Readings and Commentaries
Yom Teruah / Day of Trumpeting and Rosh HaShannah / New
Yayiqra (And He called): Vayim tzevach shalamim karbani (If a feast peace-offering); commonly called Leviticus 3 (*Divided for three Torah readers)
1 Amen* 1 “Now if his offering is a feast of peace offerings, if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before Yahweh. 2 And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar. 3 And from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, he shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 Then Aaron's sons shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the burnt offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to Yahweh.
2 Amen* 6 But if his offering for a feast of peace offerings to Yahweh is from the flock, he shall offer it, male or female, without defect. 7 If he is going to offer a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before Yahweh, 8 and he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and slay it before the tent of meeting; and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 9 And from the sacrifice of peace offerings he shall bring as an offering by fire to Yahweh, its fat, the entire fat tail which he shall remove close to the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 10 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 11 Then the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar, as food, an offering by fire to Yahweh.
3 Amen* 12 Moreover, if his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before Yahweh, 13 and he shall lay his hand on its head and slay it before the tent of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 14 And from it he shall present his offering as an offering by fire to Yahweh, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 15 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 16 And the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is Yahweh's. 17 It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.”
These are voluntary offerings, in contrast to those of the next chapter.
Peace offerings are brought to express one’s love for God, as a recognition of His goodness toward us. The very name, Shelamim (peace offering) means peace (shalom).
(V.5) The peace offering is placed on the altar beside the daily elevation offering, to be burned with the same fire. “Aaron's sons shall offer it up in smoke on the altar beside the (daily) elevation offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to Yahweh.”
The various Festival offerings are appropriate to the symbolism of the Festival. The Passover Lamb is for redemption. The offering for Shavuot / Pentecost – the betrothal feast – is a peace offering, to indicate love for the Groom.
This commentary is incomplete due to Festival preparations.
For the Sabbath preceding Yom HaKippurim / the Day of
Yayiqra (And He called): Nephesh ki-techeta mi-shegagah (When a soul sins unintentionally); commonly called Leviticus 4 (*Divided for seven Torah readers)
1 Amen* 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'When a soul sins unintentionally in any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them, 3 if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer to Yahweh a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. 4 'And he shall bring the bull to the doorway of the tent of meeting before Yahweh, and he shall lay his hand on the head of the bull, and slay the bull before Yahweh. 5 'Then the anointed priest is to take some of the blood of the bull and bring it to the tent of meeting, 6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before Yahweh, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 7 'The priest shall also put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense which is before Yahweh in the tent of meeting; and all the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of elevation offering which is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
2 Amen* 8 'And he shall remove from it all the fat of the bull of the sin offering: the fat that covers the entrails, and all the fat which is on the entrails, 9 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys 10 (just as it is removed from the ox of the sacrifice of peace offerings), and the priest is to offer them up in smoke on the altar of elevation offering. 11 'But the hide of the bull and all its flesh with its head and its legs and its entrails and its refuse, 12 that is, all the rest of the bull, he is to bring out to a clean place outside the camp where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.
3 Amen* 13 'Now if the whole congregation of Israel commits error, and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly, and they commit any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and they become guilty; 14 when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a bull of the herd for a sin offering, and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 'Then the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before Yahweh, and the bull shall be slain before Yahweh. 16 'Then the anointed priest is to bring some of the blood of the bull to the tent of meeting; 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before Yahweh, in front of the veil.
4 Amen* 18 'And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before Yahweh in the tent of meeting; and all the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of elevation offering which is at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 19 'And he shall remove all its fat from it and offer it up in smoke on the altar. 20 'He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of the sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. 21 'Then he is to bring out the bull to a place outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull; it is the sin offering for the assembly.
5 Amen* 22 'When a ruler sins and unintentionally does any one of all the things which Yahweh God has commanded not to be done, and he becomes guilty, 23 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a male without defect. 24 'And he shall lay his hand on the head of the male goat, and slay it in the place where they slay the elevation offering before Yahweh; it is a sin offering. 25 'Then the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of elevation offering; and the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of elevation offering. 26 'And all its fat he shall offer up in smoke on the altar as in the case of the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he shall be forgiven.
6 Amen* 27 'Now if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and becomes guilty, 28 if his sin, which he has committed is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has committed. 29 'And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering at the place of the elevation offering. 30 'And the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of elevation offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. 31 'Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to Yahweh. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.
7 Amen* 32 'But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect. 33 'And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they slay the elevation offering. 34 'And the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of elevation offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. 35 'Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to Yahweh. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.
4 "Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. 5 "But if a man is righteous, and practices justice and righteousness, 6 and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor's wife, or approach a woman during her menstrual period-- 7 if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry, and covers the naked with clothing, 8 if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity, and executes true justice between man and man, 9 if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully-- he is righteous and will surely live," declares the Lord Yahweh. 10 "Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood, and who does any of these things to a brother 11 (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols, and commits abomination, 13 he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head. 14 "Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father's sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise. 15 "He does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor's wife, 16 or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry, and covers the naked with clothing, 17 he keeps his hand from the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father's iniquity, he will surely live.
Psalm 72 A Psalm for Solomon.
1 Give the king Thy judgments, O God, and Thy righteousness to the king's son. 2 May he judge Thy people with righteousness, and Thine afflicted with justice. 3 Let the mountains bring peace to the people, and the hills in righteousness. 4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor. 5 Let them fear Thee while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. 7 In his days may the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace till the moon is no more. 8 May he also rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Let the nomads of the desert bow before him; and his enemies lick the dust. 10 Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11 And let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. 13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save. 14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; and their blood will be precious in his sight; 15 So may he live; and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; and let them pray for him continually; let them bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains; its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon; and may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth. 17 May his name endure forever; may his name increase as long as the sun shines; and let men bless themselves by him; let all nations call him blessed. 18 Blessed be Yahweh God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders. 19 And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. 20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
This is the end of the Second Book of Psalms.
2 Peter 3
1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Commentary: Grow in grace and knowledge of Yeshua!
Let us consider here three levels of sin: (1) sin committed intentionally, (2) sin committed through carelessness, and (3) sin committed in spite of our efforts to do otherwise. Disobeying traffic laws is often intentional sin, though sometimes done in carelessness – such as when distracted by talking on a cell phone, and sometimes done in spite of our best efforts. If we were to run red lights purposely, we would be in need of repentance – a change of direction in life: causing a collision could subject us to a severe penalty – up to murder. If we were to run red lights through carelessness or inattention, we should reconsider our priorities and motivations: causing a collision could subject us to a severe penalty – up to manslaughter. If we were to run a red light to avoid a collision, or because we were pushed from behind, we should not be subject to any penalty.
The offerings of this chapter are for breaking negative commandments, such as violating “no servile work on the Sabbath.”
These offerings are not for sins that are committed intentionally. For a sin committed willfully, there is no offering: the sinner must repent – have a change in attitude, and ask God’s mercy. For example, a willful violation of Sabbath prohibitions is a capital offense (Exodus 31:14); repentance is required, and only God can grant forgiveness.
These offerings are not for sins committed accidentally while intending otherwise - something done in spite of our best efforts. A trespass committed while fully intent on doing right, requires no offering.
These are required offerings. They are for sins committed in carelessness, where, if the sinners had acted with proper care and respect, they would not have occurred. An example would be violating God’s Sabbath because one was careless about noting the day of the week or watching time on Friday afternoon. A sin committed in carelessness requires an offering, so that the sinner will be motivated to care about what God says.
The soul is in view here, because carelessness involves our motivations – the desires of our soul. The conditions are limited: it must be the performance of an act that violates a negative commandment; it must be a sin for which karet, spiritual excision of the soul (punishment by heaven without warning), would be the penalty if the sin were committed intentionally;
For the anointed (high) priest: the offering is a bull.
The haftarah portion, Ezekiel 18:4, says, “The soul that sins will die.” This is called “the law of sin and death” – Romans 8:2. To be freed from this law, our sin must be imputed to Yeshua, and His righteousness to us – as pictured by the atonement offerings above.
Psalm 72 says, “Give the king Thy judgments, O God, and Thy righteousness to the king's son. May he judge Thy people with righteousness”. This relates to the offerings required of the high priest or king who causes the people to err.
However, the total of this Psalm also clearly prophesies of Yeshua: He is the one who will rule to the ends of the earth, and the one whom all nations shall serve, and whose name shall endure forever (v. 8, 10, 19).
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” This is written to believers (see 1 Peter 1:1), saying that God is patiently waiting for us to come to repentance.
We are nearing the end of forty days (the Days of Awe) that are specifically for repentance. Monday is Yom haKippurim, a day for us to formally consider all of the ways we need to repent, in order to be pure for the coming of the Bridegroom – Yeshua.
(V.17-18) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
For Hag Sukkot / the Feast of Tabernacles
For other Festival readings see Sukkot Machzor
Yayiqra (And He called): V'nephesh ki-techeta (Then if a soul sins); commonly called Leviticus 5:1 - 6:8 (Heb. 5:1-26) (*Divided for seven Torah readers)
1 Amen* 1 'Now if a person sins, after he hears a public adjuration to testify, when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt. 2 'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean cattle, or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him, and he is unclean, then he will be guilty. 3 'Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty. 4 'Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these.
2 Amen* 5 'So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned. 6 'He shall also bring his guilt offering to Yahweh for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin. 7 'But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to Yahweh his guilt offering for that in which he has sinned, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for an elevation offering.
3 Amen* 8 'And he shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer first that which is for the sin offering and shall nip its head at the front of its neck, but he shall not sever it. 9 'He shall also sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar: it is a sin offering. 10 'The second he shall then prepare as an elevation offering according to the ordinance. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.
4 Amen* 11 'But if his means are insufficient for two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then for his offering for that which he has sinned, he shall bring the tenth of an ephah (an omer) of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall not put oil on it or place incense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12 'And he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it as its memorial portion and offer it up in smoke on the altar, with the offerings of Yahweh by fire: it is a sin offering. 13 'So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin which he has committed from one of these, and it shall be forgiven him; then the rest shall become the priest's, like the grain offering.'"
5 Amen* 14 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 15 "If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against Yahweh's holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to Yahweh: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 "And he shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it, and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
6 Amen* 17 "Now if a person sins and does any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty, and shall bear his punishment. 18 "He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him. 19 "It is a guilt offering; he was certainly guilty before Yahweh."
7 Amen* 6:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against Yahweh, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, 3 or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; 4 then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery, or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him, or the lost thing which he found, 5 or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full, and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering. 6 "Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to Yahweh, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, 7 and the priest shall make atonement for him before Yahweh; and he shall be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt."
Zechariah 5:1 – 6:15
5:1 Then I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, there was a flying scroll. 2 And he said to me, "What do you see?" And I answered, "I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits." 3 Then he said to me, "This is the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land; surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears will be purged away according to the writing on the other side. 4 "I will make it go forth," declares Yahweh of hosts, "and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name; and it will spend the night within that house and consume it with its timber and stones." 5 Then the angel who was speaking with me went out, and said to me, "Lift up now your eyes, and see what this is, going forth." 6 And I said, "What is it?" And he said, "This is the ephah going forth." Again he said, "This is their appearance in all the land 7 (and behold, a lead cover was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah." 8 Then he said, "This is Wickedness!" And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening. 9 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. 10 And I said to the angel who was speaking with me, "Where are they taking the ephah?" 11 Then he said to me, "To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal."
6:1 Now I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains. 2 With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. 4 Then I spoke and said to the angel who was speaking with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5 And the angel answered and said to me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord-of-all-the-earth, 6 with one of which the black horses are going forth to the north country; and the white ones go forth after them, while the dappled ones go forth to the south country. 7 "When the strong ones went out, they were eager to go to patrol the earth." And He said, "Go, patrol the earth." So they patrolled the earth. 8 Then He cried out to me and spoke to me saying, "See, those who are going to the land of the north have appeased My wrath in the land of the north." 9 The word of Yahweh also came to me saying, 10 "Take an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah; and you go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have arrived from Babylon. 11 "And take silver and gold, make an ornate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 "Then say to him, 'Thus says Yahweh of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of Yahweh. 13 "Yes, it is He who will build the temple of Yahweh, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices."' 14 "Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of Yahweh to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15 "And those who are far off will come and build the temple of Yahweh." Then you will know that Yahweh of hosts has sent me to you. And it will take place, if you completely obey Yahweh your God.
Revelation 5:1 – 6:17
5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the scroll, or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll, or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the scroll and its seven seals." 6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the scroll, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
6:1 And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. 3 And when He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." 4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. 5 And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." 7 And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." 8 And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also. 12 And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"
Today’s portion introduces the “variable offering,” or “sin offering.” It concerns that offerings vary according to the wealth of the sinner, offerings that are to help us rectify some things that we should be careful about. It specifies required offerings for (v.1) failing to testify when one has witnessed a sin or crime, and (v.4) failing to fulfill a careless promise.
Then we are introduced to the “guilt offering” – an offering for having committed an error. Careless sins against “Yahweh’s holy things” (v.14) include misappropriation of a tithe for personal use: besides an animal offering, we must add one-fifth to the restitution. Carelessness can leave us uncertain whether we have committed a sin (v.17), which necessitates a greater offering, to teach us not to be careless.
For thefts (v.6:1), even such as taking someone’s property with intent of replacing it, an offering is required, and restitution with an added fifth, both to be performed on the same day.
In Zachariah, we see the kinds of sin spoken of in the Leviticus portion. God sends an angel to take an offering from the exiles, to appease the His wrath. With the offering, he is to make a silver and gold crown for the high priest. (V.12-14) “Then say to him, ‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of Yahweh. Yes, it is He who will build the temple of Yahweh, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of Yahweh.’ ”
The name “Revelation” does not mean a book “revealing” various future events. The full name is given in the first verse of the book: “The Revelation of Yeshua the Messiah.” The meaning of the word “Revelation” is “Unveiling.” This is the book that shows how Yeshua will be “unveiled” to the world.
In Revelation 5 (as well as Zechariah 5), a scroll is seen. Its first page, written on both sides, is rolled up, and a seal placed on it. Then a second page, written on both sides, is rolled around the first one, and sealed. Five more pages, written on both sides, are each rolled around the previous one, with each being sealed in order. So, this scroll has seven pages, and seven seals. But no one is worthy to even break the first seal, to start the progressive unveiling of Yeshua.
When the unveiling starts, the wrath of the Lamb begins to be seen. The rider of a white horse, having a bow and a crown, goes forth to conquer.
During this week of Sukkot, the offering of seventy bulls represents the downfall of the seventy nations. By the “Eighth Day,” the offering becomes one bull: the seventy kingdoms of this world are conquered, and become the kingdom of Messiah.
Two weeks ago we rehearsed for the resurrection of the righteous dead and the return of Yeshua for His Bride. Five days ago we rehearsed for the purification of the Bride – which seems to correspond to Revelation 2 & 3. Starting today, we celebrate the wedding feast. But the rest of the world begins to see the unveiling of Yeshua – and they begin to be judged for their treatment of the Bride.
Sukkot is also called the “Feast of Ingathering” (Exodus 23:16). It celebrates the final harvest of tree fruit and nuts. It also represents the final harvest of the earth: (Revelation 14:14-19) “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.”
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.’ And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.”
No one of the world will be able to stand in the day of the wrath of the Lamb (v.6:17). But through Yeshua, we have a glorious future awaiting us. We are being given time to build on our eternal castles: this is the time for us to “bring our offerings,” to repent and learn to walk in His way. This is the only time we have to get our priorities straight.
This is the time for us to “bring our offerings”, to repent and learn to walk in His way.
For Shemini Atzeret / the Eighth Day Assembly
Yayiqra (And He called): Tzav (Command); commonly called Leviticus 6:8-18 (Heb. 6:1-11) (*Divided for two Torah readers)
1 Amen* 8 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the elevation offering: the elevation offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it. 10 And the priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire reduces the elevation offering on the altar, and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 12 And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it. It shall not go out, but the priest shall burn wood on it every morning; and he shall lay out the elevation offering on it, and offer up in smoke the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. 13 'Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.
2 Amen* 14 ‘Now this is the law of the grain offering: the sons of Aaron shall present it before Yahweh in front of the altar. 15 Then one of them shall lift up from it a handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, with its oil and all the incense that is on the grain offering, and he shall offer it up in smoke on the altar, a soothing aroma, as its memorial offering to Yahweh. 16 And what is left of it Aaron and his sons are to eat. It shall be eaten as unleavened cakes in a holy place; they are to eat it in the court of the tent of meeting. 17 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their share from My offerings by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 18 Every male among the sons of Aaron may eat it; it is a permanent ordinance throughout your generations, from the offerings by fire to Yahweh. Whoever touches them shall become consecrated.’ ”
Amen* Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your elevation offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh.”
Psalm 73 A Psalm of Asaph.
All sing* 1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart! 2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling; my steps had almost slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant, as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no pains in their death; and their body is fat. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; nor are they plagued like mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; the garment of violence covers them. 7 Their eye bulges from fatness; the imaginations of their heart run riot. 8 They mock, and wickedly speak of oppression; they speak from on high. 9 They have set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue parades through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return to this place; and waters of abundance are drunk by them. 11 And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?" 12 Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure, and washed my hands in innocence; 14 For I have been stricken all day long, and chastened every morning. 15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," Behold, I should have betrayed the generation of Thy children. 16 When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight 17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. 18 Surely Thou dost set them in slippery places; Thou dost cast them down to destruction. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, Thou wilt despise their form. 21 When my heart was embittered, and I was pierced within, 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before Thee. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. 24 With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from Thee will perish; Thou hast destroyed all those who are unfaithful to Thee. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Thy works.
Amen* 28 And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" 29 Yeshua answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! Yahweh our God is one ; 30 and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31 "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 And the scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher, You have truly stated that He is One; and there is no one else besides Him; 33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 And when Yeshua saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
This commentary was not written due to Festival preparations.
Yayiqra (And He called): Zeh karban Aharon (This is the offering of Aaron); commonly called Leviticus 6:19 - 7:38 (Heb. 6:12 -7:38) (*Divided for seven Torah readers)
1 Amen* 19 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 20 "This is the offering which Aaron and his sons are to present to Yahweh on the day when he is anointed; the tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. 21 "It shall be prepared with oil on a griddle. When it is well stirred, you shall bring it. You shall present the grain offering in baked pieces as a soothing aroma to Yahweh. 22 "And the anointed priest who will be in his place among his sons shall offer it. By a permanent ordinance it shall be entirely offered up in smoke to Yahweh. 23 "So every grain offering of the priest shall be burned entirely. It shall not be eaten."
2 Amen* 24 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 25 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the elevation offering is slain the sin offering shall be slain before Yahweh; it is most holy. 26 'The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. It shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27 'Anyone who touches its flesh shall become consecrated; and when any of its blood splashes on a garment, in a holy place you shall wash what was splashed on. 28 'Also the earthenware vessel in which it was boiled shall be broken; and if it was boiled in a bronze vessel, then it shall be scoured and rinsed in water. 29 'Every male among the priests may eat of it; it is most holy. 30 'But no sin offering of which any of the blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the holy place shall be eaten; it shall be burned with fire.
3 Amen* 7:1 'Now this is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy. 2 'In the place where they slay the elevation offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 3 'Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 'And the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to Yahweh; it is a guilt offering. 6 'Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7 'The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it.
8 'Also the priest who presents any man's burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented. 9 'Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven, and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle, shall belong to the priest who presents it. 10 'And every grain offering mixed with oil, or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike.
4 Amen* 11 'Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to Yahweh. 12 'If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13 'With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 'And of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to Yahweh; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings. 15 'Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. 16 'But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice; and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; 17 but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire. 18 'So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, and it shall not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it shall bear his own iniquity.
5 Amen* 19 'Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh. 20 'But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to Yahweh, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 'And when anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to Yahweh, that person shall be cut off from his people.'" 22 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 23 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep, or a goat. 24 'Also the fat of an animal which dies, and the fat of an animal torn by beasts, may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. 25 'For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to Yahweh, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people.
26 'And you are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. 27 'Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.'"
6 Amen* 28 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 29 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to Yahweh shall bring his offering to Yahweh from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30 'His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to Yahweh. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before Yahweh. 31 'And the priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar; but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32 'And you shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33 'The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion. 34 'For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel.
7 Amen* 35 'This is that which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to Yahweh, in that day when he presented them to serve as priests to Yahweh. 36 'These Yahweh had commanded to be given them from the sons of Israel in the day that He anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations.'" 37 This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, 38 which Yahweh commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to Yahweh in the wilderness of Sinai.
7 "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says Yahweh of hosts. "But you say, 'How shall we return?' 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed Thee?' In tithes and offerings. 9 "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says Yahweh of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11 "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says Yahweh of hosts. 12 "And all the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says Yahweh of hosts.
Psalm 74 A Maskil of Asaph.
1 O God, why hast Thou rejected us forever? Why does Thine anger smoke against the sheep of Thy pasture? 2 Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast purchased of old, which Thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of Thine inheritance; and this Mount Zion, where Thou hast dwelt. 3 Turn Thy footsteps toward the perpetual ruins; the enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary. 4 Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of Thy meeting place; they have set up their own standards for signs. 5 It seems as if one had lifted up his axe in a forest of trees. 6 And now all its carved work they smash with hatchet and hammers. 7 They have burned Thy sanctuary to the ground; they have defiled the dwelling place of Thy name. 8 They said in their heart, "Let us completely subdue them." They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land. 9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, nor is there any among us who knows how long. 10 How long, O God, will the adversary revile, and the enemy spurn Thy name forever? 11 Why dost Thou withdraw Thy hand, even Thy right hand? From within Thy bosom, destroy them! 12 Yet God is my king from of old, who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth. 13 Thou didst divide the sea by Thy strength; Thou didst break the heads of the sea monsters in the waters. 14 Thou didst crush the heads of Leviathan; Thou didst give him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. 15 Thou didst break open springs and torrents; Thou didst dry up ever-flowing streams. 16 Thine is the day, Thine also is the night; Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 17 Thou hast established all the boundaries of the earth; Thou hast made summer and winter. 18 Remember this, O Yahweh, that the enemy has reviled; and a foolish people has spurned Thy name. 19 Do not deliver the soul of Thy turtledove to the wild beast; do not forget the life of Thine afflicted forever. 20 Consider the covenant; for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Let not the oppressed return dishonored; let the afflicted and needy praise Thy name. 22 Do arise, O God, and plead Thine own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches Thee all day long. 23 Do not forget the voice of Thine adversaries, the uproar of those who rise against Thee which ascends continually.
1 Then Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them. 4 "And they tie up heavy loads, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5 "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries, and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 "And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi. 8 "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 "And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 "And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 "But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 "And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation. 15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.' 17 "You fools and blind men; which is more important, the gold, or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 "And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering upon it, he is obligated.' 19 "You blind men, which is more important, the offering or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 "Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 "And he who swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 "And he who swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 "Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 "Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 "Fill up then the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell? 34 "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 "Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. 37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 "For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
(Leviticus 6:19 / 6:12) The priestly meal-offering is for three occasions: every priest the first time he performs the Temple service, the High Priest upon assuming office, and every day thereafter. An omer of fine wheat flour is made into twelve loaves, then consecutively boiled, baked, and fried. It is to be entirely burned upon the altar, half in the morning and half in the afternoon. This is in contrast to offerings of the people, where only a memorial portion is burned.
The priests performed the Temple services to bring the people closer to God. They led the worship, and were responsible for the spiritual well-being of the nation. They were held to a higher standard of accountability, because of their affect on many people.
(V.24 / 17) The sin-offering
(V.7:1) The guilt-offering
(V.11) The sages teach that after Messiah comes and the world is perfected, there will be no need for atonements, but there will always be thanksgiving offerings. These offerings symbolize a major teaching of our congregation.*
The thanksgiving-offering is to express gratitude to God, for such recognized miracles as being saved from potential serious illness, injury, or imprisonment. It is eaten for a day and night, with none left by morning. It is accompanied by forty loaves: half of the flour is made into ten unleavened cakes of flour mixed with oil and baked, ten unleavened wafers of flour spread with oil, ten loaves of unleavened flour mixed with oil and scalded; the other half of the flour is made into ten leavened loaves (none of which are placed on the altar, where leaven is forbidden). The unleavened loaves with oil represent food and well-being, two essentials of life. The leavened loaves represent emergence from danger to unrestricted life. *This all is a recognition that sustenance and safety are from God, and represents a renewed dedication to Him, as we are created and sustained for His service.
Background to Matthew: (Exodus 18:13, 25-26) Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. And they judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. This was halachic judgment: showing the people how to be Torah observant, and also resolving disputes, and meting out civil and criminal penalties – all according to Torah principles.
(Matthew 23:2-3) “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.” (V.23, 25, 27, 29) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
Note that the Sadducees are not mentioned here – they did not accept the prophets, nor did they believe in spirits or resurrection. We are not instructed to follow their teachings.
We are told to practice what we preach – in contrast to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrisy does not represent false doctrine – but rather practice that is inconsistent with one’s doctrine.
We are instructed to practice what the Torah teachers – the scribes and Pharisees – teach us. This means that what they teach us on how to honor our parents, we do without making excuses like the Pharisees: they claimed that whatever they possessed that could be used to support their parents, was instead pledged to the Temple. It means that we should learn to pray as they taught, but discreetly, not to show-off our spirituality like they did. It means that we should to love serve in the synagogue, but not to clamor for position. It means that we should teach and serve various needs, but not carry distinguishing titles such as Rabbi or Reverend. It means that we all wear tallitot (prayer shawls), as brethren: one does not wear a tallit as a symbol of pastoral position. It means that we should support the poor and weak, in secret through the synagogue as they taught from Torah, not publicly as they practiced. It means that we should recognize what we are in God’s eyes, and purify our hearts, and then our outward acts will also be pure; trying to appear outwardly righteous, while our motivation is self-exaltation, is likened to white-washing tombs. We are to be servants of all, in humility, not masters in exalted positions.
We hear people say that they will not attend church because there are too many hypocrites there. But that is perhaps greater hypocrisy: they are too good to go where others are trying to learn to better themselves? So we all have our areas of hypocrisy, but we need to learn what holiness means, and then practice what we learn.
We do this by first trusting Yeshua for salvation from sin, then in love for Him learning what He desires of us. Note that the name Yeshua means salvation from sin, not just salvation from hell. And Torah defines sin and holiness. (Sin is the transgression of Torah – and therefore contrary to faith, which is the righteousness of Torah.)
(1 John 3:2-5) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; for sin is transgression of Torah. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins.
(1 Peter 2:21-25) For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
(Hebrews 11:24-25) By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
(Romans 14:23) Whatever is not from faith is sin.
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