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Commentary - Leap Year Sabbath +4

Exodus 12:1-20   -   Ezekiel 45:16 - 46:18   -   Psalm 48   -   Colossians 2:1 - 3:7

 

II Adar 29, 5765 / April 9, 2005 

II Adar 29, 5768 / April 5, 2008

II Adar 27, 5771 / April 2, 2011

I Adar 29, 5774 / March 1, 2014

I Adar 25, 5776 / March 5, 2016

 

Ha-Hodesh / This Month   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

Exodus 12

Verse 2 is the song we sing for Rosh Hodesh (New Moon): “Hahodesh hazeh lahem rosh hadashim risho hu lahem lehodshey Hashanah” – “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.

 

As we approach the New Year for Festivals, let us consider the following three months – the major events of which we partake. It would be good for everyone here to understand these Scriptures that confuse so many.

 

On the tenth day of the first month (Nisan), a lamb was to be chosen for each family.

On the fourteenth day, between noon and sunset, it was to be slain and roasted. Common translations of Leviticus 23:5 and Numbers 9:3 cause much confusion:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’s passover

– Lev 23:5 NASB.

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the LORD” – Lev 23:5 JPS.

It was the day for preparation / offering of the passover – which is a lamb, not a Feast day. The preparation / offering was performed “between the evenings” (literal from Hebrew) – that is between noon and sunset, not “at twilight”.

 

That evening, which is the fifteenth, is our Passover Seder. That means the order of service for eating the passover – the lamb – at the beginning of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Breads.

They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs” – Exodus 12:8.

For the seven days of this Feast, no bread-leaven may be found with us (a negative command). Eating of unleavened breads is required (a positive command).

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel” – Exodus 12:15.

The first day and seventh day are Holy Days. We will have the required worship services on the first night – the Passover Seder, and on the seventh night.

On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you” – Exodus 12:16.

 

On the sixteenth day of this month, we start counting the days. For fifty days we count, until Pentecost, which means fiftieth. It is the beginning of the grain harvest, when the first ephah of the first grain – barley – was made into one omer of fine flour, mixed with oil, and upon a lamb was waved “before Yahweh”. This is the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Breads.

 

Another subject of widespread confusion exists here:

Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it’ ” – Leviticus 23:10-11 NASB.

There is no word for “sheaf” here: the word is omer. There is no word for “first fruits” here: the word is beginning (Hebrew reshit). It is an omer of the beginning of the grain harvest. No sheaf of anything was ever waved at the Temple, and no second “feast” exists here in the midst of the Feast of Unleavened Breads.

 

The fiftieth day (which is the sixth day of the third month) is the Day of the Firstfruits (Yom haBikkurim), a Holy Day. It is also called the Feast of Weeks (Hag Shavuot), as it follows the counting of seven weeks.

 

Ezekiel 45:16 – 46:18

This prophecy concerns a Holy Temple of the future – God’s calendar of celebrating Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feasts with their Holy Days, during the millennial reign of Messiah.

45:17 “And it shall be the prince's part to provide the (burnt) elevation offerings, the grain offerings, and the libations, at the feasts, on the new moons, and on the Sabbaths: at all the appointed times . . .

46:3 “The people of the land shall also worship at the doorway of that gate (the eastern gate of the inner court) before Yahweh on the Sabbaths and on the new moons.

 

Colossians 2

This passage is often misused because of traditional preconceptions. We must not pit one Scripture against another, but place precept upon precept. Paul is contrasting “man’s religion” against Torah instruction.

 

(V.8) “See to it that no one takes you captive

through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the tradition of men,
according to the elementary principles of the world,

This is a warning against man’s deceptive philosophies and inventions (including Pagan celebrations?).

 

rather than according to Messiah.


God’s appointed times are not “tradition of men.” Through the Holy Days, Yeshua is shown to be Messiah.

 

(V.11-15) Paul is writing to Gentiles (Colossians):

When you were dead in transgressions (of the Torah), and you were uncircumcised in your flesh . . .

When you had a “certificate of debt” decreed “against” you,

You were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands”, the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart.

Yeshua took the death decree by being nailed on a cross. This was not to abolish the Torah (Matthew 5:17) – which is God’s eternal instruction for man – but rather confirms that it applied to us!

 

Here are some of the things that are “according to Messiah” (v.8).

(V.16) Both Jew and Gentile would condemn us for observing Sabbaths, New Moons, and Festivals. But, Paul says, “Let no one condemn you . . . for observing a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day . . .”. Using a common translation “judge” instead of “condemn”, some twist this verse say that we shouldn’t let anyone tell us whether or not to do these things – all the while they are using it to say that we shouldn’t do them! One popular translation actually adds the word “not”, saying that we should let no one condemn us for “not” doing these things! But, Gentiles need accept no condemnation from Jew or Gentile for keeping God’s appointments. Why?

 

(V.17) Because – and here is a comparison – Sabbaths and festivals “are a shadow of that which is to come”, but “Messiah is the substance/body” to come – that which is casting the shadow. In observing Sabbaths and festivals, we see a shadow picture of Yeshua: we learn about what He is doing for us! Some translations make a mockery of God’s shadow pictures, calling them such things as “mere” shadows, implying that they have no present value. It is commonly taught that, being fulfilled (they are not), these ordinances are also abolished (contrary to Yeshua’s words).

 

Here are some of the things that are “empty deception”, and “tradition of men” (v.8).

(V.18-19) “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by

delighting in self-abasement
and the worship of the messengers,
taking his stand on visions he has seen,
inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

Today we see, on every side, people who are “star-struck” with the messengers, and those who take their own intuition to be the Holy Spirit – putting it above the study of God’s Word.

 not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.


We are commanded to be part of a regular assembly (Hebrews 10:25), working together with others to learn obedience.

 

Paul’s conclusion:

(V.20-23) “If you have died with Messiah, . . . why do you submit yourself to . . . self-made religion . . . of no value against fleshly indulgence?

(V.3:1-5) “ If then you have been raised up with Messiah, . . . set your mind on things above. . . consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

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 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.

Reader 2*  Amen. 3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. 4 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Reader 3*  Amen. 6 'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 'They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Reader 4*  Amen. 9 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is Yahweh's Passover.

Reader 5*  Amen. 12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am Yahweh. 13 'The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to Yahweh; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.

Reader 6*  Amen. 15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 'On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 'You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.

Reader 7*  Amen. 18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 'Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. 20 'You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"

 

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

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

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

______________________

 

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

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."

 

Psalm 48

 

Ezekiel 45:16 – 46:18

Reader 8*  Amen. 16 "All the people of the land shall give to this offering for the prince in Israel. 17 "It shall be the prince's part to provide the elevation offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the Feasts, on the heads-of-the-months, and on the Sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the elevation offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel." 18 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "In the first month, on the first of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse the sanctuary. 19 "The priest shall take some of the blood from the sin offering and put it on the door posts of the house, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar and on the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 "Thus you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who goes astray or is naive; so you shall make atonement for the house.

Reader 9*  Amen. 21 "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall sacrifice the Passover, having a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22 "On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering. 23 "During the seven days of the feast he shall provide as a burnt offering to Yahweh seven bulls and seven rams without blemish on every day of the seven days, and a male goat daily for a sin offering. 24 "He shall provide as a grain offering an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram and a hin of oil with an ephah. 25 "In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, he shall provide like this, seven days for the sin offering, the elevation offering, the grain offering and the oil."

Reader 10*  Amen. 46:1 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "The gate of the inner court facing east shall be shut the six working days; but it shall be opened on the sabbath day and opened on the day of the new moon. 2 "The prince shall enter by way of the porch of the gate from outside and stand by the post of the gate. Then the priests shall provide his elevation offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 "The people of the land shall also worship at the doorway of that gate before Yahweh on the Sabbaths and on the heads-of-the-months. 4 "The elevation offering which the prince shall offer to Yahweh on the Sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; 5 and the grain offering shall be an ephah with the ram, and the grain offering with the lambs as much as he is able to give, and a hin of oil with an ephah.

Reader 11*  Amen. 6 "On the day of the head-of-the-month he shall offer a young bull without blemish, also six lambs and a ram, which shall be without blemish. 7 "And he shall provide a grain offering, an ephah with the bull and an ephah with the ram, and with the lambs as much as he is able, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 8 "When the prince enters, he shall go in by way of the porch of the gate and go out by the same way. 9 "But when the people of the land come before Yahweh at the appointed feasts, he who enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate. And he who enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. No one shall return by way of the gate by which he entered but shall go straight out. 10 "When they go in, the prince shall go in among them; and when they go out, he shall go out.

Reader 12*  Amen. 11 "At the festivals and the appointed feasts the grain offering shall be an ephah with a bull and an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as one is able to give, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 12 "When the prince provides a freewill offering, an elevation offering, or peace offerings as a freewill offering to Yahweh, the gate facing east shall be opened for him. And he shall provide his elevation offering and his peace offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and the gate shall be shut after he goes out. 13 "And you shall provide a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering to Yahweh daily; morning by morning you shall provide it. 14 "Also you shall provide a grain offering with it morning by morning, a sixth of an ephah and a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour, a grain offering to Yahweh continually by a perpetual ordinance. 15 "Thus they shall provide the lamb, the grain offering and the oil, morning by morning, for a continual elevation offering."

Reader 13*  Amen. 16 'Thus says Lord Yahweh, "If the prince gives a gift out of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. 17 "But if he gives a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince. His inheritance shall be only his sons'; it shall belong to them. 18 "The prince shall not take from the people's inheritance, thrusting them out of their possession; he shall give his sons inheritance from his own possession so that My people will not be scattered, anyone from his possession."'"

 

Colossians 2:1 – 3:7

Reader 13*  Amen. 1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Messiah Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Messiah. 6 Therefore as you have received Messiah Yeshua the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Reader 14*  Amen. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Messiah. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Reader 15*  Amen. 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a head-of-the-month celebration or a Sabbath day-- 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come, the body casting the shadow being Messiah. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. 20 If you have died with Messiah to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Reader 16*  Amen. 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above, where Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4 When Messiah, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

 

"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."

 


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)