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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 30

Leviticus 6:19 - 7:38   -   Malachi 3:7-12   -   Psalm 74  -   Matthew 23:1-39
(Heb. Bibles: Vayyaqra 6:12 - 7:38)                                                                                                                           .

 

Tishrei 29, 5763 / Oct 5, 2002

Tishrei 26, 5766 / Oct 29, 2005

Tishrei 26, 5769 / Oct 25, 2008

Tishrei 24, 5772 / Oct 22, 2011

Tishrei 24, 5775 / Oct 18, 2014

 

Zeh Karban Aharon / This is the Offering of Aaron    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

(V.19) The priestly meal-offering is for three occasions: every priest the first time he performs the Temple service, the High Priest upon assuming office, and every day thereafter. An omer of fine wheat flour is made into twelve loaves, then consecutively boiled, baked, and fried. It is to be entirely burned upon the altar, half in the morning and half in the afternoon. This is in contrast to offerings of the people, where only a memorial portion is burned.

The priests performed the Temple services to bring the people closer to God. They led the worship, and were responsible for the spiritual well-being of the nation. They were held to a higher standard of accountability, because of their affect on many people.

 

(V.24 ) The sin-offering

(V.7:1) The guilt-offering

 

(V.11) The sages teach that after Messiah comes and the world is perfected, there will be no need for atonements, but there will always be thanksgiving offerings. These offerings symbolize a major teaching of our congregation.*

The thanksgiving-offering is to express gratitude to God, for such recognized miracles as being saved from potential serious illness, injury, or imprisonment. It is eaten for a day and night, with none left by morning. It is accompanied by forty loaves: half of the flour is made into ten unleavened cakes of flour mixed with oil and baked, ten unleavened wafers of flour spread with oil, ten loaves of unleavened flour mixed with oil and scalded; the other half of the flour is made into ten leavened loaves (none of which are placed on the altar, where leaven is forbidden). The unleavened loaves with oil represent food and well-being, two essentials of life. The leavened loaves represent emergence from danger to unrestricted life. *This all is a recognition that sustenance and safety are from God, and represents a renewed dedication to Him, as we are created and sustained for His service.

 

Background to Matthew: (Exodus 18:13, 25-26) Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening.  And 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. And they judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. This was halachic judgment: showing the people how to be Torah observant, and also resolving disputes, and meting out civil and criminal penalties – all according to Torah principles.

(Matthew 23:2-3) “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.”   (V.23, 25, 27, 29) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”

 

Note that the Sadducees are not mentioned here – they did not accept the prophets, nor did they believe in spirits or resurrection. We are not instructed to follow their teachings.

 

We are told to practice what we preach – in contrast to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrisy does not represent false doctrine – but rather practice that is inconsistent with one’s doctrine.

 

We are instructed to practice what the Torah teachers – the scribes and Pharisees – teach us (this does not mean that we follow modern Judaism). This means that what they teach us on how to honor our parents, we do without making excuses like the Pharisees: they claimed that whatever they possessed that could be used to support their parents, was instead pledged to the Temple. It means that we should learn to pray as they taught, but discreetly, not to show-off our spirituality like they did. It means that we should love to serve in the synagogue, but not to clamor for position. It means that we should teach and serve various needs, but not carry distinguishing titles such as Rabbi or Reverend. It means that we all wear tallitot (prayer shawls), as brethren: one does not wear a tallit as a symbol of pastoral position. It means that we should support the poor and weak, in secret through the synagogue as they taught from Torah, not publicly as they practiced. It means that we should recognize what we are in God’s eyes, and purify our hearts, and then our outward acts will also be pure; trying to appear outwardly righteous, while our motivation is self-exaltation, is likened to white-washing tombs. We are to be servants of all, in humility, not masters in exalted positions.

 

We hear people say that they will not attend church because there are too many hypocrites there. But that is perhaps greater hypocrisy: they are too good to go where others are trying to learn to better themselves? So we all have our areas of hypocrisy, but we need to learn what holiness means, and then practice what we learn.

 

We do this by first trusting Yeshua for salvation from sin, then in love for Him learning what He desires of us. Note that the name Yeshua means salvation from sin, not just salvation from hell. And Torah defines sin and holiness. (Sin is the transgression of Torah – and therefore contrary to faith, which is the righteousness of Torah.)

 

(1 John 3:2-5) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; for sin is transgression of Torah. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins.

 

(1 Peter 2:21-25) For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

 

(Hebrews 11:24-25) By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.

 

(Romans 14:23) Whatever is not from faith is sin.

_____________________

 

Psalm 74

 “4 Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they have set up their own standards for signs.

In places that are designated churches of our God, false standards for righteousness are being proclaimed.

 

9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, nor is there any among us who knows how long.

It is difficult to find any who proclaim God’s message, because most are exalting themselves or their dogma. No one even knows how long this will go on before God brings it to an end.

 

12 Yet God is my king from of old, Who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth. 13 You divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. 15 You broke open springs and torrents; You dried up ever-flowing streams. 16 Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun. 17 You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” But our God is still on the throne, ruling over all of the affairs of men. He Who created all things by His Word has established a time for everything. In His time, He will keep His promise to deliver His people.

 

Matthew 23

32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? 34 Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

I can only find two reasons for God to be letting the wicked continue. Either they are yet going to be brought to repentance before God, or they are filling up their cup of wrath for the day of judgment.

 

Yeshua left this world bodily, and will not see Him again until that Holy Day which is called “the day of which no man knows the day or the hour” (Mark 13:32) – the Festival season which Paul described as known (1 Thessalonians 5). On that Day of Trumpeting, when we will sing “Baruch haba – Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of Yahweh,” the archangel will shout “Tekia Gedolah,” and the last trump of the day will be heard from heaven. Then Yeshua will return in the same manner as He left (Acts 1:11), and the righteous dead will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:52).

 

More commentary on Matthew 23 at Y1-04, Y2-13, and Y3-15 .

 

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. 19 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 20 "This is the offering which Aaron and his sons are to present to Yahweh on the day when he is anointed; the tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. 21 It shall be prepared with oil on a griddle. When it is well stirred, you shall bring it. You shall present the grain offering in baked pieces as a soothing aroma to Yahweh. 22 The anointed priest who will be in his place among his sons shall offer it. By a permanent ordinance it shall be entirely offered up in smoke to Yahweh. 23 "So every grain offering of the priest shall be burned entirely. It shall not be eaten."

Reader 2Amen. 24 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 25 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the elevation offering is slain the sin offering shall be slain before Yahweh; it is most holy. 26 The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. It shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27 Anyone who touches its flesh will become consecrated; and when any of its blood splashes on a garment, in a holy place you shall wash what was splashed on. 28 Also the earthenware vessel in which it was boiled shall be broken; and if it was boiled in a bronze vessel, then it shall be scoured and rinsed in water. 29 Every male among the priests may eat of it; it is most holy. 30 But no sin offering of which any of the blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the holy place shall be eaten; it shall be burned with fire.

Reader 3Amen. 7:1 'Now this is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy. 2 In the place where they slay the elevation offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 3 Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to Yahweh; it is a guilt offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7 The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8 Also the priest who presents any man's elevation offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented. 9 Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who presents it. 10 Every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike.

Reader 4Amen. 11 'Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to Yahweh. 12 If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 Of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to Yahweh; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings. 15 Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. 16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; 17 but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire. 18 So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it will not be accepted, and it will not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it will bear his own iniquity.

Reader 5Amen. 19 'Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh. 20 But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to Yahweh, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to Yahweh, that person shall be cut off from his people.'" 22 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 23 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep or a goat. 24 Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. 25 For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to Yahweh, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people. 26 You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. 27 Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.'"

Reader 6Amen. 28 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 29 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to Yahweh shall bring his offering to Yahweh from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30 His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to Yahweh. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before Yahweh. 31 The priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32 You shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33 The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion. 34 For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel.

Reader 7Amen. 35 'This is that which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to Yahweh, in that day when he presented them to serve as priests to Yahweh. 36 These Yahweh had commanded to be given them from the sons of Israel in the day that He anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations.'" 37 This is the law of the elevation offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, 38 which Yahweh commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to Yahweh in the wilderness of Sinai.

 

"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."

 

Malachi 3:7-12

Reader 8 Amen. 7 "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says Yahweh of hosts. "But you say, 'How shall we return?' 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says Yahweh of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says Yahweh of hosts. 12 "All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says Yahweh of hosts.

 

Psalm 74    (To be sung.)    A Maskil of Asaph.

1 O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? 2 Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; and this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt. 3 Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins; the enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary. 4 Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they have set up their own standards for signs. 5 It seems as if one had lifted up His axe in a forest of trees. 6 And now all its carved work they smash with hatchet and hammers. 7 They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground; they have defiled the dwelling place of Your name. 8 They said in their heart, "Let us completely subdue them." They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land. 9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, nor is there any among us who knows how long. 10 How long, O God, will the adversary revile, and the enemy spurn Your name forever? 11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? From within Your bosom, destroy them! 12 Yet God is my king from of old, Who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth. 13 You divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. 15 You broke open springs and torrents; You dried up ever-flowing streams. 16 Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun. 17 You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter. 18 Remember this, O Yahweh, that the enemy has reviled, and a foolish people has spurned Your name. 19 Do not deliver the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast; do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever. 20 Consider the covenant; for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Let not the oppressed return dishonored; let the afflicted and needy praise Your name. 22 Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long. 23 Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, the uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.

 

Matthew 23:1-39

Reader 9 Amen. 1 Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5 But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Messiah.11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Reader 10 Amen. 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.' 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.' 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the Temple, swears both by the Temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. 23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Reader 11 Amen. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

Reader 12 Amen. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? 34 Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 "For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'Blessesd is He who comes in the name of the 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)

 

 

 

 

 

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