Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 9

Genesis 11:1-32   -   Zephaniah 3:8-13   -   (No Psalm)   -   1 Corinthians 14:20-33

Sivan 4, 5761 / May 26, 2001 

Sivan 2, 5764 / May 22, 2004

Sivan 2, 5767 / May 19, 2007

Sivan 2, 5770 / May 15, 2010

Sivan 2, 5773 / May 11, 2013

Sivan 5, 5776 / June 11, 2016

Sivan 5, 5779 / June  8, 2019


Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who has sanctified us by His Word, and instructed us to count the Omer.

Today is forty-six days of the Omer; it is seven weeks of the Omer.”


Sivan 6 / May 15, 2013  is Day fifty of the Omer - Hag Shavuot, the Feast of Pentecost.


Vayhee Chal-haaretz Shaphah / The Whole Earth Became   SCRIPTURES should be read first


It was the year A.M. 1996 (Anno Mundi – Year of the World), 340 years after the flood. Noah (who was born only 126 years after Adam died) would live ten more tears, and Abraham was forty-eight. All of the nations were in the one area, and they all spoke the original Holy Language.




(V.1) Since Adam, the whole world had used the same language and the same words.


God had commanded the descendents of Noah to replenish the earth (v.8:17). They had multiplied to a population with seventy family heads (ch.10). But, these seventy families stayed in Iraq, and built a great city with a tower to make a name for themselves. God came, at Shavuot, and gave each clan a different language, thus causing the dispersion that He formerly commanded. Since the people’s attempted communications seemed as babbling, the place is called Babel.


The time of this reading – the Sabbath before Hag Shavuot – hints that the dispersion of Babel was a Shavuot occurrence.


Adam had known Lamech for 56 years, and Lamech had known Shem, his grandson, for 95 years. Though Abraham was the ninth generation after Shem, Shem outlived Abraham!


The confusion of languages occurred at Babel in the year A.M. 1996. Noah would live for another 10 years. Shem would live for another 152 years. Abraham was 48 years of age.


The point here is: Adam, Lamech, Shem, and Abraham all spoke the same original language.


Abraham had good opportunity to acquire much knowledge of Adam’s time and Noah’s time. Adam and Noah lived for most all of the first two millenniums of the world, and Abraham knew Noah.


Last week we saw the names of the seventy nations that would be divided by languages and dispersed throughout the world. Among them were Noah’s son Shem, his grandson Shelah, and his great-grandson Peleg. In Genesis 10:25 we read, “the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided.” Peleg died at 239 years of age, in the year of the dispersion of the seventy nations from Babel. However, before Peleg’s death at Babel, he knew his great-great-great-grandson Abraham for 48 years.


God’s covenant, of which we are partakers, was with Abraham. Abraham was called a Hebrew, which means ‘From the other side’ – prior to the dispersion and confusion.


After the dispersion, Abraham had a son – Isaac, and a grandson – Jacob, and twelve great-grandsons – including Joseph. Joseph knew Hebrew – the language ‘from the other side’, as well as the language of Egypt (Genesis 42).


This dispersion is the origin of “the languages of men and angels” (1 Corinthians 13:1), that is the languages of the seventy nations and Hebrew (Hebrew being the language of the Angels of the Synagogues – see Synagogue/Church).


We start with one language (see www.hebrewworld.com). Then God separates seventy languages (Genesis 11). Then God tells Israel, who speaks Hebrew, that He will correct them with people of foreign languages – Gentiles (Isaiah 28:11). Then God says that, in the New World, He will give people back the pure language, that they may worship Him in one accord (Zephaniah 3:9). Even before that, Yahweh says that five cities in Egypt will learn Hebrew and swear allegiance to Him (Isaiah 19:18).


About 4000 years ago was the dispersion, with languages confused at Shavuot/Pentecost. Then, about 3300 years ago, the Torah was given at Mt.Sinai, traditionally in 70 languages. Then, about 1900 years ago, again at Shavuot, the Gospel was given in many languages of the nations (Acts 2).


Paul tells us that we should grow up in our understanding of the Word of God, and think in a mature way. Only in learning sin should we remain babes. We should not slander others, nor put down others – trying to exalt ourselves. We should speak in a manner that is spiritually profitable for others.


Old English is often used today to create a mystique. "Unknown tongues" is the Old English term for "foreign languages". The mystique is used to perpetuate modern false doctrine: "unknown tongues" does not mean jibberish or "tongues of angels" or an unknown-to-the-speaker prayer language,


In the Synagogue, when we have people of different languages, we should not speak in a language that is not understood by all, except that we translate for them (1Cor 14:23). Translating is for the purpose of allowing outsiders to understand, or else how should they come to faith? 


"Prophecy" means "expounding Torah"; foretelling the future can be an incidental part. When one is expounding the Torah passage in Synagogue, if another knows a fuller explanation, the first should wait until the latter speaks; then others may judge (1 Corinthians 14:24-33). There should be no situation, like today's common unbiblical "Pastor" or "Rabbi" position, where one person's teaching is the sole and final word. 


When the seven readers are called on Sabbath to read the Torah portions, the overseer (Angel of the Synagogue) watches over their shoulders (thus the term "overseer") to ensure that every word is read correctly. The important thing is for Torah – God's Word – to be heard accurately. This is not to embarrass a reader: each reader's desire should be for the Torah, for the hearer, not for himself.


In our situation, when anything is read, recited, or sung in Hebrew, it should be translated into English. If we have Russian or Spanish visitors, it is proper to translate for them. If we have some hearing-impaired among us, it is proper to sign for them (even though this is speaking in hands, not tongues :-) .














Genesis 5:29  Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which Yahweh has cursed."


Genesis 10:25  Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided;



"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."


For the Sabbath preceding Hag Shavuot


Reader 1* Amen 1 Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2 It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."


Reader 2* Amen 5 Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 Yahweh said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."


Reader 3* Amen 8 So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there Yahweh confused the language of the whole earth; and from there Yahweh scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.


Reader 4* Amen 10 These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; 11 and Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters. 12 Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah; 13 and Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and he had other sons and daughters. 14 Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber; 15 and Shelah lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Eber, and he had other sons and daughters. 16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg; 17 and Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and he had other sons and daughters.


Reader 5* Amen 18 Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu; 19 and Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and he had other sons and daughters. 20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug; 21 and Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and he had other sons and daughters. 22 Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor; 23 and Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and he had other sons and daughters. 24 Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah; 25 and Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and he had other sons and daughters. 26 Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.


Reader 6* Amen 27 Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai was barren; she had no child.


Reader 7* Amen 31 Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. 32 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.


"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."



"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."


Zephaniah 3:8-13

Reader 8* Amen 8 “Therefore wait for Me,” declares Yahweh, “For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal. 9 For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, My dispersed ones, will bring My offerings. 11 In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for then I will remove from your midst your proud, exulting ones, and you will never again be haughty on My holy mountain. 12 But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the name of Yahweh. 13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong and tell no lies, nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths; for they will feed and lie down with no one to make them tremble.”


No Psalm


1 Corinthians 14:20-33

Reader 9* Amen 20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, “By men of foreign languages and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.


Reader 10* Amen 26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.


1 Peter 2:1-10

Reader 11* Amen 1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah.


Reader 12* Amen 6 For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone that the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” 8 and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own posession,” so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were “not a people”, but now you are “the people of God”; you had “not receive mercy”, but now you have “received mercy.”


"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."

© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)