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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 43

Leviticus 24:1-23   -   (No Prophet)   -   Psalm 87  -   John 7:1-53
 

Shevat 1, 5763 / Jan   4, 2003

Tevet 28, 5766 / Jan  28, 2006

Tevet 28, 5769 / Jan  24, 2009

Tevet 26, 5772 / Jan  21, 2012

Tevet 26, 5775 / Jan  17, 2015

 

Shemen Zayot / Oil of Pressed Olives    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

(V.1) In the previous chapter, we saw the “appointments with Yahweh”, the Holy Days, from Unleavened Breads to Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day Assembly. In this chapter, we start with the menorah, with its olive-oil burning lamps, at the dedication (hanukkah) of the Holy Place.

 

Today, we still celebrate Hanukkah following all the Holy Days. Though we do so in remembrance of the rededications of the Holy Temple, the origins are with the beginning of the Tabernacle. It is this menorah that plays a significant role in Hanukkah – the Hebrew word meaning dedication.

 

This menorah is the light of the Holy Place. Its center* lamp is called the shamish – the servant: as its fire is used to light the other lamps, it represents Yeshua, the Light of the World (John 8:12), who gives us light to illuminate the world. John tells us (Revelation 1:12-18) that the center lamp is Yeshua: “in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man”.

* The Talmud says the western lamp miraculously stayed lit. Except, after the crucifixion of Yeshua, this is one of the miracles that stopped.

 

From this original Tabernacle in the Wilderness, Moses brought God’s words and judgments to the people. Moses sought the glory of Yahweh, not his own glory. Thus Moses represented Yeshua: “Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me (Moses) from among you, from your countrymen: you shall listen to Him” (Deuteronomy 18:15).

 

In fulfillment, Yeshua came to glorify Yahweh. Jewish leaders sought to put Yeshua to death, but the people marveled at His teaching. Yeshua answered the people how they should judge whether His words were from God: (John 7:18-19) “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

 

Did not Moses give you the Torah”. . . in seeking God’s glory, “ and yet none of you carries out the Torah?” because they sought their own glory – power and position and recognition.

 

Clear olive oil is the first from lightly pressed olives, before they are crushed and the oil contains sediment. “Continual” means that the lamps would be lit every day, not that they never went out; this is like the “continual elevation offering”, one being burned every morning and evening.

 

The previous chapter concerned the Holy Days, which represented various high points in God’s caring for His people. This chapter deals with the menorah and show bread, which represent God’s daily caring for His people.

 

The show bread was twelve large unleavened loaves, baked each Friday and placed on the Sabbath. Each loaf was baked from two omers (more than a gallon) of fine wheat flour, and shaped like a rectangle with the corners turned up. They were placed in two stacks of six, the lower two resting on the flat table top, and each higher loaf being supported by golden rods of a rack which was the upper part of the golden table. A bowl of frankincense was placed on top of each stack.

 

The frankincense was the only part of this offering that was burned on the altar. The loaves were divided among the priests on the following Sabbath: like the Sabbath, the loaves were called an eternal covenant, and were the only offering described this way. It is recorded that the loaves were always as fresh baked loaves at the end of their week.

 

As the Sabbath provides for the rest of the week, so the loaves symbolized God’s provision for His people for their millennial week on this earth. We are taught to not be anxious about our provision here.

 

Do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” ( Matthew 6:25-34).

 

So, our concern here should be to seek God’s glory, and then (and only then) we can trust Him to provide our every need. We should seek to spread His word, not our own thoughts. We need to continually seek correction, of our thoughts and ways, from God’s word.

 

Then, from v.13, following the instructions concerning God’s symbols of His care for our spiritual and physical well-being, we find instructions to the judges for dealing with us. These verses concern judgments that are under the authority of the judges to make. Included are punishments for blasphemy and murder, relating to the two main categories of commandments – loving Yahweh our God and loving our neighbor. These are capital crimes. For lesser crimes involving injury to our neighbor or his property, equitable restitution must be ordered by judges.

 

Concerning “an eye for an eye . . .”, this is not referring to personal retribution. In Exodus 21:1 this is classified under “judgments” (Heb. mishpatim), and again in Deuteronomy 19:18-21 we see that it means for the judges to make equitable judgments, granting the value of an eye for a lost eye.

 

Exodus 21:23-25  “You (Moses and the subsequent Sanhedrin) shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,  burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

 

Leviticus 24:13- 22 13 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, . . . 17 “If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death.  18 The one who takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life.  19 If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be required of him:  20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be required of him.  21 Thus the one who kills an animal shall make it good, but the one who kills a man shall be put to death.  22 There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am Yahweh your God.”

 

Deuteronomy 19:15-21 15 “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.  16 If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing,  17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before Yahweh, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days.  18 The judges ashall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,  19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.  20 The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you.  21 Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

 

Matthew 5:38-39  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.”

 

Yeshua is speaking specifically about personal retribution. This does not mean that an offended person should not take a matter to the judges. Paul makes a case that believers should take cases against other believers to the local bet dein (synagogue judges) rather than denigrate God's Name before the world (1 Corinthians 6:1-6).

 

God said that He gave His Holy Spirit to the original judges of the Sanhedrin (Numbers 11:17), in order for them to make righteous judgments for the people. These judgments included both settlements of disputes and criminal matters, and halachic judgments (how the people were to walk to fulfill Torah).

 

It seems interesting to note that God instructed the “sons of Israel” to bring pure olive oil to Moses for Aaron to fill the menorah (v.1-4). God instructs us to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), to walk in His light and be loving one to another.

 

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."

Leviticus 24

Reader 1Amen. 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually. 3 "Outside the veil of testimony in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh continually; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 4 "He shall keep the lamps in order on the pure gold lampstand before Yahweh continually.

Reader 2Amen. 5 "Then you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. 6 "You shall set them in two rows, six to a row, on the pure gold table before Yahweh. 7 "You shall put pure frankincense on each row that it may be a memorial portion for the bread, even an offering by fire to Yahweh.

Reader 3Amen. 8 "Every Sabbath day he shall set it in order before Yahweh continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the sons of Israel. 9 "It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from Yahweh'S offerings by fire, his portion forever."

Reader 4Amen. 10 Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the sons of Israel; and the Israelite woman's son and a man of Israel struggled with each other in the camp. 11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name and cursed. So they brought him to Moses. (Now his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) 12 They put him in custody so that the command of Yahweh might be made clear to them.

Reader 5Amen. 13 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 14 "Bring the one who has cursed outside the camp, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head; then let all the congregation stone him. 15 "You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If anyone curses his God, then he will bear his sin. 16 'Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of Yahweh shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Reader 6Amen. 17 'If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. 18 'The one who takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life. 19 'If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him.

Reader 7Amen. 21 'Thus the one who kills an animal shall make it good, but the one who kills a man shall be put to death. 22 'There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am Yahweh your God.'" 23 Then Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and they brought the one who had cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the sons of Israel did, just as Yahweh had commanded Moses.

"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."

 

Psalm 87   (To be sung.)    A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.

1 His foundation is in the holy mountains. 2 Yahweh loves the gates of Zion More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. Selah. 4 "I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me; Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia: 'This one was born there.'" 5 But of Zion it shall be said, "This one and that one were born in her"; And the Most High Himself will establish her. 6 Yahweh will count when He registers the peoples, "This one was born there." Selah. 7 Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say, "All my springs of joy are in you."

 

John 7

Reader 8Amen. 1 After these things Yeshua was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Tabernacles, was near. 3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, "Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 "For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him. 6 So Yeshua said to them, "My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7 "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8 "Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come." 9 Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee. 10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret.

Reader 9Amen. 11 So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, "Where is He?" 12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, "He is a good man"; others were saying, "No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray." 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews. 14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Yeshua went up into the temple, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated?" 16 So Yeshua answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19 "Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?" 20 The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?"

Reader 10Amen. 21 Yeshua answered them, "I did one deed, and you all marvel. 22 "For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 "If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? 24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." 25 So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, "Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 "Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Messiah, do they? 27 "However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Messiah may come, no one knows where He is from." 28 Then Yeshua cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 "I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me."

Reader 11Amen. 30 So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, "When the Messiah comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?" 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. 33 Therefore Yeshua said, "For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 "You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come." 35 The Jews then said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? 36 "What is this statement that He said, 'You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come '?" 37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified.

Reader 12Amen. 40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, "This certainly is the Prophet." 41 Others were saying, "This is the Messiah." Still others were saying, "Surely the Messiah is not going to come from Galilee, is He? 42 "Has not the Scripture said that the Messiah comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. 44 Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why did you not bring Him?" 46 The officers answered, "Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks." 47 The Pharisees then answered them, "You have not also been led astray, have you? 48 "No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? 49 "But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed." 50 Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, 51 "Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?" 52 They answered him, "You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee." 53 Everyone went to his home.

 

"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."

 

© 2006  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)

 

 

 

 

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