Shabbat Bible Study for November 26, 2016

Shabbat Bible Study for November 26, 2016

©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 1 Sabbath 33

Genesis 35:9-36:43   –   Isaiah 43:1-7   –   Psalm 29   –   Matthew 5:1-12

Links:

Gen. 35.9-15 – Y’hovah gave Ya’acov a new name; again – the same new name that he gave him at Penuel; Yisrael. Why do you suppose Y’hovah gave him that name again? I think it was because Ya’acov had accepted it willingly and even lived in it for a time, but when he got off the spiritual high and back into his sight walk, he forgot what his new name means – ‘he is the Prince of Elohim’. He’d forgotten so much so that his SONS had to remind him of it in the Dinah incident; that Hamor and Shechem had ‘wrought folly in Yisrael’ – not Ya’acov, but Yisrael. So El Shaddai appeared to him and reiterated the name change, this time identifying himself as El Shaddai, the Almighty God, just to emphasize the point that he’d already emphasized by telling him twice in one breath that he would be called Yisrael. 

I am Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the ending, saith Y’hovah, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty [Shaddai]. (Revelation of John 1:8)

Shaddai is H7706, with the root 7703, shadad, which means 

properly, to be burly, i.e. (figuratively) powerful (passively, impregnable). 

Passive is defined as, “accepting or allowing what happens or what others do.” Now, when he who is impregnable while doing nothing decides to ACT in your behalf, just whom do you think can stand against him? 

Then, in telling him that the covenant made with Avraham and confirmed to Yitzhak was now his, El Shaddai told Ya’acov/Yisrael that HE was the seed of Avraham. Y’hovah told him that a nation and a congregation of nations, kahal hagoyim, would come from his loins. Here are the 2 houses in prophecy; 1) a nation, Yehuda and 2) a congregation of nations, Ephraim. Ephraim became a congregation of nations due to the diaspora into Assyria and then being lost to human history from there. 

Then Elohim went up out of Ya’acov’s sight right from there at Bethel. ‘Went up’ is translated from Strong’s

H5927 `alah aw-law’ a primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or actively (mount)…

So Y’hovah made aliyah before Ya’acov/Yisrael’s eyes. Does this recall to your mind, as it does to mine, the progression we saw a couple of weeks ago, when we discussed Ya’acov at Beit El some 20 years before? This is the same place where Ya’acov had slept with his head on a rock and seen angels ascending and descending 20 years before. Then we followed the progression to Manoah and his wife being told of the miraculous conception that would result in a great deliverer for Israel, Samson, and that when Manoah asked for his Name, the Angel of Y’hovah ‘ascended’ in the smoke of the offering to heaven. That word, translated in Jud.13 as ‘ascended’ is the same word that is translated here as ‘went up’, H5927, alah. And as Ya’acov/Yisrael had done then, he did again now – he set up a pillar and poured oil on it as an offering to Y’hovah. He also poured a drink offering on it – I assume wine. 

In 28.18 Ya’acov poured oil on its top, here he just pours oil on it, from which I infer that this pillar is taller than the one he’d made from the rock he’d slept on. The word translated pillar here is H4676, matstsebah, pillar or image, from the root word natsav, H5324, which is translated ‘set up’ just the word before. Ya’acov natsav’d the matstsebah. Natsav means raise up, set up a pillar. Ya’acov set up an image in Bethel big enough that he couldn’t reach the top of it to pour the oil over it, as he had on the small rock pillow he’d used back then. Remember what we said about images in pagan religions last week, that they were likenesses of human pudenda, either male or female. I think it’s possible that Ya’acov is using what he remembers from his religious life up to now to serve Elohim. Deut. 12 is still 200-250 years in the future. He may not been instructed in proper worship procedures for Y’hovah. On this one, I sincerely hope I am wrong, but it really is possible. 

BTW, Ya’acov had camped in Gen.28 at the site of the future Temple in the Mount Zion, truly Beit El. 

Vv.16-20 – Why didn’t Ya’acov physically dwell in Bethel, as Y’hovah had told him to do? I think Bethel scared the bejeebers out of him. This was not a command to live in a geographical location, but to become echad with the House of Elohim. He’d been at this place twice, and both times he’d encountered Elohim. It is possible that a combination of Rachel stealing her father’s idols (which may have corrupted Ya’acov’s sons so they’d keep the idols of Shechem), Ya’acov’s failure to destroy the idols and Ya’acov not dwelling where (or how) Y’hovah told him may have contributed to Rachel’s early death in childbirth. They were traveling from Bethel, presumably to Ephratha BethLechem. They were not far from Ephratha when Rachel went into hard labor. The midwife told her that it was a boy, and Rachel called him Benoni, son of my affliction, most folks guess the affliction was the hard labor. I’m not so sure. It isn’t told to us what the affliction was. It may have been the loss of her household gods that she’d stolen from Laban. It is more than possible that the god that inhabited her idol or that the idol represented tormented her upon her releasing it to Ya’acov for disposal. I only surmise. I actually could be wrong here. 

But Ya’acov changed the boy’s name from Benoni to BenYamin, son of my strength or right hand. Ya’acov considered Rachel to be his right hand, and he prophetically called his youngest son the son of THE right hand, which I take to mean the right hand of Elohim. BenYamin would stay with Yehuda when 10-Yisrael rebelled against Rehoboam. He was the forefather of the first king in 12-Yisrael, Sha’ul. Ya’acov set up a pillar on Rachel’s grave in BethLechem.

A recent article in Arutz Sheva is instructive of what Judaism thinks of this passage:

There is a certain mysterious aura about Kever Rachel. What is the magnetic pull that draws so many Jews to pray there? Why was Rachel not interred in Me’arat Hamachpeila, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron? According to Rashi, she was buried on the roadside so that the Jews being led to exile could pray at her grave.

In Parshat Vayeitzei, two midrashim further explore Rachel’s burial. When Yaakov met Rachel at the well in Charan, he wept because he foresaw that she would not be buried with him. The midrash again mentions Rachel’s burial in the story of the dudaim, mandrake root, when she made light of Yaakov and was punished by losing her place in Me’arat Hamachpeila.

So why indeed was Rachel buried at Kever Rachel? Was it so that she could pray for her children or was it a punishment?

Rav Wolbe answers that she forfeited her burial spot because of the dudaim [mandrakes] and now that she was already interred on the way she could help her children. The book Vayavinu Ba’mikra adds that Rachel was ready to give up her husband’s love if she could bear children. When she came with her sheep to the well, Yaakov wept. Sheep represent the Jews, Klal Yisrael.

Yaakov foresaw the deep connection Rachel would form with her children. He cried when he saw that she would not be buried with him, but would rather go with her children to exile.

In light of the above, I understand where the RCC gets the idea that Mary intercedes for her children. I don’t agree with it [or the rabbinic idea that Rachel prays for her children], because they are both dead. Q&C

Vv.21-26 – Ya’acov had set up the pillar in v.20, but Yisrael journeyed in v.21. Is this a sea change? We’ll see. Yisrael pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder, the tower of the flock. This was probably exactly what it says, a tower from which to watch over a flock and protect it from attack. It is probably between BethLechem and Hevron, the next town he visited. It may have been a natural stand of stone under which he could shelter his flock form attack and keep watch. While at Migdal Eder, Reuben went in to Ya’acov’s concubine Bilhah, who was Rachel’s maid, and lay with her. Ya’acov heard about it [v’shema Yisrael], but didn’t take physical action right away. But the word shema means to hear and to act, so I think Yisrael made up his mind on the spot what he would do. We’ll see what happens in Gen.48-49, when we get there. 

The next verse of scripture mentions Reuben, the firstborn. This may be foreshadowing the penalty for lying with Yisrael’s concubine, the loss of the right of the firstborn and its associated blessing. The rabbis have Ya’acov moving into Bilhah’s tent after Rachel’s death, they say to honor his favored wife. IF he moved in to Bilhah’s tent is was more likely to be near his favored sons, Yoseph and BenYamin, whom Bilhah still had charge over to raise for her mistress, Rachel. But that was a big IF. There is no biblical hint of his moving into Bilhah’s tent, unless it is seen in the order in which Ya’acov’s sons are listed. 

The list of B’nei Ya’acov begins with Leah’s 6 children, then Rachel’s 2, then her handmaid Bilhah’s 2 and finally Zilpah’s 2, Leah’s handmaid. Do YOU see any hint of Ya’acov favoring Bilhah, as he had Rachel? I don’t. I see that Bilhah’s children were older than Zilpah’s, as Leah’s were than Rachel’s, and hence the order of their listing; wives children first, then concubines, eldest children and full siblings first, down to the youngest. BenYamin was born only a few days or weeks before, but he is listed as having been born in Padan-Aram. I think that has to do with Ya’acov having started his exile from Hevron and his being still in exile until he got back to Hevron, or perhaps that BenYamin was conceived in Padan-Aram. 

Vv.27-29 – When he finally got back to Hevron and Mamre, scripture says that he found Yitzhak 180 years old. Yitzhak seems to have been waiting for Ya’acov to return so he could die. It’s 57 years since the sale of the birthright and Yitzhak’s giving the blessing. Yitzhak was 60 years old when the twins were born. Now he’s 180, so the boys would now be 120 years old. The rabbis have an interesting interpretation of  this: 

In addition to the 20 years with Laban, Jacob had spent 2 years on route home and 14 years in the academy of Shem and Eber, for a total separation of 36 years… Father and son remained together until Yitzhak died 21 years later; nevertheless, as is customary in scripture, Torah records the person’s death when his role is over. 

If the rabbis are right (and they have been from time to time), my idea that Rivkah and Yitzhak had worked it out so that they could give the birthright and bachor blessing to Ya’acov is supported somewhat. They didn’t want Esav, the pagan, to be their firstborn. He’d sold Esav on going out to hunt and dress the deer (I presume it was a deer because KJV says ‘venison’, which I relate to deer, as opposed to other game) to get him out of the way, and she’d sold Ya’acov on ‘fooling’ Yitzhak into blessing him. After the ruse is accomplished, Rivkah and Yitzhak got Ya’acov to go to Padan-Aram to find a wife, away from his brother’s wrath. A clever ploy, I think, because it says in 27.33 that “Yitzhak trembled very exceedingly” – he was scared of Esav and what he might do to his parents if they just conferred the bachor blessing on Ya’acov. I explained my thinking on this in the Bible Studies on both the 1st and 8th of Oct. this year and we noodled on it for a while, which noodling you can hear at waytozion.org under audio and my FT room name. 

I find it interesting that scripture says, Avraham and Yitzhak ‘sojourned’ in Kiryath Arba. They never ‘dwelt’ there. Remember last week we understood that when scripture says ‘dwell’ it means to become echad with the people 

10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein… 20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, 21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. 23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us. (Gen.34.10, 20-23). 

Avi and Yitzy did not become echad with the Canaanites. They sojourned – were gerim – among them. This is one of our take-aways here today. Avraham and Yitzhak lived in the area, but never identified with the people – they were the epitome of ‘in it, not of it’. 

[Reminds me of Stevie Wonder’s song, Always;

“We all know sometimes life’s hates and troubles

Can make you wish you were born in another time and space.

But you can bet your life times that and twice its double 

That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed.

So make sure when you say you’re in it, but not of it

You’re not helpin’ to make this world a place sometimes called Hell.

Change your words into Truth and then change that Truth into Love

And maybe our children’s grandchildren and their great-grandchildren will tell.”] 

They maintained their identity in Y’hovah El Shaddai. We ought to do likewise. We need to engage the culture without becoming echad with it. Ya’acov came home to dwell with his abba. So ought we. Q&C

Ch.36 – Every word of Torah is instruction in righteous living. Whether it is up front in the text, or hinted at or we have to dig for it, it is there. That’s why Torah is inexhaustible in its instructions for our lives. Why would Y’hovah devote a whole chapter of Torah to Esav’s line? I would like an answer or two from the ‘peanut gallery’ (boy, am I aging MYself, Buffalo Bob!) BEFORE I give my 2 cents (about it’s worth) on the matter. 

As is usual in scripture, the meanings of the character’s names is often instructive, and I believe that’s one way to find why Y’hovah devoted so much space to Edom’s line. We’ll look at a few of these names for insight into the text. We won’t look at ALL of them, because we haven’t the time. 

Edom means ‘blood red’. The rabbis say that his name shows his character, that he was greedy and depraved. He would stop at nothing to get his way – even to murdering his parents or brother, if that’s what it would take. Edom lived for the moment until someone or thing crossed him – then he dwelt in that moment until he resolved it HIS way. He had lived in the moment of Yitzhak’s blessing Ya’acov, seemingly [to him] by Ya’acov’s deception and skullduggery, for 36 years. Esav held grudges and became more bitter over them as he did. Take-away #2 coming right up. The root of bitterness is not OUTSIDE us, but INSIDE, and we nurture it and we till the soil around it and fertilize it until we die and become fertilizer and it consumes us. We come to love our bitterness, as Esav did. We need to uproot it and destroy it before it destroys us.

Esav’s wives’ names probably mean something, as well, so let’s look at them. The first 2 mentioned are in ch.26; Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath, daughter of Elon, the Hittite. Hittite = sons of Heth, the 2nd son of Canaan. Heth’s grandfather was Ham, son of Noach, so they have less than perfect DNA, possibly [probably, IMO] ancestry of Nephilim-tainted blood through Ham’s wife. Judith, in ch.26, coincides with Aholibamah in ch.36. Judith presents as an Avrahamic woman because her name means ‘Yehudite’ or ‘of Yehudah’. Yehudah’s name means ‘celebrated’ or ‘praise’. But she was an Hittite woman and it cannot mean ‘celebrate or praise Y’hovah’ – more likely the Canaanite god, Molech. Bashemath in ch.26 means ‘sweet odour’ or ‘balsam’. She coincides with Adah in ch.36. Again, in the Canaanite sense, a sweet odour to their false god(s).

In ch.36, we see Edom with 4 wives; Adah, daughter of Elon (Bashemath of ch.26?), Oholibamah, daughter of Anah (Judith, daughter of Beeri of ch.26?) and Bashemath, daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth (Mahalath of ch.28). Adah is from Heb.5711 to ornament oneself. In Arabic the word means ‘morning’. In light of Canaanite religion, I take that to mean ‘what ornaments the morning’, the sun. So, putting her names together, she is the ornament of morning that is a sweet aroma to the Canaanite gods. Oholibamah means ‘tent of the height or high place’, which I take to mean the tabernacle of the Canaanite gods. So, putting both of her names together, she is the tabernacle of praise in the high places of the Canaanite gods. Bashemath means, again, sweet odour of balsam, and Mahalath (ch.28) means ‘from sicknesses’ as I discussed in the midrash from 10/8/2016. This short paragraph is from there

Her name is from the root chalah, meaning sickness. The ending of her name is plural, so her name, if my pigeon-Hebrew is correct, means “from sicknesses” (the mem prefix denoting a shortened form of min – ‘from’). So, the man of blood (Edom) married a woman who was borne of sicknesses to spite his parents, who wanted their firstborn to marry a woman who was NOT Canaanite.

Edom did what his parents wanted in this case and didn’t marry a Canaanitish woman – he married Ishmael’s daughter, and Ishmael was the son of an Egyptian woman and Avraham, neither of whom are Canaanite. It seems that Edom married for the express purpose of mocking his parents. The woman’s names jammed together seem to mock his parent’s Elohim, as they would mean the odour of sicknesses. I think Esav staid up nights thinking of ways to mock Yitzhak and Rivkah. Such is the outcome of a root of bitterness in any man’s life. Q&C

For the rest of the chapter, I’m just going to hit some highlites. First, did you notice how many high level peers of the king there are in Arabia? The KJV uses the word ‘duke’ to describe the positions of all these sons of Esav. Duke is the highest hereditary title of British (and various other) peerage. William is the ‘Duke of Windsor’, heir apparent to the throne of United Kingdom. The ‘dukes’ of ch.36 are the great-grandsons of Edom. His sons and grandsons are kings, I assume. 

Edom’s sons were Eliphaz and Reuel. Was this Eliphaz the same one who was Job’s ‘comforter’? Eliphaz, by a concubine, had a son whose name was Amalek. So the bloodlines get more corrupted with Nephilim-tainted DNA as we go on. Amalek was the father of LOTS of giants, and gave Yisrael a very hard time during the Exodus and even early in the united Yisraelite kingdom under Sha’ul. Agag, the king of Amalek, was the cause of Sha’ul losing his kingdom and, eventually, his mind. Amalek was an Edomite. Amalek never attacked Yisrael in a frontal assault, but LOVED to work rear-actions against the weak and the stragglers. Their chosen course of action has not changed very much in their Plishtim descendants, has it?

Korah is listed twice, once as Esav’s son by Aholibamah and once as a son of Eliphaz. The rabbis take this as indication that Eliphaz had fathered Korah in an adulterous union with his father’s wife, Aholibamah. Eliphaz’ cuckoldry seems to have known no limits. V.24 speaks of Anah finding mules?! Here’s what ISBE says about that:

Jerome, in his commentary on Gen 36:24, assembles the following definitions of the word gathered from Jewish sources. (1) “seas” as though yammim; (2) “hot springs” as though hammim; (3) a species of ass, yemim; (4) “mules.” This last explanation was the one most frequently met with in Jewish lit; the tradition ran that Anah was the first to breed the mule, thus bringing into existence an unnatural species. As a punishment, God created the deadly water-snake, through the union of the common viper with the Libyan lizard (compare Gen Rabbah 82 15, Yer. Ber 1 12b; Babylonian Pes 54a, Ginzberg, Monatschrift, XLII, 538-39).

I don’t know if that story is true or not, but I know the snake of which they speak. It is almost everywhere in the Persian Gulf – we used to do target practice on them with our pistols. My Senior Chief told me that on his first trip to the PG in the early 70s they’d sent a helicopter out to pick up a crashed pilot. They got the pilot hooked up to the winch and took up the slack. As the pilot started his ascent a water snake swam up and bit him on the leg just before he cleared the water. By the time the pilot was in the helo, maybe 40 seconds, he was dead. THAT is a deadly snake. It’s as if Y’hovah said, “You want to mess with my DNA, I’ll show you how!” 3rd take-away for today – keep clear of genetic modifications in ANYTHING. Y’hovah is not pleased with them, and he will make them come back to bite us in the gluteus maximus. Also, don’t FEAR them when you meet up with one. They may be powerful beings, but their power doesn’t exist in comparison to his, for his power is Mashiach’s Ruach haKodesh. 

The 2nd king listed in v.33 is Jobab. Job? Not likely, but it’s close enough to make me wonder, especially in light of Eliphaz earlier on. In v.38 we see king BaalChanan – lord of grace or god’s gift– all lower case. I wonder if he gave himself that name? Probably. He probably left out the last word for modesty’s sake – l’ishah, to women. Q&C

Is.43.1-7 – “I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.” When Y’hovah gives you a new name, you are his. Now, I don’t mean when someone gives himself an Hebraic sounding name, but the one that Y’hovah gives you that no man knows but you and him – THAT is when you can say that you’ve arrived. 

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the kehalim; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth. (Revelation of John 2:17)

This is not to say that folks can’t give themselves a name to try to attain to, like a picture on the refrigerator or the desktop. But many do this out of presumption, IMO, to sound more ‘spiritual’, like it proves that they really ARE Yisrael. I don’t know, maybe their parents named them Lucifer or Esav or something, but I see it many times as an attempt to look like something they aren’t. If it’s something that you will strive to be and that you KNOW you aren’t, fantastic. I’m going to start transliterating my name with Hebrew letters. Mem, resh, kuph = mark – which in Hebrew means soup. Then Pitrone would be peh, tav, resh, nun sophith – which means interpretation. So I will give interpretations of soup. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what I do, isn’t it? All that to say, I’ll go by Mark Pitrone to everyone in the world, and when Y’hovah hands me a white stone with his name for me written on it, I’ll keep it to myself. I am not impressed with most of those who do that – taking on a self-chosen Hebraic name. Until I know their hearts, I am tempted to say “Poser” when I see it. Like a guy wearing a huge cross. It’s like he’s trying to convince himself he’s really saved. There are exceptions, but not many. I know humans. I am one. 

Ya’acov was given a new name – Yisrael. And he kinda walked in it a little. Y’hovah had formed Yisrael through his tribulations in Padan-Aram. V.2 refers to the tribulations that try us and prove us to ourselves. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned and the fire won’t kindle on us – That’s me over the last 6 years and 7 months. I have been through it physically with no lasting physical troubles, and what are left are healing, HalleluYah! The enemy tried to discourage me, but thanks to the prayers of the Messianic and Christian body of believers (and a few Jews thrown in, too) Y’hovah has had to grease the squeaky wheel just to shut it up. And he has gotten all the glory for it. 

Vv.3&4 are troubling to me. It looks like Y’hovah traded Egypt, Ethiopia and Seba for Yisrael and a player to be named later. What it’s talking about historically is that Y’hovah had Sennacharib bypass Yisrael and take on Egypt and the rest. He would remove all the possible help Yisrael might rely on and then come get her at his leisure – he thought. Y’hovah put hooks in Sennacharib’s jaw and took him where he wanted, though Sennacharib thought it was his own idea. Then Isaiah gets all prophetic in vv.5&6 and says even after the exile, Y’hovah will bring them back from the 4 corners of the earth. Then Y’hovah identifies those who are brought out of captivity from the 4 corners as the overcomers who have been through the tribulation on the earth and remained faithful to receive their new names.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the kehalim; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth. (Revelation of John 2:17)

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and my new name. (Revelation of John 3:12)

2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Y’hovah shall name. (Isaiah 62.2)

Overcomers, those who remain faithful through tribulation by the power of HIS Ruach haKodesh (they couldn’t possibly do it in their own power), receive new names; some by living through it, some by dying well in it. Q&C

Ps.29 – This psalm has a defined parallel structure – v.1 corresponds to v.11, v.2 to v.10 and so on. So to look at it as a song, the structure would be ABCDEFEDCBA. 

In v.1 we see that while we have strength by Ruach, we need to give glory or honor back to him. The parallel in v.11 has Y’hovah giving us strength and blessing us with peace. In order for us to receive FROM him in the 2nd ½ of the psalm, we have had to give to him in the 1st ½ of the psalm. 

In v.2 we give glory and honor that his Name is due in the Holy place of his tabernacle, and in v.10 he sits on his throne as we who were faithful administer his government in the earth. Notice also that vv.1-2 speak about our giving him glory 3 times and that we do it in the beauty of his Holy place, while vv.10-11 speak of his throne and the absolute peace he gives to his people. Alternatively, the literal translation says ‘sons of the mighty’ in v.1, and the 3 times we give him glory refers to our Avoth; Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov. IOW, we give all our glory to him, even that of our spiritual ancestors – we give the honor of being sons of the Patriarchs to Y’hovah, think any earthly honor received as useless in our service to Y’hovah.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Mashiach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (Phil.2)

In vv.3-9 the voice of Y’hovah appears 7 times. The only verse his voice isn’t heard in is v.6, the center of the psalm. V.3-5 and 7-9 speak of the power of Y’hovah’s voice. In v.3, his voice is on many waters, referring to the peoples of the earth who give him glory when they hear the power of his voice, which causes fear in his creation because it knows it is exposed as naked before him in v.9

Vv.4&8 shed light on each other, both speaking of the earth shaking power of his Voice. There was a major earthquake, a volcanic eruption and a corresponding tsunami in Indonesia this week in 2010. The world was shocked at these events but they ain’t seen nothin’, yet. The voice of Y’hovah has been heard, but for the most part it hasn’t been acknowledged. The world doesn’t make the connection between them. One news report told of the death on the volcano of the caretaker of the temple of its gods. He must have forgotten to clean the bathroom or something. He trusted those gods to protect him, but when they went to the john … Y’hovah will not be mocked. He’s given light to every man and when they reject it, it is only his mercy that keeps him from executing his judgment on them. But even HIS mercy has a limit beyond which he will not suffer us to go. While the tragic events of that week brought death and destruction to Indonesia, they also brought warning to the rest of the world to repent and ask Y’hovah to redeem them out of exile from him and into the world. It COULD happen, but WILL IT?

Vv.5&7 speak of the breech the Voice of Y’hovah sometimes brings. It breaks up the cedars, and it splits or hews the flames. The word divide in v.7 speaks of cutting and shaping wood or stone. V.6 speaks of the cedars of v.5 skipping like the calves of v.9, which would also describe flames in the fire of v.7. The voice of our King is very powerful, indeed. It called the universe into existence and will dissolve it back to nothing when he chooses. 

Are the 7 references to the voice of Y’hovah and the glory of Elohim thundering (v.4) a reference to the 7 thunders in Re.10.1-4? Elohim is the severity of the Eternal Ayn Sof, the aspect of his righteous judgment. The juxtaposition of Ps.29 to Rev.10.1-4 is interesting, isn’t it? Q&C

Matt.5.1-12 – The Be Attitudes. Most folks think the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is spoken to the multitudes, but the context shows in vv.1&2 that Yeshua is speaking to his disciples only. This is an intimate time between Yeshua and us that he set up. The sea change in Yeshua’s ministry is in ch.13. Up to ch.12 he deals with Judah openly, but in ch.13 he starts speaking in parables ONLY to Judah and it gets his disciples to question why? 

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Mat.13.10-17)

Then he revealed the parable to his disciples, according to his words in v.11.

V.3 – Does it say that the rich are not blessed? Not at all. A rich man, who is poor in spirit, meaning doesn’t trust in his riches to gain favor with Elohim, has as much favor with him as anyone else of the same heart attitude. I think of the guy that owns Chik-fil-A, who pays extra rent in malls where he has stores to keep his stores closed on Sunday. Him being a Christian, I admire that about him. He wants all his employees to spend their ‘sabbath’ with family and in the Word. This guy SPENDS a lot of extra $$ to ensure that his employees can keep the ‘sabbath’. He cares more for keeping the Word (as he understands it) than making a profit on one of the biggest sales days of the week, and he does so every week. THAT is an example of poor in spirit. And I believe he is great in the Kingdom.

Better the poor that walketh in his integrity, than perverse in his lips, and is a fool. (Prov.19.1)

V.4 – They that mourn talks of godly sorrow.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (II Corinthians 7:10)

V.5 – Meek ≠ Weak. Meekness is humble strength of purpose. Moshe was the meekest man in Yisrael, but he was NOT weak. He stood up to Y’hovah at least twice to intercede for Yisrael. That is not a weak man. And Moshe will be among those who inherit the earth.

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalms 37:11)

V.6 – Are you after righteousness, is it so important to you that you can taste it? Do you actually work righteousness and not just mouth the words?

The way of the wicked is an abomination unto Y’hovah: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.  (Proverbs 15:9)

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek Y’hovah: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. (Isaiah 51:1)

V.7 – The merciful obtain mercy. Do you exercise mercy when you are able? If not, why not? Y’hovah extends mercy to us every minute of every day. Shouldn’t we reciprocate?

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. (Proverbs 11:17)

V.8 – Pure in heart? Among men, only Yeshua is truly pure in heart. But we who are in him are partakers of his purity of heart.

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? (Proverbs 20:9)

Who shall ascend into the hill of Y’hovah? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. (Ps.24.3, 4)

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.(1Jn.3.2-3)

v.9 – Peacemakers reconcile sinners with Y’hovah and brethren with brethren. 

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:18, 19)

v.10 – If we endure the scoffers, the nay-sayers, those who would force us to abandon our faith in Yeshua and his Abba are or soon will be our persecutors. And here’s why:

But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (Galatians 4:29)

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (John 15:20)

V.11-12 – When we endure persecution, whether mild or extreme, we need to handle it as Yeshua did.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Mashiach also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed to him that judgeth righteously. (1Pe.2.21-22)

Of course, he had an ‘in’ with the owner of the place. But he left us a good example to follow. Take away #4: We are not to try to figure out what he WOULD do, but to emulate what he did. And if we do that, we will suffer persecution of it. Q&C

From The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – An Hebraic Perspective by yours truly:

67a). The Sermon on the Mount – Mat.5-7, Lk. 6.20-49 – We’ll follow the more complete version found in Matthew and give the references to Luke’s gospel where it applies. The sermon begins with the Beatitudes, which we will explore one by one. Sit back, take your shoes off, and relax. We’ll be here for QUITE a while.

Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

Does Yeshua say the poor here? No, he says the poor in spirit. A man can be exceedingly rich and yet be poor in spirit. The attitude is what’s important here. Yeshua is implying that rich men usually trust their wealth more than Elohim. Those who trust in their wealth will not be a part of the kingdom of heaven, while those who trust in Elohim will be. Luke 6.20 has, “Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of Elohim.” The greek word for poor speaks of the destitution of a beggar. When we come to Elohim as beggars, having nothing in ourselves to merit his favor and mercy, that is when he will use us. That is when we are saved, when we become a part of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is that type of humility that saved Naaman, the Ninevite general and leper. It is that type of humility that saved Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king and lunatic. It is that type of humility that saves us, Laodicean believers who are so full of the good life on earth that we often forget Elohim – to our shame. We need to be poor in spirit – humble, like Naaman and Nebuchadnezzar, and fulfill Rev. 3:18,

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see,” 

while rebuking ourselves of the attitude of Rev. 3:17

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” 

Cf. Is.57.15, 66.2

Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” 

The reference here is to those who mourn over their sin. A couple of examples are Josiah and Daniel. When Josiah was 24 yrs old the Law was found in the temple while it was being repaired. When the Law was read to Josiah he rent his clothes and mourned over the sin of the nation, as well as his own personal sin. Because he mourned, Elohim blessed him and withheld the judgment that was due to befall Yehudah for a few years. And when Daniel mourned over his own and his nation’s sin, Elohim blessed him with a vision of the destruction of Persia, the rise of Greece and the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes, a type of the Antichrist. Great spiritual blessings ensue when we mourn over our sin and humble ourselves before the Elohim of the universe, though material blessings may be withheld until we can handle them. When we mourn over our sins, Elohim comforts us (the greek word is parakaleo) by drawing near to us and filling us with the certain knowledge of gracious and merciful forgiveness. What a great and loving Elohim we serve, who will not deliver us to haSatan if we’ll be humble and mourn our sins. Cf. Is.61.2, 66.10,13 Q&C

Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” 

Guess what meek means. Go ahead, take a wild stab at it. That’s right! It is synonymous with humble. Do you get the drift of the Sermon on the Mount yet? Do you suppose I’m seeing this because pride is one of my personal favorite sins? Just smile and nod. Look at the scriptural promises to the meek in Ps.22.26, 37.11, 147.6, 149.4, Is.11.4, and 29.19. That last one refers right back to Mat.5.3 and 4. In fact, I think Yeshua had all these scriptures in mind when he preached this message, sort of like sermon texts. It just seems like he’s just checking them off as he goes. “O.K., illuminated that one for them. Now here’s another.”  

The meek shall inherit the earth. Look at Proverbs 11:29,

“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.” 

One of Webster’s definitions for meek is: 

“Appropriately humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations.”

Proud, self-sufficient and refractory pretty much sums up the body of Mashiach in America today. Refractory is 

“Sullen or perverse in opposition or disobedience; obstinate in noncompliance.” 

If someone is bullheaded in his noncompliance to the word of Elohim and perverse, gloomily angry or silent in his disobedience he is going to trouble his house and inherit the wind. Think about the expression on a person’s face when he is sullen, that is, ‘gloomily angry and silent.’ It is a look of wounded pride and a peevish attitude that says, ‘I’ll show him.’ Well, just let him try to show Elohim. He may get away with his attitude for a while, but in the end it is Elohim who will do the showing. Is it not far wiser to submit to the will of the Father and thereby inherit the earth, than to trouble your house and inherit the wind? Cf. Ps.37.11

Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

For what do you hunger and thirst? Is it power, or the desires of the flesh, or the desire for things, or that your children have that stuff? Or do you hunger and thirst after the Word and Kingdom of Elohim? Do you truly want Elohim’s righteousness in your own life, or are you struggling after the good life or to make it to heaven on your own? If a man is righteous in his own eyes or rich in worldly goods, he is not going to hunger or thirst for Elohim’s righteousness. As far as he’s concerned, why should he? He thinks, ‘I’m pretty good, especially compared to that guy.’ But he’s using the wrong yardstick. How is his righteousness compared to Yeshua haMoshiach, the Righteous (1Jn.2.1)? Is.59.10-21 shows what happens to these men and, beginning at the end of v.15, what will happen to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who turn away from their transgression (pride). They will be filled with kingdom blessings [Ps.81.10, Pro.8.21, 28.25, Is.66.10ff, (in the millennium)]. Which end will be yours (66.24)? Q&C

Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” 

What do you think of when you hear the words mercy or merciful? That is not a rhetorical question. I think of Elohim’s mercy toward us, the fact that I don’t get what I deserve; i.e., eternal death and destruction, and that is correct. But that is not what Yeshua is talking about here. He is saying here that if we exercise mercy to those who have wronged us, Elohim will exercise mercy toward us. Webster has a lot to say about:

MER’CY, n. [L. misericordia.] 1. That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.  In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy.  That which comes nearest to it is grace.  It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.

Yehovah is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Num.14.

2.  An act or exercise of mercy or favor.  It is a mercy that they escaped.

I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Gen.32.

3.  Pity; compassion manifested towards a person in distress.

And he said, he that showed mercy on him.  Luke.10.

4.  Clemency and bounty.

Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy. Prov.28.

5.  Charity, or the duties of charity and benevolence.

I will have mercy and not sacrifice.  Matt.9.

6.  Grace; favor.  1 Cor.7.  Jude 2.

7.  Eternal life, the fruit of mercy. 2 Tim.1.

8.  Pardon.

I cry thee mercy with all my heart.

9.  The act of sparing, or the forbearance of a violent act expected. The prisoner cried for mercy.

To be or to lie at the mercy of, to have no means of self-defense, but to be dependent for safety on the mercy or compassion of another, or in the power of that which is irresistible; as, to be at the mercy of a foe, or of the waves.

To be able to show mercy to another who has done you hurt is the ultimate, in human estimation, of humility. If your pride is hurting, you will not show mercy, but will vindictively perform that which you think the offender deserves. You may flip off the guy who cuts you off on the highway, especially if he brake-checks you. Along with the bird goes an invective that would peel paint off the wall and cause all manner of grief to the elders in the body. Are you teaching the Word of Elohim in the body and using those types of epithets, when you think noone is watching, against some guy who has the effrontery to cut you off in traffic? Am I getting too personal? I can assure you that I am stepping on my own feet more than yours. What other things set us off? Do you have a favorite place to sit in the assembly? What happens when you find a visitor sitting there one Sabbath? I’ve known people to stare icily at the offender. By the way, this is not one that is my own problem, but I have seen it and wondered about the obvious lack of humility in that person’s demeanor. What do you think the visitor said about the body of Mashiach as he left? A good scripture to memorize is 

Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

The implication is that if you truly love the Word of Elohim you will walk humbly and not take offense at the innocent slights of people against you. When you don’t allow these things to ‘stick in your craw’ you will be naturally peaceful in your disposition. (CRAW, n. [G.] The crop or first stomach of fowls.) You will be merciful and thereby obtain mercy from Elohim. Cf. Ps.18.26, 2Sam.22.26 Q&C

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see Elohim.” 

Can you think of any human who is truly pure in heart save Yeshua? Not Mary or Joe, not Henry or Irene, not Ripper or Darryl, not Patti or Jacqui, certainly not me, I don’t even think the Pope is truly pure in heart (especially not the Nazi sitting there now), though you might get an argument from a devout R.C. So how are we poor humans ever to see Elohim? 

The fact is we can’t. Y’hovah is entirely holy and we are sinful, if not in practice then certainly in disposition. There hasn’t an hour gone by that I haven’t sinned in thought or deed, usually in thought. Now for those sins, each and every one, I am sentenced to death (Rom.6.23a). But the wonderful thing is that the Spirit of Yeshua haMoshiach, the high priest of our profession (Heb.3.1), IS Yehovah, the very Elohim of the universe who spoke and the worlds leapt into existence. And that Elohim put off his glory to take on the body of a human baby from the moment of his conception and to grow through adulthood as a human being. And, feeling what it is to be human with all the trials and temptations that are common to men, yet without sin (Heb.4.14-15), he took on himself the guilt and penalty for the sins of the world, and not the world only, but my sins and yours, and died the death that was meant for you and me. 

He knows experientially what we go through every day because he’s been here, he’s done this and he’s got the scars to prove it. He is sympathetic to our condition and he loves us, each one, and he wants to spend all eternity with us. But to do that, to spend all eternity with Yeshua in the presence of his Father in heaven, we must be pure in heart. So Elohim in the flesh took our punishment and gives us a free gift (Rom.6.23b). When we repent, that is turn our backs on our sinful self-will and our faces to Y’hovah of Glory, Yeshua haMoshiach the Tzadik [righteous], he takes away our sin and our sins and gives us the gift of a pure heart, the very heart of Yeshua, the holy lamb of Elohim. He fulfills in us the request of David and creates in us a pure heart and renews a right spirit within us (Ps.51.10). Through the humility of repentance and trust in the promises of Elohim we are made whole and clean. Nothing could be easier. And nothing is harder. Cf. Ps.22.4, 73.11 Q&C

Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of Elohim.”

I don’t think that Elohim had Henry Kissinger in mind when he said this, although the world, and Henry the K. may think so. Peacemakers as spoken of here are those who bring peace between Elohim and sinners. The greek word is eirenopoios, a compound of eirene meaning peace and poieo to do or make. To see who the ultimate peacemaker is look at Ephes. 2:14-15

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the [oral] law of commandments in [man-made] ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace.” 

What Yeshua did for us is what we are to do for others. We are to literally die to ourselves as he died on the tree, and, in the power of the Spirit of Elohim, humbly attract others to him. We are to break down the walls that separate lost men from our Elohim and give them the opportunity to meet Elohim in His holy temple so he can make peace with them through his Son. If Yeshua has made peace with you then you are a peace-maker, but there is a special blessing from Elohim if you’ve ever led even one person to Mashiach. You are called a child of Elohim. Yeshua has done all the hard work, having abolished the law of atonement in his flesh (Heb.9-10). There isn’t any need to kill goats and lambs to propitiate for us anymore. Yeshua completely fulfilled that law. We just need to help people to see the greatness of the gift that Elohim offers because of his great love for us. Have you ever been a peacemaker in your life? If so, you are greatly blessed and called a child of Elohim. If not, get to work. This is what you were saved to do while still earth bound 

18 And all things are of Elohim, who hath reconciled us to himself by Yeshua haMoshiach, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that Elohim was in Mashiach, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2Cor.5.18-19). 

What is Elohim’s idea of a peacemaker? He designated one in Torah:

5 And Moshe said unto the judges of Israel [the bikkurim of the tribes], Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moshe, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7 And when Pinchas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. 10 And Y’hovah spake unto Moshe, saying, 11 Pinchas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. (Numbers 25.5-13)

Not exactly ‘politically correct’ is it, killing a couple for engaging in consensual sex? Well, PC never entered Y’hovah’s mind; it’s a tool of the enemy, not Avinu.

Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

These 2 beatitudes are slightly different in their application. Each still requires a humility that is not found in mere humans, but the attitude is seen in our response to ill treatment from others rather than how we treat others or ourselves. Do you think that just being persecuted is going to bring a blessing? It won’t. It is your response to suffering that gets the blessing. 

These three verses must be seen together. Yeshua tells us that those who have been persecuted for standing up for Elohim and his righteous standard will be blessed, then he makes the personal application by saying ‘You (and I) will be supremely blest when you (we) suffer all these things for my (Yeshua’s) sake.’ Look at the way that sentence is built in verse 11. “Blessed are ye [for my sake]” is the simple sentence. The whole rest of the verse is a dependent adverbial clause. It cannot stand on it’s own and can be left out of the sentence without destroying it. It amplifies the verb ‘blessed’ in the simple sentence. Yeshua here rolls all the prophets and his audience together in the same bundle, calling them (and us) prophets. He also equates his sake to righteousness’ sake. In other words, Yeshua, our Tzadik Rebbe, is righteousness and suffering for his sake makes the kingdom of heaven ours. Don’t worry about what people will think of you, just be his witness and bring others to him. Let the persecution come, REJOICE in it, for it builds character (if you accept it humbly and joyfully). Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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