Shabbat Bible Study for December 29, 2018
©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
December 22, 2018 – Year 3 Sabbath 41
Devarim 23:10-20 (H23:10-21) – YeshaYahu 1:16 – Tehellim 138 – MatithYahu 8:1-14
Last week, I got the Torah Portion out of order. I skipped over the parsha I will share, instead, today. I need to do this or my parshsot will be a whole week off when we enter Adar Alef on Feb.6, 2019. Sorry for the confusion – it was ALL MINE.
Devarim 23:9-20 – V.9 is the Thesis statement of this Parsha. Everything through v.20 deals with keeping oneself and his camp pure. All have to do with being ‘on maneuvers’ to fight an enemy, as has been the case for 3 weeks running, now.
Vv.10-11 deal with a man who is made unclean by what I can only surmise is a nocturnal emission. That is also how Stone’s Tanakh and Restoration Scriptures see it, so I’ll go with it. Since this is not what I would call a ‘willful transgression’, but, as KJV puts it, one that chances upon him, he does not have any offering to bring, but must leave the camp and do a mikvah at evening offering time and then at sunset he can return to the camp. Since this ‘chances’ upon him, noone else has any knowledge of it, so this is ‘on his own honor’ separation from the camp to keep it pure so that Y’hovah can walk freely through it. This would be especially important to remember when going out to fight, that Y’hovah’s favor would be with the camp in battle. In last week’s parsha we dealt with taking a second wife while doing battle outside of the land. Perhaps this chuk is in conjunction with having seen a woman among the enemy and desiring her to be your wife – that makes some sense to me. A young man can obsess over an especially attractive woman and that obsession lead to an especially realistic dream, night or day. I would guess that if this is the case and the man is mindful of his duty to keep the camp clean so that Y’hovah can do battle with the enemy for Yisrael, when the captains of the army asked if anyone could not do battle, this conscientious man would recuse himself from the fight that day, and the rest of the host would understand his desire to see Yisrael gloriously victorious in battle by ensuring Y’hovah’s presence in the camp. He would ‘fear’ going into battle in a tamei or less than tamiym condition and chance the loss of the battle. For me, that sheds some new light on
And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. (Deuteronomy 20:8)
1 ‘tamiym’ or ‘perfect’ man + Y’hovah = victory, as we can see in 2 Melechim 6;
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of Eloha told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice [lots of times – MP]. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, in Dothan. 14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 15 And when the servant of the man of Eloha was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they with us are more than they with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Y’hovah, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And Y’hovah opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. (2Ki.6.10-17)
1 ‘tamei’ or ‘defiled’ man among a great and otherwise holy army that is therefore fighting without Y’hovah can = defeat, as shown in Achan at the 1st battle for Ai in Josh.7.
Vv.12-14 deal with physical cleanliness of the camp. It occurs at least once a day (better for our health if it comes after every meal) that we must eliminate solid waste. We are to have a place without the camp designated as a latrine for just such a purpose. But the latrine must not be ‘in the open’ where it can be stumbled across – or into – in the night. It is obvious that this is an army camp because the man going to the latrine carries his weapon with him, and that weapon will be furnished with a ‘trenching tool’ so that, as a secondary purpose, he can dig a shallow hole and cover the evidence of his passing. The primary purpose is to keep the camp clean so that Y’hovah can be among the host to protect and to fight for it. If you want Y’hovah in your camp, you must keep it physically clean, which is a picture of your spiritual cleanliness. Where and how you live spiritually will show itself in where and how you live physically. Don’t leave your excrement laying around. Keep yourself and your camp clean. Q&C
Vv.15-16 – Remember that we are besieging a city, so the slave who comes to us is likely from the city we are besieging. He has escaped and has come to us and begged our mercy. We are commanded to take him in and allow him to live within the tribe he chooses to live among, as it seems will be best for him. We are NOT to oppress him in any way, remembering that we were captive and oppressed in Egypt. We are not to do to our enemies slaves as Egypt did to us.
Rav Sha’ul lived this chuk in the matter of Onesimus and Philemon.
4 I thank Elohai, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Master Yeshua, and toward all saints; 6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Mashiyach Yeshua. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. 8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Mashiyach to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Yeshua haMashiyach. 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Master? 17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth ought, put that on mine account; 19 I Paul have written with mine own hand, I will repay: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Master: refresh my bowels in the Master. (Philem.4-20)
He sent Onesimus back to Philemon with the letter we have in the Apostolic texts, asking him to free Onesimus to return to Paul so that he can continue to be the great help he had become. Rav Sha’ul acknowledged the debt that Onesimus owed Philemon and asked him to either forgive the debt or to charge it to Paul’s account, which Paul would repay when he returned to Colosse (Col.4.9). He had taken Onesimus, the (I infer Hebrew) servant in and would keep him out of bondage, but also recognized the debt that Onesimus owed and asked that arrangements be made to free him to Y’hovah’s service. Philemon had every Torah right to reject Sha’ul’s request, but I think he answered him in the affirmative, as the letter to the Colossians says that Onesimus was one of them and that he would be accompanying Tychicus to strengthen them in their service to Y’hovah.
Vv.17-18 is a pretty obvious reference to the abomination of what we euphemistically call ‘homosexuality’. Y’hovah calls it sodomy and whoredom, both of which were (and are) Canaanite religious practices. If such were found in Yisrael, they were to be stoned without the camp and the sin removed from the camp thereby.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.(Leviticus 20:13)
In conjunction with this, no Yisraelite was to engage in whoredom
Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness. (Leviticus 19:29)
and he was not to bring the wages of whoredom or the price of a dog (should make the case for the uncleanness of idolatry/whoredom) as a tithe to Y’hovah. I infer that we are not to pay a vow (tithe) from the proceeds of any unclean or forbidden transaction. In light of the link to whoredom here, I wonder if politicians tithe their income and, if so, is it an abomination to Y’hovah?
Vv.19-20 deals with usury, or interest, charged on a loan to a brother. This is a restatement of a lot of instructions from Torah
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. (Exodus 22:25)
Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy Eloha; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. (Leviticus 25:36-37)
Nehemiah speaks of this after the return from Babylon – he didn’t have to consult anything but Torah to make his decision
7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. 8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing. 9 Also I said, not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our Eloha because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? 10 I likewise, my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. (Nehemiah 5.7-10)
Seems that the nobles and rulers were charging usury and actually selling their Yisraelite brethren into slavery to the heathen. Kind of like the government in America selling their citizens into bondage to Japan and China and other heathen nations in order to keep the bubble expanding so they can buy more votes. Q&C
YeshaYahu 1:16 – The passage beginning in v.16 illustrates Y’hovah’s will concerning our parsha
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Y’hovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of Y’hovah hath spoken.
Do not do as the Canaanites do, for it is evil in Y’hovah’s sight. Instead, think (use your reason) about what Y’hovah has instructed you and do it. Repent of your own ways and the ways you’ve adopted from the heathen whose land you are going in to possess, do your mikvah and do what is right in the eyes of Y’hovah – Torah – and you will receive his blessings, as he has promised you. But if you refuse to repent and turn from your own ways he will withhold those blessings from you.
Repentance, a mikvah and being tamiym are all conditions of those seen in
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; … 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev.7:9, 13-14)
If we consider that Y’hovah robed us with coats of skin as he exiled us from Eden, exactly what is it that fulfills Yeshua’s Name if it isn’t that he fully removes the taint of sin from us in our resurrected bodies and from the bodies of the New Creation’s inhabitants (whom I think begin with the saints who were encamped around Jerusalem at Millennium’s end) when he renews mankind to its Edenic state?
Tehellim 138.1-3 – This psalm is a prophecy of the end of days, those immediately following Mashiyach’s soon arrival in the city of Jerusalem. We praise (yadah) Y’hovah with all we are and do so publicly to bring honor to his Name. We do so because of all he does for us and all that he has promised to us. He esteems his Torah above his Name. But he esteems something even higher than he esteems his Word.
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. (Psalms 119:32)
I say that he esteems my ‘enlarged’ heart even higher than his Word because only after my heart is enlarged enough can I hope to pursue his Word. The very purpose of Yeshua dying on his tree and resurrecting from death was to make it possible for my heart to be enlarged and able to do his commandments. HE enlarges our hearts to be able to obey his mitzvoth. HE esteems his mitzvoth above his Name. Therefore, he esteems our hearts above both his Name and his Word. Try to get your mind around the love Y’hovah has for each one of us that he prizes each of us more than his Word and his Name. He gave it all so that we could keep his Word and be echad with him. He then strengthens our souls in answer to our cry for his gracious provision, for the ability he has provided that empowers us to act in his will and according to his Word.
Vv.4-5 shows the world’s response to Y’hovah’s deliverance of the exiles from the 4 corners of the earth. It is a deliverance that has already been 3500 years in its fulfillment [if you want to be technical it’s actually been 6000 years] since we were exiled from Eden. The nations of the earth also sing the praises of Y’hovah for delivering his people from the 4 corners of the earth, just as he promised. Those nations sing ‘in the ways of Y’hovah’ – they are walking in his ways and are rejoicing with his delivered exiles. Even the world’s unbelievers will sing his praise because they also receive the abundance as a result of living in his ways. The unbelievers will eventually either believe or rebel against him in a rebellion that will foment over the entire millennium and break out at the end of it.
Vv.6-8 show’s Y’hovah’s response to our attitude towards his deliverance. He respects the humble, but the proud he only knows from a distance. Their compliance to his Toroth brings them the promised blessings, but their attitude grows more grudging as the millennium ensues. As time progresses, it will be physically more and more dangerous for believers to walk in the midst of the lost, but as they trust Y’hovah and walk in his Way, they will be protected by Y’hovah’s right hand. V.8 says that Y’hovah will complete those who are his, bring us to echad and perfect peace because Y’hovah’s rachamim truly does endure forever, and he will not forsake us. Q&C
Matthew 8:1-14 – V.1 speaks of the multitudes that followed him, and I take this to be the ‘lost sheep’ of Yisrael who were being oppressed by the leadership of the Yehudi religion. 68). – According to Matthew’s gospel, this incident happened immediately after the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, it happened as he came down from the Mount. The leper cleansed – Matt.8.2-4, Mk.1.40-42, Lk.5.12-13 – Look at all the apparent contradictions! Mat says he’s just come down from the mountain, Mark says he was just walking along, and Luke says he was in a certain city when the leper came to him. How can these all be true? How about, he was walking along the street of that certain city just after he came down from the mountain? No contradiction, just additional facts for different audiences and from different authors. The basic facts of the incident remain almost identical. ‘If you will’ and ‘I will’ are the main points here. The leper believed that Yeshua could do whatever he willed to do, because the leper believed that Yeshua was who he claimed to be – Y’hovah Elohenu. Yeshua is always willing to cleanse us from our evil inclination or sin nature, of which leprosy is a type. By healing the leper Yeshua was illustrating that fact. All of Yeshua’s healings had a point – they were anything but haphazard. They all showed that he was Mashiyach ben Yoseph. Matthew adds the command to go do the letter of the law, offering the gift as prescribed in Lev.14. He is not to do this as an act of penance or contrition, but for a testimony to the Iuaidoi Jews. Eloha is not so pleased with offerings as he is with the heart of the one who is offering. And the offering was always – always – for a testimony of the penitent’s heart, not a penance. Q&C
82. Centurion’s slave healed, (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:2-10) – There is a seeming contradiction here. In Matt the centurion comes to Yeshua himself and in Luke he sends the local Jewish leadership. Which is true? Yes! The centurion gave the words to the leaders of the synagogue, who brought the request to Yeshua. The Jews were therefore speaking with the authority delegated to them by the centurion – they spoke for him as his agents as if they were him (cf. Mat.11.2-6, Lk.7.18-23).
I think the conversation may have gone like this: ‘The Roman centurion has sent us to request that you heal his servant, who is near death. This centurion is a believer in Eloha and has gone so far as to build a synagogue for us. We deem him worthy of this honor.’ Yeshua says, ‘I’ll go…’ And before he can even turn toward the centurion’s house they said, ‘No, Adon! He realizes that as a gentile he is unworthy of your presence in his house. He says he knows authority and if he says to his subordinates do this or that it will be done. He doesn’t even need to check on it. He says just say the word and his servant will be well.’ This centurion knew with whom he was dealing. Look at the history of the prophets. Can you think of any that healed from a distance? I can’t. EliYahu and Elisha healed those in their presence, but none at a great distance. This Roman knew he was dealing with the Eloha who created with a word and that he could use that same word to heal his beloved servant.
The centurion said he wasn’t worthy to have Y’hovah of glory under his roof. How about you? And what does this say about the leaders of the synagogue? They were possibly his spiritual advisers, who identified Yeshua as Mashiyach ben Yoseph. I think there were some in the local leadership who believed on Yeshua and took his side against the opposition, and had influence with this Roman. Or he’d read the scripture and put 2+2 together for himself. One thing is certain, the centurion was the benefactor of the synagogue. He held a lot of political authority and the synagogue’s leaders would do most anything for him. He said, in effect, ‘I understand authority and I know that, being Eloha, you have it. Command it to be done and it shall be.’ How many of the Iuaidoi, Jews, had understood with whom they were dealing? Only a few.
In Matt we see a little more detail. Yeshua prophesies the ‘church age’ and the opening of the gospel to the gentiles and lost sheep of Israel when he says that many from the east and the west will come by faith into the kingdom, but many of the house of Israel will be cast out of the kingdom for their unbelief. Q&C
66). Peter’s mother-in-law healed – Mat.8.14-15, Mk.1.29-31, Lk.4.38-39 – The leper’s cleansing was done in public and the centurion’s servant was healed at a distance, while this miracle is done in the privacy of Peter’s house. Mark tells us that Peter and Andrew lived in the house together with Peter’s wife and Mom-in-law. We could speculate about who lived in the house, but that is not our purpose here. The various men mention different details. Mark and Luke tell us that after leaving the synagogue they came to P.’s & A.’s house, it says immediately (forthwith Mk.1.29). All the passages mention the fever and Matt and Mark tell us she is laid up.
I remember when my mother was sick when I was a kid; nothing kept her in bed because she had responsibilities to fulfill. The only time I remember her staying in bed with a sickness was when she was so ill she needed to be hospitalized. I suspect it was the same with Pete’s mom-in-law. I also suspect that she, like my mother, was the glue that kept the whole household together. Remove that glue and the place goes to pot quickly. A lot like when Yeshua removes the glue that holds the universe together in 2Pe.3.10ff. KERFLUEY!! Entropy wrought large. All order removed.
Luke, the physician, tells us that after they besought Yeshua for her he rebuked the fever and it left her, while Mat. and Mk. tell us he touched her hand and it left her. What probably happened is that while he was rebuking the fever he took her hand to help her out of bed. Luke says that she immediately got out of bed and ministered to them. He remarks on her immediate, complete recovery from a very bad illness. When Eloha miraculously heals, there are no half measures. The healing is immediate and permanent. Luke was intimating that no human doctor could have done this, only Eloha could. And the illness left as quickly as any devil at the word of Yeshua. This miracle was done as further proof to the disciples as to his true nature and identity.
The parallel to salvation is striking. We are sin-sick and dead spiritually, we just haven’t had the good grace to fall down, yet. When Yeshua saves us it is immediate, permanent and complete. As he said to the disciples at the well in Jn.4, he came to do the will of the Father and to finish his work. Everything he does is complete, no half measures.
And why are we saved? I mean what is a saved person to do once he’s saved? Minister in the power of the Spirit of Eloha. We are to be ministers of Yeshua to the rest of the body of Mashiyach and to the world at large. The greek word for minister is diakoneo, to serve either menially or as a host. Pete’s mom was the host in this instance, but we can fulfill both functions and we should. We should be humble servants to Y’hovah and hosts to the lost world, inviting them into our home, the body of Yeshua haMashiyach. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study