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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 11

Exodus 22:25 - 24:18   -   Isaiah 48:10, 49:3, 60:17 - 61:19; 1 Kings 6:11-13  
         
(Ex 22:24 in Hebrew Bibles)     -   Psalm 56  -   Matthew 5:1-48                      
 

Sivan 14, 5762 / May 25, 2002

Sivan 18, 5765 / June 25, 2005

Sivan 18, 5768 / June 21, 2008

Sivan 16, 5771 / June 18, 2011

Sivan 16, 5774 / June 14, 2014

Sivan 16, 5777 / June 10, 2017

 

Im-kesef Talveh / When You Lend   SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

Today we will look at some various Judgments, and then some Statutes and Ordinances, these being the three Biblical divisions of the commandments.

 

(Exodus 22:25) A loan is a required form of charity, and one of the highest forms, because it allows a borrower to gain financial stability without the embarrassment of depending upon gifts. This is a judgment.

A lender was not allowed to charge interest from God’s people. If a borrower did not repay his debt in the stipulated time, the lender could obtain a court judgment granting collateral; however, the lender could not keep items of collateral at times when the borrower needed them: the lender could not keep the borrowers bedding by night, nor his clothing by day.

 

If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which Yahweh your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,' and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to Yahweh against you, and it will be a sin in you. You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing Yahweh your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land’ ” – Deuteronomy 15:7-11.

 

If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful
– Luke 6:33-36.

 

(V.27) “You shall not revile Elohim” may refer to cursing God or cursing judges – or both. It is followed by “You shall not curse a leader”. While it is forbidden to curse anyone, this commandment makes the sin greater if the object is a judge or a leader of God’s people.

 

(V.28) The firstfruits (bikkurim) of crops (the seven species: wheat, barley, figs, grapes, pomegranates, olives, and dates) – the first to become ripe, which are normally the most treasured, are to be separated for God’s service.  Also the tithes (terumah) of wine and oil are for this service. The firstborn of animals must be presented or redeemed. Presenting God’s portion is to be a priority for us, not to be delayed for mundane reasons. Firstborn sons belong to Yahweh, even though the Levites were taken for the sacred service; the firstborn carry a greater responsibility for family spiritual service.

 

(V. 30) An animal that was killed represents all forbidden foods. Eating forbidden foods keeps us from being “holy” – separated to God. This is in the category of Statutes, the reason being not obvious.

 

(V.23:1-3) It is forbidden for an individual to believe unverified gossip, and it is forbidden for a judge to hear uncorroborated testimony. It is forbidden to follow a majority to do evil, or to yield to a majority of witnesses to pervert judgment. It is forbidden to show favoritism in judgment to a person because he is destitute – or, as we see today, judging against some because they have “deep pockets.”

 

From Exodus 23:10 we have some ordinances. These are the “ordinances of the church”!

 

(V.10) “You shall sow your land for six years”; (v.12) “Six days you are to do your work”. First is the Sabbatical Year, and its relative, the weekly Sabbath. Ceasing from labor, “resting”, does not imply catching up on sleep from a too-busy work week. It means forsaking mundane activity in order to be refreshed by a day dedicated to the worship of God, and this includes the commandment to assemble for worship.

For six days work may be done; but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly” – Leviticus 23:3

(V.14) “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me.” Note that there are three annual Feasts of Yahweh, with seven annual Holy Days / Yom Tovim, observed as Sabbaths. They are:

                                [The “Day Prior” is the Preparation of the Passover (Nisan 14).]

  1. Feast of Unleavened Breads / Hag haMatzot – a seven day Feast.

(1)     The first day is a Yom Tov when the Passover is eaten (Nisan 15).

[The second day is Waving Day, when we start counting the omer (Nisan 16).]

(2)     The seventh day is a Yom Tov (Nisan 21).

  1. Feast of Weeks of the Firstfruits / Hag Shavuot haBikkurim:

       (3)   It is a Yom Tov (Sivan 6).

  1. Feast of Tabernacles / Hag Sukkot – a seven day Feast.

(4)   Day of Trumpeting / Yom Teruah (two weeks prior) is a Yom Tov (Tishrei 1).

(5)   Day of the Atonements / Yom HaKippurim (four days prior) is a Yom Tov (Tishrei 10).

(6)   First day of Feast of Tabernacles is a Yom Tov (Tishrei 15).

(7)   Eighth Day Assembly / Shemini Atzereh (following the Feast) is a Yom Tov (Tishrei 22).

The Feasts are related to the Temple, and therefore in Temple times men made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for each of the three.

 

The Holy Temple existed for most of the fourth millennium. The Sadducees existed for about the last 200 years; they could not observe any of the above on different days than the Pharisees.

 

(V.19) “You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.” This Biblically applies to all sheep and cattle (only rabinically is it extended to all kosher meat and fowl). This statement is repeated three times in Torah (also Exodus 34:26 and Deuteronomy 14:21).

Some ancient suggestions of the reason:

Meat represents eating and milk represents reproduction – two things animals instinctively do. Man is to differentiate between these two and subjugate them to a higher calling. Its proximity to the laws of the Festivals and firstfruits implies its relationship to holiness.

Meat and milk represent death and life. These two are not to be mixed.

 

(V.24:6-8) At the Feast of Unleavened Breads – at the Passover seder – we took four cups of “the blood of the Covenant” (v.8). We have just celebrated Hag Shavuot – the betrothal feast, where we said, “Everything that Yahweh has spoken, we will do and we will learn (v.7).” Here we can see the origin of the words that we spoke. Now we are to show our love for Yahweh our God by doing what He says, and learning by our doing. First we must hear what He says.

 

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 1 Amen. 25 "If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest. 26 "If you ever take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, 27 for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for I am gracious. 28 "You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people. 29 "You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. 30 "You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me. 31 "You shall be holy men to Me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

Reader 2Amen. 23:1 "You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2 "You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute. 4 "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. 5 "If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him. 6 "You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute. 7 "Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty. 8 "You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just. 9 "You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt. 10 "You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, 11 but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

Reader 3Amen. 12 "Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves. 13 "Now concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard; and do not mention the name of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth. 14 "Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 "You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Breads; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 "Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh GOD. 18 "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor is the fat of My feast to remain overnight until morning. 19 "You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of Yahweh your God. "You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.

Reader 4Amen. 20 "Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 "Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22 "But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23 "For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. 24 "You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. 25 "But you shall serve Yahweh your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.

Reader 5Amen. 26 "There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 "I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 "I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. 29 "I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 "I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. 31 "I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. 32 "You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33 "They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you."

Reader 6Amen. 24:1 Then He said to Moses, "Come up to Yahweh, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance. 2 "Moses alone, however, shall come near to Yahweh, but they shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him." 3 Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of Yahweh and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which Yahweh has spoken we will do!" 4 Moses wrote down all the words of Yahweh. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 He sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to Yahweh. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!" 8 So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant, which Yahweh has made with you in accordance with all these words."

Reader 7Amen. 9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank. 12 Now Yahweh said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction." 13 So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 But to the elders he said, "Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them." 15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of Yahweh rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of Yahweh was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

 

"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."

 

Reader 8 Amen.

Isaiah 48:10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”

Isaiah 49:3 – And He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.”

 

Isaiah 60:17-61:11

Reader 9Amen. 17 "Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your administrators and righteousness your overseers. 18 "Violence will not be heard again in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders; but you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise. 19 "No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have Yahweh for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. 20 "Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane; for you will have Yahweh for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over. 21 "Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. 22 "The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, Yahweh, will hasten it in its time."

Reader 10Amen. 61:1 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.

Reader 11Amen. 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. 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. 11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so Lord Yahweh will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

 

1 Kings 6:11-13

Reader 12 Amen. 11 Now the word of Yahweh came to Solomon saying, 12 “Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

 

Psalm 56    (To be sung.)    For the choir director; according to Jonath elem rehokim.

                                                                                A Mikhtam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; fighting all day long he oppresses me. 2 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, for they are many who fight proudly against me. 3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? 5 All day long they distort my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They attack, they lurk, they watch my steps, as they have waited to take my life. 7 Because of wickedness, cast them forth, in anger put down the peoples, O God! 8 You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; this I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in Yahweh, whose word I praise, 11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. 13 For You have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

 

Matthew 5:1-48

Reader 13 Amen. 1 When Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Reader 14 Amen. 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Reader 15 Amen. 21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 "Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.

Reader 16 Amen. 27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. 31 "It was said, 'WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE'; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO YAHWEH.' 34 "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36 "Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes ' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil.

Reader 17 Amen. 38 "You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' 39 "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

Matthew 26:26-30

Reader 18 Amen. 26 While they were eating, Yeshua took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." 30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

 

"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)