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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 2

Exodus 11:1 - 12:28   -   Jeremiah 46:13-28,  Micah 7:15   -   Psalm 48  -   John 3:13-25
 

 

Nisan 10, 5762 / March 23, 2002

Nisan 14, 5765 /  April 23, 2005

Nisan 14, 5768 /  April 19, 2008 

Nisan 12, 5771 / April 16, 2011

Nisan 12, 5774 / April 12, 2014

Nisan 12, 5777 / April   8, 2017

 

Od Nega Echad / One More Plague   SCRIPTURES (should be read first) 

 

Background

 

Moses was brought up in a Pharaoh’s house: a Pharaoh was his step-grandfather. The Pharaoh with which we are herein dealing was doubtlessly a successor, since Moses was eighty years old at this time (Exodus 7:7). This Pharaoh may have been brought up in the same house as Moses.

 

Moses knew both Hebrew (which means from the other side) – the language from the other side of the dispersion at Babel – and the Egyptian language. He would have had no problem communicating with the Pharaoh. God had prepared Moses for this task, as He would later prepare the Apostle Paul with knowledge of many languages (1 Corinthians 14:18).

 

Exodus 11

 

(V.9) “Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.’ ” We have seen now for several chapters that God’s purpose was to make His Name known to His people and the whole world. He raised up this Pharaoh for His own purpose, and said from the outset that He would harden the Pharaoh’s heart throughout the ten plagues.

 

 “Yahweh said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go’ ” – Exodus 4:21.

 

But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you (Pharaoh) to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My Name through all the earth” – Exodus 9:16.

 

 “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth’ ” - Romans 9:17.

(V.4-5) “Thus says Yahweh, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die’ ” It was Yahweh who passed over, not a “death angel.” (There is no Greek word “angellos” in Hebrews 11:28 to translate “angel”.)

(V.8) “All these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, ‘Go out’ ”. The slave-masters are to become the servants!

(V.1, 6-7) One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt”

“Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. But against any of the sons of Israel a dog shall not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how Yahweh makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.”

 

There is one more plague to come: Revelation 7:14-17 – “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.”

 

(V.4-5) “Thus says Yahweh, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones;”

Matthew 24:37-41 – “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away (in death); so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken (in death), and one will be left.”

 

Exodus 12

 

(V.2) This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.

Rosh Hodesh (Head-of-the-month) observance was the first commandment given to Israel as a nation. A thousand years later, in the Greek-Syrian persecution, three observances were prohibited: Rosh Hodesh, Sabbath, and circumcision. Without Rosh Hodesh, no Festivals can be observed, which prohibits observance of a multitude of other commandments.

 

(V.4) “According to the number of persons”: here we see why those who are to partake in the Feast must be determined by Nisan 10; the number of persons determines the lambs to be chosen on that day. The Sabbath preceding the Passover offering is called “Shabbat haGadol” – the Great Sabbath, in commemoration of that Nisan 10 in Egypt which was a Sabbath. The Nisan 10 preceding Yeshua’s crucifixion was likewise a Sabbath – when Yeshua came riding a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Shabbat!

 

The Egyptians saw their gods – lambs and goats – being tethered for four days of examination, in preparation for sacrifice. Yeshua was also examined for “blemish” in the days leading up to His cucifixion.

 

(V.15) “On the previous day you shall remove leaven from your houses”: there may be no leaven present from noon on Nisan 14, the time for slaughtering the lambs.

 

(V16) At sundown (the fifteenth day of this month) the feast begins:“On the first day (Nisan 15) you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day (Nisan 21); no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.

 

We may note, that on the Seventh Day of this exodus from Egypt, Moses told the people to “Stand still” (Exodus 14:13), and Yahweh would do the work.

 

There was no outward difference between the Egyptians and the Hebrews, as far as being worthy, but God made a distinction, and tells us to keep His people holy. There is no outward difference between the first six days of the week and the Sabbath; but God makes a distinction, and tells us to keep the Sabbath holy. Also, there are seven annual dates which God has commanded us to proclaim as holy.

 

God’s people are to set aside fifty-nine days of each year (number based on solar year) to be dedicated to his worship. On theses days, we are not to work at our secular jobs, we are not to “seek our own pleasure”, we are not even to speak our own words about mundane subjects. We are instructed by both Torah and Apostle to take part in a public worship service.

 

 “If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of Yahweh honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in Yahweh, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken” – Isaiah 58:13-14.

 

These are the appointed times of Yahweh which you shall proclaim as sacred assemblies” – Leviticus 23:37.

 

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25.

 

(V.3) Nisan 10: This is the day for choosing a lamb. Who is the Lamb, through whose blood you will be passed over, when judgment comes?

 

(V.6) The fourteenth day of this month is called the Preparation day (see John 19:14). “And you shall keep it (the Passover Lamb) until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it between the evenings.” That is, between noon (the start of the going down of the sun) and sunset (the final setting of the sun). A full explanation of this Hebrew Scripture is given in the Talmud. (Many, without knowledge of Hebrew or Talmud, promote various interpretations from English translations.)

 

(V.14-15) “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a Feast of Yahweh (later translated Lord’s Supper); throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread”. Yeshua said, “Do this in remembrance of Me”.

 

Note that we are not only to avoid all leaven, but there is a positive commandment to eat matzot (unleavened breads). We are not only to avoid all sin, we are to perform positive mitzvot. We are to perform both the symbol and the antitype deed.

 

Now, concerning God’s judgments, which are “in kind”:

John 3:17-19 – “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.”

We may think of those who are openly sinful, who do not want to hear of God’s ways. But I think of so many, who say to me, “I feel this is a good way”, and don’t want to know what God says is His way. I hear such statements concerning obedience and learning vs. doing what one “feels” is right. Also claims of being “spirit-filled” by people who are Biblically illiterate, and think their feelings are God’s messages, so have no need to learn His Word. Then we see those who simply use religious position as a way of “making money”: they certainly don’t want to be exposed to “the light”; that was the case with those who sold animals at the Temple, and it is the case with much of “ministry” today. These have already been judged by Torah.

 

But Yeshua came to take our (believers’) judgment upon Himself. Consider how it may have felt to be in Goshen in Moses’ time: every Egyptian family is bewailing a dead firstborn, but not so much as a dog barked against the Hebrews. They were not, of themselves, better or more worthy than the Egyptians. Have you heard how that many people who live through great catastrophes, like the World Trade Center terrorism, feel guilty at being spared?

 

Yet, even as believers, we are not free to sin, just because of Yeshua taking our judgment: such “freedom” would make a farce of our faith (Romans 6:1, James 2:17). And if we perform mitzvot (acts in the service of God), but do them with wrong motives, we lose all future reward (Matthew 6:2).

 

Baptism represents starting clean, starting a new life of serving God. It represents purification from sin, not ignoring and continuing sin.

 

The Haftarah relationship:

(V.11:8) Moses said to the Pharaoh, “And all these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, ‘Go out, you and all the people who follow you,’ and after that I will go out.” Jeremiah 46:15,17 –  “Why have your mighty ones become prostrate? They do not stand because Yahweh has thrust them down. . . . They cried there, ‘Pharaoh King of Egypt is but a big noise; He has let the appointed time pass by!’” Psalm 48:4-5 – For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together. They saw it, then they were amazed; they were terrified, they fled in alarm. Psalm 48:11 – Let Mount Zion be glad, let the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of Thy judgments.

 

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."

 

( Vayomer Yahweh el-Moshe, od nega echad aviy El-Pharaoh v’al-Mitzraim /

Then Yahweh said to Moses, "One more plague I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt)

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Now Yahweh said to Moses, "One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. 2 "Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold." 3 Yahweh gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

Reader 2Amen. 4 Moses said (to the Pharaoh), "Thus says Yahweh, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 'Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. 7 'But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how Yahweh makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.' 8 "All these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, 'Go out, you and all the people who follow you,' and after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt." 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.

Reader 3Amen. 12:1 Now Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. 4 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Reader 4Amen. 6 'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 'They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.

Reader 5Amen. 11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is Yahweh'S Passover. 12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am Yahweh. 13 'The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Reader 6Amen. 14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to Yahweh; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. 15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 'On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 'You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 'Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. 20 'You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"

Reader 7Amen. 21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. 22 "You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. 23 "For Yahweh will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. 24 "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. 25 "When you enter the land which Yahweh will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. 26 "And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?' 27 you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to Yahweh who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped. 28 Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as Yahweh had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

 

"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."

 

Jeremiah 46:13-28

Reader 8Amen. 13 This is the message which Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to smite the land of Egypt: 14 "Declare in Egypt and proclaim in Migdol, proclaim also in Memphis and Tahpanhes; say, 'Take your stand and get yourself ready, for the sword has devoured those around you.' 15 Why have your mighty ones become prostrate? They do not stand because Yahweh has thrust them down. 16 "They have repeatedly stumbled; indeed, they have fallen one against another. Then they said, 'Get up! And let us go back to our own people and our native land away from the sword of the oppressor.' 17 They cried there, 'Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a big noise; he has let the appointed time pass by!' 18 “As I live,” declares the King Whose name is Yahweh of Hosts, "Surely one shall come who looms up like Tabor among the mountains, or like Carmel by the sea. 19 "Make your baggage ready for exile, O daughter dwelling in Egypt, for Memphis will become a desolation; it will even be burned down and bereft of inhabitants.

Reader 9Amen. 20 "Egypt is a pretty heifer, but a horsefly is coming from the north-- it is coming! 21 "Also her mercenaries in her midst are like fattened calves, for even they too have turned back and have fled away together; they did not stand their ground. For the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment. 22 "Its sound moves along like a serpent; for they move on like an army and come to her as woodcutters with axes. 23 "They have cut down her forest," declares Yahweh; "Surely it will no more be found, even though they are now more numerous than locusts and are without number. 24 "The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame, given over to the power of the people of the north." 25 Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, says, "Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 "I shall give them over to the power of those who are seeking their lives, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of his officers. Afterwards, however, it will be inhabited as in the days of old," declares Yahweh.

Reader 10Amen. 27 "But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, nor be dismayed, O Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from afar, and your descendants from the land of their captivity; and Jacob will return and be undisturbed and secure, with no one making him tremble. 28 "O Jacob My servant, do not fear," declares Yahweh, "For I am with you. For I will make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you, yet I will not make a full end of you; but I will correct you properly and by no means leave you unpunished."

 

Micah 7:15

"As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles."

 

Psalm 48    (To be sung.)    A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.

1 Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, His holy mountain. 2 Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion in the far north, the city of the great King. 3 God, in her palaces, has made Himself known as a stronghold. 4 For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together. 5 They saw it, then they were amazed; they were terrified, they fled in alarm. 6 Panic seized them there, anguish, as of a woman in childbirth. 7 With the east wind You break the ships of Tarshish. 8 As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of Yahweh of Hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish her forever. Selah. 9 We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Your temple. 10 As is Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let Mount Zion be glad, let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of Your judgments. 12 Walk about Zion and go around her; count her towers; 13 consider her ramparts; go through her palaces, that you may tell it to the next generation. 14 For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.

 

John 3:13-25

Reader 11Amen. 13 "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Reader 12Amen. 19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." 22 After these things Yeshua and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized-- 24 for John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25 Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John's disciples with a Jew about purification.

 

"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."


 


© 2003  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)