Author Archives: fulfillingtorahministries

Shabbat Bible Study for July 21, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for July 21, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Shabbat 19

Numbers 32:1-42  –   Y’hoshua 22.1-34  –   Psalm 117   –   James 2:1-26

Links: 

www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1447.html

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Ancient_Jerusalem.html 

B’midbar 32.1- – Reuven and Gad saw the land that Israel had taken by right of conquest from Midian, Ammon, and Bashan and thought about what great land it would be for their cattle. And so Reuven and Gad approached Moshe to ask if they could settle their families and herds on the eastern side of Yarden. Now consider for a minute what Moshe’s 1st thought probably was; “Here we go again! It’s Kadesh all over again! These guys were just youngsters 38 years ago and don’t remember the 10 tourists and what that brought about.” You can’t blame Moshe, really. He had been in the ‘guard Israel’ mode for almost 80 years now, and he had learned from experience that Israel was a stiff-necked people. The words that Reuven and Gad used to make their proposal also helped because they said “our herds and our families”, implying that they were more worried about the animals than the people. If that were the case, it was a no-brainer that Reuven and Gad were not going to cross Yarden to help with the conquest of Canaan, even after the object lesson of the conquest of Midian, WITHOUT INJURY, with a relatively small force working as a unit. Also, they’d actually spoken the words, “Bring us not over Yarden” (v.5).

Moshe jumped right down their throats. He didn’t even pass “GO!” He said (in a Mark paraphrase), “You’re going to let your brothers cross over without YOU to help them take the land? They helped to take the land YOU want and now they won’t have YOUR help taking their land? Don’t you remember why we’ve been out here in the Wilderness for the last 38+ years? Do you want us to have to wander ANOTHER 40 years? What kind of mamzers are you?” The Hebrew word mamzer is not actually used in scripture until Dt.23.2, but the usage is correct. That is what Moshe thought of them at this point. A mamzer is a person born of adultery or his offspring. 

A bastard (mamzer) shall not enter into the congregation of Y’hovah; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of Y’hovah. (Deuteronomy 23:2)

Had Tamar actually had a child of adultery in Gen.38, Yehudah’s pronouncement of punishment would have been proper. She was under his covering by marriage and subject to his customs and laws, even though she was sent back to her father’s house to live.

And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. (Leviticus 21:9)

AH! The vagaries of interracial/intercultural marriages!

Meanwhile, Moshe’s monologue was very pointed, and I think can be applied to the spiritual circumstances we see today. Let’s look briefly at Lev.26.14ff. In vv.1-13 Y’hovah pronounced blessings for obedience to his Toroth. But beginning in v.14 he says, “But if you WON’T obey me …” and then he gets REALLY specific;

14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; [a conscious decision] 15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, that ye break my covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

That sounds a bit like what’s going on in the world today, doesn’t it? Especially like what’s happening in the USofA? We have some pretty nasty plagues that have been visited on our nation and the world in the last 40 or so years; SARS, AIDS, MRSA, etc. [and many largely for profit]. And for the last few years, the grain crops have been shipped to China in partial repayment of our debt to them, leaving us with almost no reserves. Add to that the stupid idea of turning our food into motor fuel while curtailing our own production of fossil fuels, driving the prices of almost everything through the roof [again, for profit]. But that’s not all. Look at the next verse in Lev.26;

17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

Our enemies, all you believers, HAVE been ruling over us. If you think that the Bushes and the Republicans were our ‘friends’ you have another thing coming. And you well know that neither Clinton nor Obama nor the Democrats are our ‘friends’. We just haven’t generally had the insight to see it, largely due to the tax-exempt corporate status of most ministries in the US. Those ministries are precluded from preaching the truth about the federal government’s hand in all of this, for fear of having their tax exemption removed and having to pay all those back taxes from the day the exemption was granted until now. They preemptively flee when none pursues. But that’s not all, either. Look at the NEXT verses of Lev.26:

18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.

Do you think that those verses might be in their fulfillment for America as we speak? In California there is a severe drought, like there was in the mid-section of North America between the mountains – the Mississippi watershed up until this year. In the high plains of Colorado, farmers were talking about worms eating their crops from beneath while grasshoppers were eating what’s above ground. 8 grasshoppers would eat a corn stalk all the way to the ground in a day. Here’s a quote from Colorado State University Ag extension:

In Colorado there are several species of grasshoppers, but 90% of damage to plants is caused by grasshoppers in the genus Melanoplus. Females of one species in the genus can lay up to 400 eggs in a single season, depending on the weather. Fewer eggs are produced in cooler, wetter weather. [And, presumably, MORE in dry, hot weather. – MP]

Some grasshoppers prefer one food source, such as corn or alfalfa, but when the food is scarce they eat a variety of plants, shrubs, and trees. 1 grasshopper eats its weight in grass in 16 hours. 7 grasshoppers/sq. yard over 10 acres till eat the same ration [of grass – MP] as one cow.

BTW, cows don’t crop the grass down to the ground. 

But in addition to the drought, which is graphically described in Lev.26.19-20, there is also the stuff in vv.21-39 that will follow ‘hard on the heals’ of what’s already happened. There are 4 multiplications of the curses ‘7 times’ for those who despise or abhor Y’hovah’s commandments. 

But I think there is a ray of light to be found in Mat.24 in conjunction with Lev.26.40-42: 

40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; 41 And I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: 42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Avraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. (Lev.26.40-42) 

Y’hovah doesn’t forget, and so can’t ‘recall’. When Y’hovah says he ‘will remember’ something or someone, he means he will act on their behalf. 

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here Mashiyach, or there; believe not. 24 For there shall arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Mat.24.21-24)

I think we are about to enter ‘those days’, folks. The 40th anniversary of the decision on Roe v. Wade was January 22, 2013. America’s probationary period ended on Jan.21,2013. Americans, like the Sanhedrin and the political leadership of the Hebrew religion in Yeshua’s days and those 40 years following until the destruction of the Temple, have not accepted our national culpability nor recognized our iniquity in this matter and I think that this is at least a PART of the reason for these obvious [to me, anyway] judgments of Y’hovah that we are experiencing. The possibility exists that we are about to experience the destruction of America’s version of the Temple. SCOTUS has not brought many, if any, righteous decisions in the last few years. More coals of fire? Could be.

But keep this in mind; Y’hovah promised in Lev.26.40-42 that IF we will humble ourselves and acknowledge our sin and accept the punishment that comes on us as our due for our iniquity, he will remember his covenant with our Patriarchs and act on our behalf. I think that is what Yeshua was alluding to in Mat.24.22 – that we CAN shorten those days by implementing 2 Chronicles 7.14, which reiterates Lev.26.40-42, on behalf of our nation and world. Q&C

Vv.16-22 Anyway (getting back to the Torah portion), Gad and Reuven changed their verbiage. They said (again – a Mark paraphrase) “DOH! That wasn’t what we meant. What we meant was …” and then they completed their proposal. “We SHALL go in and help our brothers take their land – that was a part of the plan. Here’s what we want to do; we’ll repair the breeches in these cities’ walls and fences. Then we’ll leave our wives and children here on this side of Yarden to care for our livestock and tidy up a bit. While they’re doing that, we’ll go into Canaan and help with the conquest of our brother’s inheritances. We’ll even stay beyond the actual conquest of the land until they actually enter their inheritances before we come back across Yarden to live in peace with our brethren in Canaan (assuring ourselves that we won’t have to be a part of the cleanup and basic housework kinda stuff because we’re MEN, and that’s women’s and children’s work). Whaddayasay?!” Moshe liked the basic proposal OK, but he took the wives side by saying (in another Mark paraphrase), “Well, I expect you to help with the conquest, but once that’s done, you can just hightail it right back over to your wives and kids and help out around the house.” G&R said (in yet ANOTHER Mp), “DANG! Caught us! … OK, that’ll work.” And there was shalom once more. 

Vv.23-42 – Moshe told them that if they would not help Israel’s other10 tribes to subdue the land for them, they would be in sin before Y’hovah and to ‘be sure your sin will find you out.’ Moshe then instructed Elazar and Yehoshua concerning Gad and Reuven. He told them what these tribes would do before crossing over to the west bank to help the rest of Israel subdue the land and drive out the inhabitants. He spelt it out for Elazar and Yehoshua in v.29 and pronounced the judgment in v.30 – all the rest of Israel would know what mamzers these 2 tribes were if they didn’t do as they proposed. That’s one way their sin would find them out. Another way may have been the loss of a great percentage of their families and herds. In v.17 you can see why I think this may have been a way their sin might find them out. They still had young women of these lands among them as servants. Perhaps, had Gad and Reuven reneged on their word to Moshe, those girls would have enticed the tribes to sin after the counsel of Bila’am, causing the men to go after the gods of the land they’d conquered. Or perhaps the inhabitants of the land would attack and overpower their cities before they could get them rebuilt. The inhabitants had a fear over them of Israel and her Y’hovah. Perhaps Y’hovah would use those inhabitants to bring judgment on Gad and Reuven if they would not go over Yarden armed to subdue Canaan. Whatever Moshe meant is not spelled out, but I think Gad and Reuven knew. 

In v.33, Moshe added a little twist we didn’t hear from Gad and Reuven’s mouths – ½ of Menashe was going to inherit in Gilead, north and east of Gad, which would inherit north of Reuven. Reuven’s land was basically the land of Ammon, which lay north of Moav and Edom. Gad’s was basically the east bank of Yarden from the Sea of Galilee to just a few miles north of the Dead Sea. Gilead was the hill country east of Yarden and the eastern shore of Galilee (now called the Golan heights) to just north of Mt. Hermon. Gad would rebuild the defenses of 9 cities, Reuven the defenses of 6 more and 2 sons of Machir, son of Menashe would get 2 sets of smaller cities and their associated villages. The amount of work needed to rebuild these defenses must have been relatively minor, because it could be done in a few weeks, at most. Next week we’ll look at the 42 camps in the Wilderness Adventure. Q&C

This haftarah is taken from my notes for the TTRT study of Joshua.

Yehoshua 22 Vv.1-6, TSK has this commentary on v.1-6 that seems salient and may even be correct:

We have already seen, that a detachment of 40,000 men [4.12-13], of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Menashe, had passed over Yarden armed, with their brethren, according to their agreement with Moshe. The war being now concluded, the land divided, and their brethren settled, Yehoshua assembles these warriors; and with commendations for their services and fidelity, he dismisses them, having first given them the most pious and suitable instructions. They had now been about seven years absent from their respective families; and though there was only the river Yarden between the camp of Gilgal and their own inheritance, yet it does not appear that they had, during that time, ever revisited their homes…

Of course, they had moved camp to the area of Shiloh from Gilgal [v.9 how did TSK miss this?], but the rest of that was well said.

V.5 has Yehoshua’s instruction and warning that the 2½ tribes need to stay true to Y’hovah’s instructions in order to keep their land on that side of Yarden. That this was the understanding between the tribes will be seen later in the chapter. As I look back on the tribal conquests of each inheritance, it only just now occurs to me that these 40,000 were at each battle throughout the conquest. These 40K were quite probably the most battle-hardened troops in Israel’s arsenal. At the census taken in B’Midbar 1, Reuven had 46.5K men at arms [Num.1.21; 26.7 says 43.73K], Gad had 45.65K men at arms [1.25; 26.18 says 40.5K], and Menashe had 32.2K [1.35; 26.34 says 52.7K] total, so ½ of that is 16.1K [26.35K] for a total of 108,250 [104,750] men of war on the leeward side of Yarden, of whom 40K went to battle for their brethren on the windward side [Jos.4.12-13], leaving 64,750 men to watch over the land, cultivate it, etc and protect the women, children and the Levi’im who MUST have stayed on that side to care for the spiritual needs of the people. It IS possible, and I think LIKELY, that there was a rotation of the fighting men, as only about 38% of the Gilead/Bashanite men were in the actual fighting force. Were I the Zachan of those tribes, I’d have had a rotation working to send fresh men to battle and relieve those who’d been through the wars. Maybe a year on duty with the army and 2 years back home. When I was on active duty in the Navy, our normal sea duty rotation was 10-11 months working up for a 6 month deployment and then a month of leave upon return. and then start the work ups for the 2nd deployment of your sea duty tour followed by 3 years of shore duty. The 2½ Bashan/Gilead tribesmen may even have left their land fallow, at rest, for the year they were on duty. The family could live pretty well on what came up from the dropped produce of the previous harvest.

V.6 says they went to their tents according to the command and leave given them by Yehoshua in v.4. The tents Yehoshua had referred to are not the ones they were staying in temporarily while fighting with their brethren on THIS, the windward, side Yarden, but the ones they had not visited for awhile on THAT, the leeward side. They were ALL men of their word, all of good character

12 And to the Reuveni, and to the Gadi, and to half the tribe of Menashe, spake Yehoshua, saying, 13 Remember the word which Moshe the servant of Y’hovah commanded you, saying, Y’hovah Elohechem hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moshe gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; 15 Until Y’hovah have given your brethren rest, as you, and they also have possessed the land which Y’hovah Elohechem giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moshe Y’hovah’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising. 16 And they answered Yehoshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moshe in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only Y’hovah Elohecha be with thee, as he was with Moshe. 18 Whosoever doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage. [Jos.1.12-18]

The time away from their homes was the price that Y’hovah through Moshe had made them pay to have their inheritances in Bashan, and it seems that they were happy to pay it. That must have been some really CHOICE real estate. For you to get ME to stay away from MY Lovely Bride for 7 years and be HAPPY about it, you’d have to come up with some VERY CHOICE stuff.

In.v.7, East Menashe and West Menashe are parting company for the very 1st time. These full brothers had been together for as long as they’d existed, their patriarch having been born in Egypt of Yoseph and Asenath [I think with some rabbis she was Dinah’s daughter by Shechem, Gen.34]. Now they were going to live apart from each other, Machir’s ½ [through the daughters of Zelophehad and his kinsman redeemers] on the windward side, and Gilead’s ½ on the leeward side of Yarden [cf. Num.26.29]. Yehoshua in v.8 blesses East Menashe, Gad and Reuven for their faithfulness in keeping their word to Moshe and their brethren. The blessing was that plenty characterize their possessions on that side of Yarden, and I think it had already been blessed. And [v.9] the 2½ tribes crossed Yarden in accord with the promise of Moshe. Now, I don’t think everyone from the 2½ tribes up and left at that exact moment Yehoshua told them to go, and I think many or most were there for Yehoshua’s “as for me and my house” admonition in 24.15. But in their minds, and in all reality, they had been dismissed from their duties to their brethren. After 7 years of close contact and rather intimate proximity to their brother Israelis, it might have been hard to cut the ties that bound them; kinda like there being no such thing as a “former Marine”. They had very likely become a real ‘band of brothers” while in the trenches together. Fortunately for those who had made close relationships with their brethren, the other was “just over there” and there was only a shallow river [most of the time] between them.

When the 2½ tribes crossed Yarden, they built an altar [v.10] for a similar purpose as the heap of stones that Ya’acov and Lavan had built at their final meeting place [Gen.31] on the banks of the Yavok in the upper portions of Gilead, I think. This was not an altar on which to offer sacrifices, but one to bear witness to the unity of Gilead/Bashan with Israel. As the heap that Ya’acov and Lavan had built at the border was a permanent reminder of their non-aggression pact, so this altar was to symbolize the unity of Israel across the River Yarden. Now there was a heap/altar of witness, respectively on the upper and nether ends of the Yavok in the land. 

Dt.13.12-15 – if a town leaves Yhwh.

Israel on the windward side got the wrong idea when they saw the altar on the leeward bank. V.11 says plainly that they knew the altar marked the ford of the river on the leeward bank. Please notice in v.12 that the Israelis on the West Bank didn’t even consult Yehoshua or Y’hovah before they got ready to go and fight Israel on the East Bank. At least one cooler head got involved. I think it was Pinchas’ [v.13], next in line for the High Priesthood of Israel, who cooled them off enough to send an embassage to ask what this altar is for. So Pinchas and the 10 elders of Yisrael [vv.14-20] went to get the straight skinny from the 2½ tribes. They said that The 9½  tribes were worried that their brothers were departing from Y’hovah and going their own way, when of course we know that nothing could be further from the truth. The 9½ are already in full battle gear and ready to force the 2½ back into line. So Pinchas brings the western tribes’ concerns to the eastern tribes’ attention. [Mp] “It sure looks like you guys are going against the express command of Y’hovah by building an altar in competition to the one He established in Shiloh [v.16]. Pinchas went [v.17] on the remind the east side guys about Ba’al Pe’or and the death that resulted. As you’ll remember, Pinchas stopped that particular death plague with his trusty javelin. He told them about the slippery slope that eventually comes when even one person allows even one little toe outside the express command of Y’hovah [vv.18-20]. He goes on, exhorting them to not depart from Y’hovah, but if need be, come and live with us in our less than a postage stamp’s area of land [v.19]. We’ll make do to help keep you faithful to Y’hovah. It’s that last that makes me think it was Pinchas doing the palavering. The Priest would want to be sure the people were staying true to Y’hovah. He then reminds him of the sin of Achan that caused not a few deaths in the 1st battle of Ahi.

But East Bank Israel told West Bank Israel [in an abbreviated Mp of vv.21-29], not even a LITTLE bit of that malarky is true! This is an altar of witness between us and you that we will NOT turn away from Y’hovah or our brethren on the West Bank. Pinchas was satisfied, and when he told WB Israel that he was, they lightened up. Pinchas’ words in v.31 summed the whole episode up, “Y’hovah is among us.” Not “He’s with us on our side”, or “He’s with you on your side”, but he inhabits us all and we are echad. TSK has this interesting note to v.34, since the word עד, or ayd, supplied by the KJV translators as ‘witness’, doesn’t appear in the Hebrew text the translators used, but does elsewhere [including Stone’s Edition of Tanakh];

Ayd: i.e. a witness, The word witness, or testimony, is not found in the common editions of the Hebrew Bible; and is supplied in Italics by our venerable translators, at least in our modern copies; for in the first edition of this translation, it stands in the text without any note of this kind; but it is found in several of Kennicott’s and De Rossi’s manuscripts, and also in the Syriac and Arabic. Several also of the early printed editions of the Hebrew Bible have the word ayd, עד, either in the text or in the margin; and it must be allowed to be necessary to complete the sense. It is very probable that an inscription, עד, was put on this altar, signifying the purpose for which it was erected. Thus was this affair most happily terminated.

If that is right, and I believe it to be, the altar itself is a witness not only of the echadity of chol Yisrael, but of Yisrael and her Y’hovah. Q&C

Tehellim 117.1-2 – This is very interesting. The goyim praise Y’hovah. Collections of people (haummiym) – Stone’s Chumash says ‘states’ – praise Y’hovah. This, then, is a complimentary parallelism, as the words goyim and haummiym i.e.; nations and states; are totally synonymous. But THAT isn’t the interesting thing. What’s really interesting to me is that the Israelite who wrote this is telling the nations and states of the world they are blessed through Yisrael, specifically because Y’hovah is mercifully kind to Yisrael, his children regardless the nation or people who trust in him. 

Ya’acov 2.1-26 – I broke out my old Schofield Reference Bible (because I can’t find my Cambridge wide-margin bible with all my penciled in notes). Under the title of each book is a brief intro from Dr. C. I. Schofield in which he provides a listing of its major divisions. Now Dr. Schofield and this reference bible were the chief catalysts for the exponential rise in popularity of the ‘dispensationalist rapture cult’, to which I ascribed 30 years ago. As I read the list I became aware of something I had never noticed before. Let me reproduce the list for you.

1) The testing of faith; 1.1-2, 26

2) The reality of faith tested by the tongue; 3.1-18

3) The rebuke of Worldliness; 4.1-17

4) The rich warned; 5.1-6

5) Hortatory; 5.7-20

What I noticed was that Dr. Schofield created a 6th division that becomes conspicuous by its absence. His divisions leave out 23 verses of chapter 1 and all of chapter 2 (that’s 49verses, total). Dr. Schofield left 49 of 108 verses out of his major divisions of this book. I think that they didn’t support his pet theory, ‘dispensationalist rapturism’. 

Those 49 verses, read in the pashat, or literal, sense make minced meat of that cult’s reason to exist. It is these 49 verses and a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word ‘faith’, born of decades in the philosophical influence of Plato and Aristotle on the RC denomination from which he received his schooling (or fooling), that made Martin Luther want to remove Yacov’s book from the canon of scripture. Had the RCC and its Babylonian pagan roots been less anti-Torah, Luther might have gone all the way back to the Way of Y’hovah Yeshua that Sholiach Sha’ul (the Apostle Paul) preached. In its Torah sense, sola fide (faith alone) is true. But Torah faith is not just a mental assent to truth, as the Platonic and Aristotelian philosophers teach, but also the mitzvoth – works of obedience – that accompany that belief in Truth. And THAT is the point of Yacov 1.3-25 and 1.27-2.26. The works do not justify us nor keep us in the family, but they DO attest to the FACT of our familial membership in good standing. They PROVE our faith to our selves and to even the most casual observer. Our obedience sets us apart so that everyone notices. It is this obedience that will mark us as his when the ‘fit hits the shan’. Motty pouth!

Vv.1-10 – Why didn’t Dr. Schofield have 2.1-10 in his division 4? Because, in conjunction with 1.27, it is an exhortation to Torah observance.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. (Ex.22.21-24)

Everything Yacov says in 1.27-2.10 is best understood in light of Ex.22.21-24 and supporting passages in Tanakh. The exhortation is clear that we are to help those who have no covering, widows indeed and orphaned children. It is OUR job to provide for the needy in our kahalim. It should never come to the government to provide the needs of the faithful. We should aid our own family members. If the needy have no family, then it falls to the kahal. We should not just provide their necessaries, like food, clothing and shelter. If they are able, we should provide them with a means to earn their necessaries so that they will actually be responsible for themselves. And if we are able, we ought not expect the family or kahal to just provide the stuff, but actually earn it by our own worthwhile labors. Charity, in the KJV sense, is not gratis. Charity respects the person’s need for self-respect. 

When Yacov says in v.6, “but ye have despised the poor”, he is saying that you have thought them less than worthy of your love. That attitude of showing respect or adulation for a wealthy man, while brushing aside the poor so that we can pander to the rich, is normal in the world’s system, but is out of character for a godly man. Paul shows us his agreement w/Yacov about godly character in 1Thes.5;

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded [faint-hearted, weak in the faith], support the weak, be patient toward all. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of Eloha in Mashiyach Yeshua concerning you. 19 Quench not Ruach. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very Eloha of Shalom sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our master Yeshua haMashiyach. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do. (1Thes.5.14-24)

The Restoration Scriptures has this for Yacov.2.6b-7; (AENT agrees)

Is it not rich men that oppress you, and drag you before their bema of mishpat? 7 Do they not blaspheme that worthy Name by which you are called?4 [Y’hovah]

Yacov is speaking about the leaders of the religion in Jerusalem, I think. (I think this also dates the letter quite early in the Way’s history. Even Schofield got that part right.) He is saying just what Paul did to Kefa when they were in Antioch (Gal.2.11-19 – showing 2 laws, as is apparent in v.19)

11 But when Kefa was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from Yacov, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled (set themselves apart from gentile believers, as if they were not worthy) likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel (no respecter of persons, Ex.22.21), I said unto Kefa before all, ‘If thou, being Yehudi, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Iuaidoi, why compellest thou the Gentiles to ‘live as do the Jews’ [‘Iudaidzo’]? 15 We Yehudi by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the (oral) law, but by the faith of Yeshua haMashiyach (Torah obedience), even we have believed in Yeshua haMashiyach, that we might be justified by the faith of Mashiyach, and not by the works of the (oral) law: for by the works of the (oral) law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Mashiyach, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Mashiyach the minister of sin? Eloha forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed (oral traditions), I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through Torah am dead to the (oral) law, that I might live unto Eloha. (Parentheticals are my own to show the 2 ‘laws’ spoken of.)[Ellipses are mine to show the faithful Yehudi from the Judaizers/Iuaidoi]

How can a man die to Torah by living through (according to/obeying) Torah? That is a logical absurdity. They cannot logically co-exist. By living out Torah, working out the faith of Yeshua with fear and trembling [Phil.2.12], we die to man’s traditions – oral law. 

Yacov.2.10 is speaking of Torah when it says law. Moshe’s footnote in the Restoration Scriptures is very instructive;

What one point is under discussion? Showing partiality. If a Jewish believer keeps the whole Torah, and yet mistreats, or refuses to recognize Ephrayim (as Kefa did in Antioch), it is as if he has violated the entire Torah. There is much more on this in Galatians, or Galut-Yah.

Q&C

Vv.11-26– Yacov went on to give example from elsewhere in Torah, the Ten Words to be exact. If I do not commit adultery, but I DO murder, am I not guilty of all 10 Words? While each of the 10 commandments stand alone, they are also interconnected through the 10th Word – against covetousness. Our lust for things, power or position is the root of every other sin listed there. As Paul says 

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (I Timothy 6:10)

But we need to speak and work as if we actually believe that it will be Torah that Yeshua will use as the standard of judgment at HIS bema of mishpat. Rest assured that he shall. It is truly a Torah of liberty. Liberty is not absolute freedom. Absolute freedom is actually license. We must not be licentious. Liberty is freedom self-constrained. The Torah of liberty provides maximum freedom in human relations. We constrain ourselves by the 613 or 759 (depending on who’s counting) instructions in Torah. We are ‘on our honor’, Y’hovah will not force us to work contrary to our own wills. But he shall reward or punish us according to his Torah commands and promises. If we show that we understand his Torah by walking in it, showing mercy (rachamim) whenever we can (like ‘visiting’, making provision for, the widows and orphans in their affliction) we shall obtain his rachamim. 

If you see a person in physical need and bless them with your words (or say “I’ll be praying for you”), but do nothing to provide for their physical needs, you are a liar, a cloud without rain. By the same token, if you SAY you believe, but there is no actual witness to it in your walk, you are likewise a liar. The worst part of it, though, is that you are fooling only yourself, because people can tell by your walk that your words are just an attempt to blow smoke up their posteriors. If that is you, your faith is merely said, and “Merely said faith is really dead faith.” As I said before, our obedience to Torah is not what justifies us. It is the evidence that we are justified. If there is no evidence of spiritual life in you, you must be spiritually dead, regardless your physical protestations to the contrary. 

The AENT has a great note on v.21 (note 7), Paul, using the same action by Avraham Avinu, made the case for works being useless in our justification.

17 By faith Avraham, when he was tried, offered up Yitzhak: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Yitzhak shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that Eloha able to raise up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Heb.11.17-19)

Avraham knew that his seed lay before him on the altar. He knew that Yitzhak was not yet married, had no children. But he had already offered Yitzhak in his heart and mind and Yitzhak was already dead in Avraham’s mind because he KNEW that Y’hovah only had 2 courses of action; 1) stop Avraham from killing him, or 2) raise him from death. So, this was the ultimate act of faith. Trusting that Y’hovah would keep his promises to him and Sarah and Yitzhak, he picked up the knife and purposed that he would kill his son. BTW, Yitzhak was a young man in the prime of life. That he submitted wilfully to his father’s actions showed that his own faith and trust in Y’hovah’s promises was every bit as strong as his papa’s.

Avraham’s faith, worked out, made his faith complete, or perfect (v.22). Do you see that Yacov connects Avraham’s faith, as seen in Rom. 4, with his actions, as seen in Heb.11? He connects Gen.15

And he believed in Y’hovah; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)

with Gen.22

8 And Avraham said, My son, Eloha will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 

10 And Avraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of Y’hovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Avraham, Avraham: and he said, Hinayni Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest Eloha, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only from me. 13 And Avraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Avraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Avraham called the name of that place Yehovahyireh: (Genesis 22:8, 10-14)

YehovahYireh means “Y’hovah, he will see to it.” Provide in v.8 is the same exact word –  yireh (root = ra’ah, to see). In v.8 it is Elohim will see to it. In v.14 it is Y’hovah will see to it. 

An interesting note: Shem called the place “Shalom”, or peace, and Avraham called it Yireh, or “he shall see”, but Y’hovah calls it Yerushalayim – YirehShalom, “He shall see Peace”.

In the same way that Avraham’s faith was completed by the works that accompanied it, so was Rachav’s faith completed when she believed Y’hovah would deliver Yericho into Israel’s hands and she hid and then delivered the spies out of the city. She put her life into Y’hovah’s hands when she did that. She knew the consequences if Y’hovah did not deliver Yericho – her life would be forfeit. And she did it anyway. That is a faith that works, folks. May we all have it so. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

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Shabbat Bible Study for July 14, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for July 14, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Shabbat 18

B’Midbar (Num.) 30-31, Yeremeyahu (Jer.) 4.2, Tehillim (Ps.)116, Mat. 5.33-48

B’Midbar 30– Be careful about making vows to Y’hovah, for he will hold you to your word. You’d better make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when you pledge yourself to anything. Your word should be your bond. If you are female, your head has a veto power over your obligation. I think that means that Messiah has veto power over our vows. I know it means that a father or husband has veto power, because that is the Pashat of this passage. This MAY be the source of the idea of ‘binding and loosing’, as we see in 

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)

3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay on men’s shoulders; but they will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matt.23.3-4)

And since Messiah is our Husband and Abba is our Father, I think this may be the Sod, or mystery. So, if we make a vow to something in HaSatan’s kingdom, Messiah or Abba can veto that vow. This doesn’t mean he CERTAINLY will veto it, but he has the authority to do so. For example, we borrow money and vow to pay it back over time. He CAN veto that obligation. But until he unequivocally does so, we need to honor our word. When our Husband, AFTER we become his bride, does veto our vow entered into before we were his, HE takes responsibility to fulfill it (v.15). And that’s exactly what Yeshua did for us through his death on the tree. He renegotiated our vow to haSatan when we trusted him and he bore our iniquity – “the handwriting of ordinances against us, nailing it to his cross” 

10 And ye are complete [perfect] in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Mashiyach:  12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his tree; 15 having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Col.2.10-15, esp. 14). 

In keeping with this passage of Torah, Hannah made her vow known to Elkanah; that if Y’hovah would let her conceive a son, he would be a Nazarite from the womb (1Sam.1.11); and Elkanah agreed to it so that Samuel was Y’hovah’s from before his conception.

Pay off your debts as the day approaches. Gather up all your credit card bills and pay the minimums on all of them, except the smallest one you have. Pay as much as you can on that one every month until it is paid off. Then, do likewise to the next smallest one and continue in this pattern until they are ALL paid off. Then forget you have credit cards until you NEED one. Then, when you need one, pay it off as quickly as you can. Next, get your car and house payments into the mix. Pay them off as quickly as you can. The reason we are cash strapped is because we are paying so much interest on those damned credit cards. I used that word purposefully, because they are a blessing that we have allowed to become a curse to the people of Y’hovah. Satan has taken what COULD have been a great blessing and perverted our minds, making them a curse to us. As long as we only used them and then paid them off at the end of the month, thus avoiding the finance charges, they were a blessing. As soon as we got greedy and started carrying balances over to the next month in our pursuit of stuff, they became idols to us. 

I think that you ought to pay your debts EVEN BEFORE you pay your tithes and offerings, if that is necessary. I mean, if you have a choice to make an offering or pay a debt, pay the debt, because one of the worst witnesses we can have to the world is to not keep our word. If we can’t keep our vows to people we can see, how will we ever keep our vow to Abba, whom we can’t see? Besides, if you get your debts paid off, you will have more to offer in the long term than you would have had otherwise. Of that I am certain. 

So the general principles are: 1). Don’t make vows you can’t keep, 2). When you make a vow, keep it, even if something else that is unnecessary (like owning a new car or buying a bigger house than you need) has to suffer, 3). Get out of debt and STAY out of debt – ‘the borrower is servant to the lender’. 4). THEN bring your tithes into the storehouse. 

I think I’ve meddled long enough – for now. Q&C

B’Midbar 31.1-6 – Y’HOVAH commanded Moshe to avenge Yisrael on Midian. This has to do with the ‘doctrine of Bila’am’, wherewith Midian tempted Yisrael to go after their own way in debauching the very Tabernacle of meeting in Moshe and Y’hovah’s face, and to follow the gods of the Midianite wives they took way back in ch. 25 – about a week or so ago in the chronology. Bila’am had gone over completely to the enemy (v.8). What could be a worse end for a man of Y’hovah than to die in His judgment on the heathen? 

Here’s a quote from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (edited):

“All who, without commission from Yah, dare to execute private revenge, and who, from ambition, covetousness, or resentment, wage war and desolate kingdoms, must one day answer for it. But if Yah, instead of sending an earthquake, a pestilence, or a famine, be pleased to authorize and command any people to avenge his cause, such a commission surely is just and right. The Israelites could show such a commission, though no persons now can do so. Their wars (this one, anyway) were begun and carried on expressly by Y’hovah’s direction, and they were enabled to conquer by miracles. Unless it can be proved that the wicked Canaanites did not deserve their doom, objectors only prove their dislike to Yah, and their love to his enemies.”

With Y’hovah’s command, Yisrael was authorized to wipe out the Midianites. 

This brings to mind the future attack on Yisrael by the Assyrian, as seen in Yoel 2.1-11. In ch.1 Y’hovah had sent preliminary judgments (insects to destroy the crops, and thereby the economy) in an attempt to get Yehuda/Zion to repent and go after Y’hovah with all their heart. However, the destruction of our economy doesn’t seem to get our attention, so he sends the Assyrian’s armies to further emphasize the point. When the Assyrian comes against us we finally get it and call on Y’hovah’s set-apart Name for deliverance. Please note that this repentance does not come until Yoel.2.12-17, so IN CONTEXT the blowing of trumpets in Zion in v.1 is an attempt to awaken Israel from their slumber in spiritual darkness. V.9 is NOT about Israel doing exploits, but of the Assyrian’s armies’ ‘urban warfare’ tactics (think about the news reports of the multi-jurisdictional ‘training exercise’ in 7 southwest states called “Jade Helm” which is going on right now in July 2015). To bring this together with our passage in B’Midbar, the Assyrian is doing Y’hovah’s will, and His purpose will result – Yehuda and Zion will repent and call on his Name (probably just when their backs are against the wall). The blowing of the trumpet in v.15 is to tell Y’hovah that Zion is ready to repent and turn to HIS way on this solemn assembly for fasting and prayer for deliverance. During the moedim, it is to announce the Yovel, the fast of Yom Kippur, the soon assembly at Yerushalayim for the Feast of Tabernacles, and the marriage of the Bridegroom to his bride. Then (v.18 – AFTER the true repentance of Y’hovah’s people) comes judgment against the Assyrian’s army as they run in disarray to escape from before the King of kings. Though he used the Assyrian’s armies as his tool, they are still responsible for their treatment of Yisrael. (I think that unless America repents, she will be a part of the Assyrian’s armies.)

31.7-12 – We see the demise of 5 kings of Midian and Bila’am. As I stated earlier, it seems that Bila’am has forsaken Y’hovah completely and gone after the loot. The king Evi’s name (from the root avah, H183) means ‘I am covetous or lustful’, which I think probably relates to Bila’am, as well. Perhaps Bila’am has taken over Balak’s kingdom and is now known as Evi, eh? This incident brings to mind the kings of B’reishit 14, whom Avram wiped out. Do you suppose this all has to do with exile and redemption? (say facetiously) NAHH! Couldn’t be! Let’s see, the kings of the East came and took Lot captive, as the Midianites had ‘taken Yisrael captive’ with their daughters. Avi goes after the 5 kings and wipes them out to redeem Lot, as Y’hovah redeemed Yisrael by wiping out these 5 kings. Are we seeing a parallel here? 

By the way, did you notice that the 3rd king mentioned is named Zur? Remember him? He was the father of Cozbi, the Midianitish woman that Zimri took in the sight of the whole congregation of Israel in the Tent of Meeting? 

14 Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. 15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he head over a people, of a chief house in Midian. (Num.25.14-15)

Do you think he’s there to personally avenge his daughter’s death, perhaps to kill Pinchas? 

But Yisrael didn’t get the point, seemingly, since they took the women and children captive. Y’hovah’s instructions were to avenge Him on Midian – the idea being to utterly destroy Midian, and leave nothing and noone alive. The trouble we’re seeing in Lebanon and Gaza is a direct result of Yisrael NOT wiping out Midian and the Canaanites when they were told to. Have you killed or driven out Midian and Canaan from YOUR life?  There I go meddling again. I’ll rest for Q&C.

Vv.13-20 – Mo is righteously ticked! They had just had a plague where 24,000 Yisraelites had died because these women had tempted Yisrael, and here is Yisrael taking them – perhaps the very same women! –  prisoner! What were they thinking?!? Maybe, “Oh, There’s Delilah! I had a REALLY good time with her!” Unfortunately, they weren’t thinking (not with their brains, at least), or they’d have followed their orders. Mo gives the order to kill ALL the males and the women who had known any man. Only young virgin girls were to be spared, and then only as slaves – NOT WIVES. 

Then they were told to do the ritual purification and see that the girl captives were purified, as well. 2 mikvoth were performed, once on the 3rd day and again on the 7th, just like when they were defiled with a dead body. I think the requirements were the same; that failure to cleanse on the 3rd day made the same exercise on the 7th day futile? See Num.19 for these requirements.  Perhaps the 3rd day has to do with Resurrection and deliverance from sin’s consequence, and the 7th with Shabbat and deliverance from the evil inclination/sin nature?

    Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: [3] Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. (Numbers 5:2-3 KJV)

“The Israelites had to purify themselves according to the law, and to abide without the camp seven days, though they had not contracted any moral guilt, the war being just and lawful, and commanded by Eloha. Thus Eloha would preserve in their minds a dread and detestation of shedding blood. The spoil had been used by Midianites, and being now come into the possession of Israelites, it was fit that it should be purified.”ii

Vv21-24 – Those things that could go through the fire without harm would be sent through the fire, but they STILL had to go through the water of purification, the water that had been mixed with the ashes of the red heifer (ch.19). Everything had to go through the water of purification, so that nothing would defile the camp. It is getting very close to the time for their wandering to end and to enter the Promised Land. They had to wash their clothes on the 7th day and THEN they would be clean. In Rev.7.14, we see the multitudes who have ‘washed their robes’. The word robes is from G4749, stole, from G4724, stello. Stello = ‘withdraw oneself’, or set oneself apart. They needed to be set-apart unto Y’hovah in order to take the Promised Land without loss. Hence, the detailed instructions on purification and entering the camp. We are as close now as they were then.

Vv.25-47 – Why was the spoil divided differently for the fighters and the people in general? It seems obvious that the ones who put their lives in jeopardy ought to receive the lion’s share of the spoil. It was not just the amount of spoil, but the requirement of the offering that was different. The spoil was divided in half and the fighters divided their ½ 12,000 ways. The people then divided the rest equally. Here’s what Matthew Henry says:

Out of the people’s share God required one in fifty, but out of the soldiers’ share only one in five hundred. The less opportunity we have of honouring God with personal services, the more should we give in money or value.ii 

I think there is at least one other possibility – that the people in general would see (sight vice faith) that the fighters got not only a larger division of spoil, but got to keep 10x as much of their share. This would have the effect of making everyone want to participate, not just the mighty men of valour. By now, the idea must have gotten around that, as long as they stayed in fellowship and Y’hovah was fighting for them, none of their fighters even took a scratch in battle. So there was no risk, and more personal financial benefit in actually going into battle. Spiritually, even the most self-seeking person would have his faith built up by continual victory without loss of life or limb. It worked temporarily, at least. I thinki that Yehoshua had to turn away willing soldiers after this.

Vv.48-54 – Not ONE man lost in battle! This had happened once before, and would happen again in Yericho. The men had the right attitude, which probably helped in the Yericho ‘battle’. They humbly offered a freewill offering en masse in gratitude for Y’hovah’s watchfulness and protection over them. This ought to be our attitude, as well, in our victories, for it is NOT we who win, but Y’hovah through us. Q&C

Yeremeyahu 4.2 – The messianic.ws website has a one line comment on our Haftarah for today, “The haftarah portion refers to swearing “in truth, in justice, and in righteousness.”” While that is true as far as it goes, taken in context it tells us that we can not swear ‘in truth, justice and righteousness’ until we have fully repented and are following after Y’hovah’s ways and not our own. In fact, v.4 ties us more closely to our Torah portion in that it is a command to be set-apart unto Y’hovah by circumcising our hearts after breaking up the fallow ground. Fallow ground is that which has not been planted for a long while. It has become hard and resistant to seed. When we break up the fallow ground, it will initially clump. These clumps must also be disked and then plowed into rows before it can be planted. It takes a lot of work to make fallow ground fit for planting. But once the work is done and the ground is softened and fertilized, it will effortlessly bring forth a wonderful harvest. Q&C

Tehillim 116 – The connection, according to messianic.ws is in v.14, where we pay our vows to Y’hovah. But there is much more here that ties us to both the Torah and haftarah. It seems that messianic.ws keyed on the vows and forgot the 2nd chapter of Torah for today. 

We see a connection to Yeremeyahu in vv.2-9, where the Psalmist testifies to Y’hovah’s faithfulness and his response to that faithfulness. This is also connected to my secondary application of vv.25-47, where the general population saw the benefit to fighting for the land and Y’hovah and was grateful for his provision.

Vv.7-14 connect us back to the 2nd chapter of today’s Torah portion, where the fighters went out and found they had taken no casualties, and where they had to purify themselves and their booty, including the girl servants, in 2 mikvot on the 3rd (Resurrection) and 7th (glorification and rest) days. 

V.15 speaks to why there were no casualties. The lives of Yah’s saints are especially precious to him. We will find out how precious in the time of trouble to come. Q&C

Matt.5.33-37 – It would seem at first glance that Yeshua is contradicting Torah here. But nothing could be further from the truth. Our Torah portion for today did not COMMAND us to make oaths. It only gave guidelines for us if we DO make one, and made provision for the head of the family to veto any agreement made by one under his authority in a timely fashion. Yeshua teaches us to AVOID making an oath, because then the Torah applies and MUST be followed. He tells us that our character should be such that noone who knows us would ever require an oath of us. We should be known as scrupulously honest in all we say and do. 

Vv.38-42 – Yeshua quotes a portion of a verse out of context, like most people do (Hosea 4.6 comes to mind as an especially egregious example), to point out the hypocrisy of doing so. Here’s the entire verse (first mention) with its context:  

    [18] And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: [19] If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. 

    [20] And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. [21] Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. 

    [22] If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. [23] And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, [24] Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, [25] Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:18-25 KJV)

The contextual point is that there must be an appropriate judgment against the perpetrator of the injustice or loss, which is EXACTLY what Yeshua was saying here. He was NOT abolishing Torah, but applying it. This passage can be seen as Yeshua answering the objections of a man who had made a deal with a woman, but her father or husband had vetoed the agreement, thus causing a loss in the first man’s eyes. There was no actual loss, only a perceived one – and that perhaps by both parties to the agreement, and so there could be no eye for eye, tooth for tooth application.

Vv.43-48 – Yeshua was probably commenting on this very Torah portion that we saw today, for everything ties to it so well. In our portion, Israel was commanded to attack and destroy Midian. Midian had made itself Y’hovah’s enemy by trying to destroy his relationship with his bride. Therefore Midian had become Israel’s enemy. However, Yeshua was teaching a group of individuals, mostly of Judah, who hated the Ephraimite Samaritans and considered them enemies. His ministry was to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [Mat.15.24]

The hatred the Yehudim had for Ephraim had to stop, or they could never perform the final command Yeshua gives in our passage, 

Matthew 5:48 (KJV)  

    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 KJV)

Perfect is translated from the G5046, teleios, complete. I think teleios corresponds to H259, echad, which means not absolute singularity, but unity. In Devarim 6.4 we read:

Shema, Israel; Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad. 

Y’hovah is one, but there is a subject/object relationship between Y’hovah Abba, who is Ruach haKodesh, and Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach. We are to be like that with our brethren; one in spirit but with a physical subject/object difference. It WILL be this way, as seen in countless scriptures. Here are just two of them:

    The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. (Isaiah 11:13 KJV)

    When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. (Zech. 9:13 KJV)

That will be a great and glorious day! HalleluYah! Even so, Come quickly, Y’hovah Yeshua. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for July 7, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for July 7, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 17

B’midbar 28:1-29:40 (30.1 in Torah) – Yechezkel 45:13-25 – Tehellim 115 – Ivrit 10:1-39

Links: 

B’midbar 28 – This whole passage is about the additional offerings to be made on the Shabbat, the new moons and the Feasts. These are additional offerings that the priests were to offer in the Mishkan and the future temple. These are not personal offerings, like the families’ Pesach lambs. These are the national offerings. If the priests had to make all these offerings for each family in Israel – or even just for the citizens of Jerusalem, they would be there for MONTHS to try to slaughter that many animals, AND the flocks and herds would be severely depleted in a season – MUCH less in a year. Now think about the need for 7 million or more yearling lambs each Pesach (assuming 1 million families making Aliyah for the Feast). No way this was done for every family in Yerushalayim for the Feast of ULB, Shavuoth, and/or Sukkoth. 

Since these were the national offerings for special days, in addition to the daily offerings, the daily offerings are mentioned first, followed by the special offerings. The daily offerings were offered in morning and afternoon about 9 AM and 3 PM, give or take. It seems that the evening and morning offerings are two halves of one daily offering – as they are a continual burnt, or elevation, offering.

In Daniel 8.14, 

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (KJV)

The words translated ‘days’ there are actually erev boker, the root words. Stone’s Tanakh has it translated 

And he said to me, “Until nightfall, morning, two thousand and three hundred; and then the holy one will be rectified. (Tanakh – Stone’s Edition; Artsctoll)

It doesn’t say evenings/mornings plural or even evenings and mornings, which to my mind would make it unequivocal to mean 2300 days. It says 2300 evening/morning. It MAY be saying 2300 total offerings, 1150 evening + 1150 morning = 2300 offerings. I lean rather heavily to 2300 of each – 2300 combinations of evening and morning offerings seems the most natural, but it is not unequivocal to my mind. This is the only use of these terms together – the one immediately following the other – and is translated ‘days’ in KJV. The difference could have the start of this timing 38.33 months different in that prophecy – showing that it is not wise to base how you live your life on your interpretation of prophecy. In this case, one or both interpretations could be incorrect. 

*I believe we are living in the last days, and I have believed this for 40+ years, based largely on Hal Lindsay’s (among other evangelical’s) books, and it has affected my life decisions. I am not prepared to retire, as my parents were. As I get nearer to that age, I realize the foolishness of that decision. I will always have to earn a living, somehow. We need to live our lives in holiness, as if the last day is today, while preparing as if the world will go on for another 200 years in its present (or worse) state. THAT is the definition of ‘prudent’ in this light.

The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. (Proverbs 14:15)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself (prepares): but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3 & 27.12)

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21)

Young men, listen up! Believing that Y’hovah Yeshua will return to rule and reign soon should make us live Torah in his righteousness. It should not make us think that preparations for our old age are unnecessary or that we should not continue to live as if what we don’t do to preserve this generation will have no effect. The world is reaping largely what WE elders have sown. I think the dispensational ½ truths that have been popular for the last 100-150 years in Xianity and the Laodicean spirit in the kahal of Mashiyach, has adversely affected our influence and been at least a secondary CAUSE of the economic, political and spiritual debauchery we see in America and the world. They have aided in the spiritual descent of mankind into the abyss. And we all must bear at least some partial responsibility – myself probably more than anyone listening, since I have a bit more influence due to my position as leader of this little group. Yacov is absolutely correct when he says 

1 My brethren, be not many masters (rabbis), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. (Yacov 3.1-2a)*

The daily offerings in the evenings and mornings are continual, no let up. I can only assume that, even during the Wilderness Adventure, these offerings were made every day. Did this affect their progress from camp to camp? Perhaps this is why they had only 42 recorded camps. Of course, those may have been the places they stayed for an extended period of time and they may have stopped to make these offerings and overnight while journeying from one semi-permanent camp to the next. If that were the case, they would only be able to travel for 4-5 hours at a time – the time they could travel between the boker and the ma’ariv offerings. If they were marching like the army marches, that would make for a 16-20 mile daily move, assuming that the manna and water from the Rock (1Cor.10.4) gave them all the necessary nutrition and the ability to march at a march pace – 30 inch steps, 2 steps per second, or about 4 miles per hour for 4-5 hours per day. That’s not unreasonable. Moshe was 120 when he croaked, and neither his body not his spirit had abated – he was in the same shape he had been in his 30s throughout his life.  

V.7 says the tamid (daily) offerings were made in the Kodesh, but this was not the Kodesh within the Mishkan proper. This speaks of the place set apart for the offerings – the brazen altar. There is an interesting comment in Schottenstein’s Chumash on Ex.29.38-46, pp. 220-221. That passage from Chumash speaks to our attitude in giving, not necessarily the amount we bring.

Beginning in v.9, we see the special mussaf offerings, beginning with that for Shabbat – 2 spotless lambs. The priests did not ‘rest’ from their daily labors on Shabbat, nor on any of the other holy convocations. In fact, they had MORE to do on all those days. So, there were daily sacrifices (erev boker), and there were weekly offerings (shabbat b’shabbato). The Shabbat special offering was 2 male yearling lambs. The word ‘b’shabbato’ (in its own Shabbat) indicates that the Shabbat offerings could not be postponed until any other day or even to the next Shabbat. If they were not offered on the day they were supposed to be offered, the opportunity to offer that Shabbat’s offerings was missed. 

There were also monthly sacrifices on Rosh Chodesh in vv.11ff in addition to the daily and the Shabbat offerings (if the Rosh Chodesh happened upon a Shabbat), “…two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;” that’s a LOT of extra work to be done on Rosh Chodesh (there is still more for Yom Teruah). It certainly looks as though the priesthood had this extra duty every month on 1st day of the month. So, even though there is only ONE Rosh Chodesh which was commanded to be a “miqra kodesh”, they ALL had special offerings (David makes reference to this sacrifice in 1Sam.20). The meal and libation offerings are the same as they always are for each animal offered as a ‘sweet savour unto Y’hovah’. 

The very same offerings as were offered on Rosh Chodesh are also offered EVERY DAY of the week of Unleavened Bread, except that beginning with ULB there is also a he goat of the 1st year offered as a sin offering. This leads me to infer that there is a difference between the Rosh Chodesh and the mo’edim, as ALL the spring moedim have a yearling male goat for a sin offering. We’ll see in a few minutes if there is a difference between the average Rosh Chodesh and Yom Teruah, Rosh Chodesh of the 7th month. 

There isn’t any difference in offerings between the mikrai kodesh on the 1st and 7th days and the 5 days in between them. These special offerings will be in addition to the daily and the Shabbat offerings on the weekly Shabbat. The whole of the 7 days, therefore ARE a part of the mo’ad, but only the 1st and last days are mikrai kodesh. These are days of no servile work, by which I take the meaning of ‘our occupation for making a living’. Only ONE of these days is designated as a day of NO WORK WHATEVER and we’ll get to it in its course.

V.26ff speaks of Shavuoth, specifically. All the same offerings are made on Shavuoth as on all the other mo’edim up to now. It says ‘after your weeks’, from which I infer that this is the only day of 1stfruits that has an additional special offering. The 1stfruits of Barley does not; the 1stfruits of wheat does. I infer from this that barley firstfruits is not a mo’ad, though it has significance in that it is the 1st day of the 1st week of the omer count to Shavuoth, as well as the day of Yeshua’s resurrection as the 1stfruits from among the dead. This ends the special offerings for the spring mo’edim and mikrai kodesh. All consist of 2 young bullocks, 1 ram, 7 yearling lambs and a goat for a sin offering. Q&C

B’midbar 29.1ff – On Yom Teruah only one young bullock was offered specifically for Yom Teruah, where in each of the spring festivals there had been 2 young bulls offered. The one bullock, one ram, 7 lambs, and one he-goat were in addition to the daily, Shabbat (if applicable) and the Rosh Chodesh offerings (2 bullocks, no goat). There is a different verb used here concerning the offering. Up until here the verb has been ‘you shall offer’ (v’hikravthem) an offering; here Y’hovah said ‘you shall make’ (va’asiythem) an offering. Yom Teruah was not JUST a Rosh Chodesh. The command to ‘make’ the offering on Yom Teruah is not applied to every Rosh Chodesh – only this Rosh Chodesh. It was designated as a mo’ad and a miqra kodesh. The Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting note on page 199. Shades of 2Cor.5.17 and Gal.6.15!

Therefore if any man be in Mashiyach, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

For in Mashiyach Yeshua neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15)

It was the day that the Teruah was blown on the shofarim to call Israel to execute Y’hovah’s command to move out! One of the themes of Yom Teruah is resurrection day. Many orthodox Jews believe that it will be on a future Yom Teruah when the dead will be resurrected. If the dead will answer the call of the shofarim on Yom Teruah, don’t you think it might be wise for us to listen for it and respond to it, as well? Do you think that the rabbis of the Mishkan and 1st Temple offered all these special offerings for 2 days, to ensure they didn’t miss Yom Teruah, like they have since the Babylonian captivity; or do you think they actually knew which day was Yom Teruah? The difference since the Bar Kochba rebellion (c.140CE) and exile from haAretz is the use of an intercalated calendar, rather than observation of the new moon of the 7th month in the land. Of course, there ARE people there to observe it now, but I guess that tradition trumps obedience to Y’hovah’s commands. Not that Judaism is alone in observing tradition over obedience to her Creator. Xians observe their own pagan holidays and claim they are keeping them to Y’hovah, like Jeroboam’s Israel did with the Golden Calves in Bethel and Dan. 

Vv.7-11 gives instruction for the offerings to be made on Yom haKippurim. On Yom haKippurim, the burnt offering was like that of Yom Teruah, except that 2 more goats were set apart as the goats for atonement. This is spelled out in Lev.23. All we’re looking at here is burnt offerings – freewill offerings, if you will, so there is no detail about the goats for Y’hovah and Azazel. 

Beginning in v.12 are the special offerings for the Feast of Sukkoth. There is a different special offering everyday, differing in the # of young bullocks that are offered, descending in # from 13 on the 1st day of Sukkoth to 7 on the last day of Sukkoth. This would total 70 young bullocks offered during the 7 day Feast. 70 is the number of nations in the world, according to Gen.10. Chumash’ note to v.13 says that if the 70 primary nations of the world knew what these offerings meant to them they would send legions to protect Yerushalayim and ensure that noone interfered with the festivities of Sukkoth. In the final Millennial Sukkoth, the nations will send their legions, but it won’t be to protect the city. 

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Rev.20.7-9)

Each day’s offerings are the same, except for the bulls for the nations being in descending number from 13-7. There were the bulls, 2 rams, and 14 spotless male yearling lambs for the burnt offering and a male goat for a sin offering every day. Why the descending number of offerings for the primary nations of the world? The same total would be offered if they offered 10 every day, so it isn’t JUST the total number that’s important. As the number declines, so, the sages say, does the influence of the nations of the world in Israel’s existence. They see a gradual lessening of influence over Y’hovah’s people until the nations finally accept the spiritual leadership of Israel. I see it as a spiritual declension of the nations until they are finally defeated and forced under Mashiyach’s authority in the Millennium. So, I agree with the sages, as far as they go. I just carry it to Rosh Yisrael – Mashiyach as Sar Yisrael – the Prince. Rashi makes the connection between 98 lambs, which represent Israel, being offered to the 98 curses placed on Israel in Devarim 28.15ff. I think that this is at least an interesting juxtaposition. Numbers MEAN things in Torah. 

The last special mussaf offering is the one offered on Shimeni Atzereth, the Last Great Day of the Feast (Jn7.37). This one is identical to the Yom Teruah special offering, so the first and last offerings of the 7th month look the same. This day is called a solemn assembly in KJV, a ‘restriction’ in Stone’s Tanakh following Rashi’s designation. Atzereth = restraints. Shimeni Atzereth can be seen as ‘the eighth restrains’. That could mean that this is the last of the fall and yearly feasts of Y’hovah, so the last of the miqra kodesh for the year, the feasting is now ‘restricted’ to the weekly shabbat and family gatherings. It could also be like the sages say in the Chumash note on pp.203-204, 2nd paragraph. I must again point out that all these offerings are in addition to the daily tamid offerings. Also, that every offering has a threefold application; literal, prophetic and spiritual. The prophetic instance of every sacrifice/offering points to its fulfillment in Mashiyach. The spiritual aspect is the attitude we ought to have to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. And the literal shows forth our understanding of the other 2. If we will not offer a substitutionary lamb, will we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, allowing Y’hovah to transform us into the image of his Son? Q&C 

Yechezkel 45  – The subject of our haftarah begins in v.9, where Y’hovah is rebuking the princes of Israel. I think we are at the beginning of the Millennium and the Kingdom of Y’hovah in the Land at the dedication of the 3rd Temple.V.9-12 are important to get the context, so let’s read them with our portion. 

Y’hovah is angry with the princes, the priests, rulers and judges, because they have oppressed the people through high taxes/tithes (exactions) and showing partiality in the dispensation of justice, preferring the rich and influential. IOW, what Israel’s princes were doing before Mashiyach the Prince came to town is very much like what the world’s governments and politicians are doing right now, today. The government of Israel had become fascistic. Mashiyach EXPECTS the princes of Israel to be content with their inheritances and to deal justly and bring righteous judgment in every matter. He expects there to be just weights and measures, and honest money and that the princes enforce them righteously. He goes so far as to prescribe what the weights should be. An Ephah was a dry measure, like a bushel or a peck; a bath was a wet measure, like a gallon or a quart. An ephah and a bath are the same physical volume, which equaled 1/10 homer. 

V.13-25 – The oblation for the dedication of the Third Temple will be 1/6 homer of wheat or barley = about ½ bushel. A bath of oil is about 6 gallons, roughly equivalent to a bushel in volume. 1/10th of a bath = .6 gallons or about 2.3 liters. 1 lamb of every 200 is to be offered as a burnt offering. This is from the nation, so I suppose that each family would count his sheep and send .5 percent for the dedication of the Temple. The dedication will take about 1 week to complete (cf.43.20). That’s a lotta lambs sent by the people to the prince for offering. 

It sure looks to me that the prince is actually partaking in the mussaf offerings on Pesach and Sukkoth in the Millennial Temple, preparing the animals for offering. Since when does the prince have anything to do with the offerings in the Temple? Since that prince will be the Melchizedek, Mashiyach Yeshua. He is the High Priest as well as the Prince. The sons of Zadok are the priests who will actually offer the burnt offerings for a sweet savour to Y’hovah. The mussaf offerings are different in the Kingdom Temple than in the 1st and 2nd temples. The offerings at Pesach and Succoth times will be the same – 7 bullocks and 7 rams daily for a burnt offering and a goat each day for a sin offering. On the first day of each Feast he also offers an extra bullock for a sin offering for himself and the people before any of the other animals is slaughtered. Shavuoth and Yom Teruah/Yom Kippur will NOT be observed in the 3rd Temple. Sin offerings are for unintentional or inadvertent sins committed while guarding ‘more important’ Toroth – like saving a man’s (or even an animal’s) life. Life takes precedence over anything else. Do you see, as I do, that Melchizedek will be offering sin offerings in the 3rd Temple? That is because he is fulfilling the role of the High Priest. He is following the instructions and MUST do them at their proper times, even if that means transgressing another commandment in order to do so. The sin offering is to provide him the pardon for offending the lesser in his keeping of the greater commandment. Q&C

Tehellim 115 – I think that this Psalm may be set prophetically in the early years of the Millennium. Idolatry had been put down only shortly before by the conquering Mashiyach who then took his place on the throne of David in Jerusalem and set up deputies, or viceroys, in the nations of the earth. The first years of the Kingdom will be filled with hodu and hallel to Y’hovah. But it will only be a few years before passive rebellion against Y’hovah and his rod of iron begins in the hearts of men. They will submit to Yeshua’s authority, but not willingly. And they will be having children, who will be raised in the nurture and admonition of their parent’s passive rebellion. They, too, will submit until the end of the Millennium, when the Adversary is released from his prison to lead the final Gog uMagog rebellion against the King and his remnant encamped around Jerusalem for the final Feast of Sukkoth in this Creation. They will have been idolaters in their hearts for almost a Millennium and will go fully into idolatry with the Adversary as its object. 

I think that is the idea in vv.2-8, and the idolatry will be more or less general, with only a small remnant staying faithful to King Mashiyach. The idolaters think that they cannot see Y’hovah, when he is in fact sitting on the throne in the resurrected flesh of Yeshua. Of course, being Y’hovah, he is also ‘in the heavens’ and had both done what he pleased and allowed what it pleased him to allow. Please understand that the idols of v.4 are both the images that are made from silver and gold, and the silver and gold itself. The ‘love of money’ is just another form of idolatry. Idols are almost as stupid as the people who worship them. The idolater makes the image with his own hands, so he KNOWS without a doubt that it is powerless over him, and yet he bows before it, prays for its protection and leadership against enemies. He shaped the mouth, eyes, nose, ears, hands of the idol, and yet he expects the thing of his own making to do what he is incapable of doing for himself. 

But we are admonished to place our trust in Y’hovah, who created everything that exists by the Word of his Power; the same Word of his Power that will sit on the Millennial Kingdom’s throne in the flesh of our resurrected Mashiyach Yeshua. There are 3 groups of people who are admonished to trust Y’hovah to be their help and shield; 1) Israel, the Beit Yacov, 2) the priests of Y’hovah, Beit Aharon, and 3) whosoever will ‘fear’ Y’hovah. And all who WILL trust in Y’hovah will receive blessing from Y’hovah. The blessing follows the trust. When we trust him to do what he’s promised he shall do, he thinks about us. He keeps us in mind whose hearts and minds are staid upon him

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

The blessings that are immediately forthcoming for those who trust him are ‘physical multiplicity’. This may come in the form of children and grandchildren, position, honor, and/or wealth. Y’hovah will bless us with the blessings we can handle. For example, if money will cause us to stumble, he will wait until it will not to bless us with it. Those of you, who, like myself, have not been blessed with lots of monetary wealth, think about that. Perhaps we have not proven ourselves faithful in little?

V.16 should be instructive for those who are looking for a pie-in-the-sky in the great-by-and-by. We are NOT spending more than a few days in heaven. We were designed for life on earth, not in heaven. Oh! We will have access to the heavenlies in our resurrected bodies, but we will NOT be there for long, if at all. Y’hovah made the earth and then he made us to inhabit it and be stewards over it. His plan has not changed even one skoash (sp?), whatever that is. And the prophecy of Yochanan in Revelation doesn’t do anything to make me think he will change it in future. Those of us who are resurrected with the just will live eternally on the new Earth, not in “Heaven”. Q&C

Ivrit 10.1-10 – Remember that Hebrews was written to a group of believing Hebrew priests [Acts 6.7] who were thinking of going BACK to the sacrificial system, and that ch.10 is the culmination of Rav Sha’ul’s argument that they should ‘stay the course’. Torah gives us promises in the form of parables. Those promises are efficacious to us IF people who believe the promises of Y’hovah faithfully perform them. Faithfully completing all the steps without the belief in Y’hovah’s promise to provide the reconciliation that is the object renders the action useless – wasted effort. Faith to believe the promises of Y’hovah without the accompanying obedience is equally useless, as Yeshua’s brother Yacov points out in the 2nd chapter of his book

12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. 14 What profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (Yacov 2.12-18)

Our merciful actions that are based on our belief that Y’hovah will fulfill all his promises are the object of Yacov’s letter, because the faithful actions taken are the object of faith. And the action of offering is the object of our faith in Y’hovah’s promises. Faith in the subject of Y’hovah’s promise without the accompanying object of obedience is wasted, as objective reality. There is no physical evidence of that belief and those who hear of our faith but see no evidence in our walk can properly call us liars. 

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1Yochanan 2.3-6)

If we go through the motions of all the sacrifices without flaw, but do not believe they will take away our sins, we’ve done nothing but kill a perfectly good animal. If we believe that the sacrifice will take away the sins, but don’t do the offering, then the sin is still there. Faith is the victory, according to 1Yochanan 5.4, but biblical faith is not merely the mental understanding that we are justified without works of Torah. Biblical faith is evidenced in our manner of life, as was shown us in the Melchizedek offering a sin offering, even though he is Mashiyach Yeshua, Y’hovah in the flesh. We walk in accordance with the commands of Y’hovah and that walk becomes more and more natural as we become like Adonenu (our master) Moshienu (our Messiah) Yeshua. 

V.1 speaks of the Law as a shadow of things to come. The law that Paul. or his talmid who wrote the book, is speaking about, in context of ch.7-9, is the sacrificial laws that guided the Kohanim in their temple service. The shadow could not perfect those who relied only on it to take away sins, as we said before. If it could, then the atonement would only have had to be offered once. The fact that it needed to be continually repeated showed its inability to make us complete before Avinu. The use of nouns and pronouns in vv.1-2 makes it clear to me.

1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they (priests in ch.7-9) offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

The reference in v.4 to the blood of bulls and goats ties us through Ezekiel 45 to Numb.28.11-29.40 and the offering of 70 bulls for the nations and the goats for sin offerings in every mussaf offering except the Shabbat and for atonement on Yom Kippur. He refers to,

6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O Elohai: yea, thy law within my heart. (Ps.40.6-8)

Mashiyach says that Y’hovah did not desire animal sacrifices, but obedience to his will, meaning Torah, his instructions. Because he could not find even one man whose singular desire was to do his will without question, not one man who could overcome his Yetzer hara, evil inclination; not Adam, not Avraham, not even Moshe, the meekest man ever to walk the earth – NO ONE; Y’hovah had to institute a series of offerings (parables/shadow picture) to make atonement for man’s sins. Eventually, Y’hovah had to provide Himself a spotless lamb of atonement, a 2nd Adam, miraculously conceived without the input of man’s seed, and to ensure his obedience he had to quicken that ‘seed of the woman’ by his own indwelling Ruach. How else could he be certain of the seed’s willing obedience? This was and is Mashiyach Yeshua.

3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, Eloha sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal.4.3-5) [‘The law’ here refers to ma’aseh and tachanoth, rabbinic traditions, not Torah.]

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) [‘in all points’ = lawful (Torah) and legal (man-made tradition and regulation)]

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Gal.5.16-18)

[Spirit = Torah, flesh/the law = man-made tradition; ma’aseh and tachanot – cf.Rom.7.14ff]

Y’hovah’s will is that we walk after Ruach and obey his Torah. By the one time offering of Yeshua on the tree, he did away with the need for atonement. You will notice that the word ‘atonement’ is not found in Ezekiel, though the root word, kaphar, to cover, is x-lated ‘reconciliation’ in 45.15, 17 & 20, all having to do with the whole nation or the House of Israel. Salvation was national, not individual, in Tanakh. It is no different now. “All Yisrael shall be saved. And “They are not all Yisrael who are of Israel.” IOW – some of those who are redeemed will have been graphed into Yisrael, not born into Israel. Q&C

Vv.11- – Yeshua’s offering was performed once, and there is no longer a need or a use for sacrifices for atonement. We have been reconciled to Avinu by Yeshua’s one time offering. So every atonement that took place after Yeshua’s death was simply the death of an animal, for no purpose. Y’hovah gave the Jews, that is the political leadership of the religion in Israel, about 40 years to get their acts together. When they didn’t, here came Rome to destroy the Temple so the Jews (political leaders) COULD not offer an atonement. I am going to venture an educated guess here: The reason that Y’hovah has not allowed the new Temple construction in J’lem is his gracious longsuffering with Judah. No sooner will that new Temple be built than Y’hovah’s wrath will begin to fill the bowls. And it won’t take long to fill them to overflowing. At least a PART of the ministry of the 144K will be to give the Iuaidoi (political leadership of the religion) a chance to make teshuvah by giving them loud and continuous warning of Y’hovah’s judgment to come. End of educated guess.

In v.10 we see ‘once’, in v.12 we see ‘one sacrifice’, and in v.14 we see ‘one offering’. The Levitical/Aharonic priesthood had to be in the Temple every day offering the tamid, the daily offerings. They had to offer all the mussaf offerings we saw in our Torah portion today, every Shabbat, every new moon, every mo’ad. In the 3rd Temple, as we said earlier, only Pesach and Sukkoth will see mussaf offerings. The one offering to atone will never be offered again, even as a shadow/parable. Those animal sacrifices were never Y’hovah’s perfect will. His perfect will was that Adam eat of the Tree of Life – obedience to his Torah. There was ONLY ONE instruction. Yeshua did Y’hovah’s perfect will, who through the faith of Yeshua reckoned his righteousness to us whom he would sanctify, and to those who would follow him, desiring Y’hovah’s heart to be his own. 

In vv.16-18, Sha’ul makes reference to the New Covenant, of which we are partakers through Yeshua’s finished work on the tree. The word ‘remission’ in v.18 is defined in v.17 – ‘their sins and iniquities I will remember no more’. The definition of ‘remission’ is the cancellation of a debt, charge or guilt. Y’hovah remits our debt and guilt when we trust Yeshua to deliver us. And once a debt is remitted and Y’hovah chooses to forget it, it no longer exists. If he ever forgets us, we shall cease to exist. He is constantly remembering us, constantly speaking us into continued existence by the same Word he used to call us into existence in the 1st place. Since our sins are forgotten and no longer exist, we can walk right into his throneroom and make our supplications to him personally. We enter by a new (compared to the old way of animal blood – the way of death?) and living way by the blood of Mashiyach Yeshua, who ever liveth, and in whom we live. 

V.22 has a clear reference to Ezek.36.25 and Num.19

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do. (Ezek.36.24-27)

Clean water refers to the water of reconciliation – the red heifer in Num.19. It is pretty obvious, even to the most casual observer, that we haven’t seen the fulness of this prophecy, yet. We are not all in the Land. So we must be awaiting the prophecy’s ultimate fulfillment. But we do partake of it today. His Spirit is in us, he has softened our hearts toward his Torah obedience. 

In v.23-31, Paul makes his appeal and he is about to reach the summit of his argument. These believing Hebrew priests are ready to abandon the Netzari sect and go back to the traditions of the Pharisees. ‘Our faith’ is in the blood of Yeshua, not of bulls and goats. ‘Our faith’ is the faith of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov – the Covenant, not the law that was added  – the laws of animal sacrifice for atonement. 

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:19)

Y’hovah who promised us an inheritance in the entire land-grant of Gen.15 is faithful to perform what he has promised. So let’s not forsake assembling ourselves (v.25) for Torah reading and discussion on our Shabbats, our mo’edim. Sha’ul then tells them that taking part in the Temple atonement is willful sin, and there is no way back after you’ve denied the Master who bought us. These priests were going to go back and offer animal sacrifices for their sins under the Temple priesthood and authority. Paul tells them that there is no more sacrifice for atonement – those sacrifices have no more effect. If Josephus is right, there has been no evidence of Y’hovah’s acceptance of the Kippurim since Yeshua’s death on the tree, as there had been for 1400 years before without fail. Trusting to those offerings that no longer had any effect was tantamount to rejection of Mashiyach’s blood and despite and contempt of the Ruach of Y’hovah. Trampling Yeshua’s blood and thinking his sacrifice common is the same thing to Sha’ul. Y’hovah is who will judge those men, and that should cause abject terror in them. 

Next, he reminds them of the suffering and reproach they gladly suffered when they first believed; how they’d both suffered hardship themselves and supported those who had done so; how they’d come to Paul’s own support when he was shut up, I infer, in Felix and Agrippa’s prisons (Acts24, 25). He tells them to not ‘cast away’ their confidence in Mashiyach, to not compromise what they know to be true, just so they can have peace with unbelievers. There should be no cause of war between believers, but Yeshua came to cause division between believers and pagans. So, keep your patience, because he who has promised is faithful and will fulfill the Covenant. Q&C     End of Shabbat Bible Study.

Shabbat Bible Study for June 30, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for June 30, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Triennial Torah Schedule Year 3 Sabbath 16

B’midbar 26:52-27:23 – Yehoshua 17:1-7 – Tehellim 114 – Ephesians 1:3-23

Links:

www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm 

B’midbar 26.52-65 – These 601,730 warriors + the 5 daughters of Zelophehad would divide up the inheritance of the land. The inheritances were more or less equal per warrior of Israel. The smallest tribe would have the smallest tribal inheritance, the largest, the largest. Each tribe would divvy up its inheritance according to the sizes of the families. But to ensure that everyone would know that Y’hovah was making the inheritance a gift from himself, and that there was no human partiality involved in assigning the inheritances, lots were drawn. Vv.55-56 indicate that the names of the tribes were put into one receptacle and the numbers of the inheritances were placed in another. Then a tribes lot was selected from the one and the inheritance was selected from the other by the priest, presumably by use of the Urim and Thummim. The largest tribe (Yehudah) received the largest land grant and the smallest tribe (Shimon) got the smallest (interestingly, in the heart of Yehudah’s land grant and completely surrounded by Yehudah, as if it was understood that Shimon’s would be annexed into Yehudah). The tribal leaders then divided up individual family inheritances by a similar process within each tribe. The Levites did not inherit land grants, but shared in the 48 Levitical cities for the people to come to for refuge, guidance, and Torah judgments.

The time that Israel spent in Egypt can be approximated by the time the Levites were there. Kohath went down into Egypt with Levi and Ya’acov. Kohath’s wife bore Amram, who married Yocheved, Levi’s daughter who was born in Egypt. That’s right. Levi’s grandson, Amram, married his daughter, Yocheved – Miriam, Aharon and Moshe’s mother, in the land of Egypt. Miriam was the eldest, possibly as old as 128-130 at her death, perhaps as young as 125. Aharon was 123 when he died less than a year before Moshe died at 120. Assuming that Yocheved married at the usual time that girls did then, about 14-16 years of age, and that she was born within a year of the Yacovson’s going down to Egypt, they were only in Egypt for about 100 or so years, and therefore were only slaves there for about the 80 years of Moshe’s life before the Exodus. Yocheved was very likely only in her mid-20s when she bore Moshe to Amram. Verses 64-65 tell me by way of inference that Kalev and Yehoshua were under 20 when the 1st census was taken, because THEY were not numbered in that census. NONE who had been counted in Num.1 was counted in this census – so Kalev and Yehoshua were just youngsters at the time of the Exodus and perhaps 58-60 when they crossed the Yarden. And THAT would explain their mention as the 3rd and 5th leaders among the ‘spies’ – they were younger than the other tribe’s spies, regardless their prowess as military leaders. 

And Y’hovah spake unto Moshe face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Yehoshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. (Exodus 33:11)

That is not conclusive proof, but an inference that I take from the verse. In regard to Yehoshua’s name in Ex.33.11, Schottenstein’s Chumash has a very interesting note on pg.248. I think Joshua and Kalev were not yet in their 20th year at the Num.1 census, but had entered their 20th year by the time they spied the land in Num.14, and their youth would also explain why the other spies disdained their counsel. 

About 38 years of the Wilderness Adventure took 13 chapters to describe. The other 1½ or 2 years took 3½ BOOKS to describe. I don’t think there was much going on for those 38+ years. It looks like there was a LOT of dissatisfaction in the camp all the time, but only the important stuff is reported in Torah. The day-to-day life of Israel was like day-to-day life today. Not much happened out of the ordinary. People were born and people died. Papa did what was necessary to feed his family and maintain the sukkah. Mom kept everything at home working according to plan. Kids were raised in the nurture and admonition of Y’hovah. It was just life as usual; long periods of boredom, punctuated with brief intervals of abject terror. 

B’midbar 27.1-11 – Zelophehad’s daughters came to Moshe to preserve their father’s seed-line. Zelophehad had had no sons, but 5 daughters, and his line would end unless an arrangement could be made. So the daughters came to speak to Moshe about their family problem. Notice that they did not complain, or kvetch; they just came to Moshe with their issue and he, seeing their point, turned to Y’hovah, exactly as it was supposed to work. And along comes a mishpat, or judgment, direct from Y’hovah. They made it a point to tell Moshe that their father was not among those with Korach or Meribah. He had died due to his own personal sin against the Almighty, not in one of the plagues that befell the nation. IOW, he had been absolutely loyal to Y’hovah and to Moshe and Aharon and submitted to their lawful authority. 

The meanings of the girls names could be seen as a progression of their decision to go to Moshe with their problem and proposal and the disposition of the issue. Machlah is derived from the Hebrew root H2470 chalah חלה ‘to weaken’. She was the one who was worried about their father not having an inheritance and that idea wore away at her peace and she couldn’t let it go. Noah is derived from the root H5128 nuwa נוע meaning ‘to move staggeringly toward a goal’, “Should we bring the issue to Moshe’s attention or not. I want papa to have an inheritance, but I don’t want to look like a kvetch.” H2295, Choglah’s derivation is uncertain, but when translated into English is ‘partridge’, a small, ground-nesting, game bird. Choglah wanted to have a piece of ground on which to nest. Milchah is a variant form of Malchah – queen. She wanted a place over which she would have authority, as would the aimah of a family. Tirtzah H8656 means delightsomeness, from the root H7521, ratsah, to be satisfied, pleased with, delighted. Machlah was not content that her father was without an inheritance because he had no son. Noah wavered between raising the issue with Moshe or not, but Choglah wanted to have a place to nest, and Machlah a place to have some rightful authority, and when they got finished with the enquiry to the Supreme Judge, Y’hovah, they were satisfied and delighted that their father was re-inherited. The point of the matter is to bring your concerns to Y’hovah and he will see you through to his desired end. What I find REALLY fascinating in this whole passage is that out of 602,000 Israelites, there was only Zelophehad who was without sons. And it was this episode that was the catalyst for the giving of the inheritance laws that follow. This is a progression of who is the nearest kin to redeem a man’s line. If a man has no sons, then his eldest daughter gets the inheritance, and presumably her son continues her father’s line. If he dies childless, his brother then acts as kinsman redeemer. If he was an only son, then the inheritance goes to his uncle, who will act as kinsman redeemer for his nephew. And if there is no uncle, it will go to the nearest relative to raise children to him (as I think happened with Ruth and Boaz). King David had that kinsman redeemer action in his lineage (Boaz as redeemer for Elimelech’s line) and there seems to be at least 2 generations of kinsmen redeemers (Shealtiel and Zerubabel) between the Babylonian captivity and Miriam’s husband, Yoseph, in David’s line. 

Vv.12-23 – Y’hovah told Moshe to go up Mount Avarim to be gathered to his fathers in the same manner Aharon had been. I think this was Mount Pisgah, as we’ll see in Deut.34, but it is called avarim here, because it will be the place from which Moshe will avar, or cross over, to his inheritance and his ‘mantle’ will ‘cross-over’ to Yehoshua. Moshe’s meekness and his love for Israel shows again here, when he petitions Y’hovah to not leave Israel without a clear indication as to his successor as leader of the people for both governance and war. To ‘go out before them’ means to lead them both religiously and politically, I think, and to ‘go in before them’ is to go into Y’hovah’s presences as their intercessor with Y’hovah. To ‘lead them out’ deals with leading them in battle and to ‘bring them in’ speaks of leading them into their rest in haAretz. Moshe was worried that Israel would disintegrate into various factions. I think he recognized that there was a built in strife between Yehudah and Ephraim that could only be rectified through the object lesson of the Mishkan – Mashiyach, the tzadik rebbe, Y’hovah in the flesh – as illustrated by Yehudah’s and Ephraim’s relative positions in the camp. The most direct route from Yehudah’s tribal camp to Ephraim’s tribal camp was through the Kodesh Kadashim.

Y’hovah told Moshe to take Y’hoshua, bin Nun (remember the note from pg.248 of the Chumash?), before Elazar, the Kohen Gadol, and also before chol Israel to anoint him as Moshe’s successor, so that there would be no question as to his authority. Moshe and Elazar laid hands on Y’hoshua and ordained him as the leader of Israel. Y’hoshua was recognized as binun, a person of understanding. 

That Moshe put ‘of thine honour upon him’ shows that even a man of the stature of Y’hoshua could not compare to the intimacy that Moshe had with Y’hovah. Moshe spoke panayim l’panayim, face to face, with Y’hovah, as a man speaks to his friend.

And Y’hovah spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Y’hoshua, bin Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. (Exodus 33:11)

Y’hoshua was as close as any man could come to Moshe’s intimacy with Y’hovah, as he seldom left the tabernacle of testimony, but even he could not boast his friendship w/Y’hovah. It is a testimony to Moshe’s meekness that he did not flaunt that intimacy to chol Yisrael, or even to Aharon and Miriam. He really seems not to have thought of any but Yisrael when dealing with Y’hovah, and I can only surmise that this was the REASON Y’hovah was able to treat Moshe like a close friend. The only man ever to live on earth who was meeker than Moshe was Yeshua, who, as Y’hovah in the flesh, knew the absolute meaning of ‘meekness’, having taken on the human body of Yeshua and condescended to fully experience life and physical death in the flesh so that he could exercise absolute compassion to usward. Q&C

Yehoshua 17:1-7 – This haftara deals mainly with Zelophehad’s daughters, whom we’ve treated to some extent already, so I will not go into any great detail on this Haftarah. The way this passage reads to me, it looks like the sisters got their father’s portion from Shechem to around Ayin Tappuach – the fountain of the Apple Trees. Tappuach was the town that belonged to Ephraim, but whose orchards, it seems, were a part of the inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters. 

Tehellim 114V.1 seems to show that Israel and the house of Yacov are synonyms, as Israel came out of Egypt, and the house of Yacov from a people of a strange language. This may speak of the historical Egyptian exodus, but it may also prophesy of the Greater Exodus that is yet to come – the exodus of chol Yisrael from the 4 corners of the earth at the call of Mashiyach. The ‘4 corners of the earth’ speaks of the world system, of which Egypt is a type. If this is primarily a prophecy of the end of days, then Mashiyach ben David, who is the ultimate son of Yehudah (haMelech), is the ‘sanctuary’ and Yisrael, who is after Y’hovah’s heart and awaiting Mashiyach’s call (haTzadik), is his dominion. This is exactly what I understand to be the truth, as I compare scripture with scripture. Yehudah kept Torah intact, set apart (the sanctuary), for the 3½ millennia since she received it. Israel kept dominion over the earth through her dispersion to the 4 corners and her domination of the political, scientific and cultural aspects of the nations. The Red Sea and Yarden were both held back and allowed Israel to walk through dry. But scripture does not tell us about ‘mountains skipping like rams and hills like lambs’ when Israel historically came out of Egypt. They MAY have, but there is no biblical evidence to support it. So, I take this to be a prophecy of the end time Exodus of the seed of Avraham from the 4 corners – metaphorically, Egypt. 

If the Egyptian Exodus is just a taste of the Greater Exodus, as 1Cor.10.1-4 & 11 seem to indicate (and it was), the hills dancing for joy is probably a mild picture of what’s coming. Vv.5-6 ask the creation what troubled it that it acted as it did and vv.7-8 answer for it – Y’hovah is what made it react. His very presence made in history, and will make in future history, the waters divide, the mountains and hills quake and almost literally dance for joy. His presence, seemingly in time, as he escorted the house of Yacov out of Egypt, will in like fashion escort his people from the 4 corners and to haAretz. I suspect the means of conveyance will be the same – we’ll walk and he will part the ocean to allow us to walk across dry. Perhaps there will be a great up-thrust via an earthquake or other seismic disturbance that will create a similar land bridge as remains in the shallows between Nuweiba and Baal-Ziphon in the Gulf of Aqaba. However Y’hovah plans to make it happen, it absolutely shall, because he has said he will do it. Q&C

Eph.1.3-6 – Remember whenever you are reading or studying Ephesians that the pronouns Sha’ul uses are VERY important. ‘We’ means men who, like Paul, were born Jews, i.e.; of the tribes of Yehudah, BinYamin or Levi, and have come to the faith of Yeshua (there may have been a very small percentage of the house of Israel living among them in Yehudah). ‘You’ means men who were born Gentiles who have come to the faith of Yeshua (it is likely that a good sized percentage of these were descended from one of the 10 tribes of the House of Israel – it had been 750 years since those tribes dispersion and assimilation into the world system). ‘Us’ means all the we’s and you’s who are now one in Mashiyach Yeshua’s Netzari sect of Judaism. The point of this epistle is the unity of the body of Mashiyach. The epistle was written to a synagogue in Ephesus that included ‘Jews’ and ‘Gentiles’, some from each group having come to the faith of Yeshua. It is also likely that the makeup of the synagogue was becoming more heavily salted with Gentiles as time progressed in Ephesus because the influx of new Gentile converts to the Netzari sect of Judaism was likely greater there than the influx of new traditional Jews. By this time the Jerusalem council was a piece of history and the 4 guidelines passed down from it were known in the diaspora.

Sha’ul begins with a blessing on the Almighty Y’hovah Elohenu, whose Ruach HaKodesh quickened the egg of Miriam and indwelt Yeshua from his conception, as he indwells us from our ‘spiritual conception’ in Mashiyach (v.14). The Almighty has blessed us with ‘all spiritual blessings’. Here’s a sample of his spiritual blessings and of his identity,

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Y’hovah appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am (El Shaddai) the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (Genesis 17:1)

And God Almighty (El Shaddai) bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; (Genesis 28:3) (Yitzhak to Yacov)

And God said unto him (Yacov), I am (El Shaddai) God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; (Genesis 35:11)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of (Elyon) the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Shaddai). (Psalms 91:1)

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith Y’hovah (Yeshua), which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Shaddai). (Revelation 1:8)

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Y’hovah (El Shaddai) God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Revelation 4:8, quoting Is.6.2-3)

And I saw no temple therein: for Y’hovah (El Shaddai) God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (Revelation 21:22)

I think that last ‘and’ shows that Y’hovah El Shaddai and the Lamb are the identical Ruach haKodesh, the latter being Y’hovah El Shaddai in human flesh – that there is ultimately/spiritually no difference between them. 

He blesses us with all spiritual blessing ‘according as he has chosen us in Mashiyach’. My online dictionary defines the phrase ‘according as’ to mean ‘depending on whether’. That means that Y’hovah has blessed us with all spiritual blessings depending on whether he has chosen in Mashiyach. I think it would be well if we were to look into Paul’s meaning of ‘chosen in Mashiyach’. I studied Paul’s progression in Rom. 8 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom.8.28-30

What follows is my understanding of this passage, as gleaned from elsewhere in Romans.

Vv.29-30 – Here’s a ‘hard saying’ of Sha’ul, like Peter talks about in 2Pe.3.16. But I think the reason is that we use numbered sound bites instead of looking at the context, like Peter says, wresting it. Remember that ch.8 is the foundation for the arguments of the rest of the book. These verses say,

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

These 5 words; foreknow, predestinate, call, justify and glorify; are all verbs, and they seem to indicate a progression of actions taken upon believers by Y’hovah. If we see evidence of these things occurring in us, we can be pretty well assured that we are his. The church has done all kinds of mental and scriptural gymnastics trying to explain the seeming inconsistencies of this text in juxtaposition to others. But if we’d just look elsewhere in Romans for Sha’ul’s usage of these words in like context, it would clear right up for us.

Whom did Y’hovah foreknow? The answer is given in Rom.11

1 I say then, Hath Elohim cast away his people? Elohim forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Avraham, of the tribe of Binyamin. 2 Elohim hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Eliyahu? how he maketh intercession to Elohim against Israel, saying, 3 Master, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of Elohim unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (1Ki.19.18)

This tells me that Paul spoke of those who followed Y’hovah (the 7000 faithful) as those whom Y’hovah foreknew. This includes us, if we have not bowed the knee to Baal.

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

He is speaking specifically of believing Israelites, but it extends to all who worship Y’hovah in Spirit and in truth, without intentional or known compromise. Kind of gives new impetus to “Come out from among them, be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing,” doesn’t it?

Now, whom he foreknew he did also predestinate. Predestination is a tough saying of Sha’ul because it seems to contradict free will. But it really doesn’t, and here’s why.

Paul has a definite meaning for predestination, and he shows it in ch.11.

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Now the word ‘shall’ is much more powerful that the word ‘will’. Y’hovah can will something, and it not come to pass. After all, he wills none to perish and that ALL should come to repentance, but that isn’t what actually happens. But if he says, “I SHALL do such and such,” you can put that in the bank and collect the interest. It is an unconditional promise to perform. It is predestined. The promise is that it shall be done. We just have yet to see the performance. The 2008 US Senior Open was at the Broadmoor course in Colorado Springs. There were people who had purchased their tickets and reserved rooms at the hotel in 2005. That is an earnest expectation and belief in a promise. I have my ticket to the show, but the performance is yet in the future.

ALL ISRAEL shall be saved also refers to the return from exile in Babylon and Assyria, from which only a remnant of Judah and Benjamin returned along with so small a number of the other tribes that they could not be considered even a remnant and were counted as parts of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In the future redemption, ALL Israel SHALL be saved. It is predestined.

Those who are predestined are the ‘called according to his purpose’. We see this in – you guessed it – ch.11.

28 As concerning the gospel, enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of Elohim are without repentance. 

Believing Yisrael is called of Elohim. Did you notice the jump from v.5 to v.25 in ch.11? I hope so. The verses in between 5 and 25 show HOW Israel means those who believe Y’hovah and are the called according to his purpose in 8.28.

What does Paul mean by ‘justified’? He tells us in – you guessed it again! – ch.11. 

30 For as ye in times past have not believed Elohim, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Justification is the outworking of Y’hovah’s mercy in that we don’t get what we deserve; i.e., destruction. We could not justify ourselves before him, so he had to work a plan where he could show his mercy and justify us freely by his grace (3.21-26). 

Those of us who believe Y’hovah and do not bow the knee to Baal are predestined to partake of his glory. We do not now look as if we are glorified, but these promises (8.29-30) are past tense. He HAS glorified us and we can put that in the bank and collect the interest, too. 

So, whom did he foreknow? Who has been predestinated? Who has been called? Who has been justified? Who has been glorified? Chol Yisrael – All Yisrael are the foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified children of Elohim. Does this mean that every physical descendant of Avraham is included? Rom.9 says,

6 Not as though the word of Elohim hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Avraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh (Ishmael/Esau), these are not the children of Elohim: but the children of the promise (Yitzchak/Ya’acov) are counted for the seed.

According to Eph.2.11ff all believers are of the Commonwealth of Israel, and according to Rom.11.6-24 all believers are graffed into the Root of Yisrael. So Yisrael must therefore mean all believers who are not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit of Elohim (8.1), whether Jew or goy.  

So, whether Jew or goy, Yehudah or Ephraim, physical descendant of Avraham or a whomsoever who has the faith of Yeshua, all those 5 verbals apply to you; foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified – all of it, according to vv.4-6, accomplished in Mashiyach ‘before the foundation of the world’, ‘according to the good pleasure of his will’, and ‘to the praise of the glory of his grace’. I’d say we’re in a pretty good situation if we ‘love Elohim and are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8.28) Q&C

Vv.7-23 – Our redemption is through the blood of Mashiyach, who, as the last Adam, paid the debt owed by the 1st Adam, ‘propitiated’ his sin, and overcame the penalty that was passed on to his offspring. I don’t know about Adam’s passing a sin nature to us, but that his decision to accede to his evil inclination may have passed a genetic tendency to the same accession is not an unreasonable possibility to me. As we inherit our father’s ‘stuff’, we also, if we are honorable men, will see all his debts paid, if there are any. It is the spiritual debt that we, as it were, ‘inherit’ from Adam and that is propitiated by Yeshua’s death on the tree. W1828 has this definition for propitiate

1. To conciliate, to appease one offended and render him favorable.

Propitiation is the act of making reconciliation for the offender to the offended, to appease his wrath and make him ‘propitious’ (kindly affectioned, favorable). Yeshua’s death did not merely propitiate Adam’s sin, but the sins of the whole world.

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)

It is by this propitiation that we obtain Y’hovah’s forgiveness. The payment has been made and the debt no longer exists for us who have turned to Y’hovah for that redemption. It was Y’hovah’s gracious personal payment of our debt through the death of Yeshua on the tree that made known the mystery of his will, ‘that in the dispensation of the fulness of times’ he would reconcile all things to himself in Mashiyach. Yeshua’s death as propitiation for us is the linch-pin in his plan. Many dislike the word ‘dispensation’, but I believe it perfectly describes how Y’hovah works his ‘shalls’. He dispenses his grace over time, working through his Word, 

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [those] weaned from the milk, drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This the rest ye may cause the weary to rest; and this the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of Y’hovah was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Is.28.9-13)

That which is dispensed is not varying degrees of grace, as the church erroneously teaches, but varying degrees of understanding of his plan and the ‘shall’ of it (precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little). If we knew the details of each step he would take along the way to fulfilling his ‘shall’ for us, we would do like Avraham did, and go in unto Hagar to help Y’hovah fulfill his will. I believe that the ‘Hebrew Roots’ ‘movement’ is an example of the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ by which he is gathering the lost to himself, including those who are ‘lost’ or, better said, ‘fenced in’ by the false teachings of ‘dispensationalist’ ‘replacement theologians’. That so many are recently being awakened to this is, I think, among the last moves of Y’hovah toward the ‘fulness of times’ and ‘the fulness of the gentiles (Rom.11.12, 25)’, which phrases are synonymous to my mind. Yacov, of course, spoke of this in his blessing on Ephraim,

19 And his father refused, and said, I know, my son, I know: he [Menashe] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. (Gen.48.19)

‘Multitude of nations’, melo hagoyim’ can also be translated ‘fulness of gentiles’, and I think it is this to which Sha’ul refers here when he says ‘fulness of times’ in v.10. Paul says that the fullness of times will bring about the reconciliation, not only of us to Y’hovah, but also of the ‘you’s’ and ‘we’s’ to each other. If Ephraim has indeed become a ‘multitude of nations’ or the ‘fullness of the gentiles’, does that not mean that the nations of the world are full of Ephraimites? 

As you remember, from our look at Rom.8.28ff, ‘we’ are predestinated; ‘we’ referring to Avraham’s seed, both physical and spiritual. But in vv.11-12 he is speaking specifically of Yehudah, through whom the world has received the oracles of Eloha. In this light, he then tells the Ephesian kahal that it was the Yehudim who first trusted Mashiyach. He MAY be speaking of the Yehudim who trusted Yeshua through the words of the schlichim about Yeshua haMashiyach after his resurrection and the pouring out of Ruach on Shavuoth, but I think he was actually thinking about all the Patriarchs, prophets and people of Yisrael from the days of Adam. On this I COULD truly be wrong … but I DOUBT IT! And I doubt it because Y’hovah Yeshua will judge the whole world by the same standard – Torah! Torah is known to every person in the world, whether he understands the fact or not. And he knows to whom he will answer, whether he wishes to admit it or not. 

In vv.13-14, Sha’ul shifts to speaking to the gentiles specifically, saying that the Gentiles (ye) have now trusted the same Mashiyach that believing Yehudah (we) has been trusting for millennia. And, as an earnest of that, that the promises made to Avraham are now shared with ALL of Avraham’s seed (Gal.3.29), he tells them of the Spirit of Y’hovah that seals them. Ruach haKodesh in us is our proof of the fact of our reconciliation to Y’hovah by the blood of Mashiyach until the physical redemption of the whole of creation unto Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach. If the earnest is an indwelling and sealing Ruach haKodesh NOW, isn’t it true that it also was before? I think so (Heb.13.8). 

Yeshua haMashiyach; the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

I think the patriarchs and prophets were all filled and sealed with Y’hovah’s Spirit, like believers are today. I see no reason to think or assert that they are not. There are no 2nd class citizens of Y’hovah’s Kingdom, which is the point Sha’ul is trying to make with this letter to the Ephesian kahal; indeed, the case can be made that this is the central theme of the apostolic texts – no more Jew or Greek, no more male and female, no more bond and free – all are one, as “Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad”.

Paul has taken notice of all the gentiles who are coming to the faith of Yeshua and are coming to the synagogues to hear the Torah read and discussed, that he knows of their love for ALL the saints; Jew and gentile, male and female, bond and free; and he intercedes for them upon his every remembrance of them. I think this ‘love for all the saints’ is that to which Yeshua refers as their 1st love;

2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Rev.2.2-4)

It looks as though Sha’ul’s prayer for them was answered, but they let their knowledge and understanding of Y’hovah get to their heads by the time of Yochanan’s Revelation, and they’d become rather judgmental. This was not the case in the early 60s CE, but was by the early 90s CE. The difference may be that the 1st generation of saints was dying out and the new generation, who’d grown up in the kahal, did not have the memory of life before Yeshua’s propitiation – like is prevalent in today’s kahal. 

The hope of his calling in v.18, speaks of the earnest expectation of Y’hovah’s deliverance of his promised inheritance in US! We are Y’hovah’s inheritance (v.18) that he has wrought in Mashiyach (v.20) by resurrecting him from death! It SHALL come. Y’hovah has promised it. You can put it in the bank and collect the interest. He will not deny himself the inheritance he has worked so hard to re-acquire after Adam’s sin. Y’hovah has set Yeshua haMashiyach as his right hand. The preposition ‘at’ is translated from the Greek word en, which literally means IN. Y’hovah has set Yeshua IN his right hand. He is Y’hovah’s executive officer, set FAR above every other power in creation, executing Y’hovah’s will over it. Do you remember the “Tree of Sefiroth”? (www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm) In it, Mashiyach, the tzadik rebbe who perfectly melds the just righteousness of Elohim with the mercy/grace of Y’hovah, is the center stand (like in the menorah), and he is standing on the World of Action, the Kingdom. Quite literally, the World is his footstool.

Thus saith Y’hovah, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is Eloha’s throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (Mat.5.34-35)

As his footstool, the world of action is under his feet. Right now, the Adversary is allowed control of the world of action, but when Yeshua haMashiyach takes his Kingdom, the scriptures will be fulfilled,

Y’hovah said unto Adonai, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalms 110:1)

For David himself said by Ruach haKodesh, Y’hovah said to Adonai, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Mark 12:36)

The chapter ends with another look at the ‘fulness’ we spoke of earlier. His fulness will be the fulness of the nations, his Body. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

Shabbat Bible Study for June 23, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for June 23, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 15 

Numbers 25:10-26:51 – Malachi 2:1-9 – Psalm 113 – Matthew 23:1-12, Ephesians 4:1-16 

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kohanim.jpg 

B’Midbar 25.10-18 – Because Pinchas was faithful and zealous for Y’hovah, his Name, and his kavod (honor and glory), and for the nation’s continued existence, Y’hovah blessed him with the covenant of Shalom. The implication in v.11 is that Y’hovah was about to wipe Israel out with the plague that had killed ≥24,000 already. In v.13 Y’hovah elaborates on the covenant of Shalom, and says that he is appointing Pichas and his sons as priests forever. Up to this time, only Aharon and his sons had been appointed priests. Now the priesthood was further defined, as I read it, to the sons of Pinchas, the son of Elazar because he had made atonement for chol Yisrael by killing Zimri and Cozbi. This foreshadows the priesthood of believers in Mashiyach, our High Priest. 

As I read the text, Zimri was the head of the tribe of Simeon and Cozbi was the daughter of a Midianite prince named Tzur. By examining the names, we can arrive at an idea of Balak’s intended plan to restrain Israel’s ability to conquer the land. Remember that he’d tried to get Bilaam to curse Israel, but Bilaam was more frightened by Y’hovah’s wrath than Balak’s, though he STILL coveted the power and position Balak had to offer. And so Bilaam suggested that Balak send Moavite women to entice b’nei Israel to sexual perversions and idolatry, and to send Midianite princesses to entice the priests and, failing that, the princes of Israel to perversion and idolatry. 

Zimri’s name (H2174) means ‘I accompany, as playing music’, from the word zimrah H2172, which derives from the root zamar זמר H2167, ‘to conserve or energize before final emergence’. Cozbi’s name (H3579) means “I lie or deceive”, from the root kazav כזב (H3576), to lie or deceive. Cozbi was the daughter of Tzur (H6698), whose name is identical to H6697 and means ‘a cliff or sharp rock’, both taken from the root (H6696) tzur, to cramp or confine. So Zimri ‘energized’ Cozbi in her ‘deception’ to ‘confine’ Israel’s influence or cause Israel to fall off idolatry’s ‘cliff’ and dash them on the ‘sharp rocks’ of perversion below. And it would have succeeded, except for Pinchas’ zealous and quick intervention. This was Bilaam’s counsel to Balak when they commiserated at the end of ch.24.

2 can play that commiseration game, though, and Y’hovah now commiserated with Moshe, telling him to vex Midian. Israel had purposely circumnavigated Midian because Midian was Yitzhak’s 1/2 ‘brother’ through Keturah, Avraham’s 2nd wife after Sarah died (Gen.25.2). Israel had been honorable throughout her journeys through the kingdoms of the land, asking permission to use the King’s highway and pledging to pay any damages to Edom, Moav and Ammon. It was only when those nations attacked Israel that they fought with them and took their territory by right of conquest. Remember that Edom came out to defend her territory, but did not attack Israel. Ammon had already taken land from Moav and Israel went around what Moav still held and through the conquered land on the north of brook Arnon to traverse Ammon on the King’s highway. Sihon of Ammon came out on offense against Israel and Israel wiped them out. Then Og of Bashan, against whom Israel did not even pose a threat, as she intended to cross Yarden south of Brook Jabbok, came out to attack Israel and he and they in turn were wiped out, Israel occupying that land as their own by right of conquest. Had all the Arab nations on the East bank of Yarden left Israel alone, none would have died or lost their lands. BTW, after entering the Covenant w/Y’hovah, Israel never suffered even a hangnail in battle until Ai. Now, Midian and Moav had attacked Israel’s character – hamotzi shem rah, creating an evil name for Israel and thereby ‘sowing discord among brethren’. By this Y’hovah is abominated. Q&C

26:1-51 – Y’hovah ordered a census taken of all the warriors of Israel, from the men beginning with the 20th year with no age limit. This speaks to the vitality of the average Israelite. Remember that Aharon lived strong and vital right up to the moment of his death, as did Moshe. Avraham and Yacov lived as vital men until the last few days before their deaths. It was how they knew their time was short – their vitality abated. I think that this census is the basis for our selective service system’s waiting until a man turns 19 before actually drafting him for service. He is actually 19 years old on the day before his birthday and begins his 20th year on his 19th anniversary of birth. The day he was born was actually his 1st birthday, wasn’t it? The common way of reckoning age in our culture is just not true. The Bible’s way of reckoning age is absolutely true. That Y’hovah ordered the census of warriors immediately after the order to vex Midian should tell you what Y’hovah now planned for Midian … (drum roll) “Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee! … WIPE OUT!” (MAN! AM I OLD?!)

Reuven numbered 43,730. When they took the census last time, Reuven numbered 46,500, for a net loss of 1870 over the Wilderness Adventure, largely Dathan and Aviram’s families. Shimon numbered 22,200, when they had had 59,300 coming out of Egypt, for a net loss of 37,100 warriors. Gad numbered 40,500 in this census, but 45,650 40 years before, for a net loss of 5,150. In all, Reuven’s camp totaled 106,430, a net loss of 44,120 warriors over the entire Adventure.

Notice that Hezron and Hamul were the sons Pharez, Yehudah’s elder son by his daughter-in-law Tamar. Pharez’ sons became the kinsmen redeemers for Er and Onan, Yehudah’s sons who died childless. Y’hovah is not mocked. Yehudah numbered 76,500, but coming out of Egypt, they numbered 74,600 for a net gain of 1950. Issachar numbered 64,300, but 40 years before had numbered 54,400 for a net gain of 9,900. Zevulon numbered 60,500, but in the 1st census numbered 57,400, for a net gain of 3100 men of war. Yehudah’s camp totaled 201,300, a net increase of 14,950 warriors over the entire Wilderness Adventure.

The camp of Rachel’s children Yoseph, as Yacov had claimed Yoseph’s sons Ephraim and Menashe as his own heirs, and Benyamin,  also showed an net increase. Menashe numbered 52,700, when they had numbered 32,200 at the foot of Sinai, for a net gain of 20,500 men of war. Ephraim numbered 32,500, but had 40,500 in the 1st census, for a net loss of 8,000. BenYamin now numbered 45,600, when they had had 35,400 coming out of Egypt for a net gain of 10,200. Ephraim’s camp therefore numbered 130,800, a net gain of 22,700 over the time of the Wilderness Adventure.

Dan now numbered 64.400, when they had 62,700 warriors 40 years before, for a net gain of 1,700. Asher numbered 53,400 men of war just before the Yarden crossing, but had 41,500 for a net gain of 11,900. And Naphtali now numbered 45,400, when they started the Wilderness Adventure with 53,400 for a net loss of 8,000 warriors. Dan’s camp therefore numbered 159,300, a net gain of 5600. So, chol Israel numbered 601,730, a net loss of 1820 men 20 years and older during the 38+ years since Kadesh and the lashon hara of the 10 tourists, who’d shouted down Y’hovah’s 2 men of war, whom I believe were the youngest of the ‘spies’. 

Some stuff that actually belongs in NEXT week’s triennial portion – These 601,730 warriors + the 5 daughters of Zelophehad would divide up the inheritance of the land. The inheritances were, I think, more or less equal per warrior of Israel. The smallest tribe would have the smallest tribal inheritance, the largest, the largest. Each tribe would divvy up its inheritance according to the sizes of the families. 

The time that Israel spent in Egypt can be approximated by the time the Levites were there. Kohath went down into Egypt with Levi and Ya’acov. Kohath’s wife bore Amram, who married Yocheved, Levi’s daughter who was born in Egypt. That’s right – Levi’s grandson, Amram married his daughter, Yocheved, Miriam, Aharon and Moshe’s mother, in the land of Egypt. Miriam was the eldest, possibly as old as 128-130 at her death, perhaps as young as 125. Aharon was 123 when he died less than a year before Moshe died at 120. Assuming that Yocheved married at the usual time that girls did then, about 14-16 years of age, and that she was born within a year of the Yacovson’s going down to Egypt, they were only in Egypt for about 100 or so years, and therefore were only slaves there for about the 80 years of Moshe’s life before the Exodus. Yocheved was very likely only in her 20s when she bore Moshe to Amram. Verse 64 tells us that Kalev and Yehoshua were under 20 when the 1st census was taken, because THEY were not numbered in that census. NONE who had been numbered in Num.1 was counted in this census – so Kalev and Yehoshua were just youngsters at the time of the Exodus and perhaps 58-60 when they crossed the Yarden. And THAT would explain their mention as the 3rd and 5th leaders among the ‘spies’ – they were younger than the other tribe’s spies, regardless their prowess as military leaders. Q&C

Malachi 2 – Malachi 2 doesn’t stand alone, and to understand what Y’hovah is saying, we need to get the background of at least the last verses of ch.1. In understanding scripture, context is king. One verse, standing alone, can be made to say almost anything. This is at least part of what Kefa was saying in 2Pe.1.20 – not of ‘private interpretation.’ 

In Mal.1, Y’hovah is speaking to the Levitical priesthood, but particularly to the High Priest, as the supreme judge in Israel and the final arbiter of Torah disputes, having the Urim and Thummim by which he can take a dispute directly to Y’hovah. In 1.10c-14, Y’hovah gets to the heart of the matter he has with the Priest. 

10c I have no pleasure in you, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of Y’hovah is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it ! and ye have snuffed at it, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth; and ye brought torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith Y’hovah. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto Y’hovah a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith Y’hovah Tzavaoth, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

The reason Balak wanted to have Bilaam curse Israel was his terror at what he KNEW Y’hovah could do to Moav and Midian, if he had a mind to – Y’hovah’s Name was ‘dreadful among the heathen”. Now, the High Priest of Israel had allowed the legitimate authority he had been blessed with to become a curse from Y’hovah Tzavaoth – who is not really a guy you want to tick off! The CinC of the hosts of heaven, whom I believe is Mashiyach ben David, was speaking to his earthly angel (2.7). If Y’hovah’s Bride (personified in the High Priest) will not honor his Name, who will? Us gentiles, that’s who (1.11)! His high priests, his angels on earth, will not sanctify his Name, so he takes it to the Gentiles, and we WILL sanctify it. 

I also think that the passage in 1.10c-14 lines up perfectly with Yochanan 2.13-18,

13 And the Iuaidoi’s (not Y’hovah’s) passover was at hand, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

18 Then answered the Iuaidoi and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

The peddlers of sacrificial animals were selling the dregs of the flock, blemished lambs and such for offerings, and they were doing it from within the Temple proper. Had they been outside in the court of the Gentiles, it would have been less of an affront to Y’hovah, but that the Priests would allow less than perfect animals to be offered showed their contempt for Y’hovah’s Name. Basically, except for a few years when the Maccabees were the High Priests, there seemed to have been no regard for Y’hovah among them. It was certainly no different in Yeshua’s days in Yerushalayim. With that background, we’ll better understand what Y’hovah is trying to tell the priests of the period @ 400BCE. (Did you notice that Yisrael went 430 years between the Avrahamic Covenant and the Exodus, and then, seemingly coincidentally, Israel went about 430 years from Tanakh’s last prophetic Word from Y’hovah to the death and resurrection of Mashiyach ben Yoseph? I just think that’s really interesting.) Q&C

Mal.2.1-17– Y’hovah is speaking directly to the HIGH priests, who are the COs of the Hebrew religion – it’s their ship to run aground and they WILL be held accountable. He opened ch.2 by saying (in a Mark paraphrase) “LISTEN UP, PRIESTS! If you refuse to hallow my Name, I will turn your blessings into curses.” 

The high priests filled their offices for an average of about 35 years each from Aharon to YehoTzadok (Y’hovah is Righteous) at the Babylonian captivity – a period of about 900 years. According to a traditional listing of the High Priests found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kohanim.jpg, there were 25-30 priests in those 900 years. After the Babylonian Captivity until the destruction of the Temple there were at least 50 high priests in only about 500 years, and MOST of those filled the office from Herod’s days until Titus destroyed the Temple. There were periods of time when the high priest would only fill the office for a year or 2. I don’t think there were a lot of folks who even WANTED the position near the end. I think they had not been trained in HOW to offer the sacrifices properly, and Y’hovah took them out because they didn’t bother trying to find out how to properly execute their office. He had certainly given them fair warning in the prophecy of Malachi. 

In v.3, he gets pretty specific, 1) corrupt seed (perhaps birth defects), 2) rub the crap of YOUR solemn feasts in your faces (not Xmas and Ishtar – those could never be confused with his feasts, but what THEY did in celebration of HIS feasts – think Yochanan 2.14-18). They are keeping HIS feasts in their own way, for their own pleasure and convenience. The one that comes to mind immediately is calling Unleavened Bread “Passover.” These are separate moedim, according to Vayikra 23.5&6. Passover is a day set apart as a preparation day for the miqra kodesh of Chag haMatzoth when the passover is eaten. They were calling the whole thing ‘Passover’, and still do (Kosher for Passover). 

That the covenant was with Levi and why can be seen in 

26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Y’HOVAH’s side? To ME! And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. (Ex.32.26)

and, speaking specifically to Pinchas,

11 Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: (Num.25.12)

In v.5, we see that Y’hovah is speaking specifically OF Pinchas

5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. (Mal.2.5)

It was Pinchas’ action in killing Zimri and Cozbi that stayed Y’hovah’s judgment on chol Yisrael, and he performed it under inspiration of Ruach haKodesh to keep Y’hovah’s Name set apart before the heathen. 

Y’hovah tells the priests of Malachi’s day that their lips should guard knowledge of Y’hovah, even as Pinchas had, because the high priest is the angel of Y’hovah, his messenger to the people. The priest’s in Malachi’s days were not after his Way, they thought the ritual and laws of the priesthood were a pain in their collective posteriors. They had caused many to stumble at Torah. That word ‘stumble’ is H3782, kashal, a root meaning to stumble or fall. The Septuagint uses the Grk diaphteirate, of the root ptaio, which we discussed briefly last week in our study of Yacov 3,

The legitimate purpose of the police and armed forces is to act as sheepdogs, protecting the flock. LTC Grossman doesn’t pull punches and he may offend you (hurt your feelings). If he does, you need to do some re-evaluation of your premises, because the world is getting more dangerous all the time. 

We NEED sheepdogs, even when their personalities make us uncomfortable. Sheepdogs sometimes offend the sheep. Oh, well! Better they have their “widdow feewings hooert” than they be eaten. ‘Hurt feelings’ is not the ‘offence’ that Yacov is talking about here. The word is G4417, ptaio, and means to trip or cause to stumble, not to “hooert someone’s widdow feewings”. If I have to hurt your feelings to get you off the siding and onto the main track, stand by; you’re going to experience some discomfort. That discomfort will have as its purpose to awaken you to danger, not to bring division but to bring you into the fold and under the protection of the Shepherd. Remember that he who sows discord among brethren is an abomination to Y’hovah’s soul (Prov.6.16, 19). The pile of Kimchee that guy is in is deep, sticky and stinky. May he not be any of us. 

The tongue that Ya’acov is speaking about is not what we assume in our modern way of thinking. It is the one that leads the sheep astray so they are more easily taken and devoured, not one that merely offends someone’s sensibilities.

The priests in Mal.2.8 were causing their flocks to stumble in their application of Torah – they had become the wolves in sheepdog’s clothing that we spoke of last week. They had become false teachers, false prophets. They had become partial in their application of Torah (v.9), applying it differently for Y’hovah’s people than for the priests, much like a US Congress that passes laws to which its own members are exempt. Vv.10-11 amplifies this rebuke, like focusing the sun’s light through a magnifying glass to kindle a fire with pinpoint accuracy. They were causing Israel to break their covenant with Y’hovah and to join herself with false elohim. Y’hovah will cut off the person who commits idolatry/adultery, and he will hold the false teacher doubly responsible for causing people to stumble at  his Covenant – possibly for EACH brother he causes to stumble (Yacov 3.1). The priests are getting a very stern warning here – repent, or ELSE … 

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Rev.2:5, 16)

The ‘them’ in Rev.2.16 is speaking directly to the priests, as they were among those who held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans – the word literally means ‘conqueror of the people’ or one who lords it over the people. A pastor or priest leads by serving and building up the flock, not by beating it down. Y’hovah will cut off the pastor/priest from the tents of Yacov – put him outside the camp of the saints – who causes his flock to stumble at guarding his covenant. It doesn’t matter how much show or how much noise the priest or pastor makes, if he doesn’t repent and return to the Way of Y’hovah – Derech Hashem – Y’hovah will disregard the offerings he makes, whether his own or the people’s. He has no regard for Y’hovah, and Y’hovah will reciprocate. 

The priest asks, “Why?!” and Y’hovah says, “Because you are unfaithful to the wife of your youth, I will not regard your offerings. I made the 2 of you 1 flesh, as I had made you and myself one Spirit. You show your disregard for me by going the way of another elohim. I will not, therefore, regard your offerings. You are, in effect, murdering innocent animals, and I will hold you responsible for their blood, as well.”

When Y’hovah says to ‘take heed to your spirit’ (v.15), he is speaking in regard to the spirit of the 2 made 1 in marriage (had he meant yours alone, he’d have said ‘thy’). Marriage is the pashat relationship that typifies the sod relationship of the faithful priest to Y’hovah. If you deal in treachery against the wife of your youth, how much more quickly will you deal treacherously with Y’hovah? He takes notice of all treachery, He has a record of it all and he shall require it of you at either the bema or GWT judgment. 

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:10)

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Eloha; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev.20:12)

Y’hovah hates ‘putting away’, sending away the wife of your youth. There is provision for a man to marry a second wife, but there is no Torah provision for divorce.

If he take him another wife ; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. (Exodus 21:10)

No man, wishing to obey Y’hovah in all his covenant, will marry a 2nd wife, for he will not be able to provide his ‘duty of marriage’ to both wives. (That verse doesn’t out and say it, but it certainly implies – to the thinking man, anyway – that multiple wives is NOT Y’hovah’s ideal for a man’s family.) Vv.17-18 say that Y’hovah is tired of our excuses for being treacherous with him. Y’hovah does NOT take delight in our evil doings, but in our obedience. And he IS an Elohim who will judge in tzedikah. “Grace” does not make evil good. Grace makes the inveterate evildoer ABLE to do good (Eph.2.10). Q&C

Tehellim 113 HalleluYah! Hallelu av’dei Y’hovah! Hallelu et Sheim Y’hovah!  The use of the untranslated word et, spelt aleph, tav, does 2 things; 1) it points to the direct object of the sentence and 2) focuses our attention on the main theme of this short Psalm –  in both cases, the Name of Y’hovah; the Almighty, the first and the last, the point man and the rear guard (not to mention covering our right and left flanks). 

I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the ending, saith Y’hovah, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

Saying, I am Aleph and Tav, the first and the last: … (Revelation 1:11a)

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:6)

I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13)

We, the servants of Y’hovah, praise his Name and bless his Name forever. How can we praise and bless his Name unless we actually know his Name? When Y’hovah walked the earth in a body of flesh, his name was Yeshua. From waking until sleeping, ‘from can see to can’t see’, we praise and bless Y’hovah’s Name. Y’hovah is bigger and more powerful than all the nations of men, and he will prove it soon enough. Who compares to Y’hovah, who has to humble himself to look at the stars he created. IOW, he looks DOWN (figuratively) to the stars from outside of this time/space/matter universe. We would be lower than the worms of the earth, except that Yeshua, who is the very Word of Y’hovah and Y’hovah in the flesh, humbled himself and came to this planet to redeem us to himself. 

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let ^this^ mind be in you, which was also in Mashiyach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Eloha, thought it not robbery to be equal with Eloha: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the tree. 9 Wherefore Eloha also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiyach is Y’hovah, to the glory of Eloha Avinu. (Phil.2.4-11).

17 But Israel shall be saved in Y’hovah with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end [that would be the olam haba]. 18 For thus saith Y’hovah that created the heavens; Eloha himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am Y’hovah; and none else. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I Y’hovah speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto an el that cannot save. 21 Tell [count] ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? hath told it from that time? have not I Y’hovah? and no eloha else beside me; a just Eloha and a Saviour; none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am Eloha, and none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth  righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall men say, in Y’hovah have I righteousness and strength: to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In Y’hovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. (YeshaYahu 45.17-25)

Did you notice that Y’hovah addressed himself in both the 1st and 3rd persons there?

Y’hovah will take the most submitted believer to lead his people – by his example, not as a lord or lady over them. Let’s juxtapose vv.7-8 with Ps.109.15-16, 22

7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 8 That he may set with princes, with the princes of his people. (113.7-8)

15 Let them be before Y’hovah continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart… 22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. (109.15-16, 22)

If a pastor, teacher, rabbi or president is acting as a lord and master over you, Y’hovah will cut off the memory of them from the earth BECAUSE they did not exercise the chesed of Y’hovah, but despised the poor and broken hearted. Because Y’hovah walked the earth in the human flesh of Yeshua, he has very real compassion for our situation – he’s lived the war that we live and knows how hard it is to be after his heart while in this sack of flesh. 

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Rav Sha’ul expresses it best, from our perspective, in Rom.7.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of Eloha after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank Eloha through Yeshua haMashiyach Adonenu. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Eloha; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom.7.18-25)

Y’hovah will change the situation of those who overcome wickedness through the gracious power of his indwelling Ruach haKodesh (Eph.2.8-10). He will make even the physically barren to raise up spiritual seed and remain thereby in the house of Y’hovah forever. HalleluYah! Q&C

Matthew 23.1-12– The Scribes and Pharisees (S&P) have just been shut down in their examination of the Lamb by a simple question that they could not answer according to their doctrine.  

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Mashiyach? whose son is he? They say unto him, “of David.” 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Adon, saying, 44 Y’hovah said unto Adonai, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Adon, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any from that day forth ask him any more. (Mat22.41-46)

And now, before the S&P can get away, Yeshua turned to his talmidim and the crowd that had gathered for the show, and started telling them about the S&P’s false doctrines. First, he says that the S&P sit in Moshe’s seat, alluding to Torah-centered judgment, and that that is a valid place for them to judge from. But he goes on in this chapter to show that they don’t base their judgment on Torah alone, but on their own doctrines, as well. And if there is a dispute between Tanakh and their doctrine, the doctrine wins out. If that isn’t almost exactly the position of the ‘mainstream evangelical church’ today, I’ll eat my hat. Today’s ‘Pharisees’ are the average pastors and ‘prophets’, who hold to their doctrines in the face of Torah’s bedrock truth. Yeshua told the crowd that when the S&P make a decree based on Tanakh, to do it, and the same holds true of the average pastor or teacher today. The problem with the average pastor today, as it was with the S&P in Yeshua’s (and our) day, is that they only know what Tanakh they can use or twist to fit their traditions. These are the ‘heavy burdens’ that the S&P lay on the people, while not lifting a finger to do them themselves. Juxtapose v.4 here with

28 Come unto me, all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat.11.28-30)

Y’hovah’s yoke is Torah – about 600 instructions for godly living, which he helps us to bear (hence the yoke). 

The S&P’s ‘works’ are designed to make them LOOK righteous, the teffilin and tzitzioth were ostentatious and drew attention to themselves. It was not wearing the teffilin or the tallitoth that was wrong, but the showiness and drama of it all. The purpose of them, in context, seems to be to draw invitations to grand events, to be given special recognition and honor in the eyes of men. Y’hovah wants us to be servants, not masters. He will exalt whom he will exalt – those who will abase themselves – and He will abase who exalts himself. He who exalts himself, like the S&P, is exemplifying discord among brethren (Prov.6.19). 

Eph.4.1-16 – Chapter 4 is where Sha’ul starts applying the principles he’s laid out for the 1st 3 chapters. He’s telling us to help each other along – to yoke to our brethren as we walk in Torah. To walk worthy of our vocation, we urge onward and bring along those who need help and support them as one in Mashiyach, AND we acknowledge our own need for help in walking out Torah, as well. Lowliness = humility, meekness = not easily provoked or offended, to the end of eventual unity in Ruach’s Covenant of Shalom. Beginning with the word ‘unity’ in v.3, count how many times Y’hovah uses that principle in our passage. 7 times he says, ONE. Do you suppose that ‘Shema Yisrael’ was in the forefront of Paul’s mind? If we have Shalom with Y’hovah, we are one with him, so Shalom is echad; peace is unity. We do not strive for unity at all costs, but unity in the echad Spirit of Y’hovah. The 7 things Sha’ul enumerates in vv.4-6 express the spiritual echad of Y’hovah and the Body of Mashiyach. In v.11, Paul enumerated the 5 gifts he spoke of in v.8. The 5 gifts are given for 3 purposes, as Sha’ul enumerated in v.12 – to perfect the saints, to work the ministry of and to edify the Body of Mashiyach. All the things (7) are given (5) for the purpose (3) of the unity he shows us in v.13 until WE become the ‘perfect’ man. The gift of Mashiyach (v.7) + the body of Mashiyach (v.12) = the fullness of Mashiyach (v.13). 

Vv.4-13 is what Paul means in 2Tim.3.16-17

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

The more ‘perfect’ (mature in Mashiyach) are to help the less ‘perfect’ (children) to grow until they are ‘throughly furnished’ for the vocation to which they are called, until we all, as ONE new man (2.15) obtain Shalom. The more ‘perfect’ the Body becomes, the less we will be tossed about by the ‘winds of doctrine’ (v.14). The more grounded in Tanakh we become, the less we will be fooled by the ‘sleight of men’ who use ‘cunningly devised fables’ (2Kefa 1.16) to deceive ‘silly women’ (2Tim.3.6) and children (v.14) in the faith. 

We are to speak the truth in love. Torah is Truth. Yeshua is Truth. We are to build up the Body of Mashiyach out of love for Y’hovah Yeshua and for each other. V.16 shows us that each member of Mashiyach’s body is needed to help the rest of the Body grow, mature and perform more efficiently. You may be the right hand of Mashiyach’s body, and I the left buttock, but if I am not working efficiently and freely, the Body is not going to be able to perform as well as if I am fit. We might not be able to get you to where you are needed in a timely fashion. Each part is necessary for proper function. You are as, or even more, important than I am in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

Shabbat Bible Study for June 16, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for June 16, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 14

B’Midbar 23:2 – 25:9 – Micah 7.14-20 – Tehellim 112 – Ya’acov 3:1 – 4:17

Links:

christiananswers.net/dictionary/chittim.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/tribes.html 

www.mwkworks.com/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html

B’midbar 23.2-30 – Bila’am had Balak build 7 altars and prepare 7 sacrifices, which THEY offered. I infer that Bila’am offered the oxen and Balak the rams, just from their respective positions in the sentence, but that could be wrong – I wasn’t there. But that the Moabite king offered at least some part of the sacrifices is clear from the sentence structure. Stone’s notes say that one killed the animal while the other caught the blood and sprinkled/threw it on the altar. The xlation indicates that Eloha only appeared to Bila’am on occasion, as if by happenstance. Rashi seems to indicate that once in a while El would communicate with Bila’am when it suited Eloha. The idea of 7 new altars and 7 offerings on each of these 3 occasions seems to allude to the significance of the number in relation to the offering. Schottenstein’s Chumash speaks of 7 instances of Israel’s patriarchs erecting altars – Adam, Abel, Noach, Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya’acov and Moshe, and that Bila’am may have been trying to insinuate himself among them by alluding to them and offering the eighth – perhaps suggesting a ‘new beginning’ (?). 

Each time Bila’am blessed Israel, Balak moved to another hilltop from which he showed Bila’am Israel from another angle or aspect. The aspect change and continuingly greater blessing Y’hovah gave Bila’am spoke to Bila’am. He was not going to be able to denounce Yisrael w/a curse. So he devised another means to trip Israel up – the ‘way or doctrine of Bila’am’. The ‘way of Bila’am’ (2Kefa 2) or the ‘doctrine of Bila’am’ (Rev.2) is what he suggested to the Moabites and Midianites – entice Israel to adultery and idolatry. The ‘error of Bila’am’ is to go your own way; either for financial gain or power and/or influence (Jude) among men. Let’s look briefly at the 3 attempted curses.

When Y’hovah eventually gets around to speaking through Bila’am, he speaks by parable. He says that noone can count Israel, they are as the dust, and in his blessing on Israel, Y’hovah says that they shall live alone, that they will always be a singular people – set apart by him and unto him. It’s no different today. Everyone loves to hate Israel. This speaks by parable of those who will be after Y’hovah’s heart, and it is seen walked out by b’nei Israel in history, for they HAVE maintained themselves separate from the world (no doubt through the hand of Y’hovah, even when they are trying to assimilate), even when they are in rebellion against him. Look at the Orthodox today. They usually live in communities, do business within their communities whenever possible, live within a close walk to shul, marry within the community, and so forth. This was seen in the orthodox Xian community, as well, in the lifestyles of the Puritan founders of America and is still generally practiced among the Amish and Mennonites, who also seem to live lifestyles closely approximating the Orthodox Jews and even share some family names with them. There are some spiritual blessings that come with such physical separation, even when done for purely traditional reasons – unity of religious practice being one, and material prosperity and physical familial multiplicity being another. The Amish may not live with the modern ‘conveniences’ but they are NOT financially poor. 

Then Y’hovah says (through Bila’am) that one can’t see the 1/4th part of Israel. What Balak and ALL the princes of Moav had shown him was a single ‘camp’ of Israel, the outer edge of one of the major camps, like Reuven’s camp which included the tribes of Shimon and Gad; or Yehudah’s camp, which included Issachar and Zevulon. What Bila’am could see of this 1/4th part of Israel could not be numbered and stretched beyond the horizon. I don’t know why I get this impression, but I think Balak took Bila’am to Reuven’s camp first, then Ephraim’s and then Dan’s. I don’t think Balak wanted to think about dealing with Yehudah, the ‘lion’, and his ‘whelps’; who knew the times of Y’hovah, and the art of war;

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. 33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: not of double heart (I Chronicles 12:32-33),

for when it came time to show Bila’am the 4th ¼ of Israel, Balak left with an outward display of disdain for Bila’am that I think was born of Balak’s fear. The last sentence of Y’hovah’s blessing was Bila’am wishing upon himself the death of the righteous and to be like Israel in his death, which I think was a prophecy of his ignominious death. Y’hovah let him know that he would not experience eternal life.

Balak was ticked that Bila’am blessed Israel instead of cursing him, but Bila’am objected that he had told Balak that he could not say anything except what Y’hovah had told him to say. So Balak took him to the next vantage point, which I think was Ephraim’s camp. Now, what Balak thought a change of aspect on the camp of Israel would do for Bila’am’s denunciation of Israel is beyond me. He’d seen the southern camp (if my impression is correct) and was now looking at the Western camp. At no time did Bila’am see to the camp of Levi or the Mishkan. Balak, not Bila’am, built 7 altars and offered 7 offerings on each.

Ephraim’s camp is the smallest of the 4 camps, and was the rear guard of the nation. He said, Eloha is not a man, that he should lie or a son of man that he should repent, which was Balak’s final warning from Y’hovah to repent of the evil he wished on Israel due to the lies he’d told himself about Israel. In v.21, Yhwh, his El = יהוה אלוהיו. He then tells Balak that he is bathed in iniquity and his way is perverted, and he does so by saying that he has seen no such thing in Yakov and Israel. Now, I have to wonder at this point if Y’hovah was there 38 years ago when the nation wanted to stone Yehoshua and Kalev at Kadesh, or just a few days or weeks ago when they wanted to stone Moshe and Aharon at Meribah, because I think there may have been some iniquity there. What I think he was saying is that Israel is righteous in Yhwh and in Mashiyach as his chosen people, if not in comparison to the heathen. Now, this blessing of Y’hovah COULD be the source of Bila’am’s counsel to Balak, for he says Y’hovah has not seen perversion in Israel, and the next thing we’ll see them do is to pervert their ways before Y’hovah by lying with the heathen women and bowing before their idols, or using those idols in a form of sexual perversity. We’ll see that a little later in the first verses of ch.25, and I will attempt to circumlocute the best I can – no promises. 

The ‘shout’ of the King [v.21] is actually the word ‘teruah’ which is the short staccato blasts of the silver trumpets that signals Israel to ‘execute’ the command of Y’hovah.

5 Elohim is gone up with a shout, Y’hovah with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to Elohim, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. 7 For Elohim is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. Ps.47.5-7

In the military, when moving in formation, there are two parts of every command; 1) Ready and 2) Execute, as in “Right, FACE!”, or “Forward, MARCH!” or “Company, HALT!” Israel was ALWAYS in formation, so the same applied to the silver trumpet blasts. The “Ready” command is the long, loud, tekiah that meant ‘prepare to break camp’, and “Execute” was the staccato teruah that meant “Break CAMP!” So after giving Balak his final warning that he is full of iniquity and is perverse before Y’hovah, he then – in the same breath – says that Y’hovah, the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov is with Israel and that a King is among them – the very king of whom Balak does not want to even think, if my impression is correct. Elohim brought them out of Egypt, from which the formerly great military power is still reeling and attempting without a lot of success to recover. Now, the Chumash says that Balak was a sorcerer, even as was Bila’am, so the next blessing is also pointed right at Balak as a back-handed curse. There is no enchantment or sorcery in Israel. They do not call on impish shadim for their deliverance, but are protected by the Creator of all there is, including the impish shadim that are the source of Balak’s power. Everyone will know that Balak was overcome by the Elohim of Israel, not some wicked spirit. 

Then, Y’hovah, through Bila’am, tells Balak what he most fears. Israel will rise up as a great lion to destroy his adversaries, devour their flesh and lick up their blood, which I take as a metaphor for Israel’s complete assimilation of his enemies’ possessions and source of political and economic life. Balak understood and was not pleased. The princes of Moav that were left with him also understood and I think they departed the pattern for a more inviting scene. In v.6, Balak had ‘ALL the princes of Moav’ with him. In v.17 it was just ‘the princes of Moav’, not ALL the princes. By the time we get into ch. 24, there is no mention of any princes at all. Q&C

24.1-25.9Vv.1-16 All the while that Bila’am has been going to get his instructions from Y’hovah, he has been using some kind of enchantments over Israel to bring Eloha to meet him. The sages seem to think he was trying to divine the moment Elohim would be in a ‘cursing mood’. NOW, he decides to try a new tack. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting note to 24.1-9, first paragraph and last sentence of the 2nd [pg.169]. Ahijah’s curse is pretty harsh. Also look at the note on v.2 and the camp of Israel. The blessing begins in v.5. In vv.3-4 Bila’am says in 5 different ways that he is experiencing this prophecy of Y’hovah as nothing he’d ever experienced before. His eyes are OPEN to the majesty of Y’hovah and he is finally convinced that no curse from him and the familiar spirits he was used to dealing with would have any effect. He describes the order of the Israelite camps, the combination of tight tribal relationships and the respect for each family’s dignity and honor. The ‘tabernacles’ of v.5 are the Hebrew word mishkanothecha – your (singular) mishkans, or private places of worship, or maybe to their personal tallitoth, or perhaps the future synagogues in and out of haAretz, or just a place where the family could gather for family meals or Shabbat. Vv.5-7 is taken by Ramban to be a blessing that includes their present situation in the camps of Israel (tents Ohalecha) and their future blessings in the land (mishkanothecha). In v.6, 4 similes are used that I take in the remez to refer to the 4 camps of 3 tribes each. The sages see many hints to kings and sages in Israel. I think the waters refer to Tanakh and the apostolic writings that give refreshing to our spirits. 

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Ps.1.1-3

V.7 speaks of Agag, the Amalekite king. Agag is the ancestor of Gog, chief prince of Magog. Here’s an interesting tidbit: Agag and Agog are the same word with slightly different vowel pointing, so it is possible that the sarrosh, or chief prince of Magog is referring to Gog, chief prince ‘from Agag’ (the mem prefix being a shortened form of min, meaning ‘from’). IOW, Gog is an Amalekite and ‘from Agag’. Amalek had LOTS of ‘giants’, as the 10 tourists made note of in Num.13.28-29a, when they showed their souvenirs and told Israel that they couldn’t defeat the people of the land, for there were sons of Anak – Amalekites there. 

28 Nevertheless the people strong that dwell in the land, and the cities walled, very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: (Num.13.28-29a)

What’s REALLY interesting is that Agag is the Amalekite king over whose living presence with Sha’ul (along with all the sheep bleating in the background of a victorious battlefield), got Sha’ul in deep kimchee with Y’hovah, as pronounced through Sh’muel. Bila’am saw him in his vision about 400 years before his birth and NAMED him in advance, like Koresh [Cyrus] the Persian, a Mashiyach of Yehudah, was named in advance by YeshaYahu in 44.28 and 45.1.

Balak was ticked. 3 times he’d offered 14 animals (42 in all – significant?) at Bila’am’s direction, and 3 times now Bila’am had blessed Israel instead of cursing him, like Bila’am was being paid to do. But Y’hovah has the greatest blessing yet to come to Israel. Bila’am opened his mouth one more time under the direction of Y’hovah’s Ruach. I think that Balak didn’t wait to hear it all. 

Vv.17-19 – He prophesies of Mashiyach and his ultimate destruction of Moav’s power. He says that he shall see the Almighty in a vision, hear the Words of Eloha and know the knowledge of the Most High. His next words speak of the Star coming from Yakov, the Scepter out of Israel that will destroy Moav and Seth, who, as progenitor of all the righteous seed, represents the nations of the earth (see Chumash note to v.17 on pp.172-73). Rashi sees David as the fulfillment and Ramban sees Messiah. I say, “YES!” Most prophecies of end time and Messianic events have multiple fulfillments; one more or less immediate, at least one intermediate, and the final, ultimate fulfillment that will be done in Mashiyach’s return and reign. 

V.20-24 – Eventually, Amalek will be utterly wiped out, as Y’hovah wanted Israel to do when he led them into his land. But it will be Mashiyach, the ultimate King of Yisrael, who will do that deed. In vv.21-22, he gives a similar warning to the Kenites, who seem to rule Petra and who were carried away by Asshur (Assyria) along with 10-Israel. Assyria will be difficult to defeat in battle. If current events unfold into the fulfillment of this prophecy many seem to think it may, Asshur may be what we are calling ISIS or the Moslem Bro-hood, who was ISIS’ precursor.

In v.24 I think we may have a prophecy of the soon to occur battle between the Western world (elsewhere kings of the north?) and those Moslem nations of the Middle East (kings of the south?) – perhaps Syria next, followed by Jordan and Saudi Arabia before turning their attention on Israel (Eber?). The West (Chittim, KoN) will bring it against the Middle East primarily by their navies. From the article “Chittim” in the online “Bible Encyclopedia”, christiananswers.net/dictionary/chittim.html 

…while the name originally designated the Phoenicians only, it came to be laterally used of all the islands and seacoasts which they [Phoenicians] had occupied…

Phoenicia, which is what modern archaeologists call the original alliance between David and Solomon’s Israel and Hiram’s Lebanon, colonized and/or explored the whole world for more than 2 centuries, even trading in or colonizing the Americas. The most likely nation to fulfill this prophecy (v.24) is the US with its naval/Marine aviation and Marine forces, perhaps with the help of NATO/NWO. If this happens this way, I don’t see the American/NATO/NWO forces leaving the area any time soon. There’s too much oil there for that to happen. Remember that even Israel has oil and natural gas reserves, now. I expect this soon, probably around Sukkoth, perhaps this year. (I COULD be wrong … but I DOUBT it!) Those same Chittim (ships from beyond Gibraltar) will take out Eber. Eber is from beyond The River, Euphrates, so the entire Middle East will be involved, eventually. US carriers can send aircraft on missions against defending forces from the Med, the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, and the PG in a sort of pincer attack. 

Bila’am went his way (v.25) and Balak ALSO went Bila’am’s way. This looks to me like they were going somewhere to commiserate. 

Warning! If you have young children listening, you may wish to turn down your sound or remove them from the vicinity. The allusions I am about to make may not be for their ears. I will try to circumlocute as I can, but you may not be aware of your kids intelligence and ability to reason.

25.1-9 – When Bila’am commiserated with Balak, he gave him some wicked advice (it was ‘good’ advice toward Balak’s end of cursing Israel), “If you want to defeat Israel, you have to attack their sexual purity.” And what better way than to send in some beautiful, but not-so-upright, women to entice Israel’s men to adultery/idolatry, which are things that are different only in the eyes of the perpetrators. Bila’am had Balak send beautiful, but less than pure, women of Moav to entice Israel. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting, speculative note on this on pg.174-75 (both prefatory for 1-6 and for v.2). 

If it’s true that the Moabite women were carrying idols small enough to hide in their clothing, it is also possible that they also used them in other defiling ways during the acts that would defile the Hebrew men (and perhaps women, as well). I think that these idols can be found in about any ‘Adult book/toy store’ today. I think they are talking about small-enough–to-be-carried-in-the-clothing ‘graven images’ of Ba’al. I think that I’ve circumlocuted as closely as I can in a G-rated room. Rav Sha’ul made allusion to what I am saying in Rom.1.24-27. I don’t think it would be a good idea to read that at this time, for the sake of your young-uns. I do include it in my notes.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Zimri brought a Midianite woman right to the tent of meeting and lay with her IN THE TENT! When Pinchas stayed the plague of Y’hovah, he did so by sticking them both thru with a spear and pinning them to the floor of the tent. They HAD to be INSIDE the tent of meeting for this to happen! Let me quote from my study on 17Mar12;

Num.4.38 – On the front, or east side of the Mishkan, before the entrance veil of the Tent of Meeting, was the camp of the Kohanim: the prophet Moshe, and the Priests Aharon and his sons. Moshe did not have a sukkah of his own, but actually dwelt in the Tent of Meeting, in the presence of Y’hovah. It was the Kohanim’s job to guard the Mishkan from all interlopers who got passed the 2 wheels (ophanim) of defense. As we will see in a couple of months (today), even though he had not been anointed Priest, Pinchas took his charge of guarding the sanctity of the Mishkan seriously and, using his trusty javelin, stayed the plague that Y’hovah unleashed upon Israel in Num.25. 

The definition of ‘stranger’ is different in different places. The word here is H2114 zur, which Stone’s Tanakh translates as alien. In this case, it means anyone who is NOT a Kohen. If a non-Kohen Kohathite tried to get into the Mishkan, Aharon or one of his sons, or even Moshe was to stop him by whatever means was necessary. If a Danite, even if it was the elder of Dan, tried to get into the Levite wheel, it was Merari’s job to stop him from going any further, and so on around the camp. The last defense in the outer wheel was the elder of the Camp – Nachshon, in Yehudah’s case. If the non-Levite got passed the zachan of the outer camp, it was the Levite’s job to stop him from going further. 

In Num.25, when Zimri took Cozbi into the ToM, he not only attempted to defile it with his own non-priestly presence, but with a complete alien who didn’t even belong in the Camp of Israel, much less the Court or the Mishkan itself. IOW, noone in the camp tried to stop the desecration of the Sanctuary. Now you might get an idea of why Y’hovah had sent a plague that killed over 24,000 Israelites in a few minutes. He was about to wipe out the entire camp. Pinchas LITERALLY saved Israel from annihilation, IMHO. Q&C

Micah 7.14-20 – These 7 verses constitute the last paragraph of the last chapter of Micah’s prophecy, where he asks a blessing on Yisrael [v.14] and Yhwh responds [vv.15-20]. Feed? thy people with thy rod? Lead or shepherd is a much better word because, while sheep are herbivores, I don’t think they are going to get much nourishment from a stick with a hook on its end. The Hebroot there is 7462, r’ah רעה, “to tend or satisfy needs”. That is the duty of a shepherd and also of a good king. He provides guidance/direction, discipline and protection all with skillful use of his rod. Carmel is from the Hebroot 3754 karam כרם, “to work terraced terrain”. Carmel, Bashan and Gilead are all hill country, where terracing makes for wonderfully fertile and useable farmland/vineyards. This prophecy is one with Millennial fulfillment in THIS earth, and well as eternal fulfillment in the olam haba, the world[s] to come. 

In v.15, Yhwh tells us that as it happened in the Egyptian exodus, so it will be in the Millennium [as well as in the olam haba] when he will give us ever expanding revelation of His works and ways, laying firm foundations and then building on those foundations. Vv.16-17 has to be millennial in its fulfillment, since the nations, the goyim, shall see and be confounded despite all their might – referring, I think, to the final Gog u’Magog battle in Rev.20.7-9;

7 And when the thousand years are expired, haSatan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog u’Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from Eloha out of heaven, and devoured them.

I think that marks the beginning of the lake of fire, which will be momentary in space/time, but take as long as it needs to take in the presence of Yhwh where time doesn’t really exist. Every bit of matter that gets thrown into that LoF will be instantly dissolved until nothing remains of it, or as Kefa puts it in 2Pe.3.7-12,

7 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. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with Yhwh as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 Yhwh is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of Yhwh will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise [Mic.7.16, ‘ears deaf’], and the elements [atoms?] shall melt with fervent heat [fission?], the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Then all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Eloha, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Yhwh is a consuming fire [Dev.4.24, 9.3, Heb.12.29], and He does nothing except he does it to completion. 

Vv.18-20 speak of the olam haba. He will pardon the iniquity of those who trust him. He will not regard the past transgressions of those whom he pardons, the remnant, because He delights in being merciful. He will turn again [v.19], shuv שוב, literally ‘move backward’, in effect, go back to the time before we transgressed, as if we had never sinned against Him. And from THAT place, He will ‘subdue our iniquities’; He will make us as Adam was before he partook of the only thing from which he had been restricted. He will restrain or remove our evil inclination, what the church erroneously calls the “Old Sin Nature”, AND He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, as far from Him as east is from west. And He will create a New Heaven and a New Earth in which only righteousness dwells and THERE He will perform TRUTH in Ya’acov and Mercy in Avraham, as he swore to our fathers from the beginning of this Creation.

Tehellim 112 – I think that Ps.111 and 112 are meant to be read together since they are both acrostic poetry and 112 picks up where 111 left off – the fear of Y’hovah is shown in obedience to his commandments which is the beginning of wisdom. Is this Psalm about Tzadikim, the believers who will enter the Messianic Kingdom? I think so. Let’s look at Rev.12&14

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yeshua Mashiyach. (Revelation of John 12:17)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yeshua. (Revelation of John 14:12)

Now juxtapose those verses with Ps.112.1, and then see what happens to and for the tzadik who does ‘delight greatly in his commandments’. His progeny will be mighty, and blessed of Y’hovah. In v.3, they will have great wealth who live in tzedikah. Now, I think the riches are a result of the righteousness and not the other way round. Can Eloha trust you with riches? What would you do with it if you had it? Are you a tzadik? If you are, he can trust you with wealth. If not, he cannot. And he tries the hearts of men and knows who can handle it and who can’t. The upright in v.4 is speaking about Mashiyach, the Tzadik Rebbe, and his overcoming Bride. Mashiyach is the only one who can be both righteous and full of compassion, because he has suffered everything we do and knows experientially what we go through in the war that rages in our members, sin or obedience. But in Mashiyach, light arises in the darkness by his gracious compassion and tzedikah. 

In Deut.28 we are told what will happen to us if we guard his commandments, 

10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of Y’hovah; and they shall be afraid of thee. 12 Y’hovah shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 

V.5 illustrates this promise being delivered. Now, here’s what I find interesting. In both Dt.28.12 and Ps.112.5, the word translated as ‘lend’ is H3867, lavan, which is a primitive root that means “to twine, by implication to unite.” To lend, biblically, is to supply something of yourself for the benefit of another – it is a form of loving your neighbor. Remember that lending to a brother is to be done w/o interest or usury. An upright man lends and doesn’t borrow because Y’hovah provides for the upright man so that he has no need to borrow and so that he has the ability to lend with the intent of helping a brother get on his feet. He doesn’t lend indiscriminately, but uses good judgment, which is what the Psalmist means by discretion. V.6 may be a support for the idea of perseverance of saints, not as in OSAS, where all you have to do is say a prayer and there are no more worries. But the righteous man continues in his faithfulness and cannot be moved from it. He will not be worried about bad news for the economy or for the political situation because “he knows whom he has believed and is persuaded that HE is able to guard that which” the righteous man “had committed unto him against that day” of deliverance (2Tim.1.12). The Tzadik has provided for the poor among the household of faith, and even for those who come to his attention from outside the camp. He gives with the same motive with which he lends – to assist his fellow in becoming self-sufficient, for THAT is righteous giving. In the Kingdom, Mashiyach and his deputies (the Tzadikim) will deliver quick and sure retributive justice to the wicked. Q&C 

Ya’acov 3.1-18 – ‘Masters’ in v.1 is literally ‘teachers’. Teachers are more accountable before Avinu than are those they teach. Many people take on the mantle of ‘teacher’ that ought not, and many do not who ought to because of this passage. The difference is like that of a sheepdog and a wolf. The teacher who can lead is like a sheepdog, directing, watching over, and protecting the sheep under the headship of the shepherd. The sheepdog will do everything he can to protect the sheep, including fighting off the wolf. The false teacher is like the wolf in sheepdog’s clothing that would devour the sheep one at a time while they graze calmly, thinking they are protected under the watchful eye of a sheepdog. The wolves in sheepdog clothing are in line for a major judgment and condemnation from Avinu. See www.mwkworks.com/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html for an excellent article on the subject by LTC (Ret) Dave Grossman. The legitimate purpose of the police and armed forces is to act as sheepdogs, protecting the flock. LTC Grossman doesn’t pull punches and he may offend you (hurt your feelings). If he does, you need to do some re-evaluation of your premises, because the world is getting more dangerous all the time. 

We NEED sheepdogs, even when their personalities make us uncomfortable. Sheepdogs sometimes offend the sheep. Oh, well! Better they have their feelings hurt than they be eaten. ‘Hurt feelings’ is not the ‘offense’ that Yacov is talking about here. The word is G4417, ptaio, and means ‘to trip or cause to stumble’, not to “hout someone’s wittow feewings”. If I have to hurt your feelings to get you off the siding and onto the main track, stand by; you’re going to experience some discomfort. That discomfort will have as its purpose to awaken you to danger, not to bring division but to bring you into the fold and under the protection of the Shepherd. Remember that he who sows discord among brethren is an abomination to Y’hovah’s soul (Prov.6.16, 19). The pile of Kimchee that guy is in is deep, sticky and stinky. May he not be any of us. 

The tongue that Ya’acov is speaking about is not what we assume in our modern way of thinking. It is the one that leads the sheep astray so they are more easily taken and devoured, not one that merely offends someone’s sensibilities. Now, giving offense for offense’s sake is foolish, but I don’t even think THAT is what this passage is primarily about. That guy is just an anal sphincter. Yacov likens a lot of relatively small things to the tongue of the false teacher. 1st is the bit in a horse’s mouth. It’s uncomfortable for the horse, but the discomfort brings the animal under the control of a relatively small human. 2nd is the rudder of a ship. The rudder exerts a ‘G’ force contrary to the inertial motion of the ship, and can cause some ‘discomfort’ for the ship and/or crew as it changes course. As the bit and the rudder bring much larger things under control, so the tongue can do. He then likens the tongue to a ‘hatful’ of fire. 

The word ‘matter’ in v.5 is G5208, hule’, which literally means ‘forest’. A Mark paraphrase is “Look how great a forest a hatful of fire can consume.” When Yacov talks of the body in v.6, it isn’t the body of the false teacher, but the Body of Messiah that he means. One wolf can take the whole unsuspecting flock and turn them away from the True Shepherd. Look at the false teachings, like the ‘flat earth’ and ‘Paul is a false-prophet’ types, that are dividing the Messie movement. When is the Shabbat? When does the day begin? When does the year begin? What books are scripture? Which should we remove from the Bibles we have? Watch out for false teachers. 

It isn’t naturally in us to keep control of our tongues, but it IS in Ruach haKodesh to whom we CAN submit and allow to be our rudder or the bit in our mouths. Under our control, the same mouth can utter cursings and blessings, life and death. Only by submission to Ruach haKodesh can we remove the cursing and death from our tongues. 

Vv.1-12 showed the problem and the solution. Vv.13-18 make application of what we’ve learned. If you would be wise in the biblical sense of the term, walk in obedience to Torah, for THAT is the best way to show a good ‘conversation’, which is KJV speak for a lifestyle. It ought to be plain that we are after Y’hovah’s heart in the way we live our lives. 

Vv.14-18 then shows the same application by way of contrast. If you want to prove that you care not a whit for what Y’hovah speaks, walk contrary to his instructions and everyone will know that you are a person not to be trusted. This is an application of the ‘tongue’ analogy in that if your walk doesn’t reflect your talk, Yochanan would say that you are a liar and the truth is not in you. 

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I John 2:4)

Yacov fully agrees with Yochanan on this, as he tells us in v.15, because that man is after the flesh, which is at war with Ruach haKodesh (Rom.7.14-8.4, specifically 7.23). Envying and strife is earthly, sensual, devilish, because all evil comes from our lust, which refers to covetousness. And covetousness is idolatry. The wisdom from Y’hovah in v.16 is also called the fruit of righteousness in v.18. FoR = FoS

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now light in Y’hovah: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto Y’hovah. (Gal.5.8-9)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Eph.5.22-23)

Do you see any likeness between Yacov’s list in v.17 and Sha’ul’s in 22-23? I do. And, BTW, the fruit of righteousness is exactly the opposite of Midian – contention, brawling. Cozbi, Zimri’s Midianite squeeze in Num.25 today was a major source of contention for Yhwh. Q&C

4.1-17 – Yacov is still on about strife and discord among brethren and that it comes from covetousness. It has NOTHING to do with wars of nations in its primary application, though nations generally follow the character of their people. This is not written to the nations, but to ‘the 12 tribes scattered abroad’. A clearer reference to knowledge of the whereabouts of the 12 tribes, at least to the human authors of the Ketuvim haShlichim, is hard to imagine. Human historians today haven’t a clue as to their whereabouts, but Yeshua knows and told his shlichim. These wars are among the body of Mashiyach, which thing abominates Y’hovah’s soul. All the factions in the Body are due to our lusts for what is not ours by right. We saw Prov.6.16-19 earlier. All those things that abominate Y’hovah’s soul are fruits of our covetousness, as I think are ALL sins. The worst part of this approbation lust is that we are coveting the WORLD’S approval, not EVEN the kahal’s, much less Y’hovah’s. With this in mind, what do you think we’re asking for that we do not receive of Y’hovah? We ask for things WE covet, which is idolatry and he CANNOT give us that. He can let us work for it so hard that we get it, even though he isn’t WILLING that we have it. But allow it he may to teach us the lesson in a different way – one we will not like at all. We strive and fight to feed our pride, but if we will live in humility before Y’hovah, he will give us all the grace we need to overcome hardships and bickering. HaSatan inhabits our prideful bickering, but he cannot get hold of our humility before Y’hovah. When we submit to Y’hovah, which is seen in our lifestyle of obedience, we will almost certainly resist the flesh that haSatan can so easily control when we allow him to. Vv.8-10 address the Spirit of the Day of Atonement, when we afflict our souls through repentance, prayer, and fasting; humbling ourselves before Y’hovah so that he can exalt us.

We ought not utter a lashon hara against a brother. This is just another admonition against sowing discord among brethren. The wars in v.1 must be speaking of more than just back-biting and gossip, which is about as far as any teaching on James gets. Gossip is bad, but it generally is shared with one person or 2. Sowing discord among brethren is usually a much more public display aimed at causing hurt to the person generally. HaSatan LOVES it. Y’hovah is abominated by it. I think this may involve questioning a brother’s relationship with Messiah, because v.11 also speaks of his relationship to Torah. If we see a brother in sin, it is our place to point our perception out to him, as he may be unaware AND we may have misconstrued his actions. Our purpose is to bring his reconciliation to the Camp. It is NOT our place to publicly question his salvation or point out his sin to others. 

Our ONE Torah giver is able to save or to destroy (Is.33.22), and he uses the same standard in his righteous judgment of the sinner’s motives and the rightness of his action. He uses the same Torah to judge the hearts of all who stand before him – and that is EVERYONE, saint or sinner, Yisraelite or Gentile. For those who trust him, Torah is the Way of Life, Derech Chaim; for those who do not, it is the way of death, derech maveth.  

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22)

14 But the word very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love Y’hovah Elohecha, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and Y’hovah Elohecha shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deut.30.14-16, 19)

22 For Y’hovah our judge, Y’hovah our lawgiver, Y’hovah our king; he will save us. (Is.33.22 Gevurah, chesed and tifereth seen here.)

The closing verses are not admonitions against making plans. We are certainly to make plans and goals for our lives. But to announce them as if we are the Elohim of our life is foolishness, since we are not assured of our next breath, much less the plans Yacov speaks about. We ought to be constantly aware of our standing before Y’hovah, and that our lives are bound up in HIM, not in us. We can’t truly change the color of one hair on our heads. We ultimately have no control of our lives. We are utterly dependent on Y’hovah. So we need to make our plans around his will for us, not OUR will for us. And his will is that we obey him. 

8 I delight to do thy will, Elohai: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Ps.40.7-8) 

We need to be circumspect, doing all in our power to obey his commandments as we trust his Ruach to empower us, to not be double minded and unstable. Especially if we are teachers. Q&C      End of Shabbat Bible Study.

June 9, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

June 9, 2018 Shabbat Bible Study

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 13

Numbers 22:2 – 23:1 – Micah 5:1-15 – Psalm 111 – 2 Peter 2:1-22

Links:

www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm

https://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible

www.jewfaq.org/defs/takkanah.htm

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0013_0_12945.html

Numbers 22:2-23:1– Balak’s name is H1111, waster, is from the root H1110, to destroy, (make) uninhabitable. His father’s name is Tzippor, which is the masculine form of Tzipporah H6833 (root), as in Moshe’s Midianite wife, and it means the same thing – a little bird, as hopping. This is from my notes for the Midrash of 2/18/17:

When Moshe got to Midian, he sat down near a well. Now, if he was thirsty from the long trek across the Sinai Peninsula desert, why did he sit down? Why wasn’t he getting a drink of water? Too used to service in the court of Paroh? Waiting for the shepherds to come so he could get help removing the stone that covered the well’s mouth? Maybe he was just tired. Reuel’s name means ‘friend of Elohim’, and he was the priest of Midian. When Reuel’s daughters came to water their flock of sheep, the other shepherds tried to drive them away. Maybe the shepherds were members of a rival religious gang, like the Sun Devils, or maybe they worked for one of AbiMelech’s descendants, the Canaanite king whose men stole wells from Yitzhak. When they tried to chase away the babes, Moshe, ever the chivalrous one, came to the ladies’ aid and drove off the shepherds and then watered their animals. Can you imagine the shepherds moving to chase off these young girls being confronted, as if out of nowhere, by Charleton Heston (that voice and all) in the prime of life and dressed in Egyptian military uniform and perhaps carrying the weaponry of an officer in Egypt’s army? A wrestling match or fisticuffs with a girl is one thing, but a knock-down, drag-out with a well-trained soldier who is equipped with – and knows how to use – the day’s equivalent of an M-16, Claymore’s and hand-grenades, is quite another. Of course, the girls were all atwitter about the handsome, Charleton Heston type Egyptian who rescued them and then served them. And when Reuel heard their story, he was amazed that they didn’t invite Chuck home for dinner. I can imagine him saying, “I raised you better than that! What happened to your manners?” 

It doesn’t say so, but I assume he sent them out to find Moshe and bring him home so Reuel could thank him properly. Reuel must have offered him lodging, and Moshe accepted. Eventually, Reuel gave Moshe his daughter Tziporah as his wife. Talk about a proper thank you! According to Strong’s, the 3-letter root of Tziporah’s name means ‘twitter’, like a bird. I swear to you, I looked this up AFTER I said the girls were ‘all atwitter’, I really did. Was Tziporah the eldest of Reuel’s 7 daughters? Probably though we aren’t told. Tziporah bore Gershom to Moshe in Midian. Moshe called him that because he was a stranger in a strange land. Gershom’s name literally means, ‘stranger (ger) there (sham)’ as opposed to ‘here’ (halom). I think it signifies that Moshe knew he was in exile from Israel’s place of exile, that he knew he was an exile in Egypt, and now he was an exile even from there.

Birds are considered to represent haSatan or his shadim at times. In Yeshua’s parable of the sower, the birds came and ate the seed.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: … 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth not, then cometh the wicked, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. (Matt.13.3, 19)

I think this may be a hint at the deeper meaning of Balak, ben Tzippor, the annihilator, the son of the Wicked. Balak knew that his kingdom’s number was up and that Y’hovah was going to use Israel to wipe him out, like he had Sihon of Ammon and Og of Bashan. So he called on Bila’am, the local prophet for hire. Stone’s Chumash has an interesting Prefatory note to this Sidrah, pg.856, 57.

I can understand why Moav would fear Israel after what they did by Y’hovah’s hand against Ammon and Bashan, but Israel had deliberately by-passed Moav, not even setting foot on her territory. If my postulation last week is right, they had taken all of Ammon, including what Ammon had taken from Moav, the land lying between brook Arnon and Mt. Pisgah. Now, Israel was already encamped north of Moav across Yarden from Yericho.  Israel was not threatening Moav at all. But Balak was THAT frightened of what Israel would do in future, that he sent to hire Bila’am to curse Israel. 

Bila’am was in Pethor, a city by ‘the River’, which I infer to mean Euphrates, as that is THE major river of the entire region and was called ‘the River’ in the Levant as the Nile was in Egypt. The Midrash and the Zohar, according to the note on v.5 in the Chumash, say that Bila’am was a descendant of Lavan the Syrian, Ya’acov’s father-in-law. The elders of both Moav and Midian went to Bila’am. Now, Midian had Yithro, who I think had been a prophet-for-hire, but now was a prophet of Y’hovah, so why not go to him? BeCAUSE he was a prophet of Y’hovah, they knew that Y’hovah had brought Israel out of Egypt and that Moshe was married to Yithro’s daughter so that he would not curse Israel. So they went to the NEXT most influential prophet.

The elders of Moav and Midian arrived at Bila’am’s door with the standard charge for a curse from a prophet and asked him to come and curse Israel. So Bila’am lodged them in his domicile and told them that he would enquire of Y’hovah as to what he should do. But before he could work up a good offering ELOHIM spoke to him. Now, he went to enquire of Y’hovah, but encountered Elohim. If you look at the Tree of Sefiroth, www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm, you will see that Y’hovah is the right hand, manifesting the goodness/mercy of the Almighty, while Elohim is the left hand, manifesting the severity/righteous judgment of the Almighty. 

Elohim asked who these guys were, and Bila’am answered truthfully. So Eloha told him he could not go, and he could not curse Israel for he had blessed them. So Bila’am got up next AM and told the embassage what Y’hovah had said. Do you see that Bila’am was in the dark as to which manifestation of the Almighty he had been talking? So the elders went back to Balak with their report, and Balak sent more important, and I assume more powerful military men with their hosts, princes to persuade him with a LOT more money and an offer of a LOT more power. Q&C

So Balak sent more important, and more powerful military men with their hosts, princes to persuade him with a LOT more money and an offer of a LOT more power. Bila’am made a great show of piousness with the princes, “I cannot go beyond what Y’hovah Elohai tells me.” But Y’hovah Elohai had already told him. Did he think Y’hovah was going to change his mind, just because Bila’am stood to gain a LOT more riches, power and prestige? He told the princes to hang loose while he went to enquire of Y’hovah. ELOHA told Bila’am that “if the men come to call you, go with them…” What Bila’am heard was, “Go with them”, because he had kesef (silver money) on his brain. He got up the following AM before the princes and had his ass saddled before they even rolled out. 

*** Lot’s of Mark paraphrases coming.*** Eloha was TICKED that Bila’am went with them against his explicit instructions. So, who met Bila’am along the way, but Y’hovah Tzavaoth? And Bila’am didn’t even perceive his presence – already counting the booty. The ass saw haMalach Y’hovah – THE Angel of Y’hovah, sword drawn for battle, and the ass turned aside (that was one smart ass!), maybe to give Y’hovah a cleaner swipe. Bila’am, completely oblivious to his peril, struck the ass and got her back on the way, this time through a vineyard. The path must have been quite narrow, because when Malach Y’hovah stood in the way, the ass, who was smarter than the average prophet, turned aside again and brushed into the wall, smashing Bila’am’s foot against the wall, for which Bila’am struck her again. Next, Y’hovah put himself in the way where the ass had nowhere to turn at all, so the smart ass just dropped onto her belly, the easier for Y’hovah to take off Bila’am’s head and leave the ass’ intact. A VERY smart ass! 

Bila’am got so ticked this time that he started beating the ass with his staff. So now, to show Bila’am what a dumb-ass he was, Y’hovah opened the ass’ mouth and she spoke to Bila’am, “Why have you struck me these 3 times?” And Bila’am answered his ASS (think about this, I can’t make this stuff up), “Because you’ve mocked me! If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you where you lay!” Now, had I been the smart ass here, I’d have indicated the Malach Y’hovah with my nose and said, “Why don’t you borrow HIS?” But this particular ass must have actually LIKED Bila’am, because she said, “You have been riding me since the day you acquired me. Have you EVER known me to act this way?” It was with the 2nd speech of the ass that Bila’am’s lights started coming on. He thought for a few seconds and answered (ANSWERED?!) his ass, “Er, … Uh, … No.?” 

THAT was when Y’hovah opened Bila’am’s eyes and he saw Malach Y’hovah standing over him, sword drawn and ready to let him have it. Bila’am finally got the picture and made like the ass, falling on his face. Before he let fly with the killing stroke, Y’hovah said, “Why did you strike the ass these 3 times? That dumb (speechless!) animal saved your beef bacon, boy! You disobeyed me and I came out here to let you have it. Had she NOT turned aside, your eggs would be scrambled and you would be toast by now!” (Hey! It was breakfast time!) 

So Bila’am finally got wise and confessed his sin before Y’hovah, who told him, “I’ll let this slide and you may continue with them, BUT if you open your mouth to curse MY PEOPLE, you will not live to regret it. When it comes to Israel, you will say ONLY what I tell you to say, Got it?!” Bila’am got it, alright.

Balak, heard that Bila’am was come and went out to meet him, to try to intimidate him, I think, with his importance. I don’t think that, having just had an encounter with a VERY ticked Almighty, Bila’am was real impressed. But he was still thinking about the power and the silver money in the back of his mind, as we’ll see next week. Balak said, “Don’t you know how powerful I am and how much silver money I can lay on you?” And Bila’am went back into his pious mode, saying, “I can only say what Elohai tells me to say.” Notice that at home, he was speaking of what Y’hovah would say through him, but now he was going to say what Eloha told him. He had met the wrath of Y’hovah and knew that he would never be in Y’hovah’s service again. 

Bila’am went with Balak and came to Kiryath-chutzoth, which means ‘outside the city, separated by a wall from the city’. I think the remez is that it has to do with the City of the King, the New Jerusalem, outside of which Balak is going to find himself. And not just outside the city, but outside of the entire New Creation, having been thrown into the Lake of Fire after the GWT judgment. Balak brings the prophet of Y’hovah up to the high places of Ba’al so that Bila’am could look at the edge of Israel’s encampment, and that Israel’s camp extended beyond the horizon.

Num.23.1 – So Bila’am told Balak to build him 7 altars and prepare 7 sacrifices to Y’hovah on the high place of Ba’al. I don’t think that was a wise move on Bila’am’s part. We’ll see next week. Q&C

Micah 5:1-15 (4.14-5.14 Heb.) – V.1 is the last verse of ch.4 in the Hebrew scriptures, and then goes on into what is now ch.5. Remember that in the scrolls, there were no numbered chapters or verses. That is an invention of the RC church, really, which Yehudah has adopted as an easy way to find the portion they are looking for in their Tanakh’s, though their numbering system is somewhat different. Cf. https://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible. Torah scrolls used in synagogues today do not have these chapter and verse numbers, so they still have to search for the passage they are reading on any given shabbat, and the verse in Luke where Yeshua had to find his haftarah reading in the scroll in Natz’reth (Luke 4),

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of Y’hovah is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of Y’hovah.

It is interesting to me that it was not until the Babylonian captivity that the rabbis developed the annual Torah reading schedule, which was adopted by the Masoretes. Until then, the readings were almost exclusively done over a tri-ennial cycle. 

The word xlated as ‘troop’ in v.1 (Heb.4.14) is g’dowd and shares a 2-letter root with the Canaanite deity (and Israelite tribe) Gad. If the daughter of troops is actually referring to the Canaanite Eloha, Gad (and I think it does), it properly belongs in ch.4, where Yehudah is told they will be exiled to Babylon, but that Y’hovah will not forsake them to that land. 4.14 (our 5.1) seems to say that he is going to call the daughter out of her ‘father’s house’ and back to Y’hovah, which we spoke of last week in the brief exposition of Is.27.4-5. Will the nations of the world system smite Mashiyach on the cheek with a rod? Did not the Roman soldiers do this to him during their scourging and mocking on the day of Pesach about 2000 years ago? 

And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. (Matthew 27:30)

And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. (Mark 15:19)

And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? (Luke 22:64)

Do you think the Assyrian will have his troops do any less when they gather against him to battle outside of J’lem? 

18 And the king of Israel said unto Yehoshapat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? 19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of Y’hovah: I saw Y’hovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And Y’hovah said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before Y’hovah, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And Y’hovah said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, Y’hovah hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and Y’hovah hath spoken evil concerning thee. 24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of Y’hovah from me to speak unto thee? 25 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. 26 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’ son; 27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. 28 And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, Y’hovah hath not spoken by me. (1Ki.22.18-28)

I wanted v.24 as an illustration of who was behind the slap in the face AND the rod to Yeshua’s head, but that is one of my favorite passages of scripture because it shows how Y’hovah will make a MAN of you and me when he needs us to be men – even if you are just a guy, like Micaiah was. Ahab wanted ‘yes-men’ around him. Micaiah was no lap dog. I LOVE men like MicaYahu (Who is like Y’hovah) and YirmeYahu and pray that I will have their fortitude when I need it in his service. It’s easy to talk tough when there is no immediate danger to life and limb. It’s another thing when your life may hang in the balance. May we all be filled with Y’hovah’s Ruach when he needs us to stand up like men. 

The judge of Israel in v.1 is also the ruler of Israel in v.2, melding the Melech and the Tzadik, the left and the right hands of the Almighty, and Mashiyach ben Yoseph and Mashiyach ben David that all manifest together in our MelchiTzadik High Priest and Redeemer, Yeshua ha Mashiyach. Y’hovah was born into the world in human flesh in BethLechem Ephratha. His ‘goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.’ The Hebrew sages knew that this prophecy spoke of Mashiyach before Yeshua was born,

3 When Herod the king had heard, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Mashiyach should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Matt.2.3-6)

Even Stone’s Tanach mentions Mashiyach in its circumlocution of Yeshua’s obvious fulfillment of this prophecy. Stone’s notes on vv.1 and 2;

Another name for Bethlechem Yehuda [Gen.48.7]. As the city of Ruth, a convert from Moav, BethLechem was an unlikely source of leadership,but it produced David, the anscestor of Mashiyach.

The hardships of exile will become as intense as labor pains, but it will end with the rebirth of the Jewish nation and the return of Mashiyach’s brethren.

They do the most amazing dance steps on the ‘Twister’ floor to get around admitting who he is. None is so blind as he who WILL not see. Q&C

V.3, I think, speaks of the Yehudim we just spoke of, those who will not see that Yeshua is Mashiyach, as Rav Sha’ul says in Rom.11,

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump also: and if the root be holy, so the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if Eloha spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for Eloha is able to graff them in again. (Rom.11.16-23)

This passage (vv.2-3) is a hard interpretation. But if we use the imagery of Ez.37, children of Israel = Yehudah and house of Israel = Ephraim/Yoseph, it becomes a little easier to see that the ‘remnant of his brethren’ in v.3 is speaking of those of Ephraim/Yoseph who believe and are ruled by the ruler of Israel (v.2), being brought back to fellowship with his elder brother Yehudah (v.3, children of Israel), as loosely illustrated in the parable of Prodigal Son. 

V.4 – Mashiyach stands and feeds in the strength and majesty of Y’hovah’s Name, and they, the remnant and the children of Israel, shall abide in Mashiyach, who will be great to the ends of the earth. Everyone will know who is their King Mashiyach. This peace (v.5) that exists between Ephraim and Yehudah in Mashiyach will be what the Assyrian will have to deal with when he comes against King Mashiyach and his newly united body at HarMeggido. We will be 7 shepherds’ flocks and 8 princes’ armies + Mashiyach against the combined armies of the world. And Mashiyach will dispatch them without our needing to unsheathe our weapons. Mashiyach Yeshua will ‘deliver (natsach – triumph, end resistance) us out of the Assyrian’s hands’. Shades of Is.27.4-5 AGAIN! V.7 says that we are like dew on the grass of the nations. When there’s a dew, it doesn’t miss much. He will offer his redemption to even the armies arrayed against him, and he SHALL deliver those who will forsake the Assyrian and trust him. Do you see us, the remnant of Ya’acov who live among the Gentiles (v.8)? We will be among the nations, kinda like sleeper agents of a foreign government awaiting our wake up, which will go out from Mashiyach. 

All of Mashiyach’s enemies will be cut off as his hand is raised against his adversaries. This is speaking about his REAL adversaries, haSatan and his imps who are driving the human rebellion against Y’hovah, as always, and who are really nothing to Y’hovah but comic relief. 

Vv.10-15 are addressed directly to Y’hovah’s adversaries that he is dealing with by the hand of Mashiyach Yeshua. Since immediately preceding the battle of the New World Order’s armies against Mashiyach, all the shadim and haSatan himself will be bound and cast into prison for 1000 years, the spiritual power of the Assyrian will be removed so that he and they will cower before Mashiyach’s might. There will be no shadim to perform wonderful works, like the ones that fooled all of mankind during the previous 3½ years of earth’s history. The world’s sorcerers can try to cast spells in their own power, but there will be no shadim to carry them out. All the images and groves of Satan worship will be thrown down. Maybe THAT’s what we’ll do in this battle, because we won’t have to lift even our voices against the armies of the earth, as Mashiyach will deal with them with the creative power of HIS voice, the 2 edged sword we see in Rev.19,

14 And the armies in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Eloha. 16 And he hath on vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Master of masters. (Rev.19.14-16)

Tehellim 111 – This is an acrostic psalm. I realize that it only has 10 verses, but it has 22 phrases that begin with successive letters of the Hebrew Alephbeit. You can see this in the Stone’s Tanach, as they precede each verse in English with the Hebrew letter that begins each phrase. Psalm 112 is also an acrostic and also of only 10 verses.

What is the ‘assembly of the upright’ if it is not the congregation of those who trust him in the Moedim and Miqra Kodesh that he has given us? I say this because the last verse of 111 and the first verse of 112 tell us about the upright being those who fear Y’hovah and do his commands; and assembly and congregation both refer to his miqra kodesh – holy convocations, which is what Shabbat and the moedim are designed for. The works of Y’hovah are those things he does to bring our redemption, as we see in our Torah portion every week. Last week we saw the annihilation of both the king of Arad, Sihon and Og. This week we saw Bila’am’s wake-up call at the speech of a ‘dumb’ (one who cannot speak) ass and the greed of one who was even dumber (though he could speak). Y’hovah’s works are great, sought out, honourable and glorious and they are righteous, because he can do nothing that is not righteous. The works of his hands are truth, justice and faithfulness. They are as relevant today as they were when he uttered the words that produced them. His redemption is done in time, but extends to eternity. For this reason we are right to reverence him, to hold him as worthy of our awe and respect just because he is who he is. 

Fear of Y’hovah has more to do with the reverence we see in v.9, but anyone who is not afraid in his presence is either wicked in the extreme, or just plain silly. Or both. Q&C

2 Peter 2:1-11 – I’m kind surprised we’re not looking at Jude today, but that’s OK. This chapter speaks to Bila’am and about false prophets every bit as well as Jude does. The whole chapter is about false prophets and how unprofitable they are to Mashiyach’s body. It follows hard on the heels of Kefa’s reminder that he was an eyewitness to the Majesty of Mashiyach manifested in all his glory on the mount of transfiguration and a voice out of the heavens declaring that Yeshua was/is the Son of Elohim. And THEN Kefa said that even his own eyewitness testimony pales in veracity to the “more sure Word of prophecy” that we have in Torah and that that more sure word than his own eyes saw and his own hands touched was given by prophets who were moved by the Ruach haKodesh. But by the time Kefa wrote this epistle, false prophets had crept into the kehalim. And if they had them then, do you suppose we don’t have them now?

Not only were there false prophets, like Bila’am in Israel’s history, there are false prophets in our present and they will abound in our future. They almost seem to be coming out of the woodwork today. The church has been inundated with them, mostly in the Word of Faith and the Prosperity crowds recently. But, as the Hebrew Roots way of thinking has caught on, the false prophets have started popping up here, as well. Beware those who so rebel against all the doctrines of the church that they believe anything that refutes what the church OR JUDAISM teaches, even though it is biblically true. Are you redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? Is Yeshua that Lamb? Is he the Son of Eloha? Is he Y’hovah in the flesh? If you hear any ‘Hebrew Roots’ teacher saying anything contrary to those true doctrines of the church, RUN AWAY as quickly as you would from a church pastor or member who condemns someone for wanting to obey the Word of Y’hovah or follow him so closely that the dust dropping off Yeshua’s shoes lands on the tops of his own shoes. 

Damnable heresies come by ‘private interpretation’ (1.20). Private interpretation is using other than scripture to interpret scripture, holding our traditions or experiences above the scripture as our basis for interpretation, or using single verses out of their context as proof texts for the damnable heresies. The reason so many in the Hebroots movement eschew Rav Sha’ul is their rejection of the traditional church’s ‘private interpretation’ of his words, as if that is what Sha’ul meant and as Kefa shows us in 3.16 of this very book. 

False prophets present themselves as prophets of Eloha, but are actually sons of perdition, bringing reproach to the Name of Yeshua haMashiyach before his chosen. Don’t look at the number of followers a man has. Numbers is not necessarily fruit unto righteousness. The number of a man’s followers speaks nothing to his personal holiness or his lock on truth. Those who are after the flesh will gravitate to his perniciousness. Look at his fruit. 

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to Eloha, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22) 

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Mashiyach; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto Eloha. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (Romans 7:4-5)

Look at the lives of his followers. Is there sweet fruit of holiness in their lives? Do they edify the body? Do they provide for their brethren’s needs when they are able? If they are apt to teach, being both well equipped with scriptural truth and able, do they then teach? Or is the Name of Mashiyach Yeshua dragged through the muck and slime due to the lies and damnable heresies the false prophet teaches? Please notice (v.3) that a false prophet will take his followers in with ‘feigned words’ and then sell them out – ‘make merchandise of them’ – when he is up against it. 

In vv.4-11, the false prophets are likened to those on whom judgment fell in the past. The judgment came down on everything around them while the godly were delivered from or through the judgment; like Lot and Noach, respectively. They were delivered either by miraculous intervention or by preparation for the judgment to come, again like Lot and Noach, respectively. Even the godly who for whatever reason, whether (for examples) it’s living in and having fellowship in the world or belief in a false doctrine, are NOT preparing, like Lot, will be delivered from the judgment to come. It would be much better to prepare and be ready so Y’hovah can keep our personal witness alive, like he was able to do with Noach. Noach overcame. Lot did not, IM (not so) HO. Notice, in vv.7-9, that Lot was a just and a righteous man, even though he was walking more in the flesh than the spirit (that is somewhat comforting to me). But he WAS delivered from the judgment that came upon the city in which he lived. His neighbors did not fair so well. 

V.10 speaks of the spiritual awareness of the people of Sedom and of the antediluvian earth, who despised the Word of Y’hovah that was delivered by the righteous men in their midst. It is easy to see why Lot was dismissed as a prophet of Eloha, because he sojourned among the Sodomites and did business with them. His lifestyle looked more like them than like Avraham. It is kind of easy to see why Noach’s neighbors despised his words, as well. I mean, how often had there been a flood? The potable water source was either springs, wells, or dew. It had never rained. There may never have been any seismic activity. But during the 120 years of Noach’s preparation, they had heard and seen his consistent word and witness, so they had MUCH less excuse than did Sedom. They had a witness of truth from Y’hovah, but despised his ‘government’, his authority to demand their obedience. So, it was not really either Lot or Noach or any of US that they despise, but Y’hovah, whose word we speak, regardless the personal holiness of the prophet. 

Who do you suppose are the ‘dignities’ of whom Kefa speaks? May I suggest that they were Lot and Noach, and in our days are … US?! ‘Dignity’ is from the greek root, dokeo, meaning ‘of reputation’, one who has a good rep – not necessarily a good rep among the hearers, but before Y’hovah, where it actually counts for something. Lot’s rep among the pagans was mixed at best, while Noach’s was solid, though contrary to them. Even if Lot’s was not perfect, his rep was good before Y’HOVAH. Lot and Noach were ‘dignities’ against whom the very messengers of Y’hovah brought no accusation before him, though they had some reason to in Lot’s case. Personally, I am more like Lot than Noach, so …

But the FALSE prophets, don’t see a problem engaging in lashon hara, which is a HUGE problem in the Hebroots ‘movement’. Beware those who speak against any respected teachers. The teacher may hold to a different interpretation of a particular passage than you or I do, and it MAY be wrong. But so may OURS be. The point is, we may disagree with Rico or Eddie or Jeff on a particular interpretation of scripture, but we must NEVER bring an accusation against their persons just because we disagree with them, especially if we’ve never spoken to them personally on the matter or read their position in detail. I disagree with Monte on the book of Hebrews, but he is a very good Torah teacher, and I always profit by hearing him teach. I disagree with Moshe Koniuchowski on patriarchal marriage, but I still learn from him on other Torah issues. It’s the same with Eddie, Jeff and Rico. They know Torah, see it a little differently than I in certain areas, but they edify me almost every time I hear them, so our interaction is profitable. I would never attack any of them on a personal level, though I may disagree with them over a fine point of doctrine. THAT kind of interaction is GOOD for the body. To engage in lashon hara or hamotzi shem ra is destructive, and it ought to stop immediately.

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six doth Y’hovah hate: yea, seven an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 20 My son, keep thy father’ commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. (Prov.6.12-21)

Stone’s Tanach has this in v.16,

Hashem hates these 6, but the 7th is the abomination of his soul;

WOW! ‘One who sows discord among brethren’ is the abomination of Y’hovah’s soul! Can you imagine anything worse in the eyes of Y’hovah than the one ‘who sows discord among brethren’? I cannot. It is the abomination of Y’hovah’s soul? So, when you hear lashon hara, rebuke it. Its only purpose is to sow discord. Privately confront the lashon hara and if there is no repentance, get away from the discord sower. Do NOT engage in lashon hara, yourself. Speak the truth when asked a pointed question, but offer no words to cause strife in the kahal of Y’hovah.

Look at the Tree of Sefiroth again for a minute (www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm). Notice the 3 pillars, and the top sefirah of each pillar. On your left, the right hand of the tzadik, is Y’hovah Abba. On your right, the left hand of the tzadik, is Ruach Aima – father and mother. The tzadik keeps Abba’s commandments, and doesn’t forsake the instructions of his Aima, but binds them on his heart and ties the knowledge of them around his neck. When we sow discord, we interfere with the manifestation of the Almighty in our hearts and minds, and block the light of Y’hovah that we emit. Q&C

Vv.12-22 – After the parenthesis of vv.4-11, Kefa gets back to the warning about false prophets. False prophets speak evil (lashon hara) of things about which they have no understanding (binah). The traits that Kefa talks about are not necessarily all manifest in every false prophet, but when you see any of these traits in a person, beware. And the more of these traits you see in a person, the less contact you ought to have with him, the more likely you are seeing a false prophet, or, at least, the less likely he is to be on your direct path to complete Shalom with Y’hovah. 

‘Eyes full of adultery’ may be physical sexual impurity, but it is ALWAYS a result of idolatry. One does not have to have graven images or oak groves to be engaged in idolatry. For many, idolatry revolves around ‘the root of all evil’ – the love of money. Prosperity preachers immediately jump to mind. I’ve come to hate the term ‘seed money’ they use, as if giving to their ‘ministry’ is going to force Y’hovah to make it rain gold and silver on them. Now, that isn’t to say that he won’t bless you if you make a freewill offering to some ministry somewhere. But he has not obligated himself to blessing a gift to a shylock who is interested in nothing more than living sumptuously on the gifts of widows and orphans and has little ‘ministry’ in mind. If you know of someone in need, and you have the ability to meet that need, you should do so out of obedience to Avinu. But if the REASON for your giving is to get more, your motive is wrong, and you will not see much increase, if any at all. There ARE true stories of businessmen who have decided to tithe their corporate profits who have seen increase in business and profits, but usually, they are giving for a right motive, and they end up increasing their giving. There was a man named R.G LeTourneau who decided on a 10% tithe and saw a large increase, who then decided to up the offering to 20%, and the cycle continued until he was giving over 50% offerings and getting business like he’d never imagined possible. But personal gain was not his motive, and THAT’s the point. A preacher living like a king on the gifts of his flock is just unseemly in my eyes, especially if there is any real poverty or need within his flock or in the congregations nearby. Tithes are meant to provide for Levites, widows, and orphans, not make their plight worse. 

The false prophets have ‘forsaken the right way’, the Way of Y’hovah – Derech HaShem. The right way is seen in Rev.12.17,

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Eloha, and have the testimony of Yeshua haMashiyach.

And,

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Eloha, and the faith of Yeshua. (Rev.14.12)

False prophets have forsaken either Yeshua as Mashiyach or the Commandments of Eloha, or both. They’ve ‘gone astray’, gotten off the narrow way. They CAN get back on the right way, until they have gone so far as Y’hovah just gives them up to their sinful lifestyle,

24 Wherefore Eloha also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of Eloha into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom.1.24-25)

The false prophet becomes like Bila’am, who for transitive riches peddled his services to anyone who’d pay his fee. This was not a problem for the shadim who are no gods, but to Y’hovah, this was an abomination. Men like Bila’am are like empty wells and clouds blowing over the desert, having a lot of promising outward show, but who amount to empty suits. Kinda like the Prushim in Mat.23,

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first that within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matt.23.25-28)

Great swelling words (vanity) allure through lusts (wantonness) those who had gotten away from so-called believers who live in error. These would be either Israelites who had escaped the blindness of traditions taught as commandments of Eloha, or gentiles who had escaped the headiness of paganism and Gnosticism. They promise liberty, but how can a slave deliver a slave. They just add to their victim’s bondage, who is delivered into an even stronger bondage than they were delivered from. This makes the latter end of the false prophet’s victim very much like Lot, who experientially knew the truth, having lived with his uncle Avram for years, but wanted to live as close to the world’s system as he could, so that when his deliverance came he needed to be dragged away from his sinful lifestyle screaming and kicking. 

8 No man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither power in the day of death: and no discharge in war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. 10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. (Ecc.8.8-10)

While the believer is delivered from the eternal consequences of his sin, he must still deal with the physical consequences of it, he bears his iniquity. I think Peter uses Lot as an example from Tanach to illustrate the latter end of those Pharisees who believed, but returned to the takanot (“a law instituted by the rabbis and not derived from any biblical commandment”, not to be confused with Chukot of Y’hovah) and ma’aseh (“a factual circumstance from which an halachic rule or principle is derived”) of Judaism. Lot has already had 4000 years, and the Prushim of Acts 15 have had 1900 to remember the choices they made in this life and have yet another 1000 to live with that remembrance before all tears will be wiped away from their eyes and their memories wiped clean. But they WILL be able to enjoy eternity guilt free, thanks to the grace and mercy of our Tzadik Rebbe, Yeshua Moshienu. HalleluYah!  Q&C

End of Midrashic Bible Study Notes