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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 8

Exodus 18:1 - 19:6a   -   Isaiah 6:1-13,  33:13,  61:6-10   -   Psalm 54  -   Romans 8:19-39
 

 

Iyyar 21, 5762 / May 04, 2002

Iyyar 26, 5765 / June 04, 2005

Iyyar 26, 5768 / May 31, 2008

Iyyar 24, 5771 / May 28, 2011

Iyyar 24, 5774 / May 24, 2014

Iyyar 24, 5777 / May 20, 2017             Today we say:

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 39 days of the Omer; it is 5 weeks and 4 days of the Omer.”

 

Vayishma Yitro / Jethro Heard    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

The Ascensions of Moses and Yeshua

 

Ascension Day is Iyyar 27 (Thursday May 9, 2002 / Sunday June 5, 2005)

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Beginning with the great flood of Noah’s time, this is the day in which the waters were dried off the face of the earth.

 

From Triennial Cycle Year 1 – Noah:

[1]  On Nisan 1 the waters were gone from the surface – the earth was muddy; Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month . . .  the waters were gone from the surface of the earth” – Genesis 8:13.

                   From Nisan 1 – the New Year for Festivals,
                   + 13 days to crucifixion on Nisan 14,
                   +   3 days to resurrection on Nisan 17,
                   + 40 days to ascension = Iyyar 27.

[2]  on Iyyar 27 the earth was dry.
And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry” – Genesis 8:14.

 

Then Elohim remembered Noah – a type of Yeshua.

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Moses also typified Yeshua in many ways.

 

In today’s reading, we see that “Moses went up to God” (v.19:3). (Israel entered the Wilderness of Sinai on Sivan 1 (v.19:1), and it was Sivan 2 when “Moses went up to God” – this is four days later than Iyyar 27. Moses also went up on Sivan 3 (v.19:8), Sivan 4 (v.24:1), Sivan 6 – Shavuot (v.24:9), Sivan 7 (v.24:18), Tammuz 18 (v.32:30), and Av 30 (v.34:4) – seven times.)

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Yeshua was crucified on Nisan 14, at the Preparation of the Passover. He rose after three days and three nights. After forty more days, on Iyyar 27, He ascended into the heavens. The “Water of Life” was gone from the earth.

 

1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Yeshua began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." 9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Yeshua, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven" – Acts 1:1-11.

 

This coming Tuesday (in 2014) is that date when they “watched Him go into the heavens.” In four months we celebrate the Day of Trumpeting, rehearsing for His return “just the same way.”

 

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(V.1) Moses was once a homeless wanderer, and Jethro a priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1). Now the roles were reversed: Moses was high priest of God’s people, and Jethro was coming to him in recognition of Yahweh his God. Actually, Jethro’s name was originally Jether (Yiter), but when he came to faith in Yahweh, and in recognition for his service to Moses and Israel, he was called Jethro (Yitro), which means addition.

 

We see this story about Jethro in juxtaposition with the story of Amelek. Both Amelek and Jethro had heard about the miraculous events culminating in the exodus. But Amelek came to destroy God’s people, whereas Jethro came to join and bless them.

 

(Isaiah 33:13) “You who are far away, hear what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge My might.”

 

(V.11) “Now I know” – seeing that as the Pharaoh had intended to kill all Hebrew boys in the sea, God punished “in kind” by drowning the Pharaoh and his armies in the sea. Jethro saw clearly that Yahweh was over all gods.

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(V.16) Moses said, “I judge between a man and his neighbor, and make known the statutes (hukim) of God and His laws (Torot).” This is the definition of halachic judgment. Halacha means walk: how we are to walk with God in fulfillment of Torah. Moses taught the details of the application of Torah – God’s instruction, as well as settling disputes. This became the position of the Temple Sanhedrin (71 judges) and the District Courts (21 judges) and Synagogue Courts (3 judges for each town). This is the pattern for our court system today in the USA.

 

(V.13) It may be noted that Moses sat to teach and judge, but the people stood.

 

The Courts were to teach and enforce God’s instruction, not create new laws. Our civil courts of today are supposed to enforce the laws of our land, not create new ones. However, just as our local legislatures make rulings – such as setting highway speed limits to safeguard life, so the Biblical servants made halachic rulings – detailing fences to safeguard Torah laws.

 

Torah says to safeguard life: ancient halachic rulings and modern civil laws both serve to detail how we should act to fulfill this Torah mandate. Torah says to avoid sexual promiscuity: ancient halachic rulings and apostolic teachings both properly stipulate modest dress, as a fence to help us observe this Torah mandate. Even though the Torah does not specify “Thou shalt not look sexy in public”, modest dress is the kind of judgment made by God’s authority, and does not represent a new law.

 

The law “was added because of sin”, because men were getting further away from the mark of glorifying God. When we are glorified, we will have no more desire or inclination to sin, and will no longer have need of written rules to learn how to glorify God.

 

In Romans we see that God forordained certain people – He made a determination from eternity, which had nothing to do with simply knowing of their future works:

For whom He foreordained, (v.8:29) [proegno – had relationship beforehand; those who believe were previously given power to become sons of God (John 1:12).]

He predestined these people to become holy – to overcome:

He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; (v.8:29) [proorimen – predestined]

Then, in time, He called them by the gospel (see 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

and whom He predestined, these He also called; (v.8:30) [ekalemen – called – Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints.]

Those who are called are then justified:

and whom He called, these He also justified; (v.8:30) [edikaiomen – declared righteous – Rom 3:24 Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.]

Those who are justified are just-as-if-they-had-never-sinned; they will be glorified, with incorruptible bodies. This after-resurrection life relates to Yeshua’s ascension:

and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (v.8:30). [edoxamen – rendered glorious.]

Now, when we are called, we see that everything that happens to us is for our ultimate good:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (v.8:28).

When we are called, here is how things begin to work for our good: the gospel is brought to us and faith is granted. Then, being justified, everything that happens to us is for our learning and overcoming – for our growth in holiness. If we love God, we will desire to please Him, to learn from our experiences – whether they seem good or evil by this world’s standards.

 

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."

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how Yahweh had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Moses' wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, 3 and her two sons, of whom one was named Gershom, for Moses said, "I have been a sojourner in a foreign land." 4 The other was named Eliezer, for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."

Reader 2Amen. 5 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mount of God. 6 He sent word to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her." 7 Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law all that Yahweh had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how Yahweh had delivered them.

Reader 3Amen. 9 Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which Yahweh had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 So Jethro said, "Blessed be Yahweh who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 "Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people." 12 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses' father-in-law before God.

Reader 4Amen. 13 It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. 14 Now when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?" 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 "When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws." 17 Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 "You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.

Reader 5Amen. 19 "Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people's representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, 20 then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. 21 "Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22 "Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 "If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace."

Reader 6Amen. 24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 26 They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. 27 Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.

Reader 7Amen. 19:1 In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. 3 Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 4 'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. 5 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'

'

"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."

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"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."

 

Isaiah 6:1-13; 33:13; 61:6-10

 

Reader 8Amen. 6:1 In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw Yahweh sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is Yahweh of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory." 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts." 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 And he touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven."

Reader 9Amen. 8 Then I heard the voice of Yahweh, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" 9 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' 10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, And their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed." 11 Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered, "Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, houses are without people, and the land is utterly desolate, 12 "Yahweh has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 "Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, and it will again be subject to burning, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump."

33:13 "You who are far away, hear what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge My might."

 

Psalm 54    For the choir director; on stringed instruments.

A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, "Is not David hiding himself among us?"

1 Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your power. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen against me and violent men have sought my life; they have not set God before them. Selah. 4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul. 5 He will recompense the evil to my foes; destroy them in Your faithfulness. 6 Willingly I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your name, O Yahweh, for it is good. 7 For He has delivered me from all trouble, and my eye has looked with satisfaction upon my enemies.

 

Romans 8:19-39

 

Reader 10Amen. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Reader 11Amen. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Reader 12Amen. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

"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."


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)