Shabbat Bible Study for August 13, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 1 Sabbath 19
Genesis 22:1-24 – Isaiah 33:7-22 – Psalm 17 – Mark 11:1-33
Gen.22.1-14 – ‘After these things’ = after Avraham had ‘sojourned many days in the land of the Plishtim’. Many days can mean a few weeks or months or years. In this case it’s probably, according to the rabbis [with whom I agree], about 37 years, as ‘the lad’ was big enough to carry the whole burden; wood, knife, and etc.; up the mount and wise enough to ask the questions he asked. KJV says Elohim tempted Avraham, but we know he TESTED Avraham for Y’hovah tempts no man (Jms.1.13). The Hebrew word is נסה nacah – to test, assay or prove. Y’hovah was ‘proving’ Avraham after 37 years of absolute faithfulness.
When Y’hovah proves us, he is not necessarily proving us to himself, but proving us to OURselves. When we are tested and remain faithful to him throughout the test, wavering not a bit in our obedience, WE know that we are his and that it is HE who has shown it to us, performed it in us and in whom we can continue to trust.
Y’hovah called out to Avi, and he said ‘Behold my life.’ I think he was giving his life to Y’hovah in anything he wanted Avi to do, as that’s what the Hebrew letters הנני seem to signify to me. So Y’hovah tests that. What is more Avraham’s life than Yitzhak? By this time, Avraham’s and Yitzhak’s lives were bound to each other, and Avraham would as soon kill himself as kill his son. That is why I think Y’hovah chose this particular test.
And, as it was in 21.3, 4, and 12-14, so it was here. Avraham obeyed as soon as he was able, next morning, and bound the wood (trees? – the Hebrew word is eytzim) on his son’s back and the fire and knife in his own hands and off they went with 2 of Avraham’s servants to the mountain of Moriah. There is great significance and connection to every detail that’s in this passage to the offering of Yeshua on his tree. Let’s see the connections (some more obvious than others):
1) Avraham saddled his ass, as Y’hovah had done when Yeshua entered the city on the 10th of the 1st month as the Lamb of Elohim,
2) Avraham took 2 young men with him and Yitzhak, as Kefa and Yochanan (or perhaps Yehudah and Ephraim) had accompanied Yeshua,
3) he prepared the trees for the offering, as Y’hovah did for Yeshua’s tree,
4) Avraham bound the trees to Yitzhak’s back as Abba had Yeshua carry his own torture stake to Moriah,
5) Avraham carried the knife and fire to perform the offering, as Y’hovah offered his own son,
6) Yitzhak questioned his father as Yeshua questioned his the night before his death,
7) Avraham bound his son as Yeshua was bound to the tree,
8) Yitzhak submitted willingly to his father as Yeshua submitted willingly to HIS Father,
9) Avraham picked up the knife as Yeshua’s Father had allowed Pilate and the Sanhedrin to whip him and drive the nails into his hands,
10) Avraham saw the Ram caught in the thicket by the horns of his head as Yeshua had worn the thorns of the same species of thicket woven into a thorny crown
11) Avraham called the place Y’hovah provides as he provided that ram as substitute for Yitzhak and Yeshua as a substitute for our lives
12) after 3 days Avraham and Yitzhak returned to the young men as if from the dead, as Yeshua returned to Kefa and Yochanan and the rest of the disciples from the dead.
Avraham had considered his son dead the moment Y’hovah told him to offer him. But Avraham knew that this was the promised seed and that 1 of 2 things had to occur;
1) Y’hovah would stop Avraham from killing Yitzhak, or
2) Y’hovah would raise Yitzhak from death.
And so 3 days after the command was given and Avraham’s son was as good as dead, Yitzhak began his journey home with Avraham.
There has been speculation that Yeshua was not offered on Mt. Moriah, but on the Mount of Olives. If that is the case, this story has no need for that particular detail. Why is Yitzhak the type offered on Moriah if the anti-type is to be offered on Olivet? This makes no sense to me. Why did Y’hovah specify Moriah if type and anti-type are not type and anti-type? The theory goes that the veil rending was visible to the action, but I don’t see that as necessary to the gospel accounts. Yochanan had friends among the priests, so he could have gotten first-hand info from them about the veil rending. Q&C
Vv.15-24 – After Y’hovah stopped Avraham from striking his son and revealed the ram to Avraham, the next thing he told him was that he was restating the Covenant he’d made all those years before. He would bless the earth with Avraham’s seed, he would make his seed as the stars and the sand, and that his seed would own all that his enemies would build – all due to Avraham’s obedience. Avraham had no misgivings nor did he question Y’hovah about these promises. He knew beyond doubt that they would come to pass in Y’hovah’s time.
So they returned after 3 days, as he’d told his young men, and they all returned to Beer-Sheva – the well of the seven. And afterwards, word came of his brother, Nachor’s, multiplication in Assyria. Nachor is derived from Heb. נחר, meaning nostril or snorting. It could be that when Avram left his father’s house and inheritance to follow Y’hovah that Nachor had snorted derisively. Nachor’s sons were gutz עוצ, meaning counsel or plan, Buz בוז , meaning contempt springing from pride and wickedness, K’muel קמואל, meaning in front of El, Chesed כשד, meaning Chaldee, Hazo חזו, to see or perceive, Pildash פלדש, meaning (I think) separated from the green shoot, Yidlaf ידלף, meaning he shall weep, and Bethuel בתואל, meaning separate from Elohim.
So could the names given here and taken in their order mean ‘planning in prideful contempt in Elohim’s face, the Chaldean perceives he is separate from the green shoot [Mashiach] and weeps because he knows he will be destroyed of Elohim?’ I am not sure, but I know those names are given to us for a reason, that they mean something and I merely attempt to make heads or tails of them. No absolutes here folks, merely an attempt at making them make some sense. Nachor’s concubine’s kids names all deal with being slaughtered and offered. None are a part of Mashiach, the green shoot. Only Rivkah was redeemed of B’thuel’s immediate offspring is how I read this. And Lavan is not named here. Q&C
Is.33.7 – I think perhaps the haftarah is dealing with the last part of the Torah portion, Nachor’s less than highly esteemed offspring whose names seem to evoke contempt for Y’hovah and his tzedikah. The most valiant of Nachor’s male progeny, Lavan, isn’t even mentioned and the rest seem worthless individuals, if they lived down to their names. The valiant are STILL outside Yisrael, never having been INside the camp, and so weep at their plight, even as those who love them from INside the camp gnash their teeth at the knowledge that members of their physical families will not see life. When Yeshua was met by the Centurion on his way to raise Yair’s [Jairus’] daughter from death, he marveled at the Centurion’s knowledge of who Mashiach was
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. (Matt.8.10-13)
The Edomite Roman Centurion was declared faithful and the leaders of the Yehudi religion who lived in their own ways, were relegated to outer darkness; eternal exile from Y’hovah’s light and truth, because of their faithlessness. Nachor and his sons had had the witness of his brother Avraham to the truth of Y’hovah and the futility of worshipping other elohim. Q&C
Psalm 17 – V.1 could almost be a prayer of Avraham from our Parsha today. I do not think he was very happy about the prospect of killing the object of his covenant with Yhwh, his firstborn and only son by the wife of his youth, born under absolutely miraculous circumstances. He had an older son, but that was by a concubine/servant and not an ‘honest to GAW-AWD’ wife. There is no doubt that Avraham loved his son Ishmael, but it is not so certain that he loved his wife’s maidservant, Hagar, and I am more than certain that he held Yitzhak as the more beloved, mainly for his wife’s sake.
In v.2 can be seen another allusion to David praying Avraham’s prayer after him. He wants his prayer to be the same as Yhwh’s heart and mind. The word translated as ‘equal’ in KJV is H3474, meyshar, meaning ‘the same, in agreement, aright’. I assume David was going through something like what Avraham was, perhaps Psa 17 is written during the Absalom incident.
V.3 is a direct tie-in to the Torah parsha, where Yhwh proves Avraham after 37 years of absolute faithfulness. Q&C
Mark 11.1-33 – What follows is from my book, The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective, based on the Harmony of the Gospels, Tree of Jesus Life in the Thompson Chain Reference Bible.
183). Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, (Mat.21:1-11, Mk.11:1-11, Lk.19:29-44, Jn.12:12-19, 6th day, late afternoon, 9 Abib) – The triumphal entry is what it’s called by the church. But Yeshua was not entering in triumph, really. Rome’s generals entered the city in triumph after a great series of battles and came to demand the people accept them as their king. He will come in absolute triumph when he returns as the King of the Universe to exercise the vengeance of Y’hovah on the kings of the earth. He came humbly into Jerusalem, seated on an ass, as the Lamb of Elohim on the very day the High Priest, Caiaphas, had gone down to the sheepfold in Bethlehem to pick out the Official Passover Lamb for the nation. It is probable that he entered the city ahead of the High Priest, since the greeting he got was the one that, for generations, had been reserved to the lamb brought by the High Priest. “Hosheannu! Hosheannu b’Shamayim!! in the highest! Baruch haba b’shem Y’hovah! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of Y’hovah! Hosheannu! in the highest!” Hosheannu is Aramaic/Hebrew and means, ‘Save or Deliver us now!’ The reason this was not really a triumphal entry is that the majority in the multitudes were asking for political salvation, not spiritual. For it to have been a triumph, they would have had to accept his offer of the Kingdom of Heaven. They wanted David’s kingdom and the physical, political glory that went with it, not Mashiach’s Kingdom and the Spiritual life that comes with it. Of course, the 2 will be one under King Mashiach.
His entry on the 10th day of the month of Spring, 6th day evening, was a scouting expedition. Mark tells us that after all the folderol, he looked around and left the city for Bethany, presumably Martha, Miryam and Eliezer’s home, at the foot of the Mount of Olives.
Yochanan tells us that there was a multitude in Jerusalem for the purpose of keeping the Feasts of Pesach, Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzoh), and Early First Fruits (Hag haBikkarim). All of these feasts occur in an 8 day period, during which Yeshua completely fulfilled every one of them. We will discuss them as we come to them. Much of the multitude had come for two other reasons, at least. 1) to see this Rabbi everyone was talking about who had raised Lazarus [Eliezer] from the dead, and 2) to see Lazarus, who HAD been dead but was raised from death by this Rabbi. Some were curiosity seekers, others were really believers in Mashiach ben David, of whom most would turn against him when he refused to knuckle under to the great temptation of wiping the Roman soldiers off the face of the land and TAKING his Kingdom by force. A few were there to witness their redeemer, the Mashiach ben Yoseph in the flesh. We are blessed to have a Saviour who, though a man, had the Ruach of Y’hovah in its fulness. He was able to keep the big picture in mind and defer his gratification to the will of Avinu b’shamayim our Father in heaven. As a fallen man, I would have succumbed to the temptation and resorted to force. Patience is truly a virtue of which I have very little knowledge. Fortunately for us, Y’hovah is constantly proving his patience with us, as we run blindly toward our desires without waiting on his timing, like Avraham until Sarah conceived a son.
The Pharisees didn’t much like the tumult, or the stealing of the high priest’s thunder that was going on, even if he was a Sadducee. They said to Yeshua, ‘shut these people up! The priest is coming with the lamb and they’ve already celebrated his entry.” Yeshua said, “If I shut these people up, the very walls of the city would holler praises to Y’hovah.” Of course, this just ticked the Pharisees off even more. Mainly because, in their heart of hearts, they knew he was right.
Yeshua’s prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem has yet to be completely fulfilled. He said that not one stone would be left upon another, but the Western wall of the Temple mount still stands. The ultimate fulfillment is yet future, I believe in the very NEAR future. The total destruction of the city will occur during the ‘time of Ya’acov’s trouble’. AntiMashiach (who is not against Mashiach, but a false Mashiach, cf. Mat.24) and his hordes will trample the city under foot. It will be this total destruction that will cause the houses of Yehudah and Ephraim to cry out to their Elohim; Y’hovah Tzavaoth, Y’hovah of hosts; who will hear their cry and come swiftly to redeem them. It will be then that they’ll look upon him whom they’ve pierced, and realize they killed their Mashiach 2000 years before. They’ll realize the folly of their reliance on tradition above scripture, they’ll repent and turn to him in faith that he can and will redeem their land and their city and their souls. And he will. Q&C
184). Cursing the fig tree (Mat.21.18-22, Mk.11.12-14, 20-26) – The fig trees in Yisrael have as many as 3 crops every year. The first crop is ready for harvest in July/August; the 2nd in Oct/Nov; and the third, if there is one, in Mar/Apr. The fig crop that sometimes comes in Spring is called ‘untimely’ because it is not a crop they rely upon. The untimely figs develop on the tree before the leaves, so it is reasonable to assume that if a fig tree has leaves in spring, it is ready to harvest.
This fig tree had all the trappings and appearance of being ready to harvest, but had no fruit. It pictured Yisrael’s ‘form of godliness’, but also it’s denial of the ‘power thereof’. We ought to take this lesson to heart in our own lives. Do we go through all the motions of playing ‘church’ but live after the flesh? When Yeshua comes to physically redeem and rule his Kingdom, will he find fruit on our tree? Will he find faith on the earth (Lk.18.8)?
No! The believers who saw the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Mat.24.15) will have departed the pattern in J’lem. Those that are left after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble that follows his appearing (and it will not be many) will call on Y’hovah for deliverance, but have no idea in whom they are relying until he actually steps foot on the Mount of Olives and they realize their sin in rejecting their Mashiach. After he redeems them anyway, despite their lifelong rejection of him and the time it took for them to call on him, they will exercise faith in their Mashiach ben David, who will rule them from David’s throne for 1000 years.
The fig tree withering in a day is illustrative of how quickly his judgment is visited on those who will not follow him. When I say quickly, I do not mean it will follow necessarily in rapid succession after the refusal to follow. Y’hovah is slow to act on his anger, allowing the vials to fill before pouring them out (Rev.15-16). The time it takes for the vials to fill is the time we have to repent and have peace with our Elohim. If we allow them to fill, there will be no room for any more wrath and the bowl will have to be poured out. This will be done immediately as the vial is filled to overflowing. This may take years in our reckoning. But when the judgment comes it will be sudden, quick and complete.
It is therefore obvious that Y’hovah’s wrath over the play-acting of the Jews was full. The Jews, by which I mean the political leaders of the religion in Jerusalem, like us, always – I repeat, ALWAYS – relied on their own righteousness, or a pagan god to get them through any scrape, and it was only when they saw that they could not prevail by their own wits or actions that they resorted to Y’hovah. Jer.14 & 15 are illustrative of this point. Y’hovah was tired of their play-acting, mouthing words of repentance while still harbouring their iniquities in their hearts.
In Ex.19-32 we see another illustration. In Ex.19, Yisrael had accepted the covenant that Y’hovah offered. In the next few chapters they confirmed the covenant 3 more times. I would like you to notice that Ex.20-24 took place over a period of ONE DAY. Y’hovah had laid out the covenant requirements in Ex.19.3-6, to which Yisrael agreed in vv.7-8. Y’hovah then laid out the rules in Ex.20-23 and gave them a chance to rescind the covenant, but Yisrael accepted once again in 24.3. Then Moshe wrote down the covenant on paper and prepared a peace offering of blood of bullocks, placing 1/2 the blood in basins and 1/2 on the altar. Then he read the newly written book, Torah’s covenant, to Yisrael and gave them yet another opportunity at recision, but they agreed a third time. Well, as the saying goes, ‘Three’s a charm.’ That was when Moshe sprinkled the blood of the covenant on the people. Only then did the marriage supper commence. It took place on the plateau on the sides of Sinai, or possibly in the throneroom of heaven itself, on the sapphire sea as clear as glass (Rev.4.6), with Moshe, Aharon and his sons, and the elders of Yisrael (75 men, cf. Acts 7).
The Jews of Yeshua’s day (the leaders of the religion in J’lem) had filled the vial of Y’hovah’s wrath and the covenant they refused to follow was about to be renewed with Hebrews who would follow it, later to be joined by multitudes of Gentiles.
This is the covenant that was renewed in the blood of Yeshua. The covenant has not changed, it’s provisions are the same. We agreed to them when we yoked ourselves to Yeshua, when we decided to follow him and became his bride, as Yisrael had agreed to them when they decided to follow Y’hovah and became his bride.
Only after Yisrael had made the golden calf (Ex.32) was the trespass offering established, and that not for many days or months, for there was no trespass for which they could be guilty until after the covenant was established and subsequently broken. The sin offering was for unknown or inadvertent sins (Ex.29.14 – first mention, Lev.4.1-3 – definition) while the trespass offering was for knowing, presumptuous sins (Lev.5.5-6 – first mention & definition). The trespass offering is the basis of the ceremonial laws, the ordinances that were added as shadow pictures to lead them to a knowledge of Mashiach and the atonement he would provide. He is the fulfillment of the trespass offering, as well as the sin offering. This was the ‘law’ to which they were yoked, the one that was ‘added because of transgressions (trespasses) till the seed would come to whom the promise was made’ Gal.3.19. Once the seed of the woman, the seed of Avraham, came to fulfill the shadow-picture, the shadow was done away with and there is now no need of the sacrifice of bulls and goats to cover our transgressions (trespasses). In fact, resorting to the sacrificial system is now as wicked as it was for the people of Yehudah to resort to the pagan gods of the land (Jer.11) or for the gentile believers to resort to their pagan rituals, the ‘weak and beggarly elements’ of Gal.4.9 (in context). To resort to ceremony to cover our transgressions is to trample the blood of the covenant with which we’ve been sprinkled, the very blood of Yeshua, our Mashiach (Heb.10.29). The substance of which the ceremony was a shadow was completed in the atonement of our Saviour on the cross of Zion’s hill. It was truly ‘finished.’ Any sacrifice for atonement which is or has been offered since the murder of Yeshua is faithlessness, rank paganism and idolatry. Q&C
185). Cleansing the Temple (Mat.21.12-13, Mk.11.15-17, Lk.19.45-46) – Yeshua went into the Temple area and cast out the merchandisers and overturned the tables of the moneychangers. His problem with the merchandisers was not their business, which was necessary, but their exorbitant fees for the less than perfect animals they sold.
His problems with the moneychangers were both their business and their high exchange rates. The priests had come up with a great scam to separate the people from their money. They’d decided that the money used in the real world was not ‘holy’ enough for use in the Temple, so they made their own currency – Temple money. Talk about serving God and mammon! The money changers were robbing the people who had to use the Temple money to purchase the animals for sacrifice at the feasts, in this case lambs of the first year. Then the sellers robbed them again with their high prices for inferior goods. The implication is collusion on the parts of the priests, the moneychangers and the merchandisers. All of this took place in the Temple precincts, which was forbidden in Tanakh
1 Thus saith Y’hovah, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the shabbat from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to Y’hovah, speak, saying, Y’hovah hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith Y’hovah unto the eunuchs that keep my shabbats, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to Y’hovah, to serve him, and to love the name of Y’hovah, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the shabbat from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 Adonai Y’hovah which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. (Is.56.1-8)
8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith Y’hovah. 12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. (Jer.7,8-12 esp. v 11).
All the financial transactions should have been done outside the gates of the Temple. Of course, the ‘Temple’ got a cut of every transaction, and the Edomite priests were in control of the Temple treasury, so the priests felt that the decrees of scripture could be set aside. Very cozy! Thieving swine!
Yeshua had come in the afternoon before and scoped the joint, I think, so he could be efficient in his work this day. He knew how they were set up, how close in proximity they were to each other and went about his business with zeal and relish. I think this had been a thorn in Y’hovah’s side. The sellers of sheep and doves were necessary, for those who lived and worked in cities could not raise their own animals for sacrifice, and those who lived far away might not be able to bring their self-raised offerings. They would have to bring cash and purchase their Pesach lamb. And the sellers, being in business, had to make a profit. But to make an obscene profit was to defile the Temple as well as themselves. The Torah prohibited usury between brother Hebrews as robbery, so this robbery was not a good thing either. I suspect that the priests allowed Gentiles to do these services to get around those laws against ripping off your brother. This is kind of like the tradition of Corban, where the son could deny his parents their rightful care in old age by saying all his wealth is promised to the Temple. It was a ‘wicked’ twisting of the law to further the ends of the religious powers. Y’hovah hates it and so, therefore, does Yeshua. This is a case of righteous wrath. Q&C
186). Healing in the temple (Mt.21.14) – This is the only time that specifically states that Yeshua healed anyone in the Temple itself. He had healed the blind and the lame and the deaf in all kinds of venues, but this is the only time he’d done it in the Temple. Remember, it’s Pesach time and there are Hebrews and proselytes from all over the world in Jerusalem and in the Temple at this time. I’m sure the Marriot Mount Moriah was making a killing on the pilgrimage travelers. There was probably little or no room left at the Super 8, either. This was the perfect time and place to present the offer of the Kingdom to all the believers (Is.56.1-8), for the proselytes were there as well as the native-born. He was fulfilling the prophesy of
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Mal.4.2)
Now, I think this healing took place on the weekly Sabbath, as did the cleansing of the Temple. Yeshua had healed many times on the Sabbath before, and was always condemned by the rabbis for doing work on the Sabbath. They did not understand that the prohibition of work was for us to heed, and that the prohibition related to work in our profession, not to rest from everything that could be construed as work. The Sabbath was to be for us a day of gladness and joy in the grace and mercy of Y’hovah, and study and teaching of the scripture and learning to be more like him. We still need to eat and clear the table and clean the dishes and other necessary things. So there was still a need to work, just not our everyday work.
Yeshua is the Y’hovah of the Sabbath, as he’d told them before (Mt.12.8, Mk.2.28, Lk.6.5). We are not. We would think that turning over the moneychanger’s tables was a type of work, but Yeshua did not make his living overturning tables, at least not physically. In fact, it was only the outward expression of what he’d done for the last 3 1/2 years, turning the Pharisees’ unbiblical doctrine upside down. Now he was healing on the Sabbath before the greeks and proselytes of every nation on the earth – everyone in the Roman Empire would hear of this in very short order. It would soon be heard throughout the empire that what the Pharisees had been teaching as the doctrines of scripture were really the commandments of men (Mt.15.9, Mk.7.7, Tit.1.14). Once it got out that the Pharisees only wanted to control them by their ‘Jewish fables’, their positions would be destroyed, their source of wealth and political power dried up. I think this is the reason they decided that Yeshua had to go now, before Rome got wind of it and sent their armies to take away the Jews’ [political leaders of the religion] authority, and also to put the ‘fear of the Pharisees’ in the people from the rest of the empire. Nicolaitan scum! Q&C
187). Yeshua’s authority challenged (Mat.21.23-27, Mk.11.27-33, Lk.20.1-8) – The Pharisees attempt to ‘turn the tables’ (pun unintended, but funny) on Yeshua. They had probably been up all night trying to figure out how they could get back at him. They decided on a direct approach first – a direct challenge. He’d been challenging their authority for 3½ years now. Remember that this challenge of his authority only came after he’d turned their biggest money maker upside-down – literally! I think they asked this question with great indignation. Not righteous indignation; just indignation.
The 3 accounts are nearly identical and boil down to the Kohanim and the Levites, both Pharisees and Sadducees, asking, “Why should we listen to you? Who gave you the juice to do these things you’ve done?” They were trying to get the people to question his authority, as well. Yeshua verbally blocked, parried and thrust them through in one breath, “Yochanan’s baptism! From Y’hovah? or of men?” In this question he was also answering their question. He said by implication, “Yochanan and I are teaching Y’hovah’s Word while you teach men’s traditions.”
He showed them that their so-called authority meant nothing without the backing of the people, especially since he’d exposed the soft underbelly of the Jews’ false doctrine (‘Jewish fables’ in Tit.1.14) and their attempt to control the people thereby. The ‘just plain folk’ were getting ‘savvy’ to the manipulations of the Jews (the leaders of the Hebrew religion), and those Jews were not happy. They could see by this time that the power and money they’d worked so hard to attain sifting through their fingers like so much sand. They had to do something, and do it quick, before everything they had achieved was lost forever. They would get and take their shot in a few days. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study