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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 48

Exodus 6:2 - 7:7   -   Ezek 28:25 - 29:21,  Isa 42:8   -   Psalm 44   -   3 John 1-8,  Rev 3:7-13, 14:1
 

 

Adar   11, 5762 / Feb 23, 2002 

I Adar 17, 5765 / Feb 26, 2005 

I Adar 17, 5768 / Feb 23, 2008

I Adar 15, 5771 / Feb 19, 2011

II Adar 13, 5774 / Mar 15, 2014

   Adar 13, 5777 / Mar 11, 2017

 

Ani Yahweh / I Am Yahweh   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

“I am Yahweh; and I appeared . . .”

 

One might readily discern from today’s portion that Yahweh is making a strong point about His Name.

 

“Yahweh” is used sixteen times in the Torah portion, and twelve times in the Haftarah – Ezekiel portion, with once more in the verse of Isaiah. It is never used in Psalm 44, but twice “Thy Name” is used. We have chosen Apostolic portions that continue the theme into the New World.

 

(V.2-3) God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh; and I appeared to Abraham (Gen 17:1), Isaac (Gen 28:3), and Jacob (Gen 35:11), as El Shaddai (God Almighty), but by My name, Yahweh (The Eternal), I did not make Myself known to them.”  Earlier in the Torah, we noted that “Elohim” is used when referring to the Creator who judges His creation, and “Yahweh” is used when referring to Him as The Eternal in His attribute of Grace/Mercy. But, it was Moses who wrote Genesis, and here we learn that God was not known to the earlier patriarchs as “Yahweh”, even though Moses used that Name throughout the accounts of their lives.

 

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am El Shaddai / God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless’ ” – Genesis 17:1.

 

Yahweh appeared to (Isaac) and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you’” – Genesis 26:2.  (Jacob said to Isaac) “May El Shaddai / God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples”  – Genesis 28:3.

 

Then Elohim appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him . . . Elohim also said to him, ‘I am El Shaddai / God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you’ ” – Genesis 35:9-11.

 

God also said (Exodus 3:15), “This is My Name forever, and this is My Memorial-Name to all generations.” He didn’t say, “As long as you remember how to pronounce it exactly as it was first said”. He didn’t say, “It’s okay to change My Word and substitute a word of different meaning” (such as Adonai/Lord, Hashem/The Name, etc.). He did allow contractions of His Name: “halleluyah” is hallel (praise) to Yah (Yahweh); “Yeshua” is Yah is shua (salvation). He did say, “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain” (Exodus 20:7). He will not give the glory of His Name to any other god (Isaiah 42:8). [There are very limited grammatical possibilities that The Name could be pronounced in some other way.]

___________

 

When Abraham took Isaac to Mt. Moriah to offer him, he said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you" (Genesis 22:5). Note that Abraham said that they were going to “worship”. And he said that they were going to return, though he was going to offer Isaac.

 

Remember that for Abraham’s first 56 years, Noah was still alive: Abraham’s world was very young, and it was most significant for him that God was the Creator that had the power to do anything He said. It is almost inconceivable to us that a father would be willing to sacrifice his son, especially one that he had awaited for much of his life, was the miraculous and only son of his beloved wife, and one to whom God had promised a great future. Tradition tells us that Sarah died upon hearing of this (Sarah’s life is no longer spoken of in the passage). We often hear of the great miracle of a ram being caught in a thicket by its horns – its strongest asset. And we often hear of Abraham’s faith, as though he was great of himself. But the greatest miracle here was that the Almighty gave Abraham faith to “worship” according to divine design!

 

My definition of a miracle is, since God controls everything, a situation where God does the unusual or unexpected. God usually causes apples to fall “down”, so we say there is a “law of gravity”; if we saw an apple fall “up”, we would call it a miracle. God usually causes water pour from higher into lower places, so when God caused a dry path in the midst of the Sea, it was called a miracle.

 

Today, we see people all around us inventing their ways to worship that “seem good” to them. We see churches with “worship teams” leading the singing of extra-biblical songs, starting with the misconception that worship means singing. Worship means being prostrate on one’s face before God; this could be seen as representing complete submission to His Word, learning and doing what He says. Bible teachers, in word and deed, could thus be seen as “worship” leaders.  When anyone desires to “worship” as God designed according to His Word, I call it a miracle! It is unusual, unexpected, and “unnatural”.

 

Now, 400 years after Abraham, Moses is on the scene. God is preparing to redeem a Bride for Messiah. He is remembering – that is preparing to fulfill – His ancient promise to Abraham concerning Isaac’s descendants. Now is the time for His people to know Him as Yahweh – The Eternal who remembers, who is gracious/merciful to His chosen. Now that His chosen are identified, they shall henceforth forever worship the Eternal Gracious One by His Name, Yahweh.

 

(V.6-8) This paragraph is known as the Passover Covenant. It is the basis of the four cups of the Passover seder: (1) the cup of sanctification or blessing, (2) the cup of deliverance, (3) the cup of redemption, and (4) the cup of completion/glorification.

(1) “I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,

(2)  and I will deliver you from their bondage.

(3)  I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

(4)  Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am Yahweh.”

 

(V.7:3)  “But I will harden Pharaoh's heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.” In chapter seven, God sends Moses and Aaron to confront the Pharaoh, but says that He will harden the Pharaoh’s heart – and why: He will show signs and wonders, culminating in the death of Egypt’s firstborn. Then, not only God’s chosen people, but all Egypt will know that Yahweh is God! This was but a taste of the final fulfillment: at the end of the age, not only believers, but all of the world will know that Yahweh is God! He rules over all for eternity! This is the message of Ezekiel 28.

 

In Psalm 44 we read, “In Thy name we will trample down those who rise up against us” and “we will give thanks to Thy name forever. Selah.” Therefore we say, “Blessed are You, Yahweh our God …”.

 

This is the time to learn true worship! Those who will not learn early, are destined to learn too late that Yahweh has sent a redeemer, and will not share His glory with any other.

 

In III John, we read of those who were walking in truth, who “went out for the sake of The Name” to the gentiles, taking nothing from them.

 

In Revelation 3 we read that “he who overcomes” will have the Name of God written on him. Then, in Revelation 14, we read of the 144,000 Hebrew missionaries, that they will have “(Yeshua’s) Name and the Name of His Father written on their foreheads.”

 

In a couple of days [in non-leap years], we start the month of preparation for the Passover seder. God has instructed us to worship in the Festivals, from Unleavened Bread to the Eighth Day Assembly, portraying redemption to glorification through Yeshua. We have no authority to make something else out of them, other than what His Word says. We cannot change “Yahweh’s Feast” (the Passover seder) to a “Lord’s Supper” consisting of two small elements: we are instructed to portray the whole Feast of “remembrance of Him”. We cannot change “You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days” (Leviticus 23:42) to “hold a conference”: we are instructed to “experience” the past to learn for the future. We cannot change “the blood of the Covenant” – grape juice/wine (Exodus 24:8, Matthew 24:28) to “water” or “whatever is handy”: God gave punishments for those who messed-up His pictures. By these Festivals we and the world are ultimately to understand that “Yahweh is God”, and “Yahweh is our Salvation” (meaning of Yeshua). We cannot change “the only name under heaven . . . by which you must be saved” (Acts 4:12) to “God would not be so unfair as to deny someone who sincerely tries his best”: He is sovereign: none of us “sincerely” seek God on our own (Psalm 14:2-3).

 

In conclusion:

 

We are to sanctify God’s Name. That means that we are to use it in holy ways, such as when quoting His Holy Word, or when blessing His Holy Name for His gracious acts toward us.

 

I Am Yahweh Your God” – Deuteronomy 20:2 (The first of the Ten Commandments by Hebrew enumeration.

Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is the only one!” – Deuteronomy 6:4.

There is no one like Yahweh our God” – Exodus 8:10.

 

Blessed be Yahweh . . .” – Genesis 9:26, 24:7, Exodus 18:10, Psalm 28:6, 144:1 (as examples).

 

We are not to use His Name in vain. That refers to using His Name not only in a derogatory manner, but also using it as common slang. It includes using it in making an oath which we do not intend to keep. Using a substitute intended to represent His Name does not absolve us of guilt.

 

You shall not use the Name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him guiltless who takes His Name in vain” – Exodus 20:7, Deuteronomy 5:11.

 

Your enemies take Your Name in vain” – Psalm 139:20.

 

Whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him Who sits upon it” – Matthew 23:21

 

We are not to deny His Name. By definition, that would include refusing to use it in holy circumstances, as well as using the name of another in holy circumstances. It also includes doing things that are contrary to His glory.

 

Give me neither poverty nor riches . . . that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is Yahweh?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the Name of my God” – Proverbs 30:8-9.

 

Readings:

"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."

 

(Ani Yahweh, va-era el Avraham el Yitzchak v’el Yaacov /

I Am Yahweh, and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob)

 

Reader 1*  Amen. 2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am Yahweh; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Yahweh, I did not make Myself known to them. 4 "I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. 5 "Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.

Reader 2*  Amen.  6 "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 'Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

 8 'I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am Yahweh.'"

Reader 3*  Amen.  9 So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage. 10 Now Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 11 "Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the sons of Israel go out of his land." 12 But Moses spoke before Yahweh, saying, "Behold, the sons of Israel have not listened to me; how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am unskilled in speech?"

Reader 4*  Amen.  13 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a charge to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

 14 These are the heads of their fathers' households. The sons of Reuben, Israel's firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath and Merari; and the length of Levi's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram and Izhar and Hebron and Uzziel; and the length of Kohath's life was one hundred and thirty-three years. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20 Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. 21 The sons of Izhar: Korah and Nepheg and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah: Assir and Elkanah and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. 25 Aaron's son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' households of the Levites according to their families. 26 It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom Yahweh said, "Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts."

27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.

Reader 5*  Amen.  28 Now it came about on the day when Yahweh spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "I am Yahweh; speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you." 30 But Moses said before Yahweh, "Behold, I am unskilled in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me?"

Reader 6*  Amen. 7:1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2 "You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land. 3 "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.

Reader 7*  Amen.  4 "When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 "The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst." 6 So Moses and Aaron did it; as Yahweh commanded them, thus they did. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

 

"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."

 

Ezekiel 28:25 – 29:21

Reader 8*  Amen. 25 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob. 26 They will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards and live securely when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am Yahweh their God."'"

Reader 9*  Amen. 29:1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth of the month, the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2 "Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak and say, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers, that has said, 'My Nile is mine, and I myself have made it.' 4 I will put hooks in your jaws and make the fish of your rivers cling to your scales. And I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all the fish of your rivers will cling to your scales. 5 I will abandon you to the wilderness, you and all the fish of your rivers; you will fall on the open field; you will not be brought together or gathered. I have given you for food to the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the sky. 6 Then all the inhabitants of Egypt will know that I am Yahweh, because they have been only a staff made of reed to the house of Israel.

Reader 10*  Amen. 7 When they took hold of you with the hand, you broke and tore all their hands; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins quake." 8 'Therefore thus says Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I will bring upon you a sword and I will cut off from you man and beast. 9 The land of Egypt will become a desolation and waste. Then they will know that I am Yahweh. Because you said, 'The Nile is mine, and I have made it,' 10 therefore, behold, I am against you and against your rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene and even to the border of Ethiopia. 11 A man's foot will not pass through it, and the foot of a beast will not pass through it, and it will not be inhabited for forty years. 12 So I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated lands. And her cities, in the midst of cities that are laid waste, will be desolate forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among the lands."

Reader 11*  Amen. 13 'For thus says Lord Yahweh, "At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they were scattered. 14 I will turn the fortunes of Egypt and make them return to the land of Pathros, to the land of their origin, and there they will be a lowly kingdom. 15 It will be the lowest of the kingdoms, and it will never again lift itself up above the nations. And I will make them so small that they will not rule over the nations. 16 And it will never again be the confidence of the house of Israel, bringing to mind the iniquity of their having turned to Egypt. Then they will know that I am Lord Yahweh."'"

Reader 12*  Amen. 17 Now in the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 18 "Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare. But he and his army had no wages from Tyre for the labor that he had performed against it." 19 Therefore thus says Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. And he will carry off her wealth and capture her spoil and seize her plunder; and it will be wages for his army. 20 I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor which he performed, because they acted for Me," declares Lord Yahweh. 21 "On that day I will make a horn sprout for the house of Israel, and I will open your mouth in their midst. Then they will know that I am Yahweh."

 

Isaiah 42:8

Reader 13*  Amen. I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”

 

Psalm 44    (To be sung.) For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. (A Maskil is a contemplative poem.)

1 O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us the work that You did in their days, in the days of old. 2 You with Your own hand drove out the nations; then You planted them; You afflicted the peoples, then You spread them abroad. 3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land, and their own arm did not save them, but Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, for You favored them. 4 You are my King, O God; command victories for Jacob. 5 Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us. 6 For I will not trust in my bow, nor will my sword save me. 7 But You have saved us from our adversaries, and You have put to shame those who hate us. 8 In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah. 9 Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor, and do not go out with our armies. 10 You cause us to turn back from the adversary; and those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves. 11 You give us as sheep to be eaten and have scattered us among the nations. 12 You sell Your people cheaply, and have not profited by their sale. 13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scoffing and a derision to those around us. 14 You make us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples. 15 All day long my dishonor is before me and my humiliation has overwhelmed me, 16 because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles, because of the presence of the enemy and the avenger. 17 All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You, and we have not dealt falsely with Your covenant. 18 Our heart has not turned back, and our steps have not deviated from Your way, 19 Yet You have crushed us in a place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. 20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or extended our hands to a strange god, 21 would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart. 22 But for Your sake we are killed all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 23 Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not reject us forever. 24 Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression? 25 For our soul has sunk down into the dust; our body cleaves to the earth. 26 Rise up, be our help, and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness.

 

III John 1-8

Reader 14*  Amen.

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.

 

Revelation 3:7-13

Reader 15*  Amen. 7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: 8 'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie-- I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

 

Revelation 14:1

And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Name and the Name of His Father written on their foreheads.

 

"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)