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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 49

Numbers 3:1 - 4:16   -   Isaiah 43:1-13   -   Psalm 93  -   Hebrews 12:1-29
 

 

I Adar 13, 5763 / Feb 15, 2003

Adar 4, 5766 / Mar  4, 2006  

Adar 4, 5769 / Feb 28, 2009

Adar 2, 5772 / Feb 25, 2012

Adar 2, 5775 / Feb 21, 2015

 

V'eleh Toldot / These are the Generations    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

(Psalm 93) Yahweh reigns; He is clothed with majesty. The world is firmly established, it will not be moved. His testimonies are fully confirmed; holiness befits Yahweh’s house forevermore.

 

He established a priesthood, for intercession for the people, to maintain righteousness and knowledge of God.

 

(Isaiah 43:9) “All the nations have gathered together in order that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this and proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’

 

The original order of the priesthood, showing Year of the World for birth and death: (see chart below)

 

Adam: 1 – 930, priest for 930 years;

Seth: 130 – 1042, priest for 112 years (Cain lost the position by sin, and Seth was “instead of” Able, who was killed – Genesis 4:25.);

Enosh: 235 – 1140, priest for 98 years (From his birth, men began to call upon the name “Yahweh” – Genesis 4:26);

Kenan: 325 – 1235, priest for 95 years;

Mahalalel: 395 – 1290, priest for 55 years;

Jared: 460 – 1422, priest for 132 years;

Methuselah: 687 – 1656, priest for 234 years, until the Great Flood;

Noah: 1056 – 2006, priest for 350 years;

Shem: 1558 – 2158, priest for 152 years;

[Abraham: 1948 – 2123, was born 390 years after Shem, and died 35 years before Shem. He never attained the priesthood. Noah, then Shem, was Abraham’s priest.]

Gen 47:9 - So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.”]

Isaac: 2048 – 2228, priest for 105 years (Shem was priest for part of Isaac’s life);

Jacob: 2108 – 2255, priest for 27 years (Esau lost the position through lack of regard for it.) (Shem was priest for part of Jacob’s life);

Levi: 2194 – 2332, the twelfth in succession, and third son of Leah (Reuben {Genesis 35:22} and Simeon {Genesis 34:25} lost the position through sin; Ephraim and Manasseh, grandsons of Rachael, were given inheritance “like Reuben and Simeon”, sons of Leah {Genesis 48:5}).

 

Adam and Noah held the position the longest, their lives spanning almost from creation to Abraham. Omitting Noah: Adam, Methuselah and Shem held it longest, spanning from creation to Israel, as the most direct links for transmitting Torah (God’s instruction).

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God henceforth took the Levites “instead of the firstborn”. Since there were more “firstborn” than Levites, a ransom was required for the additional firstborn, who belonged to God. The Levites were counted: 22,000. The firstborn of Israel were counted: 22,273. For each of the 273 additional, a five shekel ransom was paid.

 

The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Gershon was to camp to the west of the Tabernacle, and be responsible for carrying the coverings. Kohath was to camp tp the south of the Tabernacle, and be responsible for the Ark and furnishings. Merari was to camp to the north of the Tabernacle, and be responsible for carrying the frames and poles.

 

John the baptizer was a priest of the Levitical order, of the division of Abijah. Just before John’s conception, his father was performing the priestly duties in the Temple (Luke 1:5-17).

 

Luke 1

5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years. 8 Now it came about, while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother's womb. 16 "And he will turn back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 "And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

 

John the baptizer, who was born six months before Yeshua, said that Yeshua “was before me” – John 1:30. John came to decrease, but to have Yeshua increase – John 3:30. Yeshua was to become the high priest – Hebrews 2:17.

 

Yeshua was a priest after the order of the firstborn, the rulers of righteousness – malchi tzedek. He was even “before Abraham” – John 8:58. He is called the “firstborn of the dead” – Colossians 1:18 & Revelation 1:5, being the first to be resurrected in a glorified body.

 

We have a high priest who is eternal. He can relate to our weaknesses. He can perfectly make intercession for us. He will lead us in paths of righteousness. He will take us to our eternal home.

 

We need to keep in mind the significance of whom we are to follow, and the importance of growing in righteousness.

_____________

 

Consider:

 

600,000 men from age 20 to 60 fit for war is estimated to represent at least 3,000,000 who left Egypt one year ago.

22,273 firstborn Israeli’s out of est. 1,500,000 males = 1/67, not 1/4 as one might expect.

22,300 Levites out of 1,500,000 males = 1/67, not 1/12 one might expect of one tribe.

 

The firstborn were killed 1 year ago – except Hebrews. Many from the 70 nations were joined to the Hebrews who left Egypt. Most of the 3,000,000 may have been converts from the 70 nations, their firstborn having been killed!

 

Priesthood – Order of the Firstborn

 

[Adam, Methuselah, Shem, and Jacob are "black" bars.]

 

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The Encampment

                To continue where we left off last week I’m going to start with the middle of our Torah portion and show where the Levites were to be stationed.

 

Gershon – The families of the Gershonites were to behind the tabernacle westward. Num 3:23

Kohath – The families of the sons of Kohath were to camp on the southward side… Num 3:29

Merari – They were to camp on the northward side… Num 3:35

Moses & Aaron – Now those who were to camp before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrise, are Moses and Aaron and his sons… Num 3:38

 

The Firstborn

                We find that the firstborn in scripture is always of great significance.

The firstborn:

- received the greater blessing/inheritence from the father

- was the one who carried on the family once his father died

- and subsequently was also the one who became the spiritual leader for the family

 

Doug has a chart and information from previous studies on the website (above) that show how long each of the firstborn from Adam to the Levites lived and how long each one would have been the “family priest”. He notes that “Adam and Noah held the position the longest, their lives spanning almost from creation to Abraham [2000 years]. Omitting Noah: Adam, Methuselah and Shem held it longest, spanning from creation to Israel, as the most direct links for transmitting Torah (God’s instruction).”

 

Yeshua is called the “firstborn of many brethren” (Rom 8:29) and the “firstborn of the dead” (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5), being the first to be resurrected in a glorified body. He was also a priest after the order of the firstborn, the rulers of righteousness – malchi tzedek. (Heb)

 

The Levites

Aaron was chosen by YHVH to be the high priest and his sons were to be the priests who helped him (Ex 28). In our portion today we see that the tribe of Levi was added to the sons of Aaron to help maintain God’s House. Together they were to “intercede for the people, maintain righteousness, and knowledge of God.” (Doug)

 

Tim Hegg (http://www.torahresource.com/Parashpdfs/99CommentsTR.pdf) had some good summary comments on this portion -

“It appears that up until the sin of the Golden Calf, the duty of performing the sacrificial ritual fell upon the heads of households. In the narrative of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen 12–50), each one offers sacrifice unto the Lord. And before Abraham, Noah offered sacrifices. After the sin of the Golden Calf, however, the duty of leading the people in the sacrificial ritual, as well as in other aspects of the service of worship pertaining to the Mishkan (Tabernacle), fell to the Levites. God had given to them this most sacred and wonderful duty because they alone of the tribes turned away from the idolatrous worship of the Golden Calf and stood with Moses in confession of HaShem as their only God (Ex 32:26).

Because of this, they took the place of the first born who would, in the natural course of events, take up the position of the head-of-household upon the death of the father of the family. Since the first born belonged to God from the Passover event, (in which all the first born were slain, save the first born of the Israelites whom God spared on account of the blood on the doorpost), it was God’s prerogative to exchange them for the Levites (Num 3:11–13, 40–41). In this way, the Levites became entirely given over to HaShem for His service. They therefore had no need to own their own land. They were to be honored by the people for their service and given the produce and livestock they needed to sustain their living.”

 

The Redemption

The firstborn was the priest of the whole family. The honor of exercising the priesthood was transferred, by the command of God through Moses, from the tribe of Reuben, to whom it belonged by right of primogeniture, to that of Levi (Num 3:12-16; 8:18,19). In consequence of the fact that God had taken the Levites to serve Him as priests, the firstborn of the other tribes were redeemed.

What is redemption? Redemption has in it the idea of exchange, of substitution. In the Torah the Law of Ransom is stated at Ex 13:13, 34:20. Every firstborn male person, calf, lamb, kid, and donkey must be ransomed. In our Torah portion, 22,000 Levites became substitutes for 22,000 of Israel’s firstborn males, and the remaining 273, for whom there were no Levites, were ransomed by 1,365 shekels. In I Sam 14, Jonathan came under sentence of death for transgressing a public oath his father made in his absence. Yet although King Saul condemned him to die, the sentence was not carried out, because the people objected. But law is law, not to be ignored. So they ransomed him, and thus legally prevented his being put to death.

                The thought of redemption goes back to the “Exodus”, to the first Passover, when YHVH killed all the firstborn sons of those that didn’t have the blood on the doorposts of their dwellings. In memory of the death of Egypt’s firstborn and the preservation of the firstborn of Israel, all the firstborn of Israel, both man and beast, belonged to YHVH - they were to be sanctified/set apart to Him. (Ex 13:2,15; cf. 12:11-13)

            So in our portion today we see that He took the Levites in place of the firstborn to be set apart for Himself as priests. As Rambam describes the mission of the Levites (Hil. Shemittah V’Yovel 13:12-13), they are the “legion of HaShem,” whose task it is to serve Him and to teach His Torah and way of life to others. Any Jew who follows the example of the Levites, he continues, “becomes sanctified as holy of holies, and YHVH will be his portion and heritage for all eternity. In this world, he will merit what befits him, as the Kohanim [Priests] and Levites merited it.” This aspect of Levite existence is lifelong and independent of age and strength.

 

A Nation Of Priests

                In Isaiah we read “But now says YHVH – Who created you, O Jacob, Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I will redeem you; I have singled you out by name, You are Mine.”

The thoughts constantly impressed upon the Israelites were that they were a people belonging to YHVH, that He had redeemed them (ie., severed them from bondage), and that Canaan, with all that it might produce, was the gift of God, used by the Israelites as a bounty from YHVH. Therefore all Israel owed service to God and were, in spirit at least, to be priests unto the Most High.

We too, like Jonathan, have come under the sentence of death. Jonathan was condemned to death even though he had been unaware of King Saul’s oath and order. We are condemned to death, even though we have not sinned after the manner of the first Adam. Like Jonathan, we must either die or be ransomed. Jonathan and the Israelite firstborn were ransomed with money. Money equals blood. One of the names for money in Hebrew is damim, a Mishnaic term, plural of dam, which means blood, because it represents man’s labor and risks.

But money cannot redeem from eternal death. Man has nothing with which to ransom himself or others; God Himself must redeem him from the power of the grave.

 

                Redemption is also a comprehensive term employed in theology with reference to the special intervention of God for the salvation of mankind. Its meaning centers in the atoning work of Messiah as the price paid for human redemption, and on account of which Messiah is called the Redeemer (Rom 3:24; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7; I Pet 1:18,19; I Cor 1:30; cf Matt 20:28; I Tim 2:6).

 

Read Rom 3:21-26; I Pet 1:13-21

 

                So we see that we too have been redeemed and set apart for God.

a.        We owe God a payment for our sins.

b.        That payment is our death.

c.        Yeshua – God’s firstborn – died in our place, as a substitute – redeeming us.

d.        God paid the price with His Son, so we are now His – set apart or sanctified.

 

Paul writes, “Praised be YHVH, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven. In the Messiah He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence. He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be His sons – in keeping with His pleasure and purpose – so that we would bring Him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace He gave us through the Beloved One.” (Eph 1:3-13)

                Peter further compliments this writing, “As you come to Him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to Him, you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim (priests) set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Him through Yeshua the Messiah.” (I Pet 2:4-5) “But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (I Pet 2:9)

 

Conclusion

                As believers we have been redeemed by Yeshua, to be set apart for God, and like the Levitical priests, we too are “to teach His Torah and way of life to others.”

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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. 1 Now these are the records of the generations of Aaron and Moses at the time when Yahweh spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 These then are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, whom he ordained to serve as priests. 4 But Nadab and Abihu died before Yahweh when they offered strange fire before Yahweh in the wilderness of Sinai; and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of their father Aaron. 5 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 6 "Bring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7 "They shall perform the duties for him and for the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle. 8 "They shall also keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, along with the duties of the sons of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. 9 "You shall thus give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the sons of Israel. 10 "So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that they may keep their priesthood, but the layman who comes near shall be put to death."

Reader 2Amen. 11 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 12 "Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine. 13 "For all the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, from man to beast. They shall be Mine; I am Yahweh." 14 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15 "Number the sons of Levi by their fathers' households, by their families; every male from a month old and upward you shall number." 16 So Moses numbered them according to the word of Yahweh, just as he had been commanded. 17 These then are the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon and Kohath and Merari.

Reader 3Amen. 18 These are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei; 19 and the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel; 20 and the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers' households. 21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites; these were the families of the Gershonites. 22 Their numbered men, in the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, even their numbered men were 7,500. 23 The families of the Gershonites were to camp behind the tabernacle westward, 24 and the leader of the fathers' households of the Gershonites was Eliasaph the son of Lael. 25 Now the duties of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting involved the tabernacle and the tent, its covering, and the screen for the doorway of the tent of meeting, 26 and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the doorway of the court which is around the tabernacle and the altar, and its cords, according to all the service concerning them.

Reader 4Amen. 27 Of Kohath was the family of the Amramites and the family of the Izharites and the family of the Hebronites and the family of the Uzzielites; these were the families of the Kohathites. 28 In the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, there were 8,600, performing the duties of the sanctuary. 29 The families of the sons of Kohath were to camp on the southward side of the tabernacle, 30 and the leader of the fathers' households of the Kohathite families was Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 Now their duties involved the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, and the utensils of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the screen, and all the service concerning them; 32 and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest was the chief of the leaders of Levi, and had the oversight of those who perform the duties of the sanctuary. 33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites and the family of the Mushites; these were the families of Merari. 34 Their numbered men in the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, were 6,200. 35 The leader of the fathers' households of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. They were to camp on the northward side of the tabernacle. 36 Now the appointed duties of the sons of Merari involved the frames of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, all its equipment, and the service concerning them, 37 and the pillars around the court with their sockets and their pegs and their cords.

Reader 5Amen. 38 Now those who were to camp before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrise, are Moses and Aaron and his sons, performing the duties of the sanctuary for the obligation of the sons of Israel; but the layman coming near was to be put to death. 39 All the numbered men of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the command of Yahweh by their families, every male from a month old and upward, were 22,000. 40 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names. 41 "You shall take the Levites for Me, I am Yahweh, instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel." 42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, just as Yahweh had commanded him; 43 and all the firstborn males by the number of names from a month old and upward, for their numbered men were 22,273. 44 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 45 "Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am Yahweh. 46 "For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons." 49 So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites; 50 from the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365. 51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of Yahweh, just as Yahweh had commanded Moses.

Reader 6Amen. 4:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 "Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers' households, 3 from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting. 4 "This is the work of the descendants of Kohath in the tent of meeting, concerning the most holy things. 5 "When the camp sets out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and they shall take down the veil of the screen and cover the ark of the testimony with it; 6 and they shall lay a covering of porpoise skin on it, and shall spread over it a cloth of pure blue, and shall insert its poles. 7 "Over the table of the bread of the Presence they shall also spread a cloth of blue and put on it the dishes and the pans and the sacrificial bowls and the jars for the drink offering, and the continual bread shall be on it. 8 "They shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet material, and cover the same with a covering of porpoise skin, and they shall insert its poles.

Reader 7Amen. 9 "Then they shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand for the light, along with its lamps and its snuffers, and its trays and all its oil vessels, by which they serve it; 10 and they shall put it and all its utensils in a covering of porpoise skin, and shall put it on the carrying bars. 11 "Over the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth and cover it with a covering of porpoise skin, and shall insert its poles; 12 and they shall take all the utensils of service, with which they serve in the sanctuary, and put them in a blue cloth and cover them with a covering of porpoise skin, and put them on the carrying bars. 13 "Then they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 "They shall also put on it all its utensils by which they serve in connection with it: the firepans, the forks and shovels and the basins, all the utensils of the altar; and they shall spread a cover of porpoise skin over it and insert its poles. 15 "When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy objects and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is to set out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them, so that they will not touch the holy objects and die. These are the things in the tent of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry. 16 "The responsibility of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is the oil for the light and the fragrant incense and the continual grain offering and the anointing oil-- the responsibility of all the tabernacle and of all that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings."

 

"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."

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"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."

 

Isaiah 43:1-13

Reader 8Amen. 1 But now, thus says Yahweh, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! 2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. 3 "For I am Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. 4 "Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. 5 "Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. 6 "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, 7 Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made."

Reader 9Amen. 8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, and the deaf, even though they have ears. 9 All the nations have gathered together so that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this and proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear and say, "It is true." 10 "You are My witnesses," declares Yahweh, "And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. 11 "I, even I, am Yahweh, and there is no savior besides Me. 12 "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, and there was no strange god among you; so you are My witnesses," declares Yahweh, "And I am God. 13 "Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?"

 

Psalm 93    (To be sung.)

1 Yahweh reigns, He is clothed with majesty; Yahweh has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. 2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. 3 The floods have lifted up, O Yahweh, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. 4 More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, Yahweh on high is mighty. 5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O Yahweh, forevermore.

 

Hebrews 12

Reader 10Amen. 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by HIm; 6 for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives." 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Reader 11Amen.  9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Reader 12Amen. 18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned." 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling." 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens." 27 This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

 

"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."

 


© 2003  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)

 

 

 

 

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