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Shabbat Bible Study for December 23, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 23, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 40 – 7 Jan 2012

Lev. 19:1-20:27; Amos 9:7-15, Eze. 20:1-49, Is. 4:2-6; Ps. 84; Mat. 18:1-35


Vayikra 19.1-4 – Ch. 19 is a continuation of 18. In v.2, Y’hovah instructs Yisrael to be kadosh, or holy, because he is kadosh. Just like in ch.18, we are to separate ourselves from the pagan religions of Egypt and Canaan. He then gives another example of exactly HOW we are to be kadosh. We are to honour our parents and observe his Shabbats. Most people see the 5th mitzvah as pertaining to our person-to-person responsibility, but I do not. I see it as a person to Y’hovah responsibility. I see it this way because our relationship to our parents reflects our attitude towards the Almighty. If we fail to honor our parents, who are right here in our physical presence and perception, how will we ever be able to properly honor Avinu b’shamayim, our father in heaven, who is not? According to our passage, Y’hovah seems to see it this way, so I try to, also. And he seems to tie the ‘honor parents’ and ‘keeping his sabbath’ together. Therefore, no matter how hard one protests, keeping the Shabbat and honoring parents reflect what we truly think about Avinu. Not only that, but he invokes the ‘enabling clause’ in the same breath. HE is Y’hovah Elohechem – YOUR Elohim (or, speaking to us, Elohenu – OUR Elohim). I think he’s serious.

In v.4 he commands that we not go after other gods (as if they really exist), again because HE is Y’hovah Elohenu. He will brook no quarter on these things, as he once again invokes the enabling clause – Ani Y’hovah Elohechem. 

Vv.5-8 – A peace offering is a freewill offering, and may be offered any time you wish. But it must be eaten that day and the next, and any leftover to the third day must be burnt, or the offering will not be accepted. It is abominable (cf.7.18) pigguhl, which is NOT the same as the abomination (towevah) of sodomy or beastiality. Those are utterly abhorrent. This is a bad smell, and may refer to the smell of rotting flesh, which is quite unpleasant. In the peace offering a portion of the flesh was burnt on the altar as ‘a sweet savour’ unto Y’hovah . It seems like that sweet savour would turn sour if you didn’t eat or burn the flesh in the prescribed time. It has always been obedience to the Word more so than the physical sacrifice that Y’hovah wanted;

18 And Y’hovah sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of Y’hovah , but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of Y’hovah? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of Y’hovah, and have gone the way which Y’hovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto Y’hovah thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath Y’hovah delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Y’hovah ? Behold, to obey better than sacrifice, to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of Y’hovah, he hath also rejected thee from king. (2Sam.15.18-23)

If one ate of the sacrifice on the 3rd or subsequent day, he bore his iniquity. His iniquity, I think, includes his slaughter of the animal for the purpose of rebelling against Y’hovah. To kill the animal ostensibly as a peace offering and then to despise the commandment of Y’hovah proves the lie of the sacrifice’s purpose, and Y’hovah acknowledges that by cutting off the man’s soul from the congregation. If you want shalom with Y’hovah, obey him. We can cut off a man from fellowship. Only Y’hovah can cut off a soul. Now, let’s see why Y’hovah would cut off a soul:

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. (Genesis 17:14)

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15)

Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Exodus 31:14)

But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto Y’hovah, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. (Leviticus 7:20)

And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 17:10)

Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of Y’hovah: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Leviticus 19:8)[to profane = make the holy, common]

And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)

These are ALL of the instances where a soul will be cut off by Y’hovah up to today’s parsha – lack of CC, eating leavened during ULB, working on Shabbat, eating the shalom after the 2nd day (the reason given in our passage today = profaning or treating as common that which is holy), eating blood and going after familiar spirits (shadim) or wizards. ALL of these have to do with taking that which is made special to Y’hovah and profaning it or making it common.

Vv.9-12 – In light of setting something aside as special, Y’hovah talks about setting aside the corners of the field and not gleaning the vines. He thereby makes the corners and the gleanings special as an offering unto Y’hovah via the widows, fatherless and Levites. And, once again, the enabling clause – just to make sure they get it. Do NOT harvest the corners of your field and do NOT go back to pick the grapes that weren’t ready for harvest when you went through the vines the first time. That is set apart unto Y’hovah so the poor will have something to eat and possibly to sell or barter. In vv.11-12, Y’hovah likens the gleaning and harvesting the corners of the fields to stealing from the poor and swearing falsely in Y’hovah ’s Name.

Vv.13-14 – To define defrauding one’s neighbor, Y’hovah says don’t hold a man’s wage even overnight – pay your debts daily. In Matt.20.1-16, Yeshua told a parable about a vineyard owner who hires workers at various times during the day. Noone was defrauded (even the guys who worked all day for the same as the guys who worked 1 hour received what they’d contracted for) and all received their hire before the sun set like our Torah passage commands. Not cursing the deaf or putting a stumblingblock before the blind is just doing what you would have others do for you. But in a sod understanding, blind and deaf represent Israel in exile, so this is about not placing impediments that make it harder for the exiles to be delivered. Q&C

Vv.15-16 – Righteous judgment is imperative if there is going to be good government, and righteous judgment begins at the personal level. We are not to judge based on a person’s position or lack thereof, but by the revelation of Y’hovah. We are not to listen to gossip nor pass it on or make up some of our own. 

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 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. (Prov.6.12-19)

We are also not to stand idly by while anyone is beaten or killed. If it is in our power to stop it, we should try to stop it, even at risk of personal injury or death. Please notice the enabling clause immediately after that last statute.

Vv.17-18V.17 forbids us hating another and then defines what it means; rebuke your neighbor when you see him in sin, especially if it’s one of those that could result in their souls being cut off. Don’t allow him to sin with impunity. Confront him with what you perceive as sin and find out if he is actually in sin. He may not be. That’s why this follows so closely after the admonition against slander/gossip and to righteous judgment. V.18 is speaking to true forgiveness. We are not to withhold something our brother needs because he has harmed us in the past (avenge), nor are we to provide it while raising the past issue we had with them to kind of ‘lord it over’ them (grudge). We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, which is the 2nd greatest commandment. 

36 Master, which the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love Y’hovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt.22.36-40)

The 2 tables of mitzvoth that Yisrael heard with their ears in Ex.20 are summarized in this passage of Matthew, where Yeshua quotes Dt.6.5 and Lev.19.18. Again, the enabling clause makes that last, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, an imperative. 

Vv.19 deals with almost any kind of mixing. Mixing is the hallmark of Babylonian worship. We saw last week that Y’hovah HATES when his people mix Y’hovah worship with the worship of Egyptian or Canaanite gods.

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am Y’hovah Elohechem. 3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. 4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I Y’hovah Elohechem. 5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I Y’hovah. (Lev.18.2-5)

No mixed seed (corn, peas, carrots and green beans in the same mound) in the garden, no mixing of different kinds of cattle (sheep and goat, etc.), no weaving linen with wool in a single garment (except in the Mishkan [Ex.27] and the High Priest’s tunic and ephod [Ex.28]). Q&C

Vv.20-22 are about a man ‘uncovering the nakedness’ of a betrothed bondwoman who has not yet been redeemed by her husband. I infer that she was a bondwoman for whom the husband to whom she was betrothed had bargained and arrived at a ‘bride-price’, but had yet to pay. The fact that she was scourged leads me to infer further that she agreed to the sexual relations and that the man was her owner. That would explain his only needing to offer a trespass offering to atone for his sin, while the betrothed bondwoman got scourged – she was his property, but she was technically married. 

Vv.23-25 are about the use of fruit trees when they would enter the land. They had to leave all fruit trees to grow the first 3 years then the 4th they could use the fruit at the Feasts. Then beginning the 5th they could begin to use the fruit as they saw fit. I assume that they weren’t to harvest the fruit in the Shemitah and Yovel years. I also assume that they didn’t harvest the fruit on the tree’s 7th year and then began to follow the sabbatical years in the next cycle – or WOULD have, had they ever kept a Shemitah year. The sages say that Shemitah and Yovel are only to be practiced in the land. Personally, I think that is very convenient, especially over the last 2000 years while the vast majority of chol Israel has been in exile, dispersed throughout the world. How many Sh’mitah years has the whole nation of Israel kept since it was founded in 1948? I think you can count them without saying a word. I’m sure there are individuals that observe the Sh’mitah … well, I HOPE there are, anyway.

V.26 seems to link eating blood with witchcraft or sorcery. And I have no doubt that they are linked. My friend Bill Schnoebelen was a high priest of Satanism and practiced vampirism before he was delivered by Yeshua 30+ years ago. He has written about it in some detail. His ministry website is and his books are available there. He is a valuable resource on the subject of spiritual warfare.

Vv.27-28 forbid trimming beards and hair like the pagan priests of Egypt and Canaan did, or in cutting the body or printing on it, like the priests of Baal did (1Ki.18). The sages say that removing the sideburns, i.e.; shaving a straight line from the top of the ear to the temple area of the hairline, is what ‘rounding’ means. That explains this popular, stupid-looking modern practice. The priests of Ba’al worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy and while in that state would cut themselves to allow their blood to sprinkle the altar as an offering to him, to gain his favor on their crops and help in battle. Didn’t work for the 450 prophets of Ba’al in 1Ki.18. 

V.29 speaks about selling or giving your daughter as a temple prostitute to Molech, Asherah or Ba’al or any of their cognates. Temple prostitution was a source of offerings for blood sacrifice to Molech at the winter solstice festival and to Asherah at the spring equinox festival. The whoredom spoken of is both physical and spiritual and is extremely wicked in both its initiating practice on the Tophet cave’s altar to Asherah and its outcome of abortion/infanticide, passing human seed through the fire to Molech. I can’t think of any more wicked evil than prostitution with the intent of breeding human blood offerings to these false pagan gods. 

V.30 is given here to contrast what we are NOT to do (v.29&31) with what we ARE to do – observe Y’hovah ’s Shabbat and hold his Mishkan/Beit haMikdash in awe as special and set apart and adds “I am Y’hovah ” to make sure they get it. V.31 reiterates vv.26-29 and adds, “I am Y’hovah Elohechem” to drive the holiness requirement home; DON’T DO WHAT THE HEATHEN DO! DO AS I COMMAND! There WILL be a test! V.32 is an example of the test – how do you treat the aged. This is ancillary to the 5th commandment. Do you rely on your own wits to meet your needs, or do you ask counsel from those who are 1) wiser and 2) have greater experience than you and 3) can look at your situation objectively (which you often cannot do)? How you regard older people and whether you rely on their wisdom will reflect how you regard and rely on Y’hovah.

Vv.33-36 are all closely related. Part of what some Canaanites did was to have different weights for different people. If someone NOT of their people, say an Hebrew, came to purchase something they would use heavier weights on their scales, so they would actually sell less product to the stranger for the same money. Yisrael was to ALWAYS use the same weights and measures for everyone. If this statute were followed, the word would get out pretty quickly about the honest businessman with the just scales, and it may provide an opportunity to tell the customer about the Elohim who REQUIRES this of his people. This would have a related benefit of making the other area businessmen more honest, as well. If they didn’t use just weights, they would lose a LOT of business. I assume the Egyptians treated Yisrael like red-haired stepchildren in business, since Y’hovah reminded them of their sojourn there. He didn’t want Yisrael to treat gerim as they had been treated in Egypt. He said, “I am Y’hovah ” 15 times in this chapter – 3 (divine completion) x 5 (grace). Since we can’t perform all his statutes in our own power, he has provided all the grace we need to obey them. Q&C

Ch.20.1-7 – In ch.18-19 we saw the statutes of Y’hovah regarding wicked pagan religious practices. In ch.20 we see the judgments that Y’hovah prescribed for Yisrael and those who sojourn among Yisrael who transgress the statutes he’d just set in place. I am going to list the penalties and then the offences that they are awarded for.

Capital punishment, the death penalty, is awarded for anything related to Molech worship (Stoning v.2), cursing one’s parents (Unspecified 9), both parties committing adultery (U 10), a man and his father’s wife (U 11), a man and his son’s wife (U 12), both parties to sodomy (U 13), all parties involved in perverse sex, the man, his wife and wife’s mother (Burnt 14), the persons and animals involved in beastiality (U 15&16), and any Yisraelite or sojourner in Yisrael who willingly opens him or herself to a spirit of divination (U 27). It could be that those judgments that are unspecified revert back to the last method of execution mentioned; stoning in vv. 2-5 & 9-13, and burning in vv.14-16 & 27. 

Excommunication is awarded for Molech worship when the people fail to execute Y’hovah’s judgment on him/them (E vv.3-5), consulting witches (E 6), lying with a ½ sibling – I infer without the father’s permission and a subsequent marriage based on Avram/Sarai and Amnon/Tamar (E 17), lying with a woman in her flower (E 18),

Bear their iniquity gives me the impression that they were not cut off from Yisrael, but that their sin is known, perhaps by their subsequent circumstances. A man who suddenly is living with his aunt whose husband divorced her would be a pretty good clue about what went on to cause the living arrangement. Perhaps if there are children born of their union, they are all given to the original husband and the sinners are, therefore, Childless. Everyone would know, they would bear their iniquity in public. These offenses are lying with the father’s/mother’s sister (C 19), lying with one’s aunt, his uncle’s wife (C 20), lying with a sister-in-law (C 21).

If these statutes and judgments were followed, I seriously doubt there would be more than 1 or 2 Childless or Excommunicated couples in any one community, as their circumstance would remind everyone of the social ostracism that accompanies such perversion. And there wouldn’t be a lot of executions by Stoning or Burning, either – perhaps 1 or 2 per tribe per generation. I think this is what we will see in the Millennial Kingdom. Sin of this sort will be virtually non-existent because of fear of ostracism or execution. It won’t do ANYTHING about the DESIRE to sin, but it will do a lot to deter the actual commission of sin. And that repression of sinful acts will build up animosity and rebellion against the King of kings who imposes his will on potential sinners. Hello, ultimate fulfillment of Gog uMagog per Ezek.38-39 and Rev.20.7-9.

This is the iniquity of the Amorites that Avram was told wasn’t yet full [Gen.15]. Now, in Lev.18-20, it IS full and Y’hovah’s perfect plan is to take Yisrael into Canaan within a few weeks and either destroy or drive out the Canaanites. 20.22-26 summarizes 11.1-20.21. And just to be sure there is NO question in their minds, Y’hovah reiterates that the Israelite who is a diviner or sorcerer is to be stoned until he is dead. Q&C

Amos 9.7-15 – To whom is Y’hovah speaking in v.7? I think he is speaking to ‘them’ and ‘they’ from vv.1-6. But, to quote Julia Roberts’ character to Mel Gibson’s in the movie Conspiracy Theory, “Who is ‘they’, Jerry?” We need to look at 8.14 for the answer. 

11 Behold, the days come, saith Adonai Y’hovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Y’hovah: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Y’hovah, and shall not find. 13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy elohim, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. (Amos 8.11-14)

Dan to BeerSheva = the whole land of Israel, not just the northern kingdom. That quote speaks of the entire land going after the god of Samaria, Yerovoam’s y’hovah. This was the mixt worship of Y’hovah with the gods of the Canaanites; Molech, Asherah and Ba’al. Y’hovah ’s judgment is already given in our Torah portion for today. He is about to execute it. But he issues a final warning before he does so. 

V.8 says the eyes of Y’hovah are on the sinful kingdom. Elsewhere his eyes are upon the righteous. Where else are his eyes? I only quote, “The eyes of Y’hovah.”

The eyes of Y’hovah are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (Psalms 34:15) 

A land which Y’hovah Elohechem careth for: the eyes of Y’hovah Elohechem are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:12)

And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of Y’hovah, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. (I Samuel 26:24)

Because David did that which was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. (I Kings 15:5) [Interesting: not Bathsheva. Uriah. FT]

And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, as did David his father. (I Kings 15:11)

But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of Y’hovah, and did worse than all that were before him. (I Kings 16:25) [Suffice to say, Y’hovah ’s eyes were on all the kings in his land. FT]

For the eyes of Y’hovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. (II Chronicles 16:9)

5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of Y’hovah Elohim of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done evil in the eyes of Y’hovah Elohenu, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Y’hovah, and turned their backs. (2 Chron.29.5-6)

For the ways of man are before the eyes of Y’hovah, and he pondereth all his goings.(Proverbs 5:21)

The eyes of Y’hovah are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

And now, saith Y’hovah that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of Y’hovah, and Elohai shall be my strength. (Isaiah 49:5) [That refers to Ruach in Mashiach. FT]

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven [lamps of the Menorrah FT]; they are the eyes of Y’hovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:10)

Y’hovah’s eyes are everywhere, watching everything, and will recompense everyone and everything in objective righteousness, using his Torah as the standard. As he is judging Israel, whom he brought out of Egypt, so he will judge Philistia, whom he brought out of Crete or Cyprus, and Syria, whom he brought out of Kir, a fortress/prison city to which the Assyrian, Tiglath-Pileser carried Syria after conquering Damascus for what they do to Israel. The difference in the judgment of Israel over those of Philistia and Syria is that he will not wipe out Israel – he’ll leave a remnant of Yisrael. 

We can look at this as an end-time prophecy and apply it to modern nations, as well. The sinful kingdom could very easily be equated with modern Israel, America, the UK, UN and/or NATO. Some believers will be preserved from among the ‘sinful nation’, but most will be wiped out. That portion of Yisrael that is not wiped out will be ‘sifted’ out of all the nations of the earth without dropping ONE grain upon the earth that is being judged. Sinners, who believe they are safe from Y’hovah’s wrath because of who they are, will die by the sword. They think that because they are of Israel, or because they ‘believe’ in their minds, but don’t walk in that ‘belief’, die by the sword (Moslemism?). They think, “Evil won’t catch ME! OR slow ME down!” 

In that day, the ‘day of Y’hovah’s judgment’, is obviously [to me] Ya’acov’s trouble. I think the ‘tabernacle of David’ refers to the unity of national purpose that he brought – Yisrael was one nation with one heart, the ONLY time between the division of the Melech from the Tzadik (Gen.49) and the Messianic Kingdom to come that the nation was, or will be, ONE. 

Vv.12-15 describe conditions in the Kingdom Age. Not only will the harvest last to the planting, but Y’hovah ’s people will never again be uprooted from their land, because they will live and be ruled in righteousness. Q&C

Yechezkel 20 – Ch.20-23 are all given to Zeke in 1 day. The elders who came to Zeke to enquire of Y’hovah, but they never got a chance to ask. Y’hovah just opened Zeke’s mouth. He basically said, “Don’t even open your mouths. Your hearts are evil and I won’t hear you. You hear ME!” Zeke wasn’t punishing these men for their fathers’ sins so much as warning them WHY the judgment had come and to avoid even worse by turning to Y’hovah. Y’hovah rehearsed Israel’s history for the elders who presented themselves before Zeke. In v.9, Y’hovah says that he wrought deliverance for Yisrael in the sight of the heathen Mitzraimites [Egyptians; the world system] among whom Yisrael dwelt, for his own Name’s sake, that it would be hallowed and not polluted in Mitzraim. This was done in Ex.32;

11 And Moshe besought Y’hovah Elohaiv, and said, Y’hovah, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, “For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?” Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit for ever. 14 And Y’hovah repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

The phrase “I lifted up my hand unto them” [vv.5a&b, 6 & 15] means he promised them by his own power. He gave them his statutes and judgments (as in Lev.19-20) that they might live in them, but they rebelled and he then ‘lifted up his hand’ to sware that they would NOT enter his land, because they despised his judgments, statutes and Shabbats. But for his Name’s sake he did NOT destroy them in the wilderness, he just allowed those whom he’d brought out of Egypt to die off before crossing Yarden and carried their children into the land. Vv.18-20 refer to his “2nd law” or deutronomy, as he gave it in Dt.30-34, just before the Yarden crossing. He told them then, as he had their fathers in our Torah portion, that he was Y’hovah Elohecha, who brought them out of Mitzraim. But even those whom he carried across Yarden into the land polluted his Shabbats and despised his statutes and judgments. 4 times now (vv.5a&b, 6 and 15), Y’hovah had lifted his hand to vow his protection over them, if they would walk in his Word, and 4 times they rebelled. If you remember, in Ex.19, 20 & 24, Israel had ‘lifted up the hand’ to promise that they would obey Y’hovah in all he told them through Moshe. So in v.22, he withdrew his hand, and again wrought for his Name’s sake, that it not be polluted in Israel. In v.23 he lifted up his hand to promise that if they would NOT walk in his statutes and judgments he would scatter them to the goyim. Six times, to v.24, that they polluted his sabbaths; 6 being the number of man, falling short of Y’hovah ’s perfection or adding to Y’hovah ’s grace. The children of Israel that came into haAretz gave their children to Molech, Asherah and Ba’al. So, Y’hovah gave them over to their own judgments and statues and then brought their own judgment on them to urge them to repent and know that only Y’hovah is Elohim. And they did not repent.

So, after rehearsing the Exodus to the elders of Israel in Zeke’s day, Y’hovah is going to get to why he won’t hear them beginning in v.27. After telling Israel that they were NOT to offer their offerings except at the tabernacle or Temple, they offered in the high places and groves, like their fathers had in Egypt. Y’hovah called it “Bamah” (v.29), which means “What house is this?” It was certainly NOT the one he commanded them – and it was like that right up until then. These elders who came up to ‘enquire of Y’hovah ’ were offering in the same groves and high places as those who were judged in the land during the time of the Judges. The judgment of Y’hovah is in vv.30-32, and if only we HRs, the church and Jews of today would take heed of it, their (and our) troubles would be over;

30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? 31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith Adonai Y’hovah, I will not be enquired of by you. 32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

So, what will follow is the Messianic Kingdom that should be full of rejoicing, but will not be because the hearts of men will still be idolatrous and self-serving. Praise Y’hovah, if our understanding is correct, that we will be resurrected by that time and not subject to his decree in vv.33 – he will rule over those Yisraelites he draws out of the nations ‘with a mighty hand, a stretched out arm and fury poured out.’ The millennium will not be fun for those who are ruled in this way – the rod of iron will hurt when it comes down swiftly on the sinner. He will make them ‘pass under the rod’ – go under judgment of their sin and find acceptance in Yeshua’s finished work, IF they will repent and confess that sin. He will then purge out the idolaters who will NOT enter haAretz, which I think in this instance means the New Creation. HaAretz is the land of promise, of which the New Creation in which righteousness dwells and death is non-existent is the ultimate fulfillment.

V.40 makes it clear that in the millennium offerings will be according to the judgments and statutes of Y’hovah and in HIS set-apart Mount Zion, NOT in the high places and groves. He is bringing Yisrael into the land for the land’s sake, not for theirs. He brings them in because he promised Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov that he would. When we come there we will understand how lothesome we truly were and how only Y’hovah ’s grace could make us worthy of his promises, which he gives us ‘for his Name’s sake” (44). 

When Y’hovah speaks of the judgment that is coming in Zeke’s day on these elders in vv.45-48, the reply from the elders is, “Why does he speak to us in parables?” 

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Matthew 13:13)

Everything he said to them fell on deaf ears. 

YeshaYahu 4.2-6 – Those who were escaped from ‘Babylon’ and ‘Egypt’, will reap the millennial benefits, while those who have not ‘escaped’, but live on will also be blessed, though to a lesser degree, by just living in that time. They will reap great benefit from the general conditions and that they are not overtly sinning. Them who escaped, ultimately, will be those who come up to J’lem for the last Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium. V.3 specifies who this will be and what rewards they will accrue. These will go through to the Olam haba, and have their inclination to evil, the OSN if you will, purged by the Spirit of judgment and burning (v.4). Y’hovah will overshadow every personal dwelling (sukkah) in the olam haba, guarding it and protecting it with his own kavod – glory. And his own sukkah will be among us in the land and the city of Yerushalayim. He’ll provide a shadowing cloud to cool us by day and a pillar of fire to illuminate our camps by night. His kavod will be a place in which we will have refuge. Q&C

Tehellim 84.1-12 – 3 weeks ago we discussed Gittith briefly. Here’s what we said then:

A Gittith can be either a specific type of harp OR a female resident of Gath, the city of Goliath and to which David fled during Sha’ul’s pursuit. I lean toward the harp.

In vv.1&2 we can surmise that Y’hovah Tzavaoth is the living Elohim. In vv.1-4 there are at least 4 (maybe 5) descriptions of our own dwelling in Y’hovah’s tabernacle, courts, altars and house (where the sparrows and swallows also find a house or nest). In v. 3 we see that the Y’hovah Tzavaoth who is the living Elohim is also our King (Mal’chi) and our Elohim (Elohai). In v.4, the Hebrew has ohd  y’halellucha ‘still (or yet) you they will praise’. The way the KJV words this I thought that perhaps they would be still, or quiescent, while praising him, as in 

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalms 46:10)

But ‘still’ in v.4 is from the word ohd, which means a continuance, ‘yet’ might be a better translation. Had it meant quiet it probably would have used raphah, which means to cease. English translations; none are perfect. 

Vv.5-7 speaks of the trust the birds place in Y’hovah to make their nests in and around his altars where sacrifices are made. The birds show their hearts’ absolute trust in Y’hovah. The man whose heart’s trust is absolutely on Y’hovah can walk through the valley of lamentation (Baca) even while the tears are streaming down his face in quantities that would make pools in a desert and still go from strength to strength, relying on his trust in Y’hovah to get him through. ‘Strength to strength’ refers, I think, to his travel from the tabernacle to the court to the altar to the House of Y’hovah, to appear before him in Zion. 

Y’hovah, Elohim Tzavaoth is the Elohim of Ya’acov. The Elohim who met Ya’acov at Bethel on his way to Charan was the same Elohim who met him at the brook Yabok and wrestled all night with him until he bestowed his blessing. Elohenu is also maginenu and is also Elohenu’s moshiach (mashiychekha). To restate the translation, “Behold our shield, Elohim, and upon your Messiah’s face.” It sure looks like our Shield is Y’hovah ’s Mashiach. 

One day in your courts, O Yah, 

Is to me far better

Than every treasure this world can afford

In a thousand days of this life.

It truly would be better to spend a day in the shadow Y’hovah ’s presence than a lifetime of celebrity in the tents of wickedness, because Y’hovah is both our energy and our protection. He blesses with ALL good things those who walk in his righteousness and who trust in him and not the good things he gives us. Q&C

MattitYahu 18.1-6 – What follows is from my study in the Life of Yeshua haMoshiach, which was presented as a weekly bible study many moons ago. Here are some salient excerpts.

140). Lessons in humility, stumbling blocks and forgiveness (Mat.18:1-22, Mk.9:33-50, Lk.9:46-50) – Vv.1-6 – What do you suppose brought about the reasoning? Do you think the disciples were deciding among themselves who should lead them after Yeshua was killed? Yeshua had just days or even hours before told them of his upcoming death and resurrection. It seems they fully understood that he was going to be killed by the religious politicians, but couldn’t grasp Yeshua’s saying of being ‘raised again.’ They probably figured that if Yeshua didn’t appoint a leader, they’d best do it themselves. They seem to be trying to decide who would be the ruling elder, il Papa, as the Romans would say it. Perhaps the dispute had become heated, like it would in my family. There would have been different camps. Peter was the natural leader, and the proudest of the group. Andrew would probably have taken his side. Yochanan was the closest to Yeshua, and James would have backed him, quite probably without Yochanan even knowing it. Judas was probably the most ambitious, both personally and politically. Simon Zealot would have been on his side, I think.

Yeshua, to illustrate what he’s about to tell them, grabs up a little child and plops him down in the middle of the group. Now picture this happening in your mind. Imagine how the child would probably react to being placed, without any warning, in the middle of the group of adults, one of which is possibly his father. He would wonder what he did wrong, or why he’d been singled out. He’d probably fidget about, looking at the ground around his feet, worried about what was coming – especially if he were the mischievous type. Maybe the kid had been doing something he knew was wrong when Yeshua grabbed him. He would be projecting humility, as a wise man does before a judge when he’s been caught and found to be truly guilty.

Then Yeshua said, in a Mark paraphrase, “Unless you change your attitudes to be like this child’s, you can forget about leadership. In fact, you can forget about even being part of the Kingdom.” It’s when you truly realize your powerlessness that you’ll humbly depend upon the power that only Elohim, in his mercy, can give. It is then that Elohim can put you into a leadership position. 

He then shifts gears a bit. Referring now to the leader who has been transformed by the renewing of his mind, Yeshua said that anyone who receives someone like this in Yeshua’ name was in fact receiving Yeshua. But if he offends the believer [the greek word means to trip up or to entice to sin] it would be better for that person if he’d never been born. This may possibly refer to the anti-Messiah, who will cause many to stumble with deceitful wonders (2 Thes.2.1-12, Mat.24.4-31). Q&C

Vv.7-14 -Yeshua then pronounces woe upon the world because as long as the assembly, the little child, is in the world and in flesh and blood bodies the world will be a stumbling block and must be judged and punishment executed [as we saw in our Ezek.20 passage ^up there^]. This will happen at the end of the millennium, when the GWT judgment is happening, as the elements melt away under the fervent heat of Elohim’s wrath, to be recreated pure and new to be our abode for eternity. 

But that is not all that has woe pronounced against it. Yeshua says, “…Woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” There is a particular man who brings a particular offense. We can surmise that that man is ‘that man of sin’ (2Thes.2.3), but what might that offense be? If that man is anti-Messiah, then the offense must be ‘the lie’ that Elohim will allow to deceive those who will not believe the truth (2The.2.11-12).

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (II Thessalonians 2:11)

What might that lie be? I can think of 3 possibilities. In Matt.24.4 Yeshua tells his disciples to be careful that no man deceive them. Many shall claim to be Yeshua, and we find this happening almost everywhere today. The prevailing wisdom of the world is that there is a ‘Christ-consciousness’ to which all may attain, and that some have, and eventually all will, become ‘avatars’, or ‘enlightened ones’, by finally realizing their ‘Christ-Consciousness’.  In this mode of thinking, Yeshua attained his ‘Christ- Consciousness’ just at the time of his baptism by his ‘guru’, Yochanan the Immerser. Very appealing to the ‘I can do it myself’ crowd. And all you have to do is follow the ‘avatar’ or ‘guru’ and do everything he tells you, no matter how wicked it may be, and you to can work through your ‘karma’ and in just a few more lifetimes achieve the state of bliss that your ‘guru’ has attained. This ‘Christ-Consciousness’ is attained by finally realizing, like Shirley McLaine, that you are Elohim. It’s utter blasphemy, but that’s the world’s teaching. And people flock to such men, hoping to receive the ‘wisdom of the ages’. Yeshua has warned us against it. Elohim created the physical world ex nihilo; out of nothing. He did not break off a portion of himself to create what we can see. He fully transcends this creation while remaining immanent to it, We are not any re-formation of a part of him, but absolutely separate from him, EVEN THOUGH he remains immanent to us so that he can immediately accept us to himself upon the slightest whisper that we have acknowledged his existence and desire to know him. 

In v.11 Yeshua reveals the 2nd possibility when he says false prophets will arise to deceive many. We see this in our day with many ‘thus saith the Lord’ pronouncements. When someone says thus saith Y’hovah, watch out for what’s coming. If it doesn’t come to pass or is contrary to revealed truth in the scripture, that’s a false prophet. 

The 3rd possibility is centered around the prophecy of 2Thes.2:3-4, 

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim.

Where does this man sit in the temple? The fact that he is showing himself that he is Elohim tells me that he is not absolutely sure at the time he walks in. How would he prove to himself that he IS Elohim? Remember when David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and he put it on the ox cart to transport? They hit a bump in the road and the Ark began to topple off the cart. So Uzzah just reached out to keep the Ark from falling and when he touched it he died. On the spot. Do not pass go. Keep that in mind when looking at the anti-Messiah in the temple. Now how many seats are there in the temple? That’s right, give that man a cookie. There is but one. Now, if the anti-Messiah is a ‘christian’ and knows his scripture, he knows that no man may touch the Ark and live. He’s the next thing to certain that he IS Elohim when he walks into the temple, and to prove that he IS Elohim, he takes the only seat in the place – the mercy seat! And he does not die! There is your strong delusion that will deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. Here is his claim to deity and the basis for the demand that he be worshipped.

We’ve seen humility and others-generated stumbling blocks, now for some us-generated stumbling blocks. “If thine eye offend you, cast it from you.” Do you suppose he means to take a part of your body and surgically remove it? I don’t think so. We are to mortify the deeds of the flesh 

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Rom.8.13)

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col.3.5). 

That Romans passage is in context with the death of our enmity with Elohim (v.6-16). The Colossians passage is in context of the contrast between our lives as slaves to the flesh and our liberty to follow after Elohim (vv.5-17). When we sin as believers it is because we choose to, not because we have to. Elohim has given us the Ruach ha Kodesh in our lives to empower us to live a godly life, to consider ourselves dead to sin and the flesh, and to live to Elohim and his righteousness. The Ruach ha Kodesh is Elohim’s gracious supply to us. Q&C

In vv15-18 we find the passage on ‘church’ discipline. The context is interpersonal relations, not corporate, but the principle applies. The greek word for trespass is hamartano which is to miss the mark (same word in Rom.3.23, ‘for all have hamartano’d). This is the way we are to reconcile ourselves to each other as well as to Elohim. When you sin, does the Ruach ha Kodesh let you know? If you agree with him that that was a sin, turn away from it and confess it, he will forgive you and cleanse you of all your unrighteousness. To use an apocalyptic reference, you’ll have washed your robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev.7.13-14). If you do NOT agree with him, WAKE UP!

Elohim wants us to do the same thing with our brethren. In the Avinu prayer he says, “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” If we refuse to forgive someone who has wronged us when he asks for forgiveness, Elohim will not forgive us when we ask his forgiveness. That is clear biblical teaching. So I’m telling you now, if there is someone you’ve wronged or someone who has wronged you, get it right between you so you can both get it right between yourselves and Elohim. For everything Elohim does between himself and us he’s given us a picture in our lives and relationships on earth. This is one of them. We are to model Elohim in our lives so men can see and marvel and want what we’ve got. 

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: [9] Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. [10] For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: [11] Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. [12] For the eyes of Y’hovah are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of Y’hovah is against them that do evil. [13] And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? [14] But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; [15] But sanctify Y’hovah Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  [16] Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Mashiach. [17] For it is better, if the will of Elohim be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” (1Pe.3:8-17)

People will never be saved by watching your life, but in the watching they’ll desire your peace in adversity, your obvious love for the person who has wronged you. You will have provoked them to a godly jealousy. Then it will be up to you to answer when they ask the reason for your hope. Make it good. 

Still on vv.15-18 – This passage has been the backing for ‘church’ discipline, and rightly so, but in most assemblies it is not rightly done, decently and in order. In today’s assembly the offended party usually goes first to the leadership with a report of the supposed wrong. In the Navy we called that ‘jumping the chain.’ I call it just plain gutless. The first thing you are to do is go directly to your brother and make known your concern. Most people today expect the pastor to do all the dirty work. It isn’t his job. It’s yours. You are to keep your hurt totally secret until you’ve had a chance to reconcile with your brother. You should not even tell your spouse. If you don’t want to reconcile, check out your own heart. If he will not hear you or if he blows you off, then it is time to get 1 or 2 others involved as objective witnesses, and I don’t mean by gossiping about him. You go and get 1 or 2 that will go without knowing the offense or even who the offending party is up front (that is being objective – he’ll hear both sides without having been able to prejudge either side), AND who agree to keep the matter in strict confidence. Anyone who violates that promise of confidence is sinning and the offender has been offended by slander. It should come as news to the witnesses when you confront the offender the 2nd time. If he blows you off in front of them AND they agree that it was a sin committed against you, THEN it is time to go to the assembly leadership. Then it is up to the pastor and the body at large to intercede with you and the offender. Always keep in mind that the object is not to put someone out of the assembly, but to reconcile brothers, as we would be reconciled to Elohim. All of this assumes a true wrong done. I am afraid that most people don’t get it right because they haven’t really been wronged, they’ve only had their feelings hurt. Usually hurt feelings are a result of pride in the heart of the offended. 

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165)

That’s because it takes humility to truly love the Law of Elohim and be at peace with him. Not that I would know much about humility, personally.

The binding and loosing part always makes me a little crazy. Am I able to condemn a man? Not all by myself. If the offender will not hear the assembly, his pride has taken over. This is a sign of his spiritual condition. I think that, if he will not be reconciled with a brother, there should be a serious question about that man even being saved. If a man refuses reconciliation with a brother whom he can see, how can he be reconciled to Elohim whom he has never seen? If a man won’t love his brother whom he can see, how can he love Elohim whom he has never seen? For this reason the body gives him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his soul can be saved. Paul addresses this issue in 1Cor.5. The reason the body is to put the man out of the fellowship is to remove the sin from its midst with the object of reconciling that man to Elohim and his assembly. It worked in Corinth, for Paul writes again about the obvious change of heart in the man about whom he wrote in 1Cor.5 and 2Cor.2.5-11. Reconciliation is always the end (purpose) of discipline. Q&C

19-22 – Wherever two or more are gathered in Yeshua’s name, there is he in the midst of them. Most folks look at scriptures about the indwelling Ruach ha Kodesh and assume it means he lives within each believer, and I believe he does (Jn.14.23, Rom.8.9, 1Cor.12.17, Gal.4.6), but most of these passages are written to more than one person, ‘two or more’ (Jn.14.17, Rom.5.5, 1Cor.3.16, 6.19, 2Cor.6.16, Eph.2.2, 2Tim.1.14, 1Jn.2.27, 4.12). This is one of the reasons we are not to forsake the assembly of the brethren. We get a fresh infusion of the Spirit when we get together to sharpen iron. 

The filling of the Ruach ha Kodesh is somewhat different than the indwelling of the Ruach ha Kodesh. The Ruach ha Kodesh will not fill whom he does not own. He is no squatter. Many were filled with the Spirit, David, Mary, Elisabeth, Yochanan the Immerser, Cornelius, Peter, etc. All were His dwelling place. The filling of the Spirit was not the usual experience, or it would not be so prominently mentioned at various times in the lives of the saints. The indwelling takes place at salvation. The filling comes as we need it, if we’ll allow it and if we ask for it in the circumstance. If we are allowed to be put to the test of our lives before the world, Y’hovah will fill us to bring glory to his name in the trial. That is what Yeshua meant when he said to take no thought of what you’ll say, Ruach will take care of that. I don’t think I, in and of myself, could die for the testimony of Yeshua haMoshiach, for I am a weak man. But I think Elohim will give me the filling of the Ruach ha Kodesh should the occasion arise. I can’t. But I pray that he will.

23-35 – Parable of the unmerciful slave (Mat.18:21-35) – Do you have any idea how much 10,000 talents is? A talent is between 75 and 100 pounds, depending on who the measure is for. A royal talent is closer to 100 pounds, and, since we’re talking about a king here, that is probably the one we’re concerned with. This guy owed 1 million pounds to the king. Was it in silver or gold? Does it make a difference? An ounce of silver today [10/4/17, Kitco spot price] costs about $16, and an ounce of gold about $1200. So this guy owes the present equivalent of $12M [16x75x10,000] – $120B  [1200x100x10,000] to the king. It’s no wonder he was a slave, having gotten that deeply in debt. There was no way the servant was going to be able to pay that debt on a servant’s wages, so the king figured he’d get what he could out of the guy by selling him and all he had into chattel slavery. But the guy protests and asks mercy, promising to pay him every penny. The king mercifully forgave his debt and the man walks away freed from his load. But as soon as he’s out of the kings sight he jumps his fellowservant who owes him 100 pence. A penny is 100th part of a unit of exchange. So the 2nd servant owes the 1st about one day’s wage, a denarius. The fellowservant uses the identical words to ask patience, but the 1st will not show the same mercy that the king had shown him.

Remember v.20, ‘Wherever 2 or more are gathered’? That is still Yeshua’s context in answering Peter’s question (vv.21-22) about how many times he was to forgive an offending brother. The two slaves are brethren in the same way as Peter and James are, not sons of the same parents, but brethren in both Israel and their circumstances. Each is owned by another, and each owes another more than he can immediately repay. We are also in the same circumstance. We, like the 1st servant, have been bought with a price and we owe infinitely more than we can ever hope to repay. In our dealings with fellowservants of the King of kings we ought to keep this in mind, to forgive the minor trespass of our brother in light of the overwhelming forgiveness of Avinu b’Shamayim. We may be out a few bucks, or have had our little feelings hurt, but my Father gave his only begotten Son as a ransom for my soul. That is a debt which is impossible to repay. And just for good measure, after I’ve appropriated that ransom for my soul he doesn’t treat me like the slave I am, but adopts me as his own legal heir with the same rights and privileges as his freely given only begotten son!

Will my Father continue to treat me in this manner if I refuse to forgive some trifling wrong? Yeshua says no. He calls the unforgiving servant ‘wicked’, which word comes from the greek poneros, which is characteristic wickedness. This servant, I think, is in a lost condition. He will not forgive, so the king rescinds his forgiveness, which had not truly been appropriated through repentance and confession, and demands payment in full. Yeshua’ sacrifice paid the debt of every soul on earth, but that ransom is only applied when we repent and confess our need. This servant did not repent, though he confessed his need and asked for mercy. Do you have something against a brother? Have you gone to him and attempted to get your relationship right? Elohim’s gracious response to your request for mercy is influenced by your gracious response to others’ request[s] for mercy (Mat.6.12). It is no accident that the definitive passage on ‘church’ discipline is given in this chapter. The point of this entire chapter is love of the brethren shown in our attitude of forgiveness and mercy to those who offend us. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study 


Shabbat Bible Study for December 16, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 16, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 39 

Leviticus 18:1-30 – Jeremiah 10:2-21 – Psalm 83 – 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:10


Vayikra 18.1-10 – Y’hovah opens with the enabling clause, anochi Y’hovah Elohechem, giving them the reason that they are bound to obedience. Right from the get go, Yah tells Yisrael to stay aloof from the practices of the pagan cultures around them, both those from which they had just come out, and those into which they would eventually go. There was to be no mixing, or syncretism, of what the non-Hebrew nations did and what Y’hovah commanded Yisrael to do. They were to separate themselves from the practices of their neighbors in v.3 and separate themselves unto the practices that Y’hovah Elohechem commanded them in vv.4&5. By Y’hovah telling Israel that they would live in the judgments, statutes and ordinances he commanded, I infer that doing anything else AS unto him would bring about their death. I think we therefore need to see Rav Sha’ul’s instruction in 2Cor.13 in this light

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Yeshua haMoshiach is in you, except ye be reprobates? (II Corinthians 13:5)

To be ‘in the faith’ meant to be living according to the precepts of the faith, and one of the chief precepts of the faith is seen in Lev.18.3-5 – Set apart from the world and unto Y’hovah. Y’hovah then spells out some of the practices of the pagan cultures that will ALWAYS surround Yisrael that we MUST separate ourselves from.

V.6 is the thesis statement for the rest of ch.18, which spells out forbidden interpersonal sexual relationships, usually familial (‘to uncover nakedness’ was an Elisabethan circumlocution to that end), which until v.14 are all very close genetic, bloodline relationships. They are ALL things done as a part of the worship of false gods. Offspring of these relationships may be less than ‘perfect’, genetically. I am going out on a limb in this 21st c. CE ‘faith’ culture by saying that if a person who claims to be Y’hovah’s and after his heart practices any of these sexual relationships; he or she is NOTin the faith’. These relationships are becoming rampant in American and western culture today, and they have spilled into ‘the church’, but they are still forbidden for us to engage in. Having said that, we must EXPECT that the hedonism we see in the world system just IS, but if it is seen in the household of faith, it MUST be confronted and either repented of or removed in order that Y’hovah can ‘walk among us in the camp’. WE are supposed to so live OUR lives that the heathen around us see the difference between them and us and DESIRE to have what we have. We are to be CONSPICUOUS in our lifestyles among them, without browbeating them with Torah. That ‘browbeating’ seldom does anything but build animosity anyway. A humble little man named Frank once said, 

“Always preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.” (Frank; #3 Elm St.; Assisi, Italy) 😉 

In v.6, Y’hovah also invokes the ‘enabling clause’, “I am Y’hovah”, FOUR TIMES in reference to these commands. ALL lawful ‘laws’ will tell you what gives the lawgiver the right to require obedience. There have been so many instances of Y’hovah using the enabling clause by this time that he really doesn’t have to say the implied words, “Who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” He is basically saying [Mp], “If you want to live among MY people, you will do as I command. If not, you are free to go back TO the land of Egypt. Don’t let the screen door smack you on your backside on your way out.” 

Vv.7-8 begin the specifics. No parent/child sexual relations are allowed in Yisrael. No sexual relations are allowed between a son and his father’s wife, which wording implies no blood relationship between them. Not just a blood relation sexual relationship is forbidden. The father’s wife’s nakedness is ALSO the father’s nakedness, even if there is no blood tie between the son and his father’s wife. While it wasn’t specifically stated as a sin, this is what caused Reuven to lose his birthright. He was of the chosen people of Y’hovah and should have walked in the same manner as Avraham had. Don’t let anyone tell you that Avraham didn’t know Torah. He was the friend of Elohim, and spoke with him face to face. He KNEW Torah and obeyed it, and passed it on to his sons and their sons.

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws (Toroth). (Genesis 26:5)

4 Shema Yisrael, Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad: 5 And thou shalt love Y’hovah Elohecha with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6.4-7)

Absalom did the same thing with David’s concubines as Reuven had with Bilhah;

21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’ concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. 22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’ concubines in the sight of all Israel. (II Samuel 16:21-22)

In Gen.9, Ham ‘uncovered his father’s nakedness’, which means he had sexual relations with Noach’s wife, who was NOT necessarily Ham’s mother. The offspring of that union, Canaan, was cursed. I think that the Nephilim DNA came through the flood through Noach’s wife with whom Ham fornicated. Noach’s own DNA and his sons’ mother’s were human only, with no admixture of Nephilim DNA. The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons and daughters to the 3rd and 4thgeneration of them that hate Y’hovah. Therefore, I think the sin of incest came down through Ham’s offspring to this very day. This was a BIG reason that Israel was NOT to do as the Canaanites did. This is why anyone who did these things in Israel HAD to reap the consequences of their willful disobedience to Y’hovah’s Toroth. 

V.9 forbids sibling/sibling sexual relations. In those days, when multiple spice (mouse/mice, spouse/spice) were common, it might happen that a ½ brother and ½ sister would marry, as had Avram and Sarai before their call to leave Ur of the Chaldees and, I presume, before Avram learned Y’hovah’s Torah. I am sure Amnon, David’s son, knew the Torah, but despised it in the case of Absalom’s sister, Tamar (2Sam.13). Amnon lusted for her and had her, whether by rape or by Tamar’s consent, and it was David’s weak, or, rather, LACK of, response to Tamar’s defiling that caused the trouble with Absalom that followed. In light of Tamar’s entreaty with Amnon, there is light shed on the ½ sibling marriage, as in Avram/Sarai;

12 And she answered him, ‘Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. 13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.’ [that may have been Tamar consenting to the act of marriage, but only AFTER he got David’s permission to marry her] 14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. (2Sam.13.12-14)

She would have happily been married to Amnon, and as much as told him that. It seems that, if the ½ brother asked his father to marry his ½ sister, his approval given and they were then married, the ½ brother/½ sister relationship was superceded by the marriage relationship and, as Paul says,

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4a)

Seems that perhaps Avram may have been within Torah’s parameters in his marriage to Sarai, after all. This whole chapter of David’s life shows the absolute folly of having multiple spice. It may not be forbidden in Torah, but it is NOT wise. Multiple spice always comes to trouble, especially if a person marries siblings (like Leah/Rachel, who were maternal twins, IM[not so]HO). Q&C

V.11-14 – As the command to NOT lie with your father’s wife, so you are not to lie with her daughter begotten of your father, as she is your sister. As I said earlier, this may have been superceded if you received your father’s permission and married your ½ sister, for the marriage bed is undefiled. There doesn’t seem to be a prohibition against marrying your grandfather’s wife who was not your father’s mother. All of these relationships seem to be about close genetic similarities. Vv.12-13 deal with uncovering either of your parent’s sister’s nakedness, which is forbidden, as well. The genetic similarity between the 2 is too close, I think. But the relationship in v.14, while similar, is not the same. The genetic match may be quite slim or non-existent, but the sexual relationship is forbidden here as well because it is adultery – she is your aunt, married to your uncle. 

Vv.15-20 – You want to really sour your son against you, transgress v.15. You want to make an enemy of your brother, transgress v.16. These should be no-brainers, but it must have been done in the religious practices of Egypt and/or Canaan, or it probably wouldn’t be listed here. 

Now, v.17 is one that should also be a no-brainer, but once again, it must have been common enough in Canaan and/or Egypt for Y’hovah to mention it here. Sexual relations with a woman and her daughter or her granddaughter is just crazy, if you ask me. I assume that the correllary is true, as well – don’t uncover the nakedness of a woman and her mother. OOO – THAT would be bad. 3 guys in a bar: #1 has his head cradled in both hands and his elbows leaning on the bar. #2 says to #3, “You think YOU have mother-in-law troubles? He got his PREGNANT!” THAT is bad in every sense of the word. As Y’hovah says, a man having sexual relations with multiple women of several generations of the same bloodline is WICKEDNESS (Heb.2154 zimah), and it will haunt you for the rest of your days. Schottenstein’s Chumash translates the word zimah as “a depraved plot”. And if you want nothing but vexation, have sexual relations with your wife’s sister while your wife is alive. Again, these all must have been practiced in the religions of Egypt and/or Canaan, or verses 3&4 are just space-wasters. V.19 forbids sexual relations during menses, which was dealt with in detail in Lev.15. V.20 forbids sexual relations with any married woman (other than your own wife). 

Vv.21- – Here begins commandments against other than ‘normal’ hetero-sexual practices. V.21forbids Molech worship, which partially consists of placing your child into the arms of a red-hot brass representation of the owl-god, Molech. We 9 days from the pagan celebration of Molech [Xmas], that continues on in western culture through medical abortions. They don’t necessarily make the aborted child go through the fire, but they murder it just the same. One of the initiations all who aspire to the Presidency must go through to get the Party’s backing is a trip to Bohemian Grove. I must assume Donald Trump has not made that trip, because he has little or no backing from his Party, and they are, in fact, doing all they can to demonize and marginalize him. I think that Rand Paul must also have refused to spend time in northern California’s political aspirant’s campground. The only President in the last 40-50 years that I know of who DIDN’T go to Bohemian Grove, where a part of the festivities include bowing to a large brass owl-god, is Uncle Ronnie. That’s right. All the Party Presidential nominees of the past 50 years have been Molech worshippers; regardless their public stand against abortion – except Reagan. That’s one reason I don’t give RP much chance to win the nomination. Bohemian Grove is as important as Skull & Bones. This verse could be speaking of your child, or your actual seed, sperm or egg. See pg.126-7 of the Chumash for extensive comments on Molech worship and sodomy/beastiality.

V.22 forbids sodomy as an abomination. I seriously can’t think of any description of any sin that is WORSE than ‘abomination’. There are 117 uses of the word (H8441 – תועבה towevah), all of which are translated abomination, abominable or abominable thing. It is a predicate nominative as used here and 112 other times. My online dictionary traces the etymology to the Old French word, abominari, which is thought to be a compound of ab – not + homine – human. An abominable thing or person is INHUMAN, or in Y’hovah’s eyes, acting in an inhumane manner. The root word, (H8581 – תעב  ta’av), means detest. Both very strong negative words about a person or thing. Sodomy is as bad a thing as exists in the eyes of Y’hovah. Wickedness is a mild term by comparison. V.23 addresses another abomination, bestiality, which KJV calls ‘confusion’ and Schottenstein’s Tanakh calls ‘perversion’. The Hebrew word (H8397) is tevel – תבל and literally means pollution or profanation. This sin makes one willingly on a par with the animals, and they are all regular practices of the heathen Yisrael was going into the land to rout out and either destroy or drive out of Eretz Yisrael – Y’hovah’s land. The union of human/beast is on a par with human/shad (devil), which produced the worst enemies of Elohim and his people – the Anakim/Amalekites, whether it was done by actual human/shadim fornication [unlikely IMO] or demonically revealed [shad spirit to human spirit] scientific manipulation of the genetic structure of humans [more likely IMO]. I think GMOs are our latest attempt to create a new ‘Nephilim’. They will destroy us, if Y’hovah doesn’t intervene. 

22 And except those days are shortened, there should no flesh survive: but for the elect and for the sake of those chosen,7 those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man says to you, See, here is the Mashiach, or There He is; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Moshiachs, and false neviim, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it became possible, they shall deceive the very elect and chosen.8 [Matt.24.22-24 Restoration]

V.25 shows us why Y’hovah was bringing Yisrael into his land – the bowl of the Amorite’s iniquity was finally full.

But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. (Genesis 15:16)

The land was defiled and the land was about to vomit the Amorites out, with the help of Yisrael. If Yisrael also defiled the land, they would also be vomited out. It only took about 850 years for Israel to make Y’hovah sick enough that he hurled the northern nation, and about 130 more years before Yehudah’s iniquity was full and she was puked out. Y’hovah is not mocked. We will reap what we sow. Israel’s and America’s time is short. America is committing all the abominations spoken of in vv.21-24, as is Israel today. There was a story in a major Israeli newspaper last week [Dec.7-13, 2014] extolling Israel’s pride over her ‘tolerance’ of the LGBT lifestyle. Israel has failed to learn the lessons of history and has turned its back to its Redeemer. And so has America. Without a real vival in each nation, Y’hovah will be regurgitating us out of these lands. Notice that the SOULS of the abominable and perverted are cut off. No man does this, as he has no power over the life or death of the soul. Therefore, it is Y’hovah who destroys the practitioners of Molech (abortion) or Asherah worship, sodomy and bestiality.  Q&C

YirmeYahu 10.2-21 – YirmeYahu’s ministry was from the 13th year of YoshiYahu, the last good king of Yehudah, until sometime after the final exile of Yehudah in 587/586 BCE. I think the reason Y’hovah had him bring this prophecy is that the Priests of Israel had apostatized to the point that Israel had few, if any, that would teach Torah and expect them to apply it to their lives. 

3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king JoshiYahu, … 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Y’hovah. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, … 10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’, saying, 13 Go ye, enquire of Y’hovah for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great the wrath of Y’hovah that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. [2Ki.22.3a, 8-9a, 10-13]

YirmeYahu’s ministry of calling Yehudah to repentance was already 5 years old, but he was largely dismissed as too young to be listened to by the priests, much less the king. The priests didn’t like him from the get-go. He was in training for the High Priesthood when Y’hovah called him to prophesy of Yehudah’s destruction if they would not repent. 

10.2 is an important verse for US today. Remember early in 2011, the hype about the ‘dark star’ Nibiru and how our doom was coming? (Sounded a lot like Harold Camping) And how about the prophecies of our impending doom this passed 23Sep? Apply v.2.

Thus saith Y’hovah, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)

Our focus should be on US, on OUR hearts and how we are following our Saviour and walking in HIS ways, not on the judgment that is coming on the world system as a result of its refusal to consider him – especially such things as a close approach of some heavenly body to the earth, because even if it is true we can do exactly NOTHING to change the circumstance. I realize that all the information was being disseminated as warning to the world by Messies and Xians on such forums as Facebook and Twitter, but most of what went out got to the choir, not the world. How many worldlings are our Facebook ‘friends’ or follow us on Twitter? And of those, how many bother to read our stuff, anyway. We would be better to target people who actually KNOW us via e-mail of the Word of Y’hovah. We are to warn people of HIS wrath that they are drawing, not any method by which he may deliver it. If they won’t hear the Word of Y’hovah from us, what makes us think they’ll hear our warnings about stuff no human can control? The priests in YirmeYahu’s days were astrologizing to try to determine the future, not astronomizing to locate their place in Y’hovah’s timing and plan. 

In YiremYahu’s day, the priests were not preaching the Word of Y’hovah, which is why Y’hovah called YirmeYahu in the first place. 

10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of Y’hovah is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of Y’hovah; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith Y’hovah. 13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? [Remember the Torah portion?]  nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: [remember the news article in the Israeli source about Israel’s PRIDE in tolerating LGBT?] therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time I visit them they shall be cast down, saith Y’hovah. 16 Thus saith Y’hovah, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith Y’hovah, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. (Jer.6.10-21)

Sounds a lot like so-called believers of today, doesn’t it? And the so-called churches that not only accept those abominations into their midst, but appoint them to positions of authority within their ranks? Be sure you are not among this group. Make t’shuvah and walk in the Way of Y’hovah. He will carry you through any trouble that comes your way, if you stay faithful to him and live according to his Word. If not, he will give you over to your OWN ways, and you will trip over the stumbling block, which IS his Word. Q&C

Vv.3-6 should have been our Haftarah for last week, shouldn’t it? Talk about timely! The verses don’t specifically deal with the Xmas tree, but it sure sounds that way, doesn’t it? I have not had a Xmas tree in my own home for over 20 years, mainly because this verse sounds so much like it and I knew instinctively, long before I was consciously Torah observant, that the thing is an abomination. I didn’t truly understand why, but I knew it. What YirmeYahu is describing is actually an Asherah pole, a tree carved into a phallic symbol and worshipped through the Canaanite religious practices outlined in Vayikra 18.22-23 today. There’s been enough said over the last month or so about the Xmas tree, we don’t even need to go there.

V.7 says that these abominations are not to be feared, for fear pertains only to Y’hovah, the only true Elohim. But the nations, in v.8 are brutish – animals, not human in their drive to fulfill their lusts. ‘The stock’ is an Asherah pole, as well. It is Old English/Germanic in etymology, and literally means ‘trunk, block of wood or post’. This stock is then silver or gold plated (v.9) and then covered with blue and purple (colors of royalty), ‘the work of cunning’. The KJV uses the word ‘cunning’ to give the idea of evil use of wisdom. The word translated here is chakhamiym [is this the root of the slang word ‘cockamamie’ – a false wisdom], which has the same root as chokhmah, which is usually translated wisdom. The metalwork and weaving was of the same craftsmanship as all similar work on the Mishkan. What b’nei Israel doesn’t understand is that their devotion to the gods of the land is going to bring destruction TO their land. Where KJV has ‘earth’, the Hebrew word is haAretz – the land, and could specifically mean the land of Israel. To be fair, Stone’s Tanakh ALSO says earthquake. That the goyim will not be able to stand his indignation shows me that this is awaiting an end of days fulfillment, perhaps in Eretz Israel, but also possibly world-wide. 

V.11 turns the wrath also upon the ‘gods’ of these men, they shall perish from the earth and from under heaven. This must be speaking of during the Millennial reign of Mashiach or the New heavens and earth, for these ‘gods’ will be with us until then. Y’hovah has made the heavens and the earth and the heavens are literally still stretching out by his discretion. In v.13 he describes the water cycle for us. Even the physical laws are by his hand. The gods of man-made origin have nothing to do with them. After all, they can’t go anywhere, see, say or influence anything except in the evil imaginations of wicked men. 

V.14 shows not only that they are the carved and plated gods of man’s imagination powerless, so are those that are cast of molten metals in the foundry. They are equally vain images (v.15). V.16 says that it is not so with the portion of Yacov, Y’hovah Tzavaoth Sh’mo

V.17– tells us how sudden the exile in the end of days will be – he will put Israel in a sling and send it like a projectile out of the land in v.18 – a sudden projectile-vomiting out, a la Rev.3.16 

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation of John 3:16)

In v.19, Y’hovah expresses the hurt it will cause him to spue Yehudah out of the land, but also the necessity of bearing it, so they will repent and start going his way. He gives the root cause of the problem – the shepherds, the pastors, priests or national political leaders of Israel, have become as brutes. If the pastors have become as animals, spiritually dull or stupid, they are not teaching truth, they are not righteous, but are trying to look like they ARE. As this becomes apparent, their flocks will be scattered by and to the winds. They’ll have no anchor to truth. 

My online dictionary defines bruit (v.22) as an unusual noise or a rumor. The noise coming out of the north refers, I think, to the nations of the earth coming against Israel in the not too distant future; Gog uMagog. I also think that, the way things are moving at this time, this force from the north could very well include armies from the USofA. Watch carefully as Syria is attacked by the UN, NATO or some Arab force with possible help from the 6th Fleet. This is what is happening right now, with ISIS, which is being armed by the USofA under the guise of arming the Syrian rebels. It is beginning to look like that’s where events are headed. And that may trigger an intermediate fulfillment of Gog u’Magog, as outlined in Yechezkel 38 and 39. It looks as if this partial fulfillment will be successful in routing out Israel from J’lem, as the cities of Yehudah will become the dens of dragons. Perhaps this passage ties our Torah and Psalm together? The ultimate Gog u’Magog invasion will occur at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. Q&C

Tehellim 83.1-18 V.1 seems to address Y’hovah in all of his main 3 aspects/manifestations, Father, Spirit and Son. He calls the chochmah (wisdom), binah (understanding) and da’ath (knowledge), which is the combination of wisdom and understanding, of the Almighty to hear his supplication, because all his enemies are lining up against his people in his land (vv.2-3). The ‘tumult’ in v.2 may be (and I think IS) the ‘bruit’ of YirmeYahu 10.22. His ‘hidden ones’ in v.3 may be (and I think IS) Ephraim – US. “They” are Edom in all of its manifestations. The controversy of Zion definitely includes the conflict between the brothers, Yacov and Esav – Yisrael and Edom. All the nations that are named in this psalm are Edomite nations and they have and are ALWAYS trying to destroy Yisrael. Even after Messiah sets up his physical reign on earth, Edom will be trying to destroy Yisrael – he’ll just be less conspicuous about it, subjugating his desire to annihilate Yisrael for a more opportune time – like the release of haSatan from his long bondage in the Abyss [Rev.20].  In vv.2-8 we see that conspiracy is NOT a theory, but a FACT, as the spirit of Edom has been conspiring against Y’hovah and his anointed since Adam and Eve’s sons’ time, at least. 

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Y’hovah, and against his anointed, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (Ps.2.1-3)

The list of enemies of Y’hovah in vv.6-8 is like a who’s who of Gog u’Magog, the erev rav (great darkness) of the world. The tabernacles of Edom I see as the overarching conspiracy against Y’hovah and his spiritual children, and all the nations listed are seen as ‘one tent’. I think the ‘Hagarenes’ are descendants of Hagar by someone other than Avraham, as they are separate from the Ismaelites – ½ nephews to Ishmael. Gebal is a tract of land south of the Dead Sea in Edom. Ammon is present day Jordan with its capital in ‘Amman’. Asshur is Syria and Kurdistan, and the people there are allied with Moav and Ammon, sons of Lot by his daughters (remember the forbidden marriages in today’s Torah). The Philistines are what we call Palestinians today, and they were allied with Lebanon then as they are today. 

Asaph tells Y’hovah to make them like Midian, Sisera and Jabin. Sisera was the king who was killed by Jael with a tent peg driven through the temple and into the earth as he ran for his worthless hide from Devorah and Barak. Jabin was the king defeated in battle by Devorah and Barak. After that battle with Jabin’s Canaanites, Israel never had to fight the Canaanites again.  Oreb and Zeeb were the princes of Midian that Gideon went after in Judges 7 and 8;

And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan. (Judges 7:25)

Zebah and Zalmunah were Midianite princes who had escaped across Yarden, but were caught and brought back to Gideon, who put them to death for having killed his brothers. All of these were decisive victories for Israel against all odds. Asaph is prophetically seeing the final Gog uMagog battle, I think, and interceding for US against Y’hovah’s enemies. But in v.16, he implores Y’hovah to put his fear in the enemy so that they will repent and turn to him. I think this corresponds to Isaiah 27.4&5, where Y’hovah Tzavaoth comes to earth to set up his physical Kingdom AFTER his wrath has been poured out on the earth (Rev.16);

4 Fury not in me: who would set the briers thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me. (YeshaYahu 27.4-5)

Asaph is not only interceding for US, but also for those among the Edomites who Y’hovah would turn to himself before he wipes out their entire army. Once his wrath is poured out, his judgment is carried out in righteousness and mercy, not fury. Y’hovah is merciful to the end. Q&C

1Cor.5.1-13 – Rav Sha’ul dealt with a sin issue in Corinth. This was a Torah mandate, as we saw today in our Torah portion;

The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’ nakedness. (Leviticus 18:8)

The synagogue in Corinth was as proud of itself, that it was so ‘compassionate’ toward the sinner, as Israel is over its tolerance of LGBT.  Look at the progression from wickedness to abomination that Sha’ul outlines for us in Romans 1;

18 For the wrath of Elohim is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [P1] hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of Elohim is manifest in them; for Elohim hath shewed unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, his eternal power and Godhead [this refers to the unfathomable Creator, Eyn Sof]; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, [P2] when they knew Elohim, they glorified not as Elohim, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And [P3] changed the glory of the uncorruptible Elohim into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who [P4] changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

26 For this cause Elohim 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. 

28 And even as they did not like to retain Elohim in knowledge, Elohim gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of Elohim, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of Elohim, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Rav Sha’ul lambasted the Corinthians for thinking they were all that and a bag of chips, as he will Israel and America, if they do not repent. He gave explicit instructions in the Name of Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiach regarding this fornication in the camp – excommunicate him to the end that he repents and gets his life in line with Y’hovah’s commandments. Y’hovah could not walk in their camp as long as that sin was extant in it. The Feast of Passover must have been fast approaching, because Sha’ul wanted the leaven removed from their house before it came and he expected them to keep it. He highlights a big difference between fornicators who call themselves brothers in Mashiach and those who do not. We are to absolutely separate ourselves from egregious sinners who name the name of Yeshua, but NOT those who do not name his Name. Do you see that? The pagan who acts like a pagan is at least intellectually and spiritually honest. To not have anything to do with them would require being a recluse. But we are to cut off from ALL fellowship those who say they are brethren but who live in a sinful manner. They are hypocrites who are expected to know better. We are not to socialize or even do business with them so that they turn away from their sin and towards Y’hovah’s Torah. 

6.1-10 – It’s interesting that Paul jumps right to a discussion of how believers deal with each other when they have a dispute. He decries their quick move to the world’s legal system when they have a competent group of believers who can form a Beit Din. When we have a dispute within our body, we ought to take care of it ourselves. I mean, seriously! If we’re going to judge the WORLD, why can’t we judge among ourselves? Who will bring a more righteous judgment between believers than other believers who are personally disinterested in the outcome. Think of the Torah of Matt.18.

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 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. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mat.18.15-20)

This is a personal dispute between individuals, but it is serious enough that if there is no resolution it can end in excommunication. We are to try to handle disputes at the lowest level, so if there can be an amicable agreement between just the 2 individuals, all is well. Noone else ever need know about the dispute. If the brother disses us, we are to get someone or two who have no personal stake in the issue and ask him to come and be a witness. I think it would be best if we not discuss the issue before confronting the one we have the issue with, so that our witness[es] has no preconceived notion going in – the better to make a righteous judgment. If he STILL won’t reconcile, it is time to go to the Beit Din. If he STILL won’t reconcile, the Beit Din will pronounce their judgment. Meanwhile, we are NOT to go before the civil courts over a personal dispute. The binding and loosing has to do with the agreement or disagreement. A father or husband can either bind or loose an agreement that his wife or daughter enters into without his knowledge. He can loose his wife or daughter from an agreement he believes is not in her best interests. 

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto Y’hovah, and bind herself by a bond, in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and Y’hovah shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and Y’hovah shall forgive her. (Numbers 30.3-8)

All this to point out that these judgments are done IN HOUSE! NOT in the world’s civil courts. Notice the similarity between 5.11 and 6.9-10. If our ‘brother’ is any of those things, it is evidence that he is NOT our brother, for he will NOT inherit the kingdom of Elohim. The chapter division is unfortunate, because chapters 5&6 are closely related and I think meant to be taken together. The second rehearsal of the sins brings us back around to the need for a trustworthy Beit Din. A lot of in-house controversies could be handled quietly and not aired in the civil court system, where only haSatan profits. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 9, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 9, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 38 

Leviticus 17:1-16 – [No Prophet] – Psalm 82 – John 5:1-21


Vayikra 17.1-9 – The prohibition against offerings anywhere except in the Tabernacle or in the Place in the Land where Yehovah shall put his Name, i.e.; the Temple in Jerusalem, is absolute. This is NOT a prohibition against slaughtering an animal for an honored guest or a celebration. The prefatory remarks on this passage in the Schottenstein’s Interlinear Chumash are salient (pg.118). As usual, I lean towards a “Yes” to the two interpretations – Ba’al haTurim’s interpretation, that the quick addition of this passage after the Yom Kippur service is to disabuse people of the notion that, in light of the killing outside the camp of Azazel’s goat, they can offer anywhere or to any Elohim they so chose, and Rashi’s interpretation that it refers specifically to animals that are consecrated as offerings. If there were a command to NOT eat animal flesh at all, except that which was offered in a peace offering, I would not go with Rashi at all, but there is no prohibition from eating clean flesh. So, it must be permitted to slaughter an animal away from the Tabernacle or Temple. I would guess that an animal that has a blemished appearance would be acceptable for food, but could not be consecrated as an offering to Yehovah. 

If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before Yehovah. (Leviticus 1:3)

To kill an animal that is suitable for offering without bringing it to the Tabernacle or Temple was like [but not identical to] spilling innocent blood – it was like murder. If an Israelite did such a thing (i.e.; kill an innocent animal without offering it properly. To murder a man was not an excommunicable offense – murder carried a death sentence), they were to be excommunicated and put OUT of the camp so that Yehovah would walk with Israel. If there is any uncleanness in the camp (like a man guilty of innocent blood), Yehovah will not walk among us; 

12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: 13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: 14 For Yehovah Elohenu walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee. (Devarim 23.12-14)

If you remember the debacle at Ai [Josh.7], Achan had hidden an idol from Yericho in his tent and Yhwh did not go out to battle with Israel. There was uncleanness in the camp and he would not walk with them, much less fight for them. All peace offerings were to be brought to the priests so the blood could be sprinkled and the fat offered in the proper manner. 

No offerings were to be made to any other elohim – only to Yehovah. Remember when this Torah is being given – some time between the 40th-50th day after the transgression of the golden calf and the first Passover in the Wilderness (Moshe was in the mount during those 40-50 days and I think he was getting the Toroth of Leviticus at that time). V.7 seems clear that any offering made anywhere other than at the Tabernacle was an offering to devils. This was the practice from the days of Noach, for the firstborn to offer unto Yehovah in their neighborhood, back yard or wherever it was convenient. They were to stop that practice forever. If any man, Israelite or mixed multitude, offered anywhere other than at the door of the Tabernacle, he was to be removed from the camp. He was tamei – defiled. His only way back into the camp, I think, was on Yom Kippur. He could not just mikvah and await the sunset to return to his place in the camp. I don’t think the unclean were sent completely away in the middle of the wilderness, but had to dwell outside the camp of the saints – like the lepers in 2Ki.7.3&4

3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate (outside the camp): and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

The man being cut off speaks to the physical being of the man. Excommunication’s purpose is always repentance and reconciliation. Ramban thinks that this cutting off means that the man will die an early death, not that he is eternally cut off from Yisrael. Yochanan tells us about a ‘sin unto death’ (there are probably more then one). This may be an instance of what he was talking about. The passage specifies that the MAN is cut off, not his soul. I infer that to mean his physical body, not his spirit, as well. Q&C

Vv.10-14 is the Torah of NOT eating blood. This is a codification of the prohibition against eating blood that was given to Noach in Gen.9. The life is in the blood and it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul of the transgressor. (Take that PETA!) This does not mean that blood of an animal NOT for atonement is OK to eat. It isn’t. The use of the term כל־דמ – chal-dam, ALL or ANY blood, in v.10 makes this plain. We are to ensure that ALL the blood is removed from the animal. If we kill our own animals, they are to be bled completely and their blood poured on the ground and COVERED – same as excrement – or Yehovah will not walk among us. Yehovah says that he will put everything else aside to deal with the man who eats blood. This is why I think the people in Num.11 sinned by eating quail without bleeding, cleaning and cooking it first;

31 And there went forth a wind from Yehovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Yehovah was kindled against the people, and Yehovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. (Num.11.31-34)

Looks to me like Yehovah set everything else aside to bring condemnation against those who ate in their lust for flesh. Num.11.4 says that the ones who lusted were the mixt multitude. And in the instance of eating blood, Yehovah is the one who cuts off the soul of that man from the people of Israel. Eating blood is SERIOUS business. It looks like there is no atonement for the sin of eating blood. 

Vv.15-16 deal with a man who eats that which just dies or is torn by animals, which has already been forbidden in the Sinai covenant.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat flesh torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. (Ex.22.31)

Yehovah forbad them to eat flesh that had been torn because he desired them to be set-apart unto him and to show it by being different from the surrounding people. But provision is made for the one who DOES eat this kind of flesh. He can do a mikvah, wash his clothes and then at evening offering time, he can return to the camp. Therefore, I don’t think clean animals killed by predators are made unclean thereby; this was something Yehovah wanted them to do to be set-apart, not because there was anything actually wrong with eating that flesh. Of course, the flesh would still have to be bled. Do you suppose this is what we do when we buy already slaughtered meat at a market? I think it COULD BE. Be safe with store-bought flesh – kosher it. Here is a link to a kosher koshering process;  Q&C 

Psalm 82.1- – This is a psalm of Asaph. Remember that Asaph wrote in the time just after the return of Yehudah from Persia. V.1 speaks, I think, about rulers among men rather than gods, quite probably the priests of Yehovah and possibly the rulers of the Land as Yehudah returned. We know there is really only one Elohim and that is Yehovah, so the literal translation of elohim to gods may not be, probably isn’t, correct. If I am correct, and v.6 seems to show that Yehovah agrees with me, he could actually be talking about all of us, for 2Pe.2.9 says that we are a royal Priesthood in Mashiach Yeshua. I will proceed with the understanding that the word ‘gods’ means the political and religious leaders of the people – ‘lords’, as it were. And I will relate it to our present situation in HISstory. 

Vv.2-5 – Have you ever wondered why there is no true justice in the world system? Asaph seems to be lamenting the lack of consideration for the poor and needy on the part of the people of Yehovah (and the ‘lords’ or ‘gods’ in particular). The leaders of the people are described in v.2 as ‘respecters of persons’, rather than keepers of Yehovah’s Torah. That is because they think of themselves, of holding and guarding their power by doing what is best for their political ‘benefactors’ (in today’s world, that means the ‘military-industrial complex’ and its lobbyists who provide the politicians with the millions of dollars it takes to run a political election campaign) rather than doing what is ultimately right for their people. It is not human government’s place to provide for the needy in society. That responsibility falls, rather, to the family of the needy first, and to the church/synagogue second. Only after those two resources prove to be inadequate to the task, does it fall to any other source (but it should never have to). 

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them [Mark edit – that is; children and nephews] learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before Elohim. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in Elohim, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. 8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1Tim.5.3-8)

Strong words from Rav Sha’ul, and absolutely in context, as he is addressing exactly what Asaph is in Ps.82, i.e.; justice for the poor and needy – widows indeed. A ‘widow indeed’ is one who has no children or other family members in the faith, and also who is trusting Elohim for her (or his) sustenance. The ‘widows indeed’ and orphans are our first order of business in the faith community. A believing widow or orphaned child of a believer should never have to depend on anyone outside the local congregation for his/her sustenance. When a believing widow or orphan is unable to care for him or herself, the local congregation should make provision. If the local congregation is unable to provide for them, the larger body of believers should have an agency of some sort to which the needy can resort. The LAST place the needy should have to go for sustenance is the government. And, if worldly government is the FIRST place a ‘believer’ goes, they show that they do not truly believe that Elohim can sustain them. Elohim will sustain you in your exigent circumstances, if you trust him to do so. I’ve ‘selah’d that enough, now.

We are to sustain the truly needy among us; THAT is HOW we deliver them from the wicked. ‘The wicked’ in our day means the government, for it is wicked in the extreme. It has no knowledge (da’ath) in the biblical sense of the word. It has neither a wish to understand, nor does it have the wisdom (chochma) to apply to understanding (binah) that would constitute biblical knowledge. Human government in today’s world is anti-Yehovah, anti-Torah, and anti-Mashiach; a perfect description of wickedness. In Asaph’s day, it was applied, as well, to the religious leadership who should have known Torah. 

In v.6, Elohim says, “I have said, ye gods” referring to the religious leadership in the land in Asaph’s day. It is not said in a flattering sense. Yeshua used this scriptural quote in context in Jn.10

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29 Avi, which gave me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck out of my Avi’s hand. 30 I and Avinu are one. 31 Then the Iouaidoi took up stones again to stone him. 32 Yeshua answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from Avi; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Iouaidoi answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself Elohim. 34 Yeshua answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Elohims? 35 If he called them Elohims, unto whom the word of Elohim came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom Avinu hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of Elohim? 37 If I do not the works of Avi, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that Avinu is in me, and I in him. 39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand (Jn.10.27-39)

Even though they are children of the Almighty, they will die like men because they have no knowledge of truth. Because they are ‘lords’, and covet that position more than right standing with Yehovah Elohenu, they are willing to ‘kill the messenger’ to protect their positions. The ‘lords’ of Yeshua’s day knew exactly what he meant by, “I and Avi are one.” He was the tzadik rebbe like Moshe that Yehovah had promised to send, the perfect melding of the Almighty’s aspects of Elohim’s understanding (binah) and Yehovah’s wisdom (chochma), and that meant their positions of power were in jeopardy. Their visceral response belied their spoken intent. Unless they would repent of that attitude, they would ‘die like men, and fall like one of the princes. [v.7]’

Whenever you see government or its media lackeys attempting to demonize or marginalize a political person, keep your eyes on that person to see if he truly believes what he says. He will show if he is honest in his positions by how he deals with the personal attacks. If he changes his position, he is just another wicked man. If he maintains his position as right, he is quite likely your best friend and their worst nightmare because he will NOT be controlled by them. By the same token, watch the government’s media lackeys for whom they least dislike and treat him/her like you would a ‘karet’, or ‘leper’.

Asaph ends by calling on Elohim’s judgment on the earth. Achim, we are on the verge of exactly that in America, and indeed in the world. WE need to apply 2Chron.7.14, for WE are to blame for the state of the world. We got too much like the world, too comfortable with the things OF the world. WE need to repent of our own callousness toward our achim, our own friendship with the world system. Remember the description of ‘wicked’ above; anti-Yehovah, anti-Torah and anti-Mashiach.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7:14)

That’s you and me, folks. And it’s NOT a one-time deal. It’s an attitude we need to adopt daily, hourly, even minutely in our personal lives. If we, the people who are called by Yehovah’s Name will turn from our own wickedness, Yehovah will THEN listen to us and fix what ails us, both personally and nationally. It is up to US, not the politicians in Washington, London, Moscow, Peking, Jerusalem or Tehran. It is up to us. It is up to YOU! Q&C

Yochanan 5.1-21 – What Feast of the Iouaidoi was this that Yeshua went up for? I don’t think this was a Feast of Yehovah. It could have been Purim or Hanukkah. Yeshua was in the habit of going up to J’lem for all the Feasts, so that he could ‘fulfill all righteousness’ (Mat.3.15). Because he went up to Beth-Khisda (or Beth Chesed – house of kindness), I infer that the Feast is Purim (I COULD be wrong … really!) for Yehovah was very kind to Israel in that day, because they turned to him en masse, as one body. Beth Khisda has 5 pools, showing its reflexion of Yehovah’s chesed; his grace, or loving-kindness. 

Yeshua comes upon a man who’s been at the pool for it’s miraculous healing for 38 years. He’s in bad enough shape after all this time that he needs someone to help him into the pool when the angel stirs up its healing properties. Yeshua can see the man is in earnest about being healed and his knowledge that he can do nothing to heal himself – he literally needs a miracle, and he goes to put himself in the way of the recurring miracle, if he can. He is already exercising all the faith he knows to exercise. But he needs help, which is not readily forthcoming. So Yeshua asks him if he would be made whole, and he says “YES!” (I think he implies, “if I could get the help I need to get to the pool when the angel stirs the water, I would already BE whole! Are you going to help me? Let’s get over there now, so we can be ready!”) But Yeshua did him one better. He said, “Stand up! Take your bed and walk!” and he did so immediately. He didn’t think about it being Shabbat. He just followed orders from the man who made him every whit whole by a Word from his mouth. I’d call that a rational response to being made whole of a 38-year infirmity. 

But the ‘Iouaidoi’ were not always rational. As I always do, I want to qualify Yochanan’s use of the term Jew. It doesn’t mean the average, rank-and-file member of the Temple/Synagogue, but ALWAYS refers to the political leadership of the religion. They obviously had not been to the Beth-Khisda pool any time in the last 38 years, or they’d have recognized him. They accosted him for breaking a man-made rule dealing with stuff folks are forbidden to do on Shabbat, like carry any burden whatever. I can only imagine them seeing me carry a Bible that would choke a horse into the fellowship. I’d smack them upside the head with it, except that it’s heavy enough to break a neck. He answered them in as respectful a manner as he could, “The guy who made me whole from my 38-year infirmity with a Word from his mouth also told me to take up my bed and walk. I figured it was the least I could do to obey him.” (OK, I embellished that just a tad.) When the Iouaidoi asked him who had dared to heal him on the Shabbat (Oh! FORFEND!), he didn’t know, and there was such a crowd at this Feast time, that he couldn’t see Yeshua. Later, when Yeshua found him to warn him against sinning unless something worse come upon him, the guy went to the Iouaidoi and told them it was Yeshua. 

THAT really ticked them off, and they started trying figure out how to kill him within the legal parameters of the day. So, they confronted him about healing on Shabbat, saying that he’d broken it. Look at AENT, note 53 on pg.246. 

When Yeshua refers to his Abba, I think he refers to the Almighty Ain Sof, he who is unknowable. He said, “Avi has never ceased working from the day of creation to now, and I work in the same way.” Yehovah has never ceased his creative work, even when it says he rested. If he were NOT creating constantly, everything would cease to exist. The same Word that created ‘ex nihilo’ in Gen.1, sustains the creation until the day of dissolution 1000 years + from now. The day Yehovah ceases to speak is the day everything dissolves into absolute nothingness, from which he can recreate brand new and perfect – a tamim or perfect world in which tzedakah, or righteousness dwells. Perhaps these Iouaidoi had never heard of ‘sod’. 

When Yeshua said that both he and Abba work to now, he was making claim to equality with Ain Sof, and they knew it. This made them all the crazier, since what he said was blasphemy for any other than Yehovah Elohim, and they were ready to kill him on the spot. When he asked what good work they were killing him for, they said, “because you make yourself equal to Elohim.”  He does not deny their accusation. He even did them one better by saying that, as Avinu will raise the dead in the resurrection (some of these Iouaidoi were no doubt Sadducees), so Yeshua, the Son, will quicken whom he wills, and it makes no difference the day of the week or the traditional fences the Iouaidoi had constructed around Torah. The healing of the man at Beth-Khisda was just one instance of how he would present his bona fides and prove whom he is. Q&C

Follows my study of John 5 from various portions of my study in The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective, as I shared on TTRT.

Yochanan 5:1-47 – 72). Second Passover – 

1 After this there was a feast of the Iouaidoi; and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.

Yochanan tells of a feast of the Iouaidoi, but doesn’t name it. I don’t know where the chronology comes from here. The Thompson Reference System says [erroneously] that this is Yehovah’s second passover in Jerusalem after his ministry began. This will mark the end of his year of popularity, I think.  I also think it more likely Purim or Hanukkah. Thompson’s seems to follow Mark’s gospel for chronology.

73). Man at the pool healed –

Yochanan 5.2-9

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Yeshua saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Yeshua saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath.

The pool of Bethesda had 5 porches, speaking to the grace of Elohim healing the sick. Thompson’s Archeological Supplement has: 

“The only record indicating its location places it near the Sheep Gate, in the northeast part of the city. The Medeba map (fifth century) located the pool in this section, which is known as Bezetha. In 1888 repairs were being made on St. Ann’s Church in this northeast section of Jerusalem when what seemed to be a large reservoir was located. Conrad Schick organized an expedition and uncovered the entire area down to the Roman level, revealing two large pools with five porches and numerous fragments of columns and capitals, all in Roman style, but evidently somewhat later than the time of Mashiach. There were steep, winding steps leading down to the pools and, on a prominent wall of one of the porches, a faded fresco showed an angel in the act of troubling the waters. So according to the tradition of the early assembly, this was Bethesda.” 

Mat. Henry’s commentary says, 

“Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain of one wearisome night, when many others, better than we, have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well?” 

Good question. 

Put yourself in this guy’s shoes for a minute. You’ve been infirm for 38 years. And you spend most of your days at this miraculous spa hoping to get in the water when it is troubled. Do you think this happened every few minutes? Once a day? Or just once in a while? There is no indication that the troubling of the water was a regular occurrence. So you have to be ready to jump in, but you can’t jump. You have a hard enough time dragging yourself toward the pool, much less lowering yourself down the steps, which were steep and winding, to get in the pool. And no one will help you because they are all there for the same purpose, to get a healing. If someone helps you into the water, how will he get healed? Only one healing per troubling, and if he can get there first you are going to have to wait ‘til next time. Sorry, luck of the draw, bud. 

That’s what this guy dealt with for 38 years. When Yeshua asks if he’d like to be made well, he says in effect, ‘If you’ll hang around and help me into the water next time it’s troubled, I’d be much obliged.’ Yeshua does him one better. He says the same thing he said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” And the guy obeys immediately, not caring what day it is. 

Here is a major no-no as far as the Iouaidoi, the political leaders of the Hebrew religion, are concerned. Yeshua has just healed on the Sabbath and told the healed man to carry away his bed. You could get in a lot of trouble with the religious authorities if you broke the Sabbath traditions. Remember that the Sabbath was set aside to rest from our professional labors and acknowledge Y’hovah’s gift and authority one day a week. Do you suppose the man who’d been healed was worshipping Y’hovah as he walked home? Shake your heads in the vertical. Do you think the Pharisees cared? Shake your heads in the horizontal. Q&C

75). Discourse on the Sabbath – Mat.12.1-8, Mk.2.23-28, Lk.6.1-5, Yochanan5.10-16

10 The Iouaidoi therefore said unto him that was cured, it is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Yeshua had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Yeshua findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Iouaidoi that it was Yeshua, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Iouaidoi persecute Yeshua, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day.

Do you remember the flock of swine that rushed headlong into the sea? Same problem comes up here, but for a different reason. The swineherds were losing money, the Pharisees were jealous for the common folk to keep the law according to the scribes and Pharisees. They accused Yeshua of breaking Sabbath. But in this case, who was really breaking Sabbath? Yeshua is about to tell them. 

74). Discourse on Yeshua’s divinity – 


17 But Yeshua answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Iouaidoi sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that Elohim was his Father, making himself equal with Elohim. 19 Then answered Yeshua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth Avinu do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For Avinu loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as Avinu raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For Avinu judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all should honour the Son, even as they honour Avinu. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not Avinu which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Elohim: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as Avinu hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Avinu which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 But I have greater witness than of John: for the works which Avinu hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that Avinu hath sent me. 37 And Avinu himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of Elohim in you. 43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that from Elohim only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to Avinu: there is that accuseth you, Moshe [Torah], in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

In vv.17-18 we see the Iouaidoi really getting worked up over Yeshua’s claim to be Elohim. They knew what he was saying, and they would have been righteously angry if they were dealing with MY claim to be Elohim. But this was Yeshua and he was performing miracles that should have told them exactly who he was, if only they knew the scriptures like they said, or thought, they did. Messianic passages abound in the OT (Is.61.1-2a.) Even Yochanan the Immerser needed some proof as to Yeshua true identity (Lk.7.19-20), but he knew the scriptures and was comforted in them (Lk.7.21-23). Yeshua knew that Yochanan would understand that every miracle he performed was not to cause an end of suffering or hardship or infirmity, but for the purpose of confirming to the Iouaidoi, the political leadership of the religion, that he was who he claimed to be; Yeshua haMoshiach, the Son of Elohim. The very miracles he was doing, causing the paralytic to walk in this case, all taken together (i.e., comparing scripture with scripture and verifying experience with objective truth) should have caused them no end of rejoicing that their Mashiach had come and that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand. Instead they wanted strict adherence to the oral law that gave no life, but only knowledge of sin and death. 

“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Avinu rested from his creative work on the 7th day, not all his work. After all, Elohim still had to maintain the creation. The strict adherence to the letter of the law that the Pharisees wanted would have made them Elohim’s judges. By that I mean, if Elohim were being judged by their standard, absolutely no work on the Sabbath, they would have stoned him, as well. In fact, that is what they were attempting to do right then, for the whole creation was physically manufactured by the word of the person they wanted to stone for blasphemy and Sabbath-breaking (Ex.31.14ff).

V.19 ‘What the Son sees Avinu doing the Son does also (Mark paraphrase).’ The whole universe was all Yehovah Yeshua’s effort. Without him was not anything made that was made. How should we do things? Should we do everything on our own; cowboy our way through as lone wolves, or should we get help or counsel as we can. That is how the Body of Mashiach is supposed to work, each helping the other to bring glory to Elohim.

1Cor.12 says that each part of the body is as important as every other part of the body. If the ear gets jealous because it’s not the eye, the body will not work as it’s designed to. If the foot gets offended because the hand is getting all the good stuff to do and goes on strike, how will the hand get to the appointed place to do its good stuff? It’s the same thing with each of us. If I get jealous of Doc [a dentist friend] because he can make teeth and I can’t, and I therefore leave the fellowship of us saints, the whole body will suffer because it is left without my gifts and abilities. Our gifts were not given to us for our personal enjoyment, but for the common good of the Body of Mashiach. All that and much more can be seen with just a cursory glance at 1Cor.12. The body of Mashiach is designed to work as a unit to fulfill its purpose in doing the will of Avinu. Q&C

Avinu shows the Son all that he (Avinu) plans to do and the Son executes that plan (v.20). ‘Himself’ speaks of Avinu in this case. Had Yeshua meant the Son here he’d have used the word ‘he’ not ‘himself’ in this construction. You may remember the use of this ‘himself’ in the movie, “The Quiet Man” (a great movie, by the way). As late as 1950 this was still an accepted usage when referring to a third person in your speech. Webster’s has 

HIMSELF’, pron. In the nominative or objective case. [him and self.] 1.  He; but himself is more emphatical, or more expressive of distinct personality than he. With shame remembers, while himself was one. Of the same herd, himself the same had done. 

The NIV has ‘he’ here. If ‘he’ is substituted for ‘himself’ it refers back to the last word that is male third person singular, or Son. That could be confusing, so the AV translators who understood English usage decided to use ‘himself’, to specify that the speaker meant a third person other than his own self and the hearer. This is just another proof that Yeshua and Avinu are one Spirit, but different, as relating to Yeshua’s human flesh.

The Abba of our Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach had shown his Son all that himself had wanted him to reveal to this point and Yeshua had done so. It seems by this passage that Elohim was authorizing the steps to be taken by Yeshua as the time became right, that Yeshua knew the plan, but was awaiting his Father’s OK to implement it. 

Yeshua had yet to raise the dead, but that would come shortly. Avinu had yet to authorize that part of the plan. When he did Yeshua would raise a few from the dead to illustrate his ministry of making us who trust him spiritually alive. He would give the breath of life back to some who had died to show how he would quicken the spirits of men and empower them by the breath of his Ruach haKodesh (Acts 2.2), and will quicken the bodies of those same men in the life to come. 

All judgment is committed to the Son for the purpose of giving honor to the Son (Gen.32.29, Ex.6.3, 9.16, 20.7, 23.20-23, Lev.19.12, 22.32, De.28.58, 2Sam.7.26, 1Ki.8.18-19, 29, 9.3, 7, 11.36, 2Ki.23.21-27, Ps.8.1, 89.24, Is.42.8, 48.11, 52.5-6, 57.15, 65.1, Jer.7.10-14, 30, 14.14-15, 23.25-27, Ez.20.9, 36.23, 39.7, Dan.2.20, Mat.24.5, Mal.1.11, 4.2, Mat.18.5, 20, Mk.9.39-41, Jn.16.23-27, Rom.9.17, Is.9.6, Mat.12.16-21, [Mat.1.21, 25, Lk.1.31, 2.21; Yeshua’s name all in caps, denotes the covenant name of Elohim], Acts.3.16, 4.12, Heb.1.4, Phil.2.9-11, Eph.1.21, Rev.19.16, 12, Neh.9.5). Reread the verses in bold type.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4.12)

3 Who being the brightness of glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Heb.1.3-4)

9 Wherefore Elohim 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 in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMoshiach is Yehovah, to the glory of Elohim Avinu. (Phil.2.9-11)

20 Which he wrought in Mashiach, when he raised him from the dead, and set at his own right hand in the heavenlies, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all under his feet, and gave him the head over all to the assembly, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph.1.20-23)

But the Son is also called the Word of Elohim in Yochanan 1.1-14, that Word whose name is exalted above every name. When he says above ‘every name’, he means it. In Rev.19.12 his name is so wonderful that it can’t be known by any but he himself. Is there anything that can be greater or more holy than the name of Yehovah Yeshua? In Ps.138.2 David says, 

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” 

Is there any name of Elohim that is left out in that verse? Even the one that no man can know but he himself? Elohim exalts his Word above his very own name because without his Word we would have nothing by which to know his name. Just to give you an idea of what man does to the Word of Elohim, here’s that same verse in the NIV: 

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward your holy temple

          and will praise your name  

          for your love and your faithfulness,

                        for you have exalted above all things

          your name and your word. 

If you did to Elohim’s Word what they did to Elohim’s Word, you would ‘fix’ that verse as well. To translate it literally would be to condemn yourself. NIV-ers have placed Elohim’s Word on a par with his name, but not above it, as Elohim has. They have exalted themselves above Elohim, thereby, knowing better than he exactly what he meant. They have an extremely low view of scripture, or they would not correct it so often. Cf. Ps.19, esp.v.7-11. Without his Word we would have no barometer for our conduct or yardstick to measure our growth into the image of Mashiach. Isn’t it amazing that Elohim holds the book you hold in your hand in greater esteem than his very name? It is too wonderful for me. Q&C

Vv.24, 25 show another reason that Elohim exalts his word above his name. It is by his word that we are saved. We obtain everlasting life by hearing the Word of Elohim and believing that Elohim Avinu has sent Elohim haBen in human flesh. This can only be revealed today by the Word of Elohim, as illuminated by his Ruach ha Kodesh. There are no eyewitnesses alive on earth to talk to as in Paul’s day (1Cor.15.5-8). Elohim wants to fellowship with us, to spend eternity with us as his children. We could never know this without his Word. We could know of him, desire to know him personally, fear him, but we could never know him and love him without his Word. 

When he says ‘the dead shall hear’ he refers not just to the physically dead, as when Yeshua went into the grave to take captivity captive, but the spiritually dead as well. Many who heard him for the first time were spiritually dead. When they believed that Elohim had sent him, that he was very Elohim, they obtained eternal life. We who have believed on Avinu who sent the Son in the power of his Ruach ha Kodesh have obtained eternal life and will never be condemned. Yeshua has finished the work Avinu sent him to do. No one can undo what he has done. We have been justified by the faith of the Son of Elohim (Gal.2.16), not by our own faith, and have passed from death unto life. Now it’s time we acted like it, as if we actually believed it to be true. Joshua 1:9 

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for Y’hovah thy Elohim is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Remember that this all began with Yeshua healing on the Sabbath and then calling Elohim his Father, making himself equal to Elohim. He has been making that point throughout this discourse. In vv.26-27 he must have really frosted their cookies. He tells them that Avinu has given him authority over judgment and also to have life in himself. These are strong statements of his deity. To have life in yourself is something none of us has ever experienced, nor will we. Yehovah IS life. His Word is life. It actually means that HE IS life (Jn.14.6), not just that he has life. We all have life in us, but it does not proceed from us – we are not the originators of life. Yehovah Yeshua is. 

And Elohim has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. If he were not human, he could not feel our infirmity and sympathize with our weakness and inability to live after Elohim. He is the righteous judge because he is righteousness and knows what we feel, has endured the same trials and temptations that we all have, yet without sin (Heb.4.15).

 So Yeshua in this sentence tells them that he is both Elohim and man. I wonder how many understood that. And, did it separate their heads from their shoulders? The thought of an Elohim/man would have been totally foreign to them. It was generally thought then, and still is today among most of the lost, that all of the physical or material creation was evil and all that was spiritual was good. For the two to be blended into one was and is inconceivable to most people. This was the root of gnosticism, which is making a strong resurgence today and teaches that Elohim could not become flesh and remain Elohim, for the flesh is sinful. Elohim would not sanctify the flesh, the flesh would corrupt Elohim. Therefore Yeshua was human and the Mashiach was divine, and Yeshua haMoshiach could not be both. But that is exactly what Yeshua taught in this passage, his Spirit is 100% Elohim and his flesh is 100% man, what has been termed the hypostatic union. The hypostatic union is sort of like binary addition of 1+1, which equals 0, carry the 1. It is totally understandable if you slip outside the decimal box that’s been constructed around your mind. So would the concept of 100%+100% = 100% be if we could slip out of the box of time/space/matter. Unfortunately, we can’t without really slipping outside of this body and returning to it, as Paul did in vision or in spirit (2Cor.12.1-4), and which Peter and Yochanan also experienced (Acts 10, Rev.1). 

The problem with gnosticism is a faulty concept of Elohim and matter. To the Gnostic the flesh was mightier than the Elohim who created it for it could corrupt him. Therefore the Gnostic elohim was subject to the material world, thus making the material the one, true Elohim. This is the ultimate origin of evolution in the human mind, matter is eternal, and man is the culmination of the material evolution. As such, man created Elohim, therefore man is Elohim. Eminently reasonable if you leave out the scripture or have a low view of it (cf. paragraph at bottom of p.77 and top of p.78 for an explanation of the resurgence of gnosticism in the assembly). Elohim gives us the faith to trust him or not when we believe (Rom 10.14-17).

The gnostics would not believe that anything spiritual was evil, hence the belief today, even among Xians, that anything that is spiritual is divine. These Xians are obviously not exercising the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits (1Cor.12.10, 1Jn.4.1). To them, any angel would be a divine being, even Lucifer (2Cor.11.14) or Michael or Moroni (the LDS revelatory angel – my spell checker gave ‘Moronic’ as the first ‘change’ suggestion). In fact, the spiritual part of man would be divine as well, and therefore all men are Elohims, a la Shirley McLaine and other equally deceived and ridiculous persons. Now, you may ask, ‘How can man have both a spiritual and a material aspect, but Elohim can not take on a physical body?’ You got me there, because I don’t know. There is something to be said for consistency, but the gnostics of our day sure miss it! I think that their thought is that our spirits, which predated the creation of the physical universe (more inconsistency, if matter is eternal), were defiled by contact with the flesh (Gen6.2?) and now by reincarnation and the ‘circle of life’ it needs to purge itself of its sin and once again ‘become one with the divine all.’ They term this at-one-ment, which is why I hate to hear that term used by Xians as an alternative pronunciation of atonement. Yeshua atoned for my sins for me, he substituted for me on the cross. For me to achieve at-one-ment, I have to achieve it. What a waste of time and the life-blood of Yeshua. So, if you don’t want to incur my wrath, and I believe it would be righteous anger, NEVER use the term at-one-ment in place of atonement. I’ll unapologetically snap your head off.

In vv.28-29 Yeshua tells of the resurrection and that he’ll be the one calling the dead from their graves. Once more he is telling the Pharisees and scribes that he is Elohim, and also telling the Sadducees that their doctrine is wrong. He was really making points with the Iouaidoi that day, wasn’t he? He speaks of the resurrection without distinguishing between the first and second resurrections. Those who believed in it knew that the righteous would be resurrected first and the wicked at another time (Dan.12.2), but they did not know that there would be a separation of 1000 years. The specific length of time between the two was not revealed until the Revelation of Yeshua haMoshiach to Yochanan on the isle of Patmos (Rev.20.4-6, 11-15). Yeshua brilliantly illustrated v.28 when he raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn.11). If he hadn’t spoken specifically to Lazarus in v. 43, it is quite possible that a general resurrection would have happened on the spot. That is why the distinction. Prophecy said there would be two separate resurrections for the righteous and for the wicked, so Yeshua could not simply say, ‘Come forth!” To do so would nullify partially revealed truth and the plan of Avinu. One day soon he will say, “Ye righteous of my Father, come forth!”, and the resurrection of the righteous dead and the translation of all living believers will instantly occur to the great consternation of the wicked. They will have been ‘left behind’. Don’t you be.

When Yeshua says in v.29, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” what do you think he means? This is not a rhetorical question.

I think he meant that he’d emptied himself of his independent exercise of his divine attributes, authority and power (Phil.2.5-7). Yeshua was Elohim the Son from eternity past, not having a beginning, of One Spirit with Yehovah Avinu and Elohim Ruach haKodesh. But he voluntarily gave that up so that he could become one of us and fulfill the law so that he could be our propitiator. He, who should have been waited upon hand and foot as the King of kings, came as a servant, in part to show us how to live a victorious life. He submitted himself to the will of Avinu, surrendered his own will and life to Avinu. That was the source of his power on earth, he exercised no authority of his own, only that of his Father through his Ruach. And that same surrender is to be the source of our power and authority. If we were to submit to his will, we too could exercise his authority. What kind of power is displayed in your life? What does that say of your surrender?

As a result of Yeshua’s total surrender to the will of Avinu, not seeking his own, he was and is able to judge justly and righteously. He is able to sympathize with us because he is one of us, and he is able to pass righteous judgment because he is Elohim. I would not want anyone else to judge me. Avinu’s judgment is righteous and just in its severity, because his holiness is the standard with which he must judge. By the standard of Elohim’s holiness, I am forever lost, too vile and unholy to even stand in his presence.  Man’s standard is very different, based in what he thinks is just at the moment. By that standard, I would get a free pass because I would not send anyone to hell, because I don’t want to go there myself. If I did condemn someone to hell, then when using the same criterion, I would have to go there too (Mat.7.2). But Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach, Elohim in human flesh, felt all the same temptations and weaknesses that we do (Heb.4.15), and therefore can temper his severe righteousness with mercy in those of us who have believed and trusted him for salvation. This is not to say that Avinu has no mercy, for if that were true he would not have sent Y’hovah Yeshua to propitiate for us. This all just helps me to understand how a holy Elohim can have mercy on a wretch like Mark Pitrone, to graciously give him the faith to believe on Y’hovah. If this is incorrect, please correct me.Q&C

In v.31-32, Yeshua tells of his own witness of himself and the witness of another, who for now remains nameless – we’ll see who he is shortly. I find it interesting that even Yeshua’s own witness of himself would not be true without corroboration. I don’t think he meant that his word is untrustworthy (Jn.8.14), but that it would not be sufficient to prove the truth of his assertion, for in the mouths of 2 or 3 witness shall a thing be established (Deut.17.6, 19.15, Mat.18:16, 2Cor.13:1, 1Tim.5:19, Heb.10:28). 

Yeshua goes on to say in vv.33-35 that there is another who bears witness of him, whose witness he knows is true. He elaborates in vv.36ff that the other is Avinu in heaven. But before he says that, he refers to Yochanan the Immerser, whose followers must have been in the crowd, perhaps even among the Pharisees and scribes. But Yeshua rejects Yochanan’s witness to himself, because Yochanan is just a guy. His witness may be false, but Avinu’s can never be (Rom.3.4a, Tit.1.2, Heb.6.18). Yeshua tells these things that they might believe his Father’s witness and be saved. Yochanan’s words cannot save them, being the words of man, but Yeshua’s Word can. They had gone to Yochanan for his witness to the truth, and that was good as far as it went, but Yeshua had a greater witness to the truth, his very works (v.36) that had lately gotten him into so much trouble with the Iouaidoi. He was saying, in effect, (Mark paraphrase) ‘You went out to hear Yochanan because he spoke of the truth and that’s good, but I show you the truth by the very works I do. These works are my Father’s witness of me; that I am from him. You loved to bask in the witness of Yochanan because he told you of the truth (v.35), but when you are confronted with the truth itself you will not believe it (v.38), for Elohim’s word does not live in you. If it did, if you really loved the truth, you would believe his report (v.37). But you refuse his witness of me, because you’ve never seen or heard from him in the scriptures you claim to love. (Mark paraphrase)’ What about you? Have you seen Elohim Avinu in the scriptures? Have you heard his voice? Have you surrendered to him? Have you trusted Yeshua to reconcile you to our Father in heaven? Does his Word abide in you? Elohim wants nothing more than your friendship and fellowship. If you haven’t come to him before, stop the study and do it now. He gave everything to have you. You are all he wants. Something alive cannot long be sustained in a rotting, putrefying corpse, it needs to be nourished with living material. Spiritual life cannot be maintained with physical food. It needs spiritual food; I.e., the Word of Elohim (Job 23.12, Ps.19.7-11, Jer.15.16, Ez.2.8-3.3, 1Tim.4.6, De.8.3).

He goes on in vv.39-40 about the scripture’s witness to him. The scriptures were in their brains, they had memorized large chunks of it, but the words did not live in them, didn’t change them in any appreciable manner unless it was to make them more prideful, more hateful. The fact is that the scribes and Pharisees were more worried about compliance with the letter of the ‘oral law’ than with the spirit of Torah, and then only in other people, not so much themselves. Are we not guilty of the same thing, demanding compliance with a law that does not abide in the hearts of men? How can we demand compliance to the truth from Bill, George, and Barack when the truth is not in them? Do we not see our own sins in the people we condemn? They have an excuse, since they are not born from above, but do we? We have been tempted to and done all the same sins that our pet perpetrators have; if not in fact, then in spirit. Should we not, then, attempt to be like our high priest, sympathizing with the infirmities of our fellows and coming alongside them to try to reconcile them to Elohim? That is our ministry here (2Cor.5.18-21), is it not?

In v.41 he says that he doesn’t receive honour from men. The word receive is from the grk. word lambano which means literally to take. He’s not saying that men are not offering him honour, but that he doesn’t want men’s honour and won’t accept it. He wants honour from Elohim. He’s not looking to please men, but his Father in heaven.

Vv.42-43 need to be seen together. If they had Elohim’s love in them they would receive his testimony as the truth it is. This is more proof that they did not love the Law and the Prophets, but used it as a wedge to uphold their power. Yeshua is in process of kicking the wedge free, and, I think, the religious leaders are scared that their positions of honour before the people are about to be lost. For that reason they will not receive what they know in their hearts is the truth, Yeshua is not after their praise or the honour from men. He tells them that one will come (antiMoshiach) who will, speaking in his own name, accept their honour and praise. 

He says in v.44 that the reason they won’t believe him is that he is not after their praise, which thing they want above all else. They want the praises of men like themselves, and when antiMoshiach comes and accepts their honours, they’ll accept him as their Mashiach. Since they are self-seeking and totally (self) righteous, and he will be exactly the same, he’s what they expect Mashiach to be. So he’s whom they’ll accept. All because they have no love for the truth of Elohim’s word. Before we get too critical, let’s examine ourselves. Are we guilty of the same stuff? Do we need to repent?

In v.45 he informs them that he will not accuse them before his Father, that Moses will be their accuser. Not that Moses himself will accuse them, but Torah that Moses wrote will. He says that the Torah in which they put all their trust (Jn.9.28, Rom.2.17-25) will be used as the witness against them. They were trusting the works of the law to qualify them for eternal life (Gal.2.11-3.10). Yeshua was telling them they were trusting in a thing that they did not believe. How stupid is that? Had they truly known and believed the scriptures they would have recognized Yeshua for who he is — Mashiach, the son of Yosef/David, the Son of Elohim.  Why would they believe the author of the Word if they didn’t believe the Word they claimed to trust? How else do you know an author but by his writing? Had they known it they would have known him and believed. (If you haven’t yet, read Gal.2.11-3.10 now )

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, 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 Iouaidoi dissembled 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, I said unto Peter before all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Iouaidoi, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Iouaidoi? 15 We Iouaidoi by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yeshua Mashiach, even we have believed in Yeshua Mashiach, that we might be justified by the faith of Mashiach, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Mashiach, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Mashiach the minister of sin? Elohim forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto Elohim. 20 I am crucified with Mashiach: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Mashiach liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Elohim, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of Elohim: for if righteousness by the law, then Mashiach is dead in vain… 1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yeshua Mashiach hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed Elohim, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that Elohim would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [Gal.2.11-3.10]

End Jn.5               End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 2, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 2, 2017
©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Shabbat 37 – 2Dec2017
Vayikra 16:1-34 – Yechezkel 22:1-16 – Tehellim 81 – Yehuda 1:6-21

Vayikra 16:1-5 – V.1 gives us a ‘time stamp’ for this chapter, “After the death of Nadav and Avihu”. This does not necessarily mean that everything in ch.11-15 occurred or was received between their deaths and now. It only means that what we see here needs to be seen in light of their deaths, and that what Y’hovah commands is done so that no other priests die needlessly or due to priests THINKING they are doing what he wants. I think that this is what Paul later called a ‘doubtful disputation’ (Rom.14.1, KJV). There is no doubt, if one is obeying the Word of Y’hovah, but when one presumes that he knows without consulting his Word he may be taking his life into his own hands. Since this chapter is about the Yom Kippur service, the implication is pretty strong that the Yom Kippur service is at least partially related to N’s & A’s sin of presumption.

The Kohen Gadol is not to presume to enter the Holiest of all at just any time he thinks is appropriate, possibly because it was he who had fashioned the golden calf before which Israel sinned (also a sin of presumption, IMO, as well as a sin of commission). And perhaps that is why he had to bring a bull of his own to atone for himself and his own family before he could approach before Y’hovah as the people’s advocate. The rabbis say that the offering for his own family was purchased from his own funds, while the goats of atonement were purchased from congregational funds, and this makes sense. Since the Hebrew letter Aleph is the first, and in the paleo-Hebrew pictograph represents the head of a bull (strong leadership), it also makes sense that the Kohen Gadol must, as the religious leader of the nation, lead the people by example and offer his bull of atonement first, before the people’s goat of atonement. He was also to bring a burnt, or freewill, offering of his own as a sweet savour before Y’hovah.

He had to put on the linen vestments to offer the atonement. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting commentary on this on pp.108-109. He immersed himself in a mikvah each time he changed garments – 5 times, and had to wash his hands and feet BEFORE he touched the new set of vestments for a total of 10 hand washings and 5 full mikvoth – 10 symbolizes ordinal perfection (10 commandments, etc) and 5 symbolizes Ruach’s grace and power to the believer. V.4 tells us the priest wears white linen vestments (בגדי לבן – bigdei lavan) to perform the atonement, and there are 4 separate linen garments; the britches, the coat, the girdle and the mitre. Also, the High Priest’s ‘gold vestments’ (בגדי זהו – bigdei zahav) are 8 in number, 4 with gold (the breastplate, the ephod, the woven girdle and the plate on the mitre that said קדש ליהוה – kadosh l’Y’hovah) and 4 without gold (linen britches, mitre, robe of the ephod and the laces that held the plate to the mitre (Ex.28). The number 4 symbolizes the creative works of Y’hovah. The number 8 symbolizes ‘new beginnings’. The atonement is what creates the ‘new creature’ that Paul speaks of in:

Therefore if any man be in Mashiach, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)
For in Mashiach Yeshua neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15)

The priest took the kids from the people and placed them at the northwest corner of the altar of burnt offering to await the choice of Y’hovah and the atonement for the people. Q&C

Vv.6, 11-14– All of the sin and burnt offerings are whole burnt offerings. None of these offerings were eaten by the priest or the people. First Aharon (or his successor) offered the bull for his and his family’s sins. The sin offering was for inadvertent sins or those committed against a lesser commandment while in pursuance of a greater one. If the Kohen Gadol committed a willful sin he was removed from his office, either by his own volition or death. Since there were only 10 high priests from Egypt to Solomon, the average length of time in office was around 50 years, and that includes the 37-38 years that Aharon himself filled the office. There is no record in scripture of a High priest resigning or dying prematurely, so chances of any of them having committed willful sin is pretty slim. [This supports my contention that Hebrews was written to priests who believed in Mashiach Yeshua and were considering return to the sacrificial service. It explains the numbered sound bite in Heb.10.26-29 after the subject matter of 7.1-10.15.] From Solomon to Babylon (mid 900s-587 BCE) there were 12 more high priests, for an average length in office of 35 years. I think it is safe to assume that willful sin was not something they did. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Pinchas, never got to fill the office because of their less than sterling character, and Eli was taken almost immediately after receiving notice of their deaths, perhaps for allowing Y’hovah’s Name to be dragged through the mud by his sons. Y’hovah could not allow an habitual sinner to represent him to his people. So there was no trespass offering for the high priest or his family. A High Priest’s willful sin brought the death sentence before it could infect the body of Mashiach, the people of Yisrael.

The manner of the sin offerings is given in Ex.29 (8Jul2017 Study) and Lev.4 (23Sep2017 Study), so there is no need to hit on the details again. The order HAD to go like this (though it is not apparent in our passage): Aharon would mikvah and put on the linen vestments (v.4). Then he would take the censer and place the fire from the altar in it and place the incense on the coals (vv.11-13), and place the censer with the smoke gushing out behind the veil, which I assume means between the incense altar and the mercy seat. He knew where that was because the poles that had been drawn partially out of the rings on the mercy seat made a bulge in the veil directly behind the incense altar. The smoke filled the Holiest of all presumably so that Aharon would not look directly on the kavod of Y’hovah. Aharon would verbally confess his and his family’s sins as he slaughtered the bull, catching its blood in a basin [possibly in the threshold of the Holy place and directly in front of the outer veil] to offer for their sins. See Schottenstein’s Chumash pg.109-110 for the preface on confession. ON THIS DAY ONLY he was to take of the blood of the bull to sprinkle 7 times on the east side of the mercy seat. Aharon entered behind the veil to sprinkle the blood of the bull for his and his family’s sins.

Next, he would go out to the ‘holy place’ designated to kill the offerings (Lev.14.13) near the northeast corner of the altar of burnt offering where the goats awaited (v.5, 8-10, 15). He brought the goats to the door of the tent of meeting, where he cast lots for the goat for Y’hovah and the goat for Azazel (according to Josephus, until the year that Yeshua was killed, the lot for Y’hovah ALWAYS was miraculously drawn first and the lot for Azazel was miraculously drawn second. After his death and resurrection it NEVER was drawn in the proper order again, signifying to me [and Josephus] that Yeshua is who he claimed to be – Mashiach ben Yoseph.) Then Aharon would (vv.15-19) slaughter Y’hovah’s goat and bring its blood to sprinkle it for the nation’s atonement in the same manner as he had the bull’s blood for his own atonement. He would apply the blood of the bull and goat to the altar of burnt offering (the holy place we alluded to earlier) and the tent of meeting to cover the sins, iniquities and transgressions of the people and make a new beginning for the nation in the eyes of Y’hovah.

Then he brought the live goat for Azazel and lay both of his hands on that goat (for both houses, Ephraim and Yehuda?) and confessed all the sins, iniquities (lawlessness) and transgressions of Yisrael, placing them on the head of the goat for Azazel, and sent the goat by a ‘fit man’ into the wilderness. This ‘fit man’ is symbolic of Mashiach, who took our sins, iniquities and transgression as far from us as the east is from the west.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalms 103:12)

Noone else but Mashiach could be fit for the task.

As the fit man was carrying our sins away for us, Aharon would go out for his 2nd mikvah and exchange the linen for the gold vestments, leaving the linen behind in the holy place in the tent of meeting. Then he would offer the burnt offerings on the altar as well as the fat of the sin offering. Q&C

About that time, the fit man was returning and doing his own mikvah and washing his clothes and re-entering the camp. Please notice that the fit man was NOT defiled until evening, even after having carried all the sins of Yisrael as far as the east is from the west and, according to the rabbi’s tradition, dispatching the goat by throwing him off a craggy cliff (Mic.7.19, “depths of the sea”) to ensure that it wouldn’t return to the camp. By this time, Aharon is finished with the sin and burnt offerings. It seems that another man COULD have taken the carcasses of the bull and goat out of the camp, but it could ALSO have been the same fit man who had taken the goat of Azazel out and had mikvah’d and come back into the camp undefiled. Again, if it was the same man, it could symbolically be none other than Mashiach. But even if these were 2 different men, they COULD have been Yehoshua and Kalev, elders of Ephraim and Yehudah, while Yisrael was in the wilderness. As the elders of the 2 Houses of Yisrael, they both were symbolic of Mashiach, Yehoshua as Mashiach ben Yoseph and Kalev as Mashiach ben David. I am not married to this, it just occurred to me as I was studying that those 2 elders were quite literally the only fit men in Yisrael, as we will see in Numbers 14

6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Kalev the son of Jephunneh, of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, an exceeding good land. 8 If Y’hovah delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not ye against Y’hovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and Y’hovah with us: fear them not. (Num.14.6-9)

Notice again that the man who carried off the carcasses and burned them without the camp washed his clothes and mikvah’d and returned to the camp – once again, not defiled although he had handled the carcasses of the animals that were offered for the sins, iniquities and transgressions of chol Yisrael. He was not even defiled until evening. I lean toward it being one man doing both jobs, and I lean toward it being either Yehoshua or the next in line to be High Priest, Elezar at this time, Pinchas in a few years.

Washing their clothes brings to mind

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our Elohim which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped Elohim, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, unto our Elohim for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation of John 7:9-14)

These are the overcomers of the great tribulation, I think. If I am right, they have walked in this world defiled by the greatest evil of men that one could imagine and have come out needing nothing more than to wash the filth of the world system off their bodies and clothing. They are ‘fit men’, able to just do a rinse and then walk among the children of Yisrael spotlessly clean. May we all attain to this place of honor by doing as Yeshua did.

Usually, the priests and Levites ate the sin and burnt offerings, but these were whole burnt offerings – everything was consumed by fire. I think that had anyone eaten of this offering it would have symbolized returning to the sins and iniquities just atoned for and there would be no forgiveness or atonement provided. Besides that, this was the only day in which Y’hovah made it mandatory to fast, for it is a day of ‘COMPLETE REST’, “no work at all”. Not ‘no servile work’, but “no work at all’. We can’t even prepare food to eat, can’t even open the refrigerator door or light a fire to cook it, even if we COULD eat. Y’hovah DOESN’T call for a fast, but the implication is pretty clear – “No work at all.” The 10th day of the 7th month is a Shabbat of rest (v.31), regardless the day of the week.

Were the High Priest and the ‘fit man’ defiling the Shabbat by doing the service of atonement? Were they exempt from the prohibition of “no work at all”? This is, to my twisted mind, a prime example of doing a greater mitzvah while breaking a lesser one. Do you think that the sin offering the priest made this day was preventing (in the biblical sense of going before or higher than) the sin of breaking Shabbat? I think so. He was personally commanded directly by Y’hovah to do the service of atonement ON the Shabbat of complete rest. If he had observed the complete rest, he’d have been insubordinate to Y’hovah. This is an everlasting statute for chol Yisrael, which includes all believers whose hearts are after his. There is no respect of persons in Y’hovah. He didn’t create second-class citizens for his Kingdom. All are one in Mashiach – Jew, gentile and Ephraimite. Q&C

Yechezkel 22:1-16 – The word ‘moreover’ indicates that there is no break in the action from ch.21. In 21.20, Y’hovah speaks against Rabbath, which is the ancient name of present day Amman, Jordan, and against J’lem. In 21.28, Y’hovah speaks a prophecy of judgment against Ammon, which is the present day nation of Jordan. He is bringing “the sword, the sword” and slaughter thereby. Sounds like today’s newspapers, doesn’t it? Like modern-day Moslem Jihad against Jordan, which is the probable next nation to be overthrown by the Moslem Bro’hood/ISIS once Damascus goes down. Just a piece of curiosity – the word translated ‘glittering’ in 21.28 is ברק – ‘barak’, which literally means lightening and implies a sword glittering in the moonlight. I see that imagery as prophetic of the Moslemist hordes of today. What kind of judgment do you suppose Y’hovah is going to rain down on Jerusalem and Amman, Jordan that will look like a glittering sword from the skies? MRBMs maybe? Medium Range Ballistic Missiles, perhaps like the Shahab 3 missile from Iran? Or perhaps cruise missiles from American ships, aircraft and subs?

He calls the city bloody, and that it sheds blood right in the midst of it. I have taken this to speak of abortions and I don’t doubt that is happening, but I think with recent events in the area, we need to think that the same kind of stuff as we’ve seen since 2011 in the Arab world is going to break out in Amman, probably with help from outside, like the ‘Occupy Cairo, Tripoli and Damascus’ Campaigns. And much of it will be backed by the regime in Washington.

10 times Y’hovah says ‘in thee’. Not in me. The actor here is going his own way and doing his own thing. I assume that this nation is ostensibly after Y’hovah, or it wouldn’t be remarkable enough to point out that he is accountable 10 times, as he did to Egypt in the plagues and the Exodus of Yisrael from her midst. All the wickedness addressed in vv.7-12 are covered in Shemoth 20 and Vayikra 18. Because of all the wickedness that the ‘bloody city’ has done (it could certainly be describing America and her political capital), Y’hovah is bringing sudden judgment. V.13 sounds like American political businessmen, the fascists who have taken complete control of the power structure in Washington, D.C. and who send our military to fight their wars of economic hegemony to build their corporate bottom line at the expense of the average American and the blood of whomever they decide to overthrow or invade next – regardless the political party ‘in power’. Their god is truly their belly and they completely dismiss Y’hovah’s instructions and commands. All they want is what they want, influence, power and wealth.

In v.14 Y’hovah asked the really telling question;

14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I Y’hovah have spoken, and will do. (Ez.22.14)

Then in v.15, Y’hovah pronounced his judgment against this wicked nation, or group of nations. When they are scattered to the 4 winds, they will experience the purging of Y’hovah. The fire of oppression will purge them of their filthiness, lewdness and sin. Y’hovah is merciful even in his punishment and will make those who hear and obey his Word fit for his use – those who washed their robes in Rev.7 and Lev.16. The whole point is to get us to remember the Covenant we have with him and live in it. Q&C

A Gittith can be either a specific type of harp OR a female resident of Gath, the city of Goliath and to which David fled during Sha’ul’s pursuit. I lean toward the harp.

Tehellim 81.1-16 – While this psalm is addressed to Israel, it never mentions Yehudah, while it does mention Yoseph. For this reason, I think it is addressing the northern kingdom and Ephraim/Menashe in particular, though it can be generally applied to chol Yisrael. It addresses conditions that had been historically attributable to Ephraim and Menashe, but can be prophetically attributed to their descendants in Western civilization.

Vv.1-5 are introductory in nature and establishes, to my mind, at least, that the intended audience is the 10 tribes of Israel in particular. It seems that vv.1&2 constitute a general call to teshuvah to the Elohim of Ya’acov and the joy it will bring for the 10 tribes. In Israel’s history, after Yerovoam caused Israel to go up and keep the Feasts of Y’hovah in Dan, all the Feasts of Y’hovah were kept a month out of time. V.3 calls for Israel to observe THE New Moon, which is a reference to Yom Teruah, not all new moons in general;

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

That specifically points to Yom Teruah, because that is the ONLY New Moon that is an appointed, solemn Feast of Y’hovah. Yehudah had BEEN observing the Feasts in their appointed times. The reason Israel is being called to do teshuvah and observe this Feast is that it is the mishpat, or judgment, of the Elohim of Ya’acov and will put all the rest of the solemnities back in their proper places.

Asaph, who wrote this psalm, was the son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo, who came back to Israel from Persia with Zerubabel. He must, to my mind, therefore be speaking and prophesying to the Samaritans who were a mixed population of the few Israelites who were left behind and the Sumerians and others who had been moved to Israel by their Assyrian conquerors in the late 8th or early 7th C. BCE. The new inhabitants asked the Empire to send priests of Y’hovah back to teach them his ways, when they could have gone to Yehudah for REAL priests of Y’hovah, not the syncretists of the northern kingdom. I think this is what Asaph is proposing to the Samaritan Israelites in the early years of Yehudah’s return from their own exile – to return to true worship of Y’hovah.

That Y’hovah had ordained the Feasts in Yoseph, I think, is a reference to that ½ of the MelechTzadik Priesthood that Ephraim received from his grandfather Ya’acov just before the old man’s death. Yoseph was the tzadik. Yehudah was the Melech. Yoseph was delivered in Egypt from his position as trustee of the lock-up (a servant to the prisoners of high rank in the court of Paroh) to the second seat of power in the empire. Yoseph was always in communication with Y’hovah, even in the prison Y’hovah was with him, and when the time was right, Y’hovah brought him to Paroh’s attention. Yoseph’s descendants and the Leviim continued to call out to Y’hovah for deliverance from their bondage in Egypt, and he answered that call, as well. I think their call for deliverance continued on the east shore of the Yam Suf after Y’hovah destroyed the armies of Paroh in that flood.

When they got to the bitter waters of Marah, Moshe (and probably Yehoshua and Kalev) kept the comm lines open to Y’hovah and saw the deliverance there. Only a week or so later (Ex.17), they were running out of water again in a place where there was no visible water to be had and the people rebelled against Moshe and Y’hovah in what is called Meribah. While the test was on the entire nation, Y’hovah was actually testing the mettle of Yoseph, for immediately after the water appeared in super-abundance, Amalek came to try to take it from Yisrael. When Moshe held his hands aloft, Yisrael prevailed over Amalek, and when his arms got tired and he needed to rest them, Amalek would prevail. So Aharon and Hur (their cousin) brought a rock for Mo to sit on and then held up his hands, which is when Yehoshua (of the tribe of Ephraim/Yoseph) wiped up the floor with Amalek and made them run away whimpering like a bunch of little girls. He tested Yoseph through Yehoshua at Meribah and with Amalek. He retested Israel 38-39 years later in Num.20. Again, the test was over water and is called Meribah, because they chided Moshe.

Here, in Tehellim 81.1-7, Asaph is trying to call to mind the history of Israel as being faithful to Y’hovah and Moshe in the Wilderness Adventure. In vv.8-16 he was calling them to that same kind of faithfulness that Yehoshua had exhibited. He told them that if they would be faithful to Y’hovah, the Elohim of their father, Ya’acov (cf.Jn.4 – the Samaritan woman at Ya’acov’s well), he would bless them with the blessings promised to Ya’acov. Y’hovah wanted Yoseph’s children in Samaria to eschew their false gods, make teshuvah and follow him and his Word. He calls them to their genetic memory. As he fed and watered Yisrael for 40 years in the wilderness, he would feed and water them, like had not happened in the north since LONG before Samaria was conquered. When I say ‘as he fed and watered them’, I refer to v.16, where he said he would give them ‘honey out of THE rock’, ‘and that Rock was Mashiach’ [1Cor.10.4], IM[not so]HO. He promised them not just the water from the rock, but delectable nourishment from it, too.

Had Yerovoam’s nation of Israel honored Y’hovah as HE wanted to be honored, rather than how THEY wanted to show him honor, they would have been exalted far above the highest they’d ever attained in history. But, much like Yehudah, they assumed the good position they had was by their own merit, and not a residual blessing from the years of faithful service to Y’hovah by their fathers.

He promises to honor us Yisraelites, IF we will hearken to his Word and obey it. This whole psalm is a Word for the ‘church’, gentiles and Ephraimites, in general – all who name the Name of Yeshua. It isn’t enough to make a mental assent to the Messiahship of Yeshua. If your lifestyle is the same today as it was before you made that mental assent, you are missing the greatest blessing he has for you. He wants to make you the same as he is, thoroughly and throughly righteous. This can ONLY show itself in your life by obeying his Word, and you can only do that by the gracious power of the Spirit of Y’hovah in your life, just like it was in Yeshua’s life. Yeshua knew the Word of Y’hovah and always obeyed it. YOU can, too, by reading his Torah, Prophets, and Writings (including the Brit Chadashah) and obeying them through the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit. You cannot overcome the Enemy without knowing the power of Y’hovah – his Word and his Spirit. Q&C

Yehudah 6-10 – The ‘angels who left their first estate’, I think, could be those who either manifested themselves as human or humanoid, or actually invaded and indwelt human bodies. Either way, this speaks of the source of knowledge that was far beyond the abilities of men to conceive, IMO. What makes those likely is the phrase in v.7 likening those spirits to the people in Sodom and Gomorrah going after ‘strange flesh’, or doing what is not ‘natural’. Sodom and Gomorrah did not suffer literal eternal fire, as they are not still burning. But that shows a biblical way of seeing eternal fire or suffering as something that completely annihilates, like my own perspective on the Lake of Fire in Rev.20 – not an eternal existence in a burning place of torment, but suffering utter destruction and total entropy, ultimate nonexistence. The wicked suffers throughout his remaining existence, which is momentary, but not l’olam va’ed.

The ‘filthy dreamers’ of v.8 refers to the ‘certain men’ of v4.

4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of Elohenu into lasciviousness, and denying the only Mara Elohim, and Maran Yeshua haMoshiach. (Jd.4)

These are the men who have, like the angels who left their first estate and like the men of Sodom and Gomorrah went after strange flesh, turned the grace of Elohim into license. These are the same men who would change the righteous justice of Y’hovah at the utter destruction of the wicked into the Draconian thought of an eternal torment in hell fire. They say that since Elohim is so gracious as to forgive us based on the finished work of Yeshua on the tree and in his resurrection from the dead, that he actually has no problem with ANY of our sins anymore. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Sin is still sin, and the wages earned thereby have never changed. To think in this way is to despise the Spirit of Y’hovah and to tread under our feet the blood of our Master Yeshua

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

These filthy dreamers care nothing for Y’hovah’s laws concerning cleanness in body, soul or spirit, they think themselves above the Word of Elohim and speak lashon hara and hamotzi shem ra against members of the body. They are foolish who will not hear the warnings Y’hovah’s people deliver. Their god is truly their belly. They speak evil of things about which they haven’t a clue and defile themselves in their flesh – eating flesh that Y’hovah has called unclean and bowing to gods of their own design and choosing that they have always followed, but changing the names of those gods to yahweh and jesus. When the great tribulation arrives (this biblical year, if my own calculations are correct – which they very well may not be), they will be sorely disappointed and may abandon what faith they have, turning completely to the enemy and pointing out believers in the One true Y’hovah, thinking they are doing Y’hovah service.

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth Elohim service. (John 16:2)
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Rev.13.15)


John 16.2 sounds remarkably like a Moslemist killing an ‘infidel’, doesn’t it?

In v.11, Jude pronounces a WOE on the ‘filthy dreamers’, who have gone the way of Cain, which I think speaks of the sacrifice he brought before Y’hovah – the fruit of his labors. The way of Abel, by contrast, is to do as Y’hovah required, the blood of a substitute. Abel obeyed, Cain went his own way. The error of Bila’am is given to us in the text, going after greedy gain rather that the way of obedience to the revealed Word of Y’hovah. The gainsaying of Korah is in promoting himself above the intent of Y’hovah. Korah thought he was every bit as good as Moshe and Aharon, and technically speaking, he was not. But Y’hovah had appointed Mo and Ahri. Korah didn’t much care about that. After all, he was a Kohen, too! The certain ungodly men of v.4 were every bit as guilty as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Bila’am and Korah. Jude likened them to the people in 1Cor.11.20-22

20 When ye come together therefore into one place is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the kahal of Elohim, and shame them that have not?

They are self-centered, despising the body of Mashiach and allowing the poor among them to even die of hunger (Jd.12), rather than denying their own momentary pleasure while allowing the poor to get a decent meal, perhaps the only one available to them. They LOOK good at a cursory glance, but have no substance (clouds sans water, blown about by the lightest wind). They make a lot of noise and employ dangerous histrionics to get attention, but believers and unbelievers alike see through it. Do you see what is reserved for them forever in v.13? The blackness of darkness, lightless emptiness like Gen.1.2

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness upon the face of the deep.

That speaks of non-existence; nothing but emptiness, nothing to form, nothing of potential difference. No matter and no energy to form matter from.

Enoch spoke of Yeshua judging them on his arrival with myriads of his faithful. This tells me that the world will actually get worse than it presently is, and its persecution of the faithful will be led in part by the church. Remember what Yeshua says to the church at Laodicea,

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation of John 3:20)

He’s OUTSIDE this church that is pretty well accepted among evangelicals to represent the church at the end of the age – the church of TODAY! Rico has a DVD teaching, Is Islam the Beast? In it he makes the observation that Moslemism fits the description of the Beast in Revelation, and it is quite well documented. I do not discount that this is a VERY real possibility. Now, the Laodicean church is expecting to be raptured out of here before the ‘tribulation week of years’. If the great tribulation, or the last 3½ years of this wicked age come upon us without a rapture of believers [and it WILL – mark my words], they will ‘take the mark of the Beast’, because they have said their fire insurance prayer and will think, “I don’t have to worry about accepting this mark of Islam, because I have my free ticket to heaven; my ‘Get out of Hell FREE’ card”, never thinking of Yeshua’s words in

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes, they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt.10.33-39)

When they accept the ‘mark of the Beast’ of Islam to preserve their worthless hides, they will deny Yeshua before men, and they will think it’s OK because they really don’t mean it. But Yeshua says VERY PLAINLY that if you deny him before men – I take that to mean ANY men, even Moslemists who are holding a scimitar above your grandchildren’s necks – he will deny you before Avinu. We must warn our kids in advance. We must be prepared for this possibility, folks. It MAY come to that, and it may be soon. Q&C.
End of Shabbat Bible Study

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Shabbat Bible Study for November 25, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 25, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Vayikra/Leviticus 15:1-33, [No Prophet], Tehillim/Psalm 80, Philippians 3:1-21

Lev.15.1-4 – The Torah for today is a subject of some delicacy, and the KJV does a good job of circumlocuting ‘the issue’. The only time up to now the KJV used the word issue is in Lev.12, speaking of the end of the issue of blood for the post-partum woman. So the law of first mention would tell us that an issue is from the central region of the body, unless otherwise specified. 

The man with the issue is unclean [tamei]. These verses discuss what constitutes an issue from a man. As a woman with the issue after bearing a child is unclean for a specific length of time, so is the man with the issue. An issue is any fluid that is released involuntarily from the body. What we’re dealing with here is a ‘running issue’, one that is fairly continuous but may be off and on with some regularity. This implies an internal infection or malady, and is symbolic of what issues forth from sin in the life of the believer. The reason for the law of the unclean spoken of here is to keep the infection (and the sin it represents) from spreading to the camp in general. The man and all his belongings on which he has lain or sat are quarantined from the rest of the camp. The camp is supposed to be set-apart to Y’hovah, and the unclean [tamei] persons needed to be separated from them against the chance that they would be infected or made unclean.

vv.5-10 – Anyone who helped to remove the man and his stuff from the camp became unclean until evening, assuming the man helping washed himself thoroughly after his contact with the unclean man or thing. One was not made unclean by touching the clothing of the dead body, but was defiled by touching the clothing of the person with an issue. Why? I think this is because death, in and of itself, is not contagious, while the underlying cause of the issue might be. The symbolism here is that the sin of even one man in the camp affected everyone he came in contact with (death did not, necessarily), which is the reason for removing the guy in the first place. The effect of the sin may have been negligible at first, but the longer left unrepented of the greater the effect could become. 

That is exactly what happened in the Western European church, including (or especially) in America. The longer we allow(ed) sin in our midst, the greater the effect on society as a whole, until we’ve reaped our present state of degeneracy. In the name of PC ‘tolerance’, we allow such wickedness as adultery, sodomy and abortion and Yah will have to judge this nation or issue a formal apology to Sodom and Gomorrah. America has a running issue, which we need to call to its attention and offer to help stanch or her blood will be on our hands:

[2] Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: [3] If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; [4] Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. [5] He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. [6] But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 

    [7] So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. [8] When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. [9] Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. [10] Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? [11] Say unto them, As I live, saith Adonai Y’hovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:2-11)   

It’s passed time for us to awaken from our slumber and warn our nation. The people in general will not like it, and they probably will not heed the warning, but every man that Yah can use us to turn from wickedness or to influence toward repentance and trust in Yeshua will be one more brother in the Kingdom and one less soul hellbent for destruction. And then the blood of those we were supposed to warn will not be on our hands. So, America, are you listening? “As I live, says my Master, Y’hovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn America from your evil ways; for why will you die, America?”   Q&C

Vv.11-12 – The wording in 11 is somewhat ambiguous, and could be taken 2 ways: 1). To merely touch a defiled man did not transfer the defilement. If one washed before doing anything else, he was still clean; 2) If the unclean man washed his hands before touching another, his defilement was not transferred. I think this may be the origin for those signs we see in restaurant rest rooms, ‘employees MUST wash hands before returning to work.’ 

Any thing the unclean touches becomes unclean, even the vessels from which he eats or drinks. An earthen vessel is porous and may retain bacteria or viruses in the pores, and so had to be broken before anyone else used it. A wooden vessel would probably have been painted or sealed with a sealant before use. All one needed to do with them was wash them. The breaking of the earthen vessel hints at the death of Yeshua’s body for our sins. As the earthen pot took on the man’s defilement and was broken, so Yeshua took our sins on himself and suffered their punishment for us. 

Vv.13-15 – When the issue was healed, the man had to wait 7 days to be sure that it was completely healed. Then on the 8th day (a New Beginning), he would take 2 pigeons or turtledoves to the priest as a sin and burnt offering, just like the woman would after her post-partum issue (Lev.12). I think that, like the woman with the 12-year issue in Matt and Mark’s gospels, the length of the uncleanness would inspire greater gratitude and care to remain clean. There was no need for a lamb or goat in this instance. Why? That wasn’t a rhetorical question. I haven’t the slightest idea why. The woman who bore a son was to bring a lamb (if she could afford to do so) for a burnt offering. Was it assumed that the one with the issue was not wealthy enough to offer a lamb? Was even a wealthy man with an issue cut off from his wealth or business while in quarantine?

Vv.16-18 – Here’s a subject that is really delicate for a male to discuss. The translators did their best circumlocution here. The subject is lying with a woman in an unmarried state and/or spontaneous or nocturnal emission. It would make a man unclean until evening, as well as the woman who shared his bed. It does not say his wife, but “the woman also with whom the man shall lie” shall be unclean until evening. She may be a concubine or a prostitute or some other woman not his wife. This cannot be speaking of the marriage bed, which we see in Heb.13.4 is undefiled. 

13:4 (KJV)  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers Elohim will judge. 

Deut. 23:10-11 (KJV)  If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: [11] But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. 

This is a test of a man’s character, in that he would have to separate himself from the camp, which might necessitate his revealing the reason to someone. But if he were to go secretly into battle in the defiled state he could jeopardize the entire army. And a battle could erupt at any time in the wilderness. 

I think that De.23.11 gives us the formula for cleansing oneself at the end of the day. ‘When evening comes, he shall wash himself and be clean when the sun is down.’ Wash at evening offering time and be clean at sundown.   Q&C

Vv.19-24 – A woman’s issue has to include blood to be defiling. This has to do mainly with niddah. Other than that, the deal is the same as the man’s issue. Whoever touches or is touched by the unclean is defiled [tamei], whatever the person sits or lays upon is unclean [tamei] and will render anyone touching it [tamei] unclean. The remedy to the uncleanness by touching the unclean person is the same, wash at twilight [evening offering time] and be clean at dark. The niddah does not defile the woman in itself, as she has no choice in the matter. The reason it defiles her is that the blood is a result of Adam’s sin. There was no blood shed before Adam’s sin. 

Nice circumlocution in v.24, huh? So the man who gets ‘her flowers’ upon him becomes unclean for 7 days from ‘the point of infraction’, to use a ‘guy’ [football] term, not from the beginning of her niddah. HIS bed then becomes defiled. Do you suppose there’s a reason for this? If I may think out loud for a minute; What was the reason behind the woman’s uncleanness for the 7 days of her niddah and the 7 days following? Practically, there were 2 purposes in this: 1) to ensure that the issue was really over; 2) to bring her to her most fertile time of month. Y’hovah wanted to bless Yisrael beyond her due, and children are a blessing from Yah. How would you arrive at this blessing quicker than forbidding the marriage act for the 1st 14 days of the woman’s cycle (at least) and making the 15th through 18th days the most fertile time of her cycle? You may see that this was alluded to in the time of Yeshua’s burial – into the ground ‘between the evenings’ of the 14th  of Aviv and raised between the evenings of the 17th

Vv. 25-33 – Here is the scripture that appertained to the woman in Matt. with the 12-year issue of blood. As long as she had an issue of blood (her flowers – KJV), she remained unclean. 12 years without the camp would do funny things to you, I reckon. Everything on which she sat or lay down upon would be [tamei] unclean, and would make anyone who touched it unclean. She HAD to be put outside the camp to protect the rest of the people. The cleansing process for touching her or her stuff was simple enough, the same as the others mentioned today, but one would be forced to stay without the camp until evening, as well. 

But once the issue is stanched, she had to remain without the camp for 7 extra days, to ascertain that the issue was truly healed. On the 8th day, there would be a New Beginning. The offering is the same as for the man with the issue, 2 pigeons for a sin and a burnt offering. Lambs need not apply. 

v.31 says that the reason for the separation of the unclean from among the congregation, or rather the congregation from the unclean, was to protect the people from defiling the tabernacle where Yah’s Panai [presence] appeared and being wiped out for it. These issues were only as a result of Adam’s sin that Yah would have to punish with its wages (Rom.6.23a).

Leviticus 15 is arranged as a chiasmus (parallel statements, inverted order): they ascend from abnormal to marital, then descend to abnormal.


Introduction: discharge unclean (1-2)

Abnormal male discharge (v.3-15)

    Normal male discharge (v.16-17)

          Marital relations (v.18, both male and female)

      Normal female discharge (19-24)

   Abnormal female discharge (v.25-30)


Conclusion: keep separate from uncleanness (v.31-33)

Purification time:

evening after 7th day mikvah    

evening after mikvah

 evening after mikvah

  evening after 7th day mikvah

   evening after 7th day mikvah

I do not agree with the commentary here, but the construction was interesting to me and so I offer it here for your interest. Q&C 

No prophet

Psalm 80.1-6 – Also offered for your interest, Shoshannim-eduth means ‘lily or trumpet of witness’. The Psalmist praises the Shepherd of Yisrael for leading Yoseph like a flock. This shepherd lives between the cheruvim. Who is this shepherd?

Psalm 23:1 (KJV) Y’hovah is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

Eccles. 12:11-14 (KJV) The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. [12] And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. [13] Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohe, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. [14] For Elohe shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 

Jeremiah 31:10 (KJV) Hear the word of Y’hovah, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

Ezekiel 34:12 (KJV) As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 

Ezekiel 34:23 (KJV) And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd

Zech. 13:7 (KJV) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith Y’hovah Tsavaoth: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. 

Matthew 9:36 (KJV) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd

John 10:2 (KJV) But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 

John 10:11-12 (KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. [12] But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 

John 10:14 (KJV)  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

John 10:16 (KJV) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd

In v.2, we see a strange grouping. I understand Ephraim and Manasshe being together in Yoseph, since they were his sons, but why is BenYamin included? OOoo! OOoo! Pick me!! In Numbers 2.18-24, we find the answer. On the west side of the camp in the wilderness one would find the camp of Ephraim, and flanking him were Manasshe on the one side and BenYamin on the other. Ephraim’s oth, or sign, was ‘the archer’ according to Bob Wadsworth of Biblical Astronomy. The order in which they would leave camp was Judah’s camp, then Reuben’s camp, then the Tabernacle and all the Levites, then Ephraim’s camp and then Dan’s camp. So when the Tabernacle went forward, Ephraim was right behind it. Just like it says in Psalm 80. And for whom did the Shepherd come? 

Jeremiah 50:6 (KJV) My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. 

Matthew 10:6 (KJV) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

Matthew 15:24 (KJV) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

The house of Yisrael = the lost sheep, is often called Yoseph and generally refers to the 10 northern tribes, the kingdom of Yisrael. Y’hovah ‘stirring up his strength before Ephraim’ points to the end of days, just before he returns to restore the Kingdom to Ya’acov. He’s on his white horse, awaiting orders from Avinu. He is gathering his sheep.

In v.3, the Psalmist asks Elohim to turn us to him again, and let his face shine on us, as in the days of old. 

Psalm 85:4 (KJV) Turn us, O Elohim of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. 

Lament. 5:21 (KJV) Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

The psalmist asks in vv.4-6 how long it will be that Yah allows us to be rebellious. Our prayers are vain when we are in sin and we can’t overcome anything. He seems to know that the rebellion in us is insurmountable and the enemies of Yah just laugh us to scorn without his grace and power to live Torah. Only by his grace can we overcome his enemies. And they are HIS enemies, not really ours.   Q&C

In vv.7-13 the psalmist once again asks to be turned, this time by Elohim Tsavaoth. He’s growing ever more specific as to the object of the request. It was Elohim Tsavaoth who brought Yisrael out of Egypt, prepared the promised land by casting Canaan out and planted Yisrael there, giving it deep roots. The vine grew so large that it cast a shadow over the hills and its branches were like cedar trees. He gave Yisrael the entire promised land from Nile to Euphrates, but then allowed the pagan nations to punish her for her unbelief. 

Vv.14-18 has the psalmist asking for deliverance by the same right hand of the same Elohim Tsavaoth who brought them out of Egypt. He calls El’s attention to the plight of Yisrael, the vine that HE had planted was burned and cut upon by the heathen round about, and asks that Yah return them to himself. He asks that Elohim Tsavaoth place his hand on the ‘man of his right hand’ (Yeshua) and that he quicken Yisrael so they could call on the Name of Y’hovah. 

1 Cor. 12:3 (KJV) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of Elohim calleth Yeshua accursed: and that no man can say that Yeshua is Y’hovah, but by Ruach haKodesh.

When the psalmist asked that Yisrael be quickened, he was asking that they be born again. The natural man has natural life, but the man who is born again has had his human spirit quickened. He HAS life. Death for him will be a seamless change from this life to the life to come. 

V.19 has the 3rd request that Yisrael be turned by the power of Y’hovah Elohim Tsavaoth. Have you noticed that there was a progression in the psalmist’s requests for shuv or turning. First he asked the Elohim who delivered them to turn Yisrael. Then he asked Elohim Tsavaoth who planted them to turn Yisrael. And finally, after the request that Yisrael be quickened so they could call on his Name, he calls on his Name, Y’hovah Elohim Tsavaoth to turn them to himself. The progression is ever more specific, ever more powerful, ever more personal, ever more intimate in nature. The psalmist went from intellectual knowledge to intimate knowledge of the Creator of the universe in just 17 verses. He went from just a guy to the bride of Y’hovah, to whom Shlomo’s Song is written.   Q&C

Phillipians 3 – Sha’ul says writing the same instructions are not grievous, nor are they a bother to him, because he knows how badly the young believers need the exhortation. The greek word translated ‘safe’ is asphales – from the negative prefix a + sphallo = w/o fail. He wanted to make sure they would not fail in their walks with Y’hovah. He goes on to repeat what they’ve already heard a number of times before; beware dogs (gentile unbelievers), beware workers of iniquity (antinomians), beware those who would have you mutilate yourselves. The operative words here are concision and circumcision. In my western gentile mind I always thought these were 2 ways to say the same thing. But on further review I call the play differently. Concision = katatome – that is, to cut down or off. Circumcision = peritome – or cut around. I don’t believe that the concision would actually cut off that which the circumcision would cut around. I believe their reliance on the works of the Oral Law would ‘cut off’ the new believer from his reliance on Y’hovah Yeshua’s gift to them. Hence the warning to beware the katatome. Contrary to popular western gentile opinion, this does not rescind or devalue the circumcision of the flesh. That is an important act of obedience, which, like the obedience of mikvah baptism, is NOT NECESSARY to justification or salvation. It IS however a test of one’s willingness to obey, ASSUMING IT’S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. The concision would have even those who had been circumcised go through the ordeal again(?), to ensure obedience to their precise prescription of righteousness, a prescription issued by Nikolaitan frauds who would have proselytes hold to their traditions above the written Torah. 

Sha’ul as much as endorses circumcision when he says, “We are the circumcision”. I think he refers to the same circumcision that Abba wants in us, the circumcision of our hearts. 

Deut. 10:16 (KJV) Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 

Deut. 30:6 (KJV) And Y’hovah Elohecha will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Y’hovah Elohecha with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. 

Jeremiah 4:4 (KJV) Circumcise yourselves to Y’hovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 

Ezekiel 44:9 (KJV) Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. 

Romans 2:29 (KJV) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of Elohim. 

Col. 2:11 (KJV) 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 Moshiach:

Y’hovah Yeshua is a lot more concerned about your heart attitude than the outward sign of obedience. Circumcision of the flesh profits nothing in your standing with Messiah. Your heart is what really matters. Circumcision of the heart will manifest itself in us by our willing submission to our respective heads. In Eph.5.21 we are told to submit ourselves ‘one to another’, NOT, as the spurious new translations say, ‘to one another’. Where is the order if we are to submit to each other, regardless our scriptural head? Our submission is to our head. Headship is defined in Eph.5. Fathers are to submit to Messiah, wives to their OWN husbands, children to their parents, all as Yeshua is submitted to Avinu. ‘As’ = in like manner. If we are submitted to our head, as Yeshua is submitted to Abba, we are circumcised in heart. Does this negate the outward sign of circumcision of the flesh? That Ezekiel passage would argue against it. It deals with the Kingdom Temple sanctuary. A priest in the Kingdom MUST be circumcised in the heart and in the flesh. Is it your heart’s desire to serve in the Kingdom sanctuary? You need to be circumcised.   Q&C

Vv.4-11 – Sha’ul’s credentials are impressive. After telling his audience not to put confidence in the flesh, he lists all those things by which the Pharisees had confidence; his birth in Israel, lawful circumcision, standing in the community and before Torah and his zeal for the Oral Law. He says that he is blameless before Torah. Blameless isn’t innocent. There are a few people who are blameless, even though they transgressed Torah. Here are a few; 

Matthew 12:5 (KJV) Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 

Luke 1:5-6 (KJV) There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisheva. [6] And they were both righteous before Elohim, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Y’hovah blameless. 

1 Cor. 1:8 (KJV) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach. 

Philip. 2:15 (KJV) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of Elohim, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 

1 Tim. 3:2 (KJV) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 

Since all have sinned, all are to be blamed. But the faith of Yeshua makes us blameless. Sha’ul, living in the Pharisee traditions before his repentance on the road to Damascus, was blameless before Torah in that he trusted in Yah’s promises and was therefore in compliance with the ordinances of the sacrifices for sin, shalom, hodu and etc. Only two other people are designated BY NAME as blameless in all of scripture – ZacharYah (remember Yah) and Elisheva (Elohim of the sevens [oath]), the parents of Yochanan the Immerser. They got it, they lived their names. This won’t sit well with our RC friends, who believe that Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, who rejoiced in Elohim her Saviour (Lk.1.47), was not just blameless, but SINLESS. May they repent of that blasphemy and fully trust in Yeshua’s finished work. 

Sha’ul considered all the credentials as meaningless, the time spent acquiring them a total waste, comparing what he’d lost before men (his impeccable credentials) to that which was thrown to the dogs; table scraps at best when compared to the voluminous reward he’d get in the Kingdom, both in this life and in the one to come. Not that his education didn’t serve him and the cause of Messiah well, but that all that learning and zeal were worthless in regard to his own justification. 

He was still observing Torah, as can be seen in v.11, where he says, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” One does not attain save by striving. He was still obeying the Commandments of Y’hovah Yeshua (Mat.7.24, Jn.14.15, 21, 15.10), which are none other than the Commandments of Sinai (Jms.4.12, Is.33.22).   Q&C

Vv.12-16 – Sha’ul uses a parallelism in v.12, ‘attained’ and ‘perfect’ are synonymous. He acknowledges his imperfection and inability to attain to the high calling, but that doesn’t keep him from striving for it – pressing toward the mark – just the same. He says in v.12 that he ‘follows after’. Follows after what or whom? That for which he is ‘apprehended of Messiah’. Apprehend is from greek katalambano, to hold down. So Sha’ul was working out his salvation by following after Yeshua as he followed after Torah. He knew he had yet to hold it down, having fallen short of the mark. But, knowing that his justification was not dependent on his performance, he decided to forget his past failures to measure up and strove to attain the high calling of Elohim in Messiah Yeshua. To what are we called? How about priesthood in the Kingdom? (Ex.19.6) How about marriage to the Creator of all there is? How about eternal life? Those are pretty nice things to which we’ve been called. They are worth apprehension, don’t you think? I like what Moshe Koniuchowski said in his commentary on this passage; “

Torah was never given to impart salvation, or an eternal right standing with Y’hovah. It was used to lead us to Moshiach, and now guides us by Moshiach, who alone imparts righteousness. Moshiach Yahshua uses Torah to guard us from being led astray.

Vv.17-21 – Sha’ul gives a pretty gutsy call to his audience, “Follow me as I follow Messiah.” He was asking people to do what he did, as he strove to do what Yeshua did – obey Y’hovah Elohenu via submission to the Ruach haKodesh in his compliance to Torah. He uses the same term (skopeo) to refer to the mark of the prize of the high calling, as he does to point out who we are NOT to emulate and mark them and have nothing to do with them. 

The enemies of the torture stake of Messiah mind earthly things. In v.15 we were supposed to be ‘like minded’ or ‘thus minded’, minding the same thing – sanctification after justification. Those who are after the flesh mind things of the flesh; ‘eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die.’ They will reap as they’ve sown, eternal destruction of soul and body, and shame. But our ‘conversation’ is in heaven. Conversation = manner of life. If our manner of life is in heaven even as we live on earth, what will it be like after Yeshua changes our bodies to be just like his? Then we will have apprehended as we have been apprehended of Messiah. Perfectly. Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 18, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 18, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 35 – 3Dec2011

Leviticus 14:1-57 – 2 Kings 7:1-16 – Psalm 79 – Ephesians 4:1-32


Vayikra 14.1-32 – There was a procedure to follow to declare a metzorah, one with a leprosy, clean. “He shall be brought to the Kohen” implies that not just any Kohen would do – this must mean the Kohen Gadol. V.3 says that the Kohen would go out of the camp to do the service, so the metzorah must have been brought to the outskirts of the camp for the process to be undertaken, in this way the metzorah is brought to the Kohen and the Kohen goes out to meet him. This reminds me of the prodigal son and his Father:

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (Luke 15.17-24)

There was no question in the Father’s mind of accepting his son back into the family. He had been waiting for this day, and when it came, he didn’t wait for his son to finish his script, but as soon as he KNEW that his son repented, humbled himself and sought reconciliation the reconciliation was accomplished. As this is applied to the whole people of Y’hovah, the principle is

13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chron.7.13-14)

Reconciliation is always Avinu’s goal, for 

Y’hovah 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. (2Peter 3:9)

2 birds are brought as atonement for the metzorah, which to me is reminiscent of the 2 goats for atonement on the day of atonement. The one bird is killed by slitting its throat over an earthen vessel filled with mayim chayim – living, or running, water – and the living bird, the scarlet thread, cedar wood and the hyssop are then dipped in the water mixed with blood, and the living bird, like the scapegoat, is set free outside the camp. According to the Chumash (pg.90), the cedar wood symbolizes the haughtiness of the metzorah that enabled him to speak slander about another and the scarlet thread and the hyssop each symbolize the humility it took to admit his sin and repent. Then the water is sprinkled 7 times on the metzorah. Did the Kohen use the hyssop to sprinkle the blood and water on the metzorah, or was it like the oil, where the Kohen dipped his finger in the oil and sprinkled it 7 times toward the mercy seat?

The blood of the slaughtered bird being mixed with water reminds me of 

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (John 19:34)

Did Yeshua’s death not atone for our tzara’ath? Was he not our atonement? Did his death not reconcile us to Avinu? Are we not clean of our defilement and infirmity because he was offered once for all our sins? 

After the metzorah washes his clothes and his body, and shaves all his hair off, he is declared to be pure, but not entirely, yet. He still is not allowed to live in his tent in the camp, though he may walk freely within the camp, without telling everyone that he is unclean. But on the 7th day he shaves ALL his hair, including his eyebrows, washes his clothes and his body and he shall be clean! HalleluYah! This accomplishes a complete reconciliation of the man who has gone completely after his lusts, been given over to them by Y’hovah and been excommunicated for his sins. THIS is the heart of Y’hovah, and it should be our heart, to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in Messiah. 

On the 8th day of the cleansing and reconciliation of the former metzorah, the sin and trespass offerings are made. There is mention of sin (chattath) offering and trespass (asham) offering in the same breath and in juxtaposition to each other. They are obviously different offerings (v.13). The Schottenstein’s Chumash translates ‘asham’ as ‘guilt’. Seems that when the scripture speaks of ‘trespasses and sins’ it is really referring to different, though related, things. Asham is H817, from the root H816, meaning to be guilty, or perish. Chattath is H2403, an offense, from H2398, chatah, meaning to miss. Asham looks to me like a ‘sin unto death’, and chatah is a sin NOT unto death;

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1Yochanan.5.16-17)

I think both need to be atoned for, but the one is MUCH more serious, and is the one that results in tsara’ath, being cut off from the people – excommunicated, as if dead. What did the prodigal’s Father say? 

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. (Lk.15.24)

Vv.14-18 are VERY reminiscent of the anointing of the Kohanim. The priest now takes some of the blood of the trespass offering, the one male lamb, on his (I infer, left) thumb and spreads some on the middle of the right ear, then the right thumb and then the right big toe of the former metzorah. Then the Kohen pours some of the log of oil into his left hand and dips his right thumb in the oil to rub it over top of the blood on the right ear, thumb and big toe of the former metzorah. This signifies, to my mind anyway, that the newly reconciled man will sanctify what he hears, what he does and where he goes by the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit. The rabbis, in Schottenstein’s Chumash (pg.92), say the former metzorah vows to improve himself in mind, deed and effort (as in forward movement). Great minds and all that. The Kohen then dips his finger into the oil and throws it toward the sanctuary 7 times before pouring the rest of the oil from his hand onto the former metzorah’s head, making atonement for him. The only difference between this service and the anointing of the Priests is that there is no trespass offering for the priest. Sin and burnt offerings are for both the people and the priests. The sin offering is for inadvertent sin, while the trespass offering is for willful sin. The High Priest could not sin willfully and retain his office. The 2nd male and the ewe lambs are offered as sin and burnt offerings. There is nothing saying which is which, so I infer that either the male or the ewe was acceptable for either the sin or the burnt offering.

If the metzorah is poor, and cannot afford 3 lambs, he may substitute 2 turtledoves or 2 pigeons for the 2nd male and the ewe lambs. Atonement is NOT for only the rich. The poor are afforded the same opportunity to be reconciled, as Y’hovah is no respecter of persons. But the trespass offering is ALWAYS a male lamb and 1/10th ephah of fine flour mingled with oil as the grain portion of the offering. The sin and burnt offerings are identical for the poor and the rich except for the animals offered. All the applications of blood and oil are identical.  

14.33-57 – The law for cleansing a tzara’ath in a building or garment is pretty simple. In a garment, try to wash it out. If it washes out, quarantine it for a week to see if it comes back. If it does, burn the garment; if it doesn’t, declare it clean. Same idea with a tsara’ath in a building. Remove the affected stones and mortar contacting those stones, and scrape them clean. If the tzara’ath returns, tear down the house and dump it outside the camp; if not, wait another 7 days. If it doesn’t return, the house is clean. The offerings are exactly like the second step of the metzorah cleansing; slaughter a bird over an earthen bowl with mayim chayim in it, dip the live bird, scarlet thread, cedar wood and hyssop in the water mixed with blood, sprinkle the blood/water mixture on the building and set the living bird free outside the camp. Declare the building clean. Q&C

Melechim Bet 7.1-16 – Backstory – The Syrians had besieged Samaria and there was a general famine in the city that had gotten so bad that some women had entered an agreement to eat their babies. And, as always happens in situations like this, they ate the first baby, but then, when they weren’t so hungry, the 2nd mother tried to renegotiate. So the first took her to the king, who, upon hearing the story rent his clothes, revealing the sackcloth he was secretly wearing in mourning for the state of his nation. So the king went to Elisha and told him that he understood that this famine was from Y’hovah and asked the prophet what he should do. 

In v.1 – Elisha prophesies that within 24 hours the siege would be lifted and food would be plentiful and cheap in the city. See the price of food? A shekel for an omer of wheat or 2 omer of barley – must have been near Pesach or Shavuoth? The king’s chamberlain, who was with the king, scoffing, asked how this was possible? Elisha told him he would see the prophecy come to pass, but would not eat the produce of it. Cut to the city gate portico, where sit 4 lepers trying to decide what they ought to do about the pits in their own stomachs, when one of them says, “If we stay here, we’ll starve; if we enter the city (where noone will allow us to go anyway) we’ll starve. SO-O-o-o, [let’s go to the Syrians. If they give us food, we’ll be saved; if they kill us, we’re no worse off than if we do nothing.” So they went to the Syrian camp, which they found abandoned. Seems Y’hovah had caused the Syrian host to hear the chariots of at least 3 armies coming against them and they ran like rats from a sinking ship or little kids run passed a cemetery on Hallowe’en. The 4 lepers did what any red-blooded Israelite would do. They went investigating and found that the food was still hot and the beer was still cold, so they sat down to eat and drink. Then they noticed all the loot! So they hid a tentful of loot for themselves, and then looted another tent before their consciences stirred within them. And they said, “You know, there’s a whole city over there who would dearly love to eat some of this food, and it’s not right that we let them starve to death over night. We need to tell them.” This ought to be our attitude when we see people in need of Y’hovah’s love and mercy.

They knocked at the gate and told the porter, who went and told his supervisor who sent to the king who sent some investigators who found everything as the lepers had said (except for the 2 empty tents). The king’s investigators followed the trail of discarded stuff that the Syrians dropped to make it easier to run faster (from the chariots of all those armies that Y’hovah made them think were actually there) all the way to the Yarden crossing. They went back and told the king, who sent his chamberlain to be the traffic cop at the gate, and the people went out to the Syrian camp and took its spoil. And guess what? That day wheat sold for 1 shekel and barley for ½ shekel per omer, just like Elisha had said the day before. And the king’s chamberlain, who didn’t trust Y’hovah’s Word, was trampled in the people’s feeding frenzy like a guy at Target on Black Friday. This feeding frenzy is like the one in the camp of Israel when the quail rained down on them in Num.11.31-35:

31 And there went forth a wind from Y’hovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’ journey on this side, and as it were a day’ journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Y’hovah was kindled against the people, and Y’hovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. 35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

Form last week’s study of Psalm78;

Kibroth-haTa’avah means ‘the graves of lust’. It was, quite literally, their refusal to trust Y’hovah and lust for flesh that killed them.

It was the same for Yerovoam’s chamberlain – AND the guy at Target. But what makes the Target thing so hideous is that NONE of those people who trampled the guy to death were starving; in fact, some were morbidly obese. It is evident that we are even more wicked in America today than Yerovoam’s Samaria was in Elisha’s days. Q&C

Tehellim 79.1- – This psalm MAY have been like the one Elisha prayed for Samaria when it was under siege. He may have prayed as Daniel did in ch.9 of his book, taking ownership of the sins of his nation, repenting for the sins of his fathers and political leaders, and asking Y’hovah’s forgiveness for it all. Other than Elisha and his school of the prophets, I cannot imagine who would enter into that kind of intercession for Yerovoam and Samaria. It is the kind of intercession that we need to enter into for our nation, Israel and world so that Y’hovah can send Mashiach to make all things right. The time is getting shorter every second before the world goes completely to hell in a hand basket. We need to stand in the gap for the remnant, like Moshe stood in the gap for Y’hovah’s Name’s sake.

Asaph began this psalm (vv.1-4) with an imprecation against the heathen who were trampling over J’lem like the people of Samaria over Yerovoam’s chamberlain. When Mashiach returns he will do to the heathen what they did to J’lem in Asaph’s day, except that his servants will bury the heathen’s dead. Then in v.5 he asks Y’hovah to remember J’lem and her people. He prays more imprecations on the heathen who are destroying Israel and spoiling the nation. In vv.8-12, he asks Y’hovah to remember us and NOT our iniquities, to cleanse us of the filthiness of our sin. “Prevent” means to go before and guard our way. He tells him to guard his own Name from the reproach of the heathen. In v. 11 he tells Y’hovah to listen to the prayers of the saints as they cry out for his deliverance and in v.12 to give the heathen 7 times the insults and disgrace they have leveled at Him and his people. Did you notice how many requests and how many commands? Q&C

Ephesians – Preface – Like most of Paul’s writings, Ephesians has 2 basic parts, a doctrinal dissertation and a practical application of the doctrines just ‘disserted’. Beginning in 1.12, it looks as though Paul begins usual practice of pronouns to designate various groups of people in his audience; ‘we’ generally refers to Jews, ‘you/ye’ generally refers to gentiles and ‘us’ almost always refers to believers in general. This is not a hard and fast rule, but is generally true. As examples of this idea let me quote 2.8-17;

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of Elohim: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiach Yeshua unto good works, which Elohim hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Mashiach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Yisrael, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: 13 But now in Mashiach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiach. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto Elohim in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Every instance of the 2nd person pronouns in that passage refers to the Ephraimites, or gentiles in the target audience. “Peace” in Ephesians, at least from this point on, means unity in the body. We’ll touch on that as we go through 

Ephesians 4.1-11 – Paul opens our passage with a ‘therefore’, let’s see what it’s there for. 

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Mashiach may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Mashiach, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of Elohim.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him glory in the assembly by Mashiach Yeshua throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph.3.14-21)

I don’t know of anyone who can pack more truth into so few words as Rav Sha’ul. I am going to have a hard enough time unpacking some of ch.4, so let it suffice to say that the ‘therefore’ is to remind us of the power of Y’hovah’s Spirit working in us so Mashiach’s oneness with Avinu can also work through us on earth. THAT is the vocation to which we are called and in which we should walk. Can you see the tie-in to our Torah for today? It spoke of the metzorah’s cleansing and reconciliation to the body, and Rav Sha’ul is speaking of the reconciliation of Ephraim and the acceptance of full gentiles to believing Yisrael. To walk worthy of that calling is to follow Yeshua in Torah and accept any who would walk in it, whether Jew, Greek or Ephraimite and to do so in humility, doing all we can to keep unity in the Spirit that empowers us. Shalom = echad, peace = unity. 

In vv.4-6 we see 7 ways that Y’hovah is echad and in which we are echad in Mashiach; 1) One body consisting of many members, 2) One Spirit indwelling all believers – every member, 3) One hope or earnest expectation of Y’hovah delivering on all his promises, 4) One Master who is Mashiach Yeshua, 5) One faith of Mashiach working in us all, 6) One mikvah into the body by the Spirit and 7) One Elohim, the Father of all that is. All 7 of these things are supplied by Mashiach Yeshua to unify the body. 

We all receive power (grace) according to the gift of Mashiach, each as he needs and is able to receive. 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of Elohim:

Those 5 gifts are enumerated in v.11; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We all receive all these gifts in varying measures, but usually one is prevalent with the others in support. Notice that teachers is listed last. I think that’s because it is the most universal of them all, for we are all able to teach and we all DO teach whether we know it or not. We teach others by our walk in Yeshua, even if we never say a word. A famous old monk named Frank once said, “Always preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.” 

What is it that we teach people by our lives and lifestyles? There is no truer indicator of the validity of our faith than how we live. Do we truly endeavor to walk as Mashiach did? Or do we just go through the motions in front of other believers? In light of today’s Torah portion, what do our words about other believers say about us – are we metzoroth in waiting? Nothing will create a ‘middle wall of partition’ quicker than slandering another. And, by the way, slander is not talking about a person in front of them, but spreading twisted truths or outright lies about them when they aren’t around. I pick this particular chattah, offense, because it’s one we can ALL identify with, because we all are or have recently been guilty of it. I know. I’m meddling. But my meddling is personal to me, too. Ya’akov, Yeshua’s brother, says in his book;

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue IS a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we Elohim, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of Elohim. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife: there confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3)

We need to watch our mouths that we not cause harm to another’s reputation by accusing them to others without their knowledge or ability to respond. Now, here’s the rub: to comply with this passage and stop slandering others, most of us are going to have to live with a lot fewer words proceeding from our gaping maws. Q&C

Vv.12-16 – The purpose, which is 3-fold, for the 5 gifts is given in v.12 – for 1) perfecting the saints 2) to do the work of the ministry 3) of edifying the body of Mashiach, until we become a ‘perfect man’, which is a full manifestation of Mashiach in our body. So, what we’ve seen in the last 10 verses (4-13) is 7 things [divine perfection] that are given to us through 5 gifts [grace, which is power given] for the 3-fold (solid, substantial and complete) purpose of building One unified and complete (perfect) body of Mashiach. The gift of Mashiach (v.7) + the body of Mashiach (v.12) = the fullness, completeness, unity and perfection of the Mashiach in v.13. V.13 is the outcome of 2Tim.3.16-17;

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

When Torah is applied to the heart and life of a believer, he is fully equipped not only thoroughly, but throughly – it permeates his being, and he becomes a faithful follower of Mashiach, an overcomer if you will. When a group of believers who are throughly furnished to do their work in the body get together, that body becomes essentially invincible. Has anyone here ever been a part of a local assembly that fits this description? Yeah. Neither have I. But I have been at assemblies where there were some whom I considered to be overcomers – they were way beyond me in their walk of faith. I would consider them ‘fathers’ to my ‘young man’ or even ’little child’ status. 

12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of Elohim abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1Jn.2.12-14)

We need all these gifts to graduate from being little children, liable to being blown this way and that by every wind that arises (v.14), and to come to a full knowledge of the truth of Torah. Those ‘winds of doctrine’ are what Rav Sha’ul calls ‘doubtful disputations’ in Rom.14.1, those things that may be interesting or ‘new’ to our thinking, but are not clearly taught in Torah. Torah needs to be our banner, our standard to follow because IT is all we can be assured is true in this world of ‘sleight of hand’. It was by sleight of words that haSatan deceived Chava. It was by sleight of hand that Lavan deceived Ya’acov with Leah. We need to carefully guard our hearts from the sleight of men, who do the work of haSatan in leading the credulous away from the narrow Way of Y’hovah. That word, ‘sleight’, refers to that which LOOKS good, but is dishonest or not scriptural – like crooked dice (the meaning of G2940, kubeia] in a game of ‘chance’, which is anything but ‘chance’ when the gimmick is employed. We are not to employ trickery, but to speak the truth as we grow into the likeness of Mashiach. Each member of the body is joined to Yeshua by the grace [power] of Ruach, which is the ‘joint’ that supplies each of us the ability to work together in unity. Without Ruach we are divided, alone.

Vv17-32 – Paul applies all of the 2nd table of the Mitzvoth in the next 16 verses. His basic audience is the Gentile/Ephraimites in Ephesus. Remember that Ephesus was the seat of Diana worship, a cult revolving around temple prostitution, from which MOST if not ALL of the former idolaters of the Ephesian assembly was saved. For them to follow after Mashiach would truly set them apart from their neighbors and friends. He exhorts them to NOT walk as others do in Ephesus, but to walk after the Torah. They had emerged from the darkness of sin and various perversions in which they were truly alienated from Y’hovah. They had been given over to the basest sins and thought nothing of it, but now the Spirit was witnessing to them against their former lusts, and Paul touches every one to ensure they know where NOT to walk. 

He tells them to put off the ‘old man’, by which I believe he means the fallen nature of Adam, which is to feed and encourage the evil inclination. Sexual sin is the first one he deals with because that is the lifestyle of Ephesus, the thing most likely to draw them away from Y’hovah. He then counters that with an exhortation to renew their minds, as he had the Romans in 12.2;

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim. (Romans 12:2)

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

He tells them to eschew the old and put on the new by going after Elohim, like David did. He then applied the lesson he spoke of at some length already – the sleight, or cunning craftiness, of men, or to put off all lying. Next he discusses the 6th commandment briefly when he exhorts them to be angry with the lifestyles of their neighbors, but not to sin in that anger. That is the easiest way for us to give haSatan a stronghold in our lives and minds. Next he talked about working an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, to not steal in any way. He again touched on being careful with our words and attitudes in v.29. V.30  speaks of grieving the Spirit, but it is preceded and followed by verses that deal with the tongue. Do you suppose that our tongue provides us with our best chance of grieving the Spirit? We are not to treat our brethren with any kind of malice, but we are to address our sins with LOTS of malice – we are to put those sins away from us and hate them, but be kind and tenderhearted towards each other and forgive each other as Y’hovah has forgiven us, i.e.; completely and then forget the slight or offense, because if we remember the offense, we are not truly forgiving it. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 11, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for November 11, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 34

Leviticus 13:29-59 – [no Prophet] – Psalm 78- Luke 5:12-15


Vayikra 13.29-46 – What the heck is a ‘dry scall’? I looked at my own dictionary and ‘scall’ wasn’t there, so I went online and found this definition for ‘scall’ @ 

A scaly eruption of the skin or scalp.

I have seen psoriasis that fits this description. Psoriasis is not leprosy, is it? The only places in scripture where the word nethek or נתק is used is right here in Lev.13, beginning here and ending in 14.54 – 14 uses of the word nethek in 9 verses. Nethek is a certain type of tzara’ath, which KJV translates as leprosy. This is a spot of baldness on the face or head completely surrounded by hair that MAY have yellow hairs within it. This is other than normal male pattern baldness of the hairline or crown of the head and must be where hair had been before. If the kohen judges it to be a nethek and not deeper than the skin, he will quarantine the infection for 7 days and then inspect it again. If the nethek hasn’t changed, the cohen will then shave the man’s head except where the nethek is and quarantine it another 7 days. If there is still no change or it is getting better, the kohen will declare the man tiyhayr – clean. 

If, however, the nethek spreads any, even after he’s been previously declared clean, his infection is then declared defiled or tamei. If discoloration of any kind appears, it may be a sign of sin in the person’s life and he ought to have it examined to see if some correction is necessary. If the discoloration is just that and not an infection of any kind, the person is declared clean. 

Regular male pattern baldness is not a cause of more than a cursory look, but if a scab or infection appears on the bald spot or below the hairline, it needs to be isolated and go through the inspection process. If it is determined to be a tzara’ath, the man is isolated. He must live without the camp, wear clothes of mourning, leave his head unshorn (Chumash), his clothes shall cover his lips and as he walks among people he shall tell people that he is defiled. This sounds as if it is a contagious infection. In light of the Chumash’s notes on vv.45-46 (pg.617), it is obvious to everyone that this man is receiving his due chastisement for sin. It is expected that people who see him will not treat him with contempt, but that they should pray for his repentance and reconciliation to Y’hovah and the people.

Vv.47-59 – Now Torah discussed tzara’ath of things rather than people. In clothing made of linen, wool or leather, a greenish or reddish spot appears in the warp or woof is a tzara’ath contamination. Warp is the lengthwise threads and woof is the crossing threads, which indicates that the material has been cut for use or is a part of an existing garment. These spots sound like mold to me, and it would seem that if it is a mold it is feeding on something in or on the fabric. If it is appearing on leather it is likely unfinished leather. According to the Chumash’s notes, these are only declared tamei if they belong to a man of Israel and are undyed fabrics or untanned leather. The stained or otherwise affected garment must be quarantined or the affected area clearly marked off for 7 days so that it can be determined if the affected area has changed. If it has changed, it is declared tamei and burned. If it has not spread, the garment will be washed and then quarantined another 7 days. If the spot doesn’t reappear, it will be washed again and is declared tamim, but if it doesn’t wash out or comes back, it is declared tamei and burnt, as well. Q&C

No Prophet this week

Tehellim 78 – Each verse is a parallelism. The generation to come speaks of the final generation. Asaph speaks for Y’hovah in this maschil. Maschil is an instructive or contemplative poem. Comes from the root H7919 sakal, to be circumspect or intelligent, maschil means ‘from circumspection or intelligence’. So I’M going to have trouble with this, but y’all will get it pretty quick.  

V.1’s parallelism has to do with listening to what Y’hovah is saying through Asaph. To ‘give ear’ is to cup your ear, azan, to pay attention. To ‘incline’ from H5186 natal, a primitive root, meaning to ‘stretch out’, to actively listen or engage your brain to understand what Asaph says. The reason we need to pay careful attention and engage our brains (v.2) is that he is going to speak in parables, ‘dark’, or mysteriously shrouded sayings. He is going to say things that will be properly understood on the ‘peshat’ level. We are going to have to understand the allusions and metaphors that Y’hovah is going to use. In a way, Torah is a parable, a thing only to be fully understood on a level deeper than the surface of the page on which it is written. But the key to understanding the dark sayings is to be found in (v.3) what they know of Israel’s past from the fathers. The reason we need to know history is that it has this funny habit of repeating itself if we don’t learn its lessons. Witness the recent headlines to see if I’ve got that wrong. We will teach our children (v.4) our history; how Y’hovah has delivered us, and all that he’s provided for us, in hopes that they will not repeat the mistakes of past generations. Always remember that biblical history is prophecy of the end of days. 

In vv.5-8, Y’hovah provided a Torah for us to live by AND a testimony to the awesome works he has done in our behalf, and it is our duty to teach our history and Torah’s commandments to our children, so that THEY may live by them and then diligently teach them to their own children – a thing that not all of our fathers did well. It seems that Rav Sha’ul was not the originator of discipleship programs:

1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. (Titus 2.1-8)

Discipleship had been a practice in the Hebraic mindset for millennia before Paul.

V.9 makes a reference to Ephraim turning back, but there is no biblical record of this in Israel’s history to this point. The word translated as ‘turned back’ is “H2015 hâphak, A primitive root; to turn about or over; by implication to change, overturn, return, pervert.” In all that we of Ephraim “turned our backs to him”. We did not ‘turn back’ him, but turned our backs to him. Remember that this is a ‘dark saying’, so the deeper meaning is not in the open or on the surface of the page. There is a tradition that Ephraim had left Egypt 30 years before the rest of Israel (while Moshe was w/Yithro in Midian), having misinterpreted the prophecy to Avraham of the 400 years. Vv.10-11 allude to this, while more openly speaking of their later unfaithfulness under Yerovoam. Ephraim was said to have left Egypt alone and to have been turned back by the Canaanites. They took the prophecy of Gen.15 to have begun when it was given to Avraham, but it was meant to begin with the birth of Avraham’s seed, Yitzhak. 

12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he [Y’hovah] said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. (Gen.15.12-16)

Note the ‘great darkness’ on Avraham. This was another ‘dark saying’, which is why Ephraim didn’t understand about its fulfillment. Avraham himself may not have understood it. Yitzhak was born on the 14th day of the month of Spring (Aviv) and CCd on what would become the last day of Matzoh (ULB). And I think Israel was delivered out of Mitzraim on Yitzhak’s 400th birthday. Zoan may have been another name for Succoth, where Israel went on the night of the Passover to gather Yoseph’s bones. It was a ‘store city’ near the mouth of the eastern branch of the Nile delta (TBSL 4449 – Archeological Supplement) and was pretty much in a straight line from Israel’s place in Goshen to Eitam. Q&C

In vv.14-35, Asaph rehearsed the history of Israel’s generation that left Egypt, how they tested Y’hovah with their murmuring and kvetching and how he supplied not only their needs but their lusts so they could see, if they chose to, how their own lusts were NOT good for them, but waiting on him WAS. Vv.19-20 are illustrative as they noted his provision of water, and then demanded flesh to eat. He sent a ‘fire’ against them that burned in their hearts and minds so that when he provided the object of their lusts – quail – they consumed it raw (no reference to preparing it to eat, either by cleaning or bleeding it) and received a plague as a result.

31 And there went forth a wind from Y’hovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let fall by the camp, as it were a day’ journey on this side, and as it were a day’ journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Y’hovah was kindled against the people, and Y’hovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. (Num.11.31-33)

Kibroth-haTa’avah means ‘the graves of lust’. It was, quite literally, their refusal to trust Y’hovah and lust for flesh that killed them. Y’hovah will always give us the desires of our hearts, so we must be ever vigilant as to the nature of our desire, for he will use it to bring his wrath against us. Y’hovah’s wrath is turned against those who refuse to trust him for their deliverance, those who will not wait on him and his best. It seems to take an unmistakable demonstration of his wrath to get our attention, and when he finally has it, it takes almost no time for us to forget the wrath he just recently sent. When he executed his judgment on them, they repented and enquired earnestly after his will (v.34) and we remembered his provision (v.35) – for a while.

But before long, we forgot again; we said everything he wanted to hear, but didn’t really believe it, (vv.36-42). And he, once again, showed his longsuffering nature to us and let us have enough rope to hang ourselves again. But he never forgot our fallen state, that we had skins of flesh that obstructed our view of his righteousness; he remembered that HE himself had such a body of flesh, which was in all points tempted to sin, just like ours, and he therefore compassionately exercised his mercy and grace towards us. And we forgot once more his wondrous works in the whole Wilderness Adventure. We provoked him by limiting his influence in our own lives, not ALLOWING him to do his mighty works in and through us. It is truly impossible for us to comprehend the endlessness of his power. 

In vv.43-55, Asaph remembered all that we had forgotten, how Y’hovah had brought judgment against Paroh and his armies and how he delivered us from Egypt, the Amalekites and even into the Promised Land, where he gave us the inheritance he’d promised Avraham’s seed. But even after he’d done all that for us, we STILL turned away from his Way and went in our own ways and after other elohim. We Ephraimites built images and groves and offered sacrifices to other gods to the point that he finally had to deliver to us a bill of divorce (Jer.3.8). They had even held the ark itself as an idol, as if the piece of furniture would be their deliverer, and brought it, as their god yehovah to defend and fight for them in battle (1Sam.4), and Eli, the High Priest, did nothing to stop them. Philistines took Shiloh, killed Eli’s sons Hophni and Pinchas and carried the ark to Ekron, where Y’hovah caused an outbreak of hemorrhoids (v.66) and knocked the statue of Dagon down on his face before him. And if what Ephraim did wasn’t bad enough, a couple of hundred years later Yehudah went even further astray in that they and their Aharonic priests, worshiping, bowed to the rising sun in the threshold of the Holy Place of Shlomo’s Temple (Ezek.8);

16 And he brought me into the inner court of Y’hovah’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Y’hovah, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Y’hovah, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. 

But he didn’t divorce Yehudah. Had he done so, Yeshua would be a bastard and not a son. Ephraim’s sin was egregious enough that it moved Y’hovah to remove his glory from Shiloh of Ephraim (v.60), his people (eventually) to exile and to erect the Temple in Yerushalayim. He could not (from our perspective, at least) do the same with Yehudah as he had with Ephraim and still have a vessel of honor from which to bring his Messianic prophecies to pass. Instead, he CHOSE Yehudah and his Mount Zion and David, the man after his own heart, to deliver Israel once again from their oppressors. And Y’hovah once again feeds us according to the integrity of HIS heart and guides us skillfully by his own hands through his Ruach haKodesh in us – if we will follow. Q&C

Luka 5.12-15 – From my study of “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach;

The basic facts of the incident remain almost identical in all 3 gospel passages that deal with it, We’ve already read Luke.5, so here’s the rest;

1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Yeshua put forth hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Yeshua saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Matt.8.1-4) 

40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Yeshua, moved with compassion, put forth hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. 43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Yeshua could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter. (Mk.1.40-45). 

Look at all the apparent contradictions! Mat says he’s just come down from the mountain, Mark says he was just walking along, and Luke says he was in a certain city when the leper came to him. How can these all be true? How about, he was walking along the street of that certain city just after he came down from the mountain? No contradiction, just additional facts for different audiences and from different authors. ‘If you will’ and ‘I will’ are the main points here. The leper (tsara’ath) believed that Yeshua could do whatever he willed to do, because the leper believed that Yeshua was who he claimed to be – Y’hovah Elohenu. Yeshua is always willing to cleanse us from our evil inclination or sin nature, of which leprosy is a type. By healing the (tsara’ath) leper Yeshua was illustrating that fact. In every gospel account, Yeshua commanded him to go do the letter of the law, offering the gift as prescribed in Lev.14. He was not to do this as an act of penance or contrition, but for a testimony to the Jews. Elohim is not so pleased with offerings as he is with the heart of the one who is offering. And the offering was always – always – for a testimony of the penitent’s heart, not a penance. 

If Yeshua had touched the leper while he was still leprous, he would have been defiled, ‘unclean until even’. His touch is not what healed the leper, but the Word of his mouth. He only touched him to prove to his audience (that’s us) that the healing had occurred and was complete. The man who had been a leper was wholly clean – tamim – at Yeshua’s Word. Q&C              End of Shabbat Bible Study