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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 44/45

Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2   -   Jeremiah 32:6-27, Ezekiel 34:1-16    -   Psalm 88 - 89  -   John 7:1-53
 

Shevat   8, 5763 / Jan 11, 2003 - see Y2-44

Shevat 15, 5763 / Jan 18, 2003 - see Y2-45

Shevat  7, 5766 / Feb  4, 2006

Shevat  7, 5769 / Jan 31, 2009

Shevat  4, 5772 / Jan 28, 2012

Shevat  4, 5775 / Jan 24, 2015

 

B'har Sinai / In Mt. Sinai    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

The Sh’mittah – the Sabbatical Year.

 

A history: The commandments were all given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. But we see many of them detailed to the people later, in a logical progression. Moses gave the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, which the people joyfully followed. Then Moses gave the instructions for offerings and purification, which were needed upon completion of the meetingplace for appointments with God. After those instructions, we now see the laws given for sh’mittah and other things that applied after reaching the Promised Land.

 

Last week we considered how that God gave annual appointments showing His occasional acts of greatness toward us – such as redemption and resurrection; and also how He gave the Menorah and Show bread indicating His continual caring for us. This week we are looking forward to an eternal home.

 

(V.2) “When you come to the land that I give you”. With the Tabernacle being a functional reality, the people are now to look forward to the Promised Land”. “That I give you” is in the present tense – not like a give-and-forget gift, but rather as God continually keeping His promises to His people.

 

God provided for His original creation, and will provide for His renewed creation.

And out of the ground Yahweh God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden” – Genesis 2:9.

 

(V.2) “Then the land shall have a Sabbath to Yahweh”. The Sabbatical year is related to the weekly Sabbath: its basic purpose is not for the earth to replenish itself, but to worship God, showing faith. Israel may have never trusted God enough to forgo sowing and reaping – and that is a lesson to us in how we should trust. Israel experienced expulsion from the Promised Land because of this lack of faith. Sabbatical years, like Sabbath days, are not times for idleness or worldly pleasure, but times for worship and spiritual growth. (V.3) “Six years you shall sow . . .”, as in “Six days shall you labor” (Exodus 20:9). The seventh year, like the seventh day, is dedicated to God.

 

In the Sabbath Millennium, the seventh-thousand years when Yeshua reigns, “the day when all will be Sabbath”, God will provide for all of our needs. Then, when the earth is restored, He will provide for us from the Garden of Eden – also called Paradise. By comparing Genesis and Revelation, we can see the details of this restored Garden.

 

So we see three parts to our faith: We are to trust Yahweh for our salvation from sin (that is the meaning of the name Yeshua), we are to trust God to provide all things for us to fulfill His work that we are here to do, and we are to trust Him for a future eternal glorious home. We show our faith in three corresponding ways: repentance and observing His appointed Holy Days, setting aside the weekly Sabbath for worship and spiritual growth, and resting in a sure hope of future glory that is not dependant upon our worldly efforts such as sowing and reaping to build wealth.

 

The Yovel – the Jubilee Year.

 

(V.8) “You shall count for yourself”. After the Passover seder, we are commanded to count each day, and each of seven weeks, until the fiftieth day – Pentecost. Likewise, the Sanhedrin (the commandment is singular) is commanded to count each year, and each of seven Sabbaticals, until the fiftieth year, and then proclaim the Jubilee. This year does not begin on the Festival New Year (Nisan 1), but on Yom Teruah / the Day of Trumpeting (Tishrei 1), which is also called Rosh haShannah / Head of the Year (Ezekiel 40:1). The land may not be worked that year – beginning with Rosh haShannah, but slaves are not fully free until the tenth day – Yom haKippurim / the Day of the Atonements.

 

This would seem to relate to our final redemption (Romans 8:23, Ephesians 1:14). At the Last Trump on Yom Teruah, Yeshua will return and the righteous dead will be raised. But Yom haKippurim, ten days later, represents the purification of the redeemed.

___________________

 

Today’s Psalm (88) is one of those that are obviously messianic. We can hear Yeshua, from the tomb, saying (v.6-7), “Thou hast put me in the lowest pit, in dark places, in the depths. Thy wrath has rested upon me, and Thou hast afflicted me with all Thy waves. Selah.” We can hear Him, from the cross, saying (v.14), “Why dost Thou hide Thy face from me?

 

But, in another sense of this Psalm, Israel may be heard, crying, as a result of punishment for faithlessness – faithlessness shown by planting and harvesting and selling on the Sabbatical Years and Jubilee.

 

Jeremiah tells the result of this faithlessness.

17 'Ah Lord Yahweh! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, 18 who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. Yahweh of hosts is His name; 19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds; 20 who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day. 21 'You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror; 22 and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 'They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; therefore You have made all this calamity come upon them. 24 'Behold, the siege ramps have reached the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine and the pestilence; and what You have spoken has come to pass; and behold, You see it” – Jeremiah 32:17-24.

 

In John 10 we learn that the redemption and provision and future world apply to “His sheep”. If we are of His sheep, we will hear Yeshua’s voice. He gave His life for us willingly, He came to give us abundant life, and He will not let anything take us away from Him. This is the Word in which we can trust, and be of faith concerning our destiny.

 

In Galatians, Paul speaks of slavery and freedom; but, what slavery and what freedom?

 

If we come to the Scriptures with a preconceived doctrine that “Law” is slavery and “lawlessness” is freedom, then we can interpret this passage to bolster our doctrine. Many translators, having this doctrine, have accordingly slanted some of the most popular versions of the Bible. This makes such an interpretation much easier, and harder to correct.

 

Firstly, I would like everyone to be aware that nowhere in Galatians (or anywhere else) did Paul use any word that could reasonably be translated “Judaizers”, though such a term is often attributed to him in sermons condemning Torah observance.

 

Secondly, I would like everyone to see that the word “lawlessness” is correctly and frequently used, and always condemned. The Greek word is anomia, meaning (a) no - (nomos) law - (ia) ness.

Yeshua said, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ ” (Matthew 7:23).

Paul said, “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification” (Romans 6:19).

Paul taught, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

God said, concerning Yeshua, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions” (Hebrews 1:9).

John taught, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).

 

Thirdly, I would like to remind everyone that Yeshua said He did not come to abolish the Torah / Law (Matthew 5:17). But, Paul taught that Yeshua set us free from the Law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). The Law of sin and death is “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4).

 

So, Yeshua did not set us free to practice things that are against Torah - lawlessness. He set us free from the sting of death, our just punishment, so that we could be free to serve Him lawfully, not continuing to serve sin.

 

Through Torah obedience, we learn to serve God, and overcome sin.

 

Abraham had a son, Isaac, by the fulfillment of God’s promise. We are sons of God by the fulfillment of God’s promise. God sent forth His Son to redeem us. Through His Spirit we long to worship Him, rather than the worship the base things of this world. His Torah is our instruction (Torah means instruction), carried by prophets and teachers, to bring us to maturity (Ephesians 4:13).

 

And, Abraham had a son, Ishmael, “after the flesh”. This son was without faith, fully enraptured with the natural world. Therefore, he came under the condemnation of “the soul who sins will die”. The commandments, which are to show the way of a fulfilled life to the faithful, became his judge of death.

 

(V.5:1) Messiah set us free from the penalty of death for sin, if so be that we have the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9). Therefore, we should not let anyone convince us to seek salvation by our own works, which would lead to a death penalty for failure. But, on the other hand, if we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we will not follow “lawlessness”, but Torah instruction to grow in righteousness.

 

Leviticus 25 speaks of how we are to treat someone who has become impoverished. We are not to deal with him in severity, but we are to revere God. We are to seek his welfare, and his restoration to independence.

 

In Isaiah 24, God speaks of the time when men have polluted the earth, by grossly breaking His laws (v.5). There will be no difference between a commoner and a priest, between a slave and a master, between a borrower and a lender (v.2): all will be gathered like prisoners in a dungeon (for 1000 years), and later punished (v.22). Yahweh of hosts (armies) will reign on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem (v.23). The stated reason is . . . lawlessness!

 

[Isaiah says “Yahweh of Hosts” will reign on earth; John so describes the Sabbath millennium (Revelation 11:15-17 and 20:6).]

 

We sing, from Psalm 89,

I will sing of the lovingkindness of Yahweh forever; to all generations I will make known Thy faithfulness with my mouth. For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever; in the heavens Thou wilt establish Thy faithfulness – ‘I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever, and build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.”

 

(V.30) “If his sons forsake My law, and do not walk in My judgments, if they violate My statutes, and do not keep My commandments, then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah (Meditate on that).

 

Incidentally, Psalm 89:15 says, “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Yahweh, they walk in the light of Thy countenance.” The “joyful sound” is a translation of the Hebrew teruah: how blessed are the people who walk in His light, rehearsing on Yom Teruah / the Day of Trumpeting, knowing the sound of the last trump! They shall recognize the announcement of Messiah return!

 

Readings:

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Yahweh then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a Sabbath to Yahweh. 3 'Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, 4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to Yahweh; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 'Your harvest's aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a Sabbatical year. 6 'All of you shall have the Sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. 7 'Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.

Reader 2 Amen. 8 'You are also to count off seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven Sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 9 'You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of the atonements you shall sound a horn all through your land. 10 'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 'You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 'For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. 13 'On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property. 14 'If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend's hand, you shall not wrong one another. 15 'Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops. 16 'In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is a number of crops he is selling to you. 17 'So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am Yahweh your God.

Reader 3 Amen. 18 'You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land. 19 'Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 'But if you say, "What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?" 21 then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. 22 'When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in. 'The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. 24 'Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.

Reader 4 Amen. 23 25 'If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold. 26 'Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property. 28 'But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property. 29 'Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. 30 'But if it is not bought back for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee. 31 'The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee.

Reader 5 Amen. 32 'As for cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses of the cities which are their possession. 33 'What, therefore, belongs to the Levites may be redeemed and a house sale in the city of this possession reverts in the jubilee, for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the sons of Israel. 34 'But pasture fields of their cities shall not be sold, for that is their perpetual possession. 35 'Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 'Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. 37 'You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain. 38 'I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

Reader 6 Amen. 39 'If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave's service. 40 'He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. 41 'He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. 42 'For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. 43 'You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God. 44 'As for your male and female slaves whom you may have-- you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. 45 'Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. 46 'You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.

Reader 7 Amen. 23 47 'Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger's family, 48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 'He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 'If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption. 53 'Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight. 54 'Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him. 55 'For the sons of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.

26:1 'You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am Yahweh your God. 2 'You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary; I am Yahweh.

 

"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."

 

Jeremiah 32:6-27

Reader 8Amen. 6 And Jeremiah said, "The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 7 'Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, "Buy for yourself my field which is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it."' 8 "Then Hanamel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of Yahweh and said to me, 'Buy my field, please, that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of Yahweh. 9 "I bought the field which was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle's son, and I weighed out the silver for him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 "I signed and sealed the deed, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales.

Reader 9Amen. 11 "Then I took the deeds of purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions and the open copy; 12 and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle's son and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard. 13 "And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying, 14 'Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, "Take these deeds, this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that they may last a long time." 15 'For thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, "Houses and fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land."'

Reader 10Amen. 16 "After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, then I prayed to Yahweh, saying, 17 'Ah Lord Yahweh! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, 18 who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. Yahweh of hosts is His name; 19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds; 20 who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day. 21 'You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror; 22 and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 'They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; therefore You have made all this calamity come upon them. 24 'Behold, the siege ramps have reached the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine and the pestilence; and what You have spoken has come to pass; and behold, You see it. 25 'You have said to me, O Lord Yahweh, "Buy for yourself the field with money and call in witnesses "-- although the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.'" 26 Then the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, saying, 27 "Behold, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"

 

Ezekiel 34

Reader 11Amen. 1 Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? 3 "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. 4 "Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. 5 "They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. 6 "My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them."'"

Reader 12Amen. (say) Verse 11. 11 For thus says Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 "As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. 13 "I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. 14 "I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 "I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares Lord Yahweh. 16 "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.

 

Psalm 88    (To be sung.)    A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

                   For the choir director; according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 O Yahweh, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You. 2 Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry! 3 For my soul has had enough troubles, and my life has drawn near to Sheol. 4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, 5 forsaken among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom You remember no more, and they are cut off from Your hand. 6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in dark places, in the depths. 7 Your wrath has rested upon me, and You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah. 8 You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out. 9 My eye has wasted away because of affliction; I have called upon You every day, O Yahweh; I have spread out my hands to You. 10 Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah. 11 Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon? 12 Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 13 But I, O Yahweh, have cried out to You for help, and in the morning my prayer comes before You. 14 O Yahweh, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? 15 I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on; I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome. 16 Your burning anger has passed over me; Your terrors have destroyed me. 17 They have surrounded me like water all day long; they have encompassed me altogether. 18 You have removed lover and friend far from me; my acquaintances are in darkness.

 

Psalm 89    A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 I will sing of the lovingkindness of Yahweh forever; to all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. 2 For I have said, "Lovingkindness will be built up forever; in the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness." 3 "I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations." Selah. 5 The heavens will praise Your wonders, O Yahweh; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. 6 For who in the skies is comparable to Yahweh? Who among the sons of the mighty is like Yahweh, 7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all those who are around Him? 8 O Yahweh God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Yahweh? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. 9 You rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them. 10 You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm. 11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them. 12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name. 13 You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You. 15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Yahweh, they walk in the light of Your countenance. 16 In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted. 17 For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to Yahweh, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. 19 Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, and said, "I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. 20 "I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, 21 with whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him. 22 "The enemy will not deceive him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 "But I shall crush his adversaries before him, and strike those who hate him. 24 "My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted. 25 "I shall also set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. 26 "He will cry to Me, 'You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.' 27 "I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 "My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him. 29 "So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 "If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments, 31 If they violate My statutes and do not keep My commandments, 32 Then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. 33 "But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. 34 "My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. 35 "Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 "His descendants shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. 37 "It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful." Selah. 38 But You have cast off and rejected, You have been full of wrath against Your anointed. 39 You have spurned the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown in the dust. 40 You have broken down all his walls; You have brought his strongholds to ruin. 41 All who pass along the way plunder him; He has become a reproach to his neighbors. 42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries; You have made all his enemies rejoice. 43 You also turn back the edge of his sword and have not made him stand in battle. 44 You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground. 45 You have shortened the days of his youth; You have covered him with shame. Selah. 46 How long, O Yahweh? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember what my span of life is; for what vanity You have created all the sons of men! 48 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah. 49 Where are Your former lovingkindnesses, O Lord, which You swore to David in Your faithfulness? 50 Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants; how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many peoples, 51 with which Your enemies have reproached, O Yahwewh, with which they have reproached the footsteps of Your anointed. 52 Blessed be Yahweh forever! Amen and Amen.

 

John 10:1-33

Reader 12Amen. 1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers." 6 This parable Yeshua spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

Reader 13Amen. 7 So Yeshua said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 "He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 "He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Reader 14Amen. 16 "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." 19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?" 21 Others were saying, "These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?"

Reader 15Amen. 22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the Temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly." 25 Yeshua answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. 26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 "I and the Father are one." 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Yeshua answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

 

"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."


Simplified Readings:

 

Lev 25

Reader 1*

Amen. 1 While Moses was on Mount Sinai, Yahweh said to him, 2 "Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you have entered the land I am giving you as an inheritance, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to Yahweh every seventh year. 3 For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, 4 but during the seventh year the land will enjoy a Sabbath year of rest to Yahweh. Do not plant your crops or prune your vineyards during that entire year. 5 And don't store away the crops that grow naturally or process the grapes that grow on your unpruned vines. The land is to have a year of total rest. 6 But you, your male and female slaves, your hired servants, and any foreigners who live with you may eat the produce that grows naturally during the Sabbath year. 7 And your livestock and the wild animals will also be allowed to eat of the land's bounty.

 

Reader 2*

Amen. 8 "In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven years times seven, adding up to forty-nine years in all. 9 Then on the Day of the Atonements of the fiftieth year, blow the trumpets loud and long throughout the land. 10 This year will be set apart as holy, a time to proclaim release for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you returns to the lands that belonged to your ancestors and rejoins your clan. 11 Yes, the fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year, do not plant any seeds or store away any of the crops that grow naturally, and do not process the grapes that grow on your unpruned vines. 12 It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must observe it as a special and holy time. You may, however, eat the produce that grows naturally in the fields that year.

 

Reader 3*

Amen. 13 In the Year of Jubilee each of you must return to the lands that belonged to your ancestors. 14 "When you make an agreement with a neighbor to buy or sell property, you must never take advantage of each other. 15 When you buy land from your neighbor, the price of the land should be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller will charge you only for the crop years left until the next Year of Jubilee. 16 The more the years, the higher the price; the fewer the years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. 17 Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I, Yahweh, am your God.

 

Reader 4*

Amen. 18 "If you want to live securely in the land, keep my laws and obey my regulations. 19 Then the land will yield bumper crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. 20 But you might ask, 'What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?' 21 The answer is, 'I will order my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a bumper crop, enough to support you for three years. 22 As you plant the seed in the eighth year, you will still be eating the produce of the previous year. In fact, you will eat from the old crop until the new harvest comes in the ninth year.'

 

Reader 5*

Amen. 23 And remember, the land must never be sold on a permanent basis because it really belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenants living with me. 24 "With every sale of land there must be a stipulation that the land can be redeemed at any time. 25 If any of your Israelite relatives go bankrupt and are forced to sell some inherited land, then a close relative, a kinsman redeemer, may buy it back for them.

 

Reader 6*

Amen. 26 If there is no one to redeem the land but the person who sold it manages to get enough money to buy it back, 27 then that person has the right to redeem it from the one who bought it. The price of the land will be based on the number of years until the next Year of Jubilee. After buying it back, the original owner may then return to the land. 28 But if the original owner cannot afford to redeem it, then it will belong to the new owner until the next Year of Jubilee. In the jubilee year, the land will be returned to the original owner.

 

Reader 7*

Amen. 55 For the people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I, Yahweh, am your God.26:1 "Do not make idols or set up carved images, sacred pillars, or shaped stones to be worshiped in your land. I, Yahweh, am your God. 2 You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am Yahweh.

 

(Psalms 88 & 89 from Psalter)

 

Jer 32

Reader 8*

Amen. 6 At that time Yahweh sent me a message. He said, 7 "Your cousin Hanamel son of Shallum will come and say to you, 'Buy my field at Anathoth. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else.'" 8 Then, just as Yahweh had said he would, Hanamel came and visited me in the prison. He said, "Buy my field at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else, so buy it for yourself." Then I knew for sure that the message I had heard was from Yahweh. 9 So I bought the field at Anathoth, paying Hanamel seventeen pieces of silver for it. 10 I signed and sealed the deed of purchase before witnesses, weighed out the silver, and paid him.

 

Reader 9*

Amen. 11 Then I took the sealed deed and an unsealed copy of the deed, which contained the terms and conditions of the purchase, 12 and I handed them to Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah. I did all this in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed, and all the men of Judah who were there. 13 Then I said to Baruch as they all listened, 14 "Yahweh Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take both this sealed deed and the unsealed copy, and put them into a pottery jar to preserve them for a long time. 15 For Yahweh Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Someday people will again own property here in this land and will buy and sell houses and vineyards and fields."

 

Ezek 34

Reader 10*

Amen. 1 Then this message came to me from Yahweh: 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Yahweh: Destruction is certain for you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn't shepherds feed their sheep? 3 You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. 4 You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the broken bones. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with force and cruelty. 5 So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd. They are easy prey for any wild animal. 6 They have wandered through the mountains and hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.

 

Reader 11*

Amen. (Say) Verse 11. 11 "For this is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in lush mountain pastures. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Yahweh. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes-- feed them justice!

© 2006  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)

 

 

 

 

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