Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 3

Numbers 9:22-10:36   -   x   -   Psalm 102   -   1 Corinthians 14:1-19

Nisan 17, 5763 / April 19, 2003

Nisan 17, 5766 / April 15, 2006     

Nisan 17, 5769 / April 11, 2009    

Nisan 15, 5772 / April   7, 2012

Nisan 15, 5775 / April   4, 2015   

Nisan 15, 5778 / March 31, 2018

Nisan 14, 5781 / March 27, 2021


Avo-yamaim vo-chodesh / Whether days or a month    SCRIPTURES should be read first

Moses was instructed to make two trumpets by hammering out silver into the proper shape. Tekiah (long -smooth) blasts from both trumpets were a signal for all the people to gather at the Tabernacle.

Breaking Camp

Consider: the camp was supposed to be going mostly northward, from Egypt to Eretz Israel. When the camp was to move, the pillar of fire/cloud would move, from over the Tabernacle, eastward to over Judah. Then Moses would blow a Tekiah (long blast) on one hammered-silver trumpet – a call for the leaders to gather to him. Upon a second sounding of Teruah (staccato blasts), the Ark would be followed by the three-tribe-group behind the banner of Judah – by design, going northward. So, the Praisers of Yahweh (Judah) went first. The Tabernacle followed, with the sons of Gershon and Merari carrying it.

Next, the tribes behind the banner of Reuben left from the south, to follow Judah's path northward. Then the Sacred Objects would follow, carried by the Kohathites.  That cleared the way for the tribes with Ephraim from the west, and the tribes with Dan, from the north, made up the rear guard.

For layout, see commentary Y2-48.

The Ark always went before. (V. 35-36) “So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: ‘Rise up, O Yahweh! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.’ And when it rested, he said: ‘Return, O Yahweh, to the many thousands of Israel.’ ” So we say each Sabbath as we remove and replace the Torah scroll. May the presence of Yahweh always scatter His enemies, and may His presence always return to us!


Now, as we have seen the picture of the encampment in the wilderness – and how the Hebrews broke camp, we can picture Yeshua’s cross – and how He “broke camp”: leaving the grave. Today is resurrection Sabbath! This afternoon marks three days and three nights1 since the time of burial. Yeshua is going to take up His Tabernacle2 and leave a sealed tomb!3 And he will go toward Galilee4: can you guess which direction that is? It’s north!

1    “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” – Matthew 12:40.

2    “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” – John 1:14; “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 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” – John 10:17-18.

3    “And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying’ ” – Matthew 28:2-6.

4    “The angel answered ‘. . . go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you’ ” – Matthew 28:7.

So, on this Sabbath when we read of the first travel of the Tabernacle, we celebrate the first, of any man, to be resurrected to a glorified body. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” – 1 Corinthians 15:20.

Today’s Psalm (v.10) says: “You have lifted me up and cast me away”, as in crucifixion; and (v.18-20) “This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise Yahweh. For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven Yahweh viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death”.

Trumpet sounds

(Numbers 10 & 1 Corinthians 14) Going back to the subject of trumpets: the silver trumpets were to be used to make several distinctly different blasts, for distinctly different purposes. Likewise, Paul instructs us to use words distinctly, so that the hearers will understand what we are saying. Translating the commonly quoted Old English into the modern language takes the extra-Biblical mystique out of “speaking in tongues” and “prophesying”. We are taught herein to speak in languages foreign to the hearers only if there is someone to translate. And, we are taught that the highest gift to seek is teaching.

There is nothing here to justify getting “super-spiritual” about, to put oneself above others: that is a sin commonly rationalized by mysterious-sounding translations of this passage. There is a great need for study and understanding of the Scriptures. There is too much attributing of intuition to the Holy Spirit, claiming words to be direct from God, by people who don’t bother to study what God says.

We celebrate the Holy Sabbath weekly, in honor of the resurrection of Yeshua. We also need to honor Him at all times, as our living High Priest – our great teacher, who has left us His Word.



"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. 22 Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out. 23 At the command of Yahweh they camped, and at the command of Yahweh they set out; they kept Yahweh's charge, according to the command of Yahweh through Moses.

10:1 Yahweh spoke further to Moses, saying, 2 "Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out.

Reader 2 Amen. 3 "When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 4 "Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you. 5 "But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out. 6 "When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to be blown for them to set out. 7 "When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm. 8 "The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations.

Reader 3 Amen. 9 "When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before Yahweh your God, and be saved from your enemies. 10 "Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am Yahweh your God." 11 Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony; 12 and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. 13 So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of Yahweh through Moses.

Reader 4 Amen. 14 The standard of the camp of the sons of Judah, according to their armies, set out first, with Nahshon the son of Amminadab, over its army, 15 and Nethanel the son of Zuar, over the tribal army of the sons of Issachar; 16 and Eliab the son of Helon over the tribal army of the sons of Zebulun. 17 Then the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who were carrying the tabernacle, set out. 18 Next the standard of the camp of Reuben, according to their armies, set out with Elizur the son of Shedeur, over its army, 19 and Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai over the tribal army of the sons of Simeon, 20 and Eliasaph the son of Deuel was over the tribal army of the sons of Gad. 21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy objects; and the tabernacle was set up before their arrival.

Reader 5Amen. 22 Next the standard of the camp of the sons of Ephraim, according to their armies, was set out, with Elishama the son of Ammihud over its army, 23 and Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur over the tribal army of the sons of Manasseh; 24 and Abidan the son of Gideoni over the tribal army of the sons of Benjamin. 25 Then the standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, according to their armies, which formed the rear guard for all the camps, set out, with Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai over its army, 26 and Pagiel the son of Ochran over the tribal army of the sons of Asher; 27 and Ahira the son of Enan over the tribal army of the sons of Naphtali. 28 This was the order of march of the sons of Israel by their armies as they set out.

Reader 6 Amen. 29 Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out to the place of which Yahweh said, 'I will give it to you'; come with us and we will do you good, for Yahweh has promised good concerning Israel." 30 But he said to him, "I will not come, but rather will go to my own land and relatives." 31 Then he said, "Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will be as eyes for us. 32 "So it will be, if you go with us, that whatever good Yahweh does for us, we will do for you." 33 Thus they set out from the mount of Yahweh three days' journey, with the ark of the covenant of Yahweh journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.

Reader 7 Amen. 34 The cloud of Yahweh was over them by day when they set out from the camp. 35 Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, "Rise up, O Yahweh! And let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You." 36 When it came to rest, he said, "Return, O Yahweh, to the myriad thousands of Israel."

"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." 


[No Prophet]


Psalm 102     (To be sung.)    

A Prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before Yahweh.

1 Hear my prayer, O Yahweh! And let my cry for help come to You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress; incline Your ear to me; in the day when I call answer me quickly. 3 For my days have been consumed in smoke, and my bones have been scorched like a hearth. 4 My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away, indeed, I forget to eat my bread. 5 Because of the loudness of my groaning my bones cling to my flesh. 6 I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places. 7 I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop. 8 My enemies have reproached me all day long; those who deride me have used my name as a curse. 9 For I have eaten ashes like bread and mingled my drink with weeping 10 because of Your indignation and Your wrath, for You have lifted me up and cast me away. 11 My days are like a lengthened shadow, and I wither away like grass. 12 But You, O Yahweh, abide forever, and Your name to all generations. 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come. 14 Surely Your servants find pleasure in her stones and feel pity for her dust. 15 So the nations will fear the name of Yahweh and all the kings of the earth Your glory. 16 For Yahweh has built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory. 17 He has regarded the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer. 18 This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise Yahweh. 19 For He looked down from His holy height; from heaven Yahweh gazed upon the earth, 20 to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death, 21 that men may tell of the name of Yahweh in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem, 22 When the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve Yahweh. 23 He has weakened my strength in the way; He has shortened my days. 24 I say, "O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days, Your years are throughout all generations. 25 "Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 "Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. 27 "But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end. 28 "The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You."


1 Corinthians 14:1-19

Reader 8 Amen. 1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a foreign language does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 4 One who speaks in a foreign language edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in foreign languages, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in foreign languages, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.

Reader 9 Amen. 6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in foreign languages, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7 Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. 11 If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.

Reader 10 Amen. 12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 13 Therefore let one who speaks in a foreign language pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a foreign language, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the "Amen " at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a foreign language.

"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)