Shabbat Bible Study for July 2, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 1 Shabbat 13
B’reishith 16 – YeshaYahu 54.1 – Psalm 12 – Galutyah 4.21-5.1
Gen.16.1-3 – The year is 2033 AM. Sarai’s handmaid, Hagar [her name means ‘the stranger’ – ha ger], was Egyptian and the sages say she was Paroh’s daughter, given as a handmaid to Sarai. Egypt has always been symbolic of the wicked world system. This is the first time we see the righteous seed in bed with the satanic world system. Whenever the righteous try to help Y’hovah work his plan, they make matters 100X worse. The root word for Egypt [Mitzrayim] is H6696 tzuwr, to cramp, squeeze, or confine. In Rom.12.2 of Moffet’s paraphrase of the scripture it says, “Don’t let the world [Egypt- Mark] squeeze you into its mold.” Egypt is always our stumbling block. All humans want to be accepted and if we strive for the world’s acceptance we need to become like its system. Approbation lust, wanting to be liked by everyone, is the believer’s deadliest weakness.
Seeing that she was childless, Sarai took Y’hovah at his word to Avram of offspring like the sands and the stars, but thought that she may not be a part of that promise (there you go, THINKIN’ again). So she thought (AGAIN) she would get Avram to go in unto Hagar, the Egyptian, and raise Hagar’s child as her own adopted son. Avram listened to his wife’s idea like Adam had listened to Chava’s, and almost as devastating an outcome ensued.
So Avram went in to Hagar and was able to indulge 1) the lust of the eyes – Hagar was a young babe, 2) the lust of the flesh – which I am sure he’d controlled until now – and 3) the pride of life – he was able to have a son to carry on his posterity. The rabbis teach that all the patriarchs and matriarchs were wholly righteous, and that is NOT the case. These were human beings, with the same foibles as any of us. But even Avi was walking at least partially according to his sight in this incident. I think he knew he’d been promised a son from his own loins and Sarai wasn’t producing. So when Sarai offered her young handmaid, he saw an opportunity to help Y’hovah out and took it.
Now, there is a principle that I think plays here; that whenever Y’hovah gives us a great promise, he sends an opportunity for us to try to help him get it done instead of waiting on his timing. Avram and Sarai had waited for 10 years since the promise had been given. I think that, had Avram NOT gone in unto Hagar, Yitzhak would have been conceived at the next opportunity. I COULD be wrong … but I DOUBT it. IOW, Sarai may have been fertile that day (or may have become that way in the next week or so) and wasn’t again until 14 years later. When we walk by faith, Y’hovah blesses us, sometimes in ways we can’t see or understand. But when we walk by sight, what we see, he sometimes removes the blessing he had planned for us. Q&C
Vv.4-6 Hagar messes up, too. When she knew she was ‘in the family way’, she started to get ‘uppity’, treating Sarai as a lower form of life (which the world system thinks the Jews are). But she’s not alone in her mess up. Sarai blames Avram for doing what she suggested and, after cursing him (chamasiy galeycha! “My violence be unto you!”), said she was giving the whole matter over to Y’hovah for judgment. So Wazupwidat? Of course, Abram should have also known the consequence of his actions. I mean, what wife is not going to be jealous of another woman in her husband’s bed (or a husband of another man in his wife’s)? In fact, the abject stupidity, in the human sense, of the ‘patriarchal (or matriarchal) marriage’ idea is shown right here. Noone won in this episode, and at least Yitzhak and his children have suffered for it ever since.
When Ishmael was conceived, Hagar held Sarai in contempt. This may be prophetic of the conception of the PLO in the 60’s. Avram, according to the rabbis, would not send out his new wife, but since Hagar was a servant of Sarai, he told her that she could do as she pleased with her (Chumash, pp.78-79 on v.6). So she dealt with Hagar so harshly that Hagar ran off. Ishmael being led out may be prophetic of the PLO going into exile. Ishmael is the original source of the animosity between the Arab/Philistines and Avraham’s seed. I see this episode of Hagar/Sarai as the source of all the problems in the Middle East today.
Vv.7-15 – Y’hovah found Hagar near a fountain of water and asks what she’s doing there. He addresses her as Sarai’s handmaid, thus letting her know her ACTUAL place in the house of Avram. He tells her to go back to Sarai and submit to her, and that if she would do that, he would multiply her seed so it could not be numbered. Y’hovah named the child Ishmael. He tells her a bit of the boy’s character and the character of his offspring. Hagar in turn calls Elohim by the Name of El ra’iy, and Y’hovah called the spring near there Be’er Lachai Roi – the Spring of the Living one who sees. So Hagar went back and bore the child to Avram, who called his name Ishmael – ‘a man from Elohim’. Y’hovah here promised Hagar that her seed would also be innumerable, as would Sarai’s. Ishmael’s seed got a 13-year and a 1½ generation head start on Avram’s seed, for Ish had many sons and daughters, while Avram had only Yitzhak, who had only Esav and Ya’acov. We’ll see the number of Ish and Red’s seed in the ensuing weeks. Red married Ish’s daughter to the consternation of Rivkah and Yitzhak. Q&C
YeshaYahu 54.1 – This is obviously chosen as haftara because it is a comfort to Sarai (and it ties into the Brit HaDashah portion for today; or vice versa). As prophetic of the 2 houses, Yehudah bore Yeshua, while Ephraim was desolate and barren. But Ephraim is more numerous than Yehudah in the Kingdom – more born-again ‘gentiles’ from Ephraim Yisrael than Yehudim. The rest of the chapter deals with the reuniting of the brethren in the Kingdom and is a kind of parallel of Ez.37.15ff. Q&C
Psalm 12.1-4 – I think this psalm is about the effect the ungodly and feigned godly people have on the societies they inhabit. The direct objects of the first 4 verses in David’s day were the priests and the peerage that surrounded the king. David was after Y’hovah’s heart and could probably see through their fawning words of praise, “O, most wise and benevolent king….” If I were David, and some guy addressed me like that, I’d “OFF with his head!”, just on principle. What do you suppose Yeshua would do with someone like that? He probably would be neither courtier nor counselor for another second. This is probably a lot like what he’ll be hearing at the end of the kingdom era, anyway, for it says ‘the godly man ceaseth, … the faithful fail’. At the end of the kingdom, the only faithful will be encamped around Jerusalem for Sukkoth, and the number will be exceedingly small. The majority will be led by men who will be in the employ of haSatan and possibly empowered by his angels (nothing recorded is done to them while Satan is in prison). The leaders of the world will lead their nations against Y’hovah and his saints as they ‘Sukkoth’. V.4 represents how they’ll think – “I’ll use my impressive words to get them to follow me. Noone can order ME around.”
Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro16.18)
Another possible reference to the final Sukkoth of this creation is in v.5 – I think the haughtiness of the rulers after haSatan is released and they are recruited for his final putsch will cause them to oppress those who are less fortunate, and that they will cry out to Y’hovah Yeshua for justice. It will be THEN, IM[not so]HO, that he will come out to personally deal with the rebellious rulers of the earth and to protect those who are sold out to him alone.
Vv.6-7 – We get an idea of how he will deal with the rebellious in these verses. In Rev.20.9 (my favorite verse of scripture) we see this, “And they went up on the breadth of the earth and encompassed the camp of the saints (Set-Apart believers in all ages are called ‘saints’) and the beloved city. And fire came down from Elohim out of heaven and consumed them.” ‘Them’ here at the end of the verse refers to the nations that come against the camp of the saints, not the saints themselves. The fire that comes down out of heaven sure sounds like Ps.12.6, doesn’t it? Silver is tried by what? Fire. How many times is this silver tried? 7X – the number of perfection in judgment. Perhaps that is referring to Y’hovah’s perfect judgment and condemnation of the wicked who have no excuse for their rebellion and spiritual adultery, knowing full well who sits on the throne in Jerusalem. Read Bullinger’s Number in Scripture pg. 169.
(I stood between Y’hovah and you at that time, to shew you the word of Y’hovah: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) (Deuteronomy 5:5)
Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of Y’hovah Tzavaoth, and despised the word of the Holy (Isaiah 5:24)
Wherefore thus saith Y’hovah Elohim Tzavaoth, “Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.” (Jeremiah 5:14)
Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay . (Jeremiah 20:9)
Is not my word like as a fire? saith Y’hovah; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29)
And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of Y’hovah; Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. (Ezek.20.47)
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (II Peter 3:7)
His words, according to Bullinger, ‘pertain to the earth’. After the kingdom ends, the Great White Throne judgment, which I believe will be going on while the earth and heavens ‘pass away’ in 2Pe.3.7. The Word of Y’hovah Yeshua created the heavens and the earth, it also sustains the heavens and the earth and when he ceases to speak, the heavens and the earth shall pass away. Now think how that plays with Mat.5.17-19,
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
There will not be one Word that passes from scripture until the dissolution of the universe. Then the SAME Word will recreate a NEW Heaven and Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (2Pe.3.13). Revelation says there will be no sin and, so, no need of Torah to show us our sin. We will then be living in the presence of the living Y’hovah and will be echad with each other and him. THAT will be a glorious Day, will it not?!
The Psalm ends with a warning to watch the character of our leaders, civil, military, judicial and religious. Look how exalted are men like Obama-lama-ding-dong, ‘W’, Slick Willie and Mr. NWO himself. The vilest of men have been the last 4 presidents of the US. Do you think America is NOT worthy of the most egregious judgment? And where does judgment begin? Q&C
Gal.4.21-31 – Always pay attention to Rav Sha’ul’s pronouns. They are VERY important in properly understanding to whom he is referring. The context shows that the gentiles in Galatia were being referred to as servants, and the Jews were children under the tutor. Vv.1-5 show the Jews’ (the 1st person plural nominative, we) condition before Mashiach and how they can now have the adoption as sons. V. 6 says the gentiles (2nd person plural nominative, ye) were proved to be sons by the Spirit in them, as in Cornelius in Acts 10. The gentiles in vv.7-10 are looking to go back to fleshly practices (Jewish religion), including the oral law. Paul warns them in v.11 of his fear for them in following after the Jewish Circumcisers (cf. Acts 10 and 15). He refers to the CCers (3rd person plural, they) in vv.17, and that brings us to where our passage begins.
Vv.21-31 – Avraham had 2 sons, one of the flesh by a bondmaid and one of promise by a free woman. He then shows by allegory the similarity between being under the oral tradition and a son of the flesh, and being subject to Torah and a son of promise. Remember that the Prushim, who are for revealed Torah + oral torah, believe that both came down from Sinai alongside each other. Don’t let the mention of Sinai throw you off. The bondage represented in the allegory by the flesh, Hagar and Sinai in Arabia is the need of the Prushim to maintain control by insisting on the gentiles’ full conversion, with the finalizing action being CC. That describes ‘the Jerusalem that now is’, that is; after the death of Yacov the Tzadik, Yeshua’s brother, who led the Netzarim sect in J’lem until his martyrdom. “The J’lem that now is” is in bondage to the traditions of the elders, as the Pharisees said to Yeshua in at least 2 places.
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (Matthew 15:2)
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias [29.13] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7.3-6)
The Yerushalayim above is the New Yerushalayim that will ‘descend’ to the New Earth from the New Heavens. This New J’lem is also called the Bride of Moshiach, which I believe is the truest statement of them all, from our temporal point of view. Y’hovah will dwell there in his tabernacle, which the Bride is. He will be the light of it, as the Ruach will enlighten us all, both individually and corporately. All the allegorical promises seen in all the prophets find their ultimate fulfillment in Moshiach’s Bride.
In v.27, Sha’ul makes the connection between Sarah, the Bride of Avraham, and New J’lem, the Bride of Moshiach. And so now we, as was Isaac in v.28, are sons of promise. And then Paul makes the connection in v.29 for both the Jewish and the gentile believers between the Prushim CCers/Ishmael and the persecution of the seed – flesh vs. promise. Paul makes the application of the allegory in v.30, quoting B’reishit 21.10
Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. (Genesis 21:10)
We need to shema Avinu’s Words, prove that we’ve heard them by our obedience and STAND FAST in the LIBERTY we have therein and not get entangled in the yoke of bondage that can be seen in both the oral law of the Prushim and the pagan rituals of the gentiles. Q&C
Under the Law? See Misconception #3 on pg. 786 Aramaic English NT.
#3: Under the Torah:
Before showing the obvious New Testament verses on the subject, let us see the word used as “under” in the Tanakh:
They should collect all the food of the good years that are coming and store up the grain under (tachath – טחת) the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. [Genesis 41:35]
Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and shall say to her, “If no man had laid with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under (tachath – טחת) the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that carries a curse.” [Numbers 5:19]
As we see here, to be “under” something means to derive authority from it, and this is true not just of the word that I have highlighted in Hebrew here, but several other synonyms translated into English as “under” as well.
Therefore, if we are “under the Torah”, that would mean that we derive authority from the Torah, which is a doctrine never taught in Tanakh:
Y’hovah appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for awhile, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My requirements, My commands, My decrees and My laws.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. [Genesis 26:1-6]
In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to My ordinances. They are to keep My laws and My decrees for all My appointed feasts, and they are to keep My Sabbaths holy…declares the Sovereign Y’hovah. [Ezekiel 44:24, 27]
These are just two of the dozens of other possible examples of this same idea. All the requirements in the Torah are not “Jewish” or even just “for Israel”. Rather, they are Y’hovah’s requirements, and it is from Y’hovah, and not the Torah, that justification for doing the right things comes from.
In other words, if you just naturally happen to do a ritual commanded in Torah out of blind luck or because it seems trendy or cool, then by the Torah you are not justified. This idea is true even with a foundational requirement, like that of circumcision:
“The days are coming,” declares Y’hovah, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh. Egypt, Judah, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.” [Jeremiah 9:25-26]
Now why is this? Didn’t circumcision justify all these people? According to YirmeYahu, the answer is an eerily familiar (can you say Acts 15?) NO! Let’s hear more of this reasoning from some of the other prophets:
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts My soul hates. 20 They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. When you spread your hands in prayer, I will hide My face from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. You hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong and learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. [Isaiah 1:15-17]
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the acknowledgment of Elohim rather than burnt offerings. [Hosea 6:6]
With what shall I come before Y’hovah and bow down before the exalted Elohim? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Y’hovah be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does Y’hovah require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your Elohim. [Micah 6:6-8]
This is also why Abraham comes up as an example in the New Testament over and over again. The message, in each case, is the same. Abraham did a ritual, not because it seemed a nice thing to do, but because he believed the word of Elohim, who instructed him to do it in the first place! Therefore, justification for Abraham, and for the rest of us, comes in two parts:
1) Hearing and understanding the word of Y’hovah.
2) Taking what Y’hovah has said and manifesting that understanding by following the instructions.
Neither faith nor works alone is sufficient. Works without faith shows a lack of understanding the Torah, and faith without works, as Ya’akov Ha Tzadik says, is dead.
So, what is it then to be “under the Torah”? Well, put simply, “under the Torah” is not something that happened during Mashiach’s time, but is a false teaching that has been rampant from the beginning of time.
For example, in Genesis 4, Cain and Abel give offerings to Y’hovah. It has been a common misconception though that Cain’s offering was not accepted because it was from grain, whereas Abel gave meat. The fact is, both grain and meat offerings were deemed acceptable under the right circumstances, (Exodus 29:41, Leviticus 2:1, 5:13, 6:14-15, many others).
Instead, Y’hovah rebukes Cain this way:
Then Y’hovah said to Cain, “Why are you downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” [Genesis 4:6-7]
In a sense, Cain thought he was “under the Torah”, or that by simply going through the motions of the ritual he would be justified. However, since Elohim knew his heart, He did not accept Cain’s offering.
Similarly, the Pharisees had also fallen into this trap, which is why the Baptist says:
[“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones Elohim can raise up children of Abraham.” Matthew 3:7-9]
Now, obviously Y’shua’s frequent rebukes on this same idea hardly need to be laid out exhaustively here. It is enough then to simply say that the Baptist did not want the Pharisees to boast in rituals or lineage alone, but actually to turn their hearts towards Y’hovah and admit their sins. With these thoughts in mind, let’s look at some more familiar verses on this idea:
For all who have sinned without the Torah will also perish without the Torah, and all who have sinned under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, will be judged by the Torah . Romans 2:1221
To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, as under the Torah though not being myself under (tachyt–טחית) the Torah, so that I might win those who are under (tachyt–טחית) the Torah, to those who are without Torah, as without Torah, though not being without the Torah of Elohim, but in the instruction of Mashiach, so that I might win those who are without the Torah. [1 Corinthians 9:20-21]22
If the word טחית looks familiar, it should. It is simply the Aramaic cognate of the word טחת that was referenced at the beginning of this section. Therefore, “under the Torah” really means “to derive justification from the authority of Torah and not from Y’hovah.” [emphasis mine – MP]
For the sake of completeness however, let us check the other places where “under the Torah” appears:
But when the fullness of time was come, Elohim sent forth His Son who, born of a woman, became subject (tachyt–טחית) to the Torah. Galatians 4:4
Now, except for substituting non-sacred names, this is the way George Lamsa reads the verse, and I must say, I heartily agree with him. Instead of merely rendering טחית “under” again, Lamsa has correctly surmised that טחית can read better here as “being subject to the Torah”, which is an efficient way of bringing on the Tanakh understanding of txt as referring to the power of various authorities. In this case the woman is subject to the Torah pronouncement that all of us are under sin. It is not the Torah itself that is sin though (Romans 7:12) but rather that the Torah tells us what sin is (Romans 7:7-9). Let’s continue this thought a little further then:
To redeem those who were under (tachyt–טחית) the Torah, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:5
In this context, the message Rav Shaul gives here is that the proper understanding of Torah by Gentiles grafts them into Israel. This is why he says elsewhere:
Do not be arrogant, but be afraid, for if Elohim did not spare the natural branches (Jews who did not follow Torah), He will not spare you either. Romans 11:21
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that is done in the body by the hands of men)– remember that at that time you were separate from Mashiach, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now in Mashiach Y’shua, you who were far away have been brought near through the blood of Mashiach. Ephesians 2:11-13
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have this verse proving once again that the Torah itself is not the problem:
Tell me, you who want to be under the Torah, do you listen to the Torah? Galatians 4:21
[Mark edits – Throughout the above, I edited YHWH to Y’hovah for continuity.]
So Sha’ul begins with the difference between the covenant law they want to be under in the flesh, and the covenant in which he and the Jewish believers are free in the Spirit. He goes into an analogy of Hagar and Sarah, the bond and free women, which he likens to the Covenant written on Stone and the covenant that will be written on our hearts (Jer.31.31-34). He also likens the covenant on stone tablets to the present Jerusalem and the covenant written of our hearts to the New Jerusalem, the city whose builder and maker is Y’hovah, which he calls ‘the mother of us all’. We who are children of the promise are looking for New Jerusalem, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2Pe.3.13).
Paul shows the Galatian gentiles exactly WHY the CCers were on about the gentiles being converted and CCd. They were after the flesh, and so persecuted those who were after the spirit (v.29). Those who are trusting in the Jerusalem that IS are carnal and in bondage. Those who trust in the promises of Y’hovah are looking for the New Jerusalem and are the free sons of those promises.
In 5.1 Paul speaks of the bondage of both the pagan gods of the gentiles and the oral law of the Jews, and the liberty of the promises of Y’hovah’s Torah. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study