Shabbat Bible Study for April 9, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Genesis 1:1-2:3 – Isaiah 2:5, 45:7 – Psalm 1 – Colossians 1:1-23
B’reishith 1:1-2:3 – V.1 B’reishith bara Elohim et hashamayim v’et haAretz. I believe, along with a LOT of actual Hebrew scholars and rabbinical sages, that if we could fully understand just this one 7-word verse of scripture, we would need to know nothing else, as it contains all the Torah and prophets within it. In the pashat level of understanding, it is the thesis statement of the chapter on the ex nihilo [out of nothing] creation, and can be taken as such for the entire Word of Y’hovah. Every good piece of literature mentions its thesis statement in the first paragraph or sentence. The thesis is the overarching purpose for the author writing the thing in the first place. The very first word of Torah tells us the purpose for Y’hovah’s Creation. What follows is not exclusively of my own authorship. I am basing this on an Eddie Chumney teaching on the word b’reishith and adding my own observations to it.
The first word, B’reishith, begins with an enlarged ‘Beth’. Irregular letters have been placed in the text to call our attention to them; they have a special purpose and we should be circumspect and diligent to see what it is. The letter ‘beth’ is a pictograph that represents a house, and the word ‘beit’ means ‘house’, as in BethLechem, ‘House of Bread, or Food’. So we can deduce from this enlarged ‘beth’ that Y’hovah wanted to build a large house for his people and for himself to live in on the earth. He is accomplishing this spiritually through the redeemed nation of Yisrael and he shall accomplish it physically in the New Earth in which his Righteousness [Y’hovah Yeshua, the Tzadik Rebbe] will dwell physically among his people.
The first 2 letters are beth and resh, which spell the Aramaic word bar, meaning ‘son’. Since the letter beth, a house, is a part of both the Hebrew and Aramaic words translated ‘son’, we can deduce that Y’hovah wanted to build his spiritual house in his Son, Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach. In the Hebrew marriage, the ketubah was entered into at the time of betrothal and the son then went to his father’s house to prepare a home for his wife, which is what Yeshua is doing as we study today.
The 1st 2 letters, beth and resh, plus the last 2 letters, yud and tav, form the word brith, which means covenant. From all this we can deduce that Y’hovah was building a house in his Son by way of a covenant. Y’hovah has established at least 6 covenants with men; the 1st in time was with Adam, the 2nd was with Noach, the 3rd with Avraham, the 4th with physical Israel at Sinai, the 5th with David, and the 6th with redeemed Yisrael in Jer.31.31-34. None of these covenants abrogate any previous covenant, but each successive covenant adds to the ones before. OUR part of each covenant is obedience. But in each covenant, Y’hovah takes on more responsibility to help us keep our part, until he finally expunges our inclination to evil (what Xianity designates as OSN) so that we will no longer want to sin.
By leaving off the enlarged beth we’re left with the word reishith, which means beginning or first. So, by all of these things taken together we can deduce that Y’hovah wants to build a house in his Son by way of a covenant ‘in’ or ‘for the sake of’ the beginning or first. In Schottenstein’s (and Stone’s) Chumash, on pg.3, we see how Rashi derives (seen in Genesis Midrash Rabbah, on 1.4), that “[the world was created] for the sake of [things that are called] the beginning.” Things that are called the beginning are Yisrael, Torah and Mashiach. Yisrael is Y’hovah’s firstborn Son
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith Y’hovah, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (Exodus 4:22)
Torah is wisdom
Proverbs 2:1, 2 My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that you incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
Proverbs 3:1 My son, forget not my Torah; but let your heart keep my commandments:
Proverbs 3:13 Happy the man finds wisdom, and the man gets understanding.
Proverbs 3:18 She [Wisdom] a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy that retains her.
Wisdom created the world
Y’hovah by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:19)
Mashiach is wisdom and Y’hovah’s firstborn
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Mashiach the power of Elohim, and the wisdom of Elohim. (1Cor.1:24)
Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Col.1.15-16)
The Word of Y’hovah created the world, the Word of Y’hovah is Yeshua, and Yeshua is the beginning
6 By the word of Y’hovah were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear Y’hovah: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was; he commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33.6-9)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (Jn.1.1-3, 14 and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father – see Matt.7,2ff, Mk.9.2ff).
This has not been at all exhaustive of the scripture passages that show that Mashiach Yeshua, Torah and Israel can never be fully separated; they are, in reality, echad – One.
End of the exposition of the word B’reishith.
There is another way to see v.1. I said that I see it as the thesis statement of the Word, and that the rest of scripture is the details. Some of the Hebrew sages see it as the material of the creation being created fully and then the rest of Gen.1 as the ordering of that which was created in v.1; like the land having already been formed, but made dormant or hidden under the surface of the waters or the earth, to be ‘brought forth’ (an expression used a few times in ch.1) as Y’hovah progressively revealed new things. I can see this point as having some possible validity, but not to the point of changing my approach. Q&C
Vv.2-5 – Stone’s (and Schottenstein’s) Chumash translates the vav prefix as ‘when’, KJV has ‘and’, which is the most common meaning of the vav prefix, which is pictographically a nail connecting one thing to another; in this case the thesis of v.1 with the first detail given in v.2. Chumash’s translation is “When the earth was astonishingly empty” (v’haAretz haithah tohu v’bohu). The last time we saw the word tohu was when we were discussing the ‘waste howling wilderness’ of Dt.32.10 on 19 March. Since tohu and bohu have similar meanings, it is probably acceptable to translate it this way, but usually when you see a noun used as an adjective/adverb it has repeated itself. I think KJV has the right idea in translating these different but related roots individually as ‘without form and void’. Tohu literally means to lie waste; a desolation. Bohu literally means to be empty; a vacuity. I take this to mean that Y’hovah started with absolute emptiness, like the Chumash says, but the point is driven home more fully by saying, in effect, there was nothing there to form. I mean, how can you form nothingness?
‘The deep’ is literally ‘an abyss’. An abyss is something bottomless, or without depth. In Barberton, Ohio, right in the center of town is a park in which one will find Lake Anna. Lake Anna is reputedly a watery abyss; the bottom has never been found. It was formed by the glacier in the ice age; its near perfectly circular surface is about 10 acres, there is no algae on its surface and the water isn’t leaking out anywhere on the surface, so there MUST be a supply and a drain from beneath, but noone has ever found the bottom, at least by a plumb. Could be that the subsurface flow is fast enough to catch a plumb bob and keep it moving in the stream. Sonar may have found a bottom, but I have never heard of it. To my knowledge, it is a watery abyss.
The ‘deep’ of the yet to be spoken Word of Y’hovah was even emptier, for it didn’t even have water in it. Hamayim or המימ, translated waters, is pictographically 2 mems connected by a yud. The Hebrew pictograph, mem, symbolizes 1]. mighty, massive or many [like the ocean], 2]. chaos [like the ocean], and 3]. to come from [like water down a stream]. מימ is a plural form of the 2 letter root מה mah, which means ‘unknown’, or, the chaos of not knowing what you are beholding. Think of Tim, the Tool Man, saying “Whuh, wuh-HH?!” Utter chaos; No organization; Nothing. There is no surface to nothingness. When Ruach began to ‘move’ on the ‘face’ [אל–פני el-p’nei] of the utter chaos, the next thing we see is:
V.3-5, where physical light was created by the 1st spoken Word of Elohim; ohr, אור, aleph, vav, resh. Y’hovah Yeshua said, “ּLight”, and light is. יהי והר ויהי והר, Y’he ohr, va-y’he ohr. As soon as physical light came into existence, anything that blocked the source of light would create a shadow, an area where the light did not shine in its fulness. Where light is blocked, there is darkness. Darkness has no independent existence. For darkness to exist, there must first be light. Remember that NOTHING existed until Y’hovah Yeshua spoke it into existence. When Y’hovah created light on day 1, that light had no fixed source; light just WAS, emanating from everywhere and there was no shadow. Since he created nothing else until the next day, Y’hovah’s separation of light from darkness was not to see fruition until a subsequent day, even though he declared the separation on day 1. If darkness had independent existence, you could add darkness to absolute darkness and achieve darker darkness. In the same way, cold has no independent existence; if it did, you could add cold to absolute zero (0 Kelvin, -459.67F, and -273.15C) to make the cold colder. That is the temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value. It is the temperature at which thermal energy ceases to exist. It is, therefore, the temperature of pre-creation, for light has thermal and photo energy. Humans cannot achieve absolute 0, much less add cold to it. And what Y’hovah did was to add energy to the nothingness that didn’t exist before his addition of energy as the 1st creation. The energy Ruach added was of a spiritual source that affected the new, physical creation. That energy which affected the physical creation was both light and heat. We will see this again in both verses of our haftarah portion today, as well as the special creation of day 4 when Y’hovah ‘forms the light’. So Y’hovah saw that the light was good and declared the end of Day 1 (see note in Schottenstein’s Chumash, pg.3). An interesting note: Elohim created light on the 1st day, and on the 4th day he placed all the organized lights in their places in the heavens.
Vv.6-8 – Rashi says that the waters were begun on the 2nd day, but were not completed until the 3rd day, and that is why the 2nd day is the only day whose creation was NOT called ‘good’. Also, waters symbolize peoples and nations elsewhere in scripture. The waters were divided on the 2nd day, and division symbolizes strife, which is never ‘good’. I think it is this division that makes the sages think that the angels were created on the 2nd day. The firmament might have been a separation between the angelic hosts of Michael and Gavriel and those of Lucifer/haSatan, if the sages are correct. Interesting note: the waters were created on the 2nd day, and the aquatic animals were created on the 5th. Q&C
Vv.9-13 – On the 3rd day, Y’hovah declared boundaries for the waters beneath the firmament. I referred earlier to some of the Hebrew sages thinking that the stuff of the heavens and the earth were created complete on Day One, but were not put in their proper order until the days in which he placed them there and their purpose was complete. Only then were they declared ‘tov’; good. This is the day that the dry surfaces were created (my position) or revealed (the aforementioned sages’ position). On this day, the seas were given their boundaries across which they could not come (until Y’hovah sent the flood). By doing this, Y’hovah made it possible for the dry to sustain vegetation and air breathing animal life. ‘Hayabashah’ is translated in KJV as ‘dry land’, the italicized word, land is added, as it is in Exodus, where Israel walked across the Red Sea on ‘dry land’. As Elohim did here, he did there. When this land was created, it wasn’t even damp as it arose from the waters that surrounded it, even as when he removed the water from the seabed; Israel did not walk on damp or wet sludge or silt, but their feet and shoes were as dry as Israel in July. V.12 says that when the herbs, grasses and fruit trees sprung up from the ground they were already mature, bearing fruit with its seeds. I infer that the grasses were already aviv and ready to drop seeds and fruits ready to eat or to plant. I think that every life-bearing thing that Y’hovah created was mature and ready to reproduce. I ALSO think that the sea veggies were created on this day in anticipation of the 5th day. Interesting note: Elohim created the ‘dry’ on the 3rd day, and the ‘dry’s’ animals on the 6th day. Am I seeing a pattern, here? That animal life comes 3 days after its medium was created. In the same way, eternal life came to the physically dead body of Yeshua after it was in the grave for 3 days. Coincidence?
Vv.14-19 – On the 4th day Elohim created the ‘luminaries’ in their positions and set them in motion in orbits around their respective ‘zero points’ in space (the sun being the ‘zero point’ of its planetary system and the earth being the ‘zero point’ of its satellite system). AND I think that the luminaries were also created with at least apparent maturity, i.e.; the sun, moon and stars were created in their places complete with light streaming between them and earth, as if they had been in place since however long it would take for the light to travel the distance in between; the sun just a bit more than 8 minutes, the moon about 1.3 seconds, Alpha Centauri about 4 years, and etc. These luminaries were placed in such a way as to be signs to seasons, days and years. As we have seen in previous studies, the seasons are moedim; set apart appointments that Elohim set up during his ex nihilo creation for us to meet with him on a regular basis. These were NOT signs to set apart weeks, but seasons, days and years. The week is set apart by the Shabbats that run on a continuous and contiguous 7 day cycle regardless the beginnings of months, seasons or years. The sun and moon set apart the days and the seasons. The sun and the constellations of stars set apart the years. The sun is the greater great light that rules the day. The moon is the lesser great light that rules the night and the stars are seen in the night, as well. There is NEVER a time on the surface of the earth when there is no visible light, even on an overcast night on the dark of the moon, the stars provide enough light, even through the overcast, to keep the ‘dead dark’ at bay. Even in the middle of the ocean, where no artificial light is visible, it is not totally dark. HaSatan must absolutely HATE it. I think the vegetation that was created on 3rd day began to photosynthesize as soon as the sun was properly placed in anticipation of the animals that would need the nutrients provided by photosynthesis on the subsequent days of Creation. I think that since the angels are likened to the stars in a few places in scripture (a C.S. Lewis theme in his ‘Space Trilogy’ of Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength), that they were created on this day, as well.
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of Elohim shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Elohim: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (Isaiah 14:13)
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (Jude13)
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. (Revelation of John 12:4)
Vv.20-23 – On the 5th day, Y’hovah created the animal life in the sea and air. During the 3rd day, Elohim commanded the earth to bring forth vegetation and on the 5th day he created the animal life that would sustain their lives by eating it. These aquatic and aviary creatures were also created ready to reproduce. In fact, the females may have been created ready to drop young or lay eggs, as the vegetation had been created with fruit already ripe and bearing seed. I think the phrase ‘bring forth’ in v.20 is clarified in v.21 by the phrase vayib’rah Elohim, and Elohim created that which the waters brought forth and the fowls of the air. I think that they are shown here to be parallel phrases; the second elucidating the first. Elohim’s blessing on the aquatic and winged creatures is fruitfulness and multiplicity. Schottenstein’s Chumash has an interesting note on this subject on pg.7. Q&C
Vv.24-31 – On the 6th day, Elohim created land animals and Man. The way it reads in English, the land animals sprouted out of the ground, which is kind of how C.S. Lewis portrays the Narnian creation in his book, The Magician’s Nephew. It makes for a good children’s story, but I don’t think that is really how it happened (though it IS possible …; his thoughts are not our thoughts and his way are not our ways, after all). I think he made each ‘kind’ of life as a special creation; dogs, cats, apes, Man, etc. It IS interesting though, in Lewis’ Narnian view of things, that the composition of the minerals and stuff of our bodies is roughly the same as that of the earth; our bodies are about the same percentage of water as is the surface of the earth and our bodies are healthiest when our mineral content is closest to that of sea water. But I digress.
Elohim made all the ‘dry’ animals in 3 stages; 1) the living beast (chai), which I think may mean the unclean animals, like dogs, cats and other ‘non-offering’ animals, 2) the cattle (behemah), like cows, sheep and such, and 3) the creeping things (remes), like lizards, insects and such (perhaps even the locust, which is declared clean [Lev.11.22]). Each ‘kind’ can reproduce within it’s kind, but cannot outside of its kind, i.e.; a dog and cat cannot produce a cog or a dat, but a lion and a tiger can produce a liger or a tigon and a mare and a jack can produce a mule. Usually, the hybrid is infertile. This is a genetic defense mechanism that Y’hovah built into the system, and which I think haSatan taught men to manipulate with the Nephilim, which we will look at in a bit more depth in 3-4 weeks. Men are now manipulating the genetic structure of various organisms in much the same way in these last days, as I infer Yeshua said we would
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Luke 17:26)
After he’d made all the ‘dry’ animals, he created Man. There were 3 uses of the word created to this point, v.1, v.21 and here in v.27, where the term is used 3 times, as well. In v.26, Elohim had said, ‘Let us make man in our image.’ Some of the sages say that he took counsel with the ‘heavenly Sanhedrin’ of his servant angels. If this is true, He told them he was going to make man as a spiritual being in a flesh and blood body with intellect and understanding, and that this being would be of higher authority than even the Sanhedrin with whom he was counseling. The note in Schottenstein’s Chumash to v.26 (pg. 8) ‘brings forth’ this idea. I think that this revelation of Elohim to his counselors may be what inspired Lucifer to rebel and lead away his host of malachim, haSatan’s ‘angels’, as it were.
Where in v.26, Elohim said, “Let us make”, in v.27 Elohim created Man, created him in his image and created them as male and female. He created both male and female on day 6. What follows the setting apart of the Shabbat for men in Ch.2 is not a different creation than what is recounted in ch.1, but a more in depth look at the creation of Man on the 6th day. Again, the Chumash’s comments are good on v.27.
V.28 is Elohim’s blessing on Man. It is basically the same as his blessing on animal life, but with the addition of his authority and responsibility over the entire Creation of Elohim. This is a positive commandment to procreate and fill the earth with little humans. When we refuse to multiply, we are in violation and bring punishment against ourselves. The wickedness of man’s heart has fully abandoned the blessing of Elohim to multiply, to subdue the creation and rule over it. We are instead attempting to let the earth subdue us through abrogating the commands to subdue and rule the earth and ceding those responsibilities back to the creation.
Most folk see vv.29-30 as a unit, showing that indeed the diet all the creatures of the earth were given was either herbivorous or/and frugivorous. No flesh was permitted to eat flesh until after Noach’s flood, and even then, it was only the clean animals. It is likely, in my opinion, that the Nephillim ate flesh; even human flesh; and that some humans may have started to eat flesh, as well, and that this was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’, bringing the destruction of “the world that then was”.
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (II Peter 3:6)
V.31 has a bit different declaration from 5 of the 1st 6 days of Creation. In 4 of those 5 days [day 2 was where the separation of the firmament came, perhaps foreshadowing the separation of man from Y’hovah Elohenu], the work of them was declared tov, ‘good’, because the individual creations were complete. But when Elohim saw the sum total of his 6 days work, he declared it tov me’od, VERY good, because all things worked together to make something that was even better than the sum total; Elohim had created it and it all worked synergistically; they came together to make something even better and greater than sum of the parts. Y’hovah had taken all the good things he had created and made shalom among and between them.
2.1-3 – The Shabbat was inaugurated on yom hash’viyiy the 7th day, when Elohim declared complete and abstained from his work of creating ex nihilo, out of nothing. He, of course, could not fully abstain from sustaining his creation by the same creative word he had been using, but from that time he has not created any new thing. It is now up to man to create, after a fashion, as Elohim created. We are able to devise new things that to our knowledge never existed before; to make them from the elements he gave us. Cf. the selected portions of the prefatory comments on ch.2 (pg.10). Q&C
Isaiah 2:5 – Of course, the light of Y’hovah, which is naturally spiritual, is Torah and it should define the walk of the believer. But as it relates to our Torah portion, it speaks of the visible light by which we are able to see other physical objects, and which is the initial building block of all the matter that exists, according to Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2, where energy is the product of the mass of the object multiplied by the speed of light squared. So the energy that has been condensed into the body of Mark Pitrone, as of 0745 on 14March2013 was 9.63 x 1016 metric joules, where m = 107kg and c = 300 kps. That translates into terms we can understand as 2.67 TRILLION Kilowatt hours of electrical energy – now you may understand how sci-fi gets the idea of using human bodies as batteries, like in The Matrix movies. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia (it’s GOTTA be true)
Einstein was not the first to propose a mass/energy relationship. However, Einstein was the first scientist to propose the E=mc2 formula and the first to interpret mass/energy equivalence as a fundamental principle from the relativistic symmetries of space and time.
And it seems to work almost universally. Now you might have a better idea of how Moshe was a 120 year old 30 year old when he died on Pisgah in last week’s Torah portion; he had been in the presence of the source of all power for the greatest part of his life and, quite possibly, absorbed so much energy that he actually aged in reverse. By the way, WE cannot convert energy into matter, but all matter is ‘condensed’ [for lack of a better term] energy. If, as I infer from Gen.1.3ff, Y’hovah created light energy and then used that as the basic building block of all the matter in the universe, you might begin to understand the POWER of (and the title of) “the Almighty”.
45:7 – As we said earlier, darkness has no independent existence. Darkness depends on light and matter to exist. Before Y’hovah spoke the word ‘light’, no thing existed except Y’hovah Elohenu. When he created light he also created the potential for darkness, but not the darkness itself. Light just WAS and it was ubiquitous; it had no ‘zero point’ or locality. Before darkness could exist, Elohim had to form the light and place that formed light into specific locations – the fourth day was when that happened. Even though he had made both water and dry on the 2nd and 3rd days, there was still no ‘zero point’ for light and so there was no shadow or darkness.
I know what you’re thinking (because I thought of it, too); “What about there being ‘evening and morning’?” Evening is a reference to time, not necessarily darkness. I know that in our experience, we see evening as the dark part of the day, but before the Almighty localized light, there could be no shadow; light shone from everywhere filling in any possibility of shadow with light. Therefore, ‘evening’ had nothing to do with light and darkness; it was just a time designation. So, when the Almighty ‘formed’ the light into stars and placed the moon where it could reflect the sun’s light in the night, he created darkness because the light now emanated from fixed sources and anything that got between the light source and anything else cast a shadow. Darkness, therefore, is the absence of light and has no independent existence. “I form the light, and create darkness:”
In the same way, evil has no independent existence. When the Almighty created the heavens and the earth during the Creation Week, he declared all his creations ‘good’ and the harmonious operations of all those separate creations were declared “‘VERY’ good” [very means everything that can be said about the thing described]. Everything was working together to show the nature of the Almighty Creator, which is Shalom. Shalom was ubiquitous, as was the light. In the same way that he localized the light to create darkness, he made peace and where anything got in the way of that peace there was evil. When Shalom was made, the possibility of evil was created. This also happened on the 4th day of creation (by my inference), when I believe the angels were created. It was the pride of haSatan/Lucifer that caused the blockage of Shalom, casting a ‘shadow’ of evil on Creation. This can be seen in YeshaYahu 14
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Elohim [angels?]: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation [heavenly Sanhedrin?], in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (YeshaYahu 14.12-14)
I think this happened on day 6 when the Almighty took counsel of the heavenly Sanhedrin about his decision to create man [according to the tradition of some rabbis, which I lean toward accepting because it fits into the facts we know and provides a likely explanation for the origin of evil]. As we discussed before, Lucifer didn’t like the idea of a corporeal/spiritual being of limited intrinsic power being senior in authority and responsibility to himself, and rebelled against the Almighty drawing his host of angelic beings away with him. Evil is not, then, of independent existence, but is created by that which gets in the way of the shalom of the Almighty, casting a ‘shadow’ of evil in the world that was created to be in shalom with itself and the Almighty who made everything as an harmonious whole. “I make peace, and create evil:” Q&C
Tehellim 1 – The man who walks in the counsel of the ungodly, stands in the way of sinners and sits in the seat of the scornful is exhibiting all the attitudes of Lucifer on day 6 of creation when he was among the malachim of heavenly Sanhedrin (to carry on the tradition we saw a few minutes ago). Not only is the Man happy who does not exhibit these attitudes, so is his Adon Y’hovah Eloha, because that man delights in the Torah of Y’hovah and is constantly thinking about it, running it over in his mind so that he will just naturally think Y’hovah’s thoughts after him. The man who is constantly ruminating on Y’hovah’s Torah; recalling it to his consciousness and looking at every angle of it he can construe; is sinking his roots deeply into the soil that is watered by the living waters of the Word of Y’hovah. He will be as Y’hovah’s tree of life, which tree will bring forth life in the form of fruits which will also germinate new life and continue the cycle.
v.4-6 – “Not so the wicked”, says Stone’s Tanakh, “rather like the chaff that the wind drives away.” “Wind” in this verse is from the Hebrew word ‘ruach’. I take that to mean that Y’hovah’s Ruach sends the wicked away from his Torah, which is the tree of life. Remember the Tree of Sephiroth (http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm)? The top tier of it illustrates what Shlomo describes in Prov.3.13-26.
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She [wisdom/understanding/knowledge] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy that retaineth her. 19 Y’hovah by wisdom [chochmah] hath founded the earth; by understanding [bina] hath he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge [da’ath] the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For Y’hovah shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (Prov.3.13-26)
Those who will not humble themselves and accept Y’hovah’s Kingship over them will be driven away as the chaff from the grain as it is winnowed. And the very Ruach haKodesh will do the driving. Ruach knows their hearts, whether they are open to his understanding and wisdom, which constitute both the knowledge of the Eyn Sof, but also the Crown of Mashiach Yeshua.
Because it is Ruach that knows their hearts, and not us, we must keep living Torah before them, making them jealous and desirous of what we have. If they stop associating with us it is not we that they are disassociating, but Y’hovah Yeshua whom we represent. When the judgment day comes, they will be unable to stand before Yeshua, their judge. When they are judged, they will be found wanting and condemned to the lake of fire. It is after that judgment and condemnation that the New Creation will occur and the congregation of the righteous; that is the ‘camp of the saints’ around Jerusalem at the end of the Kingdom when haSatan leads the ultimate Gog u’Magog rebellion, will live in it l’olam va’ed.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of Elohenu into lasciviousness, and denying the only Y’hovah Eloha and Adonenu, Yeshua haMoshiach. (Jude 4)
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from Elohim out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20.7-10)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. (Romans 8:1)
Colossians 1:1-8 – Paul is writing a letter to the believers in Colosse, a town to which he has never been. But he had heard wonderful things about them and decided to write a few words to encourage them in the faith of Mashiach Yeshua. I think that Rav Shaul spoke some Greek, but was not comfortable with it, like he was Hebrew and Aramaic. He had been raised at the feet of Gam’liel in Jerusalem, quite possibly from his early youth, like Samuel had been at Eli’s. It was probable to my mind that Timothy, whose father was a gentile and his mother Jewish, was his amanuensis and translator into Greek. Paul usually had someone with him who was more fluent in Greek to translate his Hebrew or Aramaic original into a better flowing Greek than he thought himself capable of. That, I think, was the reason he always had Silas, Timothy or Luke with him.
He lets the believers in Colosse know that he and Timothy were praying for their growth in the grace and shalom of Y’hovah. I think Paul always blessed his letters’ recipients with Grace and Shalom from Y’hovah. He did in Rom.1.7, 1Cor.1.3, 2Cor.1.2, Gal.1.3, Eph.1.2, and etc. That he is blessing them all with Y’hovah’s shalom tells me that this is a very important part of his message. I believe that it is the gospel in a nutshell that those who have always been at odds with Y’hovah; who had always been his enemies; can have shalom with him through Yeshua and his finished work. Reconcile = make peace.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to Eloha by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Colossians 1:21, 22)
Sha’ul and Timothy praise Y’hovah for the Colossian believers because they had shown fruits of repentance and unfeigned love for the brethren at every opportunity they’d gotten. One reason the Colossians had shown such love for the brethren is their certain knowledge (that is, hope) of the promise that Y’hovah will bless them for it either now or in future.
What is the ‘word of truth of the gospel’?
And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of Eloha, and that the word of Y’hovah in thy mouth is truth. (I Kings 17:24)
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he [Eyn Sof] might gather together in one [Yeshua] all things in Mashiach, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; in him [Yeshua]: 11 In whom [Yeshua] also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him [Eyn Sof] who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his [Eyn Sof’s] glory, who first trusted in Mashiach. 13 In whom ye also, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom [Yeshua] also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Ruach haKodesh of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Eph.1.10-14)
Reconciliation, Salvation and Redemption are all synonymous terms showing the truth of the good news that we, who were once enemies and exiled from him, have Shalom with the Almighty Eyn Sof, even as the creation had until the fall of Adam. If you want to experience that shalom with Y’hovah,
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.(Psalms 119:43)
Study to shew thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)
Put your trust in Y’hovah and you SHALL be saved.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in Y’hovah. (Ps.4:5)
Y’hovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my Eloha, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower… As for Eloha, his way is perfect: the word of Y’hovah is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. (Psalms 18:2, 30)
Y’hovah redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. (Ps.34:22)
Trust in Y’hovah, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed… Commit thy way unto Y’hovah; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalms 37:3, 5)
O Israel, trust thou in Y’hovah: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in Y’hovah: he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear Y’hovah, trust in Y’hovah: he is their help and their shield. (Ps.115:9-11)
They that trust in Y’hovah shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. (Ps.125:1)
Remember that there is no dichotomy (except a false one) between Y’hovah and Yeshua; the Spirit of Yeshua is the Ruach haKodesh of Y’hovah. The only difference is the flesh of Yeshua in which Ruach resides; and we have the same Ruach residing in us, as we are in Mashiach Yeshua. BTW, those last citations of scripture were not even exhaustive of the Psalms, much less the entire Word of Y’hovah. One last citation, from Isaiah, before we move on
Behold, Elohim is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for Yah Y’hovah [exactly what the MT says in Hebrew] is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
Vv.9-17 – Did you notice that Rav Sha’ul is talking about the Tree of Life, about the wisdom, understanding and knowledge that he wishes for the Colossians? He says that when we have chochma, bina and da’ath we will be fruitful in every good work, which means that we walk in Y’hovah’s mitzvoth, commandments. A mitzvah is a good work [the word actually translates as ‘from command’; a contraction of min ts’vah]. We are saved for the purpose of doing good works, or rather, enabling us to do them.
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, [ul’shamrei] and keep [mitzvothi] my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of your selves, it is a gift of Elohim, not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiach Yeshua unto good works [mitzvoth], which Elohim hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
The ‘saints in light’ is interesting in ‘light’ of our previous discussion. Saints are believers, those who have trusted Y’hovah and who are, therefore, in Mashiach Yeshua, who is Y’hovah in the flesh. Light is a metaphor relating to the Word of Y’hovah, which also describes Yeshua in metaphor, as he is the Memra of Y’hovah.
Notice in vv.12-14, it is Abba who delivers us into the kingdom of his Son. Abba, Yeshua and Ruach are all shown to be delivering us in different places in scripture. Yeshua is the physical vehicle whereby we were redeemed through his blood, but it is Y’hovah in that flesh that actually does the redeeming. Yeshua’s flesh, in and of itself, had no more efficacy than my flesh would; Y’hovah residing in the flesh is the difference.
Vv.15-17 is where we see the creative power of Y’hovah in the flesh of Yeshua. Here we see the same idea as we saw in B’reishith 1.26 (b’tzalmenu – in our image). Yeshua was the express image; the exact representation; of Y’hovah. Many had come close in their lives; Moshe, Yoseph, Daniel, et al; but none had been the exact image of Y’hovah. Yeshua, the Son of Y’hovah, is being referenced in
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3)
And the ex nihilo creation was accomplished by the Word of Y’hovah Yeshua’s power, and is sustained by that same power.
Vv.18-23 speak of his ministry as the head of the body, the kahal of believers in all time, beginning with Adam and reaching even to Mark Pitrone and you. Yeshua is the beginning. When most people see ‘in him should all fullness dwell’, they think of the fullness of the godhead, as seen in ch.2
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)
and that is true. But He is speaking specifically of the kahal, the body of Mashiach, so that must also be true in v.19, especially in light of his reconciling all things to Y’hovah in himself.
19 For it pleased [Y’hovah] that in him [Yeshua] should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his tree, by him [Yeshua] to reconcile all things unto himself [Y’hovah]; by him [Yeshua], whether things in earth, or things in heaven. [brackets added]
So all that has been exiled from Y’hovah due to transgressions have been reconciled through the peace made with Y’hovah by Mashiach’s blood shed on the tree. This includes Ephraim, 10-Yisrael, who were once alienated [exiled] from Y’hovah and enemies because of our wickedness. But Yeshua’s finished work has reconciled us to Y’hovah, which gives us Shalom with him.
Vv.22-23 are key verses. Yeshua presents us ‘unblameable and irreproveable’ in the sight of Y’hovah, because we are in Yeshua IF we remain ‘in the faith’. Look back up at Eph.2.8-10 (under vv.9-17). The faith he is speaking of is THAT faith, which is not our own, but the faith of Yeshua. Faith is not referring to a mental belief, but the actions that prove that belief to be real. Yeshua exercised his faith by Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug] and then taking our death upon himself in our stead, thereby making Shalom for us. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible study.