Shevat 22, 5763 / Jan 25, 2003
Shevat 13, 5766 / Feb 11, 2006
Shevat 13, 5769 / Feb 7, 2009
Shevat 11, 5772 / Feb 4, 2012
Shevat 11, 5775 / Jan 31, 2015
Shevat 11, 5778 / Jan 27, 2018
Shevat 10, 5781 / Jan 23, 2021
Im Bekuqutay /
If In My Statutes
SCRIPTURES (should be read first)
After this end of the Book of Leviticus, we come
to Tu Bishevat – Shevat 15, Rosh HaShanah La’llanot – the New Year
for Trees, before we begin The Book of Numbers next week. [Thursday January 28,
A fruit tree planted before this date has its age
determined by this date each year, for the purpose of eating its fruit from the
fifth year, and for determining tithes.
He (Yeshua) spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower
went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road,
and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky
places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up,
because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they
were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7
Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8
And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some
sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."
God gave us His Word, through many prophets, and
through His Son. May God give us ears to hear!
“And we know that God causes all things
to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called
according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
We have a great promised future, beyond
imagination: a renewed earth, without sin or its results, with peace and
security and prosperity. We have God’s Holy Word, to show us the way to the most
However, we still have troubles in this life.
There may be trials to test our faith. There may be discipline to turn us closer
to God’s ways. There may be trouble for a specific purpose of God to glorify
Himself (such as showing a sign).
All of this refers to us as individual believers.
said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have
kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken
to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” –
But, today’s portion speaks of national
prosperity or calamity. And individual believers are impacted by the national
situation, though God is still working in those things for good for His people.
This is God’s Word to a nation of His people,
when they are obedient.
Yahweh said, “If you walk in My statutes and
keep My commandments so as to carry them out,
then I shall give you . . .” – Leviticus 26:3-4.
Isaiah says: “If you consent and obey, you
will eat the best of the land; . . .” – Isaiah 1:19.
(V.14) This is God’s Word to His people when they
“But if you do not obey Me and do not carry
out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject My statutes and if your soul
abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My
covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you:. . .” – Leviticus 26:14-15.
God will send terrorism, disease, and poverty.
All of the consequences have both physical and spiritual counterparts: the
physical enemies and diseases and poverty are symptoms of spiritual enemies,
evil rulers, doctrinal error and lack of knowledge of God’s word and ways.
The Psalmist asks God to teach us quickly,
because our days on this earth are short. We may all wish for God to teach us
gently, rather than show his great fury in our lives. If we have a heart to
learn and comply, we may experience God’s peace and joy for more of our lives.
(V.27) This is God’s Word to those who reject His
“Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me,
but act with hostility against Me, 28 then I will act with wrathful
hostility against you” – Leviticus 26:27-28.
All of the above will become more severe, with
great fear, unanswered prayer, and starvation.
The Psalmist says, “Who understands the power
of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? So teach us
to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” – Psalm
Ezekiel says: “And the inhabited cities will
be laid waste, and the land will be a desolation. So you will know that I am
Yahweh” – Ezekiel 12:20.
(V.40) This is God’s Word to the penitent.
“If they confess their iniquity and the
iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed
against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me . . . then I
will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with
Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land” –
(v.44) “I will not reject them, nor will I so
abhor them as to destroy them .
Jeremiah says: “O Yahweh, my strength and my
stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress, to Thee the nations will come
from the ends of the earth and say, ‘Our fathers have inherited nothing but
falsehood, futility and things of no profit’ ” – Jeremiah 16:19.
We need to constantly consider our position
before an holy God, and make daily confessions of our erroneous ways and wrong
attitudes. God has promised to fill us with His Spirit, and righteousness, if we
ask. This is the path for answered prayer, and a fulfilled life, and full joy,
and a greater future life.
Yeshua said, “And I say to you, ask, and it
shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened
to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who
knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son
for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is
asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being
evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” – Luke 11:9-13.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be
satisfied” – Matthew 5:6.
We must go into today’s reading with the
following understandings: Our redemption and eternal destiny is a matter of
grace, the evidence being a faith that produces fruit – good works. This life is
a process of sanctification – growing in faith and knowledge through the Word of
God and the Spirit of God. We will have discipline in this life if we are His:
we also will have trials of our faith that are not disciplinary.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and
appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should
remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you”
– John 15:16.
Ultimately, we live in Yeshua, the true vine, and
bear fruit. Or, we can live by the world’s ideas, and get clipped. That relates
to our eternal state – whether we are or are not of the redeemed.
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit,
He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown
away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the
fire, and they are burned” – John 15:2, 6.
Leviticus 27 ends the Book of Leviticus. It
teaches of valuations of people for vows of temple offerings; these are not
commercial valuations, and should not be taken as physical values of people. It
also teaches of redemption values for animals, crops, and property offered to
"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
Last portion of Leviticus
Amen. 3 'If
you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out,
4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will
yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5
'Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape
gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full
and live securely in your land. 6 'I shall also grant peace in the
land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also
eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your
land. 7 'But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before
you by the sword; 8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred
of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the
sword. 9 'So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and
multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10 'You will
eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. 11
'Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.
12 'I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My
people. 13 'I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke
and made you walk erect.
Amen. 14 'But
if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments,
15 if, instead, you reject My statutes, and
if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments,
and so break My covenant, 16 I, in turn, will do this to you: I will
appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that will waste away the
eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly,
for your enemies will eat it up. 17 'I will set My face against you
so that you will be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you will
rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you. 18 'If
also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times
more for your sins. 19 'I will also break down your pride of power; I
will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. 20
'Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce
and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit. 21 'If then,
you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase
the plague on you seven times according to your sins. 22 'I will let
loose among you the beasts of the field, which will bereave you of your children
and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted.
23 'And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with
hostility against Me, 24 then I will act with hostility against you;
and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins. 25 'I will
also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and
when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so
that you shall be delivered into enemy hands. 26 'When I break your
staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring
back your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied.
Amen. 27 'Yet
if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me,
28 then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even
I, will punish you seven times for your sins. 29 'Further, you will
eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat. 30
'I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and
heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you.
31 'I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your
sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. 32
'I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be
appalled over it. 33 'You, however, I will scatter among the nations
and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your
cities become waste. 34 'Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all
the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land
will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 'All the days of its desolation
it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you
were living on it. 36 'As for those of you who may be left, I will
also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the
sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they
will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall. 37 'They will
therefore stumble over each other as if running from the sword, although no one
is pursuing; and you will have no strength to stand up before your enemies.
38 'But you will perish among the nations, and your enemies' land will
consume you. 39 'So those of you who may be left will rot away
because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies; and also because of the
iniquities of their forefathers they will rot away with them.
Amen. 40 'If
they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of
their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against
Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me-- 41 I also
was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their
enemies-- or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make
amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember My covenant with
Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with
Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. 43 'For the land will
be abandoned by them, and will make up for its sabbaths while it is made
desolate without them. They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their
iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My
statutes. 44 'Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of
their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy
them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am Yahweh their God. 45
'But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought
out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God.
I am Yahweh.'" 46 These are the statutes and ordinances and laws
which Yahweh established between Himself and the sons of Israel through Moses at
Again, Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel
and say to them, 'When a man makes a difficult vow,
he shall be valued according to your valuation of persons belonging to Yahweh.
3 'If your valuation is of the male from twenty years even to sixty
years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the
shekel of the sanctuary. 4 'Or if it is a female, then your valuation
shall be thirty shekels. 5 'If it be from five years even to twenty
years old then your valuation for the male shall be twenty shekels and for the
female ten shekels. 6 'But if they are from a month even up to five
years old, then your valuation shall be five shekels of silver for the male, and
for the female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver. 7 'If
they are from sixty years old and upward, if it is a male, then your valuation
shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 8 'But if
he is poorer than your valuation, then he shall be placed before the priest and
the priest shall value him; according to the means of the one who vowed, the
priest shall value him.
Amen. 9 'Now if
it is an animal of the kind which men can present as an offering to Yahweh, any
such that one gives to Yahweh shall be holy. 10 'He shall not replace
it or exchange it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good; or if he does exchange
animal for animal, then both it and its substitute shall become holy. 11
'If, however, it is any unclean animal of the kind which men do not present as
an offering to Yahweh, then he shall place the animal before the priest. 12
'The priest shall value it as either good or bad; as you, the priest, value it,
so it shall be. 13 'But if he should ever wish to redeem it, then he
shall add one-fifth of it to your valuation. 14 'Now if a man
consecrates his house as holy to Yahweh, then the priest shall value it as
either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand. 15
'Yet if the one who consecrates it should wish to redeem his house, then he
shall add one-fifth of your valuation price to it, so that it may be his.
16 'Again, if a man consecrates to Yahweh part of the fields of his own
property, then your valuation shall be proportionate to the seed needed for it:
a homer of barley seed at fifty shekels of silver. 17 'If he
consecrates his field as of the year of jubilee, according to your valuation it
shall stand. 18 'If he consecrates his field after the jubilee,
however, then the priest shall calculate the price for him proportionate to the
years that are left until the year of jubilee; and it shall be deducted from
your valuation. 19 'If the one who consecrates it should ever wish to
redeem the field, then he shall add one-fifth of your valuation price to it, so
that it may pass to him. 20 'Yet if he will not redeem the field, but
has sold the field to another man, it may no longer be redeemed; 21
and when it reverts in the jubilee, the field shall be holy to Yahweh, like a
field set apart; it shall be for the priest as his property. 22 'Or
if he consecrates to Yahweh a field which he has bought, which is not a part of
the field of his own property, 23 then the priest shall calculate for
him the amount of your valuation up to the year of jubilee; and he shall on that
day give your valuation as holy to Yahweh. 24 'In the year of jubilee
the field shall return to the one from whom he bought it, to whom the possession
of the land belongs.
Amen. 25 'Every
valuation of yours, moreover, shall be after the shekel of the sanctuary. The
shekel shall be twenty gerahs. 26 'However, a firstborn among
animals, which as a firstborn belongs to Yahweh, no man may consecrate it;
whether ox or sheep, it is Yahweh'S. 27 'But if it is among the
unclean animals, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation and add to
it one-fifth of it; and if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according
to your valuation. 28 'Nevertheless, anything which a man sets apart
to Yahweh out of all that he has, of man or animal or of the fields of his own
property, shall not be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted to destruction is most
holy to Yahweh. 29 'No one who may have been set apart among men
shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death. 30 'Thus all the
tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is
Yahweh'S; it is holy to Yahweh. 31 'If, therefore, a man wishes to
redeem part of his tithe, he shall add to it one-fifth of it. 32 'For
every tenth part of herd or flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one
shall be holy to Yahweh. 33 'He is not to be concerned whether it is
good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; or if he does exchange it, then both it
and its substitute shall become holy. It shall not be redeemed.'" 34
These are the commandments which Yahweh commanded Moses for the sons of Israel
at Mount 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
"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
Amen. 19 “O
Yahweh, my strength and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress, to
You the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers have
inherited nothing but falsehood, futility and things of no profit.”
20 “The inhabited cities will be
laid waste and the land will be a desolation. So you will know that I am
19 “If you consent and obey, you
will eat the best of the land; . . .”
Psalm 90 (To be sung.)
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling
place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or You
gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You
are God. 3 You turn man back into dust and say, "Return, O children
of men." 4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when
it passes by, or as a watch in the night. 5 You have swept them away
like a flood, they fall asleep; in the morning they are like grass which sprouts
anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; toward evening
it fades and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Your anger
and by Your wrath we have been dismayed. 8 You have placed our
iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence. 9
For all our days have declined in Your fury; we have finished our years like a
sigh. 10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or
if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for
soon it is gone and we fly away. 11 Who
understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is
due You? 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may present to
You a heart of wisdom. 13 Do return, O Yahweh; how long will
it be? And be sorry for Your servants. 14 O satisfy us in the morning
with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, and the
years we have seen evil. 16 Let Your work appear to Your servants and
Your majesty to their children. 17 Let the favor of the Lord our God
be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of
Amen. 1 “I am the
true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me
that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He
prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean
because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I
in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine,
so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are
the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart
from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is
thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into
the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words
abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My
disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you;
abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in
My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
11 These things I have spoken to you so that
My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
12 This is My
commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his
friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is
doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My
Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose
you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit
would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to
you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.
Amen. 18 If the
world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19
If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not
of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates
you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater
than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they
kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they
will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but
now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My
Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one
else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and
My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word
that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ 26
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the
Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27
and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
"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
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."