Shabbat Bible Study for May 7, 2016
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
May 7,2016 – Year 1 Sabbath 5
Genesis 6:9-7:24 – Isaiah 54:9-10 – Psalm 5 – 1Peter 3:13-22
Genesis 6:9-7:24 – It is important that we see this week’s parsha in light of last week’s. The Rabbis seem to handle them separately, as if they stand independent of each other. I think that is silly. The flood became necessary due to the stuff that happened in the previous parashoth, the fall of Adam and the general corruption of mankind. When Y’hovah opens this Sidrah by saying that Noach was ‘tamiym’ in his generations’, I think he means that his and his sons’ genetic structure was ‘perfect’, or without any Nephillim DNA. We saw last week that the wickedness of man had become more or less ubiquitous, and I infer that it was getting more and more difficult to find genetically pure humans.
HaSatan’s plan to defile the entire race of man was nearly complete. Remember that he rebelled against Y’hovah when he learned of his plan to create a being of less intrinsic ‘power’ but endow him a greater authority than the Cheruvim, his most intrinsically powerful creations, of which Lucifer was purportedly the chief. The only family on earth that was as genetically pure as Adam was Noach and his wife and sons. I infer from the next couple of parshoth that at least 1, and probably ONLY one, of Noach’s daughters-in-law, or perhaps his wife who was NOT the mother of the boys, had DNA ‘tainted’ by Nephil genes. I think it was Ham’s wife, and that the Nephil gene was recessive and didn’t show up for at least 2 generations after the flood; perhaps 1st manifesting in Nimrod. We may explore that thought when we treat that Sidrah in a few weeks.
Noach was a tzaddik who walked with Elohim, as had his great grandfather Chanok. Noach’s children are not listed by age. As we’ll see in ch.10, Yapheth was the elder of Shem and Ham was the youngest. I think they are listed here in their order of precedence and importance baAretz, in the land. There is no evidence to substantiate this, but I think that Noach was every bit as human as we all are and that he probably favored his 1st born over the others. Shem, as 2nd born, would strive to be better than his elder brother to get his father’s attention. And I think that Ham was the youngest and was more spoilt than the rest because of it. Also, he might be jealous of all the attention his father gave the 1st 2 and may have taken a wife with less than pure DNA out of rebelliousness.
The earth had become almost entirely wicked by the time Noach got his call to build the ark. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a good comment on vv.11-12 pp.32-33. What the note says there agrees with Rav Sha’ul in Romans 1
18 For the wrath of Elohim is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of Elohim is manifest in them; for Elohim hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew Elohim, they glorified not as Elohim, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible Elohim into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause Elohim gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain Elohim in knowledge, Elohim gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of Elohim, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of Elohim, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Rom.1.18-32)
Sounds like the days of Noach, doesn’t it? And it sounds like the dominant culture of the world today. This should not surprise us, though we should hate that it’s true, for Yeshua prophesied it would be so
And as it was in the days of Noach, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Luke 17:26)
We haven’t quite reached the depravity of Noach’s day, but we are pretty darned close. I think we’re going to get our DNA defiled to something like the point it was in Noach’s day. This may be why all the GMing of our food supply – to corrupt our DNA by an internal mechanism programmed into the ‘food’s’ DNA. Q&C
Vv.13-22 – Chumash’s prefatory comment for the rest of the chapter (p.33) is interesting. How is it that some of the rabbis think Noach didn’t teach anyone about Shalom l’Y’hovah but they see that the whole purpose of the 100 years in which he prepared the lumber and built the ark was so he COULD do so without being a pain in the tukhis to passersby? Most folks would naturally think he was a nut-case, but there were likely some who said, “What if he ISN’T just a nut case and he really DOES talk to Elohim?” I suspect there were some who were receptive to things of Y’hovah, even as there are today. If he were not a prophet of Y’hovah Elohenu, I might agree with those rabbis, but he was, so I will ascribe the best of motives to Noach and reserve my character questions for the ‘Joe Sixpacks’.
Elohim told Noach that ‘the end of all flesh is come before me’, so I infer that the GM experiments included other than just humans. I infer that there were GMs to all types of animals as well, or Elohim would not have to destroy ‘all flesh’. Therefore I also infer that when he brought the animals to Noach; 2 pairs of unclean and 7 pairs of clean animals; that they were non-genetically engineered, ‘perfect’ in the same sense as Noach and his family, animals to repopulate the earth. What would be the point of destroying the GM humans, only to leave GM animals to taint the future food animals? I will base any speculations I make with these inferences assumed as fact.
A wild thought just occurred to me (as I write these notes). The following question is pure speculation. What if ALL animals were clean at the point of their creation (Y’hovah DID declare the complete creation ‘very good’, after all) in the garden and all the unclean animals were GMs, and THAT was why they were declared unclean to begin with? End speculation.
Elohim told Noach (c.AM1556) of his plans to destroy all air breathing life on the earth, and told him how to escape what was coming: build an ark. He gave him the dimensions and a few details and then left it to Noach to build it. I am sure he did for Noach what he did for Betzalel and Aholiav, the Ruach inspired master craftsmen of the Mishkan (about 800-900 years after the flood) guiding his mind thru the planning, drawing, cutting, shaping and construction of the 450’x75’x45’ barge. This thing was not made to navigate, but to float, so there was no necessity for a point on the prow: no evident bow or stern. The currents carried it where Y’hovah willed.
Elohim then pronounced a covenant (v.18) with Noach. Noach’s part was to bring aboard the ark enough food to last the passengers through the year that they would be afloat. There were no carnivores until AFTER the flood, so either they brought enough to last ALL the critters and Noach and his family, OR Y’hovah put the animals into a type of hibernation, OR he put them ALL into a type of hibernation, OR they were able to grow enough on board to last through the ‘voyage’, OR a combination of these; say, hibernate the critters and grow enough to last the family for a year. Noach kept his end of the deal. Q&C
Ch.7 – When Y’hovah called Noach and his family into the ark he said, according to the 2nd person singular pronoun, ‘thee’, the reason his family was being preserved was that he, and not necessarily his family, was personally a tzaddik before Y’hovah. I think that Sha’ul drew on this passage when he wrote to the kahal in Corinth
10 And unto the married I command, not I, but Y’hovah, Let not the wife depart from husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to husband: and let not the husband put away wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not Y’hovah: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they kadosh. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such: but Elohim hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save wife? (1Cor.7.10-16)
While I believe that Shem was also a (H6662) tzaddik, it was Noach’s tzedakah (H6666) that earned his family their passage.
In v.2, Y’hovah commanded that Noach bring aboard 7 pairs of clean animals and 2 pairs of unclean, as well as 7 pairs of each type of bird, clean and unclean, to replenish the earth after the flood. I infer from that command that Noach already knew which animals were clean and which were unclean. Of course, since Y’hovah was bringing the animals to the ark, he may have brought exactly the ones he wanted brought aboard. But he gave the command to Noach, so I think he would allow only as many of each as Y’hovah had commanded. Either way, the barge was fully complemented. Y’hovah’s command to bring the critters in was given, I infer from the text, on the Shabbat before the Shabbat on which the rain started to fall. There were, therefore 6 days in which Noach would do his work of complementing the ark and Y’hovah would close the door and seal it against leakage on Noach’s Shabbat rest from his labors. Chumash has an interesting note to v.4 on p. 36.
And then it rained … and Rained … and RAINED! I think the rain began to fall on the 1st day of the week, though that is PURE speculation. I KNOW that it began to rain and the fountains of the earth broke up and started gushing water, possibly geysers of geothermal or volcanically heated water, on the 17th day of the 2nd month in Noach’s 600th year of life. There is some question about WHICH 2nd month Moshe meant when he wrote this passage, but since the month of the Aviv was NOT made the beginning of months for us until 800 years hence, I think we must assume it was the 2nd month from the beginning of the Anno Mundi, year of the world that is now called the 7th month. I will not quibble if anyone else wants to say it is the month called Iyar that follows Nissan, the month of the Aviv.
The rain fell for 40 days and nights (v.17). Normally the number 40 speaks of probation, where judgment has been rendered and the sentence held in abeyance. But earth had had a probationary period of 100 years and a week, so in this case it became a number of completed judgment. This is the only time where the number 40 is used in terms of judgment against the ungodly. The worst meaning it has in scripture after this is as a reference to chastisement to move the believer to repentance. The water likely rose pretty rapidly, and the ark did it’s job, preserving the life that rode within. V.19 says that the waters ‘prevailed exceedingly’. The Artscroll has “the waters strengthened exceedingly much”. In Hebrew it says “v’hamayim gav’ru m’od m’od”. M’od means very, which is an adverb that means ‘everything the word being described means’. IOW, this was everything the word ‘strength’ means times itself times itself; strength³ . Y’hovah uses m’od m’od sparingly. We see it again in 17.2, where Avram is promised a son by Sarai who will bring forth his seed and later is first called Avraham, and in 17.20, where Avraham is promised children m’od m’od for Ishmael also. The last use in Torah is in ch.30.43, where Ya’acov’s flocks prosper in Lavan’s house m’od m’od. Explains the jealousy of Lavan’s sons, doesn’t it?
The waters rose 15 cubits above the tops of the highest mountains. Do you remember the keel to top measurement of the ark? That’s right; 15 cubits. So, the draft of the barge was such that it would not be dashed on the submerged mountaintops. Were the mountains as large as they are today? Only Y’hovah knows, but I think that the lowest mountains that we see today might have been a product of the ‘fountains of the great deep’ breaking forth. Mountains like the Appalachians may have upthrust to allow the waters to escape via the fountains, and then were ‘softened’ or rounded off by erosion, as it were, due to the unobstructed currents over the next year. Mountains like the Rockies, Himalayas and Alps may have upthrust to help the waters run off more quickly.
After the water finished rising to a minimum depth of 45 feet worldwide, the water remained at that level for 5 months, and all the critters that breathed air and were not on the Ark drowned, even the aquatic birds died from lack of food to eat. I think that as rough as the currents had to be, even the fish dove to avoid them, leaving the ducks, gulls and such without chow. Q&C
YeshaYahu 54:9-10 – This whole chapter seems to be speaking to Ephraim –10-Yisrael – as it speaks of the ‘barren’, or ‘put away’, wife, who did not bear children, rejoicing because she has more children than the married wife. While the married wife, Yehudah – 2-Yisrael – was never ‘put away’, she also has not borne as many children as has Ephraim, whose tent has ‘enlarged’; the curtains of her tent stretched, her cords lengthened and her tent stakes strengthened. Ephraim, after she was ‘put away’ and given a bill of divorce from Y’hovah Elohim (Jer.3.8), was scattered to the 4 winds and quite possibly is the major progenitor of all the gentile nations of the earth. V.3 says that the barren wife, who has more children than the married wife, shall inherit the gentile nations and inhabit the desolated cities of the world. We Ephraimites are not to fear, because Y’hovah Tzavaoth, our Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel is our husband who shall be called The Elohim of all the earth. (That’s Yeshua haMoshiach, folks.) Our Redeemer forsook us for a moment; hid his face from us; but will be merciful to us in his everlasting kindness. Then he gets to our short passage for today; As the waters prevailed on the earth for about 7 months and then receded, so will his wrath against Ephraim be for a short time and then he will mercifully bring us into his Covenant of Shalom, never to remove us from it again. And he has done that for us, and will continue to do that for our Ephraimite and full gentile brethren who are yet to come out of Babylon. V.11 uses 3 terms that refer to exile; afflicted, tossed and not comforted. The chapter goes on to show how Ephraim may have strife from the world, but as you stay close to Y’hovah Tzavaoth
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Y’hovah, and their righteousness of me, saith Y’hovah. (Is.54.17)
That is both our present and future in Mashiach, folks. Don’t ever forget it! Q&C
Tehellim 5.1-3 – David tells Y’hovah to listen, hearken and consider his cries to him because his trust is in Y’hovah alone; he will pray to no other Melech, no other Elohim than Y’hovah. His prayers will go to him in the morning as he awakes and he will expect immediate answer and look for it from him. That is the attitude of trust that Y’hovah wants to see in us, I think. David is looking for a positive reaction from Y’hovah because, even though he is not absolutely perfect before Y’hovah, he IS blameless before him.
Vv. 4-6 – Y’hovah will not abide with wickedness. The reason Y’hovah doesn’t abide on this earth is because of man’s evil inclination/OSN, which defiles it. Notice in these verses that Y’hovah fully defines wickedness; evil, foolish, workers of Torahlessness, deceivers whom Y’hovah will destroy and whom he utterly abhors. The Hebrew root verb behind ‘abhor’, H8581 ta’av, means ‘loathe, detest’. That is exactly the definition in W1828, which adds ‘abominate’. ‘To Abominate’ is the actual definition of ta’av in BDB lexicon. To my mind, there is no greater imprecation from Y’hovah than describing something as an abomination. The Tanakh says that Y’hovah abhors (abominates) a bloodthirsty, deceitful man.
Vv.7-8 has David praying every morning, no matter where he might be, to Y’hovah in Y’hovah’s mercy, worshipping toward his Mikdash in fear (H3374, yir’ah), which speaks in a moral sense of reverence. In this he is contrasting his own attitude before Y’hovah with the wicked spoken of in vv.4-6, and then he asks for Y’hovah’s direction by his Ruach.
Vv.9-10 have David praying imprecations of destruction against his enemies. He wants Y’hovah to destroy his enemies by their own scheming; that he use what gins and traps they devise against David against them like he did with Balak in Moshe’s day, Haman (ptui!) in Chadasah’s day and the Chaldees in Daniel’s day.
Vv.11-12 – David pronounces Y’hovah’s blessing of joy on all those who trust him, who hold Y’hovah in reverence and fear, because he is faithful to guard and protect those who love him and guard his righteousness by living in Y’hovah’s righteousness, which is living in loving obedience to his Toroth. Q&C
1Peter 3:13-17 – Kefa is speaking in deeper terms than the pashat here, because there are a LOT of folks who will literally harm you, may even KILL you, for doing what is ultimately good. So Kefa cannot be speaking of temporal harm, but ultimate harm. A human spirit is never harmed by doing the will of Elohim. When you suffer for ‘well-doing’, or for obeying the Word of Elohim by the gracious power of his Ruach in you; the ultimate example of ‘doing well’; you should have shalom in your heart and soul. The ‘PTB’ in the world system today are doing everything they can to marginalize and demonize anyone who obeys Y’hovah Elohenu, even what that system does goes against Constitutional law. The ‘PTB’ will just get a high court to rule in their favor, or get the chief executive to issue a decree. Anyone who believes in Y’hovah Elohenu and obeys his Word, eschewing compliance with the wickedness of the world, is going to be called ‘mentally unbalanced’, or diagnosed as schizophrenic, bi-polar, or some other catch-phrase that would “authorize” the ‘PTB’ to institutionalize him and medicate him into a stupor, so that he can “no longer harm himself or others” with his free thought. They might try to use patriotism to marginalize you, like they did with YirmeYahu.
Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying, 2 Thus saith Y’hovah, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. 3 Thus saith Y’hovah, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’ army, which shall take it. 4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. 5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king can do nothing against you. 6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon [was] no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. 7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’ house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; 8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’ house, and spake to the king, saying, 9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for no more bread in the city. 10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. 11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison. (YirmeYahu 38.1-13)
This wasn’t a ‘dungeon’, as we understand the term to mean a prison cell in some deep basement; it was a one-holer where all the household and human waste was dumped to be buried at some later date. If they persecute you, because you live and speak the Word of Y’hovah, don’t fret about it. Your vindication will come as it did for YirmeYahu (who died of natural causes, possibly in Ireland); Y’hovah has promised it and he will perform it.
8 Finally, all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, pitiful, courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of Y’hovah over the righteous, and his ears unto their prayers: but the face of Y’hovah against them that do evil. (1Kefa.3.8-12)
By your enduring what the world throws at you, you prove your reliance on Y’hovah and he will use it to his glory. Remember that before Yeshua destroys the wicked upon his return he will offer them Shalom on HIS terms. Who knows if how you react to their wicked misuse and abuse will soften their hearts to receive Yeshua’s Shalom at that time?
The answer to the question in v.13 is, “No one”. That which is good is Elohim alone.
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, Elohim: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:17)
And Yeshua said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, Elohim. (Mark 10:18)
And Yeshua said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, Elohim. (Luke 18:19)
Speculative Digression I think I’ve told you before that I think this rich, young ruler was Sha’ul of Tarsus. I could, of course, be wrong about that, but it fits a lot of evidence in scripture, as I connect the dots. In every instance in the synoptics this encounter immediately follows the mild rebuke of the talmidim to “Suffer the little children to come unto me …”. Yeshua loved (Mk.10.21) the rich (Matt.19.22, Mk.10.22, Lk.18.23) young (Matt.19.20, 22), ruler (Lk.18.18). Sha’ul of Tarsus was rich in things of the world, being the son of a prosperous businessman, and in things of the Hebrew religion, being the chief talmid of Gamaliel and being groomed to take Gamaliel’s place as chief rabbi of Jerusalem – kinda the ‘pope’ of Judaism. He was very sorrowful, in my opinion, because he recognized the signs of Messiah in Yeshua and especially in that last saying, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such are the Kingdom of Elohim.” Sha’ul, who was arguably the deepest thinker of the apostolic authors, understood that Mashiach would call Yisrael to repentance and simple trust in Y’hovah, sans all the traditions of men. When Yeshua told him to lose all his wealth and give it away, he was heart-broken because 1) it was a daunting task to perform, he had so much worldly possession to give away, but 2) it was also a daunting task to give up what he’d worked his whole life to attain in the religious hierarchy of Yehudism. In Rom.7, Sha’ul admitted that his besetting sin was covetousness
7 What shall we say then? Is Torah sin? Elohim forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by Torah: for I had not known lust, except Torah had said, Thou shalt not covet.
He didn’t only covet his worldly wealth, but his religious wealth, as well. Yeshua had just told him to give it all away. He must have decided that he was not up to the task. And it rankled. So, he turned away from the one who had turned him away. Didn’t Yeshua know who he was?! But Yeshua hadn’t done any such thing. He merely pointed out the besetting sin of this young man whom he had never spoken to before, and the young man knew it, but was too proud to admit it. And he reacted like we all do when we’re ‘found out’ unexpectedly – he got angry and started looking for a ‘scape-goat’. When he had the opportunity to go after Yeshua’s talmid with his acquired power a few years later, he took to it with a vengeance. Then, Yeshua accosted him on the road to Damascus and said in a Mark paraphrase that incorporates all the twisted thinking above, “Why are you persecuting me through my Talmidim? You knew what you had to do when I talked to you about your covetousness, and you’ve been chafing at the Spirit’s promptings ever since. Now, give it up and come follow me.” End Speculative Digression
Vv.18-22 – All the suffering we might go through is not comparable to the suffering that Y’hovah Yeshua went through on our behalf. The creator of the universe took on a flesh and blood body like yours and mine so that he could live with the same fleshly testing that we endure, but he did so without any sin, because his Spirit was Ruach haKodesh. The flesh of Yeshua was in complete subjection to the indwelling Ruach of Y’hovah (Phil.2.5-8) all the way to his death on the torture stake. Vv.19-20 say he went to preach to ‘the spirits in prison’. These are possibly the spirits of the Nephilim themselves, though WHY he would preach to them I am without a clue of knowing. Perhaps they were the spirits of believers who scoffed publicly at Noach’s witness of the coming judgment (as Zedekiah did the warnings from YirmeYahu) who actually understood it and believed it would come, but were afraid of the ridicule they’d receive if they acted on what they believed (as was Zedekiah). Who knows if Zedekiah was not one of those spirits in prison? Zedekiah, to my mind, was not a wholly unrighteous man; just a weak one, as are we all at times. The point of this chapter of 1Kefa is to understand that your suffering can be no more than a painful inconvenience IF you remain faithful in Y’hovah Yeshua, who ever lives to intercede for us (Heb.7.25). Q&C
End of Bible Study