Shabbat Bible Study for April 16, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
April 16, 2016 – Year 1 Sabbath 2
Genesis 2:4-3:23 – Ezekiel 28:11-26 – Psalm 2 – Romans 5:12-21
B’reishith 2:4-3:23 – vv.4-14 – In light of v.4, I really don’t see why anyone would think that ch.2 is describing anything more than just more detail of the 6 days of creation, and more specifically mainly since v.4 ends with ‘in the day that Y’hovah Elohim created the heaven and the earth’. ‘Day’ there speaks of the ‘time’ when Y’hovah Elohim created, which we saw in last week’s parsha, was a 6 calendar day period. The phrase “when they were created” is translated from the Hebrew word b’hiyvar’am. The letter ‘ה’ is an irregular letter, which we learned last week is placed in the text to call attention to the word for a deeper meaning than the pashat. Schottenstein’s Chumash has good notes on this verse on pp. 10-11.
“When they were created”. The letters of this word can be rearranged to spell the word b’Avraham, meaning theat God created the world ‘for the sake of Avraham’ [Midrash], because he was the epitome of kindness, one of the pillars of the world [Zohar]… In this context, it may be that the letter ה of this word is small to symbolize that Avraham’s name, Avram, had the ה added to it.”
The compound Name of El Shaddai, Y’hovah Elohim, is a combination of the Left (Ruach, Elohim/Aimah or severe Righteousness and Judgementof Elyon [the Almighty Eyn Sof] and Right (Y’hovah/Abba or Gracious and Merciful Lovingkindness of Elyon) pillars of the Tree of Sephiroth which, in combination, make up the Middle pillar (Mashiach/Ben or Compassionate Understanding of Elyon). Basically, the Hebrew sages invented the Tree of Sephiroth to illustrate El Shaddai/Y’hovah Elohim sufficiently so that we could relate. The Tree of Sephiroth does NOT depict a ‘trinity’, but the echad nature of El Shaddai broken into at least 10 ‘emanations’ that help us to understand the incomprehensible majesty and power of El Shaddai, Elyon/Almighty. I think, therefore, that any time you see the Compound Name of Y’hovah Elohim it is unmistakably speaking of Mashiach Yeshua, who is the “Tree of Life”.
V.5b says that it had not yet rained on earth, but v.6 says that ‘a mist rose out of the ground and watered the whole face of the earth’, so there really was no need for rain – the dew watered the earth. If the atmosphere was an hyperbaric chamber, like BerekhYahu said last week (and I think it was) the airborne H2O would have been enough to water the plants and animals, at least for the 3 days until Man was created. However, vv.10-14 (we will look at them a bit later) tell us that there were some rivers that were flowing, as well. I think there was PLENTY of H2O to take care of all the creatures’ needs.
In v.7, Y’hovah Elohim formed man from the dust of the ground, which early in the day would have been damp from the dew settling on it. I wonder if Yeshua sort of re-enacted this operation with the man born blind in Yochanan 9
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, (Yochanan 9.4-6)
Did Y’hovah Elohim spit on the ground to make the clay from which he shaped Adam? I don’t know, but put Yeshua’s word, “I must work the works of him that sent me” into the mix and you have to think the possibility exists. After all, there was no work that he did that spoke to Israel more forcefully that he was Y’hovah Elohim in the flesh than this one – that is until he raised Eleazar from the dead in ch.11. If, as I think, B’reishith’s Y’hovah Elohim was the risen Mashiach Yeshua who was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (olam), from his chronological perspective he MAY have been re-enacting the work on the blind man HERE. And in an even more mystical sense it was the same work, being performed simultaneously in 2 different times by Y’hovah Elohim. So after he’d shaped Adam from the dust of the ground, he breathed into his nostrils the n’shamath of life and Adam became a living nefesh. When the breath, or spirit, enters the body it becomes a live soul. I think that when the spirit leaves the body, the soul ceases to be until it is resurrected. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a good comment on v.7, pg.12.
God thus made man out of both lower [earthly] and upper [heavenly] matter; his body from the dust and his soul from the spirit [Rashi]. In the words of the Zohar, “one who blows, blows from within himself,” indicating that man’s soul is a part of God’s essense, as it were. This soul made man a being that is alive, which Onkelos defines as ‘a soirit that speaks’. Accordingly, the life that is unique to Man and which only god could blow into him is the rational soul that includes the power of intelligent speech [unless the speaker is Hillary Clinton – a Mark divergence]. Tuhis is what elevated man above animal life: the ability, and therefore the responsibility, to use his intelligence in God’s service.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto Elohim who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
That describes physical death of the body and the immediate result. There are some sins that are unto physical death, even for a believer.
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. (I John 5:16)
There are also sins NOT unto physical death to the believer.
All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (I John 5:17)
But ALL sin is unto eternal death, which I think is the death of the soul, for the unbeliever.
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die… 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (Ezekiel 18:4, 20)
In v.8 we see that Y’hovah Elohim planted a garden for Adam to work in and in which Y’hovah could walk and commune with Adam. Man needs work, if for nothing else than to occupy his time and stay out of trouble, but ultimately to provide what is needed for himself and his family. Adam was to oversee Gan Eden. It was to the garden that Y’hovah Elohim brought the animals for Adam to name. Tanakh says that the garden was to the east, KJV says eastward. I think that it is possible that Y’hovah Elohim did his creation from his throne, which I believe was on the Temple Mount in what would in future be Yerushalayim, and therefore that the garden was somewhere east of there. The Euphrates is east of Yerushalayim and I think it likely, though not certain, that Gan Eden was in what became Mesopotamia. It could also be that Gan Eden was in Yerushalayim and possibly extended to or even passed the Mount of Olives, which is due east of the Temple Mount. I am relatively certain, at least to my satisfaction, that the Temple Mount is the ‘mount of the congregation’ that Lucifer spoke of in YeshaYahu 14 in his prideful speech. There IS a reason that Yerushalayim, and especially the Temple Mount, is such a hotly contested piece of real estate in the physical, and I think that reason is it’s where haSatan wants his throne to be; it is the center of the earth. On June 25, 2011, I made this comment on the site of the Kadosh Kedoshim:
I remember having seen a map of the earth with lines drawn east to west and north to south through Jerusalem, and that those lines went through the most possible land areaof any such line drawn anywhere else on the earth. The east/west line went from the Pacific coast of China through Asia and North Africa to the Atlantic ocean and then extended across the central US to the Pacific. The north/south line went from the Arctic Ocean in the northern Scandinavian peninsula through eastern Europe, Asia across the Temple mount and then across the Sinai and the Red Sea and across it to Egypt and then south to nearly the southern tip of Africa and then across Antarctica and the Pacific Ocean to next landfall near the longest N/S land line in Alaska. I think our time zones ought to zero at the Temple mount with Kadosh Kedoshim Mean Time. The temple is not just the center of time, as the book title says, but the center of the landmass of the earth.
That book is David Flynn’s Temple at the Center of Time. The Temple Mount is the center of the universe, in a spiritual sense, at least, and quite possibly in a physical sense, as well. Q&C
The description of the vegetation that sprouted from the earth in the garden gives the impression that nothing grew there but edible plants and trees; no weeds of any kind. The 2 trees that are the most important to our entire history also grew there, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. These trees, and indeed the whole Creation account could be metaphorical, but I don’t really think so. If they were metaphors, why would Elohim have to remove the man from the garden after he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge before he also ate the fruit of the Tree of Life? They MUST have been real trees. Whether it was the fruit that caused the change is uncertain; that was probably a result of disobedience rather than a direct result of the fruit’s meat itself.
If I am correct in my deduction that Y’hovah Elohim’s throne is on the physical site of the Kadosh Kedoshim, then the river flowing out of Eden to water the garden could be the river of mayim chayim,
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation of John 22:1-2)
And the river that flowed from Eden watered the whole earth through the 4 great rivers that it fed. Pishon means dispersive, and Chavilah means circular, so this could mean that Pishon dispersed the waters to the whole earth. Perhaps the River of the Water of Life fed Pishon, which dispersed to the other great rivers. Gichon is from the root goach, to gush forth and also is the name of a spring in Yerushalayim, the one that Chizkiyahu dammed and diverted into the city via his tunnel so that they could withstand the siege of the Assyrian armies. Chidekel is of foreign origin and probably refers to Tigris. The Euphrates pretty much speaks for itself. If my thesis statement above is correct, all the rivers’ courses would have originated in Yerushalayim at the Temple Mount. All of this is absolute conjecture, of course, since it was all pre-flood of Noach and literally EVERYTHING about the lay of the land could have, and probably has changed. We know, for instance that Tigris’ and Euphrates’ headwaters are now in the southern Caucasus Mountains, not Yerushalayim.
When Y’hovah Elohim put Adam in Gan Eden to work (avad) and guard (shamar) it, he placed one restriction on Adam; don’t eat from THIS tree. Every other vegetable or fruit is yours; you may freely eat them, but don’t eat of THIS tree, for when you eat from this tree you will surely die. That obviously did not mean he would swell up and die on the spot, for he lived 930 years after the fall, but that his physical end would be assured. From the very beginning, the wages of sin has been death. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil = disobedience to Torah. There was but the one instruction for Adam to guard. After giving that instruction, he said that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so he brought the animals to Adam to name and to show Adam that all the animals had helpers meet for them, but that he did not. On the naming of the animals, Chumash has a good prefatory note on vv.18-25, and then another on v.18.
Names are not just random syllables. They are meant to convey to the children the character their parents desire for them to have, a goal to which to attain. When Adam named the animals, he looked at their character and named them correspondingly; for instance, he named the dog kalev, which translates in English to ‘all heart’, which speaks of the enthusiasm and intensity of their characters and certainly does describe the species.
In v.21, there are 3 things alluded to in the words “sleep”, “Adam”, and “rib”. When Y’hovah Elohim put Adam to sleep, he alluded to the exile that Israel would experience in the future. Adam is himself an allusion to Yisrael. And the rib alludes to the death of Mashiach, who was pierced between his ribs to puncture the pericardium to ensure he was dead [the separated plasma and platelets show that the heart is not beating, mixing the two things with unlike specific gravities], that delivers Yisrael from her exilic sleep. From the rib, Y’hovah Elohim formed the helper that was meet of Adam and then he presented her to him. Adam called her Ishah, aleph shin hei, because she was taken from Iysh, aleph, yud, shin. Remember the prefatory note for this passage on the letters added to the word aish; aleph shin, fire; and what becomes of a marriage without those added letters, yud and hei, Yah. Q&C
3.1- – Intro; There is no indication of how much time elapsed between the Shabbat and the serpent’s discussion with Chavah. There is no indication of anything that transpired during that time. But by inference and deduction, I have an idea of at least one thing that transpired. Adam told Chavah about Y’hovah’s prohibition against eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Remember the prohibition was made before her creation from his rib, and I infer that Adam related it to her, because she got an additional thought in her head that Y’hovah Elohim had not mentioned. Here’s an approximation from my own twisted brain about the conversation Adam had with Chavah:
Chavah: OH!, Adam! What a lovely tree, and the fruit smells so delicious!
Adam: I agree, Chavah. It certainly looks and smells wonderful. But, Chavah, this is the only tree in the entire garden that Y’hovah Elohenu has told me that I may not eat from it.
Chavah: But why, Adam?
Adam: I don’t know other than he said to not eat from it, for in the day that I eat thereof, I shall surely die.
Chavah: Die?! What is this, “Die?!”
Adam: I don’t know. But I don’t like the sound of it. So don’t eat from this tree. In fact, do us both a favor and let’s not even touch it.
Can you see how a conversation like that COULD have set Chavah up for the serpent? If the serpent was listening in on it, he’d know how to craft his argument. The addition of the fence in this scenario; “let’s not even touch it”, is what set them up.
The serpent was the most subtil of all the creatures in the garden. Subtil means “sly, artful, cunning, crafty, insinuating … deceitful, treacherous”. Of course, Adam would have known this, but Chavah may NOT have. She was not there for the naming ceremony, and she may not have had the same understanding of the animal’s characters that Adam had. I am curious to know if Adam and Chavah were able to communicate with all the animals in the garden, or if this was the first time one of them spoke to her. Some people think that HaSatan had invaded the serpent and spoke through him. If this were the case, I think it unlikely that he could have fooled Adam, since he had named the serpent and likely would have known immediately by its change of character that something was wrong. However it came to be that Chavah was approached by the serpent; I have to think that Adam was not nearby, or he’d have noticed the change in the animal.
The serpent did what has continued to work from that time to this; he called Y’hovah Elohim’s character into question. First he insinuated that Y’hovah Elohim was keeping some good thing from them for his own selfish purpose. He said, ‘Has Elohim told you that you may eat of every tree of the garden?’, knowing full well the command he’d given Adam. Because of Adam’s experience, he would not have made the same error Chavah did. But men do it all the time. We question his character, because we know our own and think that we are all that and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos™. Even Y’hovah Elohim couldn’t be of higher character than we are!
Notice that Chavah’s answer was WAY more wordy than the serpent’s question. Like all humans, she wanted to let her new friend know how smart she was and just blurted out everything she knew on the subject. This is the human failing that the ‘authorities’ use against us with such great success. They say something they KNOW is just a little wrong and then let you run off at the mouth so they can get all kinds of information they can use against you. This convo is the bedrock purpose for the American 5th Amendment. We have the right to remain silent, but we seldom take advantage of it. Chavah said, “We can eat from EVERY tree of the garden except this one, which we aren’t allowed to touch, lest we die.” Y’hovah said no such thing to Adam. But, in my imagined conversation between Adam and Chavah they had decided for themselves to not touch the fruit OR the tree. Our fences cause us more trouble than they avert.
Then the serpent really impugns Y’hovah Elohim’s character, saying that he is a liar, that he doesn’t want them to know what he knows and is using intimidation to keep them under his thumb, when on all counts nothing could be further from the truth. HaSatan got Adam and Chavah to step out ahead of Y’hovah’s timing. I think that Y’hovah would have given Adam and Chavah free access to the entire garden, had they first eaten from the Tree of Life. Had they done so in their innocence I think they would have lived forever in that innocence and nothing could then harm them. This is a lesson we all need to learn; to wait on Y’hovah’s timing. Don’t try to anticipate it; don’t think you know his will; don’t move too soon. Wait for his command, or, at least his permission. He’ll let you know when and how. It is just for you to do it when He tells you to.
So Chavah reached out and took the fruit and ate it, and then she offered it to Adam. Now Adam knew exactly what she had done and that she was subject to the curse that Elohim had pronounced. What he may not have known, though, was that he could disallow her action,
And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and Y’hovah shall forgive her. (Numbers 30:6-8)
That says if she vowed a vow, OR in any other way bound her soul by her words, her husband could annul that vow, or her word when once he heard about it and said, “NO!” This is, in effect, what Y’hovah Yeshua does for his Bride – he annuls her contract with death. ‘Eating’ a thing can be seen metaphorically as assimilating that thing into your life, as physically eating something assimilates its nutrients and any poisons it may contain into your body. That Adam did not know his authority over his wife’s agreement is obvious, because, rather than lose his helper who was meet for him, he ate of the fruit, too. Perhaps this is WHY that chuk was added to Torah, to let us know what our husband does for us, and what we husbands and fathers can do for our wives and daughters.
When they both had eaten, their eyes were open to good and evil, they were conscious for the first time of their nakedness and they felt shame for the first time. Chumash’s note to v.7 on pp.16-17 is quite good.
The serpent was RIGHT: they had become enlightened people. But their first realization was – that they were naked! … Man need not be ashamed of his body as long as it stands in service of God … Otherwise he feels shame in his nakedness. This shame awakens the voice of conscience that reminds us we are no meant to be animals.
So they made themselves aprons or waistcloths to cover their privates and their embarrassment. When they heard Y’hovah Elohim approaching [v.8] for his visit they hid themselves, which was new to them. They’d never shrunk from Y’hovah Elohim before, so everyone knew there was something wrong. Y’hovah Elohim had the good grace to allow them time to cover their nakedness and embarrassment before he started on his walk that day. When Y’hovah Elohim called to them and asked where they were, Adam told him they were embarrassed at their nakedness and hid themselves.
When he asked who had told them they were naked and they finally presented themselves, Y’hovah Elohim asked if they’d eaten of the Tree of Knowledge. This question was not asked to gather information, for he knew what they had done already. The purpose of the question was to allow Adam to repent and confess. Rather than confessing what they had done, Adam actually passed the blame on to Y’hovah Elohim, “The woman that THOU hast given to me gave me of the fruit. She had eaten of it and didn’t die [whatever that is], so I ate it too!” That was a Mark paraphrase. He as much as called Y’hovah a liar, like haSatan had done with Chavah AND he passed the buck. We’ve been champion ‘buck-passers’ ever since.
When Y’hovah Elohim asked Chavah [v.13] (who was now righteously ticked at Adam for blaming her) what she had done, she passed the buck on to the serpent. Not wanting the serpent to pass the buck any further, Y’hovah Elohim immediately pronounced judgment against the serpent and the spirit of haSatan that controlled him. Y’hovah Elohim pronounces the various judgments in the reverse order through which the buck got passed. The serpent was changed into a critter with no legs that crawls on his belly, and the first Messianic prophecy is pronounced. Y’hovah put a natural enmity between the serpent and the woman and told the serpent his end; that the woman’s seed would crush his head and the serpent would bruise her seed’s heel. Then the woman got her judgment, that she would get to experience a lot of travail in childbearing and that, even though she would have desire for her husband’s positional authority, she would be ruled by him and that would cause more sorrow of a different sort for both of them. Q&C
Then in vv.17-19, he pronounces the judgment against Adam. The serpent got 2 verses of judgment pronounced, Chavah had 1 verse of judgment pronounced and Adam 3 verses, is order of culpability. Adam should have known better and trained Chavah better; haSatan inhabiting the serpent was merely the facilitator and instigator of the transgression, and Chavah was least culpable, being the talmid and not the rebbe, the deceived and not the deceiver. Because he listened to his wife over his Creator; not that listening to the wife is bad, but hearkening to her INSTEAD of Y’hovah Elohim; and willfully transgressed the commandment of Y’hovah Elohim, the ground was “cursed for Adam’s sake.” He would now get to deal with weeds, rocks and pests in his fields. He would have to work harder to get the same produce that had come with minimal exertion before his sin. He would eat the produce of the ground and get it by the sweat of his brow; a thing he likely had not experienced before – sweat; and he’d get to deal with it until the day of his death, when his flesh would return to the dust it was made from. Adam and Chavah were NOT at all happy with their sentences, but were likely happy that they did not return to the dust that very day.
So Adam called his wife ‘life-giver’, because she was the mother of all living. According to the Chumash, Chavah means the same as Chayah – life. Then Elohim made coats for them. Now the Hebrew sages have some interesting things to say about the ‘coats’, or ‘skins’ that Elohim made. Here’s a sidebar to the Yashanet.com sidebar on the subject:
Most languages contain some words that, although they sound the same, are spelled a little differently and can mean very different things. The English phrase “there are too many two’s to count” is one such example. Three different words, each spelled a little differently, and meaning very different things. And such is the case with the Hebrew language as well. Lets take a look at one fascinating example.
There are a number of people who believe that before Adam and Chavah (Eve) sinned, they had bodies of light or bodies clothed with light, and that as a result of their sin, they lost their body/clothing of light. When examining the Hebrew language, this is not hard to see.
The Hebrew word for “Light” is “OR” (variant: ‘or), spelled “aleph vav resh” אור
(Remember, Hebrew is written from right to left)
The Hebrew word for “Skin” is also “OR” (variant: ‘or), but is spelled “ayin vav resh” – עור
The concept of man having a body clothed with light is not unfamiliar within Judaism as we can see in the passages of the Midrash Rabbah and Zohar shown below. The most pertinent portions are highlighted in bold except in the Midrash passage which is entirely about this subject.
Two Other Interesting Characteristics about Hebrew
1) Most people are aware that each Hebrew character has a numerical value. Thus, Aleph (א) = 1, Bet (ב) = 2, etc. up to Tav (ת) = 400 (1-9, 10-90, 100-400). Each letter can be combined together with other letters to represent a larger number (i.e. Mem + Gimel מג together equal 43, 40 + 3)
2) What is little known about Hebrew is that the ancient form of each letter represented a pictograph, or word picture. So, for example, Aleph represents an ox or bull, Bet represents a house, etc. More information about this can be obtained from two sources: “The Hebrew Letters – Channels of Creative Consciousness” by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and “Hebrew Word Pictures” by Frank T. Seekins.
Now, here is where it gets even more interesting. The only difference between the Hebrew words for light and skin is one letter: Aleph (א) for light and Ayin (ע) for skin. Numerically, Aleph = 1 and Ayin = 70. The difference between them is 69, represented by the Hebrew letters Samech (ס) and Tet (ט) or סט. The pictograph of Samech is a prop, meaning, to support. The pictograph of Tet is a snake. Putting the two together, סט means, to support the snake! In other words, by supporting the snake (supporting or going along with the snake’s arguments/ways) Adam and Chavah (Eve) lost their skins of light and had to be given skins of flesh. And so it is that whenever we support or go along with the snake’s arguments/ways we lose some of Elohim’s radiance in our lives and become more animalistic and debase in our nature.
But wait, there’s more! [Ron Popiel has nothing on Tovia B’henu] As mentioned earlier, the letter Aleph represents an ox or bull, and means strength, leader, or first. The letter Ayin is represented by an eye and means to see, know or experience! Thus, when Adam and Chava (the first people on Earth) ate the forbidden fruit their eyes were opened and they began to know and experience good and evil.
Midrash Rabbah – Genesis XX:12
12. AND THE LORD GOD MADE FOR ADAM AND HIS WIFE GARMENTS OF SKIN (‘OR), AND CLOTHED THEM (III, 21). In R. Meir’s Torah it was found written, ‘Garments of light (or)’: this refers to Adam’s garments, which were like a torch [shedding radiance], broad at the bottom and narrow at the top. Isaac the Elder said: They were as smooth as a finger-nail and as beautiful as a jewel. R.Johanan said: They were like the fine linen garments which come from Bethshean, GARMENTS OF SKIN meaning those that are nearest to the skin. R. Eleazar said: They were of goats’ skin. R. Joshua said: Of hares’ skin. R. Jose b. R. Hanina said: It was a garment made of skin with its wool. Resh Lakish said: It was of Circassian wool, and these were used [later] by first-born children. R. Samuel b. Nahman said: [They were made from] the wool of camels and the wool of hares, GARMENTS OF SKIN meaning those which are produced from the skin. R. Levi said: The Torah teaches you here a rule of worldly wisdom: spend according to your means on food; less than you can afford on clothing, but more than you can afford on a dwelling. Spend according to your means on food, as it is written, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat (Gen. II, 16). Less than you can afford on clothing: AND THE LORD GOD MADE… GARMENTS OF SKIN, AND CLOTHED THEM. More than you can afford on a dwelling: for lo! they were but two, yet they dwelt in the whole world.
Vv.22-24 – So Y’hovah Elohim had to exile them from the home he had made for them to live in constant communion with him. Look at how v.22 ends in mid-sentence, as Y’hovah quickly gets them away from the Tree of Life before they eat of it and live forever in that fallen condition. It’s as if I discovered something dangerous and just quit yammering and decisively moved to DO something about it. Of course, Y’hovah Elohim did not just realize the danger to Adam and Chava, but in order to show WHY he did what followed he phrased it that way. Then he stationed cheruvim to guard the way to the Tree of Life and to guard Adam that he not get to the fruit. In the metaphorical sense, as illustrated in the Tree of Sephiroth, Mashiach Yeshua is the Tree of Life AND the Way to get to it. Q&C
Ezekiel 28:11-26 – The whole chapter is a prophecy against the prince of Tyre, but in vv.11 – 19, the object of the prophecy is no physical man. By the descriptions given, we know that he was ‘the anointed covering cherub’. This is generally seen as Lucifer covering the Throne of Y’hovah Elohim, but that is conjecture. Maybe it’s true, but maybe it’s not. Anointed here is ‘mimshach’, which means ‘outstretched’. Maybe he was the top Archangel, senior to both Michael and Gavriel in the original chain of command authority. He ‘sealeth up the sum’, full of wisdom and beauty; or was created as ‘all that and a bag of chips’, which explains the source of his pride, which we looked at a bit last week. That would explain Michael’s reticence to deal with haSatan in his own strength, but said, “Y’hovah rebuke thee!” when they contended for Moshe’s body (Jd.9). Whatever the case, he was in the Garden, which leads me to think he was the spirit in the serpent.
Did you know that haSatan had a breastplate, similar to the High Priest’s? Lucifer’s held 9 stones. Here’s a bit of my Shabbat Bible Study from July 9, 2011 on Shemoth 28;
The Breastplate was a setting for the 12 individual stones that represented the 12 tribes of Yisrael. The Breastplate was of the same 5-stranded stuff as the Ephod. The finished product was about 9”x 9”, and the woven piece of Ephod material was about 9” x 18” folded over on itself. I surmise that the individual stones were set in the solid ½ and when the other ½ was folded over it, there were apertures that set the stones firmly in their places. The stones correspond, in the order they are listed, to the tribes according to birth order; Reuven = sardius, Simeon = topaz, Levi = carbuncle, Yehudah = emerald, etc. Each stone has the name of its corresponding tribe engraved on it in raised lettering like the onyx stones on the shoulder boards. There were rings of gold in the 4 corners of the Breastplate, the top, as we’ve already said, attaching via the gold chains to the shoulder boards and the bottom rings attaching by a lace of techeleth, which I assume was wool since all the rest of the techeleth was wool, to the Ephod. In Ezek.28 [coincidence?], the King of Tyre/haSatan had a breastplate, as well. But it only held 9 stones, the stones of the entire 3rd row of the High Priest’s Breastplate are missing and the rest are rearranged. 9 is the number of the chaos of being ‘not quite perfect’, of missing the mark and, therefore, judgment. The 3 missing stones are Dan’s ligure, Gad’s agate and Asher’s amethyst.
It is interesting that 9 is the number representing chaos by subtraction or falling short, and that the stones are jumbled, as if Lucifer could remember only ¾ of the stones and not the tribes they represented. Or perhaps they represent something other than tribes of Israel, like maybe the major nations or alliances that come against Israel in the end of days.
Tabrets and pipes are musical instruments, which gives most commentators the idea that Lucifer was in charge of ‘the music of the spheres’ or was the ‘minister of music’ in the heavenlies. It’s possible. It’s conjecture. As the anointed cherub that covers, he was placed in his position by Y’hovah in the Mountain of Elohim, which I infer means the Temple Mount in what is now Yerushalayim, and he walked up and down amidst the ‘stones of fire’ (v.14). Whaddaheckizzat? Some folks think they are 7 planets of our solar system. Others think they are 7 mountains on earth, Sinai being one of them, where men met with their gods. I think it refers to angelic beings, because Lucifer/haSatan is going to be destroyed ‘from the midst of the stones of fire’. Sounds like something beyond exile to me. I think that until he is thrown into the Lake of Fire, he will only be exiled from living among his own kind, and that is what we’re seeing here (v.16).
It is obvious from the books of Job and ZecharYahu that he has access to Y’hovah’s Throne, but he doesn’t abide there any longer (though he WANTS to!). I think that the unrighteousness that was found in Lucifer manifested in his deceiving Chavah in our Torah portion today. Remember our discussion last week of the ‘heavenly Sanhedrin’, where Y’hovah is said to have taken counsel of the angelic leadership – perhaps the ‘stones of fire’? I think haSatan deceived Chavah so that he could keep his pre-eminent position amidst the stones of fire on the Mount of Y’hovah, and perhaps usurp Y’hovah Elohim’s authority. I think his being cast to the ground is seen in
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Rev.12:3-4)
The ‘stones of fire’ were supposedly 7 and the heads of the dragon are 7. Coincidence? I don’t know, either. Just asking. But both are dealing with haSatan being cast to the earth or ground, so I think the 7’s in the traditions may be the allegory to which Yochanan may be alluding with the 7 heads in Revelation 12.
I have to think that the kings before whom Elohim will lay the Adversary will be the people he will appoint as his vice-regents in the Kingdom time. It could also be any surviving heads of state who came against Mashiach, though they will be few, if I don’t miss my guess. Yeshua’s vice-regents is more likely. We will look upon him and wonder that anyone was so frightened of his power, especially when we see him in the presence of Yeshua.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, consider thee, saying, this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; opened not the house of his prisoners? 18 All the kings of the nations, all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. (YeshaYahu 14.15-19)
Basically, haSatan will be toast.
In vv.20-24, Ezekiel prophesies about Sidon. Zidon shall see pestilences as a result of the war that turns Lebanon (and probably Syria, too, since Damascus is a subject of ch.27) into a ‘waste howling wilderness’. I have no doubt that these prophecies have already seen at least 1 fulfillment, but the ultimate will be yet future. It may be setting up right now, as I review this in April 2016. Hizbollah in Lebanon has definitely been a ‘pricking brier’ and a ‘grieving thorn’ to all around them, especially Israel.
In vv.25-26, Zeke prophesied of Yisrael being gathered back to Y’hovah Elohim’s land that he gave to Ya’acov. When Y’hovah recalls Yisrael to his land, he will make them dwell safely in it and prosper with physical and spiritual multiplicity. Y’hovah will have delivered Yisrael from her exile and sanctified his land by her and wiped out a large portion of the rebels to Y’hovah’s plan and Torah. Q&C
Tehellim 2 – I think this will see penultimate fulfillment in a very short time, during the time of Jacob’s trouble and the return of Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiach. The heathen rage against Y’hovah and Mashiach because they really have no idea who he is. They are following a self-serving, megalomaniacal spirit, haSatan, who rages to them about the injustice and disingenuousness that he sees in his Creator. HaSatan beats his chest and complains about Y’hovah Elohim’s most unjust creation, man, who is so lacking in power, but placed above him on the ‘authority food chain’. I think that haSatan literally HATES Yeshua because Y’hovah chose to manifest in his actual human flesh, which haSatan sees as powerless against him, but against whom; that is against Yeshua; he, haSatan, had no power of any kind. That was a new experience for him. I think he was genuinely surprised that Yeshua was able to withstand his personal appearance and subtilty. As subtil as he is, I think he doesn’t really understand subtilty; I don’t think he understands exactly WHY Y’hovah created man or that he loves us so, as weak as we are. HaSatan understands only power and uses subtilty to his own deceptive, power-grabbing ends. And THAT proves that he doesn’t even understand REAL power. The only REAL power that exists is Y’hovah’s. In human terms, haSatan’s power is actual, but in ultimately REAL terms; that is in Y’hovah’s terms; haSatan is both a grotesque and a comic caricature of what he considers the power of Y’hovah. And since the heathen cannot imagine anything more powerful than haSatan, they try to imitate him, not realizing that they are, themselves, both grotesque and comic caricatures of haSatan’s idea of power.
And so, NOW we can understand why Adonenu is so amused as to have them in derision. They see their rulers’ bombastic orations about the ‘injustice’ of Elohim (like declaring sodomy and the marriage of any other than a male and a female an abomination) and of Y’hovah’s ‘lack of compassion’ for the needy and ‘underprivileged’ (like declaring murder of the innocents in their mother’s wombs and the murder of the aged an abomination), and they think themselves as BETTER and more CARING than their Creator. They are, like their self-chosen master, haSatan, incredibly intelligent idiots. Y’hovah Yeshua laughs at their naïveté; “Isn’t it CUTE, how they think they’re all that!?!” Well, that’s how I would think about them if I were he, anyway. It is probable that he is actually grieved at their naïveté.
When he speaks to them, it will 1st be to offer them Shalom (YeshaYahu 27.4-5). But to those who WILL NOT accept his offer of peace, his cool and deliberate justice will be meted out. They will finally understand the meaning of power. It will take 7 months to cleanse the land from the carnage;
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Adonai Y’hovah. 14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment [won’t THAT be grand?], passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 And the passengers pass through the land, when seeth a man’ bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. 16 And also the name of the city, Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. (Ezek.39.12-16)
Watch the language in vv.5-7. Y’hovah speaks to the heathen gathered together against him and he says, “I have set my King on the set-apart hill, Zion. I will declare the decree, “Y’hovah hath said unto me, “Thou, my Son, this day have I begotten thee.””” Y’hovah is both the subject and the object of that passage. Adonai Y’hovah is speaking, Adonai Y’hovah declares the decree of what Y’hovah had said to him. So Y’hovah declared to Adonai Y’hovah that Adonai Y’hovah is his begotten Son. When Yeshua takes his rightful throne as the King, the Son of David in Zion, all the heathen nations will be placed under his authority as Y’hovah’s 1st-born heir, and he will rule the whole earth with a rod of iron.
So, David gives a little free advice to the heathen rulers and judges; Serve Y’hovah with fear and rejoice at your life being spared trembling. Fear and trembling is the proper response of the heathen to the presence of Y’hovah. And it should also be ours when we are in exile from him due to our sin, or are about to sin and he is warning us
Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. (Job 4:14)
For thus saith Y’hovah; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. (Jeremiah 30:5)
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. (I Corinthians 2:3)
And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. (II Corinthians 7:15)
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Mashiach; (Ephesians 6:5)
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
David advises them to show their subjection to the Son, the King in his holy hill Zion, for he will not countenance any rebellion. He also advises them to put their trust in King Mashiach and not in any usurper. I think the 1st generation heathen kings, the ones who survived because they accepted Yeshua’s offer of Shalom, will actually place their spirits, as well as their bodies, in Yeshua’s hands. I think it will be their sons and THEIR sons who will rebel at the end of the Millennial Kingdom of Mashiach Yeshua, and ‘encompass the camp of the saints’, only to be devoured by the fire from heaven (Rev.20). Q&C
Romans 5:12-21 – This is taken from my study in “Romans – An Hebraic Perspective”.
V.12 begins with the word ‘wherefore’, so what is it there for? It tells us that Sha’ul is about to explain what we need to understand in light of what’s just been said. There is a parenthetical there from v.13-17. A parenthetical expounds on a concept discussed, but can be left out of the sentence and the sentence will still make sense. A Mark paraphrase of v.12 juxtaposed with v.18 (removing the parenthetical) is this: “As Adam sinned and introduced death to all his descendants thereby, so by the sinless life and atonement of Yeshua all may be justified and received unto life eternal.”
The parenthetical is addressed in vv.20-21. Paul is NOT saying that there was no sin before Moshe received Torah. There was PLENTY of sin before Sinai. He says that the Torah made us aware of the sin we’d been guilty of. It made us aware of our need for a deliverer from our bondage to death by sin. And Yeshua provided that deliverance.
In v.13 the word ‘imputed’ needs to be understood. The Greek word is ellogeo, a compound of en, which means in, and logos, which in this context means reckon. It is saying that we do not reckon ourselves to have broken a law if there is no law to break. Now, the Torah of liberty was known before it was given at Sinai, but men did not know that it applied generally to them all.
It is the only objective standard for righteousness, for it is the Word of Y’hovah. The imputation in v.13 deals with OUR perception of the Torah’s application to us and is not the same as the imputation in 4.6, for that is Y’hovah’s imputation, not ours. In ch.4 Y’hovah imputes righteousness to us, but here WE are imputing guilt to ourselves based on our knowledge of Torah.
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Genesis 26:5)
In v.14 we see the truth of what’s just been stated since, whether we imputed the guilt to ourselves or not and whether we sinned the same sin as Adam or not, the wages of our sin still reigned from Adam to Moshe.
The KJV’s wording of vv.15 & 16 is a little foreign to us. He’s saying that Yeshua’s atonement is not like Adam’s sin, because Yeshua obeyed Elohim and can therefore offer redemption to all men. His obedience covers his entire Torah-submissive life, and not just his wilderness temptation and his death on the tree (Phil.2.8). Vv.17-19 explain things that were already touched on above.
Vv.20-21 – ‘that the offence might abound’ is talking about our awareness and recognition of the offence we have brought against Y’hovah. But his grace is super-abundantly above our ability to offend him. Because that grace is MUCH more weighty than our sin, we have eternal life through the atonement of Yeshua. Q&C
One of the difficulties with (mainstream) Christianity is that it does not present a definition of sin. References are made to “disobeying Elohim,” or “going against the will of Elohim,” but what that means is very much left up to people to decide. Christianity’s various denominations pick and choose what commandments from the “Old Testament” they believe are “applicable” (to their particular doctrines), while they all maintain the teaching that believers are “not under the law.”
This next is from the AENT’s Appendix “Eighteen Misconceptions”
Misconception #3: Under the Torah:
Before showing the obvious New Testament verses on the subject, let us see the word used as “under” in the Tanakh:
They should collect all the food of the good years that are coming and store up the grain under (tachath–תחט) the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. Genesis 41:35
Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and shall say to her, “If no man had laid with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under (tachath–תחט) the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that carries a curse.” Numbers 5:19
As we see here, to be “under” something means to derive authority from it, and this is true not just of the word that I have highlighted in Hebrew here, but several other synonyms translated into English as “under” as well.
Therefore, if we are “under the Torah”, that would mean that we derive authority from the Torah, which is a doctrine never taught in Tanakh:
Y’HOVAH appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for awhile, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My requirements, My commands, My decrees and My laws.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. Genesis 26:1-6
In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to My ordinances. They are to keep My laws and My decrees for all My appointed feasts, and they are to keep My Sabbaths holy…declares the Sovereign Y’HOVAH. Ezekiel 44:24, 27
These are just two of the dozens of other possible examples of this same idea. All the requirements in the Torah are not “Jewish” or even just “for Israel”. Rather, they are Y’HOVAH’s requirements, and it is from Y’HOVAH, and not the Torah, that justification for doing the right things comes from.
In other words, if you just naturally happen to do a ritual commanded in Torah out of blind luck or because it seems trendy or cool, then by the Torah you are not justified. This idea is true even with a foundational requirement, like that of circumcision:
“The days are coming,” declares Y’HOVAH, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh. Egypt, Judah, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.” Jeremiah 9:25-26
Now why is this? Didn’t circumcision justify all these people? According to Jeremiah, the answer is an eerily familiar (can you say Acts 15?) NO! Let’s hear more of this reasoning from some of the other prophets:
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts My soul hates. They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. When you spread your hands in prayer, I will hide My face from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. You hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong and learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:15-17
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the acknowledgment of Elohim rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
With what shall I come before Y’hovah and bow down before the exalted Elohim? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Y’hovah be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does Y’hovah require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your Elohim. Micah 6:6-8
This is also why Abraham comes up as an example in the New Testament over and over again. The message, in each case, is the same. Abraham did a ritual, not because it seemed a nice thing to do, but because he believed the word of Elohim, who instructed him to do it in the first place!
Therefore, justification for Abraham, and for the rest of us, comes in two parts:
1) Hearing and understanding the word of Y’hovah.
2) Taking what Y’hovah has said and manifesting that understanding by following the instructions.
Neither faith nor works alone is sufficient. Works without faith shows a lack of understanding the Torah, and faith without works, as Ya’akov Ha Tzadik says, is dead.
So, what is it then to be “under the Torah”? Well, put simply, “under the Torah” is not something that happened during Messiah’s time, but is a false teaching that has been rampant from the beginning of time.
For example, in Genesis 4, Cain and Abel give offerings to Y’hovah. It has been a common misconception though that Cain’s offering was not accepted because it was from grain, whereas Abel gave meat. The fact is, both grain and meat offerings were deemed acceptable under the right circumstances, (Exodus 29:41, Leviticus 2:1, 5:13, 6:14-15, many others).
Instead, Y’hovah rebukes Cain this way:
Then Y’hovah said to Cain, “Why are you downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7
In a sense, Cain thought he was “under the Torah”, or that by simply going through the motions of the ritual he would be justified. However, since Elohim knew his heart, He did not accept Cain’s offering.
Similarly, the Pharisees had also fallen into this trap, which is why the Immerser says:
“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones Elohim can raise up children of Abraham.” Matthew 3:7-9
Now, obviously Yeshua’s frequent rebukes on this same idea hardly need to be laid out exhaustively here. It is enough then to simply say that the Immerser did not want the Pharisees to boast in rituals or lineage alone, but actually to turn their hearts towards Y’hovah and admit their sins. With these thoughts in mind, let’s look at some more familiar verses on this idea:
For all who have sinned without the Torah will also perish without the Torah, and all who have sinned under (tachyt–תחיט) the Torah (thinking they derive justification by Torah’s authority and not by Y’hovah’s), will be judged by the Torah . Romans 2:1221
To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under (tachyt–תחיט) the Torah, as under the Torah though not being myself under (tachyt–תחיט) the Torah, so that I might win those who are under (tachyt–תחיט) the Torah, to those who are without Torah, as without Torah, though not being without the Torah of Elohim, but in the instruction of Messiah, so that I might win those who are without the Torah. 1 Corinthians 9:20-2122
If the word תחיט (tachiyt) looks familiar, it should. It is simply the Aramaic cognate of the word תחט that was referenced at the beginning of this section. Therefore, “under the Torah” really means “to derive justification from the authority of Torah and not from Y’hovah.” Let me repeat that, “under the Torah” really means “to derive justification from the authority of Torah and NOT FROM Y’HOVAH.”
For the sake of completeness however, let us check the other places where “under the Torah” appears:
But when the fullness of time was come, Elohim sent forth His Son who, born of a woman, became subject (tachyt–תחיט) to the Torah. Galatians 4:4
Now, except for substituting non-sacred names, this is the way George Lamsa reads the verse, and I must say, I heartily agree with him. Instead of merely rendering תחיט “under” again, Lamsa has correctly surmised that תחיט can read better as “being subject to the Torah”, which is an efficient way of bringing on the Tanakh understanding of תחט as referring to the power of various authorities. In this case the woman is subject to the Torah pronouncement that all of us are under sin. It is not the Torah itself that is sin though (Romans 7:12) but rather that the Torah tells us what sin is (Romans 7:7-9). Let’s continue this thought a little further then:
To redeem those who were under (tachyt–תחיט) the Torah, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:5
In this context, the message Rav Sha’ul gives here is that the proper understanding of Torah by Gentiles grafts them into Israel. This is why he says elsewhere:
Do not be arrogant, but be afraid, for if Elohim did not spare the natural branches (Jews who did not follow Torah), He will not spare you either. Romans 11:21
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that is done in the body by the hands of men)– remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah. Ephesians 2:11-13
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have this verse proving once again that the Torah itself is not the problem:
Tell me, you who want to be under the Torah, do you listen to the Torah? Galatians 4:21
Q&C End of Shabbat Bible Study for April 16, 2016