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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 9

Exodus 19:6b - 20:20   -   Isaiah 61:1-10   -   no Psalm   -   Hebrews 12:18-29
 

 

Iyyar 28, 5762 / May 11, 2002    Friday May 17 is Sivan 6 - Hag Shavuot / Pentecost

                           This year Pentecost is on the same day of the week as at the Giving of the Torah at Mt.Sinai

                           and at the giving of the Gospel by the Apostles to all nations at Jerusalem.

Sivan  4, 5765 / June 11, 2005 

Sivan  4, 5768 / June   7, 2008

Sivan  2, 5771 / June   4, 2011

Sivan  2, 5774 / May 31, 2014

Sivan  2, 5777 / May 27, 2017    Wednesday May 31 is Sivan 6 - Hag Shavuot / Pentecost

 

T'daber / You Shall Speak    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

Whenever God makes some momentous action toward His people – such as the giving of the Torah or sending Messiah – He verifies it with miraculous signs that are indisputable to all. Today we see how that all of the people – millions – heard God speaking from a dark cloud, so that there would be no doubt about the veracity of the message forever.

 

This is in great contrast to many situations today. We hear third-hand testimonies about some miracle being performed on some unknown person somewhere distant, for the sole purpose of verifying the spirituality of some respected teacher. We see “healing meetings” where healings are based only upon doubtful testimonies, and the obviously sick are not reached. We see people trying to look spiritual by “speaking in tongues” of jibberish and they are often followed by others trying to look spiritual by making “interpretations” that are linguistic nonsense.

 

Certainly God can perform miracles anywhere and anytime He pleases. That idea does not justify nonsense to make someone look spiritual or prove some pet doctrine.

 

While I do not accept the Jewish idea of Israel being more worthy than other nations, the following is an interesting characterization: “Esau’s offspring (Amelekites) would not tolerate a law that prohibited murder; Ishmael’s could not live with a law that banned thievery; and Lot’s (Moabites) would not accept a ban on adultery. Now it was Israel’s turn.” Today’s falsely-so-called Palestinians are Esau’s offspring – known for murder.

 

Now we should note that the Israel of the Exodus included people from many nations – traditionally from each of the seventy nations. Natural descendents of Abraham might even have been a minority. The Torah was heard direct from God by millions of people from many nations. We need to see the error of the idea that the Torah is “just for Jews” – even if that is intended to mean all Hebrews.

 

Review:

Sivan 1 (a Sunday at the Sinai and Jerusalem events) – (v.19:1-6) 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.'

 

Today we will look at some technical considerations, while on Shavuot we will look at the spiritual aspects. Let us consider the days of the week as they were at the time that the Israelites were at Mt. Sinai, and at the time of Pentecost following the Crucifixion (these both being the same as in many of our years such as AD 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2006).

                                                                                                                                  

Sivan 3 (a Tuesday at the Sinai and Jerusalem events *) – (v.9) Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold! I come to you in the thickness of the cloud, so that the people will hear as I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever.”

 

Sivan 4 (a Wednesday at the Sinai and Jerusalem events *) – Moses related the words of the people to Yahweh. The people had said, (v.8) “Everything that Yahweh has spoken we shall do.”

 

Sivan 6 (a Friday at the Sinai and Jerusalem events *) – (v.10) A three-day period of purification preceded the giving of the commandments. The people were to sanctify themselves and be baptized (enter the mikvah). This period culminated on Sivan 6, the Day of the Firstfruits – the fiftieth day of Counting the Omer (Pentecost).

 

Thus Shavuot is seen as the betrothal date – when Israel was betrothed to Messiah – with the Betrothal Contract (the Commandments) being presented the following day.

 

Sivan 7 * (a Sabbath at the Sinai and Jerusalem events) – (v.16) With lightning and thunder, fire and smoke, and shofar blasts, God descended upon Mt. Sinai, and millions of people heard from heaven, “Anuchiy Yahweh Eloheycha” – “I am Yahweh your God.” Remember here, that we are all to consider ourselves as having been redeemed from slavery in Egypt. They heard God say from the cloud, “I am Yahweh your God, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. . .” They heard these first two Commandments directly from God, and the remainder through Moses.

 

* It may be noted that there are two viewpoints of the timing of events: this Sabbath was either Sivan 6 or Sivan 7, the day of or the day after Pentecost, according to the ancients; but the Commandments were given on the Sabbath. The difference is in how one interprets the three days of verses ten through sixteen. Neither viewpoint fits the modern Roman idea that Pentecost was a Sunday. The accepted viewpoint, as indicated above, fits with Passover Preparation on Wednesday, and fifty days of counting from Friday Nisan 16 to Friday Sivan 6.

 

Ø                   See table of Commandments below.

 

We may note that the first five Commandments, which were written on the first tablet, each contain the Name Yahweh, but the last five do not. The first five teach us how we are to love God. The last five show us how we are to love our neighbor.

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Although the First Commandment is stated as a fact rather than an instruction, it is a positive commandment to recognize Yahweh as our God, though others may have different gods. (Yahweh is a proper name that only applies to our God; Elohim is a title that is not uniquely applied to Yahweh.) Our God, Yahweh, is the creator of all, Who holds all power and authority for eternity. He has redeemed us from slavery to sin.

 

The Second Commandment is a negative commandment prohibiting idolatry. It forbids even making images for worshipping false gods, such as to bow before or bring offerings to.

 

The Third Commandment forbids vain oaths. It is forbidden to show contempt for our God by using His Name for no valid purpose. That is the basis for the teaching that, when a blessing is said for something, which is pronouncing God’s Name over it, then we should use that thing before doing anything else – so as not to be using the Name without validating our purpose.   Obviously, we should not make any reference to God’s Holy Name for dishonest or disgraceful purposes, even if the Name per se is not spoken. Yeshua taught us such in Matthew 23: “Whoever swears by the Temple, swears by both the Temple and Him Who dwells in it” (v.21).

 

The Fourth Commandment concerns our remembrance and worship of our Creator by honoring the Sabbath. Many believers do not seem to know that there is a commandment to take part in a public worship service on the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3), even though the apostle Paul reminds us (Hebrews 10:25). We also are not to perform work that would reduce the sanctity of the day.

 

The Fifth Commandment, to honor our parents, means that we are to respect the authority which emanates from our God. This is a direct way of honoring our God. It implies honoring all authority that is from God. Thus this last commandment of the first tablet, and the last one of the ten including Yahweh’s Name, is seen as teaching us how we are to love Yahweh our God.

______________

 

The Sixth Commandment prohibits murder. This first commandment of the second tablet – which contains instructions on how to love our neighbor – parallels the first commandment of the first tablet: one who believes that God is the creator and sustainer of life will not commit murder. While murder was seen as evil long before this commandment, this elevates it to a higher position. Many things in Torah are seen as tantamount to murder, such as causing significant embarrassment, failing to provide food for the needy, allowing dangerous conditions, and causing the loss of livelihood.

 

The Seventh Commandment, prohibiting adultery, is seen as parallel to the Second Commandment, which forbids idolatry. One who betrays the marital relationship can be expected to betray God. This commandment covers lust, this being an ancient understanding that Yeshua also promoted in Matthew 5:28. It is also an umbrella over commandments against homosexuality and bestiality.

 

The Eighth Commandment prohibits kidnapping – forcing someone into servitude, or selling someone into slavery. (The commandment against ordinary theft is found in Leviticus 19:11.)

 

The Ninth Commandment forbids bearing false witness. This literally refers to testimony in a court, and it includes the prohibition of bearing witness to something believed but not actually seen. It also prohibits gossip and slander. This commandment is seen as parallel to the Fourth Commandment, which is a testimony that God created the earth in six days.

 

The Tenth Commandment prohibits covetousness. What is the point in forbidding something like jealousy or desiring possessions of others? This commandment raises the bar. God demands that people purify their thoughts and attitudes. While a pauper might easily covet his neighbor’s property, he would not be as likely to covet the king’s property that would be so inaccessible. If one has proper faith in God, he will realize that, by this commandment, his neighbor’s property is as inaccessible as the Great King’s property. This commandment is seen as parallel to the Fifth Commandment: a covetous person will have children who dishonor him, because a covetous person puts his selfish desires above decent conduct.

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Four related levels of holiness to be seen at Mt. Sinai and at the Holy Temple. The Temple is the ultimate “Sinai” experience.

(a)     The bottom of Mt. Sinai, where the people stood, relates to the gate of the Temple courtyard.

(b)     The mountain relates to the interior of the courtyard.

(c)     The cloud, where Moses stood, relates to the interior of the Temple.

(d)     The “thickness of the cloud” relates to the Holy of Holies, the seat of God’s presence.

The writer of Hebrews seems to have this in mind, saying that we have not come to Mt. Sinai, but Mt. Zion – Jerusalem. And the spiritual implication is stated as the heavenly Jerusalem, which is to come to earth.

 

Hebrews 12:28-29 – Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

 

Once Israel dwelt in the Promised Land, the three Feasts had required ordinances at the Temple. Therefore, fifty-one days after Yeshua’s crucifixion, it was necessary that the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) would have its ordinances displayed at Jerusalem.

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Yeshua said: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” – Matt 22:40.

"Yahweh your God is one, and you shall  . . . (Deut 6:4)

"Love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might."

                                                                                               "Love your neighbor as yourself."
 

How to love Yahweh your God:                                         How to love your neighbor:

1    Have Yahweh as only God.                                        6     Do no murder.
          +1    Believe in God                                                            +184  Remove dangers
          +5    Worship God                                                               -302  No hating brother
          +20  Build sanctuary for God 

2    Have no other gods, for I,                                          7     Do no adultery.
      Yahweh, am jealous;                                                              -350   No homosexual acts
      make no graven images.                                                        -355   No sex without marriage
          -31   No divination
          -38   No necromancy 

3    Take not the name of Yahweh                                   8     Do no stealing (kidnapping).
      your God in vain.                                                                   +200  Pay wages timely
          +9    Sanctify God’s Name                                                - 230  Charge no usery
          -61   No violation of oaths                                                - 246  No altering land lines

4    Remember the Sabbath Day,                                     9     Bear no false witness.
      Yahweh made it separate.                                                     +177  Treat litigants equally
          +154 Assemble to worship                                               - 274  Accept no bribes
          - 320 Do no servile work                                                   - 299  No misleading advice

5    Honor your father and mother,                                10   Do no coveting.
      to prolong your days in the                                                 - 47    Do not follow heart

      land
Yahweh is giving you.
          -318  No cursing parents
          -319  No striking parents

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. 6b ' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel." 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Yahweh had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, "All that Yahweh has spoken we will do!" And Moses brought back the words of the people to Yahweh. 9 Yahweh said to Moses, "Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever." Then Moses told the words of the people to Yahweh. 10 Yahweh also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; 11 and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day Yahweh will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Reader 2Amen.12 "You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 'No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.' When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain." 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. 15 He said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman."

Reader 3Amen.16 So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because Yahweh descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. 20 Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

Reader 4Amen.21 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, "Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to Yahweh to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 "Also let the priests who come near to Yahweh consecrate themselves, or else Yahweh will break out against them." 23 Moses said to Yahweh, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, 'Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.'" 24 Then Yahweh said to him, "Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to Yahweh, or He will break forth upon them." 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Reader 5Amen.20:1 Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 "I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 "You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7 "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Reader 6Amen.8 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahweh your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 "For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.

Reader 7Amen.13 "You shall not murder. 14 "You shall not commit adultery. 15 "You shall not steal. 16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." 18 All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 Then they said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die." 20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin."

 

"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."

 

Isaiah 61:1-10

 

Reader 8Amen. 1 The Spirit of Lord Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; 2 to proclaim the favorable year of Yahweh and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that He may be glorified. 4 Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. 6 But you will be called the priests of Yahweh; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

Reader 9Amen. 7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs. 8 For I, Yahweh, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; And I will faithfully give them their recompense And make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Then their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom Yahweh has blessed. 10 I will rejoice greatly in Yahweh, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

 

Hebrews 12:18-29

 

Reader 10Amen. 18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned." 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling." 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Yeshua, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Reader 11Amen. 25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." 27 This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

 

"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)