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Shabbat Bible Study for January 26, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 26, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 46

Devarim 29:10-30:10 (H29.9)- YeshaYahu 55:6-58:8 -Tehellim 143 -Romans 10:1-21

Links: 

www.tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm 

Devarim 29.10-15 – This whole episode began in 27.1, where Y’hovah had Moshe tell all the children of Israel that after they crossed Yarden, they would gather, 6 tribes on mount Ebal and the other 6 tribes on mount Gerezim to pronounce blessing and cursing, blessing on those who would obey their Y’hovah and cursing on those who would go their own way. The blessings and cursing were more completely delineated in Ch.28.1-29.9, where the thesis of Ch.27 is restated as the summary, “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.” This is really the theme of the entire Midrash today.

Now Moshe is telling them that they are without excuse, if they fail because the whole house of Ya’acov, which included the gerim, or strangers/mixed multitude, within their camps, was present to hear the whole thing. The strangers in their camps seems to mean that when a stranger came among the Israelites to identify with them and their Y’hovah, he chose a tribe to be a part of and he was accepted. He would willingly accept the covenant and physically become a part of the commonwealth of Israel in exactly the same way that we do ‘spiritually’ today. The rabbis don’t accept us physically unless we submit to the traditions of the elders as well as Torah, but Y’hovah accepts us when we repent and go His way (Eph.2.11-22).

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being 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 Mashiyach, 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 Mashiyach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiyach.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto Y’hovah 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. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of Y’hovah; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua haMoshiach himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in Y’hovah: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of Elohim through the Spirit. [cf. Rev.21]

Do you see that reference in underlined, bold italics? Who were these strangers in Dev.29.11, if not strangers from the covenants of promise? Until they identified themselves with B’nei Yisrael, that is. Now they were joint heirs with the physical seed of Avraham. There was no middle wall to be broken down.

What was this enmity? This law of commandments contained in ordinances? Was it not the “Oral Torah” that was supposedly (according to orthodox Yehudism) given to Moshe on Sinai at the same time as the tables of stone? Smile and Nod. Yeshua came to call us back to the faith of the fathers, the ONCE delivered to the saints faith (Jd.3). It is the traditions of the elders that the Jews (not the common folk, but the ‘Iuaidoi’ [a Yochanine term] leaders of the Temple religion) were constantly accusing Yeshua of breaking. It was the traditions about which Yeshua always accused the Jews of holding in higher esteem than Torah. What is this ONCE delivered to the saints faith? The covenants of promise. Where was it delivered? At Sinai in Ex.19.6-31.18.

Who are the saints to whom the promises and the faith were ‘once delivered’? Eph.2.19,  

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of Y’hovah.

To which saints was Sha’ul referring? Yisraelites who were faithful to Torah and with whom the gentiles to whom he wrote were made ‘fellowcitizens’. In our passage in Devarim, the saints were the physical seed of Avraham AND the strangers in the camp who were after Y’hovah. 

Y’hovah was establishing ALL the saints as a people set apart unto himself. And not just those to whom Moshe spoke audibly was he establishing; but also those of us who would be made fellowcitizens with the saints all these thousands of years later by the preaching of the gospel of peace. I think Sha’ul had this Devarim passage in mind when he wrote both Eph.2 and Rom.11. The similarities are striking.   Q&C

Vv.18-30.10 – Going after other Elohim is the root of bitterness spoken of in Heb.12.15, which is a companion passage to this one in Devarim. In Dev.29 we are being admonished to look diligently to our walk in Torah to keep a root of gall and wormwood from springing up, as we are in Heb.12.15. Both gall and wormwood are exceptionally bitter. W1828 has:

Gall,  2. Anything extremely bitter. 3. Rancor; malignity. 4. Anger; bitterness of mind.

Wormwood, … It has a bitter, nauseous taste; but is stomachic and corroborant.

What does Y’hovah say is the natural consequence of this root of bitterness? We think,  “Y’hovah wouldn’t bring the curses to bear on ME! I have peace! So what if I go my own way and not his; if I walk after my own imagination (a word that is NEVER used in a positive context in scripture); if I am gluttonous in my imbibing of ‘feel good’ stuff! I have peace! (Famous words that we hear all the time and that are supposed to make you believe that the person has heard from GAW-Awd. What it usually means is that the person has had his conscience cauterized against any more ‘bleeding’ of guilt, he’s convinced himself that he’s ‘holy’. Of course, that’s not ALWAYS true.) I have peace!”

Not with Y’hovah, you don’t! You get to deal with the curses of Dev.28.15ff. You get to deal with the curses of Dev.29.20&21 – your name blotted out from under heaven. This is serious stuff here, folk. Separated unto evil OUT of the tribes of Israel = EXILE. Peace with Y’hovah is not a feeling or a lack thereof. It is a position. One is closer to peace with Y’hovah when he ‘feels’ guilt for his sins than when he feels ‘peace’ in his sins.

Do you see the tie in with Heb.12 here? Look at v.11, the ‘peaceable fruit of righteousness’, which comes by enduring chastening for our sins, and making straight paths for our feet to walk on. Straight paths = Torah. We cannot have peace with Y’hovah while following our own paths. And if we have no peace with Y’hovah, we will have no peace with our neighbors, either. Peace is NOT cessation of hostilities. Peace is agreement with and obedience to Y’hovah. Once real peace is achieved, cessation of hostilities will follow, as spring follows winter. 

When we have peace in our sins, we will have chastisement at best – judgment at worst. If we fail to grasp our condition and turn in repentance, we will eventually be given over to our sin. Then the other nations of the earth will wonder at why Y’hovah would abandon us after doing such wonders in our behalf. Then men will say (and not necessarily righteous men), “They went after idols and Y’hovah gave them what they wanted.” Y’hovah will say, “You want idols? Well, HERE ya go!”

When we repent and call on Y’hovah’s Name and ask him to deliver us, he will do it. It’s one of the promises he made and of which we are made joint heirs.  Q&C

Yeshayahu 55.6-13 – Last week we talked about Y’hovah LEADING and GUIDING us into exile when we go our own way, and that he is therefore right alongside us when we come to ourselves and repent. So, when is it that he can no longer be found? When will we be unable to seek him and call upon him? V.7 tells us what seeking and calling entail, namely, forsaking our way and thoughts, and repenting. So, we will no longer be able to seek him and call on him when we are no longer alive. He MAY choose to give us over to our sin before we die, but for certain our time is up when we croak. Who within the sound of my voice has a guarantee on his or her next breath? Y’hovah forbid it should happen, but the possibility exists that someone listening to me right now will die before we are finished with the Shabbat Bible Study today. Consider it yourself right now. Do you have a ‘root of bitterness’ in your life? IOW, do you have ANYTHING in your life that is not given to Y’hovah and counted in your life as dung? Here’s a good way to find out. Imagine that the jihadists have taken over America and have taken you and your family prisoner. They have you tied securely to a chair and they bring your children, one at a time, before you and say, “If you will just say ‘Allahu Akhbar’, we will let your child live. If not, we will behead him right now before your eyes.” What do you do? (BTW, you can substitute anything here – a car, a pet, a TV show. I just wanted to bring the point abruptly before your eyes.) And if you say the words, EVEN IF YOU DON’T REALLY MEAN IT, does that not constitute denial of Yeshua before men? And what does he say about those who will deny him before men? What will he do before his Father in heaven? This is serious stuff, guys. Look at Matt.10.32ff.

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 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 shall be 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.10.32-39)

It may literally come to this, so be prepared for it. You may literally have to decide between your child’s life, or your spouse’s, and faithfulness to Y’hovah. May he grant us all the grace to endure it. 

You may not believe he’d allow such a thing, but look at v.8 – his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. We are to think HIS thoughts after him, to follow HIS ways (Torah). We think we’re all that and a bag of chips, but his ways are further from our ability to comprehend than ours are to an amoeba. 

Y’hovah’s word does to our lives what the rain and snow do to the earth – disburse the offal, cause the earth to bring forth new life, and sustain that which already is. His word accomplishes his purpose. Always! If we seek him and call on his Name, his word will cause us joy, peace, singing, the clapping of hands in praise to him. The very Creation will hallel him.   Q&C

YeshaYahu 56 – Keeping judgment and doing justice is likened to keeping Shabbat and our hands from any evil. In the parallelism, Shabbat = judgment, hands from any evil = justice, and we are blessed if we do them by laying hold of them. How do we keep from polluting Shabbat? By treating it differently from all other days of the week. On the other days of the week we are to work our living, but not on Shabbat. This was pictured in Ex.16, where we were to gather manna on the 6 days of the week, but on Shabbat we were NOT to gather manna or even go out to the field to find it (It wasn’t there anyway). We are to set it apart by not working our livings (to abstain from ALL work is technically impossible – getting out of bed is work, picking up food is work, munching is work), even as Y’hovah had set it apart at least 5 ways in Ex.16 (for 5 days leftover manna rotted, stank and bred worms; gather a double portion of manna on 6th day; no manna on Shabbat; the left over of 6th day’s manna didn’t rot, stink or breed worms; manna again on the 1st day.). 

The first tie in to today’s Torah portion is in v.3, where the stranger in the camp is to be treated as one of the physical B’nei Yisrael. In this case, I thinki it is the physical seed that HAD been separated from Y’hovah, for the stranger has joined himself to Y’hovah. If Y’hovah has separated him who has joined himself TO Y’hovah from the people, then it must be the people who have separated themselves from Y’hovah. Same with the eunuchs, who Y’hovah says ‘keep my sabbaths, choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant.’ Y’hovah says he will bring both the eunuchs and the strangers that go after him to his set-apart mountain. Y’hovah gathers strangers and eunuchs, outcasts from Israel, into his holy mount. This seems to fly in the face of Dev.23.1, where a man who has his ‘privy member cut off’ is excluded from the kahal. So is the stranger who lived in Canaan, but would not identify with Y’hovah (Dev.31.16). And not just these, but others even more vile than eunuchs and strangers. Like me … and you. 

Vv.9-12 sound like the vast majority of the ‘church’ today – blind watchmen, ignorant, dumb dogs that can’t bark (raise an alarm), lazy, asleep, greedy, looking for their own interests and not the kahal’s or Y’hovah’s, who say they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, but who really are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.  Q&C

Yeshayahu 57V.1 says that noone considers why the righteous die, that they are being delivered by Y’hovah from the wrath he is about to pour out on the wicked and on those who [quote] believe [unquote] he is, but have forsaken his ways. The ones who have forsaken him are described in vv.3-13a. Look at some of the descriptions; sons of the sorceress, seed of the adulterer and the whore (the wicked offspring of human reasoning and pagan religion, I thinki), children of transgression, seed of falsehood, etc. They slay their children under the clifts of rock (in the Tophet caves of the Hinnom Valley – here’s ‘Hinnom’ from Easton’s Bible Dictionary

A deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called “Hill of Evil Counsel.” It took its name from “some ancient hero, the son of Hinnom.” It is first mentioned in Joshua 15:8 . It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the valley was called Tophet, or the “fire-stove,” where the children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.

The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed; and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. “It might be shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment.” About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word is used eleven times in our Lord’s discourses (Matthew 23:33; Luke 12:5; Matthew 5:22 , etc.), 

pouring out drink offerings to smooth rocks of a stream (an altar), set their beds in high places (‘high’ meaning its purpose, not necessarily its elevation, where the altar is set up, temple prostitution). V.9 shows Israel covering her sores and the stench of her adulteries with perfume and ointment, hoping the king will accept her. She keeps relying on her self-righteousness in vv.10-11. Y’hovah says the righteousness of their works is unprofitable. Y’hovah won’t answer in your trouble if you refuse to acknowledge him and his blessing when times are good.

Vv.13b-21 contrast with 3-13a, showing the profit of those who put their trust in Y’hovah, having forsaken their own ways. ‘Cast up, cast up’ is a reference to Yehuda and Ephraim putting their trust in Y’hovah and clearing the way for others to follow. Wherever Y’hovah dwells is high and holy, and that is usually where people are contrite and humble, whose spirits he revives. His wrath will not last forever; he will heal the believer who has gone his own way, if that believer will but humble himself. If he stayed angry with us, we would all utterly perish. His love and mercy provides our escape from his wrath, and guarantees that he will not remain angry with us. He offers peace to both houses of Ya’akov; the one far off (Ephraim) and the one nigh (Yehuda) and then heals HIM (Ya’akov).  Carefully note the order in which that happens, please; Shalom first, then healing. Shades of how Ephraim was received in Eph.2.11ff and Acts 15 and added to the synagogues [kehalim] of Yisrael.   Q&C

YeshaYahu.58.1-8 – Ch.58 concerns Yom Kippur and the whole house of Ya’acov. Vv.1-5 show our yoke. If the burden isn’t Y’hovah’s there is no grace to deal with it. The people delight in approaching Y’hovah, fully aware of their sin. This describes both the body of Mashiyach today … and me. We should not delight in approaching Y’hovah when we should be afflicting our souls in the fast of Yom Kippur. When we see that he takes no delight in our going through the motions, we complain about it, and he says we do it to please ourselves, not to approach him on his terms. We seem to expect Y’hovah to perform for us because we’ve gone through the motions and jumped through the right hoops. It is our attitude in the fast that makes it of no value. We fast for strife and debate, trying to show Y’hovah our ‘holiness’. No, our reason for fasting does not agree with Yah’s reason for calling a fast. It seems that we do it to be seen of men, to get praises and adulation from others, not to afflict our souls in misery of our sins.

Vv.6-7 is Y’hovah’s yoke and show the 8 reasons for Y’hovah’s calling this fast. It is very interesting that this is almost exactly (6 of 8) what Yeshua addressed (2X) in the ‘Olivet Discourse’? Matt.25.32ff.

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, master, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, master, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Mat.25.32-46)

After we do the works of Torah that are listed in Yesh.58.6-7, then our light shall break forth as the morning, and our health shall spring forth speedily, our righteousness shall go before us and the esteem of our Elohim will be our re-reward – He will cover our ‘6’. Our righteousness is Yeshua. Yeshua is the glory of Y’hovah. So he leads by taking the point AND he guards our flanks. Nothing can harm us, IF we are going after him and DOING the Word.  Q&C

Ps.143 – Remember v.2 when we get to the B’rit HaDashah portion today. In vv.1-2, David is in tribulation and is asking for Y’hovah to hear and answer his cry for deliverance. He’s asking that Y’hovah look at his trust in Yah and not his works, for he knows that if Y’hovah enters into righteous judgment over him he will in no wise be justified. Yes! David! Melchizedek!

In vv.3-6 he lays out before Yah his tribulation and predicament, his enemies having it all over him in the flesh. We have more than one enemy, though. David speaks of his physical enemies, but there is an enemy that is ever present that can be inferred here. That enemy is the flesh. It persecutes our souls, beats our spirits down to the ground, and makes us dwell in darkness as if we are dead (both conditions of spiritual exile). Then David remembers all the wondrous works of Y’hovah for Israel in the past and recalls it to Y’hovah’s remembrance, while letting Yah know that he wants only a morsel or sample of what he performed for Israel.

In vv.7-12, He makes 12 supplications to Y’hovah and the reasons he’s asking them. He expects Y’hovah to grant his supplications and deliver him from tribulation. We don’t actually SEE Yah’s deliverance, but David expects it and we can infer His positive response. Q&C

Rom.10.1-21 – This is taken from my work, “Romans – an Hebraic Perspective”, which was taught as a weekly Bible Study over a period of about 6 years. 

“While looking at ch.10, let’s remember that the foundational, most basic truth of scripture is the Shema, “Hear Oh Yisrael, Y’hovah our Elohim, Y’hovah is One.” The Shema is seen in the ‘unity of the faith’, that Y’hovah is the Elohim of both the Jews AND the Gentiles (3.29), the natural oneness of Y’hovah so that all in Mashiyach are one, etc.  It is seen in nature and the nuclear family. The atom has 3 basic particles, neutron, proton and electron. Matter has at least 4 states, solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma. Time is both past, present and future. The nuclear family consists of Father, Mother and Children. The examples are numerous that Y’hovah has pointed to his echad nature in his creation. Echad does not mean merely absolute oneness, but unity in and through plurality. 

Earlier in our study of Romans, Sha’ul told us that Elohim is not merely the Elohim of the Jews, but of the Gentiles also (Rom.3.29). He treats all people in the same manner, and he always has. For him to expect different things of different people or to expect different things of the SAME people at different times would be to compromise his echad nature. 

The Jewish mystics see Y’hovah manifested in at least 10 ‘emanations’ as depicted in the Tree of Sefiroth. They are seen in 3 sublevels, each consisting of 3 attributes, headed by the absolute Truth of Y’hovah that no mere human can really comprehend. You can see allusions to this in Paul’s writings. 

His statement to ‘behold the goodness and the severity of Elohim’ (11.22) is also an allusion to the 10 emanations of Y’hovah. The goodness of Elohim is seen in his mercy to usward (the right side of the figure on the page). His mercy is an emanation that balances his emanation of severity (the left side of the figure), which is his absolute justice. The emanation of beauty (the body of the figure) is the one that binds all his emanations into a unity in the ‘Ain Soph’; the endless, unknowable truth of Y’hovah. It is the Ain Soph that we will spend eternity studying and never find an end of discovering and understanding (another emanation of Y’hovah). 

All of that to give you just an inkling of the Unity in Plurality of Yah, which is pictured for us in the unity in plurality of his people. We need to bear this in mind as we move into ch.10.

Vv.1-3 – Sha’ul addresses his brethren, which context will show is all of the Roman believers, both Jew and Gentile. At various times, he specifically addresses his Jewish brethren and at others the Gentile brethren. The subject is Yisrael, but the message is for the Gentiles, as well as the Jews. Remember the importance of personal pronouns in Paul’s writing. We = Jewish believers; ye = gentile believers; they = what the church calls ‘Judaizers’, Iuaidoi, but are contextually called ‘circumcisers’, Jews of rabbinic tradition who believe that one must fully convert to Judaism, the last act of which is to be circumcised, before they can be accepted into the fellowship. Acts 10 and 15 stand in contrast to that false belief.

His desire is the salvation of chol Yisrael. As we’ve seen already in our explanation of 8.29-30, all Yisrael shall be saved. What we’re discussing now is the body of the argument Sha’ul started way back then.

Israel has a zeal for Y’hovah, but they are blinded in part (2Cor.3.14 – they can’t or won’t see Mashiyach in the Tanakh), ‘not according to knowledge’. To what were they zealous? Look at Acts.22.3.

3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward Elohim, as ye all are this day.

Sha’ul tells his audience in Jerusalem that he was taught the ‘Oral Torah’, the law of the fathers, perfectly and was zealous toward it and toward Elohim. This is what he alludes to in Rom.11.2-3, 

2  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

They knew the ‘law of the fathers’ better than the written Torah, and held to (and still to this day hold to) those traditions and interpretations of Torah as a HIGHER truth than the written Torah. They have a zeal toward Elohim, but they don’t know what his true requirements are, being more zealous for the ‘Oral Torah’ than Y’hovah’s written word; zeal not according to knowledge. This is exactly what Paul says in a nutshell in v.3. They are ignorant of Elohim’s righteousness; that is, living according to Torah’s instructions, but go about establishing their own righteousness, which is going after ANYTHING else – whether it’s in addition to living according to Torah or in place of it. Doing Torah, remember, is not how we are saved or how we maintain our salvation. It is what we do to keep from sin AFTER we are justified which PROVES our justification, NOT to Y’hovah, but to ourselves and others. 

Noone knew this better than Rav Sha’ul, who was very zealous, as he himself testified in Acts 22.1-10. Paul did what we all do when confronted by a new paradigm that shows either we’ve been mistaken, fooled or lied to – he attacked the very truth he was convinced of, but in his pride would not acknowledge. I have been there myself, and so has everyone else who is reading or hearing this study. Once we are convinced of our own mistake or delusion, we need to come to grips with it and stop fighting it. That is what Yeshua said to Paul in Acts 9.5, 

“I am Yeshua whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” 

The truth that we know but won’t acknowledge keeps pricking us until we repent of our pride and stop kicking.

In Hebrew mysticism, knowledge is the highest level a student of scripture can attain in this life. It connects understanding and wisdom. Israel has an understanding of Torah, but little or none of Mashiyach. The ‘church’ has the wisdom of Mashiyach, but little or none of Torah. Few of either has the knowledge that Mashiyach and Torah are one, as Y’hovah is one, as we are told in the Shema. There are those who have some knowledge without either understanding or wisdom. These may actually brand us heretic because we would say that Yeshua is Torah, even though John 1 plainly says that Yeshua is the Word. The last time I checked, Torah was still in the Canon. Q&C

Paul said in v.3 that they have not submitted to the righteousness of Elohim. What is the righteousness of Elohim? Jer.33.16 gives one of the Names of Elohim as “Y’hovah Tzidkenu”, Y’hovah (Yeshua) our righteousness, and Deut.6.25 says that it is our righteousness to be in submission to Y’hovah – in obedience to his commands. Can you see that ‘they’ in v.3 means both Jews and Gentiles, who comprise Israel (without the Y)? Jews have not submitted to the righteousness of Elohim … how? I thought they had an understanding of Torah. They do, but they submit to the righteousness of their man-made traditions OVER Torah. That was Yeshua’s main point to them; he was calling them to repentance from tradition and toward Torah. They would not acknowledge that Yeshua is Torah.

Every Christian understands that, but they don’t usually see how THEY have not submitted to the righteousness of Elohim, either. They have accepted Yeshua’s free gift to them, but have not submitted themselves in that they have rejected 2/3 of Y’hovah’s revelation as binding on them. They know that Yeshua is the Word of Y’hovah, but then reject the authority in their lives of 2/3 of his very Words. So, both Jews and Gentiles, which are shown by Sha’ul to be Yisrael in Eph.2.11ff and in Rom.11.5-24, have rejected … what? Both have failed in submission to Y’hovah’s Word.

Now, remember that works of Torah justify noone. Works of Torah naturally follow him who has repented of his sins, trusted in Y’hovah Tzidkenu (Mashiyach) and studied his Word; for without knowledge of his Word, he cannot know what sin is (Rom.7.7).

In Aramaic, the Word = the Memra. The Memra in Hebraic mystical thought is the Creative force of Y’hovah The Greek calls it ‘Logos’. Creation is not a one-time thing in an absolute sense. He did finish his ex nihilo creative work in 6 days, but he must be constantly creating to uphold his creation. If he stops speaking, the universe will dissolve.

9 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. 10 But the day of Y’hovah will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Then all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ought ye to be in holy conversation and Godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Elohim, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2Pe.3.9-12)

The creation has no intrinsic being; doesn’t exist of itself. If it did, IT would be Y’hovah, like the evolutionists believe it is. Creation is the object that was created by Y’hovah, without whose Spirit’s energizing, it would just stop moving. As an example, a ball is inanimate, it cannot move by itself, it needs an outside source of energy to move it. When something pushes the ball it moves as far as the energy exerted on the ball will move it. Likewise, creation. If Y’hovah had just created it and left it to itself it would be just like our ball. Now, if Y’hovah creates something, but then forgets about it, what will happen to it? It will cease to exist (like our forgiven sins that he decides to not remember, Jer.31.34). He must keep on creating it, keep on speaking it into existence or it will cease to be. His ex nihilo creation was a one time affair, but his sustaining creation will go on until after the GWT judgment when death and hell are thrown into the Lake of Fire, which itself may be an allusion to the ultimate dissolution of all matter in 2Pe.3.9-12.

Yeshua is the Memra/Word of Y’hovah by whom all that is came into existence, consists and is sustained; 

15 Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Col.1.15-17). 

John says it in the first verses of his gospel. 

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1.1-3, 14)

John understood the concept of the Memra as an emanation of Y’hovah, the very Son of Elohim, Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach.  Q&C

V.4 is one of the most misunderstood verses in scripture. It is misunderstood because most in the church see the word ‘end’ to mean ‘doing away with’ or perhaps just to make useless or vain. Yeshua does not make Torah vain. He fulfills another meaning of ‘end’ – he is Torah’s purpose. A Christian friend of mine with whom I have a disagreement about this very subject once said he was going out street preaching. I said, “To what end?” He said to be used in the witness of the Word. He knew the meaning of ‘end’, as it is used in this verse, but he assumes through his learning and the teachings of many good men who sincerely had it wrong that it actually means Yeshua = the abolition of Torah. 

Mashiyach is the purpose of Torah, not its termination. Torah points to Mashiyach. He, in fact, IS Torah in a very real sense. Moshe DESCRIBES the righteousness which comes by living Torah. Look at Dev.30.11-14 (I know it’s in next week’s Torah portion, but bear with me.) Start in v.9 to get the context:

9 And Y’hovah thy Elohim will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for Y’hovah will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Y’hovah thy Elohim, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book Torah, and if thou turn unto Y’hovah thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

The righteousness of Torah, which Y’hovah requires of us if we desire NOT TO SIN, is right with us, not off in the far blue sky or beyond the far blue sea. We KNOW how we are to live. This is the faith once delivered to the saints (Jd.3). Biblical faith is not mere belief or mental assent to a series of theological truths. It is DOING what Y’hovah requires. The Israelites that Sha’ul was speaking of in vv.1-2 were zealous, but not for this righteousness. They had works of righteousness, unmixed with faith. 

In reality, Torah is still in force and has the same dual nature it has always had; it convinces us of death and evil while it brings life and good to those who trust Y’hovah and follow him (Dt.30.15). If that were not true, my Xian friend would not go street preaching, for that is HIS (that is, both my street-preaching friend’s and Yeshua’s) end in doing it – to convince folks of the death and curse of disobedience in going their own way and to show them the life and blessing that comes from repentance and obedience to go Elohim’s way. 

 V.5 continues the thought in v.4, 

“For Moshe describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” 

Does it say that we live eternally BY keeping Torah, or that Torah is the guide by which we live our lives? The latter, no doubt, ‘for by works of law shall no flesh be justified.’ 

V.6 begins with the word ‘but.’ The Grk word is de, which can be translated any of 5 or 6 ways, including and, or, but, also, moreover, now. If the author meant ‘the opposite’, he would probably have used alla as he did in Rom.1.21, ‘neither were thankful, BUT’. It means to go the exact opposite direction to that prescribed. Alla is always negation, while de denotes affirmation. 

So, the ‘righteousness which is of faith’ speaks to the righteousness we perform because we have faith, which according to Eph.2.9 is a gift from Elohim, not of ourselves lest we boast. But what does the righteousness which is of faith say? (Notice the # of the pronoun)

Dt.30.10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Y’hovah Elohecha, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto Y’hovah Elohecha with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

Why is the Word nigh unto thee? It is so that you can do it. 

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1.22) 

The pronouns are all 2nd person singular. Y’hovah, through Moshe, was speaking to each of us, individually. Notice that when the objects of the verses (thee, thou, thine, etc.) speak, they use the first person plural. Each was looking for a corporate justification, sanctification and glorification, when Y’hovah gives all that to individuals who THEN become parts of his body and corporately receive rights and privileges. We are graffed into the root of Yeshua individually, but the graffing makes us members of an assembly. Each is taken from one group; i.e., the lost, to become a member of another; i.e., the found, the justified.

So let me disabuse you of a grievous error of the church; Torah observance was NEVER about salvation. The Hebrews did NOT have to keep Torah perfectly in order to be saved. Had that been true then all those animal sacrifices were just useless cruelty imposed by Y’hovah – a thing that is impossible. A sacrifice was needed to make the offerer blameless before Y’hovah. ‘Blamelessness’ is the key. The blame was transferred to the offering. Remember that the apostle Sha’ul was blameless according to Torah 

4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in TORAH, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Mashiyach. (Phil.3.4-6), 

as were Elisheva and Zacharyah, Yochanan the Immerser’s parents; 

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named ZacharYah, of the course of AviYah: and his wife of the daughters of Aharon, and her name was Elisheva. 6 And they were both righteous before Elohim, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Master blameless. (Lk.1.6). 

Let’s look at the word blameless.

In 1Cor.1.8 (also 1Tim.3.10 and Tit.1.6&7), the Greek word is anengklaytos, unaccusable, irreproachable: literally uncalled out. This implies that we are not always blameless. We are made blameless by the application of 1Jn.1.9 – confession and repentance. In Philippians, the word is amemptos, irreproachable, without fault. In 1Tim.3.2 (also 5.7), the word is anepileptos, from a negation of epilambanomai, literally unarrested, not seized. In 2Pe.3.14, the Greek word is amometos, without censure, unable to discredit. Notice please, nowhere does the word mean innocent. It means that we are unchargeable with any crime or wrongdoing. Our blame has been transferred to another so that we are found ‘Not Guilty’ in Y’hovah’s court. This was the purpose of the animal sacrifices in the Temple. Those of us who are in Mashiyach have no need for the animal sacrifices; in fact, we would be sinning grievously to perform one for a sin offering because we’d be saying that Yeshua’s once for all offering was insufficient in our eyes. Heb.10 says,

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 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?

That was the whole point of the book of Hebrews, for the believing Priests who believed [“not a few” in Acts 6.7] in Jerusalem were actually considering going back to the Temple to offer sacrifices for sin. Everything that came before was for the express purpose of getting here, and everything that follows illustrates it. Paul was telling them that the sin sacrifice in the Temple is so much wasted effort; there is no more sacrifice for sins (v.26). Not only that, but to offer a sin offering when one knows that Yeshua’s offering was sufficient was walking all over him, counting his offering unworthy and thinking the Spirit of grace of no value. If you can find a better definition of blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, I’d love to see it. 

The nation was saved by the blood of the Lamb at Passover, as are we. They were to shema Torah, that is to hear it and obey it (kill the lamb and spread its blood on the doorposts and lintel) because Y’hovah saved them from physical Egyptian exile, as Yeshua (who is Y’hovah) saves us from our spiritual Egyptian exile (in the world), and will do so again physically when the ‘greater Egypt’, the NWO and the Anti-Mashiyach Satanic system, imposes itself on us, demanding our worship. Our salvation and their salvation was, is and always will be by the same means: trusting Y’hovah to deliver on his promises by the instrumentality of his Mashiyach. Yeshua’s ONE offering both saves us and ATONES for us, making us all more than blameless before Avinu. He makes us clean. He reconciles us to Abba. We still need to repent and confess when we sin, but there is no more need for sacrifice to make us blameless. Our reconciliation and propitiation has been made by the death of Y’hovah Yeshua, ONCE. Q&C

Vv.7-9 – Paul is making another Midrashic point. He is quoting De.30.10-14 and applying it to going after Mashiyach. Mashiyach Yeshua IS Torah, so the application is absolutely valid (as if it needed my endorsement, eh?). The point of the whole passage is that those who were in the wilderness (like us) and about to go into the Promised Land (like us) had Mashiyach right there in their hearts and minds in the form of Torah for the purpose that they (and we) obey it and him. Look at De.30.10 and 14 again. What are we supposed to hearken to? The Voice of Y’hovah; the Memra. What is it that is very nigh? The Word; the Memra. Yeshua is the Memra of Y’hovah, his Word and his Voice. He was right there with them in the Shekinah.

So, in v.9, what is it that we confess? Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach; the Memra; the Voice and the Word of Y’hovah. What do we believe? That Elohim has raised Yeshua from the dead. A parallel passage to this is Phil.2.10-11,

10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiyach is Master, to the glory of יהוה the Father.

That is another Midrashic application of Is.45.23 to Yeshua. That passage from Isaiah is also recited every day by the Orthodox Jews in their Aleinu prayer (We shall extol). 

All the world’s inhabitants will recognize and know that unto thee every knee should bend, every tongue should swear (Isaiah 45:23). Before You, Adonai Elohenu, they will bend every knee and cast themselves down and to the glory of Thy Name they will render homage and they will all accept upon themselves the yoke of Thy kingship that Thou mayest reign over them soon and eternally.

For then shall the words be fulfilled, “Y’hovah shall be king forever” (Exodus 15:18) and “Y’hovah shall be king over all the earth; on that day shall there be one Y’hovah and His Name one.” (Zechariah 14:9).

Paul is showing the Jews in Rome and in Philippi that Yeshua is the answer to that Aleinu prayer that they had been reciting for over 500 years by the time he wrote his epistles. 

In v.9-15, Paul describes justification. Remember to put this passage in its overall context. The Roman believers are mainly gentiles who are attending one of the synagogues there for biblical instruction. Remember also the Jerusalem council in Acts.15, where the gentiles were told that their justification is valid and they needed to hold to a few requirements to attend the synagogues. Look at Acts.15.19-21 Ya’akov, Yeshua’s brother presiding.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to Y’hovah: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moshe of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

Please notice that it was expected of them that they go to the synagogue on Shabbat to receive more instruction in righteousness (2Tim.3.16, 17), which comes from Torah (Moshe). There was no need to require but the most basic things of the gentile converts. If they were really after the heart of Y’hovah, they would hear his Torah and obey it. The gentiles were justified at the time they trusted Y’hovah Yeshua, as were the Yehudim who asked the question of the council in the first place. Now they needed some instruction, as they could not be expected to know all Y’hovah’s righteous requirements for living in an instant of time. 

In vv.9-10, we see what proves our justification – belief and confession of Y’hovah Yeshua. Then in v.11 we see that those who are truly justified will not be ashamed of their justification, which shows in the public confession of belief. Everything from then on requires Torah instruction. 

Vv.10-13 – So which is the formula, confess and then believe (v.9) or believe and then confess (v.10)? The answer is … YES! They work in conjunction towards our justification – the one synergistically complementing the other; like soup and sandwich, spaghetti and meatballs, cheese and wine, Rowan and Martin, Martin and Lewis, Lewis and Sullivan, Starsky and Hutch, etc.

V.11 quotes Is.28.16, kind of, again. Isaiah says that he that believes shall not make haste. We spoke of this earlier. If we get ahead of Elohim, trying to help him out, like Avraham and Sarah did, we run the risk of messing it all up and Y’hovah will have to deliver us supernaturally, as he did Avraham and Sarah. They believed his promise, but were impatient for his fulfillment. This almost always spells trouble. The verse from Isaiah that Sha’ul misquoted midrashically at the end of ch.9, he misquotes again right here. Paul again makes it clear that Yeshua is the Rock of Offense. The important word in v.11 is ‘whosoever’, because Sha’ul defines it in v.12 – No difference between Jew and Greek. Why? There is no difference because they each serve the same Y’hovah who calls them. Both Jew and Gentile are saved by calling on the same Y’hovah. Q&C

Vv.14-18 – Paul is still speaking of Israel, his brethren after the flesh. But he is making the case here that ‘they’ are without excuse, which is the reason he is torn up about their having missed Mashiyach Yeshua and the Kingdom that he offered. They were thinking in the pre-conceptions of their rabbis, much like I used to think in the pre-conceptions that I learned in Bible school. I thank Y’hovah every day that he didn’t let me finish and go on to Cementary, where they add a lot of hardener to the mud. I had an instructor who said, “Gentlemen, your minds are moosh. It shall be my job to form and aggregate them.” He was going to take my soft heart and shape it the way HE wanted and then make that form unbreakable, i.e., hard. The rhetorical questions Paul is asking here are not to the Roman Xians whom he is trying to encourage to preach Yeshua to the Jewish unbelievers, though that may also be a valid application. It is to prove that Israel after the flesh KNEW what their calling was and that they failed in it. 

Israel was to be different from the nations in a number of ways to show that they served a different Elohim. The things that made them distinctive were designed to make the nations jealous (and it succeeded where it was applied). If Israel would DO what Y’hovah told them and maintain the distinctions, Y’hovah would bless them beyond reason. The blessings would be so readily apparent that the pagans would naturally want to know why and Israel would be able to do the work of the evangelist: “We serve the Elohim of the universe, not a local deity. We plow the same ground that you plow, but we have a garden and you have a desert because the Elohim we serve blesses us with abundance for no other reason than that we serve him and are called by His Name.” 

Is that what Israel did? Some did I’m sure, but for the most part they were just like you and me – on again, off again. And the more they were off; the harder it was to turn back on; corrosion on the wires or something. Have you ever tried to start your car when there is a great buildup of corrosion on the cables? Sin corrodes. You have to clean the connection before the juice can flow. When there’s sin on your heart, it needs to be cleaned so the Spirit can move through you. Yeshua cleans the crud. Israel’s pagan neighbors never heard of Y’hovah because Israel kept the blessing to itself. Instead of encouraging them to come to assemblies to learn of Y’hovah’s Torah, they shut them out. Do you see a ‘Court of the Gentiles’ anywhere in the blueprints for the Mishkan (tabernacle)? How about the Beit haMikdash (Temple)? Is Elohim the Elohim of the Jews only, Or of the Gentiles also? Yes, of the gentiles also (3.29). 

The idea was that people were to live for Y’hovah and show their distinction in their obedience and the blessings that accrued therefrom. This would engender jealousy and a desire for the same blessings. This would make the called out people of the nations ask. If the pagan comes to you to ask what is reason for the hope that is within you, he already believes that you have a knowledge that he needs and he wants that knowledge. Y’hovah has pre-qualified him for you. So you get to tell your pagan buddy about Y’hovah Yeshua. So you get to teach him Torah so he can go out and preach in the same manner, by his new and distinct lifestyle of obedience to Y’hovah and His blessing. And the cycle will continue. 

The gospel we are preaching is the simplest thing in the world. Y’hovah has given all mankind a blueprint to follow. It is called Torah – instructions. If we follow the instructions, he blesses us. If we don’t follow the instructions, he curses us. Do all the people who are called by the Name of Y’hovah Yeshua obey? Will every pagan who asks obey? No way, dude! But if they believe what you say about Y’hovah, they will obey; they will have Shalom with Y’hovah, and all the blessings that follow. And that will encourage them to keep on in obedience, which will bring the same blessings and perhaps even more. And that will bring people to them who want to know. And the cycle continues. 

So who calls upon whom? Yes! He calls us to call upon him. How can one call on Y’hovah’s Name if they never hear (Sh’ma) it? If an unbeliever knows his Name, and speaks it, he is as guilty of taking his Name in vain the same as a believer is if he denies Him or acts outside of His character. How can they hear if noone tells (kara) them? How can one tell who isn’t sent (sholiach)? In v.16 we see that not all obeyed the gospel of peace. It does NOT say ‘not all believed’, but ‘not all obeyed’. OBEYING the gospel is biblical faith. BTW, if not ALL obeyed, SOME must have obeyed – RIGHT? So we first get peace (justification), then healing of our sinfulness (obedience). The one follows, indeed necessitates, the other. No peace/no faith.

V.17 says that FAITH is by hearing, which is by the Torah of Elohim. ‘Hearing’ would be translated from Hebrew ‘Shema’, which is not just receipt of an auditory message. It includes receipt and acknowledgement of the receipt by doing what the message says. Israel knew their present predicament was coming, if they believed Moshe. Unfortunately, most didn’t. Moshe had told them that provocation would come from ‘not my people’ (Lo Ammi? Hos.1). Then they failed to heed the Nevi’im, as well, for Yeshayahu said that these ‘Lo Ammi’ would find Y’hovah when he manifested himself to them, while Israel would not hearken to Y’hovah’s repeated attempts to call them to repentance and obedience. The “Lo Ammi” would not replace Israel, but be graffed into the root of Mashiyach, as we can see in Romans 11. Another time.

Now Yisrael in v.18 DID Shema. All the earth heard their report. Some believed; some didn’t. When I say the whole earth heard, I mean the whole earth. During the reigns of David and Shlomo, the Israelite/Lebanese navies (Phoenicians) went all over the world. They set up fortress cities in strategic places to keep the world’s treasures to themselves. Carthage, in Africa, was an Israelite garrison, as were Cadiz and Majorca in Iberia/Spain. The Carthaginian navy guarded the Straits of Gibraltar to keep other Mediterranean powers IN, and any extra-Mediterranean powers OUT. As the Phoenician navy went all over the world, they carried the gospel of Shalom with Y’hovah with them. Q&C

Vv.19-21 – Who is the foolish nation? First of all, what is a fool in biblical parlance? Ps.14.1 and 53.1 say respectively

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no Elohim. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Abominable works = disobedience.

1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no Elohim. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. Iniquity = Torahlessness.

So, a fool is an Elohim unto himself. He thinks there is no ‘higher power’ to which he will answer. So a foolish nation is one that believes IT answers to no one. Sounds like – US!

 

Who do you suppose those who are no people could be speaking of? Hos.1.8-9 says

8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 Then said Elohim, Call his name Lo-Ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your Elohim.

Hosea is written specifically to the northern 10 tribes of Israel who were carried afar off and assimilated into the nations of the earth. They eventually migrated all over the known world, and remember that the whole world was known to the sons of Ya’akov. SO! A foolish nation who is not a people will provoke the Jews to jealousy. Who would that be? 

It had been Yehudah’s and Israel’s job to follow Y’hovah and receive his blessings so they could provoke the nations to jealousy. Israel went after other Elohims and was divorced from Y’hovah and sent into exile ‘afar off’, but Yehudah also went after other Elohims but was NOT divorced and a believing remnant was kept ‘nigh’. But even the believing remnant went astray. They kept fealty to Y’hovah’s Torah, but they also trusted the ‘Oral Torah’ – and some trusted ‘oral torah’ more than Y’hovah’s written Torah. These were nigh, but not on Derech Hashem, the way of Y’hovah. Now look at Eph.2.11-22 keeping all that in mind.

In v.20, Sha’ul tells us that in 65.1 Isaiah was speaking about US, gentiles after the flesh and in v.21 he says that in 65.2 Isaiah is speaking about the Jews, Israel after the flesh.

I am sought of them that asked not for me ; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. (That’s us, Israel) 2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people (That’s Yehudah), which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

That sounds like Hosea 1.10, where Y’hovah says he will call those who are NOT his people ‘My people’, and those who have not obtained mercy, ‘Mercy’. And Paul has shown us in Eph.2 that Yeshua’s purpose was to call gentile Israel to himself after their 750-year exile and to call Yehudah away from the siding they’d gotten themselves stranded on. 

The Jews got themselves all puffed up with their position in Y’hovah’s kingdom plan. When they refused to listen to their Creator when he came to speak to them pan’yim l’pan’yim, face to face, he left them to their prideful attitude – but he did not forsake them; like the 7K of whom EliYahu was clueless. He left them a faithful remnant, as he always had, who trusted him and not their own wisdom. Then, he set about to fulfill his promise to ‘provoke to jealousy by a nation not called by his Name’ – gentile-ized/paganized descendants of the 10 northern tribes and some mixt multitude gentiles. Now the believers in Yeshua have been made the head and not the tail (Dt.28.44), instead of Yehudah. 

We do not have to do the will of Y’hovah. We can do our own thing. We have free will. But, if we do our own thing, we get to be the tail and not the head, the debtor instead of the lender. To quote Mel Brooks from The History of the World, Pt.1, “It’s good to be King!” 

However, we need to be careful not to do what Yehudah did in pride of our being made partakers of the Commonwealth of Israel and graffed into the root of Y’hovah Yeshua. It is the Commonwealth of YISRAEL, not of the gentiles. The root is Yeshua, but the olive tree is YISRAEL. We’ll look at this in greater detail in ch.11 – another time. Q&C

End of Bible Study

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Shabbat Bible Study for January 19, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 19, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 45

Deuteronomy 28:1-29:9 – Isaiah 55:2 – Psalm 142 – John 14:1-31

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Devarim 28:1-14 – To ‘hearken diligently’ is to pay attention, to not only hear the words, but to actively listen. The Hebrew says, if you sh’moa tish’ma; a double use of the same root verb, shema, which indicates an intensive application of the root verb; to internalize the action so that it causes a lasting effect on your way of living. I think you can say the same thing for the double use of the phrase, “if you hearken … to the Voice of Y’hovah Elohecha.” Not just to hear it, but to make his Word an integral part of your life. “IF” you’ll do that, the blessings will follow, like spring follows winter. They won’t follow for long, because before very long they will overtake you and actually lead you for as long as you shema hakol Y’hovah, listen to Y’hovah’s voice. 

V.3 begins the list of blessings, as they follow to v.14. These blessings don’t spring up fully developed as soon as we start obeying, but they build up until we can actually recognize the blessings as Y’hovah enumerates them. We will be blessed where we are. We will be blessed in our persons, in our produce, in our livestock and, if we live within the walls of a city, in our businesses. That which we use to carry or to store our produce will be blessed. I think this has to do with not seeing any disease or plague in our stuff, like mold (leprosy of the house) or pests (like mice in the storehouse). We will be blessed in all we do, whether at home or on the road. Our enemies will be united as they attack us, but will be in total disarray as they run from us, like the British troops from Old Hickory’s at New Orleans in 1814. Y’hovah brings all these blessings because we are careful to do as he has commanded us and not to slip to one side or the other. The whole earth will see that we are blessed and will be afraid to go against us in anything, knowing that Y’hovah will protect us and curse them. They knew what had happened to Paroh and Og of Bashan. And as long as we do not decline to the right or to the left, Y’hovah will continue to bless us. 

Until the 15 years between 1947 and 1962, this blessing was the story of the united States of America. When the British marched on Lexington and Concord, the British Empire was the world’s SuperPower. Noone in his right mind would pick a fight with England. 

James Warren first proposed the ‘Committees of Correspondence’ to Samuel Adams, which was a letter writing campaign between patriots in all the colonies, documenting the usurpations of King George III. On June 16, 1775, he was the President of the Massachusetts Provincial Council that wrote this;

Resolved in Provincial Council, Watertown, Massachusetts, June 16, 1775:

“As it has pleased Almighty Elohim in his providence to suffer the calamities of an unnatural war to take place among us in consequence of our sinful declensions from him and our great abuse of those inestimable blessings bestowed upon us, and as we have reason to fear that unless we become a penitent and reformed people we shall feel still sorer tokens of his displeasure, and as the most effectual way to escape those dissilating (breaking open) judgments which so evidently hang over us, and if it may be obtained, the restoration of our former tranquility will be that we repent and return everyone from his iniquities unto him that correcteth us, which if we do in sincerity and truth, we have no reason to doubt but he will remove his judgments, cause our enemies to be at peace with us, and prosper the work of our hands.”

At the time he wrote that, America was a 3rd world country. By the 1860’s Britain was still powerful, but in decline and America was growing by leaps and bounds because the people walked in Y’hovah’s commandments. By 1920, America had eclipsed Britain in power; both economic, military and political. This was all because America was a Elohim-fearing nation until the 1920s. The government had already begun the gradual declension to its present pitiful state of Godlessness and the church leadership was slipping into and teaching lawlessness, but the people were still by and large Elohim-fearing. Even when the Supreme Court threw Elohim out of the public schools in the 1960s, the people were still, by and large, God-fearing. But when official America turned its back on Y’hovah, he allowed them to start to really feel his curses. The blessings that were the rule, began to slip away and the curses started to creep up behind. By the late 1970s, less than 10 years after the Supremes made Molech worship a government sanctioned religion, the balance had occurred and by the late 1980s the balance had obviously changed to more curse than blessing. Because the changes were gradual, we didn’t notice so much as it was happening, but now, those of us who are old enough to remember what America was like before the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s are beginning to die off. And those of us who are still alive in another 5 years will know that we allowed it to happen because we liked our sin more than we loved our Mashiyach. 

Let’s see what the curses look like and ask ourselves if they are not happening to one degree or another as we speak. Q&C

Vv.15-68 – BUT, if you DON’T obey my commands; if you breach our contract, all these curses will come to you. Notice that the general tenor is that the curse is the opposite of the blessing, very much like what was to be pronounced from Mounts Gerezim and Ebal after they crossed Yarden to receive the land of promise. Again, the curses will eventually overtake us, pass us by and be waiting for us in our future – if we let it get that far. Remember that these curses are meant to encourage our repentance, not to physically destroy us. But that will be the ultimate result if we do not repent and start going his way.

The list of curses begins with the thesis statement; curses in the cities and in the fields; in the petty supplies in your house and in the grand supplies in your storehouses. You will start seeing diseases in the produce of your fields and businesses and birth defects among your children and your livestock. The basket and store (v.17-18) I see as metaphors for women’s wombs and by extension of the curse of abortion in our own day.  Most, if not all, you do will come to naught. Chumash has an interesting comment based on Ramban on pg.174. I see from applying Ramban that government sanction of abortion brings the curse on the wombs of America, which we have seen in her declining birth rates, followed by a curse on her wealth. Did you know that in 1960, 90% of Americans (180M) were native born, but today fully 1/3 (90M) are foreign born? Our population has grown by almost 150 million in that time, but almost all of the growth is from “immigration”, whether legal or illegal. From v.21 on, Y’hovah gets extremely specific about what will befall us, and there are 48 verses of curses to come. 

Here are some of the curses Y’hovah promises us if we refuse to obey him. V.20, the thesis statement of the rest of the chapter, says ‘cursing, vexation and rebuke’. ‘Cursing’ is from H3994, merah מרה, ‘to oppose’, an execration, meaning a great loathing or contempt. ‘Vexation’ is from H4103, m’humah, with a root H1949, huwm הום, meaning uproar, agitation. And ‘rebuke is from H4045, migereth, root H1605, ga’ar גער, to rebuke, inhibit or chide. The mem prefix usually means ‘from’. So, when we contemptuously disregard his commands and forsake our covenant with him, Y’hovah is going to send contempt from agitated scolding. He’ll be ticked and we’ll get back everything we gave him. He is going to 

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. (Proverbs 26:5)

A part of that is that he will ‘make the pestilence cleave’ to us in v.21. America’s farmers are not going to like the next sentences. No matter how hard we try, v.22 says we will not be able to escape the (meanings of the root words follow the KJV word in parentheses) consumption (emaciation), fever (burn), inflammation (flame), burning (glow – dry up), sword (drought with a cutting effect), blasting (scorch) or mildew (pallor – yellowish green of young, unhealthy vegetation) (7 types of curses which seem to mostly talk about the effects of a drought) until we either die or repent and start going his way. All of those Hebrew words are plural, which means whatever the root is, we’ll be getting it in spades. 

Vv.23-24 speak about what the drought will seem like to the not-so-casual observer. Stone’s Chumash has a VERY interesting comment by Rashi on v.24, pg.176. What rain may fall will make the effects of the drought even worse. Can you say “dust bowl”? I saw some of that in 2015 year on my trip home from Colorado; clouds of dust rising as much as 100 feet with each passing car on the dirt roads of Nebraska – Indiana. If there had been severe winds, they might have caught the dust and carried it to the clouds, where it might have fallen as dirty rain. Add the dust kicked up by normal activity to the mud falling and you can see some major damage to any crops that may break through the surface. 

Vv.25-26 has the blessing of the enemy’s fear of us turned to a curse against us. As a result of our military rout, armies fleeing in abject terror from their adversaries, we will either be carried away to other nations as slave labor or be left, dead and dying to the scavenging carrion eaters. The animals that are feeding on the carcasses will be so hungry that they will not be frightened away, but guard and fight for their source of meat. 

V.27 – Survivors of the hasty retreat will find themselves with ulcerous growths on their skin like those of the 6th plague of Egypt, 

8 And Y’hovah said unto Moshe and unto Aharon, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moshe sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Paroh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Paroh; and Moshe sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth blains upon man, and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moshe because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. (Ex.9.8-11)

But, as if the ulcerous boil weren’t enough, they will get to deal with hemorrhoids, scabs (kinda like psoriasis), and an itch that will not abate, as well. All of this will result in the conditions in vv.28-29. 

Oh, JOY! I truly can’t imagine NOT going mad after living this far into a drought, being defeated in a military rout and watching thousands of my countrymen die before my eyes, the resultant sickness and disease, and with no end in sight, ESPECIALLY knowing the cause. The blindness of heart that he speaks of in v.28 is illustrated in v.29, where one can’t see any way out and there is noone to help. A sightless man could expect that someone will help him find his way during the day, but the sighted might not recognize his blindness at night. And during a time of not just physical, but also spiritual darkness, the natural man will likely be thinking of only himself and not even consider a fellow in need. Q&C

Vv.30-35 speak of what will happen to the blessing of multiplicity in all they do when Y’hovah removes his mercy because they have forsaken his covenant. Their wives will be taken by other men; children taken from before their eyes and delivered into slavery in a distant place, perhaps never to be seen again; fruits of their labors stolen and not returned; property destroyed with no recourse or any benefit derived; all in addition to the plagues of Egypt being visited on them. 

Vv.36 says that Y’hovah shall deliver them and their king into exile to serve other, lesser Elohims. This exile will make the one in Egypt look like a midway ride; harrowing but fun. 

Vv.37-42 speak of the wasted effort in all they do. Their enemies will see them and actually understand that this calamity has fallen on them because they forsook a covenant made with Y’hovah, and perhaps even recognize that it is Y’hovah who is using Israel’s enemies to bring the chastisement and cursing upon his people who are too spiritually dense to understand. 

I think I see the 2012 growing season in vv.38-40. There was so much loss of feed crops in America’s plains that the cattlemen are selling portions of their herds for slaughter rather than pay the higher cost for feed. This may have kept the price of meat more affordable in the groceries for awhile (if you consider the meat prices affordable), but what will happen if there is ANOTHER bad growing season due to the continuing drought and the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest source of fresh water in the WORLD, greater even than the Great Lakes? Higher feed costs, a smaller supply of meat and a greater demand for produce to feed people will drive all those prices through the roof. 

Vv.43-44 have the strangers within our gates being set above us, lending to us and not borrowing from us, leading us about like beasts of burden by the rings in our noses. 

Bottom line is that America and the rest of the formerly Xian/Yisraelite world is in breach of contract with Y’hovah, and he is merely fulfilling his promise to us. 

Vv.45-57 speak of absolutely horrendous conditions in which Israelites are reduced to the most abominable practices just to stay alive. It reminds me of some of Yeshua’s prophetic words

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (MathitYahu 24.5-13)

AENT has in v.13, “But whoever has patience until the end, he will have life.”

Yeshua was very general in that speech, but he was a LOT more specific in our Torah parsha for today, where he says very plainly that the further into debauchery and iniquity they go, the more horrendous will be his chastisement until they either repent or perish. Because they would not serve Y’hovah, but their own bellies, he will send these curses to them, with the purpose of getting them to see how they have forsaken him and lost his blessings because of it; those blessings being given to their enemies until they are completely used up with no chance of them ever being restored – UNTIL Y’hovah’s people repent and cry out for his deliverance.

Once again, we see in vv.45-47 that the curses will not just pursue them and catch them, but overtake them so there will be absolutely no way to escape in their own strength. They thought that all Y’hovah’s blessings were theirs by RIGHT! They are NOT; they are theirs by covenant, which they broke! When Israel is in bondage to their enemies in v.48, they will be given bare subsistence, like the poor of the third world today, or worse, and will serve the needs and wants of their masters. Basically, Uncle Esav will hold all the cards for a while. Q&C

Vv.49-51 sure look to me like what’s about to befall America, perhaps before the next Presidential election (if there is one). America is so deep in debt that she is all but owned by China, the last 4 administrations have pretty much given every natural resource to them as payment for all the debt they have purchased, and they will demand payment soon to keep the cash flowing and the illusion alive. After all, China will need to keep our market alive to sell the crapola they produce. This is all a re-enactment of the Assyrian coming against Israel and Yehudah, placing J’lem under siege in ChizkiYahu’s days (Is.36-37), except that I don’t see a king of ChizkiYahu’s stature or humility in D.C. and haven’t in at least 35 years, maybe 60. Hell, maybe 100! V.52’s walls can be seen as America’s economic power, which has become mainly agricultural since we’ve shipped most of our manufacturing OUTCONUS, and perhaps even its military power being brought to nothing. As a result, vv.53-57 will follow close after the power vacuum is felt; the nation that so recently led the world in all important areas will be reduced to not just cannibalism, but to cannibalizing each person his own children. Again, this very thing was seen in the Assyrian siege of J’lem and will be seen again in America. But America will go down to ruin because there is no king like ChizkiYahu here. The one we have now is marginally better than the last 4, but he really ain’t no prize. Though he COULD be, if he were to truly repent and shuv to Y’hovah. 

Vv.58-62 – Because they have broken Y’hovah’s covenant by refusing to obey his Statutes and Commandments, Y’hovah will send all the loathsome diseases that he had sent on Egypt to get Israel to see what her obstinacy has wrought for them. But v.61 goes even further, saying that not just the plagues of Egypt, but NEW plagues that never had been up to that point, would be visited upon them. Let’s see, AIDS, Ebola, MRSA, the flesh eating virus, and more were all unheard of 40 years ago; and only Y’hovah knows what else he’ll allow our germ warfare guys to invent between now and ‘Stuff Hits The Fan’ day. 

Vv.63-68 – Y’hovah was delighted to bless us when we obeyed, and he will rejoice to remove those blessings and send the curses, knowing that they will cause his own to repent and call out to him for deliverance. He knows that the majority will just despair and not repent; they will curse him to his face for the calamity that he TOLD them would come if they forsook their covenant with him, but they forsook it anyway. They will actually blame him for faithfully keeping his Word to them when they became unfaithful and went to serving other Elohims of their own making. 

May this NOT be anyone reading or hearing this Bible Study today. May we all humble ourselves; seek HIS face and trust to HIS protection and not our own devices. If we are sensitive to the Spirit of Y’hovah and ask his counsel in all that we do, we will more likely keep from getting into the curses and stay under his blessings. As was the case with the blessings, the curses will build up ahead of us and take a while to get completely passed, even when we repent and start going his way again; we STILL have to bear the iniquity of our sins, which means suffer the physical consequences of our actions. But the blessings will begin to mix in with the residual curses and we SHOULD be able to see the tide turning before very long. Stick with it! Y’hovah has made the promise that IF you turn to him he will bless you. Every action that we take is followed by reward or punishment. The result follows the cause like spring follows winter and when we keep our eyes on the high calling of Mashiyach Yeshua and Y’hovah on his throne, we will head inexorably in the direction of his blessings. 

There is a major difference between Dev.28 and Vay. 26. Vayikra 26 is addressed to the nation as a whole, in the plural by Y’hovah Elohechem; but Devarim 28 is all in the singular, as if each individual was being addressed personally by Y’hovah Elohecha.

Devarim 29.1-9 – these last few verses of the 2nd iteration of Torah in Moshe’s own words are a kind of brief summary. In a mark paraphrase, Moshe said, “You saw what Y’hovah allowed Egypt to do to you, and how, when you called on him, he delivered you; and you saw how he sustained you for 40 years in the Wilderness by providing your every need of food and drink and miraculously preserving everything you own, not even allowing your clothes or shoes to wear out; and you saw how, when Og, the giant king of Bashan, and Sihon, the giant king of Ammon, came out against you that Y’hovah delivered them into your hands without you even suffering a hangnail. As Y’hovah was for you in Egypt and in the Wilderness, so will he be when you cross Yarden to take the land that he promised our fathers, Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov. Keep on trusting him, being faithful to his covenant and he will keep on protecting, preserving and polishing you to be all he intends you to be. Q&C

Isaiah 55:2 – This verse just points up the idea that all that effort you expend avoiding obedience only goes for nothing. All you get from dismissing your covenant with Y’hovah is wasting and frustration. It would be so much better and truly easier if we would just hearken diligently and obey his commands, for the blessings will just flow as if without any effort at all. Remember the first words of this Study? Moshe says that if we ‘hearken diligently’ to his commandments he will bless us out of our socks. YeshaYahu repeats it here. In both cases it is a restatement of the root word sh’ma שמע, to hear and do. This time it reads shim’u shamoa, rather than sh’moa tish’ma. The “double use of the same root verb, shema, indicates an intensive application of the root verb; to internalize the action so that it causes a lasting effect on your way of living.” When we do this with the Word, it feeds our spirit the stuff it needs to grow closer to what Y’hovah’s ultimate purpose is for our lives, to have our minds transformed into the image of Yeshua haMashiyach’s (Rom.12.2). 

Tehellim 142 – This psalm has a pretty cool chiastic structure. Let me print it for you.

1 I cried unto Y’hovah with my voice; with my voice unto Y’hovah did I make my supplication. 

2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. 

3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. 

4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 

5 I cried unto thee, O Y’hovah: I said, Thou my refuge my portion in the land of the living. 

6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 

7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

It’s a kind of descent into despair until the answer comes to David and then he ascends out of the ‘slough of despond’ (Pilgrim’s Progress) and into his full blessing.

David must have been reading Devarim 28 just before he wrote this Psalm, because it is such a great answer to the despair that must have come over Israel as they heard Moshe’s prophecy of what would befall them in future, as it nearly did to me as I worked my way through it this week. I am less worried for me than I am for the average human in the next few months or years. The trials will come and they will be hard to endure, and the average human has neither refuge nor hope in Y’hovah. The average human lives, or will live, in the despond of v.4,

4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

But, unlike the average human, David knows what needs to be done in that situation – turn to Y’hovah in repentance and contrition and he will turn the cursing into blessing, even as he turned blessing into cursing when we despised his covenant. Quicker, I would think, because he wants nothing so much as to bless his children. We will still have to contend with, bear, the physical consequences of our iniquities, but the blessings will begin to make them bearable, then make up for them and eventually, as we remain faithful to our covenant, the blessings will overtake the consequences and make them as a minor annoyance, as he promised, until the day we see him as he is and live in 100% blessing and shalom with him in Yeshua’s Kingdom and olam haba. Q&C

Yochanan 14:1-31Immediate background – In ch.13, Yeshua had told his talmidim that he was going for a while to a place they could not follow him, referring to his death

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

and Kefa asked why he couldn’t follow, not understanding the sod nature of Yeshua’s words. Yeshua answered him with a prophecy of what would transpire that very night while he was being ‘tried’ by the Jews (which word, I believe, refers to the Iuaidoi political leadership of the religion in Yerushalayim, not the ‘man in the street’).

38 Yeshua answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

And that is what set the stage for 14.1. 

Remember that there were no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts; chapters and verses are a relatively modern convention. Yeshua was still addressing Kefa about the thrice denial he’d just prophesied. I think that the exchange between Kefa and Yeshua in 13.36-38 was in confidence, and then in ch.14, he changed to addressing the whole group of talmidim to quell their similar apprehension at his last words to the group in 13.33-35. 

All 4 gospel writers recounted this event, but this time Yochanan agrees with 2 of the synoptics (Matt and Luke), but the 2 synoptics are slightly different than Kefa’s own account of the story in the book of Mark, which I think has an additional detail the other writers left out; that the cock would crow twice. Kefa knew ‘the REST of the story’, having known the whole thing first hand. Now, as you read ch.14, think ‘sod’ level, not just pashat. If you just think in the concrete, word on the page, sense and disregard the metaphorical sense, you will never understand Yeshua’s words. All through ch.14 (in fact, almost every word of Yeshua in Yochanan’s besorah is sod), Yeshua is speaking with at least a dual meaning. 

He told the group (Mark paraphrase) “Don’t be concerned! y’all believe Elohim, believe me, too.” He says that he is Y’hovah in human flesh right there. Remember what ‘in my name’ means; ‘in my authority’ or ‘in the same Ruach as mine’. Same thing here; ‘in me’ and ‘in Elohim’ are synonymous terms and he equates his Ruach with the Ruach of Y’hovah, which are echad and the same on ALL levels of PaRDeS. 

He goes on to say that there are many mansions, or dwelling places, in Abba’s house. Again, this has at least 2 levels of understanding; in this life (Temple and kahalim) and in the one to come (New Creation). He then makes reference to two things that he will do in the future, in the time his flesh is in the grave and also after his bodily ascension 40 days after his resurrection. He is preparing a place for each of us and for all of us in both spheres, temporal and eternal. And since he is preparing for us, he will return to receive us unto himself. This is Hebraic wedding-speak. Once the Ketubah (betrothal and legal marriage, but not co-habitation) was entered into, the husband would go back to his father’s house and prepare for his bride; he would build a home for them to live in and a business to support her. Only when his abba said the husband was ready to receive his bride to their new life would the Nesu-in, the marriage celebration and consummation, take place. This is the allusion Yeshua is making to his ‘macho-man’ talmidim, and they understood it full well. Then he said in a remez, or hint, that they knew where he was going and the Way to get there, but Thomas asks for clarification, being somewhat denser to the metaphor than even Kefa was. Yeshua answers with an even deeper reference in v.6. He said 

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to haAbba, but by (or through) me.

Each of those direct objects is a reference to the Word of Y’hovah. The Hebrew word for “Way” is Derech, as in Ramchal’s book Derech Hashem, “The Way of Y’hovah”. The Hebrew word for “Truth” is emeth, as in Yochanan 17.17, “Thy word is truth”, and Ps.119.160, “Thy Word is True”. The Hebrew word for “Life” is chai, as in Prov.3.1-2

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Yeshua is affirming the truth that Yochanan spoke in ch.1.1-4, 14,

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Q&C

In v.7 Yeshua uses another remez to tell them that he and Avinu are echad and the same. He says that because they know him they know Avinu. Now, I think Philip is asking Yeshua to reveal the glory of Y’hovah to them right there on the spot in v.8. Perhaps Kefa, Yacov and Yochanan had told them about Y’hovah speaking to them on the Mount of Transfiguration

1 And after six days Yeshua taketh Kefa, Yacov, and Yochanan his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moshe and EliYahu talking with him. 4 Then answered Kefa, and said unto Yeshua, Adoni it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Yeshua came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Yeshua only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Yeshua charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man … (Matt.17.1-9a)

If it were I, I’d have a REALLY hard time not telling the other 9 about it. And I think it was the same for the ‘inner circle’. Do you think that, if YOU were up on the Mount and saw the glory of Y’hovah, YOU’d be able to contain YOURself? If so, get over yourself and think again. Anyway, Yeshua says to Philip in vv.9-11 (Mark paraphrase), “Are you dense? I have been revealing his glory to you since the day I called you. I and Avi are ECHAD! (Jn.10.30)” 

He speaks in the remez again in vv.10-11 when he tells them that he is in Avi and Avi is in him. Y’hovah is the Ruach of Yeshua. Yeshua says he will cause the resurrection of the dead (Jn.6.39, 40, 44, 54). I don’t think that the flesh of Yeshua does any resurrecting or any other miraculous work by its own power, but by the power of Ruach of Y’hovah that indwelt him from the moment of his conception. In the literal sense, then, Y’hovah is IN Yeshua, and in the metaphorical sense, Yeshua is IN Y’hovah. He then makes the same statement as he did to the Pharisees, “Believe me or believe my works, it’s all the same.”

Then, in vv.12-14, he drops a bomb on them (Mark paraphrase), “You think I’VE done some wonderful works? YOU will do GREATER works than these! If you ask anything in MY NAME, I will do it.” There is no doubt in my mind that Yeshua is telling his talmidim that he is Y’hovah in human flesh. Moshe never told Israel to ask Y’hovah for anything in Moshe’s name, but Yeshua is telling his talmidim to ask in Yeshua’s Name, and that HE, Yeshua, will do it! To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, either he is as crazy as a man who claims that he is a poached egg, or he is a liar, or he is who he claims to be. There isn’t any other valid option. ALL of the men present with him in that room believe he is who he claims to be – and so do I. 

In vv.15-18 Yeshua drops another bomb. He again equates himself to Y’hovah by saying that the commandments are HIS and he expects us to obey them. Only AFTER that does he say that he will pray, or ask, Abba to give you another Comforter, as if the one follows the other. I infer that to mean, ‘show me your active, volitional choice to obey and I will give you the Spirit of Y’hovah to empower your obedience’. That’s the grace by which we are ‘saved’ (Eph.2.8). As to the Ruach who comforts us, Yeshua also equates himself to that Spirit of Y’hovah,

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14.18)

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, Ruach haEmeth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)

Y’hovah is echad (Dev.6.4) and the Spirit of Y’hovah is the Spirit of Yeshua, there is no differentiation between them. Only the flesh of Mashiyach Yeshua is different in any way; Y’hovah, Elohim, and Mashiyach are all one Spirit of the Almighty, echad. 

Vv.19-20 are another bomb, I think. He says that the world, by that I infer the world’s system, can’t see the spiritual truth that he is presenting, but they can because they understand, at least ‘in utero’, what he is saying to them and that they shall truly ‘get it’ when Y’hovah’s Ruach comes on them at the upcoming Feast of Shavuoth, Pentecost. Then they will know experientially that as Y’hovah is in Yeshua and Yeshua in Y’hovah, Ruach of Yeshua and Avinu will reside in them. And, in v.21, when Ruach haKodesh takes up residence in the spirits of men, he will empower them to shema, hear, know and do, Y’hovah Yeshua’s commandments, and thereby prove our love for him. Q&C

Vv.22-31 – Yehudah asked him how it will be that the talmidim will see him, but the world will not. So Yeshua goes into an explanation of how Ruach will illuminate our minds to his truth. If one loves Yeshua and his Word, Y’hovah will love him and Ruach of Y’hovah Yeshua will live in him, and that Spirit of Truth will reveal the truth to us, 

But Elohim hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Elohim. (I Corinthians 2:10)

Yeshua says that we can know those who love him by how they walk. Are they walking in his commandments? If yes, you are looking at a brother or a potential brother, because these are not the words of the man Yeshua, but the very Words of Y’hovah Elohenu. He tells them that Ruach will bring all things that he has taught them to their remembrance when they need it. I pray Y’hovah that he will do that with us when we need it in the not too distant future. 

Yeshua knows that the talmidim are feeling some apprehension because of his words about leaving and sending his Ruach to guide them, so he tells them that the Shalom he has with Y’hovah is the same Shalom he will leave with them. When Yeshua said that he followed up by telling them to not be troubled or afraid, because it is by his going to Avinu that he will be able to come to them by the instrumentality of Ruach haKodesh dwelling in them. Then he said (Mark paraphrase), ‘I tell you this now, so that when it comes to pass you will believe and KNOW without any doubt that I am who I claim to be and will do what I promise to do. I won’t say a lot more in this world, because the enemy is about to be given some more rope with which to hang himself. But, so the world will know that I love Abba, and as Abba has told me, I now tell you – keep my commandments. I have another appointment tonight, so let’s make like a tree.’ Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 12, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 12, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 Sabbath 44

Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26 – Isaiah 60:1-22 – Psalm 141 – Revelation 21:9-22:7

Links: 

http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm

Devarim 26:1-27:26 Vv.1-11 speak of the firstfruits of the harvests. The firstfruit would technically be the very first fruit to ripen on the stalk, vine of branch; like the first ripe fig or bunch of grapes or head of grain. The ‘sages’ say that the farmer would inspect his crop and the first fig he saw that was ripe he would tie a thread (a techeleth thread? – it doesn’t specify) on that branch to designate it and bring that produce to the Kohen as the firstfruit offering to Y’hovah. If this were the case, I must assume that every farmer in Israel, which was an agrarian society, would carry his firstfruits to J’lem at every ‘presentation Feast’, along with any tithe he would bring. I don’t think that either the firstfruit or the tithe could be brought from any distance for UnLeavened Bread (ULB), because the day of Chag haBikkurim isn’t until the 1st day following the Shabbat during ULB, UNLESS they waited to go up to J’lem AFTER chag habikkurim. But what if chag haBikkurim fell on the LAST day of ULB? The general barley harvest may not commence until the Kohen haGadol cut the first sheaf of barley on chag haBikkurim. It could be that both the barley and the wheat firstfruits would be brought at Shavuoth time. I’m thinking about this as I type, so thank you for indulging me. So, now let me look at Lev.23 for some clarification.

4 These are the feasts of Y’hovah, holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth of the first month at even Y’hovah’s passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month the feast of unleavened bread unto Y’hovah: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Y’hovah seven days: in the seventh day an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work. 9 And Y’hovah spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before Y’hovah, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Vayikra 23.4-11)

It looks as if I was wr…; It looks as if I was wro …; It looks as if I was wro-o-…; It looks as if I was mistaken about the harvest commencing AFTER the high priest cut the sheaf on chag haBikkurim, but that the people brought the firstfruits of their barley FOR chag haBikkurim. I based that thinking above on Michael Rood’s teaching on the Feasts of Y’hovah for “The Prophecy Club”. I think he based that teaching on what he had learned of the actual practice of Israel, and I think that info came from Nehemiah Gordon. I may be wrong about that. At any rate, the harvest may not be complete by then, but they would have to harvest at least SOME of the crop to bring the bikkurim for the Kohen to wave before Y’hovah on chag haBikkurim, according to Lev.23. What they could not do was PARTAKE of the harvest until the bikkurim had been offered. 

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your Elohim: a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

After the offering of the bikkurim they could begin to use that harvest’s produce. 

Why do we call Ya’acov a Syrian in v.5? Could be that all the boys, except Benyamin, were born in Lavan’s country, and even he was probably conceived there. That might qualify him for the designation. Stone’s Chumash has a midrashic ‘translation’, or rather paraphrase’, derived from Rashi. It says “An Aramean tried to destroy my forefather”, but that doesn’t fit the rest of the verse very well. KJV actually has a more correct, or at least a more literal, translation. 

V.7 leaves me with an impression that Israel had forgotten Y’hovah during her bondage in Egypt, for they call Y’hovah “Elohai Avotenu” , the Elohim of our Fathers, not “Our Elohim”, and that it was when he shema’d their call to him that they accepted him as Elohenu. 

Vv.12-15 – The confession of tithes – Schottenstein’s Chumash has a good commentary on this passage on p. 164, as well as on v.12, specifically. The rabbis take v.14 to say that on the day of a close relative’s death, the mourners are not to eat of the ma’aser sheni, the tithe we set aside for ourselves. I think this may be one reason that the people who come to ‘sit shiva’ with the mourners bring a meal or a portion of a meal to share with them. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting note on v.15, again on pg.166. In light of that one exception I infer that when Israel performs all the mitzvoth of vv.12-15, Y’hovah’s attribute of justice (Gevurah) is set aside and replaced by his attribute of mercy (chesed), each attribute being found in the middle of the tree of sefiroth, which are tied together by his attribute of beauty (tifereth).

In vv.16-19 Moshe admonishes us to remember to do all that Y’hovah has commanded us in his mitzvoth, mishpatim and chukim, because we have said that he is Elohenu and he has said that we are Ami, and to make Yisrael in all ways ‘high above all the peoples’ he has made. This will be seen in the Kingdom, when Yisrael makes up a vice-regency under King Mashiyach.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Mashiyach, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

which refers to

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. (Isaiah 32:1)

Isaiah 32.1 specifies a bit of the general promise of Dev.26.19 and Re.20.6 makes a bit more specific. Some of Yeshua’s Kingdom parables add some meat to the bones in Devarim, Isaiah and Revelation. Q&C

Devarim 27.1-25 – In 26.7 Moshe spoke of Y’hovah Elohai Avotenu to whom Yisrael had called for deliverance out of Egypt. In 27.3, he speaks with the elders (zachanim) of Yisrael of Y’hovah Elohai Avotecha and the land flowing with milk and honey that he is about to deliver them into. The reason the elders are there with Moshe is that Moshe was not going into the land with them, and there was a need to make the connexion between the zachanim and Moshe in everyone’s mind. He is placing his authority on these zachanim. Also, later in the chapter, they will be seen as the representatives of their tribes on either Mt. Ebal or Mt. Gerezim (the mount of blessing). I think that these elders were to write the Toroth on the 12 natural, uncut stones of the altar they were going to build on Mt. Ebal (the mount of cursing). They were to whitewash the stones and then write the Torah on the stones. It says that they shall write all the words of Torah on the stones, so either they had some humongous stones and some very fine paint brushes; OR they wrote only the 10 words on the stones. I have no doubt that Y’hovah could and did work a miracle to allow the Torah to be read and understood by anyone who read it from these stones. The ‘sages’ say that they were written in the 70 basic human languages of the 70 nations of the earth (cf. Schottenstein’s Chumash on vv.3&8, pp.167-168). The words “very plainly” in KJV make me infer that the 10 Words were what were written, not 70 copies of the entire Torah in all the 70 languages of the earth. The print would have to be VERY tiny to have all 70 languages on the stones, or even to have only the entire Torah in Hebrew.

Then, in v.12-13, Moshe separated the tribes; whose zachanim would stand on Gerezim and whose would stand on Ebal to proclaim the blessing and the curse. It’s interesting, to me anyway, that the 4 middle sons of Leah and the sons of Rachel were assigned to stand on the Mount of Blessing, while the physical bachor, Reuven, and Leah’s youngest were assigned, along with the concubine’s children, to stand on the Mount of Cursing. I understand that Yoseph and Yehuda, the tzadikim of Ya’acov, would have to be among the tribes on the mount of blessing. But what the actual significance of that is, I do not know beyond that Reuven had lost his bachor blessing as a result of his going in unto Bilhah and that none of the handmaid’s children were included in the group on Mt. Gerizim. I mean, why not exclude Shimon and include Zevulon? And why is Levi on the mount of blessing AND in the valley? What part of Levi is on Gerezim? Are only the Aharonic priests and Levite elders (Merari, Gershom and Kohath elders) in the valley and the rest on the mountain? (That last is what Chumash says.) 

In vv.14-26 we see the curses that were to be pronounced, but where are the blessings? Remember vv.11-13

11 And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, 12 These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin: 13 And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

The tribes on Mount Gerezim stood to bless the people, while the tribes on Mount Ebal stood to curse the people. So where is the blessing? I believe that first the Leviim in the valley pronounced the 1st blessing and the people on Mt. Gerezim both received it and agreed to it for the whole nation. Then, 2nd, the Leviim in the valley would pronounce the 1st curse and the people on Mt. Ebal both received it and agreed to it for the whole nation. And then the process repeated itself through the entire list of curses, like this:

[14b 1) “Blessed the man that maketh [not] graven or molten image, an abomination unto Y’hovah, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth in secret.” And all the people shall say “Amein”!]

15 “Cursed the man that maketh graven or molten image, an abomination unto Y’hovah, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth in secret.” And all the people shall say, “Amein!”

[15b “Blessed he that setteth [not] light by his father or his mother.” And all the people shall say, “Amein.”]

16 “Cursed he that setteth light by his father or his mother.” And all the people shall say, “Amein.”

And so on to the end of the chapter. There are 12 blessings and 12 curses; one each for each tribe (and possibly each stone in the altar.) Schottenstein’s Chumash has some corroborating speculation on pg.169-70; vv.14, 18, 20-23.

V.17 speaks of moving a boundary, as we touched on last week. Human government, especially of the socialist/communist/fascist type (IOW, the World System as it is today), is constantly moving the borders by adding laws for the specific purpose of making law abiding citizens into felons. The laws are passed with the certain knowledge that otherwise law-abiding citizens will break them, like the State of New Jersey did in December 2018 by making it a felony to have a magazine of more than 8 rounds in any semi-auto weapon, even for off-duty policemen. The minute a policeman goes off duty, he must remove the magazine from his service weapon and replace it with a ‘baby’ magazine, or face felony charges if he is caught. 

V.25 will be a source of America’s curse – because murdering the innocent, especially on the altar of Molech, as in abortion, is abomination before Y’hovah.  Q&C

YeshaYahu 60:1-22 – We closed our Torah parsha today with the blessings and curses that were pronounced on the people who would shema Y’hovah’s Words or despise, ma’as, them, respectively. In this chapter of YeshaYahu, we see fulfillment of those blessings on the faithful, which will see partial fulfillment in the millennial Kingdom of Mashiyach, but ultimate fulfillment in the New Creation. Vv.1-5 = tribulation; 6-17 =Yeshua’s Kingdom; 18-22 = New Creation.

Vv.1-5 In the time of Yacov’s trouble there will be a readily discernable difference between Y’hovah’s own and the rest of humanity, because Y’hovah’s glory will be evident on us. We will be like a lamp in a dark room and the light of our lamp will be Mashiyach Yeshua. It is obviously Tribulation time and Y’hovah arising shows that his personal interest in our lives is unmistakable. The difference will be so stark between the powers of the earth and the Power working in us that the nations will see and desire our light, which will draw them like moths. All you’ll need to see the nations coming to you will be to lift up your eyes. In some, it is easy to see now if your eyes are open to it. Sometimes, the most obstinate people are that way because their human spirit desires what we have, but the wicked spirits they have allowed into their lives are rebelling against it. They WANT to believe and have Ruach haKodesh ruling their heart of hearts, but are influenced heavily by the power and spirit of this wicked age. When our eyes are open to see the Ruach haKodesh, we are able to see the desire in the spirits of the people with whom we deal and know if they are wanting the shalom we have with Y’hovah or not. In the not too distant future, we will see a lot of this and Ruach l’Y’hovah will allow us to discern them from the rabble.

Vv.6-10 – We will see all manner of men from the nations, represented by camels, dromedaries and other unclean animals, bringing their gifts to Y’hovah as the Egyptians did in the Exodus. This time, however, they will bring them willingly unto Y’hovah, not just to get us out of their land and be rid of the curses being brought against them and their lands. Nebaioth and Kedar are the eldest sons of Ishmael, and were nomadic shepherds, Bedouins, as it were. The ‘rams of Nebaioth’ are the gifts they would bring unto Y’hovah. It seems that Y’hovah will accept the clean animal offerings of even the most wicked nations when they come to our windows to partake of the light shining forth through us in the Day of Y’hovah’s Kingdom. Not only will the nations bring their gifts to King Mashiyach, they will give us passage to haAretz from the 4 corners of the earth. They will come in droves to help us rebuild haAretz. They will see that, while Y’hovah chastised us when it was necessary, when we turned to him he responded in perfect shalom v’rachamim. I think it will be this mercy and peace shining through us in the midst of persecution that will draw them to us in the 1st place.

Vv.11-17 – The mercy and peace will be so apparent in us and the nations will be drawn so fully to that rachamim v’shalom that we will not have time to close the gates to our cities and we’ll leave them open to receive them. They will come with all their power ready to use it for Y’hovah’s glory. The word translated ‘forces’ is Strong’s

2428 chayil khah’-yil from 2342 chayal חיל, ‘to concentrate power and resources’; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength:–able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces …

All the power of the nations will be at the disposal of King Mashiyach and his people. They shall depose any authority that will not serve Mashiyach and his vice-regents. Lebanon will once again be a willing ally of Zion, as in the days of David and Shlomo. Its glory will once again be stupendous, and that right quickly. Lebanon today is largely wasteland due to the Amalekites who rule there, but in the Kingdom days, it will once again flourish to bring its glory to Mashiyach’s feet. “The Zion” is not political Zion that rules Israel today, but true Biblical Zion under the King, Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach.

12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of Y’hovah. 

14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith Y’hovah. (Zephaniah 3:12, 14, 20)

We had been hated and so that our neighbors made it a point to avoid going through us, now they are flocking to our borders for the peace and mercy to be found there, as in 

18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Y’hovah Tzavaoth; one shall be called, The city of destruction. 19 In that day shall there be an altar to Y’hovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Y’hovah. 20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto Y’hovah Tzavaoth in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto Y’hovah because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 21 And Y’hovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Y’hovah in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto Y’hovah, and perform it. 22 And Y’hovah shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it : and they shall return even to Y’hovah, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom Y’hovah Tzavaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (YeshaYahu 19.18-25)

V.16 is an allusion to the best the nations have to offer gladly made at Zion’s disposal in the day of Y’hovah’s Messianic Kingdom. V.17 shows that where we had good and strong, we shall have best and brightest freely given for our use in Mashiyach’s Kingdom. The word translated ‘exactor’ is Strong’s H5065

5065 nagas naw-gas’ a primitive root נגש, ‘to push, press for negative reasons’; to drive (an animal, a workman, a debtor, an army); by implication, to tax, harass, tyrannize …

But in that day, our taskmaster will be righteousness, not cruelty, and those in authority will be watchful for everyone’s shalom v’rachamim.

Vv.18-22 – There is a shift in the time spoken of beginning in v.18, as it seems that the evil inclination/OSN has been eradicated. I therefore infer that beginning in v.18, Isaiah was seeing the New Creation. The first few words make it plain, since “Chamas shall be no more.” HalleluYah! No more violence, which is a consequence of our inclination to evil. The source of wasting and destruction is wiped out, hence the rest of v.18. Vv.19-22 are unmistakably New Earth, as the sun and moon are not necessary to give us light, for Y’hovah’s glory will be all the light New Yerushalayim/Zion will need. These verses tie into our Apostolic text for today. As in our Revelation passage, it does not say the sun and moon don’t exist – in fact this passage says they do and never dim, so the entire earth will have light at all times, for the moon will not ‘withdraw itself’. I think that means that it will be in its full phase l’olam va’ed. V.21 says that the people will be ‘all righteous’ – no evil inclination or what the church calls the OSN, and v.22 says that the physical multiplicity that Y’hovah promises the faithful will take full effect. I think that within a very few decades, we will have to begin ‘expanding our coasts’. Isaiah tells us elsewhere that ‘of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.’ I take that very literally, and I think that it means that all that folderol of intelligent life on other planets and that they colonized the earth is a counterfeit of Y’hovah’s actual plan that humans in their original ‘unfallen’ state will colonize all those planets throughout the New Heavens. I COULD be wrong … But I DOUBT IT! Q&C 

Tehellim 141 – This psalm seems to be our prayer during that part of the tribulation that we just saw in Is.60.1-5. If our attitude then is like David’s was in this psalm, we will be very well off, indeed. Let’s see if David gives us a kind of outline for a prayer of supplication and praise.

David acknowledges that he is in need by calling out to Y’hovah, and then specifies how he wants Y’hovah to respond. He wants Y’hovah to hear his prayer and to answer it timely. He likens his prayer to the incense that is continually rising as a sweet savour; his hands lifted up in praise to the wave offering to Y’hovah, because that is what they ARE like to Y’hovah. He wants Y’hovah to guard his mouth from froward speech; to keep his heart from straying toward men’s rewards. He tells Y’hovah to lead the righteous men around him to get his attention when he is about to do something wrong; like Joab did when David commanded the census to number his fighting men, as if to go out conquering for conquering’s sake; and like Nathan did when the Bathsheba ‘affair’ came to light. He knew that, even though he would not like to hear the rebuke from his juniors and peers, such righteous men would help him to stay on the strait and narrow way. Righteous men are not afraid to ‘speak truth to power’. When his righteous counselors who watched out for him are up against it in battle, David’s prayers lift them up as a wave offering before Y’hovah for him to help them through whatever calamities may befall them in their righteousness. Even if he should suffer defeat in battle David’s trust is in Y’hovah, so he tells Y’hovah to keep him from the traps his wicked enemies have laid for him to fall into. In fact he wants his enemies to be taken in the very snares they set for him. 

David is expecting an affirmative response from Y’hovah in everything he says. He expects that his enemies will be given the same treatment they designed for him; like a false witness is due, because that is exactly what they are doing. His wicked enemies know, like the Chaldeans knew about Daniel, that they would not get David into a snare except they got him looking at anything but Y’hovah and his will. A few times, they got him to take his eyes off the prize, but David was sensitive to Y’hovah’s presence and knew when he was ‘off’. And he was humble enough, even as king, to recognize the righteousness of the men Y’hovah used as prophets to him – even Joab, who was not all that righteous much of the time. But David always returned in short order when he was chastened.

So, what can we take as a template from this prayer of David? 

1st, remember that your prayers are like sweet incense and your praise is like a freewill offering to Y’hovah. He truly does NOT desire blood; he shed his own to ransom us. What he wants from us is our conscious and willing worship and praise, which, when we are fully engaged therein, we will not be in sin. 

2nd, He is not after long prayers, so get to the point. Look at the verbiage David uses: ‘make haste’, ‘shema my prayer’, ‘set a watch’, ‘keep my lips’. David is not asking, he is commanding (Is.45.11, KJV & Stone’s Tanakh) and expecting a positive result. This is because he knows Y’hovah’s will is to do these things. So, 

3rd, make your needs known to Y’hovah so that he can deliver them: not as though he didn’t know them before you did, but because he wants us to consciously depend on him for our every need. 

4th, tell him that no matter the outcome of your skirmish with the enemy, your heart is fixed on him and his will and that you are trusting him to guard and keep you through to the end. Q&C

Revelation 21:9-22:7– To get the flow, let me summarize vv.1-8 before we get to 9-27. This is taken from my Midrashic Bible study on 8Jan2011 [perhaps updated].

Rev.21:1-8 – Yochanan saw the New heaven and New earth in which there was no more sea and the New Jerusalem descending from Elohim to the New Earth. The sea has always represented the masses of unbelieving humanity, the world system, in biblical prophecy. That there is no more sea is significant in that light. When Y’hovah creates the NEW heaven and earth there will be no sin and, as such, no sinful world system. THIS will be a place where he can finally bring his Bride – his Father’s House is the New Earth, wherein dwells righteousness, including Avinu. He will dwell permanently with us on his New Earth. The tears that he will wipe away are those of sorrow for the ones who were cast into the LoF and thoroughly consumed. How will he wipe those tears away? I mean, how will they STAY away? The only thing that makes sense is that our memories will be expunged of what causes us sorrow; whether personal, like loss of reward for evil done in the flesh; or memories of loved ones lost. 

18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. [Micah 7.18-19]

By what mechanism he does that is conjecture. I know of nothing in scripture that sheds light on that mechanism. Perhaps He will share HIS ability to choose to not remember it so that it just ceases to exist, like our forgiven sins.

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. [Jer. 31.31-34]

Y’hovah doesn’t ‘forget’, like we do. He CHOOSES to not remember. And when He does that, the thing he chooses to not remember ceases to exist, because when he ‘remembers’ his people, he acts for their good, even if we don’t like it at the time. As to tears of joy, the joy will be so all-pervasive as to exclude tears, because the idea of joyful tears requires there be a contrast. Joy will be a constant condition. 

It is in v.5 where I see that he’s removed the evil inclination/sin nature from those who were faithful unto the end, who came up to Jerusalem for the last millennial feast of Tabernacles – he makes ALL things NEW. Don’t ask me what the mechanism is by which he does that, either. All I know is that those words are ‘faithful and true’, that those saints go somewhere, and I see a New Heaven and a New Earth that will be ruled by Mashiyach ben David. Is.9:

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty Elohim, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Y’hovah Tzavaoth will perform this.

No end of the increase of government and peace = New Heavens/New Earth. No death, no sin, but ever increasing population to govern in peace = expansion of that government and population to the other planets and the stars, ALL of which are brand new and unsoiled by sin, and, therefore, PERHAPS all habitable. That thought kinda gives new weight to the parable of the pounds in Lk.19, doesn’t it?

Do you know the biblical definition of a liar (v.8)? 1Jn.2.

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

So, if you SAY you know him, but your lifestyle and normal walk is that you do not keep his commandments, you are a liar and you have no place in the New Heaven and Earth. 

Vv.9-14 – Watch how this narrative goes and we will see some interesting stuff that we MAY not have seen before. One of the messengers that poured out a vial of Y’hovah’s wrath came to conduct Yochanan on a brief tour of New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb. The Bride exudes the Shekinah of Y’hovah. Her light is like that which shines through a perfect diamond that is perfectly cut, showing all the colors/attributes of the Light that shines through her. The wall has 4 sides of equal proportion, each having 3 gates of a single pearl corresponding to one of the tribes of Yisrael, which reminds me of the 3 tribes in each of the 4 camps around the Mishkan in the wilderness. Are the gates of the east wall those of Yehudah, Yissachar and Zevulon (B’midbar 2); the west wall those of Ephraim, Menashe and BenYamin; and etc.? I think it highly likely. The wall has 12 foundations, each corresponding to one of Yeshua’s Talmidim. Could it be that each foundation sits under one of the gates to the city? 

Vv.15-21 – The messenger is given a reed with which to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. The city measured 1500 miles square around the foundation, as well as 1500 miles in height, and the walls were 144 cubits in height (and/or perhaps depth). V.17 has the first indication that the messenger was a man and not an angelic spirit. The wall of the city was of jasper; an opaque precious stone of silica base and almost any other mineral from which the jasper derives its color; and the city itself of gold so pure as to be clear. The streets seem to be of the same purity of gold. Our 99.9999% fine gold would be no better than dry-patch for those streets. The foundations, named for Yeshua’s Talmidim, are each of a different precious stone. 

Vv.22-27 – Not only is there a single throne on which sit both Y’hovah and the Lamb, but the temple AND the light there are also both Y’hovah and the Lamb. I must therefore assume that Y’hovah Elohenu and the Lamb are One. Please refer again to the Tree of Sefiroth (http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm) and understand that Y’hovah Elohenu manifested in the human flesh of Yeshua AND that the Jewish sages have always seen the center pillar of that Tree as a manifestation of Mashiyach, the perfect melding of the righteousness (left hand/Spirit of Elohim) and love (right hand/Spirit of Y’hovah) of the Almighty. As we saw in YeshaYahu today, just because there is no need for the sun and moon to give their light in the city doesn’t mean they do not exist. The sun and moon DO give their light to the earth, but are not NEEDED in the city, because the glory of Y’hovah lightens it from everywhere so that there is no shadow there. The way v.23 is worded, the Lamb IS the glory of Elohim. All the nations of the earth will bring their glory into the city and offer it before the Almighty, who is the ultimate source of the light and the glory. It all comes from him, so it is only right that we bring it back to him. Nothing will enter into the city, the Bride of Mashiyach, that can defile. There is nothing in the New Creation that CAN defile. 

Rev.22:1-7 – The Aleph and Tav of 21.6, the one that points out the direct object of Y’hovah’s Creation, said he would give of the water of the river of life freely to any who thirst. Here we see the water proceeds out of the throne of Y’hovah and the Lamb, so he is the source of mayim chaim. There is a single throne on which sit both Y’hovah and the Lamb. The river flows down the median of the boulevard of the city and is straddled by the roots of the tree of life (one tree, roots firmly planted on both sides of the river – another allusion to Mashiyach, like the center pillar of the tree of Sefiroth?). 

Jer.17.7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in Y’hovah, and whose hope Y’hovah is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The tree is obviously nourished by the water, for its leaves heal the nations. Do you suppose all 70 nations of the earth are represented in the Bride? Could well be, since all the nations bring their glory to the Lamb/Y’hovah/Elohim. 

“There shall be no more curse” – The curse of sin is exile and death, so there will be no more of that. The totality of who Abba is will be always on our minds and thoughts. There will be no need of phylacteries to remind us. We will be ever mindful of him. 

Is.2.2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Y’hovah’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Y’hovah, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Y’hovah from Jerusalem.

The phrase, “No need of candle, nor light of the sun,” does not say that they do not exist. They are unnecessary in the city, because Y’hovah/the Lamb is there. He is the source of ALL light  – his light, his Shekinah, permeates the city, where there is no need of the sun or any other source of light. In the city and, therefore, in the Bride, light just IS. It will permeate everything. The messenger says in v.7

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Yochanan fell down at the feet of the messenger and was immediately scolded for it, “HEY! I’m just a guy like you! I am a doer of the commandments. Don’t you dare worship me! You worship Elohim!” But Yochanan understood that the messenger he was talking to was Yeshua because he said, “Behold, I come quickly”. So, was it improper for him to fall at his feet to worship? I think that the idea was to not bow to the man Yeshua, but the Spirit of Y’hovah Elohenu. If we read the rest of ch.22, we will see that there is never a change of speaker from 21.9-22.20a. Yochanan never says a word until 22.20b. Has anyone else ever seen that this messenger is the resurrected Yeshua himself? Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 5, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 5, 2019

©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 -Week 43

Devarim 24.19-25.19 – Hoshea 10.12 – Tehellim 140 – Luka 12.13-48

Devarim 24:19 – 25:19 – The last 4 verses of Dev.23 deal with gleaners in the fields of Israel. Does v.19 bring anything in subsequent scripture to mind for you? The first thing that jumped into my head was Boaz ordering the reapers to drop some “Handsful of Purpose”, so the gleaners, the Moavitess Ruth in particular, would have it to glean. You’ll remember that Ruth had married Machlon (Ruth 4.10), Naomi and Elimelech’s bachor, or firstborn son, who died childless, and when Naomi determined to go back to Israel from Moav, Ruth forsook her nation and its Elohims to sojourn with Naomi and to affiliate and identify with Y’hovah. Now, let’s look at Ruth 2 – the whole chapter, just because I love it so. Please notice how many times scripture says that Ruth is a Moavitess. There is nothing in the plain sense to imply that she was anything else, unless you hold that the KJV punctuators were inspired of Y’hovah, as was the author of the Hebrew text. Only the comma before the prepositional phrase ‘with her’ in 1.22 even suggests that Ruth was returning, though the sentence says plainly that Naomi is returning. We begin w/the last verse of Ch.1:

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moav: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest [Stone’s Tanach has ‘AT the beginning of the barley harvest’]. 1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moavitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. 4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, Y’hovah I’machem. And they answered him, Yivorechecha Y’hovah. 

I infer that Boaz had slept in his home the night before and allowed the work to commence under the care of his trusted foreman. I also infer that this is the first day of the barley harvest, or chag haBikkurim, the day of firstfruits and the 1st day of the omer count. The Hebrew word for in or at the beginning is biyt’chilath, H8462, ‘the first time’. Here’s what Strong’s says

8462 tchillah תחלה tekh-il-law’ from 2490 חלה, literally ‘to weaken or to retard development’ in the sense of opening [nothing has been done yet; they are waiting with their very breath abated]; a commencement; rel. original (adverb, -ly):–begin(-ning), first (time). 

I infer that here it means to partake of the gleaning from day 1. So, Naomi and Ruth had arrived in BethLechem somewhat earlier, probably in time to observe Pesach and ULB.

5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? 6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, The Moavitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moav: 7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. 8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: 9 thine eyes on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of which the young men have drawn. 10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I a stranger? 11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 Y’hovah recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Y’hovah Elohim of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. [Ruth 2.5-12]

Did you get that? Boaz knew that Ruth was trusting to the protection and provision of Y’hovah for both Naomi and herself. Ruth had been born of Moav, but had decided to sojourn with Naomi and be engrafted into Yisrael. Imagine the testimony of Naomi to Ruth. This also means that he knew that he was near kin to Naomi and may already have been thinking of being kinsman redeemer to Machlon and Elimelech. 

13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, adoni; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto [Stone’s has ‘Though I am not as worthy as’] one of thine handmaidens. 14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched [barley] corns, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. 15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: 16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. 

Boaz not only made sure that Ruth had enough to eat and a place to rest if she needed to, he also instructed the reapers not only to not stop her from gleaning right after them, but to actually drop some handsful of reaped barley for her to pick up off the ground. She continued to find favor in his eyes because of how she comported herself and how she treated Naomi as her own mother. She was a woman of fine character. If she was pretty, that was just another selling point.

17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed. 

She not only brought what she’d gleaned (I think an ephah is about a bushel – quite a take for a gleaner. Ephah is derived from Egyptian and means ‘measure’. Easton’s Bible dictionary says that an ephah is 10 Omers and that an omer is about ½ gallon, so an ephah is about 5 gallons) already prepared for parching and use, but also brought the leftovers of her lunch to Naomi, so they wouldn’t have to use the produce of her gleanings. 

19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. 20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, baruch hu l’Y’hovah, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. 

Neither Boaz nor Y’hovah had forgotten to bless Elimelech through Naomi and Ruth

And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. 21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. 22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, Good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field. 23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Ruth kept close by Boaz’s maidens and I infer that he kept an eye on her with them until Shavuoth, the Feast of Y’hovah following the wheat harvest. Speculation Warning! Be Bereans! He watched her for 50 days. I infer that he did the kinsman-redeemer offer to the nearer kin while the barley harvest was underway and married her at Shavuoth. Perhaps he prepared the ketubah between Unleavened Bread and Shavuoth; committed to marry her by entering into the Ketubah with her on Shavuoth and then finalized and consummated the marriage at Sukkoth. End of speculation warning.

Dev.24.20-22 – When we go to harvest our olives and grapes, we are to gather what is ripe or ready for harvest, but anything that is not ready is to be left so that the sojourners, widows, orphans, and strangers would be able to glean what Yah did not choose to have ready for the reapers. We are not to go back after the harvest to glean for ourselves, but to leave it for the poor or to just drop and fertilize the soil for the next planting. This is one of the ways that Y’hovah kept the land fertile and productive for his people who followed his agricultural laws. One of the reasons our food is more or less empty calories is because we have either forgotten or just plain despised Y’hovah’s commands concerning the land, including the land sabbaths and yovels. Q&C

Devarim 25.1-4 – When Israelites have a matter at controversy; say, a landmark issue, and they can’t come to mutual agreement on a solution, they were to resort to the court system to resolve it according to Torah and any other evidence that was available. In the case of a landmark issue, they were to go to the tribal records and to the Torah to find all the evidence there was to make a righteous judgment. The judges were not to consider the persons involved, only Torah and any other physical evidence available; they were NOT to find in favor of a friend or close relative against Torah or the evidence. BTW, if you are judging between a friend/relative and one unknown to you, you must treat only the evidence, whether of not your friend or family member pressures you to find for him. And if a rift develops over your fulfilling your duty to Torah, pray that your acquaintance has a change of heart, but do not make an unrighteous judgment just to save your friend’s/relative’s feelings.

If, in our example, there is evidence of moving the landmark, the next verses come into play, and the man who moved the landmark is to receive lashes in punishment and to make restitution by moving the landmarks back where they belong. The passage only says 40 lashes, but I do not think that is a prescription; I think it is a worst-case punishment for any matter. The sages say that even 40 lashes is too many and that 39 is the worst-case. Rav Shaul received ‘40 save 1’ on 5 occasions within the synagogue system.

23 Are they ministers of Mashiyach? (I speak as a fool) I more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Iuaidoi five times received I forty save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (2Cor.11.23-25)

Sha’ul received those stripes, and perhaps the beating with rods, and the stoning so that he could remain in the synagogue system. Had he refused the punishment, either by just not submitting or by invoking his citizenship in the Empire, he would have made himself ineligible to enter either the Temple or the synagogues – and word of this would have traveled very quickly. Paul NEVER left the synagogue or Temple system; he kept himself under their authority until his death so that he would ALWAYS be able to go ‘to the Yehudi first, and also to the Greek’. His mission was to regather the lost sheep of the whole house of Yisrael to Mashiyach, and there was no better place to start in a new city than the synagogue. 

V.4 seems to be WAY out of place. In the pashat, it fits well with 23.24-25, for the reapers are allowed to chew on a bit of what they are reaping as they go AND there should be a place where the reapers/gleaners could get some water and a rest out of the sun, as well. In the case of the animals, they need to rest occasionally to graze and drink as they do the heavy work in the field, and the master of that field MUST be careful of his animals at all times; they MUST be treated humanely and be fed, watered, and milked (if necessary), even on Shabbat (not that they would be reaping on Shabbat). But why put this verse between 2 passages on judgment? There must be a connexion. Rav Sha’ul quotes this passage at least twice,

7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not Torah the same also? 9 For it is written in the Torah of Moshe, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth Elohim take care for oxen? (1Cor.9.7-9)

Sha’ul makes a lesser to greater application there. And perhaps that is Torah’s point in our passage.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1Tim.5.17-18)

Yeshua makes reference to this passage, as well as the reapers,

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. (Luke 10:7)

Those labourers are to receive their hire at the end of the day, as we saw last week, AND were to be fed and supplied with drink during the day. Remember how Boaz cared for the labourers in his fields, including the gleaners. Going back to Sha’ul’s ‘lesser to greater’ argument, if Y’hovah makes a negative command concerning an ox in the field, should we not also ensure that human labourers are well cared for while in our employ? If he cares enough about the oxen to command their care and feeding, do you think he cares less for the landmarks in our illustration above? Q&C

Vv.5-10 – If Y’hovah cares for the ox in the field, how much more does he care for the inheritances he has ordained? It was not a small thing to deny the duty of kinsman-redeemer (KR henceforth) to a brother or close cousin. Y’hovah takes his children’s inheritances seriously, as can be seen by the public humiliation commanded upon the man. Why do you think Onan died when he refused to raise children to Er by Tamar (B’reishith 38)? Why do you think Yehudah saw immediately upon being asked, “Whose are these?” that Tamar was more righteous than he (and that she either knew the reason he had estranged himself from Ya’acov or that Y’hovah was in the whole situation)? 

I think that Yehudah knew the law of the KR, and that it was the land inheritance that was to be protected. The land was inherited by the bachor, the first-born son of the father. If the bachor died childless, the 2nd born son was to raise up a child to his elder brother through his widow (the commandment is to name the new bachor, the son born to the widow of the bachor by the KR, after the bachor [v.6 – you give the son his father’s name], for the purpose of keeping his name in remembrance). Boaz knew there was a closer kinsman, so he went before the judges in the city gate and told him that if he did not wish to act as KR, Boaz would do the redemption, thereby giving him a valid reason to turn it down AND show the judges that the KR commandment would be upheld, so no stripes or humiliation would ensue. I infer that the closer kinsman had not had a son, yet, and that was why raising a son to Ruth would mess up his own inheritance. I also infer that Boaz was either NOT the bachor of his family or had already had a son who would be bachor of his inheritance, so his inheritance would not be encumbered by Ruth’s firstborn son, as would have happened to the closer kinsman’s, if my inferences are correct.

Another Speculation warning! Be Bereans! Is not Ephraim now Ya’acov’s bachor (Gen.48.14, 18)? Are not the present inhabitants of the land mainly descended from Ephraim, or 10-Yisrael, since they are mostly descended from the Khazari Yehudi Ashkenazim of ancient Scythia? Do you suppose they called the nation Israel instead of Yehudah for that reason? End of Speculation Warning!

Vv.11-12 – See Schottenstein’s Chumash on these verses (pg. 159, left column), whose explanation is quite reasonable.

Vv13-16 refer to honest weights and measures.  We are not to do any double-dealing, charging one thing to a brother or friend and another for a stranger or sojourner – no thumbs on the scale, bro. We are to be scrupulously honest in business. We are to be known as trustworthy. Y’hovah holds any who use unjust weights and measures as an abomination before him. 

Now apply this to the United States of America’s government and economic system and ask yourself why we are being made the anus and not the head. Let’s look at what USED to be the norm for the USA, as it is written,

1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of Y’hovah Elohecha, to observe to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that Y’hovah Elohecha will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Y’hovah Elohecha. 3 Blessed thou in the city, and blessed thou in the field. 4 Blessed the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed thy basket and thy store. 6 Blessed thou when thou comest in, and blessed thou when thou goest out. 7 Y’hovah shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 Y’hovah shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which Y’hovah Elohecha giveth thee. 9 Y’hovah shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of Y’hovah Elohecha, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of Y’hovah; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11 And Y’hovah shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which Y’hovah sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 Y’hovah shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And Y’hovah shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of Y’hovah Elohecha, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do: 14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, the right hand, or the left, to go after other Elohims to serve them. (Devarim 28.1-14)

And since our nation officially turned its back on Y’hovah, he has turned our blessings of Dev.28.1-14 into the curses of vv.15-68 and we are soon to be dispersed into servitude.

Vv.17-19 are about how we are to deal with Amalek, who came out against us in Shemoth 17, right after Y’hovah gave us the water from the Rock at Rephidim.

8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim… 11 And it came to pass, when Moshe held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed… 14 And Y’hovah said unto Moshe, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Yehoshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven… 16 For he said, Because Y’hovah hath sworn that Y’hovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (Exodus 17:8, 11, 14, 16)

We were to utterly destroy Amalek from under heaven and that commandment still applies. Had we done it on the way into the land under Yehoshua, we would not have the troubles baAretz that we do today. But then, we also would not have him to make war with from generation to generation – until the New Creation is ‘generated’. And it will be Y’hovah that puts out Amalek from his remembrance. In one sense of that verse, Y’hovah is doing just that. When Amalek is in the land, it is a wasteland for Y’hovah does not ‘remember’ them, but when Israel is in the land, it becomes a garden for he does remember Yisrael, his inheritance. Q&C

Hosea 10:12 – Aven (v.8) is the Hebraic designation of On, the idolatrous city in Egypt. It also speaks of the idolatry in Bethel in 10-Israel and of a Syrian city dedicated to the same false Elohim. Here’s what Strong’s says about H206, Aven [Hebroot 205 avan אונ, ‘to acquire’]

idolatry; Aven, the contemptuous synonym of three places, one in Coele-Syria, one in Egypt (On), and one in Palestine (Bethel)

When Yerovoam ran from the face of Shlomo near the end of Shlomo’s reign, he went to Egypt, where he descended into Egypt’s pagan worship, quite probably the Egyptian Elohim On (and married an Egyptian princess). When he set up the false Y’hovah worship in 10-Israel, he set up an idol in Bethel and another in Dan. Bethel was where the people of southern Israel went for their regular worship, but Dan is where they went for Sukkoth in the 8th month. Yah is calling on 10-Israel to forsake her idolatry and turn to the TRUE worship of Y’hovah according to Torah instead of the traditions of men. Those traditions were what caused our ground to go fallow in the first place. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has this for ‘fallow’,

This word may be from the root of ‘fail’; fallo; so called from the fading color of autumn leaves, or from failure, withering. Hence also the sense of unoccupied, applied to land.

2. Unsowed; not tilled; left to rest after a year or more of tillage; as fallow ground; a fallow field. Break up your fallow ground. Jer.4

5. Unoccupied; neglected (unused).

This would be the condition of the land in the first year after the Yovel, for it would have been 2 years since it had been plowed and tilled. The idea of breaking up the fallow ground is to take hard soil and break into it and turn it over, and then to take the clumps and till them into fine soil and then to await the rains of righteousness to make them able to bear fruit. In this case, of course, the fallow ground is a metaphor for our hard hearts. If we sow the Word in our softened hearts, we will reap the mercy of Y’hovah in the same proportion as we are able to soak up the Word of righteousness that He rains on the good, broken and tilled soil of our hearts.

Tehellim 140 – Do not vv.1-2 speak of conditions in American government: indeed, MOST human governments of late? It seems that if America is not engaged in a war, she is looking for an excuse to go to war. The American government already has military men stationed in over 150 nations, and in 2013 promised to send troops to 35 African nations to combat ‘terrorism’. Is it any wonder that many people see the American government as the greatest terror threat in the world? Is it not possible that they see America as a fulfillment of v.3 (Selah – consider that): forked tongues and poisonous words that weave a web of deceit that can easily take in the unwary or unscrupulous? Please notice that after David considered v.3, he immediately asked Y’hovah to keep him safe from those adders and spiders. All of vv.4&5 amplify v.3 and then David stops to consider it all again. A gin, in the way the word is used in KJV, is a snare for catching game. After considering the wickedness of those who arrayed themselves against him, David calls on Y’hovah to shema his voice and his requests, and asks his guidance and protection from his enemies and their gins. By the way, another definition of ‘gin’ is a device that supplements human strength to multiply the effectiveness of work done, like the ‘cotton-gin’ of Eli Whitney.

In vv.9-11, David gets down to specific imprecations against his enemies; that they be entangled in their own words, that they get burned by their own devices, and fall into the pits they’d set for him. The wicked spirits that drive these violent men will eventually turn on them, overthrow them, and tear them to pieces. Then in vv.12-13, David shows that his trust in Y’hovah will be his strength and assurance; that Y’hovah will take up the cause of his righteous men who are afflicted by the wickedness in the world. Remember that ‘afflicted’ and ‘poor’ (v.12) are references to exile and dispersion from Y’hovah and his land. V.13 shows that even though we may be in dispersion and exile, if we are after his heart, desire to be righteous, and exalt his Name, he will regather us to himself so that we may dwell with him in his Kingdom and olam haba. Q&C

Luke 12:13-48 – In vv.13-31 Yeshua uses a request from one of the crowd that Yeshua instruct his brother, I assume the bachor, to share the inheritance (which goes against the peshat of our Torah parsha today) to make a point about covetousness. Why he didn’t rebuke the guy on the spot shows that Yeshua was a whole lot better than me; I’d have laced into him. Yeshua was ‘Fulfilling Torah’ in the Mat.5.17 sense; giving its proper interpretation. The parallel passage in Matt is in 6.24-34. What follows is taken from my study “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective”, originally taught as a weekly bible study between 2001 and 2006 and updated since then. 

Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon.”

The greek word for mammon is mammonos which derives from Chaldean and originally meant confidence. It has since come to mean avarice deified, but it literally means that in which you place your confidence. 

The theme of chapter 6.16ff is obviously single-mindedness. We Laodiceans are the most double-minded people ever to live, I think. We claim to be Elohim’s and to be interested only in the things of Elohim with our mouths, but our actions put the lie to our words. We make great pretense of serving Elohim, and then act out of self-interest. Yeshua says here that we can’t have it both ways. 

How can we serve Elohim while serving ourselves? Who is Elohim, the Creator of the universe or myself? Whom do I serve? When I look at that question honestly, most, if not all, of the time, I must answer – myself. Elohim forgive me for my self-seeking and self-service, and give me a heart to serve and to seek only you and yours. Where is your confidence?

Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the assembly than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if Elohim so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

This is a large chunk of scripture, but it is all in illustration of how we are to look at our lives and our needs. It is an illustration of the single-mindedness taught in vv.16-24. The main point of the whole last 2/3 of Chapter 6 is in verse 33. There is really nothing more to be said except to ask, ‘How am I doing?’ If your honest answer is, ‘Miserably’, join the club. Now, what are we going to do about it?

It is interesting to note that Yeshua here speaks of the kingdom of Elohim, rather than the kingdom of heaven. The two aspects of the kingdom are juxtaposed in Matthew, the KOG mentioned 5x and the KOH mentioned 25x. Remember that the KOH refers to Yisrael in belief with Yeshua as the King and will be literally fulfilled in the millennium, while the KOG refers to Elohim’s kingdom throughout eternity. The KOH is included within the KOG. The disciples (and we) are to seek the kingdom of Elohim, which includes all believers from all times, not just the kingdom of heaven, which includes Yisrael ruling on earth over the nations.

Luke 12.32-40 – Abba is pleased to give his children every treasure and he has promised to do that, but he promises it in regard to the KOH/KOG. This whole passage, like John 6, is primarily to be seen as a sod level teaching. Rav Sha’ul applies it to himself in 

3 For we are the circumcision, which worship Elohim in the spirit, and rejoice in Mashiyach Yeshua, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching [oral] law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in Torah, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Mashiyach. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Mashiyach Yeshua Adonai: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Mashiyach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of [oral] law, but that which is through the faith of Mashiyach [Torah], the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:3-11)

The English word ‘count’ in this context means ‘consider’. Rav Sha’ul still possesses all the things he considers waste, but they are of less importance to him than to be found faithful to Mashiyach Yeshua and worthy of the resurrection. That is what our attitude should be like, and Yeshua said so in our passage today. After he says to ‘sell what ye have’ he says ‘provide yourselves bags which wax not old’ into which it’s implied we put the important stuff that we will inherit to replace all the crapola we discarded to follow him. Anything material that does not wax old must be somewhere in spiritual space, where there is no time. And if the bag of stuff is there and is ours, it must be awaiting our resurrection or translation into eternity. Paul thought that anything that moths will eat, rust will corrupt or thieves might steal is pretty much worthless; dung, when compared to eternal things. And if our hearts are after things that cannot be assailed, we are unable to be defeated. Q&C

Vv.35-40 speak of watchfulness. In the Olivet Discourse (Mat.24.43ff), Yeshua makes reference to this very idea. Again, from “Life of Yeshua”;

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour Adonenu doth come.” In a Mark paraphrase we see, “In light of the verses immediately preceding this one (vv.36-41), watch.” The word watch does not refer to a timepiece on your wrist. It means to keep awake to your surroundings, to be vigilantly circumspect. Observe the signs of the times we just spoke about, keep yourself as undefiled by the world as Y’hovah gives you the grace to be, and stay ready to give an answer to those who enquire as to your faith and the source of your hope (1Pe.3.15). No one knows when Yeshua will return, save Abba. You can stay ready by your watchfulness and by your careful separation from sin by the grace (that is, his POWER to perform his will in you) of our Saviour through his Ruach haKodesh.

Luke 12.41-48 – Kefa asked a direct question about the target of his teaching and gets an indirect answer. Yeshua is answering the pashat with a remez or sod. In other words, his answer is, “YES!” He then applies with another parable about a steward. A steward is the chief servant, or ‘gentleman’s gentleman’, of a rich man or a king, the foreman of a work crew, like we saw when we examined Ruth 2 earlier, in our Torah parsha. I think that Kefa is the bachor we saw in v.13 (if I am right, that would make Andrew the guy wanting to have a portion of the inheritance). What Yeshua is saying is that the steward, the bachor, needs to be wise in all he does and to be careful of his inheritance. If he starts moving landmarks (to refer to our example in the Torah comments above), mistreating his employees and servants, he will be brought before the courts and receive the just recompense of his transgressions. Just recompense has to do with not just the treatment of the lesser servants but the knowledge and intent of the steward. If he had not knowledge of his Master’s will, he would receive lesser punishment than if he had comprehensive knowledge of it. Many of the people listening to or reading this will have less comprehensive knowledge of Y’hovah’s will than I; and some, perhaps MORE, will have more comprehensive knowledge than I. Chastisement, to be righteous, is meted out according to knowledge and motives plus actions, not just actions themselves. Hence, the diligence of the inquiry about the matter before the courts. Ask Sha’ul. Stripes are not a trivial matter. Q&C

End of Midrashic Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 29, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 29, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

December 22, 2018 – Year 3 Sabbath 41

Devarim 23:10-20 (H23:10-21) – YeshaYahu 1:16 – Tehellim 138 – MatithYahu 8:1-14

Links:

Last week, I got the Torah Portion out of order. I skipped over the parsha I will share, instead, today. I need to do this or my parshsot will be a whole week off when we enter Adar Alef on Feb.6, 2019. Sorry for the confusion – it was ALL MINE.

Devarim 23:9-20 V.9 is the Thesis statement of this Parsha. Everything through v.20 deals with keeping oneself and his camp pure. All have to do with being ‘on maneuvers’ to fight an enemy, as has been the case for 3 weeks running, now. 

Vv.10-11 deal with a man who is made unclean by what I can only surmise is a nocturnal emission. That is also how Stone’s Tanakh and Restoration Scriptures see it, so I’ll go with it. Since this is not what I would call a ‘willful transgression’, but, as KJV puts it, one that chances upon him, he does not have any offering to bring, but must leave the camp and do a mikvah at evening offering time and then at sunset he can return to the camp. Since this ‘chances’ upon him, noone else has any knowledge of it, so this is ‘on his own honor’ separation from the camp to keep it pure so that Y’hovah can walk freely through it. This would be especially important to remember when going out to fight, that Y’hovah’s favor would be with the camp in battle. In last week’s parsha we dealt with taking a second wife while doing battle outside of the land. Perhaps this chuk is in conjunction with having seen a woman among the enemy and desiring her to be your wife – that makes some sense to me. A young man can obsess over an especially attractive woman and that obsession lead to an especially realistic dream, night or day. I would guess that if this is the case and the man is mindful of his duty to keep the camp clean so that Y’hovah can do battle with the enemy for Yisrael, when the captains of the army asked if anyone could not do battle, this conscientious man would recuse himself from the fight that day, and the rest of the host would understand his desire to see Yisrael gloriously victorious in battle by ensuring Y’hovah’s presence in the camp. He would ‘fear’ going into battle in a tamei or less than tamiym condition and chance the loss of the battle. For me, that sheds some new light on 

And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. (Deuteronomy 20:8)

1 ‘tamiym’ or ‘perfect’ man + Y’hovah = victory, as we can see in 2 Melechim 6;

10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of Eloha told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice [lots of times – MP]. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, in Dothan. 14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 15 And when the servant of the man of Eloha was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they with us are more than they with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Y’hovah, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And Y’hovah opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. (2Ki.6.10-17)

1 ‘tamei’ or ‘defiled’ man among a great and otherwise holy army that is therefore fighting without Y’hovah can = defeat, as shown in Achan at the 1st battle for Ai in Josh.7. 

Vv.12-14 deal with physical cleanliness of the camp. It occurs at least once a day (better for our health if it comes after every meal) that we must eliminate solid waste. We are to have a place without the camp designated as a latrine for just such a purpose. But the latrine must not be ‘in the open’ where it can be stumbled across – or into – in the night. It is obvious that this is an army camp because the man going to the latrine carries his weapon with him, and that weapon will be furnished with a ‘trenching tool’ so that, as a secondary purpose, he can dig a shallow hole and cover the evidence of his passing. The primary purpose is to keep the camp clean so that Y’hovah can be among the host to protect and to fight for it. If you want Y’hovah in your camp, you must keep it physically clean, which is a picture of your spiritual cleanliness. Where and how you live spiritually will show itself in where and how you live physically. Don’t leave your excrement laying around. Keep yourself and your camp clean. Q&C

Vv.15-16 – Remember that we are besieging a city, so the slave who comes to us is likely from the city we are besieging. He has escaped and has come to us and begged our mercy. We are commanded to take him in and allow him to live within the tribe he chooses to live among, as it seems will be best for him. We are NOT to oppress him in any way, remembering that we were captive and oppressed in Egypt. We are not to do to our enemies slaves as Egypt did to us. 

Rav Sha’ul lived this chuk in the matter of Onesimus and Philemon. 

4 I thank Elohai, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Master Yeshua, and toward all saints; 6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Mashiyach Yeshua. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. 8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Mashiyach to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Yeshua haMashiyach. 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Master? 17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth ought, put that on mine account; 19 I Paul have written  with mine own hand, I will repay: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Master: refresh my bowels in the Master. (Philem.4-20)

He sent Onesimus back to Philemon with the letter we have in the Apostolic texts, asking him to free Onesimus to return to Paul so that he can continue to be the great help he had become. Rav Sha’ul acknowledged the debt that Onesimus owed Philemon and asked him to either forgive the debt or to charge it to Paul’s account, which Paul would repay when he returned to Colosse (Col.4.9). He had taken Onesimus, the (I infer Hebrew) servant in and would keep him out of bondage, but also recognized the debt that Onesimus owed and asked that arrangements be made to free him to Y’hovah’s service. Philemon had every Torah right to reject Sha’ul’s request, but I think he answered him in the affirmative, as the letter to the Colossians says that Onesimus was one of them and that he would be accompanying Tychicus to strengthen them in their service to Y’hovah. 

Vv.17-18 is a pretty obvious reference to the abomination of what we euphemistically call ‘homosexuality’. Y’hovah calls it sodomy and whoredom, both of which were (and are) Canaanite religious practices. If such were found in Yisrael, they were to be stoned without the camp and the sin removed from the camp thereby. 

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.(Leviticus 20:13)

In conjunction with this, no Yisraelite was to engage in whoredom 

Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness. (Leviticus 19:29)

and he was not to bring the wages of whoredom or the price of a dog (should make the case for the uncleanness of idolatry/whoredom) as a tithe to Y’hovah. I infer that we are not to pay a vow (tithe) from the proceeds of any unclean or forbidden transaction. In light of the link to whoredom here, I wonder if politicians tithe their income and, if so, is it an abomination to Y’hovah? 

Vv.19-20 deals with usury, or interest, charged on a loan to a brother. This is a restatement of a lot of instructions from Torah

If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. (Exodus 22:25)

Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy Eloha; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. (Leviticus 25:36-37)

Nehemiah speaks of this after the return from Babylon – he didn’t have to consult anything but Torah to make his decision

7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. 8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing. 9 Also I said, not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our Eloha because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? 10 I likewise, my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. (Nehemiah 5.7-10)

Seems that the nobles and rulers were charging usury and actually selling their Yisraelite brethren into slavery to the heathen. Kind of like the government in America selling their citizens into bondage to Japan and China and other heathen nations in order to keep the bubble expanding so they can buy more votes. Q&C

YeshaYahu 1:16 – The passage beginning in v.16 illustrates Y’hovah’s will concerning our parsha

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Y’hovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of Y’hovah hath spoken.

Do not do as the Canaanites do, for it is evil in Y’hovah’s sight. Instead, think (use your reason) about what Y’hovah has instructed you and do it. Repent of your own ways and the ways you’ve adopted from the heathen whose land you are going in to possess, do your mikvah and do what is right in the eyes of Y’hovah – Torah – and you will receive his blessings, as he has promised you. But if you refuse to repent and turn from your own ways he will withhold those blessings from you.

Repentance, a mikvah and being tamiym are all conditions of those seen in 

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; … 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev.7:9, 13-14)

If we consider that Y’hovah robed us with coats of skin as he exiled us from Eden, exactly what is it that fulfills Yeshua’s Name if it isn’t that he fully removes the taint of sin from us in our resurrected bodies and from the bodies of the New Creation’s inhabitants (whom I think begin with the saints who were encamped around Jerusalem at Millennium’s end) when he renews mankind to its Edenic state? 

Tehellim 138.1-3 – This psalm is a prophecy of the end of days, those immediately following Mashiyach’s soon arrival in the city of Jerusalem. We praise (yadah) Y’hovah with all we are and do so publicly to bring honor to his Name. We do so because of all he does for us and all that he has promised to us. He esteems his Torah above his Name. But he esteems something even higher than he esteems his Word. 

I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. (Psalms 119:32)

I say that he esteems my ‘enlarged’ heart even higher than his Word because only after my heart is enlarged enough can I hope to pursue his Word. The very purpose of Yeshua dying on his tree and resurrecting from death was to make it possible for my heart to be enlarged and able to do his commandments. HE enlarges our hearts to be able to obey his mitzvoth. HE esteems his mitzvoth above his Name. Therefore, he esteems our hearts above both his Name and his Word. Try to get your mind around the love Y’hovah has for each one of us that he prizes each of us more than his Word and his Name. He gave it all so that we could keep his Word and be echad with him. He then strengthens our souls in answer to our cry for his gracious provision, for the ability he has provided that empowers us to act in his will and according to his Word. 

Vv.4-5 shows the world’s response to Y’hovah’s deliverance of the exiles from the 4 corners of the earth. It is a deliverance that has already been 3500 years in its fulfillment [if you want to be technical it’s actually been 6000 years] since we were exiled from Eden. The nations of the earth also sing the praises of Y’hovah for delivering his people from the 4 corners of the earth, just as he promised. Those nations sing ‘in the ways of Y’hovah’ – they are walking in his ways and are rejoicing with his delivered exiles. Even the world’s unbelievers will sing his praise because they also receive the abundance as a result of living in his ways. The unbelievers will eventually either believe or rebel against him in a rebellion that will foment over the entire millennium and break out at the end of it. 

Vv.6-8 show’s Y’hovah’s response to our attitude towards his deliverance. He respects the humble, but the proud he only knows from a distance. Their compliance to his Toroth brings them the promised blessings, but their attitude grows more grudging as the millennium ensues. As time progresses, it will be physically more and more dangerous for believers to walk in the midst of the lost, but as they trust Y’hovah and walk in his Way, they will be protected by Y’hovah’s right hand. V.8 says that Y’hovah will complete those who are his, bring us to echad and perfect peace because Y’hovah’s rachamim truly does endure forever, and he will not forsake us. Q&C

Matthew 8:1-14V.1 speaks of the multitudes that followed him, and I take this to be the ‘lost sheep’ of Yisrael who were being oppressed by the leadership of the Yehudi religion. 68). – According to Matthew’s gospel, this incident happened immediately after the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, it happened as he came down from the Mount. The leper cleansed – Matt.8.2-4, Mk.1.40-42, Lk.5.12-13 – Look at all the apparent contradictions! Mat says he’s just come down from the mountain, Mark says he was just walking along, and Luke says he was in a certain city when the leper came to him. How can these all be true? How about, he was walking along the street of that certain city just after he came down from the mountain? No contradiction, just additional facts for different audiences and from different authors. The basic facts of the incident remain almost identical. ‘If you will’ and ‘I will’ are the main points here. The leper believed that Yeshua could do whatever he willed to do, because the leper believed that Yeshua was who he claimed to be – Y’hovah Elohenu. Yeshua is always willing to cleanse us from our evil inclination or sin nature, of which leprosy is a type. By healing the leper Yeshua was illustrating that fact. All of Yeshua’s healings had a point – they were anything but haphazard. They all showed that he was Mashiyach ben Yoseph. Matthew adds the command to go do the letter of the law, offering the gift as prescribed in Lev.14. He is not to do this as an act of penance or contrition, but for a testimony to the Iuaidoi Jews. Eloha is not so pleased with offerings as he is with the heart of the one who is offering. And the offering was always – always – for a testimony of the penitent’s heart, not a penance. Q&C

82. Centurion’s slave healed, (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:2-10) – There is a seeming contradiction here. In Matt the centurion comes to Yeshua himself and in Luke he sends the local Jewish leadership. Which is true? Yes! The centurion gave the words to the leaders of the synagogue, who brought the request to Yeshua. The Jews were therefore speaking with the authority delegated to them by the centurion – they spoke for him as his agents as if they were him (cf. Mat.11.2-6,  Lk.7.18-23). 

I think the conversation may have gone like this: ‘The Roman centurion has sent us to request that you heal his servant, who is near death. This centurion is a believer in Eloha and has gone so far as to build a synagogue for us. We deem him worthy of this honor.’ Yeshua says, ‘I’ll go…’ And before he can even turn toward the centurion’s house they said, ‘No, Adon! He realizes that as a gentile he is unworthy of your presence in his house. He says he knows authority and if he says to his subordinates do this or that it will be done. He doesn’t even need to check on it. He says just say the word and his servant will be well.’ This centurion knew with whom he was dealing. Look at the history of the prophets. Can you think of any that healed from a distance? I can’t. EliYahu and Elisha healed those in their presence, but none at a great distance. This Roman knew he was dealing with the Eloha who created with a word and that he could use that same word to heal his beloved servant. 

The centurion said he wasn’t worthy to have Y’hovah of glory under his roof. How about you? And what does this say about the leaders of the synagogue? They were possibly his spiritual advisers, who identified Yeshua as Mashiyach ben Yoseph. I think there were some in the local leadership who believed on Yeshua and took his side against the opposition, and had influence with this Roman. Or he’d read the scripture and put 2+2 together for himself. One thing is certain, the centurion was the benefactor of the synagogue. He held a lot of political authority and the synagogue’s leaders would do most anything for him. He said, in effect, ‘I understand authority and I know that, being Eloha, you have it. Command it to be done and it shall be.’ How many of the Iuaidoi, Jews, had understood with whom they were dealing? Only a few.

In Matt we see a little more detail. Yeshua prophesies the ‘church age’ and the opening of the gospel to the gentiles and lost sheep of Israel when he says that many from the east and the west will come by faith into the kingdom, but many of the house of Israel will be cast out of the kingdom for their unbelief. Q&C

66). Peter’s mother-in-law healed – Mat.8.14-15, Mk.1.29-31, Lk.4.38-39 – The leper’s cleansing was done in public and the centurion’s servant was healed at a distance, while this miracle is done in the privacy of Peter’s house. Mark tells us that Peter and Andrew lived in the house together with Peter’s wife and Mom-in-law. We could speculate about who lived in the house, but that is not our purpose here. The various men mention different details. Mark and Luke tell us that after leaving the synagogue they came to P.’s & A.’s house, it says immediately (forthwith Mk.1.29). All the passages mention the fever and Matt and Mark tell us she is laid up. 

I remember when my mother was sick when I was a kid; nothing kept her in bed because she had responsibilities to fulfill. The only time I remember her staying in bed with a sickness was when she was so ill she needed to be hospitalized. I suspect it was the same with Pete’s mom-in-law. I also suspect that she, like my mother, was the glue that kept the whole household together. Remove that glue and the place goes to pot quickly. A lot like when Yeshua removes the glue that holds the universe together in 2Pe.3.10ff. KERFLUEY!! Entropy wrought large. All order removed.

Luke, the physician, tells us that after they besought Yeshua for her he rebuked the fever and it left her, while Mat. and Mk. tell us he touched her hand and it left her. What probably happened is that while he was rebuking the fever he took her hand to help her out of bed. Luke says that she immediately got out of bed and ministered to them. He remarks on her immediate, complete recovery from a very bad illness. When Eloha miraculously heals, there are no half measures. The healing is immediate and permanent. Luke was intimating that no human doctor could have done this, only Eloha could. And the illness left as quickly as any devil at the word of Yeshua. This miracle was done as further proof to the disciples as to his true nature and identity. 

The parallel to salvation is striking. We are sin-sick and dead spiritually, we just haven’t had the good grace to fall down, yet. When Yeshua saves us it is immediate, permanent and complete. As he said to the disciples at the well in Jn.4, he came to do the will of the Father and to finish his work. Everything he does is complete, no half measures.

 And why are we saved? I mean what is a saved person to do once he’s saved? Minister in the power of the Spirit of Eloha. We are to be ministers of Yeshua to the rest of the body of Mashiyach and to the world at large. The greek word for minister is diakoneo, to serve either menially or as a host. Pete’s mom was the host in this instance, but we can fulfill both functions and we should. We should be humble servants to Y’hovah and hosts to the lost world, inviting them into our home, the body of Yeshua haMashiyach. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for January 5, 2019

Shabbat Bible Study for January 5, 2019

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 -Week 43

Devarim 24.19-25.19 – Hoshea 10.12 – Tehellim 140 – Luka 12.13-48

Devarim 24:19 – 25:19 – The last 4 verses of Dev.23 deal with gleaners in the fields of Israel. Does v.19 bring anything in subsequent scripture to mind for you? The first thing that jumped into my head was Boaz ordering the reapers to drop some “Handsful of Purpose”, so the gleaners, the Moavitess Ruth in particular, would have it to glean. You’ll remember that Ruth had married Machlon (Ruth 4.10), Naomi and Elimelech’s bachor, or firstborn son, who died childless, and when Naomi determined to go back to Israel from Moav, Ruth forsook her nation and its Elohims to sojourn with Naomi and to affiliate and identify with Y’hovah. Now, let’s look at Ruth 2 – the whole chapter, just because I love it so. Please notice how many times scripture says that Ruth is a Moavitess. There is nothing in the plain sense to imply that she was anything else, unless you hold that the KJV punctuators were inspired of Y’hovah, as was the author of the Hebrew text. Only the comma before the prepositional phrase ‘with her’ in 1.22 even suggests that Ruth was returning, though the sentence says plainly that Naomi is returning. We begin w/the last verse of Ch.1:

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moav: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest [Stone’s Tanach has ‘AT the beginning of the barley harvest’]. 1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moavitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. 4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, Y’hovah I’machem. And they answered him, Yivorechecha Y’hovah. 

I infer that Boaz had slept in his home the night before and allowed the work to commence under the care of his trusted foreman. I also infer that this is the first day of the barley harvest, or chag haBikkurim, the day of firstfruits and the 1st day of the omer count. The Hebrew word for in or at the beginning is biyt’chilath, H8462, ‘the first time’. Here’s what Strong’s says

8462 tchillah תחלה tekh-il-law’ from 2490 חלה, in the sense of opening; a commencement; rel. original (adverb, -ly):–begin(-ning), first (time). 

I infer that here it means to partake of the gleaning from day 1. So, Naomi and Ruth had arrived in BethLechem somewhat earlier, probably in time to observe Pesach and ULB.

5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? 6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, The Moavitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moav: 7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. 8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: 9 thine eyes on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of which the young men have drawn. 10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I a stranger? 11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 Y’hovah recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Y’hovah Elohim of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. [Ruth 2.5-12]

Did you get that? Boaz knew that Ruth was trusting to the protection and provision of Y’hovah for both Naomi and herself. Ruth had been born of Moav, but had decided to sojourn with Naomi and be engrafted into Yisrael. This also means that he knew that he was near kin to Naomi and may already have been thinking of being kinsman redeemer to Machlon and Elimelech. 

13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, adoni; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto [Stone’s has ‘Though I am not as worthy as’] one of thine handmaidens. 14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched [barley] corns, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. 15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: 16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. 

Boaz not only made sure that Ruth had enough to eat and a place to rest if she needed to, he also instructed the reapers not only to not stop her from gleaning right after them, but to actually drop some handsful of reaped barley for her to pick up off the ground. She continued to find favor in his eyes because of how she comported herself and how she treated Naomi as her own mother. She was a woman of fine character. If she was pretty, that was just another selling point.

17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed. 

She not only brought what she’d gleaned (I think an ephah is about a bushel – quite a take for a gleaner. Ephah is derived from Egyptian and means ‘measure’. Easton’s Bible dictionary says that an ephah is 10 Omers and that an omer is about ½ gallon, so an ephah is about 5 gallons) already prepared for parching and use, but also brought the leftovers of her lunch to Naomi, so they wouldn’t have to use the produce of her gleanings. 

19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. 20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, baruch hu l’Y’hovah, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. 

Neither Boaz nor Y’hovah had forgotten to bless Elimelech through Naomi and Ruth

And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. 21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. 22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, Good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field. 23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Ruth kept close by Boaz’s maidens and I infer that he kept an eye on her with them until Shavuoth, the Feast of Y’hovah following the wheat harvest. Speculation Warning! Be Bereans! He watched her for 50 days. I infer that he did the kinsman-redeemer offer to the nearer kin while the barley harvest was underway and married her at Shavuoth. Perhaps he prepared the ketubah between Unleavened Bread and Shavuoth; committed to marry her by entering into the Ketubah with her on Shavuoth and then finalized and consummated the marriage at Sukkoth. End of speculation warning.

Dev.24.20-22 – When we go to harvest our olives and grapes, we are to gather what is ripe or ready for harvest, but anything that is not ready is to be left so that the sojourners, widows, orphans, and strangers would be able to glean what Yah did not choose to have ready for the reapers. We are not to go back after the harvest to glean for ourselves, but to leave it for the poor or to just drop and fertilize the soil for the next planting. This is one of the ways that Y’hovah kept the land fertile and productive for his people who followed his agricultural laws. One of the reasons our food is more or less empty calories is because we have either forgotten or just plain despised Y’hovah’s commands concerning the land, including the land sabbaths and yovels. Q&C

Devarim 25.1-4 – When Israelites have a matter at controversy; say, a landmark issue, and they can’t come to mutual agreement on a solution, they were to resort to the court system to resolve it according to Torah and any other evidence that was available. In the case of a landmark issue, they were to go to the tribal records and to the Torah to find all the evidence there was to make a righteous judgment. The judges were not to consider the persons involved, only Torah and any other evidence available; they were NOT to find in favor of a friend or close relative against Torah or the evidence. 

If, in our example, there is evidence of moving the landmark, the next verses come into play, and the man who moved the landmark is to receive lashes in punishment and to make restitution by moving the landmarks back where they belong. The passage only says 40 lashes, but I do not think that is a prescription; I think it is a worst-case punishment for any matter. The sages say that even 40 lashes is too many and that 39 is the worst-case. Rav Shaul received ‘40 save 1’ on 5 occasions within the synagogue system.

23 Are they ministers of Mashiyach? (I speak as a fool) I more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Yehudim five times received I forty save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (2Cor.11.23-25)

Sha’ul received those stripes, and perhaps the beating with rods, and the stoning so that he could remain in the synagogue system. Had he refused the punishment, either by just not submitting or by invoking his citizenship in the Empire, he would have made himself ineligible to enter either the Temple or the synagogues – and word of this would have traveled very quickly. Paul NEVER left the synagogue or Temple system; he kept himself under their authority until his death so that he would ALWAYS be able to go ‘to the Yehudi first, and also to the Greek’. His mission was to regather the lost sheep of the whole house of Yisrael to Mashiyach, and there was no better place to start in a new city than the synagogue. 

V.4 seems to be WAY out of place. In the pashat, it fits well with 23.24-25, for the reapers are allowed to chew on a bit of what they are reaping as they go AND there should be a place where the reapers/gleaners could get some water and a rest out of the sun, as well. In the case of the animals, they need to rest occasionally to graze and drink as they do the heavy work in the field, and the master of that field MUST be careful of his animals at all times; they MUST be treated humanely and be fed, watered, and milked (if necessary), even on Shabbat (not that they would be reaping on Shabbat). But why put this verse between 2 passages on judgment? There must be a connexion. Rav Sha’ul quotes this passage at least twice,

7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not Torah the same also? 9 For it is written in the Torah of Moshe, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth Elohim take care for oxen? (1Cor.9.7-9)

Sha’ul makes a lesser to greater application there. And perhaps that is Torah’s point in our passage.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1Tim.5.17-18)

Yeshua makes reference to this passage, as well as the reapers,

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. (Luke 10:7)

Those labourers are to receive their hire at the end of the day, as we saw last week, AND were to be fed and supplied with drink during the day. Remember how Boaz cared for the labourers in his fields, including the gleaners. Going back to Sha’ul’s ‘lesser to greater’ argument, if Y’hovah makes a negative command concerning an ox in the field, should we not also ensure that human labourers are well cared for while in our employ? If he cares enough about the oxen to command their care and feeding, do you think he cares less for the landmarks in our illustration above? Q&C

Vv.5-10 – If Y’hovah cares for the ox in the field, how much more does he care for the inheritances he has ordained? It was not a small thing to deny the duty of kinsman-redeemer (KR henceforth) to a brother or close cousin. Y’hovah takes his children’s inheritances seriously, as can be seen by the public humiliation commanded upon the man. Why do you think Onan died when he refused to raise children to Er by Tamar (B’reishith 38)? Why do you think Yehudah saw immediately upon being asked, “Whose are these?” that Tamar was more righteous than he (and that she either knew the reason he had estranged himself from Ya’acov or that Y’hovah was in the whole situation)? 

I think that Yehudah knew the law of the KR, and that it was the land inheritance that was to be protected. The land was inherited by the bachor, the first-born son of the father. If the bachor died childless, the 2nd born son was to raise up a child to his elder brother through his widow (the commandment is to name the new bachor, the son born to the widow of the bachor by the KR, after the bachor [v.6 – you give the son his father’s name], for the purpose of keeping his name in remembrance). Boaz knew there was a closer kinsman, so he went before the judges in the city gate and told him that if he did not wish to act as KR, Boaz would do the redemption, thereby giving him a valid reason to turn it down AND show the judges that the KR commandment would be upheld, so no stripes or humiliation would ensue. I infer that the closer kinsman had not had a son, yet, and that was why raising a son to Ruth would mess up his own inheritance. I also infer that Boaz was either NOT the bachor of his family or had already had a son who would be bachor of his inheritance, so his inheritance would not be encumbered by Ruth’s firstborn son, as would have happened to the closer kinsman’s, if my inferences are correct.
Another Speculation warning! Be Bereans! Is not Ephraim now Ya’acov’s bachor (Gen.48.14, 18)? Are not the present inhabitants of the land mainly descended from Ephraim, or 10-Yisrael, since they are mostly descended from the Khazari Yehudi Ashkenazim of ancient Scythia? Do you suppose they called the nation Israel instead of Yehudah for that reason? End of Speculation Warning!

Vv.11-12 – See Schottenstein’s Chumash on these verses (pg. 159, left column), whose explanation is quite reasonable.

Vv13-16 refer to honest weights and measures.  We are not to do any double-dealing, charging one thing to a brother or friend and another for a stranger or sojourner – no thumbs on the scale, bro. We are to be scrupulously honest in business. We are to be known as trustworthy. Y’hovah holds any who use unjust weights and measures as an abomination before him. 

Now apply this to the United States of America’s government and economic system and ask yourself why we are being made the anus and not the head. Let’s look at what USED to be the norm for the USA, as it is written,

1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of Y’hovah Elohecha, to observe to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that Y’hovah Elohecha will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Y’hovah Elohecha. 3 Blessed thou in the city, and blessed thou in the field. 4 Blessed the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed thy basket and thy store. 6 Blessed thou when thou comest in, and blessed thou when thou goest out. 7 Y’hovah shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 Y’hovah shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which Y’hovah Elohecha giveth thee. 9 Y’hovah shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of Y’hovah Elohecha, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of Y’hovah; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11 And Y’hovah shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which Y’hovah sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 Y’hovah shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And Y’hovah shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of Y’hovah Elohecha, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do: 14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, the right hand, or the left, to go after other Elohims to serve them. (Devarim 28.1-14)

And since our nation officially turned its back on Y’hovah, he has turned our blessings of Dev.28.1-14 into the curses of vv.15-68 and we are soon to be dispersed into servitude.

Vv.17-19 are about how we are to deal with Amalek, who came out against us in Shemoth 17, right after Y’hovah gave us the water from the Rock at Rephidim.

8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim… 11 And it came to pass, when Moshe held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed… 14 And Y’hovah said unto Moshe, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven… 16 For he said, Because Y’hovah hath sworn that Y’hovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (Exodus 17:8, 11, 14, 16)

We were to utterly destroy Amalek from under heaven and that commandment still applies. Had we done it on the way into the land under Yehoshua, we would not have the troubles baAretz that we do today. But then, we also would not have him to make war with from generation to generation – until the New Creation is ‘generated’. And it will be Y’hovah that puts out Amalek from his remembrance. In one sense of that verse, Y’hovah is doing just that. When Amalek is in the land, it is a wasteland for Y’hovah does not ‘remember’ them, but when Israel is in the land, it becomes a garden for he does remember Yisrael, his inheritance. Q&C

Hosea 10:12 – Aven (v.8) is the Hebraic designation of On, the idolatrous city in Egypt. It also speaks of the idolatry in Bethel in 10-Israel and of a Syrian city dedicated to the same false Elohim. Here’s what Strong’s says about H206, Aven

idolatry; Aven, the contemptuous synonym of three places, one in Coele-Syria, one in Egypt (On), and one in Palestine (Bethel)

When Yerovoam ran from the face of Shlomo near the end of Shlomo’s reign, he went to Egypt, where he descended into Egypt’s pagan worship, quite probably the Egyptian Elohim On (and married an Egyptian princess). When he set up the false Y’hovah worship in 10-Israel, he set up an idol in Bethel and another in Dan. Bethel was where the people of southern Israel went for their regular worship, but Dan is where they went for Sukkoth in the 8th month. Yah is calling on 10-Israel to forsake her idolatry and turn to the TRUE worship of Y’hovah according to Torah instead of the traditions of men. Those traditions were what caused our ground to go fallow in the first place. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has this for ‘fallow’,

This word may be from the root of ‘fail’; fallo; so called from the fading color of autumn leaves, or from failure, withering. Hence also the sense of unoccupied, applied to land.

2. Unsowed; not tilled; left to rest after a year or more of tillage; as fallow ground; a fallow field. Break up your fallow ground. Jer.4

5. Unoccupied; neglected (unused).

This would be the condition of the land in the first year after the Yovel, for it would have been 2 years since it had been plowed and tilled. The idea of breaking up the fallow ground is to take hard soil and break into it and turn it over, and then to take the clumps and till them into fine soil and then to await the rains of righteousness to make them able to bear fruit. In this case, of course, the fallow ground is a metaphor for our hard hearts. If we sow the Word in our softened hearts, we will reap the mercy of Y’hovah in the same proportion as we are able to soak up the Word of righteousness that he rains on the good, broken and tilled soil of our hearts.

Tehellim 140 – Do not vv.1-2 speak of conditions in American government: indeed, MOST human governments of late? It seems that if America is not engaged in a war, she is looking for an excuse to go to war. The American government already has military men stationed in over 150 nations, and last week promised to send troops to 35 African nations to combat ‘terrorism’. Is it any wonder that many people see the American government as the greatest terror threat in the world? Is it not possible that they see America as a fulfillment of v.3 (Selah – consider that): forked tongues and poisonous words that weave a web of deceit that can easily take in the unwary or unscrupulous? Please notice that after David considered v.3, he immediately asked Y’hovah to keep him safe from those adders and spiders. All of vv.4&5 amplify v.3 and then David stops to consider it all again. A gin, in the way the word is used in KJV, is a snare for catching game. After considering the wickedness of those who arrayed themselves against him, David calls on Y’hovah to shema his voice and his requests, and asks his guidance and protection from his enemies and their gins. By the way, another definition of ‘gin’ is a device that supplements human strength to multiply the effectiveness of work done, like the ‘cotton-gin’ of Eli Whitney.

In vv.9-11, David gets down to specific imprecations against his enemies; that they be entangled in their own words, that they get burned by their own devices, and fall into the pits they’d set for him. The wicked spirits that drive these violent men will eventually turn on them, overthrow them, and tear them to pieces. Then in vv.12-13, David shows that his trust in Y’hovah will be his strength and assurance; that Y’hovah will take up the cause of his righteous men who are afflicted by the wickedness in the world. Remember that ‘afflicted’ and ‘poor’ (v.12) are references to exile and dispersion from Y’hovah and his land. V.13 shows that even though we may be in dispersion and exile, if we are after his heart, desire to be righteous, and exalt his Name, he will regather us to himself so that we may dwell with him in his Kingdom. Q&C

Luke 12:13-48 – In vv.13-31 Yeshua uses a request from one of the crowd that Yeshua instruct his brother, I assume the bachor, to share the inheritance (which goes against the peshat of our Torah parsha today) to make a point about covetousness. Why he didn’t rebuke the guy on the spot shows that Yeshua was a whole lot better than me; I’d have laced into him. Yeshua was ‘Fulfilling Torah’ in the Mat.5.17 sense; giving its proper interpretation. The parallel passage in Matt is in 6.24-34. What follows is taken from my study “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective”, originally taught as a weekly bible study between 2001 and 2006 and updated since then. 

Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon.”

The greek word for mammon is mammonos which derives from Chaldean and originally meant confidence. It has since come to mean avarice deified, but it literally means that in which you place your confidence. 

The theme of chapter 6.16ff is obviously single-mindedness. We Laodiceans are the most double-minded people ever to live, I think. We claim to be Elohim’s and to be interested only in the things of Elohim with our mouths, but our actions put the lie to our words. We make great pretense of serving Elohim, and then act out of self-interest. Yeshua says here that we can’t have it both ways. 

How can we serve Elohim while serving ourselves? Who is Elohim, the Creator of the universe or myself? Whom do I serve? When I look at that question honestly, most, if not all, of the time, I must answer – myself. Elohim forgive me for my self-seeking and self-service, and give me a heart to serve and to seek only you and yours. Where is your confidence?

Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the assembly than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if Elohim so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

This is a large chunk of scripture, but it is all in illustration of how we are to look at our lives and our needs. It is an illustration of the single-mindedness taught in vv.16-24. The main point of the whole last 2/3 of Chapter 6 is in verse 33. There is really nothing more to be said except to ask, ‘How am I doing?’ If your honest answer is, ‘Miserably’, join the club. Now, what are we going to do about it?

It is interesting to note that Yeshua here speaks of the kingdom of Elohim, rather than the kingdom of heaven. The two aspects of the kingdom are juxtaposed in Matthew, the KOG mentioned 5x and the KOH mentioned 25x. Remember that the KOH refers to Yisrael in belief with Yeshua as the King and will be literally fulfilled in the millennium, while the KOG refers to Elohim’s kingdom throughout eternity. The KOH is included within the KOG. The disciples (and we) are to seek the kingdom of Elohim, which includes all believers from all times, not just the kingdom of heaven, which includes Yisrael ruling on earth over the nations.

Luke 12.32-40 – Abba is pleased to give his children every treasure and he has promised to do that, but he promises it in regard to the KOH/KOG. This whole passage, like John 6, is primarily to be seen as a sod level teaching. Rav Sha’ul applies it to himself in 

3 For we are the circumcision, which worship Elohim in the spirit, and rejoice in Mashiyach Yeshua, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching [oral] law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in Torah, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Mashiyach. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Mashiyach Yeshua Adonai: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Mashiyach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of [oral] law, but that which is through the faith of Mashiyach [Torah], the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:3-11)

The English word ‘count’ in this context means ‘consider’. Rav Sha’ul still possesses all the things he considers waste, but they are of less importance to him than to be found faithful to Mashiyach Yeshua and worthy of the resurrection. That is what our attitude should be like, and Yeshua said so in our passage today. After he says to ‘sell what ye have’ he says ‘provide yourselves bags which wax not old’ into which it’s implied we put the important stuff that we will inherit to replace all the crapola we discarded to follow him. Anything material that does not wax old must be somewhere in spiritual space, where there is no time. And if the bag of stuff is there and is ours, it must be awaiting our resurrection or translation into eternity. Paul thought that anything that moths will eat, rust will corrupt or thieves might steal is pretty much worthless; dung, when compared to eternal things. And if our hearts are after things that cannot be assailed, we are unable to be defeated. Q&C

Vv.35-40 speak of watchfulness. In the Olivet Discourse (Mat.24.43ff), Yeshua makes reference to this very idea. Again, from “Life of Yeshua”;

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour Adonenu doth come.” In a Mark paraphrase we see, “In light of the verses immediately preceding this one (vv.36-41), watch.” The word watch does not refer to a timepiece on your wrist. It means to keep awake to your surroundings, to be vigilantly circumspect. Observe the signs of the times we just spoke about, keep yourself as undefiled by the world as Y’hovah gives you the grace to be, and stay ready to give an answer to those who enquire as to your faith and the source of your hope (1Pe.3.15). No one knows when Yeshua will return, save Abba. You can stay ready by your watchfulness and by your careful separation from sin by the grace (that is, his POWER to perform his will in you) of our Saviour through his Ruach haKodesh.

Luke 12.41-48 – Kefa asked a direct question about the target of his teaching and gets an indirect answer. Yeshua is answering the pashat with a remez or sod. In other words, his answer is, “YES!” He then applies with another parable about a steward. A steward is the chief servant, or ‘gentleman’s gentleman’, of a rich man or a king, the foreman of a work crew, like we saw when we examined Ruth 2 earlier, in our Torah parsha. I think that Kefa is the bachor we saw in v.13 (if I am right, that would make Andrew the guy wanting to have a portion of the inheritance). What Yeshua is saying is that the steward, the bachor, needs to be wise in all he does and to be careful of his inheritance. If he starts moving landmarks (to refer to our example in the Torah comments above), mistreating his employees and servants, he will be brought before the courts and receive the just recompense of his transgressions. Just recompense has to do with not just the treatment of the lesser servants but the knowledge and intent of the steward. If he had not knowledge of his Master’s will, he would receive lesser punishment than if he had comprehensive knowledge of it. Many of the people listening to or reading this will have less comprehensive knowledge of Y’hovah’s will than I; and some, perhaps MORE, will have more comprehensive knowledge than I. Chastisement, to be righteous, is meted out according to knowledge and motives plus actions, not just actions themselves. Hence, the diligence of the inquiry about the matter before the courts. Ask Sha’ul. Stripes are not a trivial matter. Q&C

End of Midrashic Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 22, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 22, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 – Week 42

Devarim 23.21-24.18 – YeshaYahu 19.1-25 – Tehellim 139 – MattitYahu 25.1-37

Links:

Devarim 23.21-23 – When we make a vow to Y’hovah, we are stupid in the extreme if we fail to honour it. Not only is it sin to us, but He’ll see to it that the vow is paid ‘to the uttermost farthing’. If a mere man will require a vow of you, what makes you think Y’hovah will not? 

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. (Mat.5.23-26)

Before you made the vow, you had no obligation and there was not even a chance you could sin. Essentially, if you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be known as a man or woman of your word, one who can be trusted. 

Devarim 23.24-25 – (25.4 correlates to this.) When you enter a neighbor’s field, either to help with the harvest or to just pass through, you are allowed to eat as you go, but you are not allowed to harvest to carry away. To harvest and carry away is to steal from your brother, essentially the same as the usurer steals from the borrower. Remember the talmidim picking corn and eating it on the Shabbat (Mat.12.1) and the Pharisees getting huffy about it? There was no Torah command against picking enough food to eat, only against harvesting for profit on Shabbat, so the Prushim were being legalists, holding their traditions to be as legally binding as Torah. Q&C

Devarim 24.1-4 – The main point of these verses is to prohibit the original husband to remarry the divorced wife AFTER she has married another man. What if she commits adultery before she is divorced? Torah commands that she should be stoned along with her ‘co-sinner’. What if the husband merely suspects her of adultery? In B’Midbar 5 we see the law of jealousy in which the woman drinks the bitter water. Yeshua took the curse of the adulterous woman from B’Midbar 5 and died her death so that he could remarry the defiled woman upon his resurrection. He’d divorced us in Jer.3.8, drank our bitter water (vinegar, sans gall) died our death according to Torah in B’Midbar 5 and then rose a totally new man (old things are passed away, behold all things are become new 2Cor.5.17) to marry us, as in this passage and Romans 7.1-4. Eddie Chumney has a wonderful teaching on this juxtaposition of Dt.24.1-4 and Rom.7.1-4 in his Pesach PowerPoints. 

Warning: Totally new (to me, anyway) concept being proffered. Be Bereans!

In Rev.20 we see the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven adorned as a Bride for her Husband. This is the Bride of Mashiyach, arrayed in fine linen, white and clean, signifying her virginity, even as an American woman dresses for her wedding (though fewer and fewer can genuinely wear white). But that was not our condition only a short time before. Before the resurrection, we are anything but virgins, spiritually, even if a few of us may be physically. So, as Eddie has told us, we were an adulterous wife to whom Y’hovah Yeshua had given a certificate of divorce. We went off and defiled ourselves with another ‘elohim’ of our own making, permanently sealing our divorce, according to Dev.24. 

But Y’hovah put on the human flesh of Yeshua so that he could live a perfectly righteous life, “Fulfilling Torah” in every aspect applicable to him, so that he could then vicariously suffer for us the punishment we deserved, as seen in B’Midbar 5. According to Devarim 24.1-4, the first husband could not again marry his defiled wife, and he was under this restriction until he died. But, fortunately for us (and perfectly within the plan of Y’hovah), he didn’t stay dead. He arose after 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth as a completely ‘new man’.

Now look at 2Pet.3.9-12:

9 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. 10 But the day of Y’hovah will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and reverence, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Y’hovah, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

And then at Rev.20.11 and 21.1:

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

21 1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

When Yeshua arose, his talmidim, the people he’d lived intimately among for 3½ years did not recognize him in his resurrected body until he chose to reveal himself to them, first to Mary, then the Emmaus road guys, then to Shimon Kefa. The new heaven and earth is not identical to the old, but merely similar (no more sea, etc.). Now, if the creation was so affected by the fall of Adam that it can not be made clean enough for Y’hovah to permanently dwell here, and it has to be made entirely new, must not the same be true of our physical bodies? In a similar way I think that Yeshua is a completely ‘new man’ so that he can marry his estranged wife. And she, or rather we, will have entirely new bodies, with no admixture of the old, similar in appearance, but not identical. This is in line with 2Cor.5.17:

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

How many things are made NEW? We do not constantly see this in our lives, since we deal with an old ‘nature’, or rather an evil inclination. But in the resurrection and the new heaven and earth, there will be no evil inclination, or sin nature, to deal with. For now, we get to TASTE the glory that Yeshua will give us in our new, resurrected beings. Now, we partake by our position in Mashiyach, but then we will know the fullness of our salvation. We will truly be virgins in our new bodies, made righteous by the blood of Mashiyach, graciously provided with a perfect and sinless body suited for life in a perfect and unfallen creation. Q&C

In v.5 we see that a man was not to work for 1 year after his marriage ‘to cheer up’ his new bride. I think that has to do with staying around to start a family, with the assumption being that she would bear their first child in that time. Nothing would bring more ‘cheer’ than a new baby. 

In vv.6-7, one was not to take anything as collateral that would deprive a man of his ability to provide for himself and his family. Trading in Yisraelite souls was ‘verboten’. The slaver was to be stoned to remove such sin from the gates. Remember last week’s Study, where we were to have a paddle on the non-business end of our swords, so we could keep the camp clean of our waste products? Here is some human waste that was to be removed from Y’hovah’s sight. Remember that if we allow that which defiles in our camp Y’hovah cannot walk among us and we chance losing a battle or war. 

Vv.8-9 are dealing w/the same thing. We are to guard against leprosy, which typifies sin throughout scripture. It needs to be dealt with immediately. Miriam had rebelled v. Moshe and as punishment she was made totally leprous immediately, as an example. She was also forgiven and cleansed of her leprosy immediately upon her repentance, but still had to fulfill the law of the leper and live outside the camp for 7 days. The sin could not be in the camp, or Y’hovah could not walk there among us.

Vv.10-13 are about taking a pledge. You are not to enter the debtor’s house to take his pledge, but let him bring it to you. Y’hovah absolutely respects property rights. He expects both parties to respect each other’s rights, as he does ours. We are not to keep a brother’s pledge overnight. This, I think, is the basis for a 4th Amendment warrant to search a man’s premises for evidence to a crime. 

Vv.14-15 tell us to pay the wages due and pay them on time. To not do so is sin unto us. In Israel, that meant that you paid your day laborers at the end of the day.

8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.(Mat.20-8-9)

V.16 requires that we punish only those worthy of punishment, not those associated with them or related to them. The guilty bears responsibility for his own crimes.

V.17 tells us to be righteous judges in all matters and not to respect persons in judgment. Then v.18 reminds us why we are to deal equitably with all men, because we were oppressed, cheated, robbed, bullied, etc. while we were in Egypt. We didn’t like it, and so we should treat others as we wished (and wish) to be treated. Golden Rule, Torah Style. Q&C

Yeshayahu 19.1-25 – Everything in this lengthy passage deals with the punishment of Egypt in the darkness of the day of Y’hovah, that is, I think, the last ½ of the time of Jacob’s trouble and the time of Mashiyach’s arrival to physically reclaim the Kingdom. But in vv.1-10 I don’t think this is the punishment of Y’hovah, though such punishment is determined against Egypt. I think this punishment is the oppression of the Anti-Mashiyach (v.4) or those who serve him. When Y’hovah comes into Egypt, there will be those who will follow after him, for, as in v.2, we’ll see Egyptians fighting amongst themselves. When Y’hovah comes down on the pagans in Egypt who oppress those who follow after Y’hovah, he will bring the forces of Anti-Mashiyach down to oppress them all. Egypt’s Moslem Brotherhood government probably will be seen as too ‘moderate’ in its treatment of B’nai Zion, which attitude can already be seen developing on the evening news pretty much nightly. When the NWO comes down on molly-coddling Egypt, they will come down hard, as related in vv.5-10

In vv.11-17 we see the counselors of Paroh as fools and deceived, thus giving Paroh lousy advice. They have forgotten what Y’hovah did to them and their false elohims when he brought Israel out of bondage. Noph was the Hebrew name for the city of Memphis, Zoan for the city of Tanis in the Northeastern part of the Nile delta, which is the first city an Israelite would come to upon crossing the Egyptian border with Gaza. Today’s princes of Noph and Zoan are, I think, the most radical elements of the Moslem Brotherhood in Cairo and on the Egyptian side of the Gaza frontier. They’ll advise Paroh to do what the Islamist branch of the NWO decrees, rather than what he is inclined to do. For that reason Y’hovah is determined to hammer Egypt in v.17. He is shaking his fist over Egypt in v.16, but before he can bring his own wrath down, something happens.

Vv.18-25 show us that for some reason 5 cities of Egypt must repent in humility (the literal meaning of Canaan), for suddenly there is an altar to Yah in the midst of Egypt and a pillar in the border. This could be the purpose of the Great Pyramid, which is in the middle of the nation AND at the border between Upper and Lower Egypt. For some fascinating speculation about its true purpose, see the book, “The Great Pyramid Decoded”, by E. Raymond Capt. The dimensions may prophecy Mashiyach in BOTH of his appearances. 

This passage seems to indicate that Egypt is redeemed in the Great Trib, in the midst of her oppression by the fierce king of v.4. In v.23 Y’hovah heals her after he’s allowed her to be smitten by the fierce king. It also looks as if Assyria turns to Y’hovah in the Great Trib, for she becomes one end of the King’s Highway, Egypt being the other end with Israel smack dab in the middle of it. Look at what Y’hovah calls these nations, ‘my people’, ‘the work of mine hands’, and ‘mine inheritance’. These nations are in very enviable positions entering the Millennial Kingdom of Yeshua due to their willing service to him in the Great Trib. Speculation Warning! Perhaps they become safe havens for B’nai Zion? Q&C

Tehillim 139 – This psalm is a comfort to those of us in the exile, for it tells us that we can’t be anywhere but in Y’hovah’s presence and thoughts. He knows us, our ways, our thoughts. He is there when we walk, sit, sleep. He guards us in all our troubles. When we walk, he has the point, all flanks and the rear guard. We are absolutely secure, as we trust him to protect us. He rejoices with us when we rejoice, and he comforts us when we mourn. And he will redeem us from our exile in his time, which grows shorter every minute. He’s been right with us since we were conceived; he guided our formation in our mother’s wombs. Even those of us who are not what people call ‘perfect’ are formed exactly as he would have us be, our imperfections and abnormalities bring him glory and honor, and give men a glimpse of his love and compassion for them. His thoughts toward us are awesome in their gracious mercy and in their sheer number. Remember that if he forgets us, we simply cease to exist. Therefore, we know that he does not ‘remember’ as we do, with a possibility of losing memory of us, as we do over time. When he remembers us, he brings us a blessing, even if it doesn’t seem to be a blessing as it happens. For that very reason, our enemies stand no chance, though they oppress us and we have no physical means to resist. When we trust him, he takes up our cause. And there is noone who can withstand him or defeat his purpose. Q&C

MatithYahu 5.27-37 

Vv.27-30, 27 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

The spirit of the law is as important as the letter of it. I have personally never committed adultery. But Jimmy Carter and I have at least one thing in common. Each of us has lusted after women and, therefore, committed adultery in our hearts. We are not the only people to have done so, by any means. This is sin in our lives, every bit as much as if we’d performed the act. Is there any human who hasn’t done this? So what is to be done? Are we all to be consigned to the Lake of Fire for this spiritual adultery? The fact is that Elohim would be perfectly within his rights to do just that, except for the finished work of Yeshua haMashiyach. The sin is fully paid for and has already been judged. Without the work of Yeshua, what is needed is the complete eradication of the offending organ. Better to remove the hand or eye, or in my case the brain, that offends you and enter the kingdom than be cast whole into the Lake of Fire [2Pe.3.7-12]. How can the offending organs be removed?

The remedy is given to us in Romans 6-8. In Rom.6 we find ourselves dead to sin, but alive to Elohim in Mashiyach, and we therefore need not serve sin. In Rom.7 we find that although we are dead to sin and are no longer its slaves, we yet find sin alive in our members; that is, our physical bodies. We don’t have to sin, but our flesh still likes to sin. We find a constant battle being waged in our bodies, our quickened spirits wanting to live for Mashiyach and our yet to be resurrected bodies wanting to live in sin. ‘Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ Then in Rom.8 we find what may be the sweetest words of Scripture, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This is followed closely by Romans 8:6-11, 

“6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim: for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Elohim. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Elohim dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Mashiyach, he is none of his. 10 And if Mashiyach be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Yeshua from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Mashiyach from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” 

If the Ruach ha Kodesh dwells in you, there is no condemnation anymore. Do you truly wish in your heart to serve Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach, or your own lusts? The heart attitude is the telling part. Paul said in Rom.7.25 that the dilemma faced him all the time, daily. He wanted to serve Yeshua with everything in his soul and spirit, but his flesh kept getting in the way. Then he tells us in Rom.8.11 that even that problem is solved by the finished work of Yeshua and the indwelling Ruach ha Kodesh. Our bodies will be raised incorruptible and immortal and without sin. The offending members shall be completely eradicated. What a day that will be!! Q&C

Matthew 5:31-32, “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

Webster’s 1828 defines adultery as: 

“1. Violation of the marriage bed; a crime, or a civil injury, which introduces, or may introduce, into a family, a spurious offspring;” and fornication as: “1. The incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons, male or female; also, the criminal conversation of a married man with an unmarried woman.” 

The difference between the two is the difference of the marriage relationship of the woman. This sets the limits to the writing of divorcement. ‘Saving for the cause of fornication’ refers to sexual misconduct of the woman before marriage and consummation thereof; in the biblical and Hebraic perspective, during the betrothal period, which is when the marriage is legal, but has yet to be consummated. Adultery has to do with the conduct of a married woman. The sexual misconduct of a man is fornication, unless the woman is married. If the woman is married, the man is also committing adultery. Once a marriage is finalized, divorce is not a biblical option for the believer. The passage that deals with the believer and divorce is in 1Cor7.

The passages, vv.1-17, 20, 27, 39-40, deal with leaving a spouse or putting one away. The main context speaks of avoiding fornication by marrying, if the person is burning with lust. Then he goes on to say that once the marriage is entered into, one should not leave or put away his/her spouse. To do so is to cause the other party to become an adulterer/ess (Mat.5). Paul tells them that he would rather they not marry and give themselves to the service of Y’hovah, but also says that if they cannot control their passions they should marry. There is no sin in marriage, but there is in fornication and adultery. Taking these two passages together, along with Rom.7, we see that there is no scriptural grounding for divorce. There is no injunction, ‘Thou shalt not divorce’, although Elohim does say, “I hate putting away.” For this reason, I think, divorce itself is not the sin, but the accompanying lust and almost inevitable carnality and adultery is sinful. As far as Y’hovah is concerned the marriage is never dissolved, just as the union of Yeshua to the believer and the believer’s assembly is never broken.

Marriage is the practical picture of the relationship between Mashiyach and his body. Eph.5 has much to say about the husband and wife being representative of Mashiyach and the assembly and how each should relate to the other. As the assembly is to submit to Yeshua, so the wife is to submit to her husband. And as Yeshua loves his body and gave himself for her, so should the husband love his wife and give himself for her. Cf. Phil.2.3-8 for the proper attitude of married couples.

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this ^mind^ [v.4] be in you, which was also in Mashiyach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the tree. (Philip.2.3-8)

Consider the relationship between Yeshua and the assembly from another angle. He is the only begotten Son of Elohim, while we are the adopted sons of Elohim. As the adopted child in an earthly family has the same legal rights as the natural child, so we have the same standing in heaven as Yeshua, being joint-heirs with him. 

Galatians 4:7, “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of Elohim through Mashiyach.” 

Romans 8:17, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of Elohim, and joint-heirs with Mashiyach; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” 

And so we, the ‘wife’, are joint-heirs with Yeshua, the ‘husband’. We are on equal footing before Elohim in Yeshua. So is the wife equal to the husband in the earthly marriage. As Yeshua is the head of the body, so the husband is the head of the wife. As the body cannot function without the head and the assembly cannot function without Yeshua haMashiyach, so the family/marriage cannot properly function without the husband. The wife submits to her husband as he submits to Yeshua as he submits to the Father, not as a matter of one being better than the other, but as a matter of need for some chain of authority. The buck has to stop somewhere. And as Yeshua is the Authority (Head) over the body and is responsible for her, so the husband is the authority (head) over his wife and is responsible for her.

The kahal, or church, even takes on the name of Y’hovah Yeshua – we are Christ-ians or Mashiyach-nics. So the wife takes the name of her husband. This signifies that she is identifying herself with her husband. She is as immersed in him as we are immersed in the Ruach ha Kodesh at our conversion, and the water at our baptism/mikvah. To rend that spiritual reality by divorce paints a truly ugly picture of a headless, Mashiyach-less assembly and a Ruach ha Kodesh with no ministry.

Does this mean that a divorced person has no standing in the assembly or before Elohim? Elohim forbid! To say that just because I may have sinned, and I emphasize may have, I am no longer saved or am living in a sinful state or condition is the same as saying that I am no longer a Xian because I lied to the cop about how fast I was going. The consequences of each action is different, but in the eyes of Elohim they are the same – they fall short of the righteous standard of Elohim and are worthy of death 

For the wages of sin is death; … (Rom6.23a) 

Every sin ever committed is paid for, none are unredeemed 

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto Elohim. (Rom.6.10) 

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua Mashiyach once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of Elohim; (Heb.10.10-12). 

But the forgiveness needs to be claimed and received by repentance and confession. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that divorce itself is a sin, no matter your spiritual condition before the divorce. If you were divorced 10 years ago and you and your spouse married previously unmarried people, and have kids by those marriages, are you both in a state of sin until you remarry each other? Are you to insist on destroying two marriages and families to make it all right? Can you deny fellowship to either family because of this? If so, what ever happened to grace? Can the person who is divorced be reconciled to Elohim? If so, why can’t he be reconciled to the body of Mashiyach? And if not, why not? If your position is that you are in sin until the new marriages are dissolved and the original marriage is reinstated, how about all that stuff you stole when you were a kid, or the lust you had last week, or the time you lied to get ahead? Do you have to go back and confess to each individual you stole from or lied to or lusted after, and make reparations, so you can get right with Elohim? If that is what you think you are in bondage. There is no grace in your life, only bondage to the law that YOU have created, for that is not Torah. 

1Cor7.39 and Rom.7.2 speak to this. Don’t get caught up in the letter without discerning the spirit of what’s here. You are bound to your spouse as long as that spouse lives. But the context of Rom.7 is the death we died in Mashiyach to the LAW of sin in Rom.6.23a. We are dead, buried and resurrected with Yeshua; dead and buried to sin and raised to life in Elohim through Mashiyach. Once our sin is confessed and repented of it is dead and buried, though the consequences of our actions still need to be dealt with; i.e., we bear our iniquity. We now have liberty to live in and for Yeshua. Cast off the bonds of sin and live in Mashiyach Yeshua. Q&C

Matthew 5:33-37, “33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto Y’hovah thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is Elohim’s throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

In these passages, Yeshua gives a few examples of what he means and then gives the principle to which the law refers. Don’t swear by something you can’t control. And just what is in your control? NOTHING! So don’t swear at all. Just be honest in your words and dealings. Be the type of person that everyone knows does what he says he’ll do. Noone can ask more of anyone than that, and noone will if you are honest in your dealings with them, unless, of course, they can’t be trusted themselves. The greek word behind ‘evil’ is poneros. There are two words translated evil in the NT, this one and kakos. Kakos means bad or disjointed, hence the word cacophany, or bad sound. Poneros has to do with essential wickedness of character. Satan is poneros, the rock band DEVO and any ‘grunge’ band is kakos. What Yeshua is saying is that anything other than being truthful is wicked, straight out of the fleshly heart of man, which is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer.17.19). 

So, in summary, it seems that the divorced woman who marries another man is not committing adultery, but that man who marries her is. As we saw in the Torah today, the woman is not precluded from more than one marriage, if her husband ends the marriage with a writ of divorce even though he may not take her to wife again once she has consummated a 2nd marriage. It is interesting that Yeshua uses this passage as an illustration of his parable about cutting off your right hand if it offends you. It may be the very thing he needed to say to his talmidim before they left home to follow him. If they were married, they had no right to divorce their wives or to just leave them without providing for them. If they were not married, it would be better to remain that way IF they were going to follow him. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my wife is definitely my right hand. Nothing of any importance gets done without her. Yeshua is telling these men that only if their wives are guilty of fornication are they allowed to ‘cut them off’, otherwise the husband is CAUSING her adultery. He is guiltier than she. Another application is this; don’t pledge yourself to anything that you’re not certain you can deliver, but be a man of your word. (See also, Dt.23.21-23 & Dt.24.14-15 from today’s Torah parsha) The marriage ketubah, or betrothal contract, is every bit as serious as a vow to Y’hovah. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible study.