Shabbat Bible Study for February 25, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for February 25, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Exodus 3:1 – 4:17 – Isa. 49:11-19 – Psalm 42 – Rom. 9:1 – 10:1

Links

http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm

Shemoth 3.1-6 – Moshe was watching and tending Yithro’s sheep and led them to the backside of the desert. The ‘backside’ is from Str.#310, achar, literally the hind part, exactly what we mean when talking about the ‘backside’ of a human. We might call it ‘the backwaters’. This was not a nice place, or somewhere that was desirable in the flesh, and why Moshe would lead his flocks there is beyond me. But this is where Y’hovah got his attention, and all that circumlocution I just did may have been Y’hovah’s plan. It wasn’t a place the other shepherds would take their sheep. Maybe Moshe was not about confrontation with the other shepherds for himself like he was while protecting Reuel’s/Yithro’s daughters. Whatever the reason for taking his sheep to what the flesh would consider the least desirable fields, it was what Y’hovah used to communicate to his spirit. 

Chumash has an interestingly speculative prefatory note to vv.2-5. Moshe noticed that a bush was obviously burning, but wasn’t burnt up. When Nebuchadnezzar threw Mishael, AzarYahu and ChananYahu into the furnace bound hand and foot, the only thing that burnt was their bonds, and even they didn’t leave the smell of smoke on them, so this is not an isolated occurrence of the same type of sign or wonder. Y’hovah can do all kinds of stuff to get our attention. That Moshe noticed the sign and turned aside to investigate was what Y’hovah was looking for – someone who could see the contradiction quickly and not just blow it off. Moshe was going to need to see the contradiction between what was usual and what was different, what was intuitive and what was counter-intuitive. When one sees a flame in a bush, one expects to see it consume away. When it doesn’t – that’s counter-intuitive. When Moshe turned aside, Y’hovah used the openness of Moshe’s spirit and mind to go the next step and speak to him as Elohim. Torah doesn’t tell us what Moshe thought when he heard a voice call his name from out of nowhere. All he said was, “Hinayni”. He, perhaps, didn’t see why the one counter-intuitive thing should not produce another, or perhaps he understood immediately that this was a manifestation of his Creator. Hinayni literally means “Behold me”. It seems that Moshe was saying “Tell me what you want me to do”. Then Y’hovah told him to remove his shoes, for the very ground on which he stood was set-apart. Chumash says that in special places, like here on Mt. Sinai and in the Beit haMikdash, the priest is not to wear shoes, to allow nothing between himself and the sanctity of the place.

Y’hovah reveals himself by 2 names in this chapter, Eloha refers to his righteous judgment, while Y’hovah speaks of his equally righteous mercy. Sha’ul of Tarsus tells his audience in Rome to behold the goodness (mercy – manifesting Avinu) and severity (judgment – manifesting Ruach) of Elohim – both goodness and severity are attributes of the one Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov. When the goodness (chesed) and severity (gevurah) of Elohim are mixed, he is revealed in the beauty (tiphereth) of holiness, which is the manifestation of the Son of Elohim. When Elohai introduced himself, at first it was as Elohey Avraham, Elohay Yitzhak, Elohay Ya’acov. When Moshe understood that he was in the presence of Elohim, he hid his face from Y’hovah, because he knew that no man may look upon the holiness of El Shaddai and live. I think he may have second-guessed his doing this from then on, because he finally asked Y’hovah if he could see his glory (33.18). Y’hovah said he would hide him in the cleft of the rock and allowed him to see his back parts (achor) – the only difference from the back side of the desert is an ayin there and an aleph here, the words are homonyms. Was that Rock, in which Yhwh hid Moshe, Mashiach (1Cor.10.4)? I think yes. Y’hovah wanted to reveal his fulness to Moshe right here but, because he was fearful, Moshe could or would not see, so when he asked for the ‘full monty’, as it were, Y’hovah only revealed his ‘achor’, backside, to him. Don’t hide your face from Y’hovah or he might hide his face from you. IMO, Moshe saw the resurrected Yeshua, but not the full manifestation of Y’hovah’s hodu, or glory, in Ex.33. Q&C

Vv.7-4.17 – Elohim, the manifestation of the righteous judgment of Avinu, had been talking to Moshe, but now he spoke as Y’hovah, the righteous mercy of Avinu. He told Moshe that he had seen the affliction of Israel, how Egypt had been oppressing them, that he had heard their cry for deliverance, remembered his covenant with Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov, and that he was going to deliver them with great judgment against Egypt. Then he appointed Moshe to lead them out of Egypt. The parallel to today is remarkable. Israel is in political bondage to their own lust to be like the nations and to be accepted by them – a thing that will never occur. The nations, meanwhile, treat them like red-haired step children, expecting the nation of about 7.5 million to give away Y’hovah’s land to their Edomite enemies and to make ALL concessions to the intransigent Moslem terrorists who outnumber them 2:1 (IF the terrorists and their sympathizers are only 1/5 the total Moslem population of the nations surrounding Israel), all over oil. Israel will NEVER be able to live in peace until it trusts in Y’hovah and allows Elohim to have full sway in their defense. And, of course, that will not happen until they can see no way to survive in their own strength, until the oppression gets so bad that they call out to Y’hovah for deliverance, as they did in physical Egypt. When they come to the end of themselves and acknowledge their inability to deliver themselves, THEN they will call on Y’hovah, and THEN he will respond with Y’hovah’s Salvation – Yehoshua! That day is still at least 3½ years off.

Moshe wasn’t ready in his own mind to take on the job and entered into an argument with Y’hovah. After Y’hovah assured him that He would be with him before Paroh, Moshe was looking for some excuse to not take the job. He asked (by way of wasting time to think up a good excuse, I think) what Elohai’s Name was, how he should introduce him to Israel. Y’hovah answered him, “I shall be who I shall be is my Name, but you can tell them ‘I Shall Be’ has sent me to you.’”  See the Chumash commentary on 3.14, pg.16, right column, marked.

Moshe protested his inadequacy. “I’m not good enough!” “I don’t have Charleton Heston’s voice, anymore.” “My brother would be MUCH better suited for this position.” Each time Moshe protested, Y’hovah countered with an assurance of his presence and that the people would believe what he said. First, ‘They won’t believe me.’ Y’hovah gave him the sign of the rod changing to a cobra, and Moshe picking it up by its TAIL to turn it back into a rod of almond wood. Next, Y’hovah said, ‘if they don’t believe this one, put your hand to your bosom.’ And when he did it turned leprous. When he put it back near his bosom it turned back to pink and beautiful flesh. And if that was STILL not good enough for them, he was to pour out water from the Nile onto the dry ground and it would turn to blood before their eyes. When he made the rod turn to a snake, he showed that he had power over life, to take that which is lifeless and give it life. When he changed Moshe’s hand leprous, he showed that he had power over death, to take that which was vital and make it (as good as) ‘dead’. When he turned the water into blood, he showed that he had power over all the gods of Egypt, the Nile being the greatest.

Next, Moshe says, “But, I’m not a public speaker!” Now Y’hovah got testy, “Who makes mens’ mouths? Did you think that I was going to send you ALONE?! I will be there with you giving you the words to speak. Now, for the 3rd time, GO!”

Moshe finally whimpered like a little kid, “Please send someone else”, implying Aharon. When Moshe got to offering his brother in his place, Y’hovah went a little beyond ‘testy’. He got TICKED! “Alright, that’s enough! Tell you what, I was going to have you be my priest and my leader! But you think Aharon is more a priest than you?! Fine! HE’ll be my High Priest and you’ll just have to wait a while before I reunite the sceptre and the priesthood that Ya’acov separated.” That last is my embellishment of what Rashi said. Rashi said that Y’hovah was going to make Moshe High Priest, but when Moshe kept trying to evade the leadership position that Y’hovah was calling him to, Y’hovah made him do the harder thing and allowed Aharon to be the High Priest. I can see that very easily. Y’hovah’s last 2 replies to Moshe were a bit, as I said before, ‘testy’. Since I believe that the Melchizedek Priesthood was in effect until Ya’acov split it between Ephraim and Yehudah, I threw that part in myself. That is ALSO why I think Moshe was only allowed to see the ‘achor’ of Y’hovah a year later in the Wilderness. Yah wanted to make Moshe the Melchizedek Priest/King. Moshe thought himself unworthy. Y’hovah never forces us to do anything. He calls and we respond, either positively or negatively. More than once, Moshe said, ‘No’. Q&C

YeshaYahu 49:11-19V.11 has the way being opened for the future redemption of Yisrael to the land. Yisrael is being redeemed, these from far, and these from the north, west and south. Is ‘far’ from a word meaning east? A partial definition of ‘far’ from Strong’s is: 

7350 rachowq raw-khoke’ or rachoq {raw-khoke’}; from 7368; remote, literally or figuratively, of place or time; specifically, precious; often used adverbially (with preposition): –(a-)far (abroad, off), long ago, of old

Well, I guess that answer is “No”. But it does mean ‘remote of place or time’, and is very frequently used as ‘long ago’ or ‘of old’. Ephraim was carried afar off first, at a remoter time than Yehudah was, and it is better assimilated among the other nations than Yehudah EVER was. 

Y’hovah has comforted his people and shall shed his mercy on his afflicted. Comfort = nacham and mercy = racham, so we have a word play going here, and it deals with his people, who are afflicted. His people is, of course, amo, and afflicted is ano. Nacham amo, racham, ano? Interestingly poetic. So, Y’hovah will mercifully comfort his afflicted people.

Zion was in despair and crying out because she thought that Y’hovah had forsaken her and Adon had forgotten her. But what does Y’hovah say? Even though a mother suckling her newborn may forget or forsake her child, Y’hovah will NEVER forsake of forget Zion, his Bride. It is never Y’hovah who leaves us, but we who leave him. He walks beside us, even when we sin, in the hope that we will repent and call out to him for the deliverance he wants to provide. 

Do you suppose that being graven into the palms of his hands refers to his nail-scars? He was nailed to the tree on the mount just outside the walls of Yerushalayim/Zion. Our children will make haste to return to Zion when haAretz is delivered to us, and us to her. The Canaanites are destroyers and waste-layers. The land was a desolation when the Canaanites ruled it. But within a few months of Y’hovah’s chosen moving to the land, there were gardens growing, settlements being built, wells being dug. In a few years the whole Land was a garden that now feeds all of Europe with the best fruits and vegetables, the best flesh food. And finally, the Canaanites who fought the return of biblical Zion have changed places with them, Zion will then live in haAretz, and the Canaanites will be far off, rachaq. Q&C

Psalm 42 – Book 2 begins, which according to tradition, deals with the book of Shemoth, the 2nd book of Torah. 

David longs to be in the presence of Elohim without distraction, so he can be filled with the knowledge of Him. He has gone up to the Beit haMikdash with the whole house of Israel to keep the feasts. He’s gone up rejoicing with singing and dancing before Yhwh, but his soul longs for his unfettered presence before his Elohim. A lot of the allusions in this Psalm deal with exile, panting for water, thirsting for Elohim, tears for food that wonder where Elohim is, soul cast down, deep calling unto deep, etc. David is at a low ebb in his life, but is still trusting his Elohim and still remembering his promises. Even though he is feeling the wave crashing down on him, he reminds himself that Yhwh will command his chesed (grace) for him. Even though he mourns because his enemies oppress him, he reminds himself that Yhwh will deliver him from the persecution and oppression. 

I find it interesting that THIS is what Yeshua said from the tree as he hung dying, “Lamah sh’chachtaniy” [shin, chach, chet, tav, nun, yud – a simple scribal error to transpose a vet for a chach – they look very similar] and that the political leaders of Israel didn’t get the reference being applied to them, even as they fulfilled their place in the previous verses of Matt.27;

41 Likewise also the main kohanim mocking Him, with the sophrim and zechanim, said, 42 He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the Melech of Yisrael, let Him now come down from the execution stake, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in Eloha; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of Eloha. [Matt.27.41-43 Restoration Scriptures]

Why, indeed, need we to mourn over how the enemy oppresses us? We have the resurrection coming to us. They do not, unless they repent and trust Y’hovah.  Q&C

RomiYah 9.1-10.1 – Follows my study of Rom. 9, originally done for a regular Bible Study with regular Xians, most of whom go to church, but some of whom have accepted Shabbat and pretty much abandoned the ‘church’ for worship purposes. One of them is in the leadership of a mega-church and stays for the purpose of calling some out. This one teaches in my stead when I can’t be there.

Romans 9

Chapter 9 begins the pericope on Israel, the physical descendants of Ya’acov that Paul set up in ch.8. Now the focus is on Israel. He begins with those professing believers who are after the flesh (physical Israel, not believers in Y’hovah Yeshua) in ch.9 and ends with those who are truly after the Spirit (‘true’ Yisrael) in ch.11. 

Vv.1-5 – In vv.1-2 Sha’ul says that he is constantly ‘groaning’ in his heart (Rom.8.22, 23, 26) for all Israel, his brethren after the flesh. For they were promised the adoption that Paul spoke of in ch.8, but they kept after their own way 

11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. [Is.56.11]

31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD [Eze.22.31]

22 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. [Pro.1.22-31]

instead of Avinu’s Way 

20 They that are of a froward heart, abomination to the LORD: but the upright in the way his delight. [Pro.11.20] 

6 Righteousness keepeth the upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. [Pro.13.6] 

They more closely followed the fences (traditions) than the Torah that the fences kept and keep them (and us) from. All that Y’hovah intended to give them they forsook for their traditions. But Y’hovah has NOT forsaken them any more than he forsakes us when we stray from the Way of Life. They were given the promises, the covenants of grace, the Torah to give them life and Peace (chayim v’Shalom), and he has not forsaken those promises. When they repent of their sins and fulfill their end of the ketubah (marriage contract) Y’hovah will repent of his condemnation of them and fulfill his end of the ketubah. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, so he will give them chayim v’Shalom. Everything that WE; Judah, Ephraim and Gentiles; have received for our trusting Y’hovah and his promises were first received by the patriarchs, prophets and people who trusted Him and his promises. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the fathers and us in Y’hovah’s eyes. Those who have gone after their own gods (traditions of men) as we had and repent as we have will also receive the adoption of sons. That promise was Yisrael’s in the first place, and we, only by Y’hovah’s grace, are partakers thereof. 

In v.3 we see that Sha’ul held no animosity towards those who were after his skin. They were trying to kill him, but he was praying for them and would have given up his own reward in order that they should have the veil removed from their eyes (11.25). 

Vv.6-7 – In v.6 we see that, as Sha’ul reveals 2 laws in ch.6-8, he also reveals 2 Israel’s – the Yisrael that is after the Spirit and the Israel that is after the flesh. I will attempt to distinguish the 2 by calling believing Yisrael, Yisrael. ‘They are not all Yisrael who are of Israel (6b)’. The Torah has done its dual job: it has taken its designed effect: it has condemned Israel and acquitted Yisrael. Sha’ul enters into a little parable (through v.13) to illustrate the truth he’s expounding. One’s being a physical son of Avraham does not deliver the promises to him. Avraham had 2 physical sons, Ishmael and Yitzhak; only one is the son of the promise. Yitzhak had 2 sons, Esav and Ya’acov; only one is the son of promise. It’s Yitzhak and Ya’acov through whom descended the promises to Yisrael. Ishmael/Esav represent the ‘minding of the flesh’ (8.6a) and its traditions 

For to be carnally minded death;

– NOT the children of Elohim. 

Esav sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup. It doesn’t get much more carnal than that. Yitzhak/Ya’acov represent the ‘minding of the Spirit’ (8.6b) and its Way, its Truth and its Life 

to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

– the seed of Avraham and the adopted sons of Elohim. So we see that they who are after the flesh are of Israel, but they who are after the Spirit are Yisrael. Please keep that in mind for the rest of the book, as it is very important to understand ch.11.

Please also notice that ‘in Yitzhak shall thy seed be called’. Those who are called are those who have been predestinated and foreknown. The foreknowledge of God is a result of his attribute of eternity. He tells the end from the beginning because he IS at every point and place in history (past, present and future) at all times. His foreknowledge isn’t a general overview, but intimate and total because he IS everywhere and everywhen all at once. He knew before he placed history into motion those who would have a heart to believe and these he predestined to his calling. Q&C

Vv.8-13 – The Israel who minds the flesh are NOT the children of God. The Yisrael who minds the Spirit are b’nei Elohim, the children of God. Elohim’s children are the children of the promise. Paul tells us what the promise is – that Sarah and Avraham, a barren 89-year old woman and her 99-year old husband will conceive and deliver a son. The original promise was given in Gen12.15, 17-19. Avraham believed with his mind, but not his heart at that time. His faith had no works (James 2.17). The first thing he did was to go down to Egypt and plead with this wife that she tell them that she was his sister and not his wife. He didn’t fully trust Y’hovah that through his barren wife he would have a son in whom the entire earth would be blessed. What made them children of Y’hovah was their eventual belief and trust in his power to deliver on his promise. They learned that their flesh could not do what Y’hovah had promised and that only Y’hovah’s Spirit could bring their greatest desire to fruition. 

The same can be said of Yitzhak and Rivkah, who waited 20 years to see the birth of their sons, Esav and Ya’acov. As with Ishmael and Yitzy, the elder brother is the child of the flesh and the younger is the child of the Spirit. The same can be seen in the parable of the prodigal son, in which the elder son is after the flesh, but the younger son (Ephraim), after his initial descent into idolatrous debauchery, makes teshuvah – repentance – and returns to his Abba, expecting nothing in return, hoping to be allowed to return as a bond-servant. In the case of Esav and Ya’acov, they were separated from the womb, Ya’acov having been elect and called, while Esav was rejected by the determinate foreknowledge of Elohim. In each case it was predestined that the elder would be servant to the younger. The flesh must serve the Spirit of Elohim, or the spirit of man will serve the flesh.  

The saying Ya’acov have I loved, but Esav have I hated shows us that just being the physical seed of a patriarch doesn’t qualify us for election. By the same token, just being born of Esav doesn’t disqualify us for adoption unto life. Y’hovah looks on the heart. It is the heart of Ya’acov – which was to believe Y’hovah – that made him Avraham’s seed and what Y’hovah loved, not his birth to Yitzhak. And it was Esav’s heart – which was to feed his flesh – that disqualified him for adoption and what Elohim hates. It is the fleshly spirit of Esav that Elohim hates, not Esav himself. Likewise it is Ya’acov’s openness to the Spirit of Elohim that he loves. Y’hovah has made both types of heart come from one and the same father, so it is not unreasonable to think that any person COULD be a son of promise regardless his station or ancestry. Each will receive judgment for his own sins, but Yisrael will receive loving chastisement (5.18b, 19b), while Israel/Esav will receive just punishment (5.18a, 19a). The difference is in their hearts. Q&C

Vv.14-18 – Here we see the logical outworking of the 2 spirits. Hyper-Calvinists see the absolute sovereignty of Elohim here, which to them negates the free will of man. Nothing is further from the truth. Y’hovah does have absolute sovereignty, but that does not negate my responsibility to obey him. 

Is Elohim unrighteous to condemn sinners? WhatahNutz? He shows mercy to those sinners who will believe him, and wrath to those who will not. Paroh chose to not believe Y’hovah by a conscious act of his will and his pride (Ex.5.2). 

2 And Paroh said, Who is Y’hovah, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Y’hovah, neither will I let Israel go.

Moshe chose to believe Y’hovah by a conscious act of his will and his meekness. Paroh thought he was all that AND a bag of chips. Moshe knew he was dust in need of some living water so that he could be shaped into something useful. Paroh never got over his pride of position in the world, the very thing that was Sha’ul’s thorn in the flesh (Rom.7.7ff). When Y’hovah saw that he had a heart of stone and that Paroh would not allow him to replace it with one of flesh, he sent him more hardness – Y’hovah gives every man what he truly wants. A hard, stony heart (Mat.13 says that this is one that will not hear and heed the Word of Y’hovah. He says, “You want a hard heart? I’ll give you a hard heart!” as he did to Paroh). By the same token, those who call on Y’hovah’s Name for deliverance are redeemed through his mercy. We have to humble ourselves at least to the degree that we realize our impotence to save ourselves, and to call on him who can deliver us. 

Vv.19-24 – Here’s where the hyper-Calvinists go awry. They use this numbered sound-bite (v.22) out of its immediate and general context. The general context is the 2 hearts we’ve been discussing. The immediate context runs at least through v.22, where he tells us that Y’hovah is longsuffering toward the vessels of wrath. If we look into Yisrael’s history, we see that Avraham was given a promise and a prophecy in Gen.15. The promise was that his seed would be as the stars and the sand of the sea. The prophecy was that his seed would be 400 years before they could obtain the promise because ‘the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full.’ He was enduring the ‘vessels of wrath’ until their cup was full (Rev.15&16). Yisrael is NOT ‘the vessels of wrath’. The Amorites /Canaanites were/are. 

Y’hovah’s will is that no flesh should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He shows his will in that he gave the Amorites 400 years to repent before he brought Yisrael to remove the Amorites from their land and to receive the promise Yah had made to Avraham. His will was to have the Amorites repent. He did not impose his will on them any more than he imposes his will on us. Y’hovah is sovereign, but he is not a bully. He gives us the choice to obey or not. He exercises his sovereignty in his mercy or hardening, and even his hardening is merciful.

The vessels of dishonour (v.21) are those whom Y’hovah, in his foreknowledge, knew would reject him, those who have the spirit of Esav and walk after the flesh. Notice that he endured their insolence and despite beyond any reasonable extent of patience, in the Amorite’s case (Gen.15) for 400 years (actually 430). His way of mercifully bringing judgment is gradual; first a hint, then a more urgent hint, then a warning, etc., until he finally just forsakes the object of his mercy (as the Amorites/Canaanites) and drives them from his sight or allows them to be wiped out entirely. When he judges a people, he uses another people as his vehicle. Israel drove out the Amorites; the Philistines badgered Israel for 450 years. Then Israel under David and Solomon conquered the known world and held the rest as tributaries until the people of Israel went after other gods (following their leaders, of course). Then Y’hovah exiled the 10 Ephraimite tribes to Assyria, followed by Judah’s 3 tribes going into exile in Babylon. When Judah repented and called on the Name of Y’hovah (in the person of Daniel haNavi – the prophet), he delivered them back into their land. And the cycle repeated itself. BTW, as had occurred in the Egyptian exodus, only about 10% of the people returned from captivity. The rest were, presumably, after the flesh.

Do you see his mercy in his patient, longsuffering endurance of their pride and willful disregard for his Word? Do you see his mercy in the fact that he hints, then cajoles, then warns with ever increasing severity to bring about repentance, not only in his people, but even in the heathen? Do you see his mercy in his willingness to forgive at the merest sincerity in turning toward him? Even in his wrath he shows mercy because he brings it quickly and with minimal suffering. Behold the goodness and severity of Elohim (11.22).

And what of us, who have softened our hearts towards him by our positive volition to obey him? He further softens them so that his Word can take root in the good, soft earth of our hearts and bring forth fruit to his glory. He gives us what we want. As he gave Paroh the hard heart he’d decided upon, so he will give us the soft heart of flesh that he can circumcise and hallow to himself when once we choose to obey him. Q&C

Vv.24-26 – Do you see how he juxtaposes all gentile believers in v.24 with the ten tribes in v.25? It’s there; you just need to go a little deeper into the scripture than what’s in the immediate context. You need to go from the peshat (literal) to the remez (hint, reference to Tanakh).

“…not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

That quote from Hosea is in Ch.1, which begins by specifying that he is speaking mainly to the House of Israel and not Judah. Y’hovah instructs Hosea to take a whore to his wife, to signify to the house of Israel that they have played the harlot and gone after other gods. For that reason, he allows Gomer to conceive 3 children, whose names are also symbols of how Y’hovah is going to deal with Israel. V.4 (blood of Yezreel) speaks of 2Ki.9.30ff, where Yehu rode into town and had Jezebel thrown down from the tower, where dogs licked up her blood as prophesied by EliYahu. Yehu instituted the revival of Y’hovah worship, after a fashion; i.e., Yerovoam’s mixed system of worship. His revival didn’t go far enough towards true Y’hovah worship. So Yah had Hosea call his 1st born son Jezreel to remind Israel about her spiritual shortcomings. Hosea was then told to name his daughter Lo-Ruchamah – “No mercy” due to Israel’s idolatry. Then he was told to name his son Lo-Ammi – “Not my People” due to Israel’s idolatry.  

The good news is in verses 10-11 of Hos.1, which is the hinted at reference.

10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Yezreel.

Even though Israel is called “No Mercy” and “Not My People”, Y’hovah promises to enlarge their borders and numbers and to eventually rename them “The Sons of the Living God”. I think this is a reiteration of the promise made in Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim in Gen.48, where he uses the Hebrew phrase ‘melo hagoyim’ – multitude of nations, which Paul alluded to in his passage in this same section of Romans in 11.25,

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

So, what Sha’ul has done in vv.24-26 is identified gentile believers (v.24) with the people of Israel, who WERE Lo-Ruchamah and Lo-Ammi, but have NOW obtained mercy and ARE his people. He makes the same reference in Eph.2.11ff, “aliens” (grk. apollotrioo – estranged – like a divorced spouse), “far off”, etc. IOW, whether literally or spiritually/metaphorically, gentile believers in Mashiach Yeshua ARE the descendants of the 10 tribes of Israel, according to Sha’ul. And Yeshua HAS fulfilled his mission to bring Ephraim to repentance and brought the 2 houses together in him.

Vv.27-29 – Paul then quotes Isaiah to show that a remnant of Yisrael would be saved, while the majority would not. Y’hovah called his seed, not for the purpose of excluding any from his Kingdom, but to make it available to all, Jew and Gentile, Judah and Ephraim. If not for the remnant the entire earth would be as Sodom and Gomorrah lo-o-ng before its time. Ecc.3 tells us that there is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven, and the time of earth’s destruction by fire is not yet. 1004 years from now, perhaps; but not yet. Remember the goodness and severity of Elohim? There’s another example of it. If not for Y’hovah’s gracious provision of a remnant earth would have been a burnt out cinder long since.  

Vv.30-33 – What shall we say then? Sha’ul uses a Pharisaic rhetorical device to make his point that the Gentiles have obtained righteousness by faith in the same way that Avi, Yitzy and Jake did, not to mention all the rest of the ‘Heroes of the Faith’ (Heb.11). But they do not replace Israel. The fact that Israel has not ‘attained to righteousness’ does not negate the faith walk, which is based in Torah obedience. The reason Israel did not ‘attain’ to righteousness is the same reason noone ever can – righteousness comes by the faith of and in Yeshua. 

The way Israel tried to attain to righteousness was by works of law (no definite article is ever attached to this phrase, which is only seen in Rom.9.32 and Gal.2.16, 3.2, 5&10), not by faith. Paul invented the term. Works of Law has nothing to do with observing Torah. It has to do with what the Pharisees called the ‘Oral Torah’, the traditions of the rabbis. An excellent source for this is Galatians, by Avi ben Mordechai. He explains the 1st C. historical background that has come down to the rabbinic Jews in the Mishnah and Talmud. While they may be good commentaries (well, some is), they are not scripture. So they are not a source of Y’hovah’s instruction in righteousness. 

V.33 refers to Isaiah 8.14 and 28.16, 

14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

16 Therefore thus saith Y’hovah GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone , a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Paul jumbles the 2 verses, lifting a phrase from one and inserting it in a re-ordered other where he changed a word and said, “he that believeth on him shall not be ashamed”, not exactly a direct quote. But this is a 1st C. Pharisaic rhetorical devise called midrash, juxtaposing one scripture with another, even making a change in verbiage to make the point. It is how arguments are made throughout the Mishnah and Talmud. Midrash was and is common practice in the synagogue. If we were to try this in the church we’d be given the left foot of fellowship, thrown out on our ears (or worse) and called heretics. Midrash assumes either that the listener has some training in rabbinic thought and a thoroughgoing knowledge of Tanakh, as the elder or rabbi of the synagogue in Rome would, or a rabbi who could explain the passage to those without the training. It’s the reason some teachers think that Hebrews should not be in the canon. It’s why Martin Luther thought James should be scrapped. They’re ‘too Jew-ey’. It’s also why so many in the church can’t seem to grasp that, even though we are unable to obey Torah 100%, it is still our standard and guide for right living before Y’hovah. Unlike the fool of Ps.14.1 and Rom.3.12, we believe there is a God, and that he has given us a guide to live by – his Torah. 

As to the change in verbiage, I think it has to do with the fact that whenever a patriarch ‘made haste’ or tried to hurry along Elohim’s plan by helping him out (Avi and Hagar, David and the ark, etc.), they were always ashamed. It is therefore a warning to the Romans to be patient with each other and not to get ahead of Elohim. We’ll see this developed in ch.14. Q&C

Romans 10

While looking at ch.10, let’s remember that the foundational, most basic truth of scripture is the Shema, “Hear Oh Yisrael, Y’hovah our Elohim, Y’hovah is One.” The Shema is seen in the ‘unity of the faith’, that Y’hovah is the Elohim of both the Jews AND the Gentiles (3.29), echad nature of Y’hovah with various manifestations, all in Mashiach are one, etc.  It is seen in nature and the nuclear family. The atom has 3 basic particles, neutron, proton and electron. Matter has at least 4 states, solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma. Time is both past, present and future. The family consists of Father, Mother and Children. The examples are numerous that Y’hovah has pointed to his echad nature in his creation. Echad does not necessarily mean absolute oneness, but unity. 

Earlier in our study, Sha’ul told us that Elohim is not merely the God of the Jews, but of the Gentiles also (Rom.3.29). He treats all people in the same manner, and he always has. For him to expect different things of different people or to expect different things of the SAME people at different times would be to compromise his echadity. 

The Jewish mystics see Y’hovah manifested in at least 10 ‘emanations’, as is illustrated in the ‘Tree of Sefiroth’. They are seen in 3 sublevels, each consisting of 3 attributes, headed by the absolute Truth of Y’hovah’s Ein Soph that no mere human can really comprehend. You can see allusions to this in Paul’s writings. 

His statement to ‘behold the goodness and the severity of Elohim’ (11.22) is also an allusion to the 10 emanations of Y’hovah. The goodness of Elohim is seen in his mercy to usward. His mercy is an emanation that balances his emanation of severity, which is his absolute justice. The emanation of beauty is the one that binds all his emanations into a unity in the ‘Ain Soph’; the endless, unknowable truth of Y’hovah. It is the Ain Soph that we will spend eternity studying and never find an end of discovering and understanding (another emanation of Y’hovah). 

All of that is to give you just an inkling of the Unity of Yah. We need to bear this in mind as we move into ch.10.

Vv.1-3 – Sha’ul addresses his brethren, which context will show is all of the Roman believers, both Jew and Gentile. At various times, he specifically addresses his Jewish brethren and at others the Gentile brethren. The subject is Israel, but the message is for the Gentiles, as well as the Jews.

His desire is the salvation of chol Yisrael. As we’ve seen already in our explanation of 8.29-30, all Yisrael shall be saved. This is the body of the argument Sha’ul started way back then.

Israel has a zeal for Y’hovah, but they are blinded in part (2Cor.3.14 – they can’t or won’t see Mashiach in the Tanakh), ‘not according to knowledge’. Noone knew this better than Rav Sha’ul, who was very zealous, as he himself testified in Acts 22.1-10. Paul did what we all do when confronted by a new paradigm that shows either we’ve been mistaken, fooled or lied to – he attacked the very truth he was convinced of, but in his pride would not acknowledge. I have been there myself, and so has everyone else who is reading or hearing this study. Once we are convinced of our own mistake or delusion, we need to come to grips with it and stop fighting it. That is what Yeshua said to Paul in Acts 9.5, “I am Yeshua whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” The truth that we know but won’t acknowledge keeps pricking us until we repent of our pride and stop kicking.

In Hebrew mysticism, knowledge is the highest level a student of scripture can attain. It connects understanding and wisdom. Israel has an understanding of Torah, but little or none of Mashiach. The ‘church’ has the wisdom of Mashiach, but little or none of Torah. Neither has the knowledge that Mashiach and Torah are one, as Y’hovah is one, as we are told in the Shema. There are those who have some knowledge without either understanding or wisdom. These may actually brand us heretic because we would say that Yeshua is Torah, even though John 1 plainly says that Yeshua is the Word. The last time I checked, Torah was still in the Canon. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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