Shabbat Bible Study for October 15, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 1 Sabbath 27
Genesis 28:10-29:30 – Hosea 12:13 – Psalm 24 – Luke 2:1-39
Background on Ya’acov’s ladder.
Ya’acov had purchased the birthright from Esav for ‘a mess of pottage’ (25.34 – I wonder if they did business in the ‘mess tent’ or ‘on the mess deck’) and then seemingly received the firstborn blessing by subtilty right out from under Esav’s nose. Esav is ticked and ready to kill Ya’acov, ticked to the point that his parents fear for their lives because of his anger
And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where he that hath taken venison, and brought me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, he shall be blessed.(27.33)
From last week’s study:
Izzy asked who this was, and when Esav answered, he ‘trembled’. Trembled comes from Str. 2729, charad, meaning to ‘shudder with terror’. Esav frightened his abba. Esav was a bloody man, as is implied by his nickname, Edom. He would have had no qualms about killing his abba and ima to make it easier to kill Jake. Izzy feigned surprise, “Who-O-O?! I’ve given the blessing and cannot take it back.” Esav wanted the rights of the bachor without the responsibilities that come with it.
Esav ‘said in his heart’ [v.41] that once Yitzy was dead, he could kill Ya’acov with impunity. If he said these words in his heart, who heard it to tell Rivkah so that she could send Ya’acov away? If you thought “Yhwh”, I think you are correct. But once Ya’acov is sent away to find a wife there isn’t much Esav can do about his anger except be as annoying to his parents as he can be, so he marries a daughter of Ishmael named Machalath.
Her name is from the root chalah, meaning sickness. The ending of her name is plural, so her name, if my pidgeon-Hebrew is correct, means “from sicknesses” (the mem prefix denoting a shortened form of min – ‘from’). So, the man of blood (Edom) married a woman who was borne of sicknesses to spite his parents, who wanted their firstborn to marry a woman who was NOT Canaanite. I think Esav’s marrying the Canaanitish Hittite women (26.35) made it easier for Yitzhak to let Esav go and confer the birthright blessing on Ya’acov.
I think it was only AFTER Esav had despised his birthright and married the Hittite women that the parental conspiracy was entered that Ya’acov would also receive the blessing. IOW – and this is very different from anything I’ve ever heard on the subject – I do not believe Ya’acov deceived Yitzhak. I think Yitzhak and Rivkah planned it to look that way for fear of what Esav would do if they just blessed Ya’acov (27.33). The Hebrew in 27.33 seems explicit – v’yecherad Yitzhak charadah g’dolah ad m’od – “and feared Yitzhak terrified very greatly”. I think it’s possible that Ya’acov was the one who was deceived in ch.27 and that Yitzy and Rivkah planned the whole thing. I COULD be wrong … But I think not. Remember that scripture tells us that Rivkah suggested the plan to Ya’acov, who objected that his father would suspect something and Rivkah already had an answer for him – skin of the kids on his hands and neck. AND remember that Yitzy knew Ya’acov’s voice, but allowed him to give him the kid and blessed him. This line of reasoning, that the subtilty was on Yitzhak and Rivkah’s part and that it provided ‘plausible deniability’ for them with Esav, is purely speculation on my part as I connect the dots that seem to stand out to me. That Yhwh wanted Ya’acov to have both the birthright AND the blessing, as I implied above is ALSO purely speculation on my part, but I think it explains some discrepancies that makes the entire episode make a LOT more sense. End of background on Jake’s ladder. Q&C
Gen.28.10- – So Ya’acov gets out of Dodge, er…, Beer Sheva just ahead of Sheriff Esav and makes his way to the outskirts of Luz where he prepares a camp and goes to sleep. Luz is named as a city 7 times and its name comes from a Hebrew root word. Strong’s
3869 luwz looz probably of foreign origin; some kind of nut-tree, perhaps the almond:–hazel.
The root is used once and the KJV translates it hazel. So I suspect that either almonds or hazelnuts were a staple crop there. KJV may have used hazel because THAT is a staple nut of Europe and Asia and it would have been familiar to the intended audience. Aaron’s rod that budded produced almonds overnight – different root than Luz.
Almond nuts and flowers were fashioned into the arms of the 7-branched candlestick of gold in the Kodesh Place of the Mishkan. At Christian-forum.net I found this little tidbit:
Almond in Hebrew (shâkêd) means “the awakening one”, or literally “to be wakeful” – likely because the almond tree was the first tree to awake from the sleep of winter and blossom. It spoke of the speedy and powerful result of light.
So Luz in the remez is referring to an early bloom that comes as a result of the increase of light from the sun, referring to what was happening to Ya’acov right then – the initial light direct from Y’hovah to him. The rabbis believe that Ya’acov went from Bethel to study with Shem and Eber, the priests of El Shaddai on his way to Charan, presumably to prepare him for the long exile. They also teach that Rachel v’Leah were just born when Ya’acov was leaving Beer Sheva at age 63. I got that from the Torah study for this week at messianic.ws. This is the salient portion:
AM 2108: Ya’acov and Esav were born (Isaac was 60 – Gen 25:26, and Ishmael was 74).
AM = Year of the World, Ano Mundi
AM 2171: Ishmael died (He was 137 – Gen 25:17), after betrothing his daughter Mahalath to Esav (Gen 28:9). Ya’acov received the blessing and left his father (He was 63: 2171 – 2108 = 63). Rachael and Leah were just born.
Now jump to 2238 and count backwards to 2185.
From 2171 to 2185 = 14 years between leaving home and arriving at Laban’s.
[The Talmud teaches that Ya’acov spent the time studying under Shem and Eber, Priests of the Most High (the priesthood then being the firstborn of the godly line).]
AM 2185: Ya’acov arrived at Laban’s home in Haran.
Ya’acov worked 7 years for Laban – Gen 29:20.
AM 2192: Ya’acov married Leah and Rachael: he was 84, they were 21.
Ya’acov worked 7 more years for Rachael – Gen 29:30. He was 91 when he left Haran in AM 2199.
When he settled down for the night in Luz, he set up some stones [rabbis say 12 stones] for his pillows, slept and dreamed a dream in which a ladder was set between earth and heaven and angels ascended and descended. Y’hovah stood at the top of the ladder and spoke to Ya’acov in his dream, recapping the Abrahamic covenant to him. Y’hovah upped the ante, though, promising to make Ya’acov’s seed as the dust of the earth. To Avraham he said as the stars of the heaven and the sand of the sea and likewise to Yizhak. But the dust of the earth is much more plentiful, I think, for dust is EVERYWHERE on earth, it permeates the atmosphere, settles on everything. Dust on earth is UBIQUITOUS.
What Y’hovah did with this dream is give 2 signs, the heaven sign of the ladder to heaven and the earth sign of the dust of the earth. And what we see now is that Ya’acov’s seed IS as the dust of the earth – Yehudah and Yisrael are everywhere, in every nation and quite possibly in every man on earth due to the numerous diasporas, Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Roman, etc. Israel has been chased out of every nation in which they have sought refuge, because it is Y’hovah in whom they have been commanded to seek refuge.
When he awoke from his sleep, Ya’acov actually figured it out! (Go FIGURE!) He was in the House of Elohim. But he did something that ended up costing him and which became a pattern for his seed after him – he didn’t put his trust in Y’hovah’s promise. He wanted to walk by his sight. He said “IF Elohim does this, that and the other, THEN will Y’hovah be my Elohim and this stone [the rabbis say the 12 he arranged as pillows were merged into 1 as the tribes into the nation] will be the House of Elohim and I will tithe to him.” That’s no faith walk.
There is a passage of the Apostolic writing where there is allusion to this – Jn.1.51;
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of Eloha; thou art the King of Israel. 50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of Eloha ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
By juxtaposition, I see where Yeshua is likening himself to the place called Bethel, and quite probably to the Y’hovah who stood at the top of the ladder. If we then juxtapose Acts.7.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of Eloha, and Jesus standing on the right hand of Eloha, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of Eloha. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon, and saying, Master Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Master, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
If this relates (and I think it does), this could be a signal as to a sea change in Y’hovah’s relations with men on earth. The next chapter of Acts speaks of Sha’ul’s conversion on the Damascus Road, and his calling as emissary to the nations. Q&C
Gen.29.1-30 – Please note that the next thing we see is that Ya’acov gets to the eastern lands of his fathers. There is no mention of how long he was in transit, so the rabbis may be right that he took his good old time getting there – perhaps it WAS 14 years after Jake’s deception by Yitzy and Rivkah. A 14 year parenthesis in history? Could be.
There is a near repeat of the servant and Rivkah here, for Rachel comes to the well to water Laban’s animals. The difference here is that when Ya’acov sees Rachel, he jumps to serve her by removing the stone from the well for her. Then he went to live in Laban’s house for a month and decided to stay as a servant to pay his keep. Laban wanted him to stay, I would guess because it was apparent that the blessing Y’hovah had placed on Ya’acov at Bethel was clearly evident in how his work prospered. So Laban asks Ya’acov what would be the price of him staying, and Ya’acov asked for Rachel’s hand in marriage as payment for 7 years of service. But the elder daughter was Leah, who was ‘tender eyed’, which I take to mean she didn’t have ‘eyeball’ – wasn’t very pretty, and it was (according to Laban) customary for the younger daughter to wait for the elder to marry. Think of ‘Fiddler’, where the daughters married in order – eldest, middle and youngest. (Have you noticed that everyone in that movie, set in Russia, speaks English – with an American accent? Except Topol) But Rachel had EYEBALL, man! She was SMOKIN’!
So Laban pulled the switcheroo and delivered Leah to Ya’acov’s tent. Now, I can only assume that Laban got Ya’acov ‘well lubricated with wine and strong drink’, because he didn’t notice the switch until next AM when the marriage had been well and fully consummated. Oh, Jake was ticked! But what could he do? Leah was now his wife, and he had to wait another week for Rachel – AND work another 7 years for Laban. Is this the beginning of the prophetic ‘year for a day’ application? Possibly.
Ya’acov definitely favored Rachel over Leah, and Y’hovah rewarded Leah for the attitude Jake had toward her. I think the love/hate thing is more a ‘by comparison’ than an actual hatred of Leah. In the same way as Y’hovah ‘formed light and created darkness’ and ‘made peace and created evil’ and ‘loved Ya’acov and hated Esav’, so Jake loved Rachel and hated Leah. Y’hovah no more created evil or darkness than Ya’acov hated Leah. But the love for the one engendered an apparent opposite reaction toward the other.
So Leah bore children and Rachel was barren to the purpose of trying to get Ya’acov to repent of his attitude. Ya’acov was not the sharpest tool in the shed, though because he didn’t get it. He walked more in the flesh than in the Spirit of Y’hovah. His conversion took all of the 20 years he spent in Haran, and then it only took partially. The rabbis have this thing about the patriarchs, holding them as something greater than the mortal men they are revealed to be in scripture. Scripture is very honest in its portrayal of the heroes of the faith, revealing them with all their warts. So, while the rabbis are right in that the patriarchs and matriarchs are ‘righteous’, they are wrong in emphasizing their righteousness without making much mention of their human weakness and inability to do what is right without the Ruach of Y’hovah giving them the strength and power to do it. They were just people, like us, subject to the same fleshly attractions as we are, whatever they may be. In Ya’acov, it was favoritism, first in his wives, then in his children, and then in his grandchildren. And he’d learned it from his father and grandfather before him. It’s a human weakness. I’ve tried to overcome it, with some success, but I can’t say I was perfect, either.
Reuben = ‘Behold! A son!’ and Leah hoped that her bearing a son would give her favor in Ya’acov’s eyes. Nothin’ doin’, there.
Shimon = (IMO) Heard and action taken – shema + nun. Yah heard of her disfavor and he acted to correct it by giving more life through her. BDB gives no meaning to the name, so I resorted to the meanings of the letters themselves.
Levi = my heart. Leah thought this would cause her husbands heart to be joined to hers. Nothin’ doin’ here, either.
Yehudah = Praise. No wish this time for her husband to be joined to her. Ya’acov had made his favoritism known to her, so I think she just gave up on the idea. Rachel was the wife of his youth and Leah was an also-ran. Q&C
Hos.12.12-13 – Hosea makes the point of the Torah portion, that Ya’acov served in Syria for a wife. Not for 2 wives, but for one. He served Laban for 20 years for Rachel and his flocks and thought nothing of Leah, Bilhah or Zilpah. In keeping sheep, he must have learned some patience though, not to mention trying to keep 2 wives, 2 concubines and all their kids from killing each other.
In v.13 Y’hovah uses Ya’acov in Syria as a picture of Israel in Egypt. In v.10 Y’hovah uses similar imagery of prophecies and similitudes to let us know what he means in the rest of the chapter, at least. The whole issue of Ya’acov in Syria is a similitude of Israel in Egypt and it speaks of exile and redemption. As Ya’acov went into Syria with nothing except an uncondidtional covenant from Y’hovah [NOTHING!? I LOVE having that kind of ‘nothing’ from Yhwh], but came out a comparative multitude with great possessions, so Israel went into Egypt with nothing and came out an enormous multitude with great possessions. And so will the whole Beit Ya’acov, who entered into covenant with Y’hovah having brought nothing into it, come out of the world and to her Bridegroom with a great dowry. Q&C
Ps.24 – The reason Beit Ya’acov comes out of the world system with a great dowry is that the earth is Y’hovah’s, and everything in it is his. And he will give his people and his bride whatever he darned well chooses to give them. In v.2 the psalmist shows his belief that what Y’hovah said in Gen.1 is true. He founded the earth on the seas, meaning he brought the dry land out from the waters. This is also a metaphor showing that the seas of the world system give way to the solid ground of Y’hovah’s Word and those who believe it and live by it.
Those who walk by the Spirit of Y’hovah and not the eyes in their heads shall ascend his set-apart hill and stand in the set-apart place, they will be priests of the Almighty because they were faithful watchmen and have no blood on their hands – they gave warning when it was evident that trouble was coming. They had no idols before Y’hovah and did not take his Name upon them in vain and therefore receive blessings of righteousness from Y’hovah, for they are seeking his face. May all of us who are listening and speaking today be this generation.
In v. 6, the ones addressed in vv.1-5 are said to have been seeking Ya’acov’s face. Is Ya’acov being likened to Y’hovah? Or is this speaking of those of us who are looking for Yisrael, to reconcile Yehuda and Ephraim? Everyone, in true Hebraic style, nod your heads and say “YES!” It’s a metaphor for Y’hovah AND an allusion to the reconciliation of the brethren. It’s about exile and redemption. ALL the psalms have exile and redemption as a theme.
Vv.7-10 are repetitive, but not. They say the same thing, but in different ways and I think it reveals something about Y’hovah’s nature. In vv.7-8, it is the gates and doors that give Y’hovah glory and make it possible for the Melekh of kavod to enter. And who is Melech hakavod? Y’hovah mighty in battle. Then in vv.9-10 the gates rise up and the doors seem to assist the gates in rising for Y’hovah Tzavaoth. This would seem to indicate that Yeshua, Y’hovah mighty in battle (v.8) comes in first followed by Y’hovah Tzavaoth (who would be Avinu) and things have to be raised to another level that the gates by themselves are unable to attain. I could actually be wrong about this one, so let me know if I’m off my rocker. Q&C
Lk.2.1-39 – The time is 3996AM and the first 5 verses show us that Yoseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, was a direct descendant of King David. He was not just of the house of David, he was of the lineage of David – he was in line for David’s throne. We don’t see that Miryam was of David’s house, but it has to be true, since the 2 lineages of Yeshua given here and in Mattityahu’s gospel are different.
We get some insights into the time of year this was in that the sheep are in the fields by night and they laid Yeshua in a manger in a stable. The town was full of guests, since there was no room in the Motel 6. I think Augustus may have been trying to disrupt the biblical feast celebration by calling the census at Sukkoth time. Or, maybe he was taking advantage of the feasts’ celebration since all Israel would be going up to J’lem for the feasts, anyway. It was early enough in the year to be cool at night, but not cold; and late enough to be cool at night (wrapped him in swaddling clothes) and not hot. It was probably just after the autumnal equinox – about Sept/Oct – Tabernacles time. [Tomorrow begins the Camping adventure for us.]
Notice the heaven sign and the earth sign – angels in the heavens and a baby born on earth, wrapped in swaddling clothes. What are swaddling clothes? I saw a ‘man in the street’ thing on TV in about 2009 [it may have been on Leno] where the interviewer asked what was baby Jesus wrapped in. Everyone knew he was in swaddling clothes, but noone knew what swaddling clothes are. In case you’re ever asked, swaddling clothes are blankets or strips of cloth that get wrapped tightly around a newborn to keep him warm and comfortable. The reason babies cry first thing is because they can’t stand the freedom of motion and the COLD! It’s entirely unfamiliar to them and they can’t tell you they’re uncomfortable, so they cry. That initial cry means, “HEY! What do you think you’re doing? It’s COLD! Wrap me up in something before I freeze to death! What’s the MATTER with you? Anyway?!” This is especially true in a hospital. TRUST ME! Those places never pay their heat bills!
So the shepherds got to visit their Messiah. It’s interesting to me that the King of all kings was born and there was no great embassage to greet him from any nation or village, just shepherds. The Magi are still 2 years away, just now seeing the sky sign – the star in their western sky (the Magi were in the east when they saw the star).
Yeshua was CCd the eighth day, probably at home. When Miryam’s purification time came, they took Yeshua up to the Temple for his presentation to Y’hovah as the bachor of Miryam’s family – he was the son who opened the womb. 2 birds/1 stone. Since we don’t have any other info on Yoseph than what’s in scripture, we don’t know how old he was or if this was his first marriage or if this is his first child. It was Miryam’s first child. That is certain. Yeshua was named at his CC. Yoseph was not well to do, for they brought 2 pigeons for the offering.
Now Shimon was an old priest who was full of the Ruach, and was told BY Ruach that Messiah was born. This man was waiting for ‘the consolation of Israel’, which is an Hebraism for the regathering of chol Yisrael by Mashiach, and had been told by Ruach that he would not see death until he saw Mashiach – hence Mashiach is the Consolation of Yisrael. Shimon blessed Elohim. Do you suppose it started “Baruch ata Y’hovah Elohenu, Melech haOlam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav” … and then thanked him for Mashiach? Likely. Shimon was ready now to go home. His words are almost verbatim what Ya’acov said when he finally saw Yoseph in Egypt. Since Yeshua was here as Mashiach ben Yoseph, I see a pretty cool parallel there. He prophesied over Yeshua to his mother and Yoseph, who were awestruck by his words. In v.34, Shimon speaks of the fall and rising of many in Israel. I think he spoke of the fall from prominence of Yehuda and the resurrection of Ephraim, as prophesied by Yeshua in the parable of the Prodigal.
As Shimon finished his speech, Anna walked in and picked up where Shimon left off, prophesying over Yeshua yet again. Both of these people were tzadikim and I would expect ‘blameless’, as were ZacharYah and Elishabah, Yochanan the Immerser’s parents. It says that the Spirit was on Shimon, and that Anna was a prophetess. Neither were likely after anything but Y’hovah’s heart.
After this incident, Yoseph took his family home to Nazareth. I’m guessing they left right from the dedication/purification for Galilee. Yoseph has been away from his business for 2 months or more, and he likely needed to get back to keep from going broke. No Magi in this story. The Magi came and found Yoseph, Miryam and the young child in BethLechem, so something had to occur to make them all go there to live. AFAIK, there is no good info on what it was. Could be that someone else moved into Nazareth and filled his niche and he had to go home. Q&C
The following is taken from my book The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective ©2001-2006, 2013 by Fulfilling Torah Ministries and Mark Pitrone
39). Yeshua’s birth, Lk.2.1-7 – The time in history is well established. The year in our common reckoning is around 4 B.C.E. The date discrepancy is our fault, not Elohim’s. As far as I’m concerned we are living in AY [Anno Yeshua] 2020, but the whole western world goes by the Common Era (C.E.) reckoning of 2016. This makes the Anno Domini and Before Christ dates look stupid, which I think was Satan’s plan in messing with the calendar. Bishop Ussher’s chronology places the creation of the world at Sep./Oct. 4004 B.C.E., which would be 4000 B.C. Yeshua was born about 4000 years after the creation of the earth, I think on the 1st day of the feast of tabernacles (Gen.1.16, Mal.4.2). “Christian” everywhen turns on the birth of Yeshua. In this scenario, his birthday is the first day of the 5th millennium after Creation. If the Jewish calendar is true, and it is not, we have 233 years before the end of the 6th millennium. The fact is that our time reckoning is so far off that we can’t tell when the end of the 6th millennium will actually be, so no man can truly know the hour or the day. I know that Ya’acov’s trouble, the 70th week of Dan.9 will be exactly 7 years before the end of the 6th millennium, and that the day is very, VERY close. (I am absolutely convinced it will be on the day of Trumpets, whatever year, though I could be wrong.) I don’t think our reckoning is 100 – 200 years off. The passage pinpoints the year of the census as 4 B.C.E. by the calendar we use. It was the turn of history in reality.
Caesar Augustus was Emperor of Rome, Cyrenius was governor of Syria, and Herod was ‘king’ in Yisrael. This leaves us with a 5-10 year window, when all of those men were in power.
Notice that our passage says that Yoseph was of the ‘house and lineage of David.’ This establishes the genealogy in Matthew as his and his bona fides as the true king of Yisrael as the firstborn of the kings going back all the way to David. I am certain that this was just another reason that Herod wanted to know where Mashiach was to be born – he wanted Yeshua and all ‘pretenders’ to his throne to be destroyed, including Yoseph and all of his offspring. The fact that Joe could prove his lineage all the way back to David had to make Herod quite nervous. He couldn’t stop at the murder of the child, he had to destroy the whole line to be sure of his son’s future kingship.
Yoseph was to be taxed with Miryam. The structure of the verse shows her own descendence from David. If she were not a descendant of David she would have to go elsewhere to be taxed.
It amazes me, the humility of Elohim. The last verse of the passage is perhaps the most wonderful thing written in scripture. The Elohim of the universe, the creator of all there is, was born in a stable and was laid in a feed trough for his bed. My pride overwhelms me when I think of that. Most royalty is born in a palace, with myriad attendants and great fanfare among the people of the nation. Kingdoms from all over the world send emissaries bearing gifts to curry favor with the king whose son is born prince. But the only person ever born as King was born on a bed of straw in a stable among all sorts of livestock. There was no heraldry in the halls of power from the kingdoms round about. The only welcome he received from the beautiful people was an attempt to murder him, and that came almost two years later. Noone knew who was born. Q&C
40.) The visit of the shepherds- Lk.2.8-20 – To be in the presence of an angel and to NOT be afraid does not prove your courage, but your silliness. This is the same as fearing Elohim. I am not talking about reverential awe, like our liberal theologians keep spouting, although there is that part of it. I am talking about abject terror. Anyone here who thinks he could stand on his own two feet before an angel is just showing his foolish pride. In almost every instance where an angel appears to men, the men fall on their faces in terror before them. The only two that I know of that didn’t were prideful Ya’acov in Bethel, who got his hip displaced for his trouble, and the virgin Miryam who was so deep in prayer that she may have thought it was a vision or may not have realized who was with her. The shepherds here are not showing reverential awe. The greek words translated sore afraid are megas phobeo. Take a guess what that means. We use the term ‘mega’ as a prefix to mean huge or great or X 1 million. And there are people with disproportionate fears, which we call phobias. The shepherds were not disproportionately fearful. They were megaphobiacs for good reason. They were in the presence of a mega-powerful being that could snuff them like a candle in the wind.
But that was not this angel’s mission. Here were the heralds of heaven, not come to the halls of earthly power, but to the common folk. We said before that the kings of the earth didn’t know what was going on in that stable. CNN was not there covering the birth live and in color. No one knew what was going on. There was no embassage from Rome to greet the King of kings, no ministers of government to make his arrival more comfortable. But the ‘hoi poloi’, the common folk, came to see the wonder of their Mashiach born in the stable in BethLechem. That is the humility of our Elohim. He recognizes the humble and despises the proud, because the proud despise him and the humble recognize him. What of us? Do we walk in our pride, never taking to Elohim the trials of our life? Do you try to handle your troubles yourself? Do you take credit for the successes of life without acknowledging the one who guided you through to success? I often do. In fact, I usually do. May Elohim cure the pride in me by teaching me from other’s lives and not having to deal severely with me.
The passage says that this is ‘the angel of Y’hovah’, not an angel of or from Y’hovah. And the ‘glory [kavod/shekinah] of Y’hovah shone round about them.’ This is the risen Yeshua, I think. Again, our Greco-Roman minds make it difficult to grasp that Yehovah CAN manifest his presence in more than one physical place at a time – he has no limitations in time/space/matter, like we do. He appears alone at first to bring the message to the little people who were looking for their Mashiach. His first words were a command, “Fear not”. Do you think that would alleviate your fear? Maybe a little. I’d still be shaking. Then a ‘multitude of the heavenly host’ appears to give praise and glory and honor to Elohim and wish men the peace of Elohim. Multitude comes from the greek word plethos which literally means fullness and from which we derive the English word plethora. It would seem, then, that every angel in heaven was there to declare the glory of Elohim and witness delivery of the message.
And what a message! The shepherds must have said, “The Mashiach, the redeemer of Yisrael, was born just now! We can see him right down there in town! What are we waiting for? Elohim himself just hand delivered a gold-leafed invitation! Let’s GO!” I imagine that they were asking Elohim to ‘sheep-sit’ their flocks for a short time while they went to welcome Mashiach, the son of David, the son of Elohim. He has promised to guard our property when we go up to celebrate his feasts, so why not in this instance, as well? I also imagine that they were fervently praying for the Mashiach to come soon, hence the announcement to them. Do you suppose that they knew the right stable because it was the one where they kept their own sheep, the animals for Temple sacrifice? Was that the only stable in town?
When they’d seen that all Y’hovah had told them was true, they told everyone they could of their experience. What do you suppose was the reaction of the religious leaders in Jerusalem? I expect there were some who knew the scriptures and were looking for Mashiach to redeem Yisrael and bring the Kingdom of Elohim for the right reasons, to set everything right again, like Anna and Shimon, perhaps a young Nicodemus. And there were undoubtedly some who saw the end of their little autocracy and didn’t like it one bit. They had a building program going, Herod’s temple. But the vast majority didn’t take notice at all. Just like today. Are you looking for the coming of Yeshua for the right reasons? Are you in the middle of a building program that the coming of Mashiach might interrupt? Are you oblivious to the signs of the times? Judge yourself and don’t rationalize.
The greek word translated ‘pondered’ is sumballo which is a compound word meaning literally to ‘throw together’. Miryam was taking all the things that Elohim had told her and Yoseph and the shepherds, along with the events as they happened, and throwing them together, meditated on them, connecting dots, so that she could understand it all. Although she was just a human, she was not your typical human, because she used her brain, and that to the glory of Elohim. Q&C
41). The presentation in the Temple and the words of Shimon and Anna – Lk.2.22-38. – Yeshua was 40 days old when they brought him to the temple.
“Speak unto the children of Yisrael, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 3And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.” [Leviticus 12:2-4]
This was not for circumcision, which was done on the 8th day and possibly by Yoseph. There is nothing in scripture that says the boy needs to be circumcised at the tabernacle-temple, only that he needs to be circumcised. The baptism of babies is done at the liturgical assemblies and that is the reason some think Yeshua was brought to the Temple when he was 8 days old. It is a leftover of Catholic tradition. It is interesting that the Catholic right of baptism is performed when the child is about 40 days old, which gives a bit of credence to the idea that baptism is to Catholics what they think circumcision is to Jews. Yeshua was being presented before Y’hovah as the firstborn of Yoseph’s family, as was commanded in the scripture
2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine… 12 That thou shalt set apart unto Y’hovah all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be Y’hovah’s. 13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. (Ex.13.2, 12-13).
It was here that Yoseph accepted Yeshua as his own bachor. When Yoseph named Yeshua, he claimed him as his principal heir. The offering was to make the mother ceremonially clean after her days of purification and had nothing whatever to do with the baby
8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean. (Lev. 12.8),
weakening the idea that he was brought for circumcision. Notice that Miryam brought two birds, not a lamb and a bird. This gives the lie to the prosperity crowd, Yoseph was not a rich man and neither was Yeshua. Neither was he homeless, as the PC crowd wants us to think. Yoseph was an independent businessman, like most of the men here, and was therefore almost, but not quite, broke.
The Ruach ha Kodesh was upon Shimon. I think that the vast majority of the religious leaders thought he was a kook, but I’ll bet the people loved him because he was just and devout like the leaders should have been. Shimon probably got the same treatment as Randall Terry, or D. James Kennedy, or Menachem Schneerson. The media paints them as fanatics, but the real believers know that that is a badge of honor to be worn with joy (Jn.15.18-25).
So up comes Shimon, the fanatic the Jews tolerate but ignore, and, upon seeing the boy Yeshua, he prophesies. He was waiting for the Mashiach and fervently praying for his arrival, and for that reason the Ruach ha Kodesh was on him like a Mormon missionary at an Amway convention. The Spirit had told him that the Mashiach would come before his death and that he would see him with his own two eyes.
He came by the Spirit to the temple. Look at Acts 8.26-40. There are two ways that the Spirit can get you from one place to another. He can tell you to go and maybe you’ll do it, or he can transport you there supernaturally. From the description of Shimon it is plain that he would go immediately upon receiving orders from Y’hovah and time was not so pressing as it was in the Acts passage, but the possibility exists that he was transported there. He got there before Yoseph and Miryam knowing that this is the reason the Spirit brought him here, and when he lays eyes on Yeshua the Spirit opens his mouth in blessing to Y’hovah, for Y’hovah has fulfilled his promise. He calls the baby ‘thy salvation’. He says that Yeshua is the salvation of the whole world, a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Yisrael. Elohim’s plan had never been to save just the Jews, but that they would take the gospel to the world. They kept salvation to themselves though, and that is why the Ephraimite gentile assembly was created. Now the body of Mashiach is keeping the gospel to itself, worried what the world might think of them and letting millions die in their sins. We all need to be more like Shimon. He is what the 144,000 will be like, fearing Elohim more than man. And they will succeed where the assembly is failing today.
Yoseph and his mother marveled. This man was a fanatic (read on fire believer) who was led by the Ruach ha Kodesh to prophesy. They had never seen him before, I assume, and so there was no way for him to have known whom they were save by direct inspiration of Elohim. How could he know what the angel had told them 10-11 months before? He may have heard what the shepherds had said a month or so before, but how would he know it was this baby and not some other?
And notice that it was Yoseph and his mother, not his mother and father. Everyone knew that Yoseph was not the father of this boy. Luke is here making plain the fact that Elohim was the father of this child by supernatural means. And Yoseph was here to make legal claim of the boy as his principal heir – the heir to the throne of David.
And Shimon blessed them. Here Shimon tells them that this child is the Mashiach by referring to scriptural prophecies. The first is the Rock of Offense, for the fall and rising again of many in Yisrael
13 Sanctify Y’hovah of hosts himself; and him your fear, and him your dread. 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. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. (Is.8.13-15, Mat.21.42-44).
Those who fall ON the Rock will be saved, but those who fall under the Rock will be ground to powder. In Mat.16.18 we see the Rock upon which to build. It is Yeshua, the living Word of Yehovah, the Mashiach and Son of the living Elohim. If you’re not on this Rock, you’ll be under it (Ps.110.1). It is described in Dan.2 as the stone cut out without hands, which destroys the kingdoms of the earth, grinding them to powder (Dan2.35). This Rock is the Word of Y’hovah, the Rock that he himself cut out on Sinai (a spirit has no hands) and on which he inscribed the 10 commandments – Torah. Many in Yisrael will fall on this Rock and rise again. All the rest will fall under this Rock and be ultimately destroyed.
A sign which shall be spoken against.
6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying , 8 He trusted on Y’hovah that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. [Ps.22.6-8]
Mat.27.39, Mk.15.32, Lk.23.39. The purpose of the reviling is revealed by Shimon, as well. It is so that the thoughts of the hearts of many would be revealed.
“6 Eat thou not the bread of an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7For as he thinketh in his heart, so he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. 8The morsel thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” [Proverbs 23:6-8]
Here is the bread of death. When a man desires the things of this world, Elohim often gives it to him, but the end of that desire is spiritual death. Do you want to know what kind of person you are? What do you think about? What do you desire in life? Does what you say match what you think or desire? Those who speak against Yeshua have revealed their hearts more truly than many who name the name of Mashiach. We often proclaim our allegiance to Yeshua with our mouths, and proclaim our allegiance to the world with our actions and desires – truly a spring giving forth both salt and sweet water. As in Jas.3.10, it ‘ought not so to be.’ Oh, for the resurrection, that I might not be such a hypocrite.
Look at the description of Anna. What a great woman of Elohim. She no sooner sees Y’hovah’s Mashiach than she starts to proclaim him to any who will listen. This woman is probably about 105-110 years old and had been serving in the temple for 84 years. She was a true servant of Y’hovah, with a true heart toward him. She was, like Shimon, under the influence of Ruach ha Kodesh, for she came ‘in that instant’, the very moment that Shimon was finishing his own prophecy. Why?
“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” [2Cor. 13:1]
Two witnesses established the fact
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. (Jn.8.17).
YOUR law is not necessarily Y’hovah’s law. Q&C
44). The return to Nazareth – Mat.2.19-23, Lk.2.39. Notice once again that the reference is to the young child. In the dream Yoseph sees AN angel of Y’hovah. This message is not as urgent, so it wasn’t necessary for THE angel of Y’hovah to carry it personally. Did that matter to Yoseph? There is nothing here that suggests he did anything differently. He got his butt out of bed, took the young child and his mother, and scooted immediately. Yoseph is a wonderful picture of humble obedience to the Father. He never says, ‘I’m tired. Can’t I rest until morning?’ Never do we hear a complaint from Miryam, either. When Yoseph said, ‘Let’s go. Y’hovah told me to get out of Egypt,’ she got up and went – like NOW, without hesitation.
When they got back to Yisrael Yoseph found that Herod’s son was ruling in his place. The reaction of Yoseph hints to us that Archelaus was as bad or worse than his old man. His name means people-ruler, and I think refers to a tyrant. The root words are Arch meaning first, chief or ruling and Laos meaning people. Laos is also one of the roots in the city name Laodicea which means rights of the people, as in the peoples’ or person’s rights are more important than pure and true doctrine. At any rate, Herod was bad, Archelaus was worse. So Elohim tells Yoseph to go to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. That was where he and Miryam lived before the census and during their betrothal. Do you think maybe they didn’t want to go back there because everyone knew that Yeshua was not Yoseph’s offspring, and Yoseph wanted to spare his wife the taunting that would surely arise? Perhaps.
Lk.2.39 seems to contradict the account in Matthew, but it actually is just condensed. Luke was writing to a gentile who would not be concerned with how the prophecy was fulfilled, while Matthew was written to Jews who would. The prophecy seems to be in
6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of Eloha came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of Eloha, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was , neither told he me his name: 7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing : for the child shall be a Nazarite to Eloha from the womb to the day of his death. Judges 13.6-7
and concerns, historically, Samson. But Samson never fulfilled his Nazarite calling, except outwardly. He was a reprobate at heart until the last day of his life, when he finally called on Elohim to empower him. Yeshua was truly a Nazarite from the womb, being separated unto the service of his Father, Y’hovah, Elohim of Yisrael. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study