Shabbat Bible Study for December 24, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 1 Sabbath 37
Genesis 40:1-23 – Amosh 1:3-15 – Psalm 33 – II Corinthians 9:6-15
Gen.40.1-23 – The king’s personal butler and baker offended Paroh. So he put the CHIEF butler and the CHIEF baker in prison. Paroh’s chief butler is like the president’s chief of staff [CoS]. The chief baker is like the master pastry chef of the White House. Was there some intrigue in the Paroh’s court? Had someone uncovered a plot on his life? Were the personal butler and baker trying to poison him? While the investigation is going on, Paroh puts the Staff members in Egypt’s version of ‘Club Fed’, the ‘house of the Lord High Executioner’ (LHE), Yoseph’s master. What happened to the personal Butler and Baker? Off with their heads would be my guess. I didn’t see it last week, but as LHE, Yoseph’s master would be in charge of the Paroh’s prison system – essentially the Attorney General of Egypt. So, when he put Yoseph in prison, he kept him near at hand so at least SOME of his favor with Y’hovah would accrue to Yoseph’s master – maybe not in his personal business, as before, but in his official business as LHE. So Yoseph’s master put his two peers under Yoseph’s watchful care, whose favor w/Y’hovah would be apparent and look like Yoseph’s master’s doing to these 2 men. If they were ever restored to their positions of authority, Yoseph’s master would have an ally or 2 in the court of Paroh – always a good thing for an ambitious politician. We’ll see how this may have paid off in next week’s Torah Portion.
So Yoseph is appointed servant to these 2 courtiers, where he will have daily contact with them. Does anyone else see the hand of Y’hovah in this? The one who orchestrates the music of the spheres has no problem working all things together for good for those who love him, and who, by Ruach haKodesh, walk after his will.
Yoseph came to work one morning to find his 2 principle charges in a tizzy. Seems they each had dreams the night before that disturbed them. The Chief butler dreamed that he was in a vineyard with Paroh’s cup and that he was squeezing grapes into the cup and then handing it to Paroh. I think this was an easy one to interpret. Simply enough, the dream was prophetic of what the outcome of the investigation would be for him – complete exoneration and return to duty 3 days hence. Can you imagine the feeling that came over the Chief of Staff? From despair to hope in about a split second! I don’t think he dared to actually expect release, but he had HOPE for the first time in almost a year! So Yoseph pleads with the Chief butler, who presumably gets close to Paroh frequently every day, to remember him to Paroh, since Yoseph, like everyone ELSE in the prison, is innocent of any wrong-doing (remember The Shawshank Redemption?).
The Master Pastry Chef, saw how good the interpretation was for the CoS and just KNEW his dream had a similar interpretation, so he said, “What about me?” and related his dream – 3 white baskets full of bread on his head and the birds eating the bread out of the top one. Yoseph gave the interpretation, which was also the investigation’s finding – in 3 days you’re going to lose your head to the LHE. Now imagine the feeling of the Master Pastry Chef. He’d just heard the wonderful news for the CoS and expected the same kind of interpretation for his own dream. He had taken hope in his peer’s dream’s interpretation. But Yoseph told him that, just as in the case of the CoS, justice was going to be done. He was going to hang for his crime of attempted regicide – assassination. [Isn’t it interesting that this passage was our portion on the day after the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination; 11/23/13? We serve an Elohim of Coincidences, it seems.] He went from hope to despair in about a split second. I think he was hoping that Yoseph was full of something other than the truth he knew was going to come to pass. I also think he knew Yoseph’s character by now, as well. He knew he was done for, but still held out hope – a fool’s hope, to be certain – that Yoseph was wrong in his interpretation. But, just as he knew the butler’s interpretation was right, he knew the same about his own. Those were a very unpleasant 3 days for him, I’m sure.
3 days later was Paroh’s birthday. Nothing good is ever the outcome of a king’s birthday party in scripture. Belshazzar’s birthday party ends with the Mede’s breaching the walls of Babylon and Belshazzar dying the death he so richly deserved. (I think he was beheaded.) Ahasuerus’ birthday party ends with Vashti losing her head. Herod’s birthday party ends with Yochanan the Immerser losing his head. Paroh’s birthday party ends when the Master Pastry Chef loses his head. No good thing comes of a king’s birthday party anywhere in scripture. And to drive that point home – the CoS forgot about Yoseph. Q&C
Amosh 1.1-15 – This prophecy can be dated to a 14-year period of time when both UzzYah/AzarYah and Yerovoam II were reigning at the same time, and the earthquake has been estimated to have occurred between 767 and 753 BCE using archaeological and geological evidence. The prophecy was given ‘2 years before the earthquake.’ How did Amosh know there would BE an earthquake 2 years before it happened, unless Y’hovah told him to use this bit of knowledge to validate his bona fides, that his prophecy was from Y’hovah and not from a bad Reuben sandwich. This is from the Wiki article on the Earthquake:
Assuming that the prophecy took place after Uzziah became sole regent in 768/767, Amos’s prophecy can be dated to some time after that and some time before Jeroboam’s death in 753 BCE, with the earthquake two years after that. These dates are consistent with the dates given by the archaeologists above for the earthquake.
Zecharyahu mentions this earthquake, as well (14.5). Earthquakes of any kind are pretty rare in Israel, but this one has been estimated at 7.5-8.2, so it was one that would certainly establish Amosh’ bona fides.
All of Israel’s neighbors are being warned of what’s going to occur if they keep on the way they are. ALL will be judged by fire. Please make note that ALL these neighbors are within the Avrahamic Land Grant; Levanon, Syria, Gaza, Edom and Amman (Jordan). Y’hovah says in each case, ‘for 3 transgressions’, for which, presumably, Y’hovah didn’t bring judgment, but allowed the wrath to accumulate in their vials. But on the 4th transgression the boom gets lowered. In the following chapters we can see that the 3 transgressions are cardinal sins: idolatry, adultery and murder. Each of Israel’s neighbors have somewhat different 4th transgressions; Syria’s is their rough treatment of Gilead (Golan Heights?), Gaza’s is in delivering Israel to captivity in Edom, Levanaon’s is its complicity with Gaza in delivering Israel to Edom and forsaking the covenant they had with Schlomo, Edom’s is pursuing after his brother Israel with the sword, and Ammon’s is in ripping open the women of Gilead to destroy their children and take the land. Does this look at all familiar? It looks to me like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Philistines working to steal Yesha from Israel and deliver it to the Palestinian Authority. Y’hovah sends fire against all but Amman. Amman is where he KINDLES the fire he sends against all the rest of the rest. I think this could be a launch of nukes AT Israel, but the targeting systems get screwed up somehow and hit all the other area capitals. Damascus, Ashkelon, Tyre, and Bozrah are all hit with missiles, while one goes off in Amman on the launch pad. Do I KNOW this? Nope. But it fits the description. The prophecy continues in ch.2 to include Moav, Yehudah and Israel, all getting judged for their transgressions.
Look quickly at Amosh 2.4&5. Yehudah and J’lem are being burned for despising Torah, not keeping his commandments and teaching lies. This speaks of Judaism, as well as the Israeli government.
ARE YOU LISTENING, POLITICAL NATION OF ISRAEL? Y’hovah is calling you to repentance RIGHT NOW! Why do you continue to trust the American government to come to your aid. America’s government is the military arm of the New World Order system! It is neither your friend NOR your ally.
DO NOT TRUST THE USofA! Trust Y’hovah! Q&C
Ps.33.1-11 – This is an acrostic psalm. That means each verse or group of verses begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Ps. 34 and 119 are acrostics as well. This one is also a Messianic Psalm. The whole psalm addresses Moshiach and those who are his. ‘Ye righteous’ = tzadikim. As Yeshua is a tzadik, so those who are found in him are also tzadikim. Did you get that? If you are in Moshiach Yeshua YOU are a tzadik. According to Menachem Schneerson, a tzadik is an intercessor or intermediary between Elohim and man. Your prayers for your brethren and your loved ones are how you intercede with Y’hovah.
Two musical instruments are mentioned in v.2, the harp (nevel), and the psaltery (kinnor), which is a 10 stringed (asowr) instrument. A biblical harp is a stringed instrument with the strings running in line with the body and without a soundboard or resonance chamber. A biblical psaltery also has no soundboard. Harrari Harps makes biblical harps that have 10 or 22 strings. The harp David played, called a nevel, had 22 strings, the same number as letters in the Hebrew aleph-bet. The 10 stringed instrument is called a kinnor. The 10 stringed instrument may be a remez for either 10-Israel or for ordinal perfection. We play a ‘new song’ on our harps and psalteries, as do the 144K in Rev.14.3, as did the 24 elders in Rev.5.9. David has a new song 5 other times and Isaiah once, so this new song will probably be sung in Y’hovah’s presence.
Y’hovah’s word is right and his works truth and he loves righteousness and justice. His justice is based in his righteousness and tempered by his mercy. Y’hovah’s word called all that is into existence and empowered it by his Ruach. Y’hovah Avinu planned his creation, which his Word spoke into existence and animated by his Ruach. When Y’hovah created all there is out of nothing, he did so in a period of 6 days and then he rested from his ex nihilo creation, but not from ALL his creative activity for he is constantly speaking his creation into, not new, but CONTINUED existence. It is the Memra, or Word of Y’hovah that sustains the universe in the same way as when he brought it into being. If Y’hovah stopped speaking, everything – you, me, the earth and the heavens and all that in them is, would cease to exist. His Word is the sustainer – the glue that holds it all together. When he ceases to speak his sustaining/creative Word, the glue ceases to exist and everything will go to its natural state – energy, or light, the building block of all matter. That’s why light energy was his first creation on day one. When he removes his sustaining/creative word, it will all dissolve into energy, which will eventually [I think QUICKLY!] ‘entropize’ (I just coined a new word, which I claim the copyright to and will sell its use for $.50 per use) to absolute quiescence, no difference of potential of any kind, uniform nothingness, ‘without form and void’.
The end of the ‘Big Bang’, which IMO is the source of the “Lake of Fire’, is the return to absolute quiescence, no difference of potential of any kind, without form and void, so that he can recreate with no sin and populate the new creation with his faithful from this creation (that is, the camp of the saints around J’lem for the last Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium) sans their evil inclination/OSN, which Y’hovah expunges as a reward for their faithfulness.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. [Ps.103.12]
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. [YirmeYahu 31.34]
In v.9, David speaks of the creation standing fast. I see this as the strong and weak nuclear forces holding the creation together against the physical laws of electromagnetism. What keeps the protons/neutrons together in the nucleus of the atom when the electrical charges of the protons should make them repel each other? The strong nuclear force. What is it that keeps the electrons from diving into the protons in the nucleus of the atom when their electrical charges are attracting each other? The weak nuclear force. In biblical parlance, the strong and weak nuclear forces are, quite simply, the sustaining Word of Y’hovah. Refusal to see the influence of Y’hovah makes for imaginative ideas to explain the contradictions in nature.
The transcendence/immanence of Y’hovah is seen beginning in v.10, for it is that which explains his omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, at least to me. He knows the purposes and intents in the hearts of all his creation, for he is there, immanent, with them as they plan their conspiracies against him and due to his transcendence he can work against their plans in ways they cannot comprehend, apprehend or even consider. He seldom has to work a ‘miracle’ because he knows what’s coming from before the beginning of creation. He does work miracles, at least to our limited understanding. He sees all of creation’s time, space and matter at once because of his transcendence. It’s an apparent contradiction to our finite minds and lives. It is simple to him because he is ever living, eternal. He is in all places and all times all at once. Immanent/Transcendent. Q&C
Vv.12-22 – When America’s Elohim was Y’hovah, she was blessed. He chose America to be a light to the world. When she left off worshipping him, she began to experience his judgment, even as Israel did, first in gentle nudges, then little shoves, then in greater and greater catastrophes, all with the purpose of getting her to repent and return to obeying him. Y’hovah has maybe one nerve left, and America is dancing on it. His wrath is about to be poured out on America and especially on her churches/synagogues and their pastors and rabbis who have NOT given warning to their flocks about the wolves coming to devour them. Kings are not saved by the power of armies or the shrewdness of their ministers. Kings and kingdoms are saved by the mercy and grace of Y’hovah. He watches and helps those who fear him, who hope in his mercy, not in their own strength. To fear Y’hovah in v.18 is both to fear what he can do to you and to hold him in reverence and awe of what he has both done and promised to do for you. Proverbs 9.10 and Psalm 111.10 both say that the fear of Y’hovah = the beginning, or source, of wisdom:
10 The fear of Y’hovah the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do: his praise endureth for ever. [Ps.111.10]
10 The fear of Y’hovah the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy understanding. [Prov.9.10]
Look at the illustration of the Tree of Sephiroth. The center pillar of that tree; Moshiach, the Son of Elohim; is the combination of the 2 outer pillars; Abba Y’hovah and Ima Ruach haKodesh; working in us. According to Prov.9.10, knowledge of him who alone is Kadosh is likened to fear of Y’hovah as wisdom is likened to understanding Elohim, so the fear of Y’hovah and knowledge of Elohim are works of Moshiach in us. Fear of Y’hovah will cause us to want to do what he wants us to do, so we can both have his rewards and avoid his judgments. And that, in its turn, is wisdom. Since when does fear = hope? When we fear Y’hovah. That is when he will deliver us from death and keep us alive through the famine.
And that famine is coming physically very soon in America. Sadly, it has been here spiritually for a very long time; since, as a nation, we started walking contrary to his will and going our own way. We have LOTS of folks in churches and synagogues every week [and less and less every week, as well], but very few who actually walk out the faith they profess. Now we are nearly at the end of our residual blessings for the faithfulness of our past. He is about to visit severe judgment on us, unless we have as severe a vival (spiritual quickening that only Y’hovah Elohenu can perform). America does not need a REvival. That would presuppose that there is life there to awaken. America needs a VIVAL, because it has become a spiritual corpse. And let me warn you that even if we DO have a vival, it will be a mere bookmark in the decline towards the tyranny of haSatan that will only last as long as we stay faithful to Y’hovah. As soon as we start after our own ways again, the judgment will be swift and conclusive. Look to Israel’s history for proof of what I say. In Israel’s kingdom history, there was great blessing for the faithfulness of David and the great works of Schlomo. But as Schlomo and Rehovoam started walking contrary to Y’hovah, they started having problems amid their blessings. Schlomo’s idolatry cost his son 10 tribes and more than ½ his territory. And it got worse as time went on. There were revivals periodically, but there were blessings in abundance only when the righteous king ruled. As soon as a wicked king took his place, the decline continued apace from the spiritual place where the revival began. And the decline got quicker with each lapse of faithfulness. Such is the fate of America.
America has been in steady spiritual decline since the 1840s, with brief revivals as godly men came to power in the government. But our last bookmark was during the Reagan administration – not that it was perfect, but Reagan was a godly enough president that Y’hovah slowed the decline. We have been going more and more quickly down the toilet to the sewer until we are at this point whence we may never climb back out. And the fault lies in the hearts and actions of myself and the people listening to me now, because we all know better and have refused or been inadequate to stop it. We have been inadequate only because we’ve gone in our own strength and not in Y’hovah’s. It is time for US to repent and turn to Y’hovah and call on him for his deliverance. We need to call out, ‘Hosheanu, Y’hovah! Save us NOW, Y’hovah.’ And we need to do it regularly – every time he brings it to our thoughts, every time we see and understand the condition our nation is in.
THEN we’ll be able to echo what David says in the last 3 verses of our Psalm;
20 Our soul waiteth for Y’hovah: he, our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O Y’hovah, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
Remember that ‘as’ means exactly the same and ‘hope’ means ‘earnest expectation of a thing promised’, so ‘as we hope’ is how Y’hovah’s mercy will be upon us. Q&C
2Cor.9.6-15 – MAN! Where’s Freeflow Dollar when we need him? This passage is right up his alley! This passage is a source of MOST of the apostasy in the church over the last 40-50 years, because the thing is taken WAY out of context and seems to be a Pauline ‘prosperity gospel’. The subject has been the offerings for the poor (ch.8) in J’lem. He had just made mention of the poor folks in Macedonia almost FORCING him to take their offerings for the poor in J’lem. The Macedonians were HAPPY to provide for the need in Jerusalem.
Look at v.1! Is there anything there about giving your money to the local church or the pastor? What was Paul’s normal practice? Did he demand offerings from the people he ministered to? Look at Acts.18:
1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Paul made tents, possibly tallitoth, or portable prayer tents – definitely not ‘nomad tents’. IOW, he earned his own keep. He stayed in their home and contributed to the family’s need. Paul did not charge money for teaching Y’hovah’s Word. That is NOT to say that he would not accept a freewill gift to help him on his way, but he did not expect his talmidim to supply his own need. He knew their heart was to help in the ministry he had to the believers elsewhere in the world.
The offerings he took up were not for himself, but for the Netzari widows and orphans in J’lem. Did you notice in Acts18 that his hosts had recently been thrown out of Rome? The persecution of Jews in Rome had begun and they escaped by the skin of their teeth. How long would it be before the same persecution made its way to Corinth? The Jews, the political leaders of the Hebrew religion in J’lem, were withholding food and support portions from the Netzari poor, contrary to Torah (Acts 6.1, 2Cor.8). He was telling the Corinthians that if they gave as Y’hovah led them to provide for the needs of the poor saints in J’lem, they could expect other believers to provide for their needs, if the need arose. He is NOT telling them that God wanted them to be rich! The only thing Yeshua promised his followers was necessary food and clothing – not even a roof over their heads.
Paul commends them for their cheerful gifts to the needs of the poor by showing forth the grace of Y’hovah that worked through them and explains that they are already reaping bountifully because the poor widows in J’lem were praying for the people who were providing their need. The poor knew the economic condition of their benefactors, the men of Corinth were quite wealthy, especially by comparison with themselves, and they prayed for the continued economic blessing on them and the continued liberality of their benefactor’s gifts, not only to themselves but to the poor among the Corinthians, as well. From what I read in this passage, Paul was teaching them the mitzvah of providing for the widows and orphans, and also teaching the widows and orphans of the mitzvah of praying for their benefactors. There is no hint of jealousy here – just a real thanksgiving for Y’hovah’s provision through these wealthy Corinthians, and supplication for their continued prosperity.
Many of you helped to provide for my needs when I was smacked in the head with a tree in March of 2010, both in prayer and in deed, and for that I have been and am truly thankful to Y’hovah and I sincerely hope [have an earnest expectation] that you all had a wonderful and Thankful Thanksgiving, as well as a joy filled Hanukkah [if you observe, it beginning at sundown today]. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study