February 16, 2013 Shabbat Midrash
©2013 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
February 16, 2013 – Year 3 Sabbath 48
Deuteronomy 30:11-31:30 – Jeremiah 12:15 – Psalm 144 – Matthew 11:7-30
Devarim 30:11-20 – There are numerous notes in Stone’s Chumash that are really VERY good and I want to share them all with you now. They may be found on pp.1092-1093. I want you to see the likeness of Sforno’s note on v.14 to Rav Sha’ul’s testimony in Romans 10.6-10)
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Moshiach down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Moshiach again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Master Yeshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Elohim hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
It is not too difficult to live in the instructions of the Almighty. You don’t have to travel to Alpha Centauri, or scale the highest mountain or any such Otis Reading or Gladys Knight kinda thing to get to a place where you can enjoy the blessings of Yehovah for your obedience. It’s right here with you, right there in your heart and right there on your lips so that you can CHOOSE to obey … or not. Abba puts it right there in your mind and heart and then he leaves it up to you to fulfill it in your life. He’ll even help you to keep it ever before you so you won’t forget AND supply the power you need to get it done. But he will NOT force you to obey him. YOU have free will and must act through your own volition. If you didn’t have free will, there would be neither accountability for your disobedience, nor reward for your compliance. If YOU decide to follow his instructions in righteous living, HE will empower you to live by them. But what happens when you decide to disobey, when you fail, even though he has provided all you needed to obey EXCEPT your volitional choice to disobey? Let me step you through what Yeshua did to make an escape hatch for you.
1st of all,
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
Webster’s 1828 has this for
Propitiation is the act of appeasing the wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person.
So, Yeshua appeased the wrath and conciliated the favor of Yehovah, which means he paid the penalty, for all the sins of the whole world for all time in his one offering on the tree.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto Ruach of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
Since Yeshua fulfilled the type of the sacrifices, anyone offering a sacrifice for sins is treading on Messiah, counting his blood profane, or, in context, just another offering, no different than (that’s what profane means – common, not set-apart, lo Kodesh) the blood of bulls and goats. But it is because Yeshua’s offering paid the penalty for ALL sins, willful or unintentional, of ALL people for ALL time (1Yochanan 2.2). If this is not true, we are of all people most to be pitied, because EVERY ONE OF US has sinned wilfully since we were justified freely by the gracious act of Yehovah Yeshua on our behalf, and we are therefore all doomed to the Lake of Fire, even though we were once justified.
3rd, what if I DO sin after I have been justified? Am I no longer justified? If so, neither is Rav Sha’ul because he SAID so in Rom.7
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? Elohim forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of Elohim after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank Elohim through Yeshua haMoshiach our Master. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Elohim; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Through Yeshua, though,
8 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Moshiach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. 2 For the law of Ruach of life in Moshiach Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohim sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. (Rom.7.10-8.4)
So, 3rd, “therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Moshiach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach.” We garner no blessing in our sin, but Yeshua took our condemnation on himself, substituting as only a tzadik rebbe can for his talmidim. What follows is an excerpt from my study of B’reishith 37 on 11/6/2010:
“From Wikipedia on characteristics of a Tzadik:
In classic Jewish thought, there are various definitions of a tzadik. According to Maimonides (based on Tractate Yevamot of the Babylonian Talmud, 49b-50a): “One whose merit surpasses his iniquity is a tzadik.” According to the Tanya (based on passages in Tanach and the Talmud), the true title of tzadik can only be applied to one who not only never sins, but also has eradicated any inclination to do so.
That describes ONLY Yeshua, Y’hovah Tsidkenu. Also from Wiki, on ‘Becoming a tzadik’:
According to the definition of the Tanya (Ba’al Shem Tov’s ‘magnum opus’) that a Tzadik has no evil inclination, only a select few predestined to attain this level can attain it.
That describes noone except Yeshua, as Y’hovah in the flesh. Also from Wiki, quoting Menachem Schneerson, from Likutei Sichot, Vol.2, pp 510-511:
In 1951 the seventh Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson said a similar statement  regarding the practice by Hasidim to have a Rebbe act as an intermediary with Elohim on their behalf. He explained, “The Rebbe is completely connected with his Hasidim, not like two separate things that connect, rather they become completely one. And the Rebbe is not an intermediary which separates, rather he is one that connects. Therefore by a Hassid, he with the Rebbe with Elohim are all one … Therefore one cannot ask a question about an intermediary, since this is the Essence of Elohim Himself clothed in a body.”
Understand that if one is a rebbe, he is an intermediary between Y’hovah and his people, and essentially Elohim in the flesh. If someone wants you to be his rebbe and you accept the position, or if you consider yourself a rebbe, you are not in good standing with Y’hovah Yeshua, the only true Tzadik Rebbe.
For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Moshiach Yeshua; (I Timothy 2:5)
Yeshua was and is THE Rebbe, THE Tzadik, and THE Sanhedrin knew it – it was evident in his life and lifestyle. Did Caiaphas know Yeshua was the tzadik rebbe when he said it was expedient for ONE to die for his people than for the whole people to perish? (READ THIS Jn.11.47-57, esp. v.50), or was it a Ruach inspired slip of the tongue?”
47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of Elohim that were scattered abroad [12 Yisrael, Yacov.1.1, 1Pe.1.1]. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. 54 Yeshua therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim [there’s some foreshadowing for you], and there continued with his disciples.
55 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then sought they for Yeshua, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.”
End of quote from Midrash of 11/6/2010
The remedy for our willful sin (and most sin in a believer is willful) is found in 1Yochanan 1.9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And if our enemy keeps beating us up, condemning us to us, we have an Advocate that has already pled our case before the Supreme Judge, Yehovah El Shaddai, who has declared us innocent because the sins have been propitiated and he has chosen to forget them (…I will remember their sins no more. Jer.31.34). Since they are no longer in his memory, they no longer exist – POOF! They are gone like a wisp of smoke in a tornado.
So, the claim that our willful sins are not covered by Yeshua’s death on the tree does not stand up to the sniff test. It is a tool of the enemy to keep us under his control. If Yeshua’s death is NOT the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, the scriptures lie. If you maintain that his death was NOT for ALL sins, which includes intentional sins, YOU lie. His ONE substitutionary death as our tzadik rebbe paid for every sin ever committed, past, present and future and, therefore, there is no more sacrifice for sins.
Knowing all this, it behooves us to choose life, which means to obey Yehovah’s Word and ensure a long life baAretz, in the land he has promised us. Q&C
Devarim 31.1-30 – Moshe begins to wrap up his life in prose to B’nei Yisrael. He tells them that he is now 120 years old and ‘can no longer go out and come in’. Now, that does not mean that he was an invalid, but that Yehovah had told him that his mission was ended and that Yehoshua would be taking them out and bringing them in from now on. I know this because I jumped ahead in the narrative to
6 And he [Yehovah] buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. (Devarim 34.6-7)
Moshe was every bit as vital at the end of his life as he had been at 40, when he killed the Egyptian and fled from Paroh’s wrath. I truly don’t think he aged a day in the Wilderness, because he spent so much of that time in the presence of Yehovah; in ‘spiritual space’.
He told Israel exactly how Yehovah would go before them and do to the Canaanite nations exactly as he had done to Og and Sihon, the Amorite kings on the east side of Yarden. I think those victories were still fresh in their minds, having been won not more than a week or 2 before, perhaps less. Yehovah had brought Yisrael through those battles without a scratch to any one of them and would continue to do so as long as they remained faithful. And even that victory would be a test of Yisrael’s faithfulness. He was going to deliver the Canaanites unto them and Yehovah would see how they followed his instructions
that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you (5b).
V.6 is the first of 3 admonitions to chizqu v’imtzu, be strong and courageous, which in context has to do with following Yehovah’s mitzvah to utterly destroy or drive out the Canaanites from his land. Why do you suppose Moshe needed to remind them to be courageous before the enemies that Yehovah would help them vanquish? May I suggest that the Canaanites were of Nephilim descent and were, therefore, of great stature; perhaps bordering on giantism, like Andre the Giant compared to Yisrael’s Mickey Rooney? The 10 tourists didn’t become tourists for no reason, after all. Their own testimony was
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:33)
Stone’s xlation is
… The Nephilim, the sons of Anak, [who is] from the Nephilim …;
xlated from Hebrew,
… hanephilim b’nei Anak min-hanephilim …
It wasn’t that the spies were cowards, but that they were very normal humans who were walking in their sight rather than trust in Yehovah. Now Yisrael had been through battle after battle and had proven Yehovah, as well as themselves, over the last 2-3 weeks. Yehovah and Moshe knew the nature of man and knew that this admonition to courage was necessary. As they would see in another month or so, it wasn’t courage that Israel would need, but faithfulness to not covet things of value and beauty, like Achan’s idol.
The very next words out of Moshe’s mouth, vv.7-8, are to encourage Yehoshua to strength and courage as well, for cowardice or hesitation in the commander can filter down to the troops. He said chazak ve’ematz, which is exactly the same admonition he’d just given to the nation, except in the singular. If the commander is weak or fearful, that attitude will filter down through the ranks, which will either make the troops fearful or make them disrespect or despise the commander, which is absolute hell on unit morale and cohesion. This is one of the reasons Gen. Patton was so successful in battle. His men knew, even when they said ‘Ol’ Blood and Gutz’ meant ‘our blood and his gutz’, that he was no coward hiding behind his troops, but was a tactical field commander who would fight right alongside them (which is ONE reason that he wasn’t a strategic commander, like Eisenhower – Patton had to be IN it, not in a ‘war room’; he had to ‘feel’ and see the battle as it unfolded and adjust to developing situations). Yehoshua would be the tactician baAretz, in the land, and do as Yehovah commanded the strategy.
Then in vv.9-13 & 26, Moshe wrote all that he’d been commanded that day into the Torah of Moshe, which Yehovah commanded to be read aloud in its entirety before B’nei Yisrael at the Feast of Sukkoth in the year of release, or the Sabbatical Year (Shemitah), and which was to be stored ‘at the side of the ark’ (v.26); which implies a receptacle for the Torah attached to the ark, not that it should be under the ‘mercy seat’ inside the ark itself. The Torah was to be read to remind chol Yisrael about Yehovah’s requirements for righteous living and to teach those who would join Yisrael or be born into Yisrael of their end of the covenant; obedience.
Vv.14-22 are Yehovah’s final commands to Moshe before his ascent up Mt. Nebo to be gathered to his fathers. Yehovah told Moshe to take Yehoshua to the Mishkan for his instructions. In vv.16-18, Yehovah prophesied the backsliding and idolatry in Yisrael’s future, the subsequent loss of blessings and added curses that would follow, worst of which would be that Yehovah would conceal himself from Yisrael due to their departure from his covenant. Yehovah said he would hide his face from them, but NOT that he would not be watching for their repentance and reveal himself to them if they would turn back to him in humility and contrition. This would apply to the nation as a whole (usually as the leadership made teshuvah, like ChizkiYahu), OR to individuals as they repented (1Chron.7.14 applies to individuals AND the nation).
In v.19, Moshe is told to ‘write this song’ as a witness against Israel’s idolatry, and then he enumerates some of that idolatry in vv.20-21. And v.22 shows Moshe obeying immediately, both writing the song and teaching it to Israel. It doesn’t say that he just told them the song, but he TAUGHT (vaylamdah – and he taught) them the song, so at least this generation would not forget it. But would they teach their children?
Then in v.23, Yehovah charges Yehoshua to ‘chazaq ve’ematz’ be strong and courageous, for He will be with him and Yisrael as they go into the land and take it from the Anakim. This can only be Yehovah speaking, for Moshe is about to go up Mt. Nebo to die; Moshe will not be going with Yehoshua and Yisrael to conquer the land.
It is possible that Yehoshua’s writing begins at v.24, for the Torah is about to be placed ‘in the side of the ark’, from whence Yehoshua could open it and write the rest of Devarim Yehovah (the Words of Yehovah). In v.26-27, he told the Levitical priests to place Torah where it belonged for a witness to Yisrael’s rebelliousness.
In vv.28-30, Moshe called the zachanim, elders of Yisrael and the captains of 10s, 50s, and 100s so that he could reinforce the song in their ears before the whole congregation of Yisrael, so that B’nei Yisrael would expect the highest order of obedience from their leaders and have good examples to follow. Next week we’ll see the ‘song of Moshe’, which may be the anthem in the Millennial Kingdom. Q&C
Jeremiah 12:15 – We need a little context, so …
14 Thus saith Yehovah against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass that if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name “Yehovah liveth”; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith Yehovah. (Jer.12.14-17)
Yehovah knew before he took them into the land he’d promised to their fathers, Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov, that they would go their own ways and turn to the gods of the nations that they were going into the land to dispossess, and that he would send them back into captivity. But he also knew that they would come to the ends of themselves and call upon his Name for deliverance, and that he would turn his face back to them and forgive their sin and heal their land, as he had promised Shlomo. Vv.14-15 speaks of Ephraim being carried off to Assyria and the faithful remnant of Yehudah that lived among the Ephraimites would be kept from exile with Ephraim. Then if Ephraim will return and diligently learn the ways of Yehovah, he will bring us back to our land and our inheritance. But, if people of Ephraim will NOT hearken to the Words of Yehovah and return and diligently follow him, they will be left to their own desires, given to their sin, and utterly destroyed, even as Yisrael utterly destroyed or drove out the Canaanites.
I think that the 2 sticks Ezekiel speaks of in 37.15ff are today represented by biblical Zionist Jews who are looking for the Moshiach to come soon (as opposed to the secular Zionists that are the ruling elite in political Israel today), and believers in Moshiach, regardless their ancestry, Ephraimite of gentile.
Remember that if a goy comes out of his nation and asks for refuge in Israel (23.15-16), he is not to be turned away, and he may choose which tribe he will live among. That goy becomes a ger and lives in Israel to learn the ways of Israel. It MUST then be the same for returning Ephraim, who is of the dispersed of Israel, as for the abject goy.
Tehellim 144 – The Yehovah who teaches David’s hands and fingers to fight, who is his good fortress, high tower and deliverer that subdues nations under him is none other than Yeshua haMoshiach. He marvels at how and why Yehovah even considers man, and then explains why he marvels. Man is really not anything in comparison to Yehovah, so why should he think anything of him; why bother? I don’t think David had the historical context to realize that Moshiach was able to empathize with our infirmities, because he suffered, from the foundation of the earth, all that we ever had or would suffer.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb.4.15)
Vv.5-6 speak of Yehovah’s greatness and the grandeur of his deliverance and then in vv.7-8 he makes the comparison to the lowliness of wicked men and how they work to deceive the righteous. David likens the wicked men who wish to deceive to the waters and asks for Yehovah’s deliverance from them. In vv.9-10, David talks of how he will sing Yehovah’s praises with his voice while playing his guitar or harp because of the deliverance he provides the king from those wicked men.
David uses the same imagery in v.11 that he used in vv.7-8, “strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” The first use refers to the strange children as ‘great waters’. Let’s see where David has used this metaphor before;
For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Psalms 32:6)
Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (Psalms 77:19)
In both these verses the ‘great waters’ are referring to the wicked nations. In 32.6, the greatness of those nations does not affect the ability of Yehovah to deliver his children. In 77.19, we see that Yehovah is the one who truly controls those nations as they come against his children, even though those great waters do not perceive Yehovah’s control.
23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of Yehovah, and his wonders in the deep. 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cry unto Yehovah in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31 Oh that men would praise Yehovah for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Ps.107.23-31)
Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 3 And say, Thus saith Yehovah GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: 4 He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. 5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. (Ezek.17.2-6)
3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. 7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. 8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. 9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. 10 Therefore thus saith Yehovah GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; 11 I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. (Ezek.31.3-11)
Here is why those ‘great waters’ exist; so that Yehovah’s children will call on him for their deliverance FROM those ‘great waters’ that look like they will overwhelm them; like David does in our psalm today; and so that they will praise him in that deliverance. In those last 2 passages, the reference is to ‘the Assyrian’ – same imagery seen in both passages. The top twig is planted near great waters – the world system. Land of traffick, city of merchants – could be NYC or London or some other business capital.
Suffice it to say that ‘great waters’ does not generally bode well for the earth and may cause a lot of worry and fear for those who do not have Moshiach Yeshua. Those who truly trust Yehovah will have nothing to fear, though they still might, if they rely on what their eyes see and not what objective truth tells them.
Vv.11 David asks for riddance and deliverance from the great waters so that he can live in vv.12-14, the blessings that flow from obedience and trust in Yehovah’s promises. The word “Happy” in v.15 literally means ‘straight’, from the root ashar. The 3rd person singular of ashar is yashar, which is translated upright, but literally means ‘he is straight’. That people whose Elohim is Yehovah is Yisrael, believers from all ages and places throughout history, and they are happy because they are upright before Yehovah. Q&C
Matthew 11:7-30 – What follows was taken from my Bible Study “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach”, in which I used Thompson Chain Reference Bible’s ‘Tree of Yeshua’ Life’ as an outline.
86). Yochanan the Immerser commended, (Matthew 11:7-19, Luke 7:24-28) – Here is a difficult passage to grasp. Yeshua speaks about Yochanan in what seems to us a veiled manner, rather circumlocuting than getting to the point, or perhaps triangulating. What does he mean by ‘a reed shaken by the wind’? I had a very hard time with this until I looked up reed in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, where he says
‘2. A musical pipe; reeds being anciently used for instruments of music. 3. A little tube through which a hautboy, bassoon or clarinet is blown.’
A reed shaken by the wind puts out a sound commensurate in pitch with the size of the tube, like when you blow across the opening of a jug or bottle – the pitch depending on the amount of liquid in the jug, or the difference between a bassoon and a clarinet. Yeshua says the people went out to hear a reed played by the shifting winds (Eph.4.14), waiting for him to say something they wanted to hear (1Tim.4.3-4), to justify their own sin while accusing other men of theirs (Rom.2.15). But Yochanan the Immerser was more like a woodwind played by the very mouth of Elohim; the oboe of Yehovah, so to speak. There was no shifting doctrine from Yochanan, as there is none from any other Spirit led preacher. He may have played different tunes at different times, but each with the same basic truth, skill and power supplied by the Ruach ha Kodesh.
Yeshua next asks if they were going to see a man in soft raiment. This is easier for me to understand, because this is what most bodies have in their pulpits today. We have preachers who soft pedal the gospel and the doctrines of the bible in such a way as to not offend anyone in the pew. They couldn’t take the chance of losing all that revenue. Most people want someone to comfort them in their sin, not challenge them to live righteously by speaking the truth in love (Eph.4.11-16), for it is love that motivates the preacher to challenge us to live as we ought. This is not the love of a friend (phileo) nor of family (storge) nor of the marriage bed (eros), it is the (agape) love of Elohim that constrains him to warn you of your sin and your need to get right.
Next Yeshua asks if they were going out to see a prophet. Since the other two reasons for going out to see Yochanan were self-serving, this one must be too. They were going out to see an oddity, a curiosity, not to be challenged or taught sound doctrine. That is why Yeshua tells them that here was the greatest prophet the world had ever seen, greater than EliYahu or Elisha or even Moshe. He wasn’t just any prophet, but the one who was to be the forerunner, the one that was to announce the coming of the King. Had they accepted Yeshua, Yochanan had fulfilled the prophecy. Q&C
In the times before television, radio and such, when someone of great importance was coming toward a town a forerunner was sent ahead to warn the people to be ready for the visit. Now we just see an ad telling us that the person or event is scheduled for such and such a day and time. Advertising has taken the place of the forerunner. Yochanan was sent to announce Yeshua’s arrival, and he worked in the same Spirit that worked in EliYahu (Mal.4.5-6). EliYahu will be coming again very soon to announce the Kingdom of Heaven once more. Yeshua will not be taking out full page ads in USA Today or the NY Times, but I have no doubt that CNN will carry the story worldwide of the weirdo in the sackcloth and ashes heralding the return of King Yeshua. The leaders of the pop-religions of the earth will treat him the same way the Jews did Yochanan, as a curiosity, a wild eyed fanatic to be dismissed as just another crackpot TV preacher. Won’t they be surprised?
Yeshua uses the phrase, ‘he who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ He is saying that he is speaking in a parable or of a spiritual truth, not a literal one. The phrase is used but twice in the OT, both times to tell Yisrael they don’t get it, to wise up. In Deut.29.2-4 Moses tells the people that Elohim has shown them all kinds of miracles and wonders, but none has gotten the spiritual truth he was trying to get them to understand. They saw the miracles, but didn’t care to see beyond them. A miracle would meet their perceived need of the moment, and so it was good. They didn’t see that all things, even the seemingly bad things, work together for good for those who love Elohim, the called according to his purpose. Sometimes when bad things happen to us it is Elohim’s last resort to get our attention, we won’t come to him until things are beyond our ability to make a sight-based good result. We won’t trust Elohim to do what we need until we can’t do it for ourselves. Only then does Elohim enter our thinking. Only then will we give him control. Don’t be dense, like the people of Yisrael in Eze.12.1-16. Even though Zeke did all YHVH commanded and said all the words Elohim gave him verbatim, yet Yisrael did not listen, did not see, did not perceive. Elohim wanted their hearts, not their obligatory sacrifices. They wanted their own way. They did not have ears to hear.
Next Yeshua likens his audience to children who want everyone to play their game, themselves being the center of attention. They play the tune and want everyone else to dance. They lament their loss of followers and want everyone to grieve with them. They jealously deride Yochanan as devil possessed and Yeshua as a glutton and drunk who doesn’t physically separate himself from sinners. He says they are not children of wisdom, because they recognize neither the servant nor the Son of Elohim. They are no different than the Yisraelites that were carried into captivity in Zeke’s day. They were spiritually blind and deaf and dumb as a post. They also would be carried away 40 years hence. Q&C
87). Cities reproached, (Matthew 11:20-24) – Was Yeshua upbraiding the physical localities or the people in them? The localities had nothing to do with the judgment to come, but they would be destroyed as a result of the judgment of the people therein. It was not the city of Tyre that sinned, but the nation and tribe that resided there. They failed to recognize Elohim’s hand in their prosperity and took the glory unto themselves. Chorazin and Bethsaida are likened to Tyre and Sidon, both of which were totally destroyed in the OT. In Thompson’s Archeological Supplement we read of Tyre,
“the most famous seaport of ancient Bible lands, was located twenty miles south of Sidon on an island three-quarters of a mile from the mainland. It had two harbors, one on the north and one on the south, and its walls were exceedingly high, especially on the landward side. Here artisans made bronze, silver, and other artistic wares, and manufactured the purple dye that made Tyre famous. Its merchants traded with the many lands of the Mediterranean and even with the faraway British Isles. Kings and military men from many countries laid siege to Tyre but were unable to take the city until Alexander the Great, in 333 B.C., built a massive causeway to the island (using debris from a mainland city [Sidon] he had seized earlier) and took Tyre after seven months. But it slowly rose again and became a center of trade in Roman times (63 b.c. – a.d. 70).”
Ezekiel tells of this destruction in 27.27ff, and of its ultimate destruction in v.36. Sidon was also condemned as a chief city of Phoenicia and Philistia, though not in the same degree as Tyre, which was a center of Satanic religion (Eze.28).
Then Yeshua denounces his base of operations, Capernaum, and likens it to Sodom. Could it be that the sin of Sodom was becoming rampant in Capernaum in Yeshua day? Or is it just that Sodom would have recognized Yehovah before Capernaum did? Notice that Gomorrah is not mentioned. Sodom means burning and Gomorrah means submersion, which is what happened to those cities – they were burned and submerged. The Dead Sea now lies over the remains of them. Perhaps this will be the fate of Capernaum, to lie under the waters of Galilee. More probably it has already earned its fate. It is totally desolate. Here is what Thompson’s Archeological Supplement says.
“Here He called Matthew from tax collection, taught and preached, and did many miracles. Moshiach predicted Capernaum’s downfall (Mt 11:23-24), and today its scattered heaps of black basalt building stones extend for a mile along the shore of the sea”.
In vv.25-26 Yeshua briefly thanks Avinu that he has hidden the truth of what he has been teaching from the ‘wise’ men who’d heard, but revealed it to the humble people who accepted his truth as do babes every word that their parents tell them.
Then in vv.27-30 he speaks to the people who are present. He says, “ALL things are delivered unto me by my Father.” Do you realize that this is not merely speaking of the Kingdom of God, but also all the sins that were ever or would ever be committed by you and me? If you don’t see that, just what part of the word “ALL” do you FAIL to understand? THEN he told his audience that NOBODY knows him, nor his Father except those to whom HE reveals the Father. This doesn’t mean that noone understands the existence of Yehovah, but that noone has an experiential knowledge of either the son or the father unless the Spirit of Yehovah illuminates that man’s mind to him, literally removes the blinders from the man’s eyes. G602 is apokalupto and it literally means to ‘remove the cover’. When Yeshua ‘reveals’ Yehovah, removes that which covers Yehovah from the observer that man understands the ‘mysteries’ Paul speaks of in Rom.11.25, 16.25, 1Cor.2.7, 15.51, Eph.1.9, 3.3-4, 9, 5.32, 6.19, Col.1.26-27, 2.2, 4.3, 1Thes.2.7, 1Tim.3.9, 16. Every time Yeshua speaks a parable, he is speaking a ‘mystery’ to his audience, which mystery he reveals to his talmidim
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Mat.13.10-17).
In vv.28-30 Yeshua calls all who are able to hear and perceive the mysteries of Yehovah, but have to slog through life; their spirits wanting to understand the revelation of Yehovah, but their flesh and its lusts making the full realization difficult to attain. He tells those who will hear that HE will do the heavy lifting; HE will accept the load we bear on his own shoulders when we take his yoke upon us and learn from him as we shema to his Word; HE is not arrogant and will not ‘lord it over us’ like a task-master, but will bring us along as we are able – at our own pace, so to speak; and in doing so, our souls will find rest.
14 They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time I visit them they shall be cast down, saith Yehovah. 16 Thus saith Yehovah, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk. (Jer.6.14-16)
22 Cast thy burden upon Yehovah, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Ps.55.22)
End of Shabbat Bible Study