Readings and Commentaries
Year 2 Sabbath Fifty-two (March 8, 2003)
Bamidbar (In the wilderness) Ki tisteh (If she goes astray), commonly called Numbers 5:11-31 (*Divided for seven Torah readers)
1 Amen* 11 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 12 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'If any man's wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, 13 and a man has intercourse with her and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and she is undetected, although she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act,
2 Amen* 14 if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has defiled herself, or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself, 15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it, nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity. 16 'Then the priest shall bring her near and have her stand before Yahweh,
3 Amen* 17 and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 'The priest shall then have the woman stand before Yahweh and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and place the grain offering of memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse. 19 'And the priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse;
4 Amen* 20 if you, however, have gone astray, being under the authority of your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you" 21 (then the priest shall have the woman swear with the oath of the curse, and the priest shall say to the woman), "Yahweh make you a curse and an oath among your people by Yahweh's making your thigh waste away and your abdomen swell; 22 and this water that brings a curse shall go into your stomach, and make your abdomen swell and your thigh waste away." And the woman shall say, "Amen. Amen."
5 Amen* 23 'The priest shall then write these curses on a scroll, and he shall wash them off into the water of bitterness. 24 'Then he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings a curse, so that the water which brings a curse will go into her and cause bitterness. 25 'And the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman's hand, and he shall wave the grain offering before Yahweh and bring it to the altar;
6 Amen* 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering as its memorial offering and offer it up in smoke on the altar, and afterward he shall make the woman drink the water. 27 'When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse shall go into her and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people. 28 'But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, she will then be free and conceive children.
7 Amen* 29 'This is the law of jealousy: when a wife, being under the authority of her husband, goes astray and defiles herself, 30 or when a spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife, he shall then make the woman stand before Yahweh, and the priest shall apply all this law to her. 31 'Moreover, the man shall be free from guilt, but that woman shall bear her guilt.'"
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot or your brides when they commit adultery, for the men themselves go apart with harlots and offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; so the people without understanding are ruined. 15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, do not let Judah become guilty; also do not go to Gilgal, or go up to Beth-aven, and take the oath: "As Yahweh lives!"
1 Sing to Yahweh a new song; sing to Yahweh, all the earth. 2 Sing to Yahweh, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. 3 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. 4 For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but Yahweh made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to Yahweh, O families of the peoples, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. 9 Worship Yahweh in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, "Yahweh reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity." 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all it contains; 12 Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy 13 before Yahweh, for He is coming; for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in His faithfulness.
1 Peter 2:1-22
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone," 8 and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;
Today’s Torah portion, concerning a sotah (wayward wife), is one of those which seem difficult to understand upon a surface reading. However, when looking at “line upon line, and precept upon precept,” and considering the context, understanding becomes easier.
Firstly, it should be remembered, that marriage is to picture something greater – our relationship (as the church) with Messiah. This bride is not in the same position as Messiah, but both are to be faithful and holy. Hosea 4:14-15 indicates such a comparison.
This portion follows the teaching on stealing dedicated property and purity required in the camp of Israel. Using dedicated items for personal use was called ma’iylah – treachery (Numbers 5:6), and the user was required to make an atonement offering in order to become pure before God.
Numbers uses these two terms for marital unfaithfulness: adultery is ma’iylah – treachery (v.12), and the adulteress is nitma’ah – defiled (v.13); the latter term is the opposite of purity required for Temple worship. Marriage is thus presented as a sacred relationship that requires both faithfulness and purity, just as the relationship between Israel and Messiah.
The situation is where a wife has acted in such a way as to cause her husband to be suspicious of her faithfulness. Based upon Torah requirements for judgment to take place, there must be witnesses that she had been secluded with another man (without coercion), after having been warned against such action. However, in this circumstance, there are no witnesses to the further act of adultery.
The jealous husband must bring a meal offering. Whereas most meal offerings are made with fine wheat flour, this one is made with coarse barley flour: coarse because the wife’s actions were coarse, and animal food (barley) because she acted like an animal. The offering is not made with oil, because that represents light, and the act was done in darkness (hidden). The offering is not adorned with frankincense for a sweet aroma to God. The offering is called “jealousies” (plural), meaning that she acted against both her husband and God.
The wife cannot be punished because the required witnesses do not exist. However, if she were guilty, the prospect of an horrible death might induce her to confess; a confession would end a judgment by the court. If she were innocent, she would be vindicated by the test.
Mayim kodashim / sacred water from the Tabernacle or Temple laver is used; it represents purity and devotion. Earth is used from the floor of the Tabernacle, or from under a marble tile of the Temple floor; it represents death – returning to dust. The dirt is put into the water.
The suspect wife has the meal-offering placed in her outstretched hands, and is required to take an oath. After offering the meal-offering upon the altar, the wife is made to drink the water-dirt mixture. If she is guilty, she will die the death described in verse 21. The punishment being repeated in verse 22 is taken to mean that the man with whom she sinned will experience a similar death.
If the jealous husband is himself guilty of adultery, then the mixture will not bring death upon the guilty wife (based on the Hebrew of verse 31). If the suspect wife is innocent, she will have incurred public humiliation for her defiance in being in the company of the other man.
If she is innocent, she will be fully accepted by the husband and bear children without difficulty. This has apparent Messianic symbolism, indicative of the church that is not idolatrous bearing children.
The judgment of a sotah (wayward wife) is the only halachic action in Torah, where God directly intervenes. According to rabbinic history, it was discontinued during Second Temple times – due to rampant sin as described in the Hosea portion. God said that He would no longer punish adulteresses, when the men go apart with prostitutes.
Psalm 96 is about Yahweh judging the world with equity and righteousness. It rings with the joy of one who is devoted and expecting to be found pure.
1 Peter is about those of us who have found mercy, and how we are to be devoted and pure. We are to desire the Word of God, to grow thereby (v.2). We are to abstain from the desires of this world (v.11). we are to display righteous living before the world (v.12).We are to submit to government authority, which punishes evildoers and praises those who do right (v.13-14). Yeshua committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth: we are to be likewise holy (v.21-22).
Year 2 Sabbath Fifty-three (March 15, 2003)
(In the wilderness) Ki yafli lindor (If . . . make a
special vow), commonly called Numbers 6:1-21
1 Amen* 1 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to Yahweh, 3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh or dried grapes.
2 Amen* 4 'All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin. 5 'All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to Yahweh; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long. 6 'All the days of his separation to Yahweh he shall not go near to a dead person.
3 Amen* 7 'He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. 8 'All the days of his separation he is holy to Yahweh. 9 'But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day.
4 Amen* 10 'Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 11 'And the priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head, 12 and shall dedicate to Yahweh his days as a Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days shall be void because his separation was defiled.
5 Amen* 13 'Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 14 'And he shall present his offering to Yahweh: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their libations.
6 Amen* 16 'Then the priest shall present them before Yahweh and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering. 17 'He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its libation. 18 'The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.
7 Amen* 19 'And the priest shall take the ram's shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair. 20 'Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.' 21 "This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to Yahweh according to his separation, in addition to what else he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation."
2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. 3 Then the angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman, and said to her, "Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4 "Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. 5 "For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines."
1 Samuel 1:7-11
7 And it happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of Yahweh, she would provoke her, so she wept and would not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" 9 Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of Yahweh. 10 And she, greatly distressed, prayed to Yahweh and wept bitterly. 11 And she made a vow and said, "O Yahweh of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but wilt give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head."
1 Yahweh reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad. 2 Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. 3 Fire goes before Him, and burns up His adversaries round about. 4 His lightnings lit up the world; the earth saw and trembled. 5 The mountains melted like wax at the presence of Yahweh, at the presence of Yahweh of the whole earth. 6 The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory. 7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, who boast themselves of idols; worship Him, all you gods. 8 Zion heard this and was glad, and the daughters of Judah have rejoiced because of Thy judgments, O Yahweh. 9 For Thou art Yahweh Most High over all the earth; Thou art exalted far above all gods. 10 Hate evil, you who love Yahweh, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Be glad in Yahweh, you righteous ones; and give thanks to His holy name.
8 Now it came about, while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother's womb. 16 "And he will turn back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 "And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
The Nazir (Nazirite)
Yeshua was called a Nazarene, because He grew up in Nazareth; He was not called a Nazirite. John the baptizer was called a Nazirite. Therefore it is written, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds” – Matthew 11:18-19.
“If a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to Yahweh . . .”
This is normally a voluntary status, of dedication to holiness, for a specified period of time (v.5) – a minimum being thirty days. It includes three restrictions: abstaining from all grape products, no cutting of hair, and no dealing with a human corpse.
Verse 2 may be translated as a desire to separate oneself, or to do something astounding. One purpose of such a vow is to separate oneself from worldly temptations, and thus relates to the previous paragraph’s concern with occasion for adultery (see previous week’s commentary). Another purpose may be to do something beyond the usual, in serving God.
Abstaining from grape products is seen as separation from intoxicating wine, including anything associated with it. The uncut hair is called “the crown of his God” (v.7), being a sign of devotion. Like the high priest (Lev. 21:11), he must maintain purity, not being allowed even to bury a dead parent. If contamination is accidentally or carelessly caused, the period of the vow must be started over when the seven days of purification are ended.
A metzora (see Year 2 – commentary #35), after being cleansed from impurity, is accompanied to the priest by another (Lev. 14:2), presumably of higher sanctity. But, the Nazirite, at the conclusion of the period of his vow, must “bring himself” (v.13) to the priest: he is presumably in a heightened state of sanctity.
He must bring a sin offering, a peace offering, and a thanksgiving offering. It is taught that the sin offering is required because of the decision to return to temporal pursuits. The peace offering symbolizes the contentment and joy of having been allowed to fulfill a period of devotion, and the loaves are in thanksgiving to God for the same.
After this service, the Nazirite’s hair is cut. He is still called a Nazirite (v.20), because he is to retain the spiritual gain from the dedication period.
This story was heard on the radio this week: A certain man was having a talk with his daughter’s prospective husband. The father asked: “What is your profession?” The young man responded, “I study the Word.” The father asked: “How do you plan to support my daughter?” The response was, “I will study, and God will provide.” The father asked: “How are you going to buy a ring for my daughter?” The response was, “God will provide the ring.” The father asked: “When children are born, how will you support them?” The young man answered, “I will study, and God will provide.” And so the conversation went. Later, the father was relating the situation to his wife: “He has no job, and he has no plans for one; but the good news is, he thinks I’m God.”
The moral of the story is: while living a life that is dedicated to God is very commendable, it is not an excuse to avoid supporting one’s family. One who wishes to live without any care for temporal pursuits, should not engage in marriage and building a family.
The Holy Crown of the high priest meant “Nazirship” (Ex 29:6, 39:30, Lev 8:9, 21:12).
John the baptizer – a Nazirite
A barren woman named Elizabeth had a husband named Zachariah. While ministering in the Temple, Zachariah was visited by an angel that promised an answer to his prayers, and the son was to be named John. That John was a Nazirite is indicated by Yeshua’s statement that he came “neither eating nor drinking” (Matthew 11:18). His life style also showed dedication to God’s work: he lived in the wilderness, was clothed with camel-hair, ate wild carob and dates, and spent his time preaching (Matthew 3:1-4).
Samson – a lifelong Nazirite
A barren woman named Manoah was told by an angel, “You shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). When Samson failed to honor his dedicated status, consorting with Delilah, it cost him his life.
Samuel – a lifelong Nazirite
A barren woman named Hannah vowed to God: “O Yahweh of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but wilt give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head ” (1 Samuel 1:11). “And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of Yahweh” (1b Samuel 3:20). “Now Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 7:15).
Psalm 97: for Joseph – a Nazirite (For Triennial reference, this Psalm is concretely tied to the Torah portion.)
This eighth Psalm of Moses was dedicated to Joseph (Artscroll Tanach: Psalms 73-150, pg 1193). Joseph was called a Nazirite: “The blessings of your father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the one distinguished (Heb. - Nazir) among his brothers” (Genesis 49:26);“And with the choice things of the earth and its fulness, and the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let it come to the head of Joseph, and to the crown of the head of the one distinguished (Heb. - Nazir) among his brothers” (Deuteronomy 33:16)
In the literal interpretation, Joshua, a descendant of Joseph, was to lead the conquest of Canaan: “When Yahweh reigns, the land will rejoice” (v.1). “Fire will go before him, and burn up his enemies” (v.3).
In the prophetic interpretation, Yeshua will go forth to conquer, fire will go before Him and burn up His enemies, and the earth will rejoice forever. Then everyone will be an eternal Nazarite – all will be dedicated to God.
The remainder of the Psalm distinguishes between the righteous and the wicked, promoting dedication to God
Leap Year (Sabbath Fifty-four - March 22, 2003)
Out of Sequence –
Leap Year end portion
1 Amen* 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 "This is the statute of the law which Yahweh has commanded, saying, 'Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect, and on which a yoke has never been placed. 3 'And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence.
2 Amen* 4 'Next Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 'Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight; its hide and its flesh and its blood, with its refuse, shall be burned. 6 'And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet material, and cast it into the midst of the burning heifer.
3 Amen* 7 'The priest shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward come into the camp, but the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 'The one who burns it shall also wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water, and shall be unclean until evening. 9 'Now a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place, and the congregation of the sons of Israel shall keep it as water to remove impurity; it is purification from sin. 10 'And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; and it shall be a perpetual statute to the sons of Israel and to the alien who sojourns among them.
4 Amen* 11 'The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days. 12 'That one shall purify himself from uncleanness with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he shall be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he shall not be clean. 13 'Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.
5 Amen* 14 'This is the law when a man dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean for seven days. 15 'And every open vessel, which has no covering tied down on it, shall be unclean. 16 'Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.
6 Amen* 17 'Then for the unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the burnt purification from sin and flowing water shall be added to them in a vessel. 18 'And a clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there, and on the one who touched the bone or the one slain or the one dying naturally or the grave. 19 'Then the clean person shall sprinkle on the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify him from uncleanness, and he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and shall be clean by evening.
7 Amen* 20 'But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of Yahweh; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean. 21 'So it shall be a perpetual statute for them. And he who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. 22 'Furthermore, anything that the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening.'"
16 Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; their way before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. 18 "Therefore, I poured out My wrath on them for the blood which they had shed on the land, because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 "Also I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the lands. According to their ways and their deeds I judged them. 20 "When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned My holy name, because it was said of them, 'These are the people of Yahweh; yet they have come out of His land.' 21 "But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went. 22 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says Yahweh God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 "And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am Yahweh," declares Yahweh God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 "And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30 "And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, that you may not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 "I am not doing this for your sake," declares Yahweh God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!" 33 'Thus says Yahweh God, "On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt. 34 "And the desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passed by. 35 "And they will say, 'This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate, and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.' 36 "Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, Yahweh, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, Yahweh, have spoken and will do it." 37 'Thus says Yahweh God, "This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 "Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so will the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am Yahweh."'"
Psalm 98 A Psalm
1 O Sing to Yahweh a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. 2 Yahweh has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout joyfully to Yahweh, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to Yahweh with the lyre; with the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King, Yahweh. 7 Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains sing together for joy 9 before Yahweh; for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
2 Thessalonians 2
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 16 Now may our Lord Yeshua the Messiah Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
[Further commentary on Numbers 19 will be forthcoming in week Y3-11 – June 14.]
At this end of a Festival Year, as we are approaching the time for the Passover memorial, we are taught by the Apostle Paul that we should be clean in order to worship.
1 Corinthians 5:7-11 – “Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 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. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 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. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate (in worship) 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 (the Passover) with such a one.”
Numbers 19:20 – “But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of Yahweh”.
Ezekiel 36:16-17 & 21) “Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, ‘Son of man, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; . . . but I had concern for My Holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went.’ ”
“I had concern for My Holy Name”
“Yahweh” means the eternal, the One Who always was, is, and always will be; the omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful) God. This name sets Him apart as “The Holy One”. It is used throughout Scripture to represent God with His attributes of mercy and grace (unmerited favor), whereas His name “Elohim” represents Him in His position of Judge of His creation.
One of the most oft repeated commandments in the Bible is to “Praise the name Yahweh” (Hallel Psalm 113:1, Psalm 135:1, 145:2, 148:5,13). This has dual meaning: we are to praise His Name in singing and praying to Yahweh, and also, as those who carry His Name, by acting in a manner that displays His holiness before the world.
Firstly, let us consider the use of The Name – in reading from the Tanach, in singing, and in prayer.
Yahweh said, “I am Yahweh, that is My Name; I will not give My glory to another” – Isaiah 42:8.
The name “Yahweh” is God’s eternal name, and His memorial name for all generations (Exodus 3:15). It is used more than 7,000 times in the Scriptures, by all kinds of people, over many centuries, doubtlessly with varying dialects of Hebrew. A commonly used Biblical “nickname” is “Yah”, which is part of many Biblical names (YeremiYahu / Jeremiah, Yeshua or Yehoshua – Yah is salvation), and part of the universal word “hallel-u-yah” – praise to Yah; it may be noted that, within different words, the pronunciation of the Name varies. Nothing in the Bible even hints at some required singular perfect pronunciation.
Orthodox Jewry teaches that we are not worthy to use The Name. It does not claim ignorance of the pronunciation: that seems to be a “Christian / Messianic” thing.
We are instructed to read and teach God’s Word. We are forbidden to add or take away from God’s Word. Translation is usually considered acceptable. The only English translation of The Name, that I know of, is “I Am”. Lord is a translation of Adonai: neither “Lord” nor “Adonai” is a translation of The Name, but both are common substitutions. God’s Name is for use in congregational worship and for all the earth:
22:22-23 – “I will tell of Thy Name to my brethren; in the midst of the
assembly I will praise Thee. You who fear Yahweh, praise Him”.
We are instructed to “Sing to Yahweh”:
Psalm 30:4 – “Sing praise to
Yahweh, you His godly ones”.
And the opening of today’s Psalm 98 – “O Sing to Yahweh a new song”.
We are instructed to use “bless Yahweh” in prayer and thanksgiving:
Nehemiah 9:5 – “Arise, bless
Yahweh your God forever and ever! O may Thy glorious Name be blessed and
exalted above all blessing and praise!”
So, for everything that we use, we give thanks by saying: “Blessed are You, Yahweh our God . . .”.
Secondly, let us consider our actions, as people who carry Yahweh’s Name.
Peter says: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Peter 1:14-16).
James says, concerning showing favoritism: “Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? If, however, you are fulfilling the Royal Law, according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” – (James 2:1-8). Have you ever considered the meaning of “Royal Law”? Christ / Messiah means anointed – to be Prophet, Priest, or King. Therefore, “the Law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) means the law of the anointed King – the Royal Law of Deuteronomy 6:5 & Leviticus 19:18 & Matthew 22:37. In other words, “the Law of Christ” is not a new, different law.
2 Thessalonians 2
The Antichrist is called “the Lawless One” (v.8). He will come “with power and signs and wonders” (v.9). He will use all the “deception of wickedness” to further deceive those who reject God’s instruction (law). Having their cups of sin filled, the lawless will be judged.
But, Paul expects better things of us (v.13). We have been chosen from the beginning to salvation. We have been set apart – sanctified – made holy, by the Holy Spirit. We have been called by the hearing of the gospel, to be ultimately be glorified with Messiah Yeshua. Now we are to “stand firm” in Biblical teaching and be strong and wholehearted in every good work and testimony.
“May our Lord Yeshua the Messiah Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word” (v.16-17).
Leap Year (Sabbath Fifty-five - March 29, 2003)
Out of Sequence –
Leap Year end portion
1 Now Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. 4 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 'And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 'And they shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is Yahweh's Passover. 12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am Yahweh. 13 'And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to Yahweh; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. 15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 'And on the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 'You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 'Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. 20 'You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"
Ezekiel 45:16 – 46:18
16 "All the people of the land shall give to this offering for the prince in Israel. 17 "And it shall be the prince's part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the libations, at the feasts, on the new moons, and on the Sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel." 18 'Thus says Yahweh God, "In the first month, on the first of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse the sanctuary. 19 "And the priest shall take some of the blood from the sin offering and put it on the door posts of the house, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 "And thus you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who goes astray or is naive; so you shall make atonement for the house. 21 "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall prepare the Passover (lamb), and a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22 "And on that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering. 23 "And during the seven days of the feast he shall provide as a burnt offering to Yahweh seven bulls and seven rams without blemish on every day of the seven days, and a male goat daily for a sin offering. 24 "And he shall provide as a grain offering an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 25 "In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, he shall provide like this, seven days for the sin offering, the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the oil."
46:1 'Thus says Yahweh God, "The gate of the inner court facing east shall be shut the six working days; but it shall be opened on the Sabbath day, and opened on the day of the new moon. 2 "And the prince shall enter by way of the porch of the gate from outside and stand by the post of the gate. Then the priests shall provide his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 "The people of the land shall also worship at the doorway of that gate before Yahweh on the Sabbaths and on the new moons. 4 "And the burnt offering which the prince shall offer to Yahweh on the Sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; 5 and the grain offering shall be an ephah with the ram, and the grain offering with the lambs as much as he is able to give, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 6 "And on the day of the new moon he shall offer a young bull without blemish, also six lambs and a ram, which shall be without blemish. 7 "And he shall provide a grain offering, an ephah with the bull, and an ephah with the ram, and with the lambs as much as he is able, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 8 "And when the prince enters, he shall go in by way of the porch of the gate and go out by the same way. 9 "But when the people of the land come before Yahweh at the appointed feasts, he who enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate. And he who enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. No one shall return by way of the gate by which he entered but shall go straight out. 10 "And when they go in, the prince shall go in among them; and when they go out, he shall go out. 11 "And at the festivals and the appointed feasts the grain offering shall be an ephah with a bull and an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as one is able to give, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 12 "And when the prince provides a freewill offering, a burnt offering, or peace offerings as a freewill offering to Yahweh, the gate facing east shall be opened for him. And he shall provide his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and the gate shall be shut after he goes out. 13 "And you shall provide a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering to Yahweh daily; morning by morning you shall provide it. 14 "Also you shall provide a grain offering with it morning by morning, a sixth of an ephah, and a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour, a grain offering to Yahweh continually by a perpetual ordinance. 15 "Thus they shall provide the lamb, the grain offering, and the oil, morning by morning, for a continual burnt offering." 16 'Thus says Yahweh God, "If the prince gives a gift out of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. 17 "But if he gives a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince. His inheritance shall be only his sons'; it shall belong to them. 18 "And the prince shall not take from the people's inheritance, thrusting them out of their possession; he shall give his sons inheritance from his own possession so that My people shall not be scattered, anyone from his possession."'"
1 Yahweh reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! 2 Yahweh is great in Zion, and He is exalted above all the peoples. 3 Let them praise Thy great and awesome name; Holy is He 4 and the strength of the King loves justice; Thou hast established equity; Thou hast executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 5 Exalt Yahweh our God, and worship at His footstool; Holy is He. 6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel was among those who called on His name; they called upon Yahweh, and He answered them. 7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept His testimonies, and the statute that He gave them. 8 O Yahweh our God, Thou didst answer them; Thou wast a forgiving God to them, and yet an avenger of their evil deeds. 9 Exalt Yahweh our God, and worship at His holy hill; for holy is Yahweh our God.
Colossians 2:1 - 3:7
1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Messiah Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this 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 Messiah. 6 As you therefore have received Messiah Yeshua the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Messiah. 9 For in Him all the 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 Messiah; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 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 body is Messiah. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. 20 If you have died with Messiah to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with 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.
3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
Verse 2 is the song we sing for Rosh Hodesh (New Moon): “Hahodesh hazeh lahem rosh hadashim risho hu lahem lehodshey Hashanah” – “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.”
“Rosh Hodesh” means head of the cycle, and is a Biblical term usually translated new moon. Each Biblical month starts with a dark phase of the moon – preceding when the first crescent of light is witnessed and certified (not to be confused with full moon). It is not simply calculated astronomically, but based on observation by reliable witnesses and then sanctification by the Sanhedrin. During this present period of time while the Sanhedrin is not functioning due to lack of a Temple, we are using a pre-established calendar. Our word month means moon, though our Julian Calendar has obscured this meaning. The Biblical months are called: Nisan, Iyyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Heshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar. In leap years, which occur seven out of nineteen years, there is an added month called Adar II.
Observing Rosh Hodesh is about making time sacred. It is about learning by doing – learning to live by God's timetable. We are told not to be in a rush to get “Sabbaths and New Moons” over with (Amos 8:5) so we can do our own thing. We should rejoice in them in our love for our Savior. This is partly why Sabbath is observed as a twenty-five hour day: we can lengthen it in love, we should not shorten it to do other things – that is idolatry (putting the other things before God).
New moons determine ALL of the annual Holy Days. For example, the Passover lamb is prepared on the fourteenth day from New Moon Nisan (Exodus 12:6), to be eaten on the fifteenth; Shavuot is the fifteenth plus fifty days after New Moon Nisan (this could vary relating to New Moon Sivan, which it follows by a few days); Yom Teruah IS New Moon Tishrei, Yom HaKippurim is the tenth day and Hag Sukkot starts on the fifteenth day (Leviticus 23:24,27,34).
The weekly Sabbath pictures (among other things) the Sabbath Millennium, when Yeshua will reign for 1000 years on this earth. The annual seventh-day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) pictures the same thing in greater detail
In like manner, the monthly observance of Rosh Hodesh (New Moon) pictures the renewal of life. Rosh Hodesh literally means "head of the cycle" and refers to renewal. The annual feast Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpeting) pictures in more detail this renewal of life. It is the day of which it is said, "Nobody knows the day or the hour. But we know the season and we are to watch." Does this sound like something familiar that Yeshua might have referred to (Matthew 24:36-44)? This day comes when we hear the announcement of the sanctification of the New Moon. Do you see why it can't be based on astronomical calculation? Everyone would know beforehand!
On this day we blow several different trumps on the shofar (ram's horn trumpet). The Last Trump is preceded by a shout, “Tekiah Gedolah!” which translates something like "The return of the Great One!" Does this sound like something Paul might have referred to? At the last trump, with the shout of the archangel, Messiah shall return, and the righteous dead shall be raised (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:52)! The renewal of life -- from the dead! That is what Rosh Hodesh pictures. We announce every New Moon in Synagogue except Tishrei – Yom Teruah: we stay awake up to 49 hours waiting and watching for that one New Moon each year. One year we may hear the archangel shout “Tekiah Gedolah” and hear God blow the Last Trump! HalelluYah! Even so come, Adonai Yeshua (Revelation 22:20)!
Ezekiel 45:16 – 46:18
This prophecy concerns a Holy Temple of the future – God’s calendar of celebrating Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feasts with their Holy Days, during the millennial reign of Messiah.
45:17 “And it shall be the prince's part to provide the (burnt) elevation offerings, the grain offerings, and the libations, at the feasts, on the new moons, and on the Sabbaths: at all the appointed times . . .”
46:3 “The people of the land shall also worship at the doorway of that gate (the eastern gate of the inner court) before Yahweh on the Sabbaths and on the new moons.”
The three Feasts and their seven annual Holy Days fall under the commandment category called ordinances.
(V.6-8) “Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel was among those who called on His name; they called upon Yahweh, and He answered them. He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept His ordinances (edot), and the statute (huk) that He gave them. O Yahweh our God, Thou didst answer them . . .”
This passage is often misused because of traditional preconceptions. We must not pit one Scripture against another, but place precept upon precept. Paul is contrasting “man’s religion” against Torah instruction.
(V.8) “See to it that no one takes you captive
(V.11-15) Paul is writing to Gentiles (Colossians):
Here are some of the things that are “according to Messiah” (v.8).
(V.16) Both Jew and Gentile would condemn us for observing Sabbaths, New Moons, and Festivals. But, Paul says, “Let no one condemn you . . . for observing a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day . . .”. Using a common translation “judge” instead of “condemn”, some twist this verse say that we shouldn’t let anyone tell us whether or not to do these things – all the while they are using it to say that we shouldn’t do them! One popular translation actually adds the word “not”, saying that we should let no one condemn us for “not” doing these things! But, Gentiles need accept no condemnation from Jew or Gentile for keeping God’s appointments. Why?
(V.17) Because – and here is a comparison – Sabbaths and festivals “are a shadow of that which is to come”, but “Messiah is the substance/body” to come – that which is casting the shadow. In observing Sabbaths and festivals, we see a shadow picture of Yeshua: we learn about what He is doing for us! Some translations make a mockery of God’s shadow pictures, calling them such things as “mere” shadows, implying that they have no present value. It is commonly taught that, being fulfilled (they are not), these ordinancess are also abolished (contrary to Yeshua’s words).
Here are some of the things that are “empty deception”, and “tradition of men” (v.8).
(V.18-19) “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by
Triennial Year #3 starts next week
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