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

Links: 

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.

Shabbat Bible Study for December 15, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 15, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Sabbath 40

Devarim 22:6 – 23:9 – Micah 5:1-6 – Tehellim 137 – MatithYahu 22:1-14

Links: 

Devarim 22:6 – 23:9 – Devarim 22 is a list of minor chukim, ‘the least commandments’ that Yeshua speaks of, and I have heard that the very least is the first one we see in our passage, today. 

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

The Ramban says that this commandment is meant to inculcate a sense of mercy toward the lower creatures, which should then be ever greater toward higher orders of creatures, culminating in a very high order of mercy towards our fellow men. Chumash has a good note for v.7 on pg.142, dealing with the midrashic principle of ‘light to weighty’ or ‘lesser to greater’. 

v.8BaAretz, in the land, the rooftops are usually flat so that the cooking can be done on it during the day and the socializing at night. And so the reason for the chuk in v.8 is readily apparent, even if it were not spelled out. It is a safety feature that Y’hovah requires of his people. We need to be mindful of our brother’s safety. Life under Torah is about ‘strict liability’, there was no ‘limited liability’, or ‘insurance’, like we are used to these days in the west. If one caused an injury to his neighbor, HE was responsible to make reparations and cover the damages. 

18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with fist, and he die not, but keepeth bed: 19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay the loss of his time, and shall cause to be thoroughly healed. (Shemoth 21.18-19)

This principle applies in all situations, and would tend to make one more circumspect. There were no ‘insurance’ companies to ‘lessen the blow’ to one’s finances or lifestyle. You are responsible for your own actions and those of all your servants and livestock, as well as your negligence to properly maintain your property, as in Devarim 22.8.

V.9-11 – I think v.9 is dealing with genetic holiness in our food. They weren’t engaging in genetic engineering/modification, like we are today, but there might be a problem with cross-pollination of species. To mitigate that possibility, this chuk is given. The reason for the flood was to remove the Nephillim from the gene-pool. Some of the DNA came through the flood via Ham’s wife (I think)or the offspring of Ham’s illicit union with Noach’s wife [not his mother], but it was diluted over the years, so that the Nephillim-tainted offspring were fewer and of lesser stature than the originals. I think that Y’hovah was trying to keep our food ultimately nutritious and healthy for us through this chuk. Chumash refers us to its note on Lev.19.19 (pg.136-37),

Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee. (Leviticus 19:19)

The Rabbinic commentary in Chumash [pg.136, Lev.] specifies wool and linen. To say that cotton/polyester blends are in transgression of this chuk is adding to Torah, IMO. See v.11 below.

V.10 is definitely a chuk, because I can’t understand why this is forbidden, unless it’s due to the different sizes of the animals. An ox and a donkey could not possibly produce a hybrid, like a horse and a donkey or a buffalo and an ox, so I think it’s just a chuk designed to see if we’ll obey, even when we don’t understand the reason for it. 

V.11 – The only specified prohibition for mixed fibres in a garment are linen and wool, and it refers specifically to them being woven together, I infer in a loom. IOW, taking Torah for what it says, cotton/polyester and other mixtures are perfectly fine. If we were to take it to mean that no 2 different things could be mixed, that would also include alloyed metals and such. The only thing in which Torah says to mix wool and linen is in the Mishkan and the High Priest’s ephod. I think that this is the reason that noone was to wear this mixture; it was reserved to separating Y’hovah and his representative on earth from the wicked world system. When the Priest went into the Most Holy place, he was stepping into spiritual space; the very throneroom of Y’hovah, which resides outside of physical time and space. Aharon actually stepped ‘out of time and space’ in exactly the same way as Moshe did whenever he was in the Tent of meeting or up on Horeb, where he was able to fast from both food and water for 40 days at a time. The Mishkan proper, which was the ‘roof’ of the Kodesh Kadashim, the curtains and the veil were all made of the same woven material, as was Aharon’s ephod. Each was 3 parts wool (blue, purple, and scarlet), and 1 part each fine twined linen and metallic gold. I think this chuk is to keep Israel from making anything that was designed for access to this spiritual space and I don’t think scripture says anything to the contrary. Q&C

V.12 – This is a reiteration of the tzitzit chuk from Numbers 15.38-40 

38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of (techeleth) blue: 39 And it (techeleth) shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Y’hovah, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto Elohechem.

Vv.13-21 – Don’t bear false witness, especially against your wife. If you do, you get to give her papa 100 pieces of silver, saddle yourself with a woman who will likely be contentious, and you will have no recourse, but will have to stay married to what you’ve made into a shrew for the rest of your natural life. However, if your accusation of fornication is true, she will be stoned at her father’s doorstep. This was the situation Yoseph found himself in when he found Miriam to be pregnant with Yeshua.

18 Now the birth of Yeshua haMashiyach was on this wise: When as his mother Miriam was espoused to Yoseph, before they came together, she was found with child of Ruach haKodesh. 19 Then Yoseph her husband, being a tzadik, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Master appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Yoseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Miriam thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of Ruach haKodesh. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name YESHUA: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mat.1.18-21)

Vv.22-27 – If a man takes a woman who is betrothed to another man and engages in sexual relations with her in a town and she doesn’t cry out for help, then both the man and the woman are to be stoned outside the city gates to remove the evil from the town. Since it was in a town it is assumed that if the girl raised her voice, someone would come to help her. This is what Yeshua dealt with in 

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Yeshua stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground (YirmeYahu 17.13?, or did he write “Where is the man?” per our chuk, or is the answer, Yes, he wrote the man’s name in the earth.). 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard, being convicted by conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, unto the last: and Yeshua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (Yochanan 8.2-9)

If she was taken and forced outside the city, only the man is stoned, since it is assumed that she raised a call for help but was not heard. It is obvious to me that the girl has brought the accusation against the man in either instance. In the 1st case, it may have been found out when she began to ‘show’ her resultant pregnancy. In the 2nd, she would bring the charge and then a diligent inquest would be done. 

Vv.28-29 – If the situation above is done with an unbetrothed woman, the man pays her father a settlement, has to marry the girl, and may never divorce her. Rape was not a wise thing for an Israelite man to engage in. It was costly to his pocket AND his future life’s comfort, having had to marry without recourse to a woman he may have made into a shrew.

The next 10 verses deal with forbidden marriages. V. 30 (Heb.23.1) does not say that he is not to marry his mother; that is a no-brainer to my mind. This basically codifies Ya’acov’s decision about Reuven, his first-born. Chumash says that ‘his father’s skirt’ speaks of the father’s brother’s wife, which is another forbidden relationship.

And if a man shall lie with his uncle’ wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’ nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. (Leviticus 20:20)

That could mean that even if a child results, he is not entitled to inherit in Israel. Q&C

Ch.23 is about prohibitions to membership in the congregation, or family. I suppose 23.1 is about proselytes. Would a man who was already a member of the kahal be thrown out because of an injury? I don’t think so. 

V.2 talks about mamzerim. KJV translates mamzer as ‘bastard’. Strong’s says this is a child of an Israelite man and a pagan woman, but Schottenstein’s Chumash says it is a child from a union that could never be a valid marriage; like the above man marrying his uncle’s wife, or a full brother and sister (IOW, I don’t think Yitzhak was a mamzer). The children of these unions were not recognized as Israelites for 10 generations. I have heard it said that Ruth was NOT a Moavite, but an Israelite. Ruth volunteered to convert to Judaism. No one offered her Shalom with Yhwh, she asked for Yhwh to grant her Shalom and He was gracious. In vv.3-6, Neither an Ammonite nor a Moavite could enter, unless they converted to Yehudism [which Ruth of Moav said she wanted to do], because their people did not remember their uncle Avraham had saved their father, Lot, in the battle of the 9 kings, 4 of them being “Kings of the East” [Rev.16.12]. And, for the same reason, Israel is not to seek the shalom and well being of Ammon or Moav, l’olam, forever. This is the one exception to the commandment to offer Shalom to a city before making war on it. But the prohibition against taking Lot’s inheritance away (2.9, 19) was not lifted. Israel could not take possession of Lot’s lands, beyond Sihon’s land, who had been offered Shalom with no strings attached and refused it. “Oh, Well!”

In vv.7-8, Israel was not to intermarry with Edom or Egypt for at least 3 generations after entering haAretz. Israel was not to ‘abhor’, or reject, them even before the 3rd generation, but they were forbidden intermarriage for that long. In v.9 they are commanded to stay away from ‘wicked things’, which may explain a little better what happened when Achan took the god from Yericho and hid it in his tent, causing the defeat at Ai. Q&C 

Micah 5:1-6 – Let’s look at the context of this portion of Micah’s prophecy:

6 In that day, saith Y’hovah, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and Y’hovah shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. 8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there Y’hovah shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. 11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. 12 But they know not the thoughts of Y’hovah, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto Y’hovah, and their substance unto the Master of the whole earth. (Micah 4.6-13)

‘In that day’(v.6), refers to the time of Ya’acov’s trouble which immediately precedes Y’hovah Mashiyach’s Kingdom. Her that ‘halteth’, whom Y’hovah ‘drove out’ and ‘afflicted’ is, I think, Yisrael, of both the whosoevers, Ephraim, and Yehudah, in the diaspora. V.7 shows that the ‘halt’ and ‘driven out’ = being afflicted and the ‘afflicted’ will be called to Zion by Mashiyach  for his appearing. In vv.7-8, Y’hovah says that Y’hovah will reign over them in mount Zion. This is an obvious reference to the Millennial Messianic Kingdom. Y’hovah, in Mashiyach , will be the ‘tower of the flock’ and the ‘stronghold of bat Zion’, the Chief Shepherd, as it were, and he shall have dominion as King over bat Yerushalayim. In v.9 Y’hovah asks if Zion’s/Yerushalayim’s counsellor has perished; could that be when the 2 witnesses lie dead in the streets of Yerushalayim (Rev.11.7-10)? It certainly looks as though the daughters of Yerushalaim/Zion cry aloud for Y’hovah’s deliverance. I take that to mean that Yehudah’s backs are up against a hard place (v.11) and there is no physical escape open to them, which is when they resort to their LAST resort, calling on Y’hovah’s Name. Vv.11-13 show what the nations of the earth will think to do and what Y’hovah will do to them. Which brings us to our passage in 5.1-6.

I think it is possible that ‘the judge of Israel’ refers to the aforementioned 2 witnesses, who I think will judge Israel during their years of ministry. For sure, they shall be ‘smitten upon the cheek’ by the satanic power of that ‘son of perdition’, Anti-Mashiyach  (Rev.11.2ff) AFTER their ministry is accomplished. Also, the soldiers that struck Yeshua on the face may be seen here, their closed fists likened to the rod.

BethLechem Ephratah is contrasted against the troops of the world’s power, who are the ‘smitors’ of the ‘smitee’, the judge of Israel. Vv.2-5 have been recognized for at least 2500 years as a Messianic prophecy. It is immediately where the priests and scribes went when Herod asked them where the King Mashiyach  would be born

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Mashiyach  should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Mat.2.2-6)

That old reprobate Edomite, Herod, knew the prophecy was Messianic, but didn’t know it well enough to know where Mashiyach would be born. And the priests and scribes directed them to Yeshua without even knowing he was there. Any rabbi, Jewish or otherwise, who says otherwise is a deceiver. The old reprobate Edomite, Herod, believed it, but they didn’t (or WOULDN’T). There is no record of the priests of Israel sending an embassage to the newborn King Mashiyach  of Israel, only the wise men of Parthia (Ephraim) and a few shepherds of the Temple flock. Official Israel either missed or attempted to wipe out Y’hovah in the flesh. Please notice that the priests and scribes gave a midrash of the prophecy, not a quote. Had they quoted it verbatim, they’d have been without excuse in their own eyes, and that would never do, would it? They would just deal with Y’hovah when they came before him in judgment; IF they came before him (I doubt that they actually thought he would judge them, IF they thought he truly exists). 

Notice in v.3, ‘she who travaileth’ refers back to 4.9-10. Those of us who are in travail during the time of Ya’acov’s Trouble will see the remnant called out of 4 corners of the earth

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (YeshaYahu 11:12)

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)

And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (Mark 13:27)

V.4 is a reference to Y’hovah as King Mashiyach, also, as he stands in the strength and the Name of Y’hovah. And then v.5 says that King Mashiyach  is THE Shalom, which refers to

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 Eloha, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (YeshaYahu 9:6)

It is King Mashiyach who will bring Shalom when Yerushalayim/Zion is attacked by the Gog uMagog alliances at the end of this world system AND at the end of  his Millennial Kingdom. 

I think that Gog uMagog and the Assyrian are basically the same entity in the prophecies of the end of days, the one that we can see taking shape today in the Middle East. As we speak, Iran (Assyria, Babylon, and Persia which later became Parthia), Russia (Gog uMagog, or historical Scythia), and China or the Nation of Islam (Kings of the East) look to be allying against the Western powers, led by NATO and the US. They will ultimately join forces to the end of destroying Israel. That will be precursor to the above outlined prophetic events of Micah 4&5. Q&C

Tehellim 137 – Whenever Yehuda remembered Zion while in captivity in Babylon, she sat and wept. This same idea is restated in v.2 where she hung her harps on the willows. She was so deep in mourning that she could not bring herself to sing, even when ordered to do so by her captors. Vv.3-5 remind me of the cowboys in the opening scene of Blazing Saddles demanding a “good old nigger work song” from the black railroad workers, and their immediate response. (Do you suppose Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder had this Psalm in mind while they wrote this screenplay? “Wie gesind!”, Mel, as the Indian chief, told the black family who had had to make their OWN circle of wagon to protect themselves, as the white folk in the wagon train wouldn’t let them join their circle. “Wie gesind”  means “How’s your health?” or something similar due to the context of the movie’s theme – the stupidity of racism and racists. The ‘chief’ looks to his Yiddish Indian comrade and says “Oy VEH! They’re darker than WE are!” The Indians knew what the blacks were going through and were sympathetic.) 

In vv.6-8, captive Israel vows to remember Yerushalayim/Zion until they return thither. They also vow to remember Edom, who called for the razing of the city to its foundation, leaving virtually no stone above grade. They vow to remember the way Edom relished the destruction of Yehudah’s children during the conquest by Babylon. This is not the same way Y’hovah wanted them to remember Edom in our Torah passage today. Edom did not take part in the dashing of the children’s heads against the stones. We are only to not allow Edom to intermarry with us for 3 generations, and then we are to remember that we and Edom are family, distantly related as we may be. In the Kingdom Age, 3 generations will go by quickly – perhaps 50-75 years. There will be 950 years left for us to remember our close family ties. The Edom that goes into the Kingdom will not be the Roman/Greek/Arabic idolaters, but Y’hovah fearers who had accepted Y’hovah’s offer of Shalom to them (Is.27.4-5).  Q&C

MatithYahu 22:1-14– Parable of the wedding feast (Mt.22.1-14) – Remember that the most important words in bible interpretation are ‘like’ and ‘as’. Webster’s 1828 has ‘like’, 

“2. Similar; resembling; having resemblance…. I saw three unclean spirits like frogs.  Rev. 16.” 

He has ‘as’, 

“1.  Literally, like; even; similar.  “Ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil,” or “As Jonas was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.” 

So when Yeshua says the kingdom of heaven is LIKE something, it is not exactly the same, but resembles that thing. 

The kingdom resembles a king giving a wedding feast for his son’s marriage. He has invited all the important people in his kingdom and they at first despise the invitation, then beat up the messengers, then kill them. This is LIKE the way Yisrael treated all her prophets (with the possible exception of Daniel) who were attempting to awaken Yisrael to her impending destruction and calling them to repentance. Y’hovah was not pleased with them, like the king was not pleased with the invitees. The reason I do not use the word ‘as’ here is that Y’hovah is very much more displeased with us and Yisrael than this king was with his invitees. If that king destroyed the invitees and their property and their cities, what do you suppose is in store for us and Yisrael when we refuse His invitation, when we despise His commands? We have a LOT more light, and for that reason Y’hovah will demand more of us. To get his blessing, we must follow His commands.

And command is the meaning of the word ‘bid’ in v.9, as well as ‘bidden’ in vv.3-4. I have no idea why the king had to command attendance at his son’s wedding feast, but that is the case. Perhaps they didn’t think the king would do anything, as our nation, and especially the church, doesn’t think Y’hovah will bring judgment against us. They, and we, are fools to think that way. He is longsuffering to us-ward, but not forever-suffering. He will deliver on his promises to us, and he has promised that he will bring cursing if we do not obey his word. The choice is ours. 

Deut. 30:15-20, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16In that I command thee this day to love Y’hovah Elohecha, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and Y’hovah Elohecha shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 

Y’hovah promises blessings, IF we obey His commandments.

17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, ye shall not prolong days upon the land, whither thou passest over Yarden to go to possess it. 19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20That thou mayest love Y’hovah Elohecha, that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for HE is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which Y’hovah sware unto thy fathers, to Avraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” 

In Gal.3.13, ‘curse of the law’ is talking about death, which curse Yeshua took on himself for us.

The original invitees despised the king’s commandment to come. Did you notice that the king never requested anyone to do anything? Every statement he made was exclamatory, with an implied subject. The only question he asked was to the man without the wedding garment, and that was to ascertain whether he was unprepared in innocence or snubbing the king’s command. The speechlessness was all the answer the king needed. The man had been offered the wedding garment and refused it, as the Mexican bandits in ‘Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ – “Wedding garments! We don’t need no stinking wedding garments.” This guy found out different.

He was bound and thrown into ‘outer darkness.’ …Ekbalete eis to skotos to exoteron, literally, ‘out throw him into the darkness the outer (or outside)’. Of what was this darkness outside? I think it was outside time and space and the presence of Y’hovah. I think it is speaking of what has come to be thought of as Hell, which I do no believe exists or ever will exist [2Pe.3.7-12]. The weeping and gnashing of teeth may be from the suffering and despair of those receiving the curse, or from the mourning of those who are left here and miss him, or both, or perhaps more than this. The weeping and gnashing of teeth is a fact. Who is weeping is anyone’s guess. I lean towards all of the above. 

Chosen is from the greek word eklektos from which we get the word ‘eclectic’, which Webster has as, 

“[Gr. to choose.]  Selecting; choosing; an epithet given to certain philosophers of antiquity, who did not attach themselves to any particular sect, but selected from the opinions and principles of each, what they thought solid and good. Hence we say, an eclectic philosopher; the eclectic sect.” 

With the raging denominationalism and ‘sectarianism’ we suffer from today, ‘eclecticism’ in our walk with Y’hovah should be the standard. We need to choose that which stands up to the scrutiny of scripture, not necessarily what we’ve been taught by fallible men. For men have taught us lies for centuries, though they have been, in many cases, unaware of the lies they’ve taught. Such things as Sunday-keeping, Child-mass (name changed to ‘Christ-mas’), and Ishtar/Easter, which are the most common, but by far not the only pagan inspired church holidays that got their impetus from the compromise of the church’s true worship with Roman Mithraist sun-worship in the days of Constantine, have been unquestioningly handed down to us from our fathers as if they were commandments from Y’hovah. We need to question our spiritual heritage as it applies to scripture, keep that which we’ve been taught that lines up with scripture, and discard the rest. In the ‘Christian climate’ in which we find ourselves, eclecticism is a good thing if it uses the Word of Y’hovah as its standard. Our choice to repent and follow Y’hovah and his ways is the basis of his choosing us, the basis of our covenant with him. Q&C 

End of Bible Study

Post Script I had a good question from Screech in Dec. 2012 that I could not answer immediately. But, as I was editing the recording, I was reminded of it and went and got my notes to the passage dealing with the Kingdom of heaven being likened to leaven. Here’s the passage from Lk.13

20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

And here’s what I think is the answer:

105). Parable of the leaven (Mat.13:33, Lk.13:20-21) – This is the only mention of leaven in anything like a positive sense. Leaven is a type of sin. Let’s look at a few mentions of leaven (Ex.12.15, 13.7, 34.25, Lev.2.11, 6.17, 10.12, 23.17 [the only offering made with leaven, offered at Shavuoth/Pentecost, when the Ruach ha Kodesh was given to men of two natures, us. The blood of Mashiyach washes away the sin in a believer’s heart and allows the Ruach ha Kodesh to dwell therein.], Amos 4.1-5, Mat.16.11-12, 1Cor.5.1-11, Gal.5.9). Leaven was not a good thing. It was in fact and in every case noted above, a very bad thing. Galatians tells of the doctrinal leaven that Paul had to deal with, the bondage of oral law as seen in Gal.4. Paul says that Hagar/Ishmael and Sarah/Isaac were an allegory to what he dealt with then, and what we deal with today. Hagar was a picture of the rabbinic traditions that were contrary to the Word of Y’hovah and Ishmael a picture of the continual physical offerings of earthly Jerusalem. Sarah was a picture of the promise of rest and Isaac a picture of the heavenly Jerusalem where Mashiyach  offered his own blood once and henceforth sat at the right hand of Elohim. Hagar was a slave and Ishmael the son of a slave. Sarah was the bride of promise and Isaac the son of promise. We who have trusted Mashiyach  are children of the promise and rest on the promise of Elohim, as Sarah did. For us to trust to the letter of the works of oral law and to not rely on and rest in the Spirit of promise (Eph.1.13) is to place ourselves back in bondage to the ‘leaven of the Pharisees’ (Mat.16.6-12). That is the leaven we need to be careful to avoid.

6 Then Yeshua said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Yeshua perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

What leaven does is fill the bread with bubbles, stretching the gluten. We can liken the assembly to the loaf, the gluten to true biblical doctrine (2Tim3.16-17), and the leaven to the oral traditions, and the lies and false doctrines of men and Satan. The leaven allowed into the loaf will stretch the gluten and fill the bread with a lot of nothing. The air bubbles add no nutritive value, all show/no grow. The loaf would have the same value to the body without the leaven. A small amount of leaven added to a lump of bread dough will quickly raise the bread, but adds nothing of use or substance. Bondage to the oral law adds lots of show, but nothing of substance – all show/no go. Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty (Jms.1.25, 2.12) wherewith Mashiyach  hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” 

There WILL BE leaven in the Millennial Kingdom. Yeshua will be on the throne, but the people who populate the Kingdom will be born in the same condition we were born in – with an inclination towards evil and so it will be like a loaf of bread filled with lots of ‘air bubbles’ that make a good show, but nothing of nutritive value. So will be the Kingdom of heaven on earth during the millennium. All that leaven will attempt to surround and destroy the saints encamped around Yerushalayim at the last feast of tabernacles in the millennial kingdom.  

I’m done for today. End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 8, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 8, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Sabbath 39

Devarim 21:10 – 22:5 – YeshaYahu 54:1-10 – Psalm 136 – Galatians 3:1- 5:26

Links:

Devarim 21:10 – 22:5 – Background: Last week’s portion was about Israel at war. Beginning in 20.10, we see how we are to treat a city against which we are going to war that is ‘afar off’; it is not one of the 7 nations whom Israel is going into haAretz to displace. In that passage we are to send an embassage to offer the city Shalom under certain conditions. If they accept, that is well. If they do not, then “Oh, Well!”; they had been offered their lives and refused. If they refuse Shalom, we besiege the city and when we’ve won, we are to kill every male among them, and save the women and children, cattle and flocks. Beginning in v.16, we see that we are not to offer Shalom to the 7 nations that we are displacing baAretz; they are to be either destroyed or driven out of Y’hovah Elohecha’s land. We are not to destroy any fruit trees baAretz, for they will be for our food. 

Then in 21.1-9, we get instructions on how to deal with a man found slain without the walls or borders of a city. Now, the passages before that one have to do with our conduct in battle and the passages following it deal with our conduct AFTER the battle, so what is this 9-verse parenthesis about? The context makes me infer that this man found slain outside the city, was a man who had been wounded in battle and, while trying to get back to his inheritance or, at least to someone who could help him, died of his wounds. And that brings us to our passage for today.

Vv.10-14 – “When thou goest forth to war,” indicates that this is NOT dealing with one of the 7 nations we were going to dispossess. This is definitely about a foreign enemy, who had opted to fight when offered Shalom. Y’hovah here acknowledges the human nature of man; that men away from home will be tempted to sexual sin. Admit it, guys; no matter how deeply you love your wife, when you see a beautiful woman, your flesh reacts; your eyes follow the form until you have a chance to use your reason and engage your spirit. It is human nature. And you women are not off the hook either, if you’re honest with yourselves. It is Y’hovah’s design and it is not sinful; at least not until you engage your reason and start to dwell on your natural urge to spread your DNA in that direction. And it MAY not be sinful until you actually engage in the act. Remember,

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (I John 3:4)

Πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, καὶ τὴν ἀνομίαν ποιεῖ καὶ ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία

Whoever works sin also works iniquity (Torah/law-lessness) and sin is iniquity.

That seems to say that sin is active; that adultery and fornication are overt acts. Y’hovah is telling us that when we lust for a beautiful woman in the enemy camp, there is a procedure to follow to take the woman to wife, so that we will not sin. The prefatory comments in Schottenstein’s Chumash are quite good on this subject, though I think “most of the commentators” went further than Y’hovah does, as we will see. Cf. Chumash pp.136. I agree with Rashi and Ramban, though I see the point of ‘most of the commentators’, also: if the Israelite’s yetzer hara will not leave him alone, ‘most commentators’ say he may indulge it one time, but then must give her time to mourn her change of station in life; her parents, culture and/or husband/sons. I think that is more accommodation to the flesh than acting in trust and faith in Y’hovah. 

Vv.15-17 – This passage on the ‘hated wife’ follows hard after the beautiful captive for a purpose. If a married man has gone into battle and there found a woman he desires and made her his wife (multiple wives were allowed in ancient Israel, though IMO that was never ‘optimal’), he may not diminish his duty to his first wife, according to the original covenant Israel agreed to 4 times.

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

I gotta tell you guys, we are not wired that way. I mean, there is only so much a guy can do, regardless how much his youthful pride or his yetzer hara may lie to him. 

Now, this passage is actually addressing the man’s firstborn’s rights. Whether the bachor is the son of the hated wife or the favored wife, he is the firstborn and his rights are sacrosanct; the man may not favor the son of the favored wife over the son of the hated wife, if the hated wife’s son is the actual bachor. Ohr haChaim thinks that the last phrase of v.15 says that the hated wife WILL have the bachor, like Leah did, because Y’hovah sees the broken heart of the hated wife and gives her the bachor as consolation for her husband’s treatment. In context, this looks like the ‘hated’ wife is the 1st wife, and probably a native Israelite wife, while the favored wife is the ‘hottie’ from another culture. Q&C

Vv.18-21 – This passage deals with a man whose son is rebellious and will not honor his parents. It follows hard after the discussion of the favored/hated wives, and the rebellion may stem from the father’s treatment of the son’s mother. If the rebellious son is the son of the favored wife, it may be that he expects the same treatment as his mother gets. If the rebellious boy is the son of the hated wife, it may be because the son of the favored wife actually DOES get the same treatment his mother gets. I think these three situations that get treated in this chapter may be seen as each following the other, and I think they may be illustrated by both Avraham and his sons and Ya’acov and his sons. These strifeful situations are exactly what WILL occur in a multi-wife family, with both wives living under the same roof. I do not see how they can possibly NOT happen or that it cannot be anything but hard on the man’s home life. In Ya’akov’s case, the (almost) exact situation developed between Leah and Rachel and then carried through to their children (the only difference, and it may actually have made matters WORSE, is that Leah and Rachel were sisters – possibly twins). Rachel and Yoseph were the ‘favored’ ones; Leah and her children were the ‘hated’ ones. Reuven saw that Yoseph got all the choice stuff, even though he, Reuven, was the bachor. So, after Rachel’s death near Ephrath, Reuven went in unto Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid and Ya’acov’s concubine;

21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar. 22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard. Now the sons of Ya’akov were twelve: 23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Ya’akov’ firstborn, and Shimon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: 24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: 25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: 26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these the sons of Ya’akov, which were born to him in Padanaram. (Gen.35.21-26)

So, I think it is easy to see, by dot-connecting, that it’s a bad thing for the believer’s (or any other) family to have more than one spouse. First papa takes a 2nd wife; then he favors one over the other, then the sons of the favored wife are treated differently than the other wive’s sons and the strife reaches into their progeny. Likewise, Ishmael was Avraham’s firstborn son, and Avi loved Ishmael. He mourned for Ishmael when Y’hovah told him to follow Sarah’s instruction to put Hagar and Ishmael out of the camp, for Yitzhak was the son of the promise, not Ishmael. Perhaps Avi knew of this instruction, and knew the problems that would forever follow those 2 beloved sons. From what I see in scripture, it is not SIN for a man to have more than one wife, but it is obvious that it is also not wise. 

The rebellious son was to be taken outside the camp and stoned and this sin removed from Israel. When word got around of any son being stoned, that would deter the sin from spreading. The 1st purpose for this mitzvah is that it relates directly to the 5th commandment to love Y’hovah.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which Y’hovah Elohecha giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)

The 2nd purpose is that our life not be cut short by stoning. Deterrence was the LAST purpose of capital punishment, not the first. We need to keep the camp pure so Y’hovah can walk among us. 

Vv.22-23 – In Israel, the body of an idolater or blasphemer was stoned to death and then hung on a gallows (tree) so people would see what comes of these sins. It is very interesting what Chumash says about v.23 on pg.139. Let me reiterate that last sentence,

People who see the body think it’s the king. (Rashi)

Do you think their ears are hearing what their mouth is saying? On the day of Passover, Yeshua was hung on a tree and the priests were afraid that the executed would not die and be buried before sundown and thereby defile their Shabbaton of Unleavened Bread, so they asked Pilate to go out and break their legs. Joe and Nic got Pilate’s permission to take Yeshua’s body to be buried somewhere other than the criminals, for he had taken the curse from the land and the people of Israel. I think they may have thought that his body would be defiled by contact with the criminal’s bodies. I assume the criminals’ corpses were buried in a mass grave, and possibly carried to the burial ground stacked on a cart. 

Devarim 22.1-5 – The 1st 4 verses deal with what happens if a man finds any unknown livestock hanging around unattended. He is either to take it to the brother, if he knows whose the animal is, or he is to take it home and safeguard it until the owner comes looking for it; this is true of both clean and unclean livestock and any other lost property. This kinda puts the kibosh on, “Finder’s Keepers; Loser’s Weepers”, doesn’t it? 

V.5 – A woman wearing what pertains to a man or a man wearing a woman’s garment is abomination to Y’hovah. There are 2 possibilities as to what this appertains. The one that comes quickly to mind is cross-dressing and temple prostitution. Both were more prevalent in Canaan than in Israel. The other relates to my un-PC commentary last week about women in combat assignments in the military. Again, Stone’s Chumash deals with this on pg.141. Women were not to ‘gird up their loins’ for battle, and men were not to dress like women to escape combat. We saw last week that if a man was frightened to go to battle, there was no recrimination taken against him; it was better that he not be there to confuse a portion of the battle line and perhaps cause the loss of the war. Q&C

Isaiah 54:1-10 – This prophecy is about Ephraim, the barren, divorced wife, who has more children than Yehudah, the married wife. If what I think could be right is right, that is the understatement of understatements. If the Avrahamic covenant has taken its full course, the possibility exists that every person on earth is a descendant of Avraham. It could even be that in the 3500 years of the nation of Israel, and the 3000 years of Israelite exploration and dispersion, that everyone on the planet is a descendant of Ya’akov. 

Where it says that Ephraim was desolate, the Hebrew word is shomeimah, and more likely should read something like, ‘made desolate’ – she was disinherited and childless, in the spiritual sense. Surely Ephraim numbers hundreds or even thousands of times greater in number than Yehudah, largely thanks to the perennial wasting of Yehudah’s numbers by pograms and inquisitions at the hands of Ephraim, whether Ephraim was aware of its familial relationship w/her or not. And now, thanks to the spread of the besorah in the world in and since the 1st century of the common era, this is not only true physically, but spiritually, as well. As we’ll see in our apostolic text today, all who are in Mashiyach are Avraham’s seed. The prophecy of vv.2-10 has been and will continue to be fulfilled in both Ephraim and Yehudah, ultimately in the Kingdom and then the New Creation. The two dispersed sheepfolds, seen in the zodiac as Pisces, will be recalled from their diasporas by Mashiyach and wed to their beloved, never to be sent away again.

Tehellim 136 – This is the Psalm we read during the Pesach Haggadah, after the telling is over, for it briefly recounts the history of the Wilderness Adventure and how Y’hovah delivered us from Egypt to the land of promise. This is a picture of the Greater Exodus that will be precipitated by Mashiyach sending his angels to the 4 corners of the earth to recall his Bride and all the guests to the wedding. Everything that Y’hovah recounts through David is a mere shadow of the deliverance he will provide in our not too distant future [a future that gets less and less distant with every breath we take]. The battle lines are being drawn before our eyes on the evening news. All the doom and gloom in the Middle East is actually exciting news for those of us who are looking toward the soon Kingdom of Mashiyach in Yerushalayim. It will not be long before all the world knows that Y’hovah’s rachamim truly does endure l’olam va’ed. Q&C

Galatians 3:1-14 – In his book, Galatians, Avi ben Mordecai makes the case that the greek manuscripts only use one word to describe Torah AND oral traditions (nomos, which is mostly translated as ‘law’ in English) and that contextual knowledge is therefore necessary to know to which ‘law’ Paul refers. And I contend that this is pretty much the case in ALL of Sha’ul’s letters. The Galatians had had Yeshua set before them as crucified and resurrected from death; this is how the gospel had been preached to them, and they believed that gospel. Now Sha’ul wants to know who has beguiled them into thinking that they needed to do some other works to be saved!? He is reiterating in an interrogative form the astonishment he showed in 1.6ff

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Mashiyach unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Mashiyach. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal.1.6-9)

This is the same Sha’ul who had brought the decrees of the Beit Din in Yerushalayim that their justification is not in any overt acts, but by the faith of Yeshua. Remember the decree of the Beit Din in Acts.15, 

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:29)

The anti-missionaries were already at work in Galatia, trying to bring those who had been set at liberty back under a yoke of bondage to the traditions of men. He asks, ‘How did you come to Mashiyach? By works of the law; or by the hearing of faith?’ Paul will go on to show that works of oral tradition (Sinai in Arabia), and the Jerusalem that now is = bondage; and that faith, and the Jerusalem that is above (New Yerushalayim) = liberty. But that’s in ch.4. 

So, what is it then? Having begun in the Spirit of Truth, are you made perfect by the works of sinful flesh? He asks if they have suffered in vain. What they suffered before the decision of the Beit Din was to be ostracized because they were Gentiles, not allowed into the fellowship meals to discuss and better learn the Torah parsha that had been read that Shabbat; perhaps not allowed into the synagogue to hear Torah read at all. The Beit Din had sent the letter declaring that all they needed to do was abide by the 4 necessary things and they could enter the synagogues, hear Torah read and expounded, partake of the oneg meal and ask all the questions their little brains could construct. So, are they going to allow their liberty to be so quickly stolen from them? He finishes the paragraph by saying that the father of the Hebrew faith, Avraham, was justified by his faith, not by his works. In fact, his elder son, Ishmael, was not born for at least a year or so after he was ‘counted righteous’, so Avraham was at most 86 in Gen.15 when he was accounted righteous. That was before Hagar and Sarai had their trouble, and therefore it was antecedent to the antecedent to the metaphor Sha’ul will use in ch.4: faith came first; and then the works that proved the faith was real. 

From v.9-14 –  Avraham was not an Hebrew when he believed Y’hovah; Hebrew derives from the word avar, meaning to cross over and he had yet to cross Euphrates. But Y’hovah, to foreshadow the justification of the heathen by faith, justified Avraham by his faith and made the promise to Avraham that in him all the nations would be blessed BEFORE he ‘crossed over’. Now a curse is not a blessing, so they who are justified by the works of the tradition of CC place themselves under the curse of that tradition and they are subject to all the oral law, of which that tradition is part. After the delivery of the covenant in Ex. 20-31, there are only 3 mentions of CC in Torah proper (the books of Moshe); 2 speak of Y’hovah CCing our hearts and 1 speaks of CCing the male child on the 8th day. That’s it. So, I don’t think that the necessity of having a proselyte CCd before he could be taught Torah is in Torah. The idea of a proselyte being CCd in the flesh in Torah is conspicuous by its absence. So why is it so prominent in the Apostolic texts? Because it had become prominent in the Yehudi faith with very little Torah, but a lot of tradition, backing it up. 

It is evident that no man is justified by his works when even the prophets get in on the act

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)

A man’s soul is lifted up, in this context, when he thinks he’s all that AND a bag of chips; when he thinks he is justified by his good works, like Cayin did. But it is the faith of Mashiyach Yeshua that justifies us, for he took the curse of Torah, which is the death that we deserved and he didn’t, as a substitute for us on a tree. Remember our Torah for Y3; Shabbat 39 

22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged accursed of Eloha) that thy land be not defiled, which Y’hovah giveth thee an inheritance. (Devarim 21.22-23)

It is for that reason that Mashiyach took our curse upon himself; that we could be made the seed of Avraham in him and partakers in his promise. Q&C

Gal.3.15-25 – Paul opens this passage telling his audience that he is speaking as a man, not under inspiration of Yah, but by his reason. Even a covenant confirmed between ‘just guys’ can’t be nullified or added to, except all parties agree to the change. Avraham received the covenant from Y’hovah, but had no personal part in it. The covenant was to Avraham and his seed. Paul makes a grammarical point that the promise was to ‘A’ seed, not lots of seeds. IOW, when Y’hovah told him, “In Yitzhak will your seed be called”, Ishmael was not counted of the seed. So the line through which the ultimate seed, Mashiyach, would come was through Yitzhak, Ya’akov and Yehuda, all the way to Yoseph, the husband of Miriam and the legal, rightful heir to David’s throne.

Now that covenant is not annulled just because there is a subsequent covenant. In fact, covenants are cumulative – one adds to another. The Torah covenant that was codified at Sinai did not annul Avraham’s covenant. And no subsequent covenant annuls the Sinai covenant. IOW, the ‘New Covenant’ does not nullify any covenant given before it, unless there is a specific agreement between all parties concerned. And inheritance is not by works of Torah, since that would nullify the promise given 400 years before.

So what is the purpose of the Law? More importantly, what is the law Paul is speaking about? The law spoken of in v.19 is the one that Yirmeyahu speaks of in 7.21-24,

Thus saith Y’hovah Tsavaoth, Elohim of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. 22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be Elohechem, and ye shall be ami: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. (Ex.19.5-6) 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

It is the laws of burnt offerings for transgressions and the laws pertaining to the Levitical priesthood who would offer them that was added to the covenant entered into at Sinai. These laws were changed, annulled, when the Melchizedek priesthood was revived by Yeshua’s death and resurrection, for he is ‘a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb.7.17, which is the beginning of the context for ch.8). 

Y’hovah hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:4)

17 For he testifieth, Thou a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. (Hebrews 7.17-18)

Webster’s 1828 has this for ‘disannul’

Disannul differs from repeal as the genus from the species. A repeal makes a law void by the same power that enacted it. Annulment or disannulment destroys its force by repeal or some other means.

Y’hovah didn’t repeal the Levitical laws or the atonement of Yom Kippur. Through their completion/perfection in the death and resurrection of Yeshua, Y’hovah made them inefficacious, useless to justification. 

So what is the purpose of the law that was added? To make atonement for sins so we could be ‘blameless’ until the perfect atonement would come to make us righteous in him – Yeshua haMashiyach 

And for this reason he became the Mediator of the Renewed Covenant,48 that he might by his death be redemption to them who had transgressed the first (Sinai) covenant; so they who are called to the eternal inheritance might receive the Promise. (Heb.9.15 AENT). 

Who was the mediator of the Levitical law? Moshe, who was the mediator of every encounter with Y’hovah in the wilderness adventure – Israel ASKED him to mediate so they wouldn’t have to get near Y’hovah [Ex.20.18ff]. Wooses. 

So, are the laws for sacrifices and the priesthood AGAINST the promises of Elohim? No way, dude! If there were any law that could have given life, righteousness would have been from law-keeping. The law that was added was given to show us our need for a deliverer. Righteousness is by grace through faith and that faith is not ours, but Yeshua’s. Faith = actions based on belief in the truth of Torah, not just mental assent to Torah’s truth. 

The sacrificial law guarded our hearts before we were given the faith of Yeshua (Eph.2.8-10). It was a hedge built around us to warn us of the consequences of sin. ‘Shut up’ means ‘held together’. The Levitical law held us together until we could come to the faith of Yeshua. The law that was added was our schoolmaster, not the Sinai Covenant and other Toroth. Torah is the way we know what to do and not to do. The law that was added was to keep us blameless before a just and righteous Elohim if we transgressed the Torah. So, the law of the priesthood and sacrifices for transgressions was the schoolmaster showing us the penalty for sin and warning us away from it. Now that we have Yeshua’s faith, we have no need of sacrificial laws – they are completed in Mashiyach.

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Hebrews 10:26)

To offer an offering for atonement after Yeshua’s death and resurrection is just killing an innocent animal for nothing.

GalutYah 4:1-11 – This passage is an application of Prov.17.2

A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. (Proverbs 17:2)

In Gal.4, Sha’ul refers to the tutor, the governor, the child and father. My opinion is that the father represents Y’hovah; the child, the Israelite heir who needs instruction in righteous living; the tutor, the oral traditions; and the governor represents revealed Torah. Governors and tutors were the trustees of a wealthy man’s estate. Once again, in his book, Galatians, Avi ben Mordecai makes the case that the greek manuscripts only use one word to describe Torah AND oral traditions (nomos, which is mostly translated as ‘law’ in KJV English) and that contextual knowledge is therefore necessary to know to which Paul refers. And, again, I contend that this is pretty much the case in ALL of Sha’ul’s letters. 

In v.3, Yeshua was born of a woman (from which you can infer ‘virgin’ since there is no mention of a man) and ‘subject to Torah’. 

4.3 [AENT] – Even so with us, when we were young, we acted as if subject to the elements of the world. 4 But when, therefore, the fullness of time had come, Elohim sent His Son who was born of a woman, and was subject to Torah, 5 to redeem those who are under Torah that we might receive adoption as sons. [GalutYah 4.3-5 AENT]

In Phil.2, Paul describes this,

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Mashiyach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of 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. (Phil.2.4-8)

He ‘subjected himself’ to his own Torah (would that Congress took notice). Then in v.4, Paul refers to those who are ‘under Torah’. AENT has a salient note in the text on pg.568. 

“Notice the difference between being under Torah and being subject to Torah; the lack of discernment between these 2 has propelled many souls into anti-Torah lifestyles. Torah is to be written on the heart by Ruach haKodesh by Grace; it is by Grace that a person refrains from sin, as they become subject to the Word of Y’hovah. It is by Grace that a person comes to know and accept the redemptive work of Yeshua haMashiyach; however, the correct response to Yeshua is to live a life subject to Torah’s instructions in righteousness. Being under the Torah is to be under the authority of any religious regime that postures itself as an authority on Y’hovah or his Word. For example, the Word of Y’hovah instructs that we are to rest from our works on Shabbat, but some religious authorities teach that a person must attend a service on Sunday or during the week to ‘discharge’ his ‘obligation’ [in much the same way that the world has us ‘discharge our debts’ rather than pay them in lawful money – Mark edit]. Those who are under religious authority are ‘under Torah’, which is a MUCH different thing than being transformed into the image of Elohim, according to Mashiyach.”

So, according to AENT, to be ‘under Torah’ is to be under ‘religious authority’, not Y’hovah’s authority (to which we are subject). We are free agents. We can subject ourselves to whomsoever we choose. May it be Y’hovah and his Word, and not some guy’s interpretation of another’s word, as the Prushim were. Q&C

Paul’s use of personal pronouns in Galatians, as in all his letters, is very important. When he uses ‘we’ he speaks of Jewish believers in Yeshua (subject to Torah); ‘thou/ye; you/thee’ refers to gentile believers in Yeshua (subject to Torah); ‘us’ refers to all believers in Mashiyach (subject to Torah); and ‘they/them’ refers to Prushim believers in oral traditions (under Torah) and full conversion to Judaism which culminates in CC, before gentile justification. Elohim sent Yeshua to redeem ‘them’ so that ‘we’ could receive our adoption as sons of Elohim. Now, ‘we’ are no longer servants, like the tutors and stewards, but sons who have Ruach in our hearts and are, therefore, partakers in Yeshua haMashiyach’s inheritance.

Vv.8-10 are a regular ‘bone of contention’ with our brethren in the Xian churches. But it need not be, if we read what’s written in v.8 and recognize the personal pronouns Sha’ul uses. He says, “when ye knew not Elohim”, referring to their former paganism. In this paragraph, he is clearly speaking to the gentile believers. It is the gentiles who, in v.10, were observing “days, months, times, and years”, not the Jewish believers – not even the Prushim CCers. AENT has another salient point to make on pg.569, note 51. 

Adding specific detail from v.8, “those things who, by their very nature, are not Elohim; therefore, these days, months, times and years refers to any pagan or ‘alternative religious’ celebrations outside of Torah. However, many Christians use this verse to level their guns at Torah while, at the same time, celebrating on Sun-day [commemorating the Sun-god], Tammuz-day [Christmas], Ishtar [Easter] sun-rise services, Valentine’s Day, etc., all celebrations with pagan origins.

Xmas, Ishtar, Valentine’s Day (Ooo! THAT’s gonna tick somebody off!), Hallowe’en, Ramadan, SUNday, MOONday, Wotan’sDay, Thor’sDay, Augustus, Julius, need I go on? What does this say about what Y’hovah thinks of those who keep their own favorite pagan holy days, holy months and NOT those that he commanded us to observe until the heavens and earth pass away? Paul speaks of ‘doubtful disputations’ in Rom.14.1. That which Y’hovah has commanded in his Word is not doubtful, but absolutely certain! While it may NOT result in loss of eternal life (cf.Ps.89), it shall result in loss of rewards, both temporal and eternal.

23 … this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your Elohim, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (YirmeYahu 7.23-24)

When a baby falls down when he’s learning to walk, he usually still moves forward, gains on his goal. Not so with us. When we fall in our spiritual walk, we always suffer loss. Take my advice and lose any paganism you are still harboring. You will suffer in the world, probably (haSatan HATES to lose strongholds among Y’hovah’s children), but your spiritual gain will be tremendous. Q&C

Vv.12-20 – Paul makes the distinction throughout this book between ‘we’ and ‘ye’, Jew and gentile believers. He is really afraid that the gentiles will go back to their paganism to have life a lot easier, as Israel was tempted to return to Egypt during the Wilderness Adventure and the priest who believed [Acts.6.7] were tempted to go back to their oral traditions and sacrifices for atonement for the same purpose – think, ‘Book of Hebrews’. He urges them to follow him as their example, as he follows Yeshua. They had received his message as from Elohim, as indeed it was. In v.17, ‘they’ were definitely the ‘full conversion’ Prushim CCers, who wanted to exclude the unCC’d gentiles from the synagogues. Watch out for those who will separate from or exclude believers because they don’t think exactly the same as them on other than salvific issues, or who make their traditions salvific. Sha’ul says that he is in doubt of their sincerity toward the gospel of Shalom because they are being affected by both the CCers and their former pagan buds. He then starts in on those who wish to put themselves ‘under the oral traditions’ of the Prushim to the end of full conversion and CC. He wants to know if they shema Torah, does their faith show itself by their obedience to Torah or to tradition. Q&C

Gal.4.21-31 Avraham had 2 sons, one of the flesh by a bondmaid and one of promise by a free woman. He then shows by allegory the similarity between being under the oral tradition and a son of the flesh, and being subject to Torah and a son of promise. Remember that the Prushim, who are for revealed Torah + oral torah, believe that both came down from Sinai alongside each other. Don’t let the mention of Sinai throw you off. The bondage represented in the allegory by the flesh, Hagar and Sinai in Arabia is the need of the Prushim to maintain control by insisting on the gentiles’ full conversion, with the finalizing action being CC. That describes ‘the Jerusalem that now is’, that is; after the death of Yacov the Tzadik, Yeshua’s brother, who led the Netzarim sect in J’lem until his martyrdom. “The J’lem that now is” is in bondage to the traditions of the elders, as Yeshua said in at least 2 places.

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (Matthew 15:2)

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews [Iuaidoi], except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias [29.13] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7.3-6)

The Yerushalayim above is the New Yerushalayim that will ‘descend’ to the New Earth from the New Heavens. This New J’lem is also called the Bride of Mashiyach, which I believe is the truest statement of them all, from our temporal point of view. Y’hovah will dwell there in his tabernacle, which the Bride is. He will be the light of it, as the Ruach will enlighten us all, both individually and corporately. All the allegorical promises seen in all the prophets find their ultimate fulfillment in Mashiyach’s Bride. 

In v.27, Sha’ul makes the connection between Sarah, the Bride of Avraham, and New J’lem, the Bride of Mashiyach. And so now we, as Yitzhak in v.28, are sons of promise. And then Paul makes the connection in v.29 for both the Jewish and the gentile believers between the Iuaidoi Prushim CCers/Ishmael and the persecution of the seed – flesh vs. promise. Paul makes the application of the allegory in v.30, quoting B’reishit 21.10

Wherefore she said unto Avraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Yitzhak. (Genesis 21:10)

We need to shema Avinu’s Words, prove that we’ve heard them by our obedience and STAND FAST in the LIBERTY we have therein and not get entangled in the yoke of bondage that is seen in both the oral law of the Prushim and the pagan rituals of the gentiles. Q&C

The context of vv.21-31 shows that the gentiles in Galatia were being referred to as servants, and the Jews were children under the tutor. Vv.1-5 show the Jews’ (we) condition before Mashiyach and how they can now have the adoption as sons. V. 6 says the gentiles (ye) were proved to be sons by the Spirit in them, as it was in Cornelius in Acts 10. The gentiles in vv.7-10 are looking to go back to fleshly practices (Jewish religion), including the oral law. Paul warns them in v.11 of his fear for them in following after the Iuaidoi Circumcisers (cf.Acts 10 and 15). He refers to the CCers (they) in vv.17, and that brings us to where our passage begins. 

So Sha’ul begins with the difference between the covenant law they want to be under in the flesh, and the covenant in which he and the Jewish believers are free in the Spirit. He goes into an analogy of Hagar and Sarah, the bond and free women, which he likens to the Covenant written on Stone and the covenant that will be written on our hearts (Jer.31.31-34). He also likens the covenant on stone tablets to the present Jerusalem and the covenant written of our hearts to the New Jerusalem, the city whose builder and maker is Y’hovah, which he calls ‘the mother of us all’. We who are children of the promise are looking for New Jerusalem, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2Pe.3.13). 

Paul shows the Galatian gentiles exactly WHY the CCers were on about the gentiles being converted and CCd. They were after the flesh, and so persecuted those who were after the spirit (v.29). Those who are trusting in the Jerusalem that IS are carnal and in bondage. Those who trust in the promises of Y’hovah are looking for the New Jerusalem and are sons of the liberty found in those promises.

In 5.1 Paul speaks of the bondage of both the pagan elohim of the gentiles and the oral law of the Jews, and the liberty of the promises of Y’hovah’s Torah. Q&C

Galutyah 5.1-26 – Let’s contextualize this a little, shall we? This letter is written to the brethren in the congregations of Galutyah, which was a region of north central Turkey. Where do you suppose the believers met in Galutyah to hear this letter read? They were going to the synagogues on Shabbats to hear Torah and the prophets read, so there’s a likely place. And when do you suppose Sha’ul first went to Galutyah? He went shortly after the Jerusalem council of Acts 15, 1st mention of Galatia is in 16.6. Do you suppose he went exactly against the decision of the council so soon after they had found for his side of the dispute? I kind of doubt it. In Acts 16, Sha’ul is traveling with Titus, who was his test case in the Jerusalem council, the guy he said shouldn’t have to be fully converted to Judaism first and who the council said didn’t have to be fully converted to be accepted as a believer. But when he comes upon Timothy in Lystra, he has him circumcised “because of the Jews,” who knew Tim’s papa was a greek. What is that about? Titus, who is a full greek need not be circumcised, but Tim, who was ½ Jewish – kinda; biblically, Jewish-ness passed from father to child, not mother to child – had to go under the knife (v.3). Kind of bizarre. Especially when in the VERY NEXT VERSE Luke says they were carrying the decrees of the council to all the cities and their congregations. Gentiles need not be full proselytes to be saved, just follow the 4 decrees and attend synagogue. A heart truly after Y’hovah’s would take care of the rest. Do you think maybe his tirade v. Peter in Galutyah 2 may have had something to do with his own reaction to the Jews and Tim’s circumcision in Acts 16? It doesn’t say that he petitioned Y’hovah for direction in the Timothy case, just that he went ahead and did it “because of the Jews”. Let’s remember that even the Sholiach Sha’ul was human (like Kepha, Bar-Navi and Yochanan Moshe), and could be mistaken when he failed to consult Ruach before he did something.

Chapter 5 says to ‘stand fast therefore.’ When you see a ‘therefore’, look to see what it’s there for. We stand fast in the knowledge that we are sons of the free woman, which we are told in 4.26 is the Jerusalem which is above; the New Yerushalayim wherein is our citizenship. Notice also, that Hagar is likened to Sinai AND the Jerusalem that now is, and she is in bondage with her children. I think the Sinai being spoken of here is the Oral Torah that the Iuaidoi [Jews], the leaders of the religion in Jerusalem, said was received by Moshe on Sinai at the same time the written Torah was received. This is a tradition, which may or may not be right. (Not all tradition is bad. What makes it evil is when WE make it equal to or superior to the KNOWN will of Y’hovah, which is the written Torah.) If I am correct (which I doubt not), the Oral Torah is likened here to the pagan religions of the gentiles. This is scriptural in that ANYTHING that draws glory from Y’hovah is pagan and abomination. Yeshua castigated the Jews for their adherence to traditions of men. 

So we are to stand fast in the liberty we have in Mashiyach and against the yoke of bondage to 1) pagan traditions, if we are gentile or 2) Jewish traditions, if we are Jews.  One of the big deals in Judaism is that a man is not considered a Jew until he has been circumcised; either on the 8th day, as one born into the family, or upon a ger’s completion of the rigors of becoming a proselyte. That is the basis of vv.2-4. We are made one in Mashiyach due to the Covenant being written on our hearts [vv.5-6]. If a man puts his trust in either Jewish tradition or self-justification in the written Torah, Mashiyach is ineffectual to him because he has not availed himself of Y’hovah’s grace. He has chosen the yoke of bondage rather than the yoke of Mashiyach, which is his grace.

Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV)  

    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It is very important to notice the use of pronouns in this book. 1st person plural, ‘We’ = ‘free’ Jewish believers, 2nd person plural Ye’ = gentile believers and 3rd person plural ‘They’ = Jewish believers who think that gentiles need to be full proselytes to Judaism before their admission to the ‘Way’ of Mashiyach. Now, ‘they’ were trying to influence ‘ye’ to submit to Jewish traditions to which the Jerusalem council had decreed ‘ye’ did not have to submit. So the ones who were trying to influence the Galutyot were Jews who were either NOT believers or who had not shema’d [heard and obeyed] the decree of the council. Rav Sha’ul was confident that the Galutyot to whom he was writing would see ‘their’ error and come back to the faith once delivered to the saints.

In v.11, Sha’ul says that his persecution would end if he’d only submit to the traditions of the Jews. He uses circumcision as a generalization to mean the traditions of the Oral Law and the Gentile’s full proselytization. He says that he wished ‘them’ cut off – excommunicated, blotted out of the Book of Life – who would have their brethren placed under the yoke of slavery to the traditions of men. We have been called to liberty, not bondage; to the New Yerushalayim, not the old one.

Look at vv.13-14 – We are called to liberty, we are to use our liberty in service to others, and this Fulfills Torah in that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Oh, yeah! Torah is bondage all right. Our liberty is in Fulfilling Torah by loving our neighbors. If you aren’t loving your neighbor, you are probably destroying him. Be careful not to be destroyed along with him.  Q&C

v.16ff is about Fulfilling Torah by walking after Ruach haKodesh. Look quickly at Rom.8.1. Read the WHOLE verse, not just part a. 

Romans 8:1-4 (KJV)  

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. [2] For the law of Ruach of life in Mashiyach Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Eloha sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. 

No condemnation for those in Mashiyach who walk after Ruach, and the righteousness of Torah fulfilled in us who walk after Ruach. 

Before we can walk after Ruach, we need to mortify our flesh. By mortify I mean to reckon the flesh dead, not to actually kill it. He mentions the works of the flesh, most of which we are ALL familiar with. When we reckon our flesh dead, we will not practice these 17 works of the flesh. Notice that those who DO those things will not inherit the Kingdom. This points to the Hebraic meaning of doctrine and faith, which are complementary. In Hebraic thought, doctrine is what we DO about that in which we place our faith. James tells us about faith without works being dead. Sha’ul is speaking here about considering our flesh dead. Dead faith produces dead works. Living faith produces works that give life to those around us. This ties us back to vv.13-14, service in Mashiyach and Fulfilling Torah thereby.

The fruit of Ruach is manifested in our service to others. Each of those works that are the fruit of Ruach are service gifts. If we have received life from Y’hovah Yeshua’s Ruach, we ought to be manifesting the fruit of the Ruach of Emet (truth). Q&C End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 1, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 1, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Sabbath 38

Devarim 20:10 – 21:9 – Yehoshua 24:1 – Tehellim 135 – Yochanan 10:1-31

Links: 

www.livejournal.com/users/avrom/116574.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minor_biblical_tribes 

Devarim 20:10 – 21:9 – Last week, we saw how Y’hovah whittled down the troop strength to make it apparent to the Israelite hosts that it wasn’t their righteousness and strength of arms, but the strength of Y’hovah’s right arm and his righteousness that would win the victory for them. This week we see that he wants them to proclaim an opportunity to live peaceably with the people they would come up against, but who lived outside their inheritances. Then he gave the parameters of that peace. If they agreed, then well. If not, “Oh, well!” – they’d made their choice. I don’t think a LOT of negative choices would be made after the initial 2 or 3. News would travel rather quickly of the stark choice AND the stark difference between the independent, self-serving government BEFORE (as seen in the US and the rest of the world today) and the very equitable government AFTER the affirmative choice was made.

Y’hovah always offers Shalom, peace; before he makes milchamah, war. Cf. Is.27.1-5, which I believe will have its greatest fulfillment at Mashiyach’s physical appearance at the end of the time of Yacov’s trouble (I don’t think there will be an offer of Shalom at the end of the Millennium – they’ll have been living in Shalom for 1000 years, which is why Rev.20.7-10 is so cut and dried, their choice will already have been made)

1 In that day Y’hovah, with his sore and great and strong sword, shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that in the sea. (HaSatan’s final defeat – Rev.20) 2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.  3 I Y’hovah do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers thorns against me in battle? I would go through them; I would burn them together (lake of fire after Gog uMagog?). 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me (Kingdom). (YeshaYahu 27.1-5)

“In that day” in this case indicates the Day of Y’hovah’s wrath, when he brings the fury of his righteous indignation to bear on HaSatan and his followers. After his fury is spent during the “Days of Awe” (vv.1-3), he will coolly execute his judgment against those who will not accept (v.4) his offer of his Shalom to the armies of the earth (v.5). Those who reject Mashiyach’s offer of Shalom will be wiped out, very likely by the weapons they attempt to use against Mashiyach; while those who accept his offer of Shalom will go on to populate the Millennial Kingdom of Mashiyach Yeshua. This deals with people who do NOT live within Israel’s inheritance. Israel’s inheritance is clearly defined in Devarim, but it is loosely defined in Gen.15. Israel has never held all of either. Though it got close in David’s day to CONTROLLING all of the Devarim grant. If the Gen.15 grant is correct to its fullest extent, the land of promise runs from the headwaters of the Euphrates in Armenia to the headwaters of the Nile at Lake Victoria and all land in between, those rivers being the eastern and western boundaries. That would be Messiah’s Kingdom proper, with the rest of the world as tributary. See www.livejournal.com/users/avrom/116574.html for what I consider the minimum expanse of Gen.15’s Eretz Yisrael.

The pagan people who DO live within Israel’s inheritance were to be (but weren’t), and SHALL be either driven out of it or wiped out; including the livestock. Nothing that draws breath of the nations to be dispossessed is to live within Israel’s inheritance (vv.16-18). The Girgashites are conspicuous by their absence from this list. In ch.7 they were listed as one of the 7 nations to be dispossessed.

1 When Y’hovah Elohecha shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2 And when Y’hovah Elohecha shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of Y’hovah be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. (Deut.7.1-4)

Whahoppen the Girgashites? They were first named in Gen.10 (Girgasite KJV) in the genealogy of Ham and Canaan, as well as in 1Chron1.14. In both of those genealogies, they are sons of Canaan, who was cursed by Noach after Ham’s sin against him in Gen.9. According to Wikipedia (it’s gotta be true!) Rashi seems to think that the Girgashites aren’t listed here because they had left eretz Yisrael before this time. That’s plausible, but how he came to this knowledge is not given. If Rashi is correct, I assume that in 7.1, Moshe had listed all the people as they were listed in Gen.15.21, but here he listed the people they would actually have to face in battle. 

The reason given for driving all the Canaanites out of the land is that they not teach Israel any of the ways of the people in worshipping their false gods, which would have been abomination to Y’hovah. I think it could also be that the Canaanites were the carriers of the leftover DNA of the genetically modified Nephillim (giants in Num13.33 is Nephillim) via Ham’s wife or the offspring of Ham’s sin against his father, going in unto Noach’s wife [who was NOT the mother of Noach’s sons]. When the spies went into the land in Num.13, they said this about the inhabitants’ of Hevron (though I seriously doubt any of the 10 ‘tourists’ actually went into Hevron; I think they really were thinking with their eyes and not their experience with Y’hovah):

27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities walled, very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan … 31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (B’midbar 13.27-29, 31-33)

“In our own sight … and so we were in theirs.” In v. 30, Kalev said (effectively), “Y’hovah has our backs: let’s GO!” Kalev had gone into Hevron, I think, and he knew what he was up against; but he also knew who had his back. I think Kalev would have gone in physically alone; with Y’hovah on his side. Any one of us + Y’hovah = victory over the most atrocious odds. It’s Y’hovah that beats the odds, every time. 

Israel is commanded to not destroy every tree, only those that were used as material for making idols. They were specifically commanded to NOT destroy fruit trees or any that could provide food for them. But those that would provide material to build siege works or weapons they were COMMANDED to cut down and use to defeat their enemies. But I think that last sentence says that they should not cut down more trees than they would need for the siege works. I don’t think Y’hovah wants any trees cut down needlessly.

Ch.21.1-9 – What happened if a person was found killed outside a city’s gates; the person obviously killed by another man. First thing to do was to determine whose jurisdiction he was found in. This was done by determining which town the victim was closest to. That would be the one that would do the inquiry and make the sin offering of a heifer. This heifer was to be one that had never been yoked (a picture of marriage?) either for planting or reaping, so it was probably not just a young cow but a yearling. I infer this to picture innocence. And that is what this ceremony is about; to proclaim that city’s innocence in the slaying of this man. The elders would behead the innocent cow in a place not sown with crops, probably where the local trash heap/furnace was, and wash their hands over it while proclaiming that city innocent of the blood split, both in the deed of killing the person and in witnessing the crime. V.2 intimates that there was a diligent inquiry to determine if anyone knew anything about the person’s death, and that the elders were satisfied that their city was innocent. If a person lied to cover the murder, I assume that he would now bear his iniquity and that Y’hovah would hold the city innocent. Q&C

Yehoshua 24:1 – Yehoshua had just gotten finished telling Israel that all the blessings that Y’hovah had promised for belief/obedience in Lev.26 and Dt.28 had come to pass, so they should also rest assured (or not so assured) that when they would transgress and go after other elohim that he would just as surely bring the curses that he’d promised them for unbelief/disobedience in those same passages. So here, he is gathering all the elders of Israel together to get their promise that they would not go after other elohim, nor practice the deeds of the pagans they’d displaced as if it were viable in worship to Y’hovah. The Mishkan is pitched at Shechem, in the valley of decision between Ebal and Gerazim, and he is going to demand a decision from them; serve Y’hovah or serve your belly, for you cannot serve 2 masters. They must take a choice; serve Y’hovah or serve other elohim. He will not force you to serve him, but he shall bring the curses if you have taken his Name on you and then choose to serve idols. 

Tehellim 135 – HalleluYah!

The last 15 weeks we have seen the Psalms of Ascent (120-134), the psalms that the pilgrims would sing as they brought their tithes into the 2nd Temple and climbed the steps toward the Huldah Gate. These steps were of 2 different tread lengths; 1 short (about 9-12 inches) like a normal step and 1 long (about 3-4 feet) enough that it stood out and a group could stand on it while singing the appropriate psalm. There were the lower platform, then 13 long steps and then the platform at the top of the stair, making 15 places to stop and praise Y’hovah. Imagine the cacophony of praise rising up to Y’hovah as pilgrims on each step sang their psalms together. 

EDIT In Psalm 135 we see a psalm that repeatedly sings Y’hovah’s praises, extolling him for all that he did for Israel in her national history. This psalm is sung IN the Temple proper (v.2), as the previous 15 had been sung on the ascent to the Temple. The word ‘HalleluYah!’ frames this psalm in v.1 and v.21, and the specifics about how and why we are to praise him are spelled out in between. In this psalm there also just happen to be 15 occurrences of the full covenant Name, Y’hovah, and 4 more of the shortened form, Yah. Do those 15 uses of Y’hovah’s full name coincide with the 15 steps and 15 psalms of ascent? I don’t know; just putting it out there. It sure seems coincidental, though.  

There are 2 uses of Elohenu (our God) referring to Y’hovah and 1 of elohim, referring to the gods of the nations, as well as one use of Adonenu (our Master) in reference to Y’hovah. The reference to ‘deep places’ (v.6) may have to do with places of which we have no knowledge in the physical, the ‘deep things of Y’hovah’ that can only be revealed to our spirits by his Ruach haKodesh

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

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

The 9th use of Y’hovah’s covenant Name in v.6 is the antecedent to all the 3rd person pronouns, particularly ‘he’ (4x), ‘who’ (2x) and ‘his’ (1x), referring to Y’hovah in the next 6 verses. Then David uses Y’hovah’s Name 3x in vv.13-14 so that his next uses of pronouns in vv.14-15 won’t be misconstrued, because he moves on in v.16 to a brief interlude in which David contrasts the elohim of the nations with Y’hovah, expressing the reality of Y’hovah and the worthlessness of the nations’ elohim; talking about the atzav (idols) of the goyim (nations), made of keseph (silver) and zahav (gold) by the workings of men’s hands. How can something that I have made be greater in any way than I am? Idolatry is so stupid. These idols have no sense; no touch, no taste, no hearing, no breath of life; and, spiritually, neither do those who make and worship them. 

Baruch Y’hovah! 5 times we are commanded to bless Y’hovah as this psalm closes; Israel, Yacov, Aharon, Levi and we who fear Y’hovah are commanded to bless him. ALL of these commands apply to each of us, as we are Israelites, sons of Yacov, priests and firstborn servants of Y’hovah who fear him in Mashiyach. 

HalleluYah! Q&C

Yochanan 10.1-16 – 153-155). Parable of the Good Shepherd – The monologue continues, as Yeshua teaches about whom his true followers are. In fact, he hardly takes a breath between Jn.9.41 and Jn.10.1. He was talking to the Pharisees who were with him, who he said were still in their sins. It looks like the beginning of this part of the narrative was at Jn.8.12 – the light of life reference. These events all seem to have happened over the course of a few hours, or days at most. He started in 8.12 with the light of life, which I think refers to the ‘shamash’, or servant, candle on the Chanukkiah, and in 10.22 we see that it is still the Feast of Dedication, or Chanukah, which is also called the Feast of Lights. 

He started with ‘they who do not enter at the door into the sheepfold’ being robbers and thieves. These can be likened to the tares among the wheat in Mat.13.24-30, 36-43, or the wolves in sheep’s clothing in Mat.7.15 and Acts 20.29. They don’t enter by the strait gate and walk the narrow way, striving for the mastery (2Tim.2.5). We are told in Jn.14.6 that there is only one way to the Father, and Yeshua is that way. He is the strait gate. That gate meets each of us on our own life’s roads at different places and is wide enough for one person to enter at a time; the entry thereto is personal, not corporate. We are not saved in droves, but by little and little. And each of us has his own personal road to walk, as personal as the gate that allowed entry. We are all different and we all are on a different road when we receive our gift of life by entering that strait gate, which is Mashiyach, the Torah in the flesh. For any to insist that each of us walk the exact same road after we are saved would be silly. We walk by the same rules to be sure, but my way may lead me by a different route and through different trials than yours leads you. It is our goal that is the same.

But thieves and robbers try to get us to look away from the goal, to rob us of the joy that is set before us. They bring in doubtful disputations, even doctrines of devils to steal away our peace. For this cause we are to study to show ourselves, not others, approved, workmen that need not be ashamed and rightly dividing the word of Truth, which these robbers profane with their vain babblings. Others are on a different road to the same goal. They are to show themselves approved by rightly dividing the Word of Truth. That word is the same, the goal is the same, the rules are the same, the route is different for each of us because we all enter at a different point along the way. Our way is the shortest distance from the point of entry to the goal. My way may seem strange to you, or yours strange to me, but if we are both striving toward the same goal by the same rules using the same word of Truth, we will never be at cross-purposes, and we will have great fellowship in the Spirit of Avinu, our Father. And therein lies the rub of heresy and denominationalism. A man is not a heretic because he sees scripture from a different perspective than I do. Indeed, that is a given. He is a heretic because he doesn’t believe what he reads and adds or diminishes from the word as it pleases him. He has attempted entry without the gate. And so we study to protect ourselves from robbers and thieves. Therefore, do not follow me because I’m ‘holy’ in your eyes, or ‘smarter than the average bear’. If anyone is to follow anyone else, it must be only as he is following Yeshua. It is much better to follow after Yeshua and not any man 

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also of Mashiyach. (1Cor.11.1)

17 For the kingdom of Elohim is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Mashiyach is acceptable to Elohim, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Rom.14.17-19) 

8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Mashiyach Yeshua my Master: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung, that I may win Mashiyach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of Torah, but that which is through the faith of Mashiyach, 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. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Mashiyach Yeshua. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended but one thing; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Mashiyach Yeshua. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, Elohim shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk; of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping; the enemies of the cross of Mashiyach: 19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose Elohim belly, and glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Master Yeshua Mashiyach: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil.3.8-21 added words deleted, 1 [added back for flow]) 

24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid. (1Tim.5.24-25) 

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of Elohim, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1Tim.6.9-12).

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also of Mashiyach. (1Cor.11.1)

After all, it is Yeshua who gave his life for you, not me or any other mere man. You can never implicitly trust any mere man with your soul and your spiritual health. Only Yeshua has your best interests at heart all the time. When you start trusting someone else to lead you safely through the pits and speed bumps of life, and don’t keep your relationship to Yeshua through the Ruach haKodesh, that’s the set-apart Spirit of Elohim, you let yourself in for a big disappointment and fall. We all need to keep our eyes on the goal. Remember what happened when Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, and others of their ilk fell. Many fell away from the faith; others went on like there was nothing wrong, forgetting about discernment; all because their eyes were on men and not the goal of the high calling of Y’hovah in Mashiyach. I think, those men were and are hirelings, not shepherds, who cared more for the riches derived from the sheep than for the sheep themselves (2Pe.2). That is, of course, my opinion and it could be wrong, but I also think that I have the mind of Mashiyach on this. 

If the above is true, those who follow after these hirelings are not wise, to say the least, and may not even be saved, according to Yeshua’s words in v.5, ‘a stranger they will not follow.’ If they were truly following after their shepherd, they would not be following some hireling. They would know his voice and follow him. One who is led by Ruach haKodesh will discern very easily between those who are after their ‘geld’ and Avinu’s heart. Q&C

Yochanan 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. [15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

True followers of Yeshua know the truth and follow after it, for Yeshua is the Truth, even as he follows after Avinu in all things. Yeshua was and is truly a man after Elohim’s own heart, as we ought to be. And so we should follow after him with others who are following after him, thereby drawing both physical and spiritual strength and encouragement along the narrow way toward the prize. We need each other to help keep the truth and the goal in our sights. 

“Other sheep I have”, says Yeshua in v.16, “not of this fold.” The children of Yehudah, the Jews, were the ‘this fold’ he spoke of. A little history lesson follows. After the death of Solomon (Shlomo), the people of the 10 northern tribes of Israel asked Rehoboam, the new king of Yisrael, to give them a little tax relief. The Temple was built and paid for, as was the fleet in Aqaba and the Med, so there wasn’t any need for the high taxes they were paying to maintain services. The high taxes were just there to feed the greed of the king and his young cronies. These cronies advised that he lay heavier taxes on the whiners (so they could party all the harder), while Shlomo’s counselors advised a tax cut. Being a young man, full of P&V (‘pride’ and vinegar), he took the advise of the young men, and told the people he was going to make it even worse for them. They of course, did the Boston Tea Party thing and left him holding the bag, which became decidedly less full than it would have been had he relented. 

I think all of the people would have left him, except that the portion of Benjamin was where the meeting took place and was under Yehudah’s military occupation. At any rate, Jeroboam became king of the rebels, and he immediately instituted a false worship system to keep the people from going up to Jerusalem for the feasts and thereby reunite with Yehudah. In other words, he did it for political gain. He had two golden calves made, called them Y’hovah, and placed them in Dan and Bethel. Then he instituted a false Feast system, having the 10 tribes come to Dan in the 8th month instead of Jerusalem in the 7th for the feast of tabernacles, as prescribed by Y’hovah. These feasts and elohims had been called by the name of Y’hovah, but the system was not Y’hovah worship. It looked like the pagan religions, which in fact it was. They had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof, like the present celebrations of Xmas and Easter, which were foisted on us by our friends in the RC denomination. Just putting the name of Y’hovah on something does not sanctify it. Just saying, ‘in Yeshua’s name’ doesn’t make it holy. Taking the name of Y’hovah or Yeshua is not just invoking the name as a type of mantra, but is accepting the character and authority of that name for its sake. This pagan worship in the name of Y’hovah was and is a perfect example of what was meant by, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of Y’hovah Elohecha in vain.’ 

This denial of the power of the worship of Y’hovah led to their utter defeat in battle, and their being carried away into Assyria to be almost totally assimilated and integrated into the pagan culture. Y’hovah said, in effect, “You want to worship idols? Well, here you go!” The 10 tribes were absorbed into the heathen nations of the whole earth. Will he do any less, now?

Of course, as is usually the case with Abba, this was a curse to Ephraim, but a blessing to the world. In Gen.12, Avram was promised that in his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed. This was part of the reason Y’hovah allowed Yisrael to go into idolatry, so he could scatter the children of Yisrael to the 4 winds and be able to call them out from among the nations in the last days. The 10 tribes are integrated into the nations of the earth and their vast majority have no idea they are descendants of Avraham. Only Yehudah, Benjamin and Levi, the Jews, can properly trace their heritage to Avraham. But Abba knows who are his, even those of us who are gentiles, the sheep of the other fold. He is calling all of us; Jew and gentile; back to himself and will form of the two folds one flock with one shepherd, as he prophesied in Ezekiel 37 and here in Yochanan 10.16. Q&C 

Vv.17-18 [This is the portion we’re SUPPOSED to be looking at today] tell us a lot in light of the previous verses. It is by his laying down his life that it is possible to reunite the two folds into one. Before the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the gentiles had to become Jews to be saved. Now, in Mashiyach, all have ready access to the throne of grace through the blood of the New, or rather Re-newed, Covenant. I say renewed because the greek word for new in Hebrews 8 is kainos, which speaks of freshness, not something neos, or brand new with respect to age. It is the same covenant made fresh by the blood of the Lamb. 

What was the covenant? We spoke briefly of it in the last section. The covenant is not the Torah. Torah is the conditions of life in the covenant, not the covenant itself. The covenant is based in the belief (Avram believed Y’hovah and it was counted to him for righteousness) that in Avraham’s seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen.12). This was reiterated and expanded in Gen.15, where it was solemnized in the blood of animals. The covenant has both physical and spiritual implication. It deals with all of Avraham’s physical descendants whereby, probably, all the nations are literally descendants of Abe and thereby blessed. And it deals with the one true spiritual seed, Yeshua haMoshiach, by whom all have access to the throne through his blood, if they so choose to approach. Remember that any approaching by any other avenue are thieves and robbers, even ‘Jews’ or ‘Xians’. The new (also can be translated freshened or renewed) covenant in Jer.31.31-34 is to the house of Yisrael (that’s us gentiles) and the house of Yehudah (that’s the Jews) – two folds, two houses, made one in the blood of the new covenant – and it will go into physical effect in the millennium (v.33, ‘after those days’ prophetically means after ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’) into which all who enter will be keepers of the Torah written on their hearts. This does not apply to their offspring unless they also accept the conditions of the new covenant – to have the Torah written on their hearts, which implies that they want it written there. Abba is no bully who will force his will on anyone. They must choose to be bound by the covenant even as we must to be saved. 

You see in verses 17-18 that Yeshua was also given a choice. He could lay down his life if he chose, or he could keep it. No one could force him to give it, not even Abba – especially not Abba, but he had the power to give it, and thereby had the power to take it up again. There was a condition placed on Yeshua’s power by Abba. He had to lay down his life before he could have the power to take it again. This was his exercise of faith by which we were saved. This was a part of the faith of Yeshua. Our Father promised him he had power to do it, and he believed it. It hadn’t ever been done before, that a man could lay down his own life and take it back up by his own power. That took faith. And it is that faith that is referred to in Rom.3.2, Gal.2.16, 3.22, Phil.3.9, Rev.14.12. The faith of Yeshua haMoshiach is the promise of his resurrection power. He took his life up again and has power to raise me up also. I was, am and will be saved by the faith of Yeshua.

These sayings caused dissension, in vv.19-21, among the Pharisees that were following him. I think he was weeding out the sign-seekers from among them [remember last week’s Torah parsha, where the priests, Levites and captains of the hosts of Israel asked qualifying questions of the tribes to ensure that there would be no divided attention on the battlefield?]. Notice I said the sign-seekers, not the sign-readers. Those who were reading the signs he showed were convinced that he was no madman or devil worshipper. The healing of the FBM (ch.9) proved that to them. Those who followed him simply to see wonders performed were offended by his saying, “I have power, given by my Father to give up my life and to take it up again.” They were driven by their own curiosity or lust to seek signs. They were not driven by the Ruach ha Kodesh, the Spirit of Elohim, to seek the truth of Abba. Those who were reading signs knew Tanakh and were after the truth. They, driven by the Spirit of Truth, saw the scriptures fulfilled and believed.

The same cannot be said for the sign seekers and the rest of the Jewish leadership. Q&C

In vv.22-31 we see their reaction to his teaching. Remember that the events of Jn.8.58-59 were only a few hours, at most a day, ago. The same feast of Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication or of lights, was going on as in 8.12. 

They said, “If thou be the Mashiyach, tell us plainly.” He said, in a Mark paraphrase, “Why should I waste my breath? Look at the wonders I’ve performed in the name of Y’hovah. If you don’t believe me, believe the works that you’ve seen with your own eyes. The very wonders you’ve seen should tell you who I am without me saying so.” Others had come in the past, some quite recently, claiming to be Mashiyach, who had, in their pride, brought reproach on the Word of Truth, not being able to deliver on the promise of deliverance from the pagans. Their very claims had been arrogant, and I think, the Pharisees were probably waiting for his claim so they could denounce him as just another false Mashiyach. He was offering the kingdom, but he must first die for the sin, and sins, of the world before he could be their King. They wanted a political savior, not a spiritual Saviour; a savior from slavery to Rome, not a Saviour from slavery to sin. He knew that and would not put himself in that political position by claiming to be Mashiyach in so many words, for he knew they would be misconstrued. 

He makes the point with a return to the sheep/shepherd metaphor. He says, ‘You don’t believe me because you aren’t my sheep.’ He’d told them that the father had given him sheep to bring into the fold, but that they weren’t among them. Did he deny them the ability to believe? No, repentance was still open to them, but he did know they wouldn’t because of the hardness of their hearts, their arrogance and pride at being the ‘Chosen People of Gaw-awd’. He’d told them earlier that his sheep followed him because they knew his voice. They didn’t recognize the voice of the Father speaking to them, and so they would not believe. 

Then he told them that he would give his sheep eternal life. Noone but Y’hovah could give life. He was saying he would give eternal life; the same kind of life Y’hovah had given Adam and Eve in the garden. He also said that no man would take them from him by force or subterfuge, and that no man could take them from the Father by force or subterfuge. The word pluck would seem to indicate something done quickly, like a surgical strike by commandos. The greek word is harpazo and means to seize. It is the same word used in 1Thes.4.17 and translated ‘caught up’. It has to do with taking something from someone who has been watching for an attack (cf.Rev.12.1-5). In other words, he’s expecting an attack from Satan and his minions, and that attack has come over the last 2000 years in the form of temptation – to wander to the left or right of the way, to espouse false doctrines, to submit to others than Abba, to compromise with the world for the sake of comfort and approbation, among others. We need to be constantly on the alert to these things in our own lives that get our eyes off the prize.

Then he said the thing that eventually got him killed, “I and my Father are one.” He said, in Hebrew or Aramaic (which is the dialect of Hebrew used by the people at that time – Yeshua did not speak greek as a general rule), ‘aniy v’avi echad.’ This is very similar, when you think about it, to “Y’hovah Elohenu Y’hovah echad”, and their reaction is understandable, indeed required from their perspective. By saying this he unequivocally placed himself in a direct relationship to the Father in heaven. He was claiming deity. And so, out come the stones again. I’ve probably said it before, but it makes me crazy when people say that Yeshua never claimed deity. They make themselves dolts, who’ve read the surface words, but never thought about what he said and what the people to whom he spoke understood. Had he been a mere man, this had been blasphemy. But because he was and is who he claimed to be, there was no sin done here, and no reason for a stoning. 

He then used the scripture to make his point all the more clear. (Mark paraphrase), “If he called the men to whom the scriptures were given elohim, why do you say I blaspheme when I say I am the Son of Y’hovah? Have the wonders I’ve performed before your very eyes not shown that I am who I claim to be? Hey, If you don’t want to believe me, that’s fine. But you ought to believe what I’ve done to be from Abba. If you’ll do that, you’ll eventually believe that I am.” OOOO! Were they ever ticked?! They tried to get their hands on him, but he once again blinded their eyes, or disappeared, or whatever he’d done just a couple of hours before, and he escaped to the other side of Yarden and had more multitudes follow him. I think that those many who resorted to him in TransJordan were of the Pharisees, only by the way the narrative flows, perhaps some of those he’d rebuked in chapter 9. Whoever they were they had been familiar with Yochanan the Immerser’s teaching and had been there when Andrew and Yochanan had talked to him about Yeshua in Jn.1.30ff. Q&C

End of Bible study.

Shabbat Bible Study for 27 November 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for 27 November 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 – Shabbat 37

(Devarim 18.14 – 20.9; Yirmeyahu 29.8; Tehellim 134; Galutya 5.1 – 6.10)

Devarim.18.14 – Y’hovah tells us before he prophesies about ‘that Prophet’ what kind of prophet NOT to listen to – observers of times and diviners. These are those who seek to tell the future by supernatural, pagan means. Other passages call them soothsayers, witches. Israel was not to go after them.

Devarim 18.15–19 speaks about ‘that Prophet.’ That Prophet is Mashiyach ben Yoseph. We see this in v.19, where ‘that Prophet’ is made responsible for those who will not hearken unto Y’hovah’s words through that Prophet. Grammar is important in exegesis – reading OUT of the words what is written. A pronoun, like ‘him’ at the end of v.19, refers to the last word of the same number and gender. In this case, ‘him’ refers to ‘he’, which is ‘that prophet’ who speaks  the words that Y’hovah has placed in his mouth. Y’hovah requires that Prophet to answer for the sins of the faithless, that Prophet takes the punishment for the disobedience of the children of Yisrael. 

We see this in John’s gospel concerning that Prophet: 

Yochanan1:19-27 (KJV)  

    And this is the record of Yochanan [the Immerser], when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? [20] And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not Mashiyach. [21] And they asked him, What then? Art thou EliYahu? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. [22] Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? [23] He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of Y’hovah, as said the prophet YeshaYahu. [24] And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. [25] And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Mashiyach, nor EliYahu neither that prophet? [26] Yochanan answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; [27] He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 

The Jews sent priests and Levites (v.19), who were Pharisees (v.24), to enquire of Yochanan. This is an interesting turn of phrase, don’t you think. These priests, Levites and Pharisees were NOT the Jews, though they may have been ‘Jew wannabes’. ‘The Jews’ [Greek Iuaidoi] controlled them. They demanded an answer, as if they who sent them had power over both themselves and Yochanan. The Iuaidoi, Jews, then must be the political leaders of the Hebrew religion in Jerusalem; not your average, everyday Israelite–in–the–street, but the ones with the real power – the Illuminati of 1st c. CE Jerusalem, as it were. 

By the time of Yeshua and Sha’ul, the land of Israel (Judea and Samaria) had been part of the Roman Empire for several decades. The first emperor, Julius Caesar, granted rights to Jewish communities because their ancestral laws predated Rome. Jews had legal privileges as a collegia (defined by Roman law as religious & legal entities), giving them the right to assemble, have common meals and property, govern and tax themselves, and enforce their own discipline.  All of this authority was placed under the auspices of the Synagogue and its legal body, the Sanhedrin.

The Jewish religion was the ONLY religion afforded these rights, as well as the right to have a presence in Rome itself. This caused GREAT animosity among the Roman citizenry and the other cultures Rome ruled with an iron fist [and is the probable historical political source, through the RCC, of the last 1800 year’s anti-semitism]. The Jewish religion was on equal legal footing, therefore, with the religion of Rome. Did you notice in vv.26-27, that Yochanan says ‘there stands one among you’, in reference to Yeshua? Was he of the Pharisee party, or was he educated among them? It could be deduced that way, though not ascertained. I think he was.

Back to Devarim 18.20–22. If a false prophet arises, he is to be stoned. Now any time there was a matter that would be adjudicated by capital punishment, there had to be a thorough investigation and at least 2 corroborating witnesses to the same act that had received a death penalty. If the accused says, “Thus saith Y’hovah” and his word doesn’t come to pass, or if he proclaims something in another eloha’s name, whether or not it comes to pass, he is a false prophet. 

Deut. 13:1-4 (KJV)  

    If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, [2] And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; [3] Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for Y’hovah Elohechem proveth you, to know whether ye love Y’hovah Elohechem with all your heart and with all your soul. [4] Ye shall walk after Y’hovah Elohechem, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Q&C

Dev.19.1–13 deal with cities of refuge. These were cities to which a man who has committed an accidental manslaughter could flee to safety until the death of the high priest, when he was free to return home. Please notice that this chesed and rachamim is for both the one who accidentally killed and the one who would avenge the dead man’s blood. It was a safe haven for the killer, so he would not die. But it was also a mercy on the avenger, so that he would not make the matter worse and shed innocent blood. The killing of the man who killed accidentally would be murder in Y’hovah’s eyes, and the whole nation would suffer the consequences until society removed the murderer’s genes from the human pool. However, if a murderer resorts to a city of refuge and he is found out, he was to be sent packing so the innocent blood could be avenged. Please note that the genes of the one who sheds innocent blood are removed from society as a whole. This is yet another reason that America is doomed to Y’hovah’s wrath, since it routinely disallows the execution of unrepentant murderers of all types.

V.14 tells us not to remove landmarks. The reason is that Y’hovah had set those landmarks, as surely as he set the boundaries of the seas and the heavens.

Deut. 32:7-9 (KJV)  

    Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. [8] When El Shaddai divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. [9] For Y’hovah’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 

Vv.15-21 show how to deal with a false witness and the rules of verbal evidence. Noone was to answer for any capital offense on the word of just one man. There must be 2 or more eyewitnesses WHOSE ACCOUNTS MUST BE REASONABLY IDENTICAL for the matter to be decided for a death sentence. If the witnesses accounts did not match, the accused MUST be found innocent of the charges. Also, a man was not to be tried again for the same crime; no ‘double-jeopardy’, except in the TV game show.

If there was only one witness, whose account is believable enough to warrant a trial, the Shoftim were to inquire diligently, examining anything with close scrutiny that doesn’t exactly fit the other evidence, before an execution order could be passed. If the witness is proven to be false, he is to receive the sentence that the accused would have received. This is the context of the ‘eye for eye, hand for hand, tooth for tooth, life for life’ quote that unbelievers just LOVE to grab hold of to show how draconian Torah justice was. It was nothing of the sort. It was gracious and merciful, for it was a deterrent to false accusation and perjury, and that was indeed its purpose (v.20).  Q&C

Dev.20.1-9 – When it was time for battle, the whole boatload of leaders would stand before the people who were about to go into the fight. First the priests would assure them that Y’hovah would fight for them, and they would see great victory and wonders that day, as Y’hovah went to battle. Y’hovah used the leadership to whittle the numbers down to ensure that noone got the impression that Yisrael was responsible for the victory He was about to achieve. Next the officers, I think we’re talking about the war chiefs, or generals of each tribe, would pose a few questions to ensure that noone would lose everything he had. Did you just finish a house and not dedicate it? Are you betrothed? Is your crop just planted? Are you afraid? No recriminations. If any of this is true of you, your heart and mind won’t be in the battle. We want only men who are committed to victory above all else. If there is ANYTHING that will divide your attention, go home. After all that, the generals would pick the best men that were left to lead the brigades, companies and platoons. 

A man whose mind is on his wife who is in the throes of childbirth is worse than useless on the field of battle. Indeed, he may get his whole company killed. Better to be shy a few bodies than to take the chance that the unfocused mind will be the guy next to you. Now, get ready to send in the PC police, because I am going to give my anything but humble opinion. This is one reason why it used to be illegal to carry women on combat ships, or to have women in combat battalions. Intimate relationships of any kind are a distraction from the job at hand, at best. At worst, the relationships that will develop, even if they are only in the minds of the males, are detrimental to unit cohesion and may be the wrench in the works that causes the loss of a battle, a ship or a war. 

Women are more than capable of doing the combat job. Indeed, they may even be better than men at it. But to put men and women in the same foxhole or shipboard fire-fighting party is inviting disaster. The brass says, “These are professionals. They can discipline themselves and not be rutting animals.” The brass has been proven wrong. More than 50% of the women, on average, that deploy on Navy ships for a long deployment are sent home during the cruise due to pregnancy. It’s not in the water. It’s in the hormones and instincts. Again, ANYTHING that detracts from focusing on the job at hand may cause the battle to be lost, or make the victory more costly than it need be. It is the wisdom of Y’hovah to weed out what may be trouble before it can rear its ugly head. Q&C

Yirmeyahu 29.8 – The context of this verse is a prophecy from Y’hovah by Jerry that after they are carried off to Babylon, they are NOT to listen to the prophets and diviners in Babylon.

 DIVINER, n.

  1. One who professes divination; one who pretends to predict events, or to reveal occult things, by the aid of superior beings, or of supernatural means.

Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society, the various OTHER Eastern pagan religions, and even some of those who name the Name of Y’hovah, use divination. These are NOT after Y’hovah’s heart, but their own wallet, or power over you – or both.

They were neither to pay attention to the dreams that they caused themselves to dream. Have you ever been so immersed in things you were doing that you ended up dreaming about them at night. I have. Well, if you were a Jew in exile in Babylon, and were always thinking about going back to haAretz, you might work yourself into dreaming that you actually were back. Then you might think the dream to be prophetic of what was definitely going to happen, regardless the fact that Jerry had already told you that you were going into captivity for 70 years. I think we see a lot of this today. Lots of folks who claim to be prophets and to have prophetic dreams are just so desirous of it to be true that they convince themselves their dreams are truly prophetic – “I dreamed it! It’s going to happen ‘cause Y’hovah told me in a dream.” The only way to know if it’s truly prophetic is when it comes to pass exactly as you dreamed it. 

Yirmeyahu’s warning is in perfect alignment with Torah, isn’t it? It’s almost a quote of our Torah portion today. That was how they could tell that what Jerry said was truly prophetic. It lined up with Torah. Q&C

Tehellim 134 – 5 mentions of Y’hovah’s covenant Name in 3 verses. All refer to Yeshua, of course, since they all tie to the last mention in v.3. After the servants of Yah bless him in his house while watching by night, and bless him with hands held high, he returns the blessing out of Zion. This is a clear reference to Yeshua in his Kingdom reign. This passage deals with redemption only. But why would we bless him for his redemption if we hadn’t been in an exile from which to be redeemed? Who are the servants who are blessing Y’hovah in the night watches in his sanctuary? The priests and Levites. Q&C

Galutyah 5.1-6.10 – Let’s contextualize this a little, shall we? This letter is written to the brethren in the congregations of Galutyah, which was a region of north central Turkey. Where do you suppose the believers met in Galutyah to hear this letter read? They were going to the synagogues on Shabbats to hear Torah and the prophets read, so there’s a likely place. And when do you suppose Sha’ul first went to Galutyah? He went shortly after the Jerusalem council of Acts 15, 1st mention of Galatia is in 16.6. Do you suppose he went exactly against the decision of the council so soon after they had found for his side of the dispute? I kind of doubt it. In Acts 16, Sha’ul is traveling with Titus, who was his test case in the Jerusalem council, the guy he said shouldn’t have to be fully converted to Judaism first and who the council said didn’t have to be fully converted to be accepted as a believer. But when he comes upon Timothy in Lystra, he has him circumcised “because of the Jews,” [the Iuaidoi] who knew Tim’s papa was a greek. What is that about? Titus, who is a full greek need not be circumcised, but Tim, who was ½ Jewish – kinda; biblically, Jewish-ness passed from father to child, not mother to child – had to go under the knife (v.3). Kind of bizarre. Especially when in the VERY NEXT VERSE Luke says they were carrying the decrees of the council to all the cities and their congregations. Gentiles need not be full proselytes to be saved, just follow the 4 decrees and attend synagogue. A heart truly after Y’hovah’s would take care of the rest. Do you think maybe his tirade v. Peter in Galutyah 2 may have had something to do with his own reaction to the Jews and Tim’s circumcision in Acts 16? It doesn’t say that he petitioned Y’hovah for direction in the Timothy case, just that he went ahead and did it “because of the Jews”. Let’s remember that even the Sholiach Sha’ul was human (like Kepha, Bar-Navi and Yochanan Moshe), and could be mistaken when he failed to consult Ruach before he did something.

Chapter 5 says to ‘stand fast therefore.’ When you see a ‘therefore’, look to see what it’s there for. We stand fast in the knowledge that we are sons of the free woman, which we are told in 4.26 is the Jerusalem which is above; the New Yerushalayim wherein is our citizenship. Notice also, that Hagar is likened to Sinai AND the Jerusalem that now is, and she is in bondage with her children. I think the Sinai being spoken of here is the Oral Torah that the Jews, the leaders of the religion in Jerusalem, said was received by Moshe on Sinai at the same time the written Torah was received. This is a tradition, which may or may not be right. (Not all tradition is bad. What makes it evil is when WE make it equal to or superior to the KNOWN will of Y’hovah, which is the written Torah.) If I am correct (which I doubt not), the Oral Torah is likened here to the pagan religions of the gentiles. This is scriptural in that ANYTHING that draws glory from Y’hovah is pagan and abomination. Yeshua castigated the Jews for their adherence to traditions of men. 

So, we are to stand fast in the liberty we have in Mashiyach and against the yoke of bondage to 1) pagan traditions, if we are gentile or 2) Jewish traditions, if we are Jews.  One of the big deals in Judaism is that a man is not considered a Jew until he has been circumcised; either on the 8th day, as one born into the family, or upon a ger’s completion of the rigors of becoming a proselyte. That is the basis of vv.2-4. We are made one in Mashiyach due to the Covenant being written on our hearts [vv.5-6]. If a man puts his trust in either Jewish tradition or self-justification in the written Torah, Mashiyach is ineffectual to him because he has not availed himself of Y’hovah’s grace. He has chosen the yoke of bondage rather than the yoke of Mashiyach, which is his grace.

Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV)  

    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It is very important to notice the use of pronouns in this book. 1st person plural, ‘We’ = ‘free’ Jewish believers, 2nd person plural Ye’ = gentile believers and 3rd person plural ‘They’ = Jewish believers who think that gentiles need to be full proselytes to Judaism before their admission to the ‘Way’ of Mashiyach [which was the issue of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15]. Now, ‘they’ were trying to influence ‘ye’ to submit to Jewish traditions to which the Jerusalem council had decreed ‘ye’ did not have to submit. So the ones who were trying to influence the Galutyot were Iuaidoi Jews who were either NOT believers or who had not shema’d [heard and obeyed] the decree of the council. Rav Sha’ul was confident that the Galutyot to whom he was writing would see ‘their’ error and come back to the faith once delivered to the saints. 

In v.11, Sha’ul says that his persecution would end if he’d only submit to the traditions of the Iuaidoi Jews. He uses circumcision as a generalization to mean the traditions of the Oral Law and the Gentile’s full proselytization. He says that he wished ‘them’ cut off – excommunicated, blotted out of the Book of Life – who would have their brethren placed under the yoke of slavery to the traditions of men. We have been called to liberty, not bondage; to the New Yerushalayim, not the old one.

Look at vv.13-14 – We are called to liberty, we are to use our liberty in service to others, and this Fulfills Torah in that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Oh, yeah! Torah is bondage all right. Our liberty is in Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug] by loving our neighbors. If you aren’t loving your neighbor, you are probably destroying him. Be careful not to be destroyed along with him.  Q&C

v.16ff is about Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug #2] by walking after Ruach haKodesh. Look quickly at Rom.8.1. Read the WHOLE verse, not just part a. 

Romans 8:1-4 (KJV)  

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. [2] For the law of Ruach of life in Mashiyach Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Eloha sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. 

No condemnation for those in Mashiyach who walk after Ruach, and the righteousness of Torah fulfilled in us who walk after Ruach because of the work of ‘that Prophet’ [page 1 of this study]. 

Before we can walk after Ruach, we need to mortify our flesh. By mortify I mean to reckon the flesh dead, not to actually kill it. He mentions the works of the flesh, most of which we are ALL familiar with. When we reckon our flesh dead, we will not practice these 17 works of the flesh. Notice that those who DO those things will not inherit the Kingdom. This points to the Hebraic meaning of doctrine and faith, which are complementary. In Hebraic thought, doctrine is what we DO about that in which we place our faith. James tells us about faith without works being dead. Sha’ul is speaking here about considering our flesh dead. Dead faith produces dead works. Living faith produces works that give life to those around us. This ties us back to vv.13-14, service in Mashiyach and Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug #3] thereby.

The fruit of Ruach is manifested in our service to others. Each of those works that are the fruit of Ruach are service gifts. If we have received life from Y’hovah Yeshua’s Ruach, we ought to be manifesting the fruit of the Ruach of Emet (truth). 

Galutyah 6.1-10 – Still giving practical application to the works of Elohim’s Ruach. We are to reconcile Y’hovah’s own to him. Meek does not mean weak. W1828 says this:

2.  Appropriately humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations.  Mashiyach says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” Matt.11.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matt.5.

The reason for our meekness is to guard ourselves against the sin for which we are reconciling the one taken in a fault, for we are of the same failings as he. It is really interesting that Webster used Mat.11.29 as an example of meekness, since it is EXACTLY what Sha’ul refers to in v.2 – bear the other’s burden, as Mashiyach bears ours when we yoke ourselves to him [THAT Prophet, page 1 of Study].

Vv.3-5 need to be read together, for in themselves they are nearly unintelligible. They speak of the man who thinks he is ‘all that and a bag of chips’. If you think you are something special, you are exhibiting pride, not meekness. You will bear your own burden and be the only one who rejoices in your success. You won’t rejoice with others in another’s victory over the flesh and sin, and you will be the only one rejoicing in what you consider personal victory. Can you imagine reading the Word and getting a really cool insight, but having noone with whom to share it? That’s what will happen if you live in your pride, thinking yourself better than your brethren. 

It is important that we teach others as we are taught. We are not entities unto ourselves, but a part of the Body of Mashiyach. What Y’hovah Yeshua teaches us we need to teach others because they may NEVER have that truth revealed to them otherwise. When we teach others what Y’hovah has taught us, we are sowing good things in them and will reap the rewards that are commensurate to them. For these reasons, the reward and the edification of others, we are encouraged to do good and to teach our brethren what Y’hovah has revealed to us in his Torah. Q&C

End of Bible Study