Readings and Commentaries
(And He called):
K’maaseh eretz (The practice
in the land), commonly
called Leviticus 18
1 Amen* 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'I am Yahweh your God. 3 'You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. 4 'You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am Yahweh your God. 5 'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am Yahweh.
2 Amen* 6 'None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am Yahweh. 7 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are not to uncover her nakedness. 8 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness.
3 Amen* 9 'The nakedness of your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or born outside, their nakedness you shall not uncover. 10 'The nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for their nakedness is yours. 11 'The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, born to your father, she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
4 Amen* 12 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister; she is your father's blood relative. 13 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, for she is your mother's blood relative. 14 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother; you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt. 15 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
5 Amen* 16 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness. 17 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are blood relatives. It is lewdness. 18 'And you shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.
6 Amen* 19 'Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity. 20 'And you shall not have intercourse with your neighbor's wife, to be defiled with her. 21 'Neither shall you give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am Yahweh. 22 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 23 'Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.
7 Amen* 24 'Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 'For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 'But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 'For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 'Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am Yahweh your God.'"
2 Thus says Yahweh, "Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them; 3 for the customs of the peoples are delusion; because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 "They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. 5 "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good." 6 There is none like Thee, O Yahweh; Thou art great, and great is Thy name in might. 7 Who would not fear Thee, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Thy due! For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like Thee. 8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion-- their idol is wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; violet and purple are their clothing; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But Yahweh is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation. 11 Thus you shall say to them, "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens." 12 It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, and brings out the wind from His storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for the Maker of all is He, and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; Yahweh of hosts is His name. 17 Pick up your bundle from the ground, you who dwell under siege! 18 For thus says Yahweh, "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will cause them distress, that they may be found." 19 Woe is me, because of my injury! My wound is incurable. But I said, "Truly this is a sickness, and I must bear it." 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my ropes are broken; my sons have gone from me and are no more. There is no one to stretch out my tent again or to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds have become stupid and have not sought Yahweh; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.
Psalm 83 A Song, a Psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, do not remain quiet; do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. 2 For, behold, Thine enemies make an uproar; and those who hate Thee have exalted themselves. 3 They make shrewd plans against Thy people, and conspire together against Thy treasured ones. 4 They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." 5 For they have conspired together with one mind; against Thee do they make a covenant: 6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; they have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah. 9 Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera and Jabin, at the torrent of Kishon, 10 who were destroyed at En-dor, who became as dung for the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, 12 who said, "Let us possess for ourselves the pastures of God." 13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust; like chaff before the wind. 14 Like fire that burns the forest, and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, 15 so pursue them with Thy tempest, and terrify them with Thy storm. 16 Fill their faces with dishonor, that they may seek Thy name, O Yahweh. 17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever; and let them be humiliated and perish, 18 that they may know that Thou alone, whose name is Yahweh, art the Most High over all the earth.
1 Corinthians 5:1 – 6:10
5:1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2 And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Yeshua, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Yeshua, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Yeshua. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
6:1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life? 4 If then you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and in the Spirit of our God.
In the world today, evolution is the favorite replacement for God. If we just evolved, then let us eat, drink, and be merry. Let us seek all the pleasure we can find, for that is all there is to life, and then we die. We go back to the primordial soup, and perhaps in a few billion years we will evolve into something greater.
Unplanned children that complicate our pleasure, and the handicapped, and the elderly, can be disposed of, because there is no quality of life for them, and that is all that matters. (That is really an excuse, because most of them would like to live: but to hedonists, they are a bother.)
Long ago, God said (in effect) to a world of such people, “OK, you like primordial soup, I’ll give you soup,” and he opened up the hot-springs of the earth, along with the clouds above, and made them soup. Now, for those who will not learn from their lesson, there awaits a roasting in fire.
A much-talked-about subject today is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” What good people? There has only been one good person to whom bad things happened, and we all know why. Our normal life span has been changed from eternal, to a thousand years, to seventy years – not because we are good people. Now, aren’t you joyful that you came out to hear how bad you are?
So, what is the point? Paul makes the point: God has included all as disobedient, the He might show His mercy (Romans 11:32); “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” – Titus 3:5.
(Leviticus 18:1-5) “Then Yahweh
spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of
Israel and say to them, “I am Yahweh
your God. You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived,
nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you;
you shall not walk in their statutes. You are to perform My judgments and keep
My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am Yahweh your God. So you shall
keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am
Yahweh.” ’ ”
“Thus says Yahweh, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations, and do
not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified
by them; for the customs of the peoples are delusion.’ ”
(Psalm 83:1) “O God, do not remain quiet; do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. 2 For, behold, Thine enemies make an uproar; and those who hate Thee have exalted themselves.”
(1 Corinthians 5:1-2) “It is actually
reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as
does not exist even among the Gentiles . . . . And you have become arrogant, and
have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be
removed from your midst.”
Ivri (Hebrew) means ‘from the other side’; Yehudi (Jew) means ‘praiser of Yahweh’; Goy (Gentile) means idolater. Two sides are spoken of: holy ones that praise Yahweh, and idolaters that seek self-gratification and become arrogant. The former are of the Kingdom of God – they accept His reign. The latter will have no part in the Kingdom of God – they reject God’s Torah (instruction); they often denigrate the Torah, calling it “outmoded” or “legalistic”.
Today it is popular to accept all religions as equal – all are falsely said to worship the same god. Laws and customs are being changed to accept fornication and homosexuality – we exalt open practitioners to highest offices. Dishonesty is largely accepted and even expected – the love of power and money rules.
But, if we are washed and made holy instruments for God, led of His Spirit, then we walk a different path, growing in understanding of Gods instruction. In times past we were Gentiles who walked according to the desires of the flesh; now we walk in the light, if so be that we are redeemed.
(1 John 2:4-6) “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.’ ”
The member of the congregation who is blatantly defying God’s instruction is to be excommunicated. The purposes are to bring repentance, and to show others the seriousness of such actions. This action is not to be taken by the authority of an individual who carries some title, but by a duly chosen bench of judges, after entertaining proper witness.
states that the nakedness of one’s father refers to one’s mother.
Ham came out of a society so corrupt that God destroyed the earth with a flood. Afterwards, he occasioned upon his father and mother, in their tent, in a drunken, unclothed state. He took advantage of the situation to commit incest with his mother. For this he and his descendants were condemned to servitude.
While this is politically incorrect, and is no excuse for prejudice or mistreatment, his descendants are clearly seen to have become a servant race. They also have an Aids epidemic many times exceeding any other nation, because of sexual promiscuity. On the other hand, those that occupy the southern part of this country tend to be more spiritual than the country’s general population: the South is known as “the Bible Belt.”
Like calling all religions equal, we try to call other groupings equal, such as racial and gender groups. Various groups do not commit crimes in the same percentages, nor do they major in the same types of offenses. Inequality should not be equated with superiority / inferiority, and just treatment does not always mean equal treatment.
We are to learn just judgment. We are to learn to love our neighbor, who is created in the image of God. We are to seek the welfare and prosperity of others, not our prosperity at their expense.
And, we are to be holy, as God is holy: we are to be set apart for His service, to be a light to the world. We are to seek to bring others up to God’s standard of holiness. We are not to accept the world’s standards. Our young people do not need to dress like the world, as advertisements for sex. Money should not be our major goal in life, as it is for much of our world. We have good reason to be ‘different’.
Yeshua came to be our Priest, making atonements for our sins. He came to be our Prophet, the light of the world, to teach us Torah ways. He is coming to be our King, if we have accepted His rule in our lives.
Yayiqra (And He called): K’doshim (You shall be holy), commonly called Leviticus 19 & 20 (*Divided for seven Torah readers)
[Due to the unusual length of today's readings, only the portions in black will be read aloud in public service.]
1 Amen* 19:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I Yahweh your God am holy. 3 'Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God. 4 'Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am Yahweh your God. 5 'Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6 'It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and the next day; but what remains until the third day shall be burned with fire. 7 'So if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an offense; it will not be accepted. 8 'And everyone who eats it will bear his iniquity, for he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh; and that person shall be cut off from his people.
2 Amen* 9 'Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 'Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am Yahweh your God. 11 'You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12 'And you shall not swear falsely by My Name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am Yahweh. 13 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. 14 'You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am Yahweh. 15 'You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. 16 'You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am Yahweh. 17 'You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.
3 Amen* 19 'You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together. 20 'Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed, nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free. 21 'And he shall bring his guilt offering to Yahweh to the doorway of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. 22 'The priest shall also make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before Yahweh for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him. 23 'And when you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. 24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to Yahweh. 25 'And in the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am Yahweh your God.
4 Amen* 26 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 'You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am Yahweh. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land may not fall to harlotry, and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am Yahweh. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God. 32 'You shall rise up before the grayheaded, and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am Yahweh. 33 'When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your God. 35 'You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. 36 'You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. 37 'You shall thus observe all My statutes, and all My ordinances, and do them: I am Yahweh.'"
5 Amen* 20:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "You shall also say to the sons of Israel, 'Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel, who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 'I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name. 4 'If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death, 5 then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech. 6 'As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. 7 'You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am Yahweh your God. 8 'And you shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am Yahweh who sanctifies you. 9 'If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.
6 Amen* 10 'If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 'If there is a man who lies with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 12 'If there is a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 13 'If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 14 'If there is a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no immorality in your midst. 15 'If there is a man who lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal. 16 'If there is a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 17 'If there is a man who takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the sons of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness; he bears his guilt.
7 Amen* 18 'If there is a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 'You shall also not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your father's sister, for such a one has made naked his blood relative; they shall bear their guilt. 20 'If there is a man who lies with his uncle's wife he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness; they shall bear their sin. They shall die childless. 21 'If there is a man who takes his brother's wife, it is abhorrent; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless. 22 'You are therefore to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. 23 'Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them. 24 'Hence I have said to you, "You are to possess their land, and I Myself will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am Yahweh your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 'You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean. 26 'Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I Yahweh am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. 27 'Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.'"
7 "Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?" declares Yahweh. "Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? 8 "Behold, the eyes of Yahweh God are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth; nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob," Declares Yahweh. 9 "For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground. 10 "All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, those who say, 'The calamity will not overtake or confront us.' 11 "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name," declares Yahweh who does this. 13 "Behold, days are coming," declares Yahweh, "When the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; when the mountains will drip sweet wine, and all the hills will be dissolved. 14 "Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 "I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them," Says Yahweh your God.
1 Now it came about in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Yahweh, and sat before me. 2 And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 3 "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, 'Thus says Yahweh God, "Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live," declares Yahweh God, "I will not be inquired of by you."' 4 "Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? Make them know the abominations of their fathers; 5 and say to them, 'Thus says Yahweh God, "On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am Yahweh your God, 6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. 7 "And I said to them, 'Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.' 8 "But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 "But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 "So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 "And I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. 12 "And also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them. 13 "But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes, and they rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; and My Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them. 14 "But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out. 15 "And also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 16 because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned My Sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols. 17 "Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness. 18 "And I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, or keep their ordinances, or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 'I am Yahweh your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and observe them. 20 'And sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God.' 21 "But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My Sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 "But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 "Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes, and had profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers. 25 "And I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their first-born to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am Yahweh."' 27 "Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and say to them, 'Thus says Yahweh God, "Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me. 28 "When I had brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma, and there they poured out their libations. 29 "Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go?' So its name is called Bamah to this day."' 30 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says Yahweh God, "Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things? 31 "And when you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," declares Yahweh God, "I will not be inquired of by you. 32 "And what comes into your mind will not come about, when you say: 'We will be like the nations, like the tribes of the lands, serving wood and stone.' 33 "As I live," declares Yahweh God, "surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. 34 "And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; 35 and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 "As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you," declares Yahweh God. 37 "And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am Yahweh. 39 "As for you, O house of Israel," thus says Yahweh God, "Go, serve everyone his idols; but later, you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols. 40 "For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel," declares Yahweh God, "there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I shall accept them, and there I shall seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. 41 "As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations. 42 "And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers. 43 "And there you will remember your ways and all your deeds, with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done. 44 "Then you will know that I am Yahweh when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel," declares Yahweh God.'" 45 Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 46 "Son of man, set your face toward Teman, and speak out against the south, and prophesy against the forest land of the Negev, 47 and say to the forest of the Negev, 'Hear the word of Yahweh: thus says Yahweh God, "Behold, I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it shall consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched, and the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it. 48 "And all flesh will see that I, Yahweh, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched."'" 49 Then I said, "Ah Lord God! They are saying of me, 'Is he not just speaking parables?'"
2 In that day the Branch of Yahweh will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. 3 And it will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy-- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. 4 When Yahweh has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, 5 then Yahweh will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. 6 And there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.
Psalm 84 For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Yahweh of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of Yahweh; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars, O Yehweh of hosts, my King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house! They are ever praising Thee. Selah. 5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, the early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion. 8 O Yahweh God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. 9 Behold our shield, O God, and look upon the face of Thine anointed. 10 For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For Yahweh God is a sun and shield; Yahweh gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Yahweh of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!
8 "And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire. 9 "And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell. 10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
12 "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 "And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 "Thus it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. 15 "And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 "And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.
18 "Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst."
21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 "And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 "The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.' 27 "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' 29 "So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' 30 "He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 "Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me. 33 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?' 34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 "So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."
This portion, on holiness,
opens up deeper meanings of the Ten Commandments. For example, we are
instructed not only to remember the seventh-day Sabbath, but to observe
all Sabbaths (including Sabbatical years) in a respectful manner. Also, we
are instructed not only against worshipping idols, but to give them no
First Commandment [I am
Yahweh your God]
Second Commandment [Have no
Third Commandment [Don’t
take Name in vain]
Fourth Commandment [Keep
1. The day. It is, specifically, the seventh day of the week, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset (Lev 23:32). We are to “distinguish” (Eze 20:20) this day from other days. By marking out the beginning and end of the day, we do not dishonor God by sliding past the starting time, or by being lax about when we resume our usual activities. This “distinguishing” is traditionally done by lighting candles before (Erev Shabbat) and after Sabbath (Havdallah), because lighting fires is specifically prohibited on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3). This day, with its distinguishing acts, is an historic memorial of creation (Ex 20:11), and a prophetic symbol of the world to come (Isa 66:23).
2. The negative. “Rest” means to put aside our normal work (Deu 5:14). We are not to even speak our own words (Isa 58:13-14). We are not to travel (Ex 16:29), transport items (Jer 17:21-22), or buy and sell (Neh 10:31, 13:15-18). Thus, it is not a day for performing duties of one’s occupation (Ex 16:26), for sports or play, or for going on vacation trips. ”Rest” does not mean catching up on sleep lost to over busyness of other days: that is robbing God, and robbing oneself of spiritual blessing.
3. The positive.
It is a day to set aside for the worship of our creator and redeemer. This
does not mean going to the beach to enjoy God’s creation. We are to have a
public assembly for worship (Lev 23:3), and God established an
order for its conduct. We should visit the sick and incarcerated to bring
them spiritual uplift. We should provide for the immediate needs of the
poor and infirm: longer term needs should be taken care of on another day.
Fifth Commandment [Honor
Seventh Commandment [No
Eighth Commandment [No
Ninth Commandment [No false
(Lev 19:17-18) We are required
to reprove our neighbor when we see him sin, but we may not hate him, or
slander him (this includes defaming true statements), or take vengeance,
or even bear a grudge. Going beyond the reproof makes us sinners, except,
against certain types of sin, we are required to take testimony before
(Matthew 18:32-35) We are to
forgive, as we are forgiven.
God gave His instruction to Israel. Because they profaned Him, he vowed to destroy them, but not completely eradicate them. God will save a remnant that will enjoy the fulfillment of a restored earth. The harvests will be so bountiful that the grapes will be ready for making into juice before anyone has planted.
When we arrive there, “Then you will know that I am Yahweh when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds.”
(V.2-3) “In that day the Branch of Yahweh will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. And it will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy-- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.”
(V.1-2, 11-12) How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Yahweh of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of Yahweh; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. . . . Yahweh gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Yahweh of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!
(V.12-14) “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. Thus it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”
(And He called):
Emor el hakohanim (Speak to
the priests), commonly
called Leviticus 21
1 Amen* 1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, 'No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people, 2 except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother and his father and his son and his daughter and his brother, 3 also for his virgin sister, who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may defile himself.
2 Amen* 4 'He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself. 5 'They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. 6 'They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they present the offerings by fire to Yahweh, the bread of their God; so they shall be holy.
3 Amen* 7 'They shall not take a woman who is profaned by harlotry, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God. 8 'You shall consecrate him, therefore, for he offers the bread of your God; he shall be holy to you; for I Yahweh, who sanctifies you, am holy. 9 'Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.
4 Amen* 10 'And the priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured, and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him: I am Yahweh.
5 Amen* 13 'And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 'A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by harlotry, these he may not take; but rather he is to marry a virgin of his own people; 15 that he may not profane his offspring among his people: for I am Yahweh who sanctifies him.'"
6 Amen* 16 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 17 "Speak to Aaron, saying, 'No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 'For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, 19 or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles.
7 Amen* 21 'No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, is to come near to offer Yahweh's offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 'He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, 23 only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, that he may not profane My sanctuaries. For I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.'" 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel.
15 "But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood," declares Yahweh God. 16 "They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge. 17 "And it shall be that when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and wool shall not be on them while they are ministering in the gates of the inner court and in the house. 18 "Linen turbans shall be on their heads, and linen undergarments shall be on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything which makes them sweat. 19 "And when they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers; then they shall put on other garments that they may not transmit holiness to the people with their garments. 20 "Also they shall not shave their heads, yet they shall not let their locks grow long; they shall only trim the hair of their heads. 21 "Nor shall any of the priests drink wine when they enter the inner court. 22 "And they shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman but shall take virgins from the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 "Moreover, they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24 "And in a dispute they shall take their stand to judge; they shall judge it according to My ordinances. They shall also keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed feasts, and sanctify My Sabbaths. 25 "And they shall not go to a dead person to defile themselves; however, for father, for mother, for son, for daughter, for brother, or for a sister who has not had a husband, they may defile themselves. 26 "And after he is cleansed, seven days shall elapse for him. 27 "And on the day that he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering," declares Yahweh God. 28 "And it shall be with regard to an inheritance for them, that I am their inheritance; and you shall give them no possession in Israel-- I am their possession. 29 "They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering; and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 "And the first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house. 31 "The priests shall not eat any bird or beast that has died a natural death or has been torn to pieces.
Psalm 85 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 O Lord, Thou didst show favor to Thy land; Thou didst restore the captivity of Jacob. 2 Thou didst forgive the iniquity of Thy people; Thou didst cover all their sin. Selah. 3 Thou didst withdraw all Thy fury; Thou didst turn away from Thy burning anger. 4 Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine indignation toward us to cease. 5 Wilt Thou be angry with us forever? Wilt Thou prolong Thine anger to all generations? 6 Wilt Thou not Thyself revive us again, that Thy people may rejoice in Thee? 7 Show us Thy lovingkindness, O Yahweh, and grant us Thy salvation. 8 I will hear what God Yahweh will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly. 9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. 10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11 Truth springs from the earth; and righteousness looks down from heaven. 12 Indeed, Yahweh will give what is good; and our land will yield its produce. 13 Righteousness will go before Him, and will make His footsteps into a way.
1 Timothy 3
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
Previous chapters of Leviticus dealt with requirements that the people be holy. This chapter deals with requirements for the priests: a higher standard of holiness applied to them.
(V.10) During the time of the First Temple, the high priest was consecrated to the priesthood by being anointed with the special oil; during Second Temple times, the holy anointing oil was not available, and the high priest was consecrated by donning the eight vestments.
(V.17) The Torah requires that the Temple be beautiful, that the offerings be perfect, and that those who perform the service be unblemished.
In 1 Timothy, Paul expresses similar standards concerning those officiating in the synagogue/church. The synagogue is an extension of the Temple of the Holy One.
“Overseer” is from the Hebrew Sheliach Tzibbur – Messenger of the Congregation, or LXX and NT Greek Angeloi tas Ekklesias – Angel of the Church. This is one of ten offices of the synagogue. An overseer oversees the reading of the Torah: he stands next to each reader, and corrects, on the spot, any mistakes in the readings. He first brings the message from God (the Torah portion from the Temple) each week and chooses seven men to read it. This is why God told John, in Revelation, to give His messages to the “angels of the churches”: the messengers, “angels,” would choose readers to give the messages to the congregations, and they would “oversee” the readings.
Talmudic qualifications for an overseer are:
Paul tells us that one desiring to oversee must meet standards of holiness. He needs to have attained a level of maturity in the faith (not a new convert), having his household in order (marriage and children), being respected in his community (hospitable, not contentious), and knowledgeable of God’s Word enough to teach. He must not be a seeker of financial gain, nor be conceited. And he must be tried – not a novice. This, of course, means there must be practice.
Likewise deacons and deaconesses must be faithful, temperate, not seekers of financial gain, not given to gossip or slander. These are selected in groups of three in each synagogue, to collect alms, and make a professional determination of who is really needy, and distribute accordingly.
The priests “shall also keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed feasts, and sanctify My Sabbaths.”
“You shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house.”
Psalm 85 was apparently written concerning the then current return of Israel from Babylonian captivity to rebuild the Holy Temple. But it is also seen as prophetic of the final redemption.
A sign of God’s favor is rain and abundant crops from the land.
(V.2) Yahweh favored His land with the return of the exiles, but His ultimate favoring of His land is yet to be seen, when Yeshua reigns over the earth from Jerusalem. He “returned the captivity of Jacob”, but the previous return was temporary, whereas the future return will be permanent. “Jacob” is used here (instead of “Israel”), because the nation was not in its position of glory.
(V.3-4)Yahweh forgave His nation their iniquity, and atoned for their sin. He withheld the entirety of His wrath, and retreated from His anger. But it would return for their continued sin, and the Temple would again be destroyed. Not until the final redemption will atonement be complete, and wrath totally ended.
(V.9) For then He will speak peace to His nation, and to His devout ones, and they will not return to folly!
(V.11) Then it may be said, “Kindness and truth have met”: when Israel is redeemed, and delights in truth, being the light to the nations, then Yahweh’s kindness will be fully shown upon them. “The remnant of Israel shall do no iniquity, nor speak lies, neither shall deceitful language be found in their mouth” – Zephaniah 3:13. “Righteousness and peace have kissed”: when Israel is made righteous, the Prince of Peace will reign. Yom haKippurim represents the time when the ancient church, called Israel, will be purified to dwell with Messiah.
(V.12-13) Then, “Truth will sprout from the earth,” and “Our land will yield its produce.”
Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers): Torah Study vs. Earning a Livelihood
“In many places in Jewish Literature, the Sages extol the virtues of supporting oneself. We learned above, ‘Love work and despise high position’ (1:10). We will also learn below, ‘If there is no flour (read, dough), there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour’ (3:17). King David wrote in Psalms (128:2), ‘When you eat the fruits of your labors, you are fortunate and it will be good for you.’ The Talmud (Berachos 8a) adds, ‘you are fortunate’ - in this world, ‘and it will be good for you’ - in the World to Come. The Talmud (Pesachim 113a) tells us further, ‘One should flay carcasses in the marketplace and earn a living. He should not say I am a Priest, I am a great man and such work is beneath me.’ Finally, the Sages obligate a father to teach his son a trade (Talmud Kiddushin 29a).
The Sages also forbid earning money *from* one's Torah knowledge. We will learn below ‘Do not make the Torah a crown to aggrandize yourself or a spade to dig with (4:5).’ The Torah is ours to study and acquire, but not ours to market. Maimonides (Mishne Torah Hil' Talmud Torah 3:10) does not pull his punches: ‘Whoever thinks he will study Torah and not work and will be supported from charity, profanes God's Name, shames the Torah, darkens the light of knowledge, causes harm to himself, and takes his life from this world, for it is forbidden to derive benefit from the Torah in this world.’ ”
Yayiqra (And He called): Daber el Aharon (Tell Aaron), commonly called Leviticus 22 & 23 (*Divided for seven Torah readers)
1 Amen* 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Tell Aaron and his sons to be careful with the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so as not to profane My holy name; I am Yahweh. 3 "Say to them, 'If any man among all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy gifts which the sons of Israel dedicate to Yahweh, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from before Me. I am Yahweh. 4 'No man, of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or who has a discharge, may eat of the holy gifts until he is clean. And if one touches anything made unclean by a corpse or if a man has a seminal emission, 5 or if a man touches any teeming things, by which he is made unclean, or any man by whom he is made unclean, whatever his uncleanness; 6 a person who touches any such shall be unclean until evening, and shall not eat of the holy gifts, unless he has bathed his body in water. 7 'But when the sun sets, he shall be clean, and afterward he shall eat of the holy gifts, for it is his food. 8 'He shall not eat an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, becoming unclean by it; I am Yahweh. 9 'They shall therefore keep My charge, so that they may not bear sin because of it, and die thereby because they profane it; I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.
2 Amen* 10 'No layman, however, is to eat the holy gift; a sojourner with the priest or a hired man shall not eat of the holy gift. 11 'But if a priest buys a slave as his property with his money, that one may eat of it, and those who are born in his house may eat of his food. 12 'And if a priest's daughter is married to a layman, she shall not eat of the offering of the gifts. 13 'But if a priest's daughter becomes a widow or divorced, and has no child and returns to her father's house as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's food; but no layman shall eat of it. 14 'But if a man eats a holy gift unintentionally, then he shall add to it a fifth of it and shall give the holy gift to the priest. 15 'And they shall not profane the holy gifts of the sons of Israel which they offer to Yahweh, 16 and so cause them to bear punishment for guilt by eating their holy gifts; for I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.'"
3 Amen* 17 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 18 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'Any man of the house of Israel or of the aliens in Israel who presents his offering, whether it is any of their votive or any of their freewill offerings, which they present to Yahweh for a burnt offering-- 19 for you to be accepted-- it must be a male without defect from the cattle, the sheep, or the goats. 20 'Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it will not be accepted for you. 21 'And when a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh to fulfill a special vow, or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. 22 'Those that are blind or fractured or maimed or having a running sore or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to Yahweh, nor make of them an offering by fire on the altar to Yahweh. 23 'In respect to an ox or a lamb which has an overgrown or stunted member, you may present it for a freewill offering, but for a vow it shall not be accepted. 24 'Also anything with its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut, you shall not offer to Yahweh, or sacrifice in your land, 25 nor shall you accept any such from the hand of a foreigner for offering as the food of your God; for their corruption is in them, they have a defect, they shall not be accepted for you.'"
4 Amen* 26 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 27 "When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be accepted as a sacrifice of an offering by fire to Yahweh. 28 "But, whether it is an ox or a sheep, you shall not kill both it and its young in one day. 29 "And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Yahweh, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. 30 "It shall be eaten on the same day, you shall leave none of it until morning: I am Yahweh. 31 "So you shall keep My commandments, and do them: I am Yahweh. 32 "And you shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel: I am Yahweh who sanctifies you, 33 who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am Yahweh."
5 Amen* 23:1 Yahweh spoke again to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'Yahweh's appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations-- My appointed times are these: 3 'For six days work may be done; but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a Sabbath to Yahweh in all your dwellings. 4 'These are the appointed times of Yahweh, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. 5 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is Yahweh's Passover. 6 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. 8 'But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.'" 9 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "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. 11 'And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh for you to be accepted; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 'Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 13 'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to Yahweh for a soothing aroma, with its libation, a fourth of a hin of wine. 14 'Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 15 'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. 16 'You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to Yahweh. 17 'You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to Yahweh. 18 'Along with the bread, you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd, and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to Yahweh, with their grain offering and their libations, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to Yahweh. 19 'You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 'The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before Yahweh; they are to be holy to Yahweh for the priest. 21 'On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 'When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am Yahweh your God.'"
6 Amen* 23 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh.'" 26 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 27 "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to Yahweh. 28 "Neither shall you do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before Yahweh your God. 29 "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 "It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath." 33 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 34 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to Yahweh. 35 'On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 'For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to Yahweh; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.
7 Amen* 37 'These are the appointed times of Yahweh which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to Yahweh-- burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and libations, each day's matter on its own day-- 38 besides those of the Sabbaths of Yahweh, and besides your gifts, and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to Yahweh. 39 'On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of Yahweh for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 'Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God for seven days. 41 'You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to Yahweh for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 'You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.'" 44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of Yahweh.
Psalm 86 A Prayer of David.
1 Incline Thine ear, O Yahweh, and answer me; for I am afflicted and needy. 2 Do preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O Thou my God, save Thy servant who trusts in Thee. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to Thee I cry all day long. 4 Make glad the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 5 For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee. 6 Give ear, O Yahweh, to my prayer; and give heed to the voice of my supplications! 7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me. 8 There is no one like Thee among the gods, O Lord; nor are there any works like Thine. 9 All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and they shall glorify Thy name. 10 For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds; Thou alone art God. 11 Teach me Thy way, O Yahweh; I will walk in Thy truth; unite my heart to fear Thy name. 12 I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Thy name forever. 13 For Thy lovingkindness toward me is great, and Thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 14 O God, arrogant men have risen up against me, and a band of violent men have sought my life, and they have not set Thee before them. 15 But Thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. 16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; oh grant Thy strength to Thy servant, and save the son of Thy handmaid. 17 Show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it, and be ashamed, because Thou, O Yahweh, hast helped me and comforted me.
Colossians 2:1 – 3:6
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, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may
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 Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ
Jesus 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. 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 Christ. 9 For
in Him all the fulness 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 Christ; 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 And 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 and 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. 16 Therefore let no one
act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a
new moon or a Sabbath day-- 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to
come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 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 Christ 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 the using)-- 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.
This chapter lists all of the moedim of Yahweh, the “appointments with Yahweh”. These appointments are for our spiritual elevation. They are memorials of past acts of God, and prophetic of future acts.
They are Yom Tovim, days to refrain from usual activities in order to worship God. They are times for symbolic festive food and drink, clean clothing, and thanksgiving and prayer.
(V.3-4) First is the weekly Yom Tov, the Holy Sabbath, of which there are fifty to fifty-five per year. Then there are seven annual Holy Days, with accompanying preparation days, feasts, offerings, and various other ordinances. So, we have about sixty appointments per year. There are three “Feasts of Yahweh” (Exodus 23:14), relating to the seven annual Holy Days.
Sabbath . . .
(V.5) The term Pesach (Passover), in Torah, is used exclusively for the (mussaf) offering – the lamb: it is not used as the name of a festival. This is an area of great confusion, concerning the date of the Feast. Remember: the Passover is a lamb, not a day. [John 18:28 is referring to the day that the Passover is eaten.]
Prior to the first annual Holy Day, on the fourteenth day of Nisan, the Passover Lamb must be offered. Between noon and sunset (v.5 – “between the evenings” – between the beginning and end of the going-down-of-the-sun), it must be slain and cooked. This is the preparation day for the Passover lamb (Num. 9:2 – “You shall prepare the Passover”; John 19:14 – “It was the day of preparation of the Passover”). This preparation includes other foods for the seven-day Feast. Note that this is a commandment for families to make preparations for a feast; it is not fulfilled by having a catered a dinner.
The Feast of Unleavened Breads (Hag haMatzot) begins that evening (the beginning of Nisan 15), with the seder where the Passover Lamb is eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. This Feast is the first of the three “Feasts of Yahweh” (from whence we get “Lord’s Supper”). The first day of the Feast is the first of seven Holy Days of the Festival Year.
This Feast is now celebrated as a memorial of our redemption by the antitype Passover lamb – Yeshua.
(V.8) The seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Breads, Nisan 21, is the second of the seven annual Holy Days.
(V.9-14) Going back, on the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Breads (Nisan 16), the day after the first Holy Day (a Sabbath), a lamb is to be waved, along with a firstfruit one-omer unleavened barley loaf (the omer being about two liters, of fine barley flour). Barley is the first of five bread-grain crops to ripen; none of the new barley may be eaten until the first loaf is waved on this day.
Omer is sometimes mistranslated “sheaf”: no sheaf of grain is ever to be waved as an offering. This day is not (as is often erroneously taught) the “Feast of Firstfruits”: it is part of the Feast of Unleavened Breads. The term “firstfruits” does not refer to this day. We can find no basis for associating this day with (1 Corinthians 15:20 – Christ the firstfruits) the resurrection of Yeshua, which was late on Nisan 17, a weekly Sabbath.
(V.15-16) The day, when the lamb and omer barley loaf are waved, is the first day of counting the omer. We are commanded to count each day, for fifty days – not just to recognize the first and fiftieth days, but to count each day. We are also commanded to count, in parallel, seven weeks – until the day after the seventh week (Sabbath being a term used in both Torah and Talmud for week). As the first loaf from the new barley crop is waved on day one, so the first loaves from the new wheat crop are waved on day fifty. Wheat is the last of the five bread-grain crops to ripen, and none may be eaten until the firstfruits are waved before Yahweh.
We count down the days from our redemption to our betrothal.
Day fifty (which could fall on Sivan 5, 6, or 7 in Temple times) is called Yom haBikkurim – the Day of the Firstfruits. It is the third of the seven annual Holy Days. On this day, two lambs are waved along with two leavened loaves, each made of two omers (about four liters) of fine wheat flour – the firstfruits of the best and final bread-grain harvest. [The loaves were about three feet long and nine inches wide.]
This day is also called Hag Shavuot – Feast of Weeks, and Pentecost (fiftieth day); it is the second of the three “Feasts of Yahweh”. It celebrates the betrothal of the Bride to Messiah. It is the date of the division of seventy nations into different languages at Babel, the date of receiving the Torah in the various languages 3300 years ago, and the date of receiving the Gospel in the various languages over 1900 years ago.
(V.23-25) Then, on the first day of the seventh month (Tishrei 1), we are to have a “rehearsal of blowing” the shofar (ram’s horn trumpet). Two biblical names, for this fourth of seven Holy Days, are Rosh haShannah (New Year) and Yom Teruah (Day of Blowing the shofar). While secular Judaism majors on a New Year celebration, we rehearse hearing the shout of the archangel, and Last Trump, when Messiah will return and the righteous dead will be raised.
(V.27-32) On the tenth day of the same month is Yom haKippurim – the Day of the Atonements. It is always plural – atonements: there must be two, which are represented by the two (mussaf) offerings, two goats. The goat for Azazel (commonly called the scapegoat) represents Yeshua taking our sins away. The goat for Yahweh, an elevation offering (burned), represents Yeshua’s righteousness being imputed to us, the sweet aroma ascending up to God. This pictures the purification of the Bride of Messiah. This is the fifth of the seven annual Holy Days, and all feasting must be completed beforehand, as this is a fast day, the only Biblically mandated one.
(V.33-36) From the fifteenth through the twenty-first day of the same month is Hag Sukkot – the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles. This is the last of the three “Feasts of Yahweh”. It is the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The first day of the Feast is the sixth of the seven annual Holy Days.
The day after the Feast, Tishrei 22, is the seventh and final annual Holy Day. It is Shimini Atzeret – the Eighth Day Assembly (so called because it is the day after the seven day Feast). It represents the final dwelling of Messiah and Bride.
By looking at the feast foods, the (mussaf) offerings, and the Psalms and Torah portions for each Holy Day, we can see the details of what God wants us to know about our savior, Yeshua the Messiah. And, we can learn how to become what God designed for us to be.
Going back to the Feast of Tabernacles:
Four species are to be waved. The etrog has both pleasant taste and aroma: it represents the person who knows Torah and practices good deeds. The lulav, branches of date palm, whose dates have good taste but no aroma, symbolize the person who knows Torah, but is deficient in deeds. The myrtle, which has no taste, but good aroma, is likened to the person who lacks knowledge of Torah, but practices good deeds. The willow, which has neither, symbolizes the person without knowledge or deeds.
The etrog, a citrus fruit, in appearance like a lemon, is identified by peri etz – a tree that tastes similar to its fruit, and hadar – fruit that dwells. The etrog tree is an evergreen. It is entirely edible, all having similar taste. The fruit does not fall, but “dwells” on the tree from year to year. It does not ripen until the second year, and becomes harder to pick year after year. It does not rot after picking, whether or not it is refrigerated: after many years, it disappears, seeming to gradually evaporate. [I am growing a potted etrog tree in my dining room - ddd.]
We know, from previous Sabbath studies, that the Holy Sabbath is for all creation, and is both memorial and prophetic of Yeshua. It is Messianic, and is for all, for eternity. [See “Sabbath is Messianic”.] We know from Zechariah 14:17-19, that observing the Feast of Tabernacles will be a requirement upon all nations, under great penalty for non-observance. We know how the gentile Corinthian church was instructed to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread (1 Corinthians 5:8). So, let us look at the general applicability of Holy Days to gentile believers.
(V.2-4) Paul wants us to attain “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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.”
let no one condemn you, for what you eat or drink, or in respect to a festival
or a new moon or a Sabbath day – these things being a shadow of what is to come,
Messiah being the body (casting the shadow).”
(V.3:6) Paul ends this portion by warning against putting the commandments of men before the ordinances of God, saying that that man’s ways do not help us to become overcomers. Today we struggle with those who call God’s appointed times outmoded, with perverted teaching that these are the ways of men that Paul is warning against!
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