he has called you, you seed of Avraham. 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (I Corinthians 16:13)

When he says, ‘they could not enter in because of unbelief’, he was speaking of the iniquity they had to bear, the blessing they would not enjoy in their flesh. They could not enter haAretz because at Kadesh Barnea they believed their spies’ lying eyes rather than Y’hovah’s promise and proven protection. Paul is basically telling these believing Jews who were considering going back into the now useless Temple service that they were actually considering walking in their flesh, rather than Ruach’s rachamim v’chesed (mercy and grace). Q&C

Ivrit 4.1-5 – Because the Israelites, who would not go into the land because they believed their lying spies instead of Y’hovah, had to die over the next 38+ years as they lived through the Wilderness Adventure, WE need to fear that WE may not be able to enter into that rest. Remember what we said earlier today

Moshe is recounting what Y’hovah would have done had they trusted him to bring them into their land at Kadesh. But they trusted the spies more than Y’hovah and didn’t go in. This is one of the things that’s different in the re-telling here, than in the original account, since we are not told this detail in Exodus when they moved out from Horeb. Moshe tells them here that had they gone in from Kadesh, Y’hovah would have given them every inch of land he’d promised Avraham in B’reishith 15 … But they didn’t trust Y’hovah and have NEVER received the entire land-grant promised to Avram, though David got pretty close to controlling it all. He’d literally told them “Come and possess the Land”, as if to say, you won’t even have to lift a finger for it – the Amorites will run like scared rabbits from before you.

If this is true, and I think it is, Amor would have either run or been wiped out by Y’hovah and Israel would have received haAretz without lifting a weapon and just gone into their inheritance. “THAT rest” (v.11) would have begun at Kadesh, just about 1½ years out of Egypt. IOW and if I am right, our sight walk has already cost us 3500 years of unnecessary exile from the fulness of his promise. Instead, “that rest” will not physically begin until the Millennial Kingdom of Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach. We believers DO partake spiritually in that rest, but the physical deliverance awaits Mashiyach’s Kingdom. 

Notice that Sha’ul [or his trusted talmid] says in v.1, ‘lest any of YOU fall short’. He is telling these ‘priests who believed’ that they are in danger of not experiencing ANY physical manifestations of the rest promised us. The rest is from the need for animal sacrifices to Y’hovah to atone for our transgressions. He says that we have all had the good news preached to us, both they in the Wilderness and we in the end of days

Eloha, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (Hebrews 1:1-2)

But they failed to act on the Word preached to them. They believed that Y’hovah COULD bring them into haAretz, but they didn’t believe that he WOULD at that time. (Cf. AENT appendix “Good News” on pg.830/31 as it relates to v.2). 

Do you see how faith is not just belief, but includes obedience and living the Word that we believe? Mere belief is unprofitable to the believer. If there are no actions in accord with that belief, there is no real growth in the fear and admonition of Y’hovah nor anything that will conform us into the image of Yeshua haMoshiach.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

Paul then applies the rest that we hope for to the rest that Y’hovah had at the beginning of creation. 

2 And on the seventh day Eloha ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And Eloha blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Eloha created and made. (Gen.2.2-3)

THAT is ‘that rest’ into which we will enter in the Millennium and that we COULD have entered directly from Kadesh 3500 years ago. (Hindsight is always 20/20.) Y’hovah’s rest will come to us when we are at perfect shalom with him. For now, that means translation or resurrection. Q&C

Vv.6-10 – speak of those sacrifices that we had to offer yearly to make atonement for our sins, as Rav Sha’ul will make clear in ch.9-10. Yehoshua, son of Nun, did not bring them into the rest Y’hovah had intended and would have delivered had it not been for the people believing the lying spies. There yet remains a ‘rest’ for those who exercise their faith in Y’hovah and have ceased reliance on the blood of bulls and goats (our own works) and begun to rely on the once for all offering of Yeshua’s blood (rest). 

V.11-13 – Let us labor to enter his rest? We have to WORK to rest? Well, Yeah! The reason they DIDN’T enter the land from Kadesh and the reason they didn’t enter the entire land grant when they DID enter the land was the same unbelieving lack of action. They didn’t do all it would have taken – walking in and watching the Amorites run like rats from a sinking ship or cockroaches when the lights go on. The action we need to take is the same one they needed to take – walk in accord with his Word and trust HIS finished work. His Word is alive and cuts both ways, chasing the enemy away or wounding us, depending on our faith-works.  It will take our enemies apart, or show us where we need to repent and submit. We can’t hide from the truth of Y’hovah’s Word (v.13). It will find us out, either for our instruction and tutorage or for our reproof and correction.

16 All scripture given by inspiration of Elohim, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of Eloha may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim.3.16-17)

Vv.14-16 – In these last verses of the chapter, Paul begins the treatise on the high priesthood of Yeshua after the order of Melchizedek that will culminate in ch.10. The recipients of this letter COULD be from among those priests who believed in Act 6

7 And the word of Eloha increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6.7)

This makes sense to me because fully ½ of the book is directly related to the priesthood of Mashiyach Yeshua. I am becoming more convinced as time goes by that this book was specifically written to kohanim who had been faithful to the Netzari sect and were thinking about returning to their offices in the sacrificial system. I think this would have caused a lot of stumbling among the other Yehudi believers. Perhaps this was a further attempt by haSatan to wrest control of the sect from Yeshua’s shlichim and destroy it. Perhaps SOME of the Netzari kohanim DID cross back over – anti-Ivrit? – and begin to offer offerings again, speeding up Y’hovah’s timetable for destroying the Beit haMikdash. All this is speculation, but I think it is a real possibility, and I am seeing it as a viable probability. 

Sha’ul encourages the Ivrit to ‘hold fast profession’. That word, profession, is from G3671, homologion, meaning ‘same thought or word’. He is, of course, referring to Torah, which is the basis of all doctrine and practice, as opposed to the traditions of the elders. He makes that appeal in light of our high priest whose flesh has become the first full-blown Ivrit by passing over from death to resurrected life eternal, because OUR high priest, unlike the Idumean high priests of Herod’s temple, knew what we have to deal with in this body of flesh, as did Paul

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of Eloha after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank Eloha through Yeshua Mashiyach our Master. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Eloha; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7.21-25)

Sha’ul described it well, and Y’hovah, in the flesh of Yeshua, experienced it all himself so that he could have REAL compassion on us, experientially knowing our infirmities. And so, knowing that we have this kind of high priest, we can come boldly before the throne of Y’hovah and make our case before the righteous Judge and King of the Universe, Yeshua haMoshiach haTzadik, who HIMSELF will come and Advocate for us in the best kind of ‘kangaroo court’, one where the court is in favor of the accused. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

Shabbat Bible Study for August 11, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for August 11, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 22

B’midbar 35:9 – 36:13 – Yehoshua 20:1-9 – Tehellim 119b – Yochanan 4:1-45


B’midbar 35:9- – In this chapter, Y’hovah gives Israel instruction about the cities of refuge and the conditions under which they were to be used. He says, when you have come over Yarden into Canaan you shall appoint cities. I infer that they were to be designated after the land was taken and the 2½ tribes were settled in their inheritances on the East Bank, because there were to be 3 cities of refuge on each side of Yarden, and those on the east bank would be useless until then. This is borne out in that the cities were not designated until after the conquest of the land was more or less complete (Jos.20 – The 48 Levitical cities were assigned to the individual families of Levi in Jos.21). As we discussed briefly last week, these were cities to which a person who killed another person without premeditation or evil intent could flee for his (or her) life until inquiry could be made as to the type of killing it was.

The cities of refuge were to be chosen so that it would be a relatively short trip to the one designated for your tribe – basically not more than a long, concentrated day’s journey on foot. There was no time to lose for the manslayer, because the avenger of the dead man’s blood would be absolutely guiltless if he caught the manslayer before he arrived at the refuge. These cities were for ANY manslayer to use; Israelite, ger toshav (a gentile living, doing business and voluntarily subject to Torah in Israel) or goy. 

Y’hovah laid down the general guidelines by which the judges would decide. He didn’t cover EVERY contingency, but gave clear enough instruction that right judgment could be made. Y’hovah makes a clear distinction between a murderer and one who killed through negligence or accident. If the killing was found to be a pre-meditated murder, the person was given to the avenger of blood to be executed. If it was found to be accidental, he was freed to go back to his inheritance/business, or if it was found to be inadvertent or merely negligent the man was returned to the city of refuge and exiled there until the death of the presently anointed high priest. As you may remember, there were only 18 high priests in the nearly 900 years from Exodus to Babylon, so the stay in the city of refuge COULD be as long as ±50 years. [Schottenstein’s] Chumash has a salient note on v.25 concerning the judgment on the manslayer (pg.242-43). 

The manslayer sentenced to exile in a city of refuge had better not even go outside the gate of the city, or he was fair game for the avenger of blood. An avenger who thought the judgment was a travesty might camp outside the city awaiting his quarry’s departure. After the Kohen Gadol died, the slayer was free to return to his land inheritance. The murderer could only be executed at the corroborating testimony of at least 2 witnesses to the offense. A single witness is not valid before the court – especially in a capital offense. “Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer (KJV)” means you will not allow anything to substitute for or be used as a cover for a murderer. The word xlated ‘satisfaction’ is H3724 kopher, from the root (H3722) kaphar, from which is derived (H3725) kippur. A man who murders another cannot be ‘covered’ [kaphar’d] for in any way. Murder is not pardonable. 

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Eloha made he man. (Genesis 9:6)

That is not to say that a man who is guilty of murder cannot make true teshuvah and Y’hovah forgive him of the eternal consequence of his sin. But the sinner MUST receive the just physical consequence of his sin – death. The sinner shall bear his iniquity. By the same token, a man who is guilty of blood, but killed unintentionally or due to negligence must also bear his iniquity by exile in the city of refuge to which he fled until the death of the sitting High Priest. No substitute can be made, no ransom paid to mitigate his exile. That innocent blood shed defiles the land and only the blood of the one who shed that innocent blood can cleanse it. 

B’midbar 36.1-13 – The sons of Machir, son of Menashe, discovered a hitch in the deal Moshe had made with Zelophehad’s daughters and proposed a fix. If Zelophehad’s daughters married outside the family of Machir there could be a loss of Menashe’s tribal inheritance to the husband’s tribe. To protect the inheritance, the sons of Machir proposed that Zelophehad’s daughters be restricted to marrying within Menashe’s tribe and Machir’s family. Thus, the inheritance must be kept in mind when the kinsman redeemer statute was brought into play. The widow or woman with no brothers MUST marry within her father’s own tribe and family. This was carried out in the case of Ruth marrying the closest kin of Machlon and Chilion, the sons of Elimelech and Naomi without defiling his OWN inheritance, Boaz. And it also happened in David’s line during the Babylonian exile. We see the names of Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in BOTH genealogies of Yeshua

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; (Matt.1.12)

27 Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, (Luke 3.27) 

Zerubbabel, as the son of David and rightful ruler of Judah, was the governor of Judah and Jerusalem under the authority of Darius, the Persian king.

In the second year of Darius the king (of Persia, Ezra 4.5), in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of Y’hovah by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Yehudah, and to Yehoshua the son of Yehotzadik, the high priest… (Haggai 1:1)

Yehoshua 20:1-9 – Here we see the actual choosing of the cities of refuge, some number of years after the giving of the instructions. The cities appointed as refuge cities were Kedesh of Galilee, Shechem in Ephraim and KiriathArba, which became Hevron in Yehudah on the West bank of Yarden. On the east bank they appointed Ramoth Gilead, Bezer in Reuven and Golan in Bashan. It is once more mentioned that these cities were for refuge for the man who killed unwittingly, not premeditatedly. Q&C

Still looking at the acrostic ‘octrains’ of

Tehellim 119.89-176– (LAMED) L’olam is a Hebrew word xlated as ‘forever’ (better until or unto forever). In the old west, cowboys on a cattle drive were said to work “from can see to can’t see”. The Hebrew word olam doesn’t really mean ‘forever’ so much as ‘concealed’ – can’t see. What is yet to come is concealed from us. What has already been is ‘revealed’ to us. Olam speaks of what is yet to be clearly revealed. From this perspective we can see that Y’hovah’s Word cannot be affected by us, we cannot have any effect on it. It is natzav, appointed or standing where it cannot be affected or changed (b’shamayim), outside of time/space. It is the prime building block of everything that exists, since even the basic building block of matter – light energy – was spoken into existence from nothing except the mind of Y’hovah, who condensed that energy into matter and now sustains it by that same Word of his power. Y’hovah’s faithfulness is that which guarantees the continued existence of all that is until ALL of his will is accomplished. The natural laws, like the laws of motion, thermodynamics and gravity, are all ordained by him, are every bit as immutable, and they all work together to accomplish his will. If it were not for knowledge of Y’hovah’s immutable Word we would have no firm foundation on which to base our trust, our faith, or our ultimate hope. He has appointed [piqud] his precepts and it is the surety of their being settled in heaven that inspires our hope. It is by seeking after Y’hovah’s appointed things that we have liberty (yasha ישע- safely free, to save, to grant the essence of existance). Y’hovah’s enemies lie in wait to destroy me, but the witness of Y’hovah’s Word will vindicate me. While what we see has defined boundaries, there is no limit to Y’hovah’s word.

Vv.97-104 – (MEM) Torah is all David can think about, like a Young man thinking about the girl he loves, like the Prince and the Shulamite (and the Shulamite and her Prince) in Shir haShirim. David’s meditations on Torah make him wiser than all who oppose him. The word xlated as understanding in v.99 is H7919, sakal, meaning circumspect. Because he considers every eventuality and prepares to meet them all, he is wiser than those ‘teachers’ who annoy him. The word xlated ‘teacher’, H3927 (lamad) refers to a goad, that teaches by its niggling annoyance. He understands (biynah) more than the elders because he guards Y’hovah’s pikkudiym, appointed bounds. Biynah is the innate, intuitive understanding of Elohim, not that which comes by circumspection, as we saw before. Having the biynah innate in him helps him to consider the various possibilities, or sakal. David applied self-restraint by hedging himself about with the things of Y’hovah. He has not turned from Y’hovah’s mishpatim that Y’hovah pours out (yara – flow, like a stream) on him. Y’hovah’s imrah (or memra) is sweeter than honey in David’s mouth. This is the feminine form of the root amar to say or speak, which many sages liken to Mashiyach. 

The Word, in the sense of the creative or directive word or speech of Eloha manifesting his Power in the world of matter or mind, a term used, especially in Targum as a substitute for ‘Y’hovah’ when an anthropomorphic expression is to be avoided.

By Y’hovah’s pikkudiym David gains binah and he therefore hates false ways. These false ways are well-traveled roads, the ways of the masses, not of the Way of the remnant.  

Vv. 105-112 – (NUN) Y’hovah’s Word lightens our Way. As we keep it shining on our Way, we are able to keep ourselves in it and from the wickedness of the world system. When he says he is afflicted, he means that he knows his sins because he knows Y’hovah’s Word and tells Elohim to quicken (chayah) him, or give him life, as Y’hovah has promised. He offers spontaneous praises to Y’hovah and wants him to teach him his mishpatim. Even though my life is continually at risk (I take in my hands), I remember your Torah. The wicked set traps for me, but I have not sinned (erred) in your pikkudiym (mandates). This one refers, in our day, to laws that are enacted for the specific purpose of making us guilty and making us FEEL guilty, playing on our basic honesty, like the Chaldees did to Daniel. We know (because we’ve been told since we were kids by people who we respected and admired, including our parents, teachers, priests, and pastors) that people who break laws are criminals. So when we get charged with a misdemeanor, we get all worked up and worry on what the black robed priest (the judge) will decree against us. A common [natural] law crime is something that causes injury to another person or his property. If no one or thing is harmed, there is no Natural Law [Constitutional, in the USofA] crime. If an injured party doesn’t exist, no crime has been committed. Producing laws for the purpose of creating new crimes and therefore new criminals is wickedness in the extreme. And human governments all over the world are doing so today. The wicked set traps for us. If you have not erred from Y’hovah’s mandated instructions, you have not committed a crime of any sort. If you just live your life according to Y’hovah’s Torah, you have not committed a crime, regardless the protestations of your local governments and their wicked magistrates. If we regard Y’hovah’s testimonies as our heritage, as our inheritance, we will not be guilty of any crime. If we incline our hearts to his chukim – the commandments that don’t make any logical sense to us, but we do them anyway – we will have good reason to rejoice with him l’olam eikev – to the end of forever. 

Vv.113-120 – (SAMECH) “Vain thoughts” (KJV) speaks of skeptical, divided or double-minded thoughts, wavering between our ways and his Way. When we have these kinds of thoughts, we need to retreat back into Y’hovah’s Word as our hedge against them and to reinforce our expectant understanding of Y’hovah’s will. We need to banish the wickedness and make a conscious effort to live in Eloha’s mitzvoth. Y’hovah will empower us to live godly and unashamed before him. When we expect him to support us and we continually consider his Word before our own ways, he will not let us down. Those who feign respect for his Word, but do not truly live in it will Y’hovah crush under his feet. He treats the false prophet, like the false prophet treats his own Son.

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Eloha, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto Ruach l’chesed? (Hebrews 10:29)

Y’hovah ‘puts away’ the wicked. The word xlated ‘putteth away’ is H7673 shabath! He stops (rests from) drawing those who despise his Word. Like Paroh, he gives them over to their contempt and then contemns them. He treats those who refuse to regard his Word like the scum that rises to the surface of smelted metals, or the chaff that gets carried away by the wind when wheat is winnowed. David fears that end, and so he reveres Y’hovah’s Word. 

Vv.121-128 – (AYIN) For the last couple of ‘octrains’ David has been speaking of the oppression that the world system tries to put on those of us who want only to be left alone to obey Avinu Y’hovah.  He continues in this same vein in v.121, where he tells Y’hovah about the righteous judgment (or justice and righteousness) that he has exercised and to not forsake him to his oppressors. He wants Y’hovah to be his ‘surety’ against the oppressors. ‘Surety’ is xlated from H6148 arav, which means to ‘entwine’, the idea being that Y’hovah’s life is entwined with ours, giving us support and strength to obey his word. The oppression can get so strong that we can’t see (eyes fail) his promised salvation (y’shuatecha) and tzidkechah – his promised righteousness. He tells Y’hovah to work in him according to his chesed or gracious mercy and to prod him with his chukim. He wants binah so that he may know Y’hovah’s witness. David said it was the time for Y’hovah to bring his judgment on his oppressors, because they had made Y’hovah’s Torah to be useless in their system. Our oppressors include those in the system’s government who make rules that void Torah, and also those in the mainstream religious system that forsake Torah for their tax-deductible, state-approved, religious opiate that keeps people in a satanic stupor. David loves Torah’s mitzvoth, chukim and pikkudiym above the most precious of metals and gems, while hating every false way the state and her opiate throw at us. Q&C

Vv.129-136 – (PE) The first word in the Hebrew text is pele, which means miraculous or wonderful. Do you remember the Brazilian football [soccer] star, Pele? I think he was very well named, because the things he did on a soccer field were well nigh miraculous. But I digress. Wonderful testimonies of Torah inspire us to guard and obey them. The numerous works of Y’hovah during the Wilderness Adventure build our trust and hope in his working the same ways with us. If he could bring Israel out safely from Egypt while simultaneously destroying the only superpower of that time, is he not also able to deliver us from our oppressors and wipe out the only superpower of this time? Now would be an appropriate time to smile with joy and nod in agreement. He IS able! We SHALL be free and it SHALL be soon! Y’hovah’s Word entering our innermost being brings light to us which gives us who are not so bright understanding of his works and Way. V.132 is one of the 3 (KJV) verses that doesn’t actually mention Y’hovah’s Word, but makes allusion to it (by mentioning those who love his Name). The word xlated as ‘usest to do’ is H4941, mishpat, so that verse could read ‘as you have judged those who love your Name.’ David doesn’t want to transgress Torah and tells Y’hovah, who has ultimate control, to keep his feet in the Way of his imrah (or memra, of which we previously spoke). David weeps over his brethren who will not guard Torah in their hearts.

Vv.137-144 – (TSADE) Tzadik atah Y’hovah! V’yashar mishpatecha! You are righteous, Y’hovah, and your judgments straight (true). Your directed witness (aydotecha) is also righteous and very faithful. Y’hovah’s faithfulness and righteousness causes us to be zealous to imitate him, especially when we see the end of his enemies. His word is purifying, which moves us to do it. I am small and insignificant, so I cling to your Word. Your righteous Torah is the truth. Remember Yeshua’s words in Yochanan 14

Yeshua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

If Torah = truth and our Tzadik rebbe, Yeshua = truth, then does not Yeshua = Torah? I have had trouble and anguish, but I delight in your mitzvoth. Your witness is righteous and my understanding gives me life everlasting. 

Vv.145-152 – (KUPH) In his distress (above) David heartily calls out to Y’hovah that he will continue in his chukim. He calls out, Hoshieni, save me now! I will keep your testimonies. He gets out of the rack before dawn and shouts of his liberty in Y’hovah’s Word. He looks into Y’hovah’s word before he goes on duty so that he can ruminate on it as he keeps watch over his people. He tells Y’hovah to graciously hear his voice as he calls out to him and to give him life as he judges. David’s enemies are drawing near and he tells Y’hovah that they despise Torah. But Y’hovah is near those who love his mitzvoth. David says that he has known that Y’hovah’s witness has been established from before time.

Vv.153-160 – (RESH) Y’hovah takes notice of those who do not forget his Torah and delivers them from or through afflictions. Noach and Lot are examples of those He delivers through afflictions, though the type of deliverance and situation after the deliverance may be very different. Noach lived in accord to Torah and overcame, while Lot lived as close to the world as he could and did not overcome, though both are redeemed. Perhaps this is the difference between the wise and unwise virgins (Mat.25)? He will take our side if we do not forsake his Word and will deliver us to life. The wicked are far from Yeshua because they do not try to understand his chukim, the instructions that at first don’t make a lot of logical sense. Perhaps we need to see something happen in the future that the chuk refers to, like the serpent in the wilderness, the brazen serpent on a pole and Yeshua on a tree. Just looking at a bronze snake on a pole does not save a person from a deadly snake bite, but the willingness to obey a stupid sounding decree based on another person’s word would be evidence of a live faith in the actor’s life. Y’hovah gives life to those who exercise biblical faith. At least 3 times in this ‘octrain’ he tells Y’hovah to quicken him, to give him life according to Y’hovah’s attributes (not David’s just recompense of reward for obedience). He takes notice of how we treat his Word and he rewards us in response thereto. His Word is true and righteous from its first utterance and until the very olam. 

Vv.161-168 (SHIN) The first verse of this octrain will tell you what will befall you in the future and how you can live through it, at least spiritually speaking. The government will persecute Torah keepers for no good reason. As we said earlier today, new rules are made for the express purpose of making the least criminal in society into criminals. It is the creeping tyranny of the industrial/state partnership, called Corpocracy in the book, “Cloud Atlas”, but your basic fascist socialism today. Rule by corporation requires that state-created monopolies be set up, so that all televisions are made by Sony, all cars are made by Ford, all coffee sold through Starbucks, to the point that the trade name takes the place of the common name. Everyone drives a Ford, drinks a Starbucks and watches a Sony. Everyone is a criminal and maintains his life and liberty by going along to get along. That’s kind of like the typical sheep in the world system today. It is the Daniels that stand out and draw attention and who are imprisoned or worse by the system. I think it is these who will be given the strength to endure what the system unleashes on them as were the martyrs like Stephen or who will be miraculously delivered through the ordeal unscathed like Daniel and his 3 buds. Biblically, to stand (natzav) is to remain faithful without wavering. If we stand in awe of his word, rejoice in it, love it and hate deceit and lying that are its antithesis, Y’hovah will provide what we need to be his witnesses to this world. We will constantly praise him for his tzadik mishpatim and we will live through whatever Y’hovah allows us to experience because of our love for him and Torah. If we keep our eyes on him and his Word and expect his Yeshua, he will give us the power and strength to be great witnesses for him for all our ways are before him (nagad) – conspicuous, in his face. 

Vv.169-176 – (TAV) David wants his shout (rinnah) and his supplications to be before Y’hovah’s face, where Y’hovah can’t miss them and that Y’hovah would give him binah and deliver him from ignorance in accord with Y’hovah’s Word. He promises Y’hovah that he will lift up praises once Y’hovah has taught David his chukim. Remember that chukim are the commands of Y’hovah that make no logical sense, like wearing the tzitzioth on the 4 corners of our garment or being sprinkled with the water of cleansing is a necessary step to rectification, but the priest sprinkling that water is defiled until the evening offering. I think the chukim are unintelligible to us in the pashat, but have deep meanings that we can only grasp after something happens that makes it clear, as we discussed earlier in connexion to the brazen serpent and the shadow picture it was of Yeshua on the tree. Y’hovah’s righteous commandments inspire us to speak his Word. ALL of Y’hovah’s commandments are righteous, and it our righteousness when we obey them. Both doing those commandments that apply to us and not doing those commandments that do not apply to us are righteous acts. Y’hovah will help us if we chose to guard his pikkudiym. If we crave y’shuatecha – your (Y’hovah’s) salvation – his Torah will be our delight, for it is the Way of righteousness, the Way of Salvation. Merely walking in Torah does not save us, but we who are saved will walk in it. The life spoken of in v.175 is life eternal. We who have this eternal life will naturally praise him and his judgment of our righteousness in Mashiyach will help us to naturally walk in obedience to Torah. It isn’t difficult for a sheep to go astray. He may put his head down to graze or to get a drink of water and look up to a landscape empty of both sheep and shepherd. The way we need to go when we are in that situation is obedience to his commandments, because THEY are the path we need to walk to arrive at our ultimate goal of eternal Shalom with Y’hovah. When we walk in his Word, he will have no trouble finding us. It is for this purpose that it is imperative that we hide his Word in our hearts so that we will not sin against him (v.11). 

Here are some of the words that David used to refer to Y’hovah’s Word in this psalm. David uses these words in almost every ‘octrain’;

KJV law = Hebrew Torah

Testimonies = edah

Way = Derech

Precept = pikkud

Statutes = chuk

Commandment = mitzvah

Judgment = mishpat

Word = devar or imrah


Yochanan 4:1-45 – From my study in “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach”. Yeshua learned that the Pharisees heard of his attracting more disciples than Yochanan, and left for Galilee. But he took an unusual, direct route for a Jew. The Jews wanted no contact with the Samaritans and so went the long way round, through trans-Jordan, to Galilee. He went through Samaria, rather than around it. We know that he had a divine appointment, but the disciples were in the dark as to why he took the direct route. When once we have this biynah we can’t get enough and want to inhale Y’hovah’s mitzvoth like an airborne agent. 

The Water of Life, Jn.4.4-26 – It says that “He must needs go through Samaria.” Why? They could have used the normal route and circumnavigated Samaria altogether. But Yeshua had a divine appointment to keep. Yeshua must have walked like a trucker drives. If you draw a straight line from Jerusalem to Nazareth, Sychar is not more than 2 miles off the line. The most direct route went right past Sychar, where there happened to be a well [Yacov’s well] and a nearby town to which he could send his disciples to buy chow. 

So, he leaned on the well waiting for the woman to show. The time is about noon. It is a good bet that most of the women came out to the well in the morning or the evening, or both, to draw water, not in the middle of the day. In the desert, one stays out of the sun as much as possible when it is at its zenith. This woman was not associating with the other women of Sychar, because she was a strumpet, as Yeshua would tell her in a bit. Notwithstanding his knowledge of where he was and to whom he spoke, Yeshua asked her to give him a drink. Did he do this to initiate the conversation, or because he was thirsty? Yes! 

She was amazed that anyone would talk to her, especially a Jew! The Iuaidoi wouldn’t speak to an upright man of Samaria, much less a wayward woman. But here is a Jewish man engaging a Samaritan woman of less than sterling character in conversation. There are several social strata being bridged here, but Yeshua does it as a matter of course. There was no class or caste system as far as Yeshua was concerned. He saw a lost soul who needed a Saviour. She asks why he would talk to her, and he replies, “If thou knewest the gift of Elohim, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” How’s that for a curiosity approach? He was telling her that he had something she needed, and she was nibbling the bait, cautiously. She asks if he is greater than Jacob. Now, in the middle east there is noone greater than his father – it is a patriarchal society, and Jake was a patriarch. If this man is greater than Jake, he must be Mashiyach, the Son of Elohim. But her question is more a jibe, as if to say, ‘you’re not greater than Jacob.’ 

Yochanan 4:13-14, “Yeshua answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” 

All she heard was ‘never thirst’ and in her mind that meant ‘never have to humiliate myself and come out here to draw.’ She did like we do, she selectively heard what she wanted to hear and disregarded the rest. Like us, when we hear Philip. 3:10a, – “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,” but we forget to hear the rest of the verse, “b, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” so is the woman at the well. She didn’t hear the really good news and understand the real point because she was thinking on one plane – she was totally inside a box of her own creation, so Yeshua takes another approach. That does the trick of getting her outside the box. Yochanan 4:16-19, 

“Yeshua saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Yeshua said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” 

Ya THINK?! Now she’s starting to think. In fact, I think she’s thinking, ‘What did I get myself into now? I’ve never seen this guy before and he’s telling me things about myself that noone knows, or could know, except Elohim.’ Good for her. She’s knows she’s defying Elohim’s law and it does bother her, for she immediately tries some religious argument to defer the conversation another way. 

She tries the old argument that you need a special place to worship Y’hovah, and that the argument has raged for years. Yeshua parries the thrust of that seeming rapier with real wisdom, rather than getting in a few licks for his side. He went immediately for the truth (another Mark paraphrase), ‘It won’t be long before men will worship Elohim the Father in Spirit and in Truth, not in some man made building that is but a figure of the true one in heaven (Heb.9.24), but in the body of Mashiyach,’ who is the reality from which the figure was taken. Where any two are gathered in the name of Yeshua, there is his Spirit in the midst of them, and they three are the body of Mashiyach. We in this room are the body of Mashiyach – his called out assembly – every bit as much as the largest congregation on earth. Never forget, that when you and any other believer are together in the name of Yeshua, you are in the body. 

The woman says, ‘Mashiyach is coming soon to tell us all things.’ That’s when Yeshua drops the bomb. He says, “I that speak unto thee am.”  There’s nothing more to be said. This is one of the ‘I AM’ statements of Yeshua in Yochanan’s gospel (6.35, 41, 48, 51, 8.12, 23-24, 58, 9.5, 10.7, 9, 11, 14, 36, 11.25, 13.19, 14.6, 15.1, 5, 18.5, 6, 8 -> 22 I am statements in Yochanan’s gospel – coincidence?). He told anyone who would listen that he was Elohim in the flesh and a lot of folks listened, but very few believed. The woman at the well did. 

Just at that time (v.27) is when the disciples show up to put a damper on the conversation. It wasn’t what they said, for the scripture says noone said anything, but what they were thinking that damped the situation. Scripture says they “marveled”, using the same word that’s used in Rev.17 about Yochanan’s reaction to the whore, whom he ‘marveled’ about with great admiration. Both wonder and admiration are from the root trauma and it means that what they saw was a shock, totally unexpected, like when Yochanan saw the woman riding the beast, who was ostensibly a leader of the kahal, drunk on the blood of the saints. 

Yochanan tells us just what was in their hearts. Some wanted to ask what this lowly Samaritan woman wanted, while others wanted to rebuke Yeshua for talking to her. None were arrogant, or dumb, enough to say it to him, for he’d have taught a major lesson to them for which he was still preparing them. Q&C

Revival (or, rather, vival) in Samaria, Jn.4.28-42 – (Many ‘Mark Paraphrases’ to follow – Beware) The woman didn’t even take time to pick up her water pot (do you suppose it was the same type in which Yeshua had just made wine?) before running into town to spread the news. Remember the last thing Yeshua said to her was, ‘I am Mashiyach’, confirming her suspicions. She must have wanted the Mashiyach to come even more fervently than the Jews, for she was off like a shot. And to whom did she go? The only people who would talk to her – the men of Sychar. The women would have nothing to do with her, she being of ill repute. She said, Yochanan 4:29, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Mashiyach?” While she was running to town she must have been thinking, ‘He told me about my sin, and true worship, and what Elohim is looking for from men (and women), and knew all about me and my life, and he talked to me like I was somebody who mattered – he loves me like no one has ever loved me, and he claims to be the Mashiyach. I believe him. I want him to be who he claims to be. Let me go tell whoever will listen. I want everyone to know him.’ She must have been convincing, because the next thing she knows she’s leading the whole town out to see Yeshua. Being convincing is easy. All you have to do is believe in your “product”, and she believed in Yeshua.

Meanwhile, back at the well, the disciples are trying to get Yeshua to eat. After all, he’d sent them to buy food and now that they were back they were probably hungrier than he was, for Yeshua had been witnessing at the well, feasting on Ruach ha Kodesh while they were gone. When we witness or do anything else, and Ruach ha Kodesh is involved, we seldom think of anything except the task at hand, even our need for chow. In fact, when Ruach ha Kodesh is involved we are witnessing. The disciples had no idea what Yeshua and the woman had been discussing and thought that maybe she’d given him something to eat, but Yeshua said, “I have meat ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (This is the earliest mention of the finished work of Elohim)” Yeshua was being sustained by Ruach ha Kodesh. He could eat later. 

Yeshua started teaching his point to the disciples right away (much Mp to follow). He said, ‘You say that harvest time is 4 months off (it was April/May, shortly after the Passover), but look up and see that our field is ready for harvest right now.’ Of course he was referring to the group of men being led to Yeshua by the ‘loose’ woman of Sychar. Yeshua likened people to things in nature all the time. Here a group is likened to a field of wheat or barley, ripe for the picking. The only thing keeping the disciples from harvesting was that their attention was somewhere else. They could not yet grasp the spiritual application of the situation at hand. They were thinking, ‘You sent us off for food, so we went and got some. We came back to find you actually conversing with a loose gentile woman at the well. We offered you some of the food we just bought and you told us you had food we don’t know about. And now a crowd of men are following the strumpet out to see you, for what reason we can only imagine, and you tell us to look at the field?! We don’t understand.’ 

But Yeshua continued, saying, ‘When you reap this harvest, you get paid by picking fruit to eternal life so that both you who gather and he that planted can rejoice together.’ He drew the spiritual parallel in this sentence. They were not to reap wheat, but souls to eternal life. Yeshua was just about to show them how to do that, for in this situation he would reap what the Holy Spirit had sown. And not only that, but, as we will see, the woman had already reaped some of the harvest. The first gentile (Ephraimite) convert led many more to Mashiyach. She had already picked more fruit (v.39) than the disciples had who accompanied Yeshua. But the majority of the fruit was yet to ripen. She’d sown the seed (with the power of Ruach ha Kodesh on her) and now the disciples would help pick the soon to ripen fruit (v.37-38).

Those who believed the woman’s report and knew that Yeshua was the Mashiyach, asked him to stay, to which he agreed to tarry 2 days. Does tarrying 2 days w/Ephraim bring anything to mind? Like the so-called ‘church-age’? When the 2 days were done, most who heard him believed on him. V. 39 tells us many believed her report, but v.41 says ‘many more’ believed because of his own words. They would not believe just on the woman’s testimony, for they knew her life. They needed the Word of Elohim to change their lives. There are many more people who will not believe our report without confirmation from the Word of Y’hovah than who will. We need to have the scripture in hand (or at least in memory) when witnessing in order to be effective, especially with those who know our human side best. They said, ‘We could not trust your word alone, but now that we’ve heard him ourselves we believe that he is Mashiyach, the Saviour of the world (v.42).’  The Word of Y’hovah is essential as the standard or foundation on which we build our witness. It alone is true, and more people than you think recognize that fact. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.