Shabbat Bible Study for July 25, 2020

Shabbat Bible Study for July 25, 2020

©2020 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 19 

Shemoth 32:15-34:26 – 2 Shemuel 22:10-51 – Tehillm 64 – Romans 9:1-33


Shemoth 32.15-20 -Last week’s portion ended with Y’hovah testing Moshe and Moshe passing the test. Y’hovah had told Moshe to stand aside and watch him destroy Yisrael for their disloyalty, faithlessness toward their Covenant to which they’d agreed 4 times, and their idolatry, and Moshe standing in the gap and reminding Y’hovah [as if he needed to be reminded] of the damage he would do to the sanctity of his Name in the eyes of the world system. The portion ended with this

14 And Y’hovah relented of the evil which He thought to do to His people. [Restoration Scriptures]

KJV has ‘repented’. Y’hovah does not repent, though it may LOOK like he does. Relent is just more in keeping with his character, but the idea is the same. He’d told Moshe what he would do, and had Moshe agreed, he’d have done it on the spot. But Y’hovah knew Moshe’s character better than even Moshe did. I do not think he tested Moshe to SEE what he would do so much as to show Moshe and Yisrael exactly what meekness is. 

The opening verse of our portion today is a description of the Tables of Testimony, 2 tables of stone, cut out without hands and written on both sides by the hand of Y’hovah.

34 You saw it until a Stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. [Daniel 2.34]

I think this is what Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was saying; the Word of Y’hovah, Mashiach Yeshua, the “stone the builders rejected” in our portion today [Ps.118.22, Mat.21.42, Mk.12.10, Lk.20.17, Acts 4.11, 1Kefa 2.7], would destroy the Beast system that has ruled the world for millennia and that there is no separating Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach from his Word or his Covenant. It is the basis on which he will judge the world and its system. These tables were the outline of the Covenant and our ‘reasonable service’ [Rom.12.1] to Y’hovah, a thing that we were violating at the moment Moshe came down the mount.

Yehoshua heard the sound of reveling in the camp and assumed in his innocence that they were under attack or were perhaps fighting amongst themselves. But Moshe already knew what was REALLY going on and his Ruach-inspired righteous indignation was rising to a fever pitch. When he understood Y’hovah’s jealousy and that he would have been justified in wiping this rebellious nation off the face of the earth, he showed them graphically what they had done to his Toroth and what they deserved for it by throwing the Tables down and dashing them to pieces, as Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach will the nations in his sore displeasure (Ps.2.5)

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. [Ps.2.9]

Next, Moshe took the Eigel, the golden calf god, and ground it to powder and seeded the water in the pool below the Rock at Rephidim. This would cause a gastric discomfort that industrial strength Kaopectate would not affect. 

I found this in “The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge” on the ‘gold dust’:

Took the calf: How truly contemptible must the object of their idolatry appear, when they were obliged to drink their god, reduced to powder and strewed on the water. Some have asked how gold, the most ductile and ponderous of metals, could have been stamped into dust and strewed on the water. In Dt.9.21 this is fully explained. 

And I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire, 

That is, melted it down, probably into ingots or gross plates, and stamped it, beat it into thin lamine, something like our gold leaf, and ground it until it was very small, even as small as dust…

Vv.21-35 – Then he turned to Aharon and asked [in a Mark paraphrase], “What were you THINKING?!” Aharon starts out with empty words while he tries to think up something plausible to extricate himself from the wrath that is evident in Moshe’s demeanor. What he came up with was ludicrous, to say the least. “The people asked me to make a god for them because they had no idea where you were (you told me 40 days! It’s been at least 47! [Noone can pass the buck as well as an Israelite caught in a sin.]). So I had them give me all their gold accoutrements and I threw them into the fire and out popped this golden calf!” First he gives Mo a back-handed rebuke (You were late), then he blamed the people {you know how mischievous these people are!}, then he made up a whopper that would do Barack Obama proud [threw the gold in the fire and PRESTO! CHANGE-O!]. I imagine Moshe’s eyes rolling; until they focused on the people dancing or standing naked before God and everybody. 

Then Moshe said, “Who is on Y’hovah’s side?! TO ME!” And the whole tribe of Levi came to him. I assume there were some of the other tribes’ members who came to him as well, but the only WHOLE TRIBE to remain faithful was Levi. Then Moshe gave the faithful a command to arm themselves with swords and go thru the camp and, I assume, slay all that were still engaged in their idolatry. The text doesn’t say that ALL the people were engaged in the idolatry, but the first mention of a specific number is that the Levites slew about 3000 men of Israel. One must assume either there was an equal number of women slain, the men were engaged in sodomy, or there was a combination of the 2. Perhaps there were only 3000 dancing naked before their god, but that is not the impression I get. I get an impression that a lot went along for the ride and when they were confronted with their sin many repented. 

Next day, Moshe announces that he is returning to the mount to try to make atonement for the people. When he addressed Y’hovah he offered to be blotted out of Y’hovah’s book of life in Israel’s stead; a substitute, but Y’hovah said, “The soul that sinneth, IT shall be blotted out.” If a name has to be blotted out, does that not imply that all are written in from the beginning? I infer that, anyway. And the blotting out seems to indicate death. Not all who sinned were blotted out, but all received the just recompense for their error. The rabbis say the 3000 who died were the ‘Erev Rav’, the Egyptians who came out with Israel. I personally find that hard to believe. These would be the Egyptians that killed a lamb and spread its blood on their lintels and doorposts, thus identifying with the Elohim of Israel because Y’hovah had done such wonders in the plagues on Egypt. THEN they traveled all the way to Sinai and heard Y’hovah speak from the mount. I don’t think it was the Egyptians or, at least, ONLY the Egyptians who went after the Eigel. I would guess that over the course of 100-150 years that Israel was in Egyptian bondage, many of the Israelites had actually abandoned Y’hovah and had gone their own way, maybe even after the Eigel. I think this makes good sense, since this exact number was added, mostly of the diaspora I think, to the kahal of Yisrael on Shavuoth, 50 days after Yeshua’s resurrection. While there were almost certainly Egyptians among the 3000 men who died, or were blotted out, I think the majority were of the 10 tribes of Ephraim. Q&C

33.1-11 – Y’hovah gives Moshe instruction to make Israel ready to depart for the land he’d promised them. After the Eigel the nation had not been disinherited. THAT’S the grace and mercy of Y’hovah Elohenu working in their favour. He not only promises them their inheritance, but that he is sending an angel before them to fight for them against the land’s present inhabitants. He would NOT go up in their midst because of their sin in the Eigel, but he would STILL go up with them and send his angel before them to scare the begeebers out of the Cana’ani. They mourned the loss of his presence among them, and went forward without any outward expression of joy.

What happened next was terrible for Yisrael, but a wonderful shadow of Yeshua’s death on the tree. Until this time, Moshe’s tent had been in the center of the camp. I infer that he had been ordered to move his tent, which had always been the ‘Tent of the Congregation’, Ohel Moed, outside the camp. This illustrates Ruach removing himself from the Temple in J’lem in Ezek.10.4 & 11.22-23

4 Then the tifereth of Y’hovah went up from the cheruv, and stood over the threshold of the Bayit; and the Bayit was filled with the cloud, and the courtyard was full of the splendor of Y’hovah’s tifereth.

22 Then did the cheruvim lift up their wings, and the heels beside them; and the tifereth of the Elohim of Yisrael was over above them. 23 And the tifereth of Y’hovah went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.

Moshe and Y’hovah thus moved out of the camp [if he keeps to the pattern, Moshe moved his tent to the east of the camp in the same way as Ruach moved to the east of the city], which now represents the world and also the flesh of Yeshua on the tree, from whom Y’hovah turned as he atoned for the sin and sins of the world. When Y’hovah returns to the camp, he will do so from the east, as Yeshua will set his feet on the mount to the east of the city and enter it through the east gate. 

When Moshe went out to commune with Y’hovah, the people would watch him go and approach the tent of meeting [Ohel Moed]. This is NOT the Mishkan, the tabernacle that held the Kodesh and the Kodesh Kadashim, which was yet to be built. It is Moshe’s tent where Y’hovah met with Moshe as Israel’s intermediary. When Moshe entered the tent, the tifereth of Y’hovah would descend upon the tent and Y’hovah would speak to Moshe in the people’s hearing. The people would witness this and bow in worship to Y’hovah as he descended upon and spoke to Moshe like a man speaks to his friend, panayim l’panayim. This is what the Aharonic blessing blesses you with; Y’hovah’s face smiling on you like on a friend, because that is what you are in Mashiach Yeshua. Then Moshe would return to the camp, but Yehoshua never left the tent of meeting. Yehoshua was set apart from Yisrael until at least when the Mishkan was built and dedicated and the order of the camp set up. Then he would take his place as the elder of Ephraim and the leader of the camp of Yoseph, which was to the west of the Mishkan. 

Vv.12-13 – Moshe asks Y’hovah to tell him who will go up with him [I think it is fairly obvious that Yehoshua would be the guy], and then says “You SAY you know me by name and that I’ve found favor in your eyes. Now, if that is true, show me your way, that I may KNOW that I have found favor in our eyes.” The way that is worded makes me think that to have found favor is to know the Ways of Y’hovah. Most people, like those in the Israelite camp, knew his WORKS, but few know his ways. To know Y’hovah’s Ways is to be on an intimate personal level with him, like with your best friend. I think that at this point in time, only Moshe, Yehoshua and Betzale’el knew Y’hovah’s Ways. Notice also that Moshe continues to intercede for Israel, “If I have found grace/favor in your eyes, consider this nation to be your people.” He wants to make sure that Y’hovah is not going to wipe them out for the Eigel [golden calf]. 

Vv.14-17 – Y’hovah assures Moshe that his presence will go up and give Moshe rest, but Moshe says, “If you will not go up, don’t lead US from here.” Moshe doesn’t want to be on a separate plain than Israel in intimacy w/Y’hovah. He would be treated as a member of the nation, not an individual of greater stature than anyone else. This once again speaks of his meekness and his quiet strength of character. How would Y’hovah get the glory if he doesn’t go up and fight for Israel against the nations of the world, but allowed them to be wiped out with the nations? Moshe wanted to know that there would be a separation between the nations and Israel, but not of Moshe and Israel. Then Y’hovah relents and tells Moshe that because he has found favor in his eyes and because he knows Moshe by his name [they are friends, IOW], He will do what Moshe asks and go up with the nation Israel. 

Vv.18-23 – Moshe asks to see the kavod of Y’hovah, the splendor and fulness of the eyn sof, but no flesh can see the fulness of the eyn sof and continue in this physical existence. They need to first be translated like Chanoch and EliYahu, or his flesh would die from something akin to shock. But Y’hovah could not have Moshe anywhere but where he is, just yet. So he tells him that he will hide him ‘in the cleft of the Rock’. Now what do you suppose the Rock was? I think it refers physically to the Rock of Rephidim, the rock that split in 2 as the water gushed out of the ground. This is the Rock that followed them for 40 years in the Wilderness Adventure. 

Moreover, Yisraelite brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our ahvot were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all immersed into Moshe in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual food; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they all drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was and is Mashiach. [QorinthYah 10.1-4 Restoration Scriptures]

From our study of May 13, 2017:

The rabbis speak of the rock following them throughout the Wilderness adventure, for they didn’t kvetch about water again until MirYam’s death (Num.20.1). When Y’hovah instructed Moshe to speak to the rock, he instead struck the rock with his rod. The note to Num.20.8, on pg.843 of Stone’s Chumash is VERY interesting (read it). Now, you don’t suppose that Rav Sha’ul knew about what the rabbinic sages had said concerning this Rock that followed them, do you? Do you see that the sages said it was the same Rock as at Horeb/Rephidim? Reminds ME of 1Cor.10.1-4. Rephidim means refreshings, from the root raphad which means to spread (as in a bedspread) or refresh (as in making – refreshing – a bed).

I think it was into this Rock that Y’hovah placed Moshe and then covered him until he could look at his hinder parts; his less wonderful kavod/tifereth, for to show Moshe his fulness would be to kill him. Q&C

Shemoth 34.1-26 – In 32.19 we saw Moshe cast the stones made and written upon by Elohim to the ground, breaking them to pieces. 

15 And Moshe turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tablets were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16 And the tablets were the work of Elohim, and the writing was the writing of Elohim, inscribed upon the tablets. [Shemoth 32.15-16 Restoration]

Now, in vv.1-4, Y’hovah gives Moshe instructions to make 2 more tables of stone, like the first, so that Y’hovah could write on them the words that Elohim had written on the first. Elohim is the manifested tzedakah, or absolute righteousness of the eyn sof, while Y’hovah is His manifested chesed/rachamim, or absolute grace/mercy. The inference I draw here, using the graphic representation of the eyn sof in the Tree of Sephiroth to illustrate, is that Elohim, the severe righteousness [Rom.11.22a] of the eyn sof, was the righteous Shophet, or judge, of the original covenant, while Y’hovah is the extreme goodness [Rom.11.22b] of the eyn sof, which extremes are tempered in the beauty of Y’hovah Elohenu embodied in Mashiach Yeshua, to whom all mishpat, judgment, is given

22 For the Abba judges no man, but has entrusted all mishpat to the Son: [Yochanan 5.22, Restoration]

Mashiach Yeshua is pictured in v.1 of our passage in that Y’hovah will write the exact same words of the exact same Covenant on stones made by Moshe’s hands of flesh, i.e.; his judgment will now be tempered by his rachamim/chesed, mercy/grace, in Mashiach, the Shophet tzadik, righteous Judge, because

14 Seeing then that we have a great Kohen Gadol that is passed into the shamayim, Yeshua the Son of Y’hovah, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we have not a Kohen HaGadol who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses; but He was in all points tried like we are, yet He was without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the kesay of favor, that we may obtain rachamim, and find favor to help in our time of need. [Ivrit 4.15-17 Restoration]

Unlike Bill Clinton, Yeshua REALLY ‘feels our pain’; he fully understands our situation, not only from his omniscience, but experientially: His compassion in not only an attribute of the Almighty eyn sof, but also the physical experience of our evil inclination/OSN. Even the Schottenstein’s Chumash has a similar understanding, though from an orthodox Yehudi perspective. [pg.252, prefatory note to 34.1-4]

Moshe must have cut the replacement tablets over night, because he was also instructed to come up to the top of the mount again the next day. Neither man nor beast was to come onto the mount at all. Even Yehoshua was to remain in the camp, or, rather, the tent of meeting. I can only imagine the stark contrast between the tables that Elohim had made and the ones that Moshe cut out the Rock. Torah does not say that Moshe cut the stones out of THE Rock, but I infer it from my understanding of all of scripture’s revelation. I truly COULD be wrong about that. 

Vv5-7 -In v.5, Y’hovah Yeshua stands with Moshe on the mount. Moshe had been instructed to ‘present’ himself, natzav, before Y’hovah in v.2. Here, Y’hovah stands, yatzav, with Moshe to proclaim the Name of Y’hovah. Both words are ‘primitive’ roots. Natzav [H5324] is to ‘station oneself’, while yatzav [H3320] is to ‘station oneself’. So, what’s the difference? Moshe is told to natzav or ‘station himself’ before Y’hovah, while Y’hovah ‘stations himself’, yatzav, with Moshe in a purely voluntary and gracious manner. Moshe stands in obedience to Y’hovah; Yeshua DECIDES to stand with Moshe. 

Vv.6-7 show forth 13 attributes of the eyn sof that are manifested in Mashiach Yeshua. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a pretty good commentary on these attributes on pp.254-55.

In v.8 Moshe’s immediate response to this revelation of the rachum v’chesed of the Almighty is to immediately bow in worship, humility, and I’m sure a certain amount of fear, perhaps due to terror, but I suspect more due to the awesome favor Y’hovah had bestowed on him in revealing so much of his character to him. Moshe knew his utter unworthiness to receive such favor. Q&C

Vv.9-17 – Moshe’s meekness comes to the forefront again, when he once again intercedes for Israel, by asking Y’hovah to walk among the people in the camp and once again accept Israel as his inheritance. Y’hovah responds with a covenant promise to Israel. Y’hovah will do wonders as have never been seen on earth before, driving the Cana’ani out before Israel, but the promise comes with a warning. They must be careful to NOT enter any covenants, marriages or alliances with them, but utterly drive them out of their land, their inheritance. Israel is to destroy all the Cana’ani altars, images and groves and not bow to any of their gods in any way. Y’hovah is so jealous of their love and loyalty that he says that his very Name is “Jealous”. Jealous is from H7067 qanna, which word describes only Y’hovah’s jealousy, as he’d expressed from the mountain in chol Yisrael’s hearing when he spoke the 10 Words to them 

5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I Y’hovah Elohechem am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the ahvot upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate Me; 6 And showing rachamim to thousands of them that love Me, and shomer My mitzvoth. [Ex.20.5-6 Restoration]

Just before entering the land, Moshe would repeat these exact words to Yisrael in Deut.5.9-10 and emphasized in 

14 You shall not go after other elohim, the elohim of the peoples who are all around you; 15 (For Y’hovah Elohechem is a jealous El among you) lest the anger of Y’hovah Elohechem be lit against you, and destroy you from off the face of the earth. [Deut.6.15-16 Restoration]

Y’hovah does not change [Mal.3.6, Heb.13.8] nor can he lie [Titus.1.2, Heb.6.18]. So, this all applies to us, as well as for them. We need to be circumspect in all that we do and avoid even the appearance of evil [1Thess.5.2], for Y’hovah is jealous of our worship and will brook no quarter toward us, if we offer any homage at all to any other god. 

V.16 forbids marriage of an Israelite to an unbeliever, an ‘unequal yoke’. Once a believer takes Y’hovah’s yoke on him, marrying outside the family is like yoking an ox to a rabbit; it’s just not going to work. The weaker will drag down the stronger and NOT vice versa, because our flesh will scream at us in the form of our spouse and we will usually acquiesce to keep peace in the family; to the detriment of our Shalom with Y’hovah. 

V.17 makes the point that the people needed to keep in mind, taking into account their transgression of the Covenant. Remember that Aharon had made a molten god, the people had proclaimed it to be Israel’s ‘gods’ [plural] and Aharon declared the next day to be a feast unto Y’hovah, almost all in one breath; 

And when the people saw that Moshe delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together to Aharon, and said to him, Get up, make us elohim, that shall go before us; for as for this Moshe, the man that brought us up out of the land of Mitzrayim, we do not know what has become of him. 2 And Aharon said to them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me. 3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings that were in their ears, and brought them to Aharon. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a golden calf: and they said, These be your elohim, O Yisrael, which brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim. 5 And when Aharon saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aharon made a proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a moed to Y’hovah. [Shemoth 32.1-5 Restoration]

The debauchery that went on the next day was just a display of the lust that was in their hearts. Now not everyone in the camp was taking part in the hedonism being displayed, but there was only ONE tribe that didn’t have even one participant in the display – Levi. Aharon was not taking part in it, but neither is there any evidence that he tried to stop it. I think that he was afraid to try, perhaps due to the size of the crowd that WAS involved and the emotion that was evident in their ‘play’ [KJV 32.6];

17 And when Yahshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moshe, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And Moshe said, It is not the voice of them that shout for strength, neither is it the voice of them that cry in weakness: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. [32.17-18 Restoration]

What follows next is pure speculation: To me, this is the REAL proof that it was Moshe, and not his elder brother, Aharon, who was the true leader of Israel. I have no doubt that, had the people gone to Moshe to make a calf, he would have done what he did in 32.26,

“Who is on Y’hovah’s side?! TO ME!

Levi, who had been faithful to Y’hovah, would have done for Aharon in 32.1 exactly what they did for Moshe in v.27 and fought to keep the camp pure BEFORE the transgression, AND I suspect that a LOT more of Israel would have responded positively, as well. But Aharon did not have the confidence in Y’hovah or in Israel that Moshe did. Had Aharon stood up against the idolaters, there may not have been this transgression. Speculation ends. Q&C

Vv.18- Y’hovah next states for the 2nd time the plan of his moedim. He mentions all 3 of what I term the ‘presentation Feasts’, when all the males in the land are to ‘present themselves’ before Y’hovah in the place he would show them. He gives them in order of their appearance in v.22. Aharon had made mention of a moad to Y’hovah in 32.5, but this was not one that Y’hovah had ordered. I think that was the first attempt at an elder calling for what Yochanan, the talmid Yeshua loved, would call a ‘Feast of the Iuaidoi’, one of tradition rather than Torah observance. Y’hovah immediately gives more information about what HE requires of Israel, not what they may WANT to do. We are to keep the Feast of ULB in the month of Aviv. How to determine the month of Aviv is not specified, but can be deduced from the first mention in the plagues on Egypt; when the barley was ‘in the ear’ and the wheat and flax were still just grass in the southeastern Mediterranean region [Egypt-Israel]. 

Vv.19-20 reaffirm the sanctifying of the male firstborn of all flesh in Israel, from the foal of the ass to the baby human [Ex.13.2, 12-15, 22.29; also Num.8.17, 18.15-17, Ez.44.30 and Lk.2.23]. V.21 reaffirms the Shabbat as a day of rest for chol Israel. No matter the pressing nature of the ‘work’ you do during the weekdays 1-6, you must rest on the Shabbat or be in transgression of Torah [which is the very definition of sin 1Jn.3.4]. We discussed the Moad of Unleavened Bred in v.18 and the firstborn in vv.19-20. The juxtaposition of those observances reaffirms to my mind that the bikkurim, or firstfruits, occurs during the ULB week. This is the only hint that bikkurim immediately follows Pesach as the 1st day of ULB, and that only because it is mentioned before the Shabbat in v.21 of this passage. I do not think that the ‘hint’ here negates the clear message of Lev.23. V.22 tells us to observe Shavuoth and the wheat harvest and then the Ingathering, or Sukkoth, in the end of the agricultural and biblical year. Then in v.23, he tells us that all males must come up to the place he designates to present ourselves before him 3 times in the year, which begins at Pesach and ends after Sukkoth. I think this is when the 2 ½ shekels are placed in the treasury for the care of the widows, orphans and Levites. In v.24, Y’hovah promises to protect our property when we go up to present ourselves to him; he will not allow anyone to covet and steal your stuff when you go up to keep his Moedim before him. I think that when Y’hovah says he will ‘enlarge our borders, he means that he will provide a buffer zone, perhaps tributaries, between us and the Cana’ani/Amori that he is driving out before us. IMO, in the Messianic Kingdom that will be the exile of haSatan to the Abyss. 

V.25 likens ‘my sacrifice’ to the Pesach Lamb, of which none may be left after the morning offering; it must be entirely consumed, either through the alimentary canal or the fire of the morning offering. Therefore, I think we have a hint here that our Pesach Lamb is Yeshua, who offered himself as the propitiation of our transgressions. V.26 deals with the bikkurim and says that the first, or best, of the produce of our land is what we are to offer to Y’hovah. A few weeks ago we spoke to the Italian prophet Malachi’s rebuke to the Kohanim, who were keeping the BEST of the offerings for themselves instead of offering it to Y’hovah. What do we do with our best? Do we keep it for our own use, or turn it over to Y’hovah? Don’t lie to yourself and make excuses. Our tithes are his bikkurim, and he wants the tithe from our INCREASE, not our gross ingathering 

22 You shall truly give ma’aser of all the increase of your zera that the field brings forth year by year. 23 And you shall eat before Y’hovah Elohechem, in the place that He shall choose to place His Name there, the ma’aser of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the bechorot of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear Y’hovah Elohechem always. 24 And if the derech is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place is too far from you, where Y’hovah Elohechem shall choose to set His Name, when Y’hovah Elohechem has blessed you: 25 Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which Y’hovah Elohechem shall choose:  26 And you shall bestow that money for whatever your being desires after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your being desires: and you shall eat there before Y’hovah Elohechem, and you shall gilah, you, and your household, 27 And the Lewi that is within your gates; you shall not forsake; for he has no part, or inheritance with you. 28 At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the ma’aser of your increase the same year, and shall lay it up within your gates: 29 And the Lewi, (because he has no part nor inheritance with you,) and the ger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Y’hovah Elohechem may bless you in all the work of your hands which you do. [Dt.14.22-29 Restoration]. 

Also, v.26 speaks to the Cana’ani practice of boiling the firstborn kid of a goat to their false god. The milk in which the kid was boiled [alive] was then spread on their fields to appease the gods of the land and bribe them to bring rain in its season. That practice was abomination to Y’hovah and still is. The whole practice was/is idolatry. Y’hovah specifies this as abomination to him here, and in 23.19 and Dt.14.21. ALL those passages are in context of Sukkoth/fall harvest festival and what Israel is NOT to do then. This is the time of year the Cana’ani offered the kid/milk to their false gods. NONE of them have anything to do with eating a cheeseburger. 

So Moshe spent 40 days and 40 nights on the mount with Y’hovah again, and didn’t eat or drink anything the whole time – he was outside of time/space/matter and did not age even a second. In fact, when he came off the mountain after 40 days and nights, he was so full of Ruach haKodesh that his face literally glowed with the light of Y’hovah, so much so that Aharon and the elders of Israel were frightened of him. I mean, Maybe it was CATCHING! It wasn’t until Moshe talked to them that they knew it was he. Reminds me of Yeshua’s resurrection and Miriam mistaking him for the gardener … until Yeshua spoke her name [Jn.20]. At any rate, Moshe talked with the elders of Israel and then placed a veil over his face when he talked with them, but removed it when he entered the Tent of Meeting. I think this could have been typical of the resurrection, as I alluded to before. I also think that Moshe got back a taste, just a taste, of the skin of light that Adam lost with his transgression. Q&C

2Shemuel 22.10-51 – This whole chapter is a Psalm of David and is repeated almost word for word in Ps.18, whence we will take our commentary for this passage. 

Ps.18.1-6 – To the man who is after Y’hovah’s heart, he is strength of purpose, a rock on which to build, a fortress to which to repair for rest and protection, a deliverer who will rescue from danger, Eliy who is the source of strength, a shield from attack, the power of liberty and a refuge whose vantage allows watchfulness and security.  The first use of strength translates chezek from the root chazak – to be strong or strengthened. At the end of each book of Moshe is inserted the words chazak, chazak, v’nit’chazak. Be strong; Be strong and may we be strengthened. It is Y’hovah who gives us strength when we ask for it, and he does so through his Torah. He is also our rock, cela, and our fortress, m’tzusah. We can rest in him from the battles we face. He’s our deliverer, palat, who makes a way of escape for us in every situation. El is our tzur, the solid bedrock for foundation that will not move and which is absolutely trustworthy to his obedient servants. He is our magen who will deflect the arrows of the enemy, make all who are attentive see his power work yasha, his liberty in us and through us. Nothing is as liberating as Torah, the Word of Y’hovah written in our hearts and minds. Everyone on earth has the choice to use his liberty to either obey Y’hovah who created us and gave his only begotten Son to die the death we earned, or to disobey him and spit in his face. I choose to obey. I will call upon him for strength, protection and deliverance and not my own might, because HE is worthy to be praised and honored 

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was  slain to receive power, and riches, and chochmah and strength and honor, and tifereth and brachot. (Rev.5.12 Restoration Scriptures). 

When I trust my own strength, I get to live in vv.4-5, where I am frightened by the least adversity. But when I call on him as David did for strength and deliverance, he provides it abundantly. This is what will cause Y’hovah to send Yeshua, when Yisrael gives up on its own and its allies power, and turns in repentance to him, crying out “Hosheanu, Y’hovah! Save us NOW!” Then he will send Yeshua to deliver the nation from certain death. The pieces are being set for the end game now. Remember DeGaulle’s words to Ben Gurion when asked why France had betrayed Israel’s friendship, “Nations do not have friends. Nations have interests.” But Y’hovah has more than an interest in Yisrael. She is his estranged wife, and he loves her and wants her back. But he will not force her. He wants her to call on him. As it is with each of us, so it is with the nations of the earth. It is prophesied that Israel will make teshuvah. What about the other nations? What about you? Q&C

Vv.7-15 – When Y’hovah’s people cry out to him, he responds. He will literally move mountains if necessary to deliver us – nothing is outside his power to do. He uses storms and earthquakes to get our attention. If he doesn’t get it, he uses more powerful means. If he still doesn’t get our attention and repentance, he will eventually lose patience with our obstinacy and move us out of the way in his wrath. All that stuff that he is to his people in vv.1-3 is what he will cause to be UNtrustworthy to our enemies. The ground will shake in places where it has not shook before. That which men trust and consider ‘bedrock’ will be moved to their destruction. Look again at the STUFF he sends against our enemies. Everything they trusted in will be useless to them when we call on him to deliver us. This describes, among other battles he fights for us, Gog u’Magog from Ez.38-39, and Rev.20.7-9. 

Vv.16-24 speak of our protection through the wrath he will send against those who trouble us. They trouble us by trying to get between us and Y’hovah. That’s kind of like getting between a mama grizzly and her cubs – not wise. But they don’t regard Y’hovah as a real threat, and will learn the folly of that attitude. Twice David says that Y’hovah rewarded him ‘according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.’ Now, I’ve read the historical accounts of David’s life and I know that he did LOTS of more wicked stuff than I have, but Y’hovah delivered him. Why? Because of the last 3 words in v.24 – ‘in his eyesight’. When we repent of our evil deeds and confess them and acknowledge that we deserve to be judged for them, he removes our iniquity as far as east from west and them puts them at the bottom of the deepest part of the sea – he forgives us and WILL NOT see or remember our atoned for sins. 

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (Isaiah 43:25)

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

Keep short accounts with him. Confess and repent immediately after you sin. He’ll deliver you from it and it’ll be gone. Q&C

Vv.25-50 – You can tell a man’s heart by looking at how he sees Y’hovah. If you think he is true, then you are most likely true. If you see him as untrustworthy, guess what? If you are after his heart, he’ll put it in you and let you find it. And the better you know him, the less you’ll think you’re all that and a bag of chips. It is Y’hovah who saves the afflicted, who provides light in darkness, who gives us strength when we have none of our own. His way, Derech Hashem, is perfect, his word has been tested and found true. It is Y’hovah who ensures that I don’t slip and fall. He keeps me secure in HIS presence, like a mountain goat on a rock face he guides my steps so that I get sure footing on the slimmest sliver of truth. The shield of Y’hovah’s salvation is his right arm – Yeshua our Messiah. After we grab and trust and stand on the slimmest sliver of truth in v.33, he gives us larger footholds in v.36. As we trust him in the small things, he gives us more and greater truth to hold on to. It isn’t by trusting our own strength that brings a better foothold, but trusting his right hand to be our strength. For then he gives us the power and knowledge to overcome our enemies. They cry to him for help, but he won’t hear them, for they still trust in their own strength. Does this sound like anything that might be happening in America about now? America has by and large turned away from Y’hovah and his way and has gone its own ways. But every time he sends a wake-up call, like 9/11 or Katrina or Deepwater Horizon or Fukushima Daiichi, America cries out to him for his blessing and deliverance without the prerequisite repentance and confession. And the blame for this is placed at the feet of the pastors and teachers in the k’halim of America, who tickle ears and speak soothing words instead of truth. They put the sheep to sleep instead of blowing the trumpet of warning. V.41 is aimed at the churches of America – the mainstream, the evangelical and the average Messianic church, as well. Our pastors and rabbis are NOT sounding the alarm for their people. Here’s what Y’hovah has to say to them;

1 And the word of Y’hovah came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them . 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Y’hovah; 8 As I live, saith Adonai Y’hovah, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of Y’hovah; 10 Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. [Ez. 34.1-10]

Y’hovah is NOT pleased with the pastors and rabbis who have been speaking smooth words that tickle the ears of the flock, but feed them nothing of substance. 

V.48 may show the rapture. If it does, this may be the only rapture there is. It is the deliverance of Y’hovah’s remnant at the end of the Kingdom. It is the ultimate Gog u’Magog rebellion against the King and those who come to Tabernacle with him around J’lem in the year 7000 AM. He lifts his people above the chamas [violent] men who wish to kill the King and his people, whom he delivers by his mighty hand and stretched out arm. He lifts us with his left hand while he squashes them like bugs [or, rather, burns them to nothing like tow] with his right. Q&C

Tehellim 64 – In vv.1-6, David seeks deliverance from his secret enemies, the ones who pretend to be his friends and his brother Israelites, but who are actually working to destroy him. James speaks to this very thing in his letter in ch.3,

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and yet boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire ignites! 6 And the tongue is a fire, and the sinful world a forest: so is the tongue among our members, it can defile the whole body, and sets on fire the course of our Yisraelite race that rolls on like a wheel; and it burns on with the fire of Gei-Hinnom. 7 For every kind of beast, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is unruly, evil, and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless Eloha, even our Abba; and with it we curse men, who are made after the image of the Master Y’hovah. [Ya’akov 3.5-9, Restoration]

The wounds of a brother are very painful due to them being from an unexpected source. To the king, the wounds inflicted were like an insurrection, a coup attempt. The ones he trusted have worked behind his back to end either his kingdom or his life. So David asks for protection from their vicious verbal barbs that strike deeply like arrows. They seek out some sin, whether real or just something that can be twisted like a wick to APPEAR real, that they can then use to undermine the people’s confidence and trust in him.

In vv.6-10, David takes refuge in the faithfulness and trustworthiness of Y’hovah. Elohim will judge righteously, objectively, and will use the secret enemy’s tricks against him. He will expose the wickedness of the secret enemies for all to see. This can be likened to the 2013 disclosures, by Edward Snowden, of NSA spying on American citizens and the subsequent attempts to disgrace him via the real enemy’s lapdog major media. Who knows if this is a thing being used of Y’hovah to try to awaken his children to the wickedness of the US government? V.8 seems to have taken place in the Snowden case; but now, the lapdogs have stopped their yapping about this because those who have been useful idiots are being awakened to the truth, and THAT needs to be swept under a rug to protect the PTB. But is v.9 actually occurring? If it is, we can expect to see a general revival in America. Are ALL MEN waking to the duplicity of the government? If they do, if they are truly after the heart of Y’hovah, perhaps there is some hope that things will turn around. If not, persecution waits in the wings for us in America, listening for its cue. No matter what may come, v.10 needs to be our recourse, for it spells our ultimate end – trust, gladness and glory. Q&C

Romans 9.1-33 – The following is from my study of Romans [soon to be published in one volume]:

Romans 9

Chapter 9 begins the pericope on Israel, the physical descendants of Ya’acov that Paul set up in ch.8. Now the focus is on Israel. He begins with those professing believers who are after the flesh (physical Israel, not believers in Y’hovah Yeshua) in ch.9 and ends with those who are truly after the Spirit (‘true’ Yisrael) in ch.11. 

Vv.1-5 – In vv.1-2 Sha’ul says that he is constantly ‘groaning’ in his heart (Rom.8.22, 23, 26) for all Israel, his brethren after the flesh. For they were promised the adoption that Paul spoke of in ch.8, but they kept after their own way (look these up – Is.56.11, Eze.22.31, Prov.1.23-33), instead of Avinu’s Way (these too – Pro.11.20, 13.6). They more closely followed the fences (traditions) than the Torah that the fences kept and keep them (and us) from. Much that Y’hovah intended to give them they forsook for their traditions. But Y’hovah has NOT forsaken them any more than he forsakes us when we stray from the Way of Life. They were given the promises, the covenants of grace, the Torah to give them life and Peace (chayim v’Shalom), and he has not forsaken those promises. When they repent of their sins and fulfill their end of the ketubah (marriage contract) Y’hovah will repent of his condemnation of them and fulfill his end of the ketubah. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, so he will give them chayim v’Shalom, life and peace. Everything that WE; Judah, Ephraim and whosoever wills; have received for our trusting Y’hovah and his promises were first received by the patriarchs, prophets and people who trusted Him and his promises. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the fathers and us in Y’hovah’s eyes. Those who have gone after their own gods (traditions of men) as we had and repent as we have will also receive the adoption of sons. That promise was Yisrael’s in the first place, and we, only by Y’hovah’s grace, are partakers thereof. 

In v.3 we see that Sha’ul held no animosity towards those who were after his skin. They were trying to kill him, but he was praying for them and would have given up his own reward in order that they should have the veil removed from their eyes (11.25). 

Vv.6-7 – In v.6 we see that, as Sha’ul reveals 2 laws in ch.6-8, he also reveals 2 Israel’s – the Yisrael that is after the Spirit and the Israel that is after the flesh. I will attempt to distinguish the 2 by calling believing Yisrael, Yisrael. ‘They are not all Yisrael who are of Israel (6b)’. The Torah has done its dual job: it has taken its designed effect: it has condemned Israel and acquitted Yisrael. Sha’ul enters into a little parable (through v.13) to illustrate the truth he’s expounding. One’s being a physical son of Avraham does not deliver the promises to him. Avraham had 2 physical sons, Ishmael and Yitzhak; only one is the son of the promise. Yitzhak had 2 sons, Esav and Ya’acov; only one is the son of promise. It’s Yitzhak and Ya’acov through whom descended the promises to Yisrael. Ishmael/Esav represent the ‘minding of the flesh’ (8.6a) and its traditions – NOT the children of Elohim. Esav sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup. It doesn’t get much more carnal than that. Yitzhak/Ya’acov represent the ‘minding of the Spirit’ (8.6b) and its Way, its Truth and its Life – the seed of Avraham and the adopted sons of Elohim. So we see that they who are after the flesh are of Israel, but they who are after the Spirit are Yisrael. Please keep that in mind for the rest of the book, as it is very important to understand ch.11.

Please also notice that ‘in Yitzhak shall thy seed be called’. Those who are called are those who have been predestinated and foreknown. The foreknowledge of Elohim is a result of his attribute of eternity. He tells the end from the beginning because He IS at every point and place in history (past, present and future) at all times. His foreknowledge isn’t a general overview, but intimate and total because He IS everywhere and everywhen all at once. He knew before he placed history in motion who would have a heart to believe and these he predestined to his calling, he knew their destiny before they were born, because HE IS! Q&C

Vv.8-13 – The Israel who minds the flesh are NOT the children of Elohim. The Yisrael who minds the Spirit are b’nei Elohim, the children of Elohim. Elohim’s children are the children of the promise. Paul tells us what the promise is – that Sarah and Avraham, a barren 89-year old woman and her 99-year old husband will conceive and deliver a son. The original promise was given in Gen12.15, 17-19. Avraham believed with his mind, but not his heart at that time. His faith had no works (James 2.17). The first thing he did was to go down to Egypt and plead with his wife that she tell them that she was his sister and not his wife. He didn’t fully trust Y’hovah that through his barren wife he would have a son in whom the entire earth would be blessed. What made them children of Y’hovah was their eventual belief and trust in his power to deliver on his promise. They learned that their flesh could not do what Y’hovah had promised and that only Y’hovah’s Spirit could bring their greatest desire to fruition. 

The same can be said of Yitzhak and Rivkah, who waited 20 years to see the birth of their sons, Esav and Ya’acov. As with Ishmael and Yitzy, the elder brother is the child of the flesh and the younger is the child of the Spirit. The same can be seen in the parable of the prodigal son, in which the elder son (Yehuda) is after the flesh, but the younger son (Ephraim), after his initial descent into idolatrous debauchery, makes teshuvah – repentance – and returns to his Abba, expecting nothing in return, hoping to be allowed to return as a bond-servant. In the case of Esav and Ya’acov, they were separated from the womb, Ya’acov having been elect and called, while Esav was rejected by the determinate foreknowledge of Elohim. In each case it was predestined that the elder would be servant to the younger. The flesh must serve the Spirit of Elohim, or the spirit of man will serve the flesh.  

The saying Ya’acov have I loved, but Esav have I hated shows us that just being the physical seed of a patriarch doesn’t qualify us for election. By the same token, just being born of Esav doesn’t disqualify us for adoption unto life. Y’hovah looks on the heart. It is the heart of Ya’acov – which was to believe Y’hovah – that made him Avraham’s seed and what Y’hovah loved, not his birth to Yitzhak. And it was Esav’s heart – which was to feed his flesh – that disqualified him for adoption and what Elohim hates. It is the fleshly spirit of Esav that Elohim hates, not Esav himself. Likewise it is Ya’acov’s openness to the Spirit of Elohim that he loves. Y’hovah has made both types of heart come from one and the same father, so it is not unreasonable to think that any person COULD be a son of promise regardless his station or ancestry. Each will receive judgment for his own sins, but Yisrael will receive loving chastisement (5.18b, 19b), while Israel/Esav will receive just punishment (5.18a, 19a). The difference is in their hearts. Q&C

Vv.14-18 – Here we see the logical outworking of the 2 spirits. Hyper-Calvinists see the absolute sovereignty of Elohim here, which to them negates the free will of man. Nothing is further from the truth. Y’hovah does have absolute sovereignty, but that does not negate my responsibility to obey him. 

Is Elohim unrighteous to condemn sinners? WhatahNutz? He shows mercy to those sinners who will believe him, and wrath to those who will not. Paraoh chose to not believe Y’hovah by a conscious act of his will and his pride (Ex.5.2). 

2 And Pharaoh said, Who Y’hovah, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Y’hovah, neither will I let Israel go.

Moshe chose to believe Y’hovah by a conscious act of his will and his meekness. Pharaoh thought he was all that AND a bag of chips. Moshe knew he was dust in need of some living water so that he could be shaped into something useful. Pharaoh never got over his pride of position in the world, the very thing that was Sha’ul’s thorn in the flesh (7.7ff). When Y’hovah saw that he had a heart of stone and that Pharaoh would not allow him to replace it with one of flesh, he sent him more hardness – Y’hovah gives every man what he truly wants. A hard, stony heart (Mat.13 says that this is one that will not hear and heed the Word of Y’hovah. He says, “You want a hard heart? I’ll give you a hard heart!” as he did to Pharaoh). By the same token, those who call on Y’hovah’s Name for deliverance are redeemed through his mercy. We have to humble ourselves at least to the degree that we realize our impotence to save ourselves, and to call on him who can deliver us. 

Vv.19-24 – Here’s where the hyper-Calvinists go awry. They use this numbered sound-bite (v.22) out of its immediate and general context. The general context is the 2 hearts we’ve been discussing. The immediate context runs at least through v.22, where he tells us that Y’hovah is longsuffering toward the vessels of wrath. If we look into Yisrael’s history, we see that Avraham was given a promise and a prophecy in Gen.15. The promise was that his seed would be as the stars and the sand of the sea. The prophecy was that his seed would be 400 years before they could obtain the promise because ‘the iniquity of the Amori was not yet full.’ He was enduring the ‘vessels of wrath’ until their cup was full (Rev.15&16).

Y’hovah’s will is that no flesh should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He shows his will in that he gave the Amori 400 years to repent before he brought Yisrael to remove the Amori from their land and to receive the promise Yah had made to Avraham. His will was to have the Amori repent. He did not impose his will on them any more than he imposes his will on us. Y’hovah is sovereign, but he is not a bully. He gives us the choice to obey or not. He exercises his sovereignty in his mercy or hardening, and even his hardening is merciful.

The vessels of dishonour (v.21) are those whom Y’hovah, in his foreknowledge, knew would reject him, those who have the spirit of Esav and walk after the flesh. Notice that he endured their insolence and despite beyond any reasonable extent of patience, in the Amori’s case (Gen.15) for 400 years (actually 430). His way of mercifully bringing judgment is gradual; first a hint, then a more urgent hint, then a warning, etc., until he finally just forsakes the object of his mercy (as the Amori) and drives them from his sight or allows them to be wiped out entirely. When he judges a people, he uses another people as his vehicle. Israel drove out the Amori; the Philistines badgered Israel for 450 years. Then Israel under David and Shlomo conquered the known world and held the rest as tributaries until the people went after other gods (following their leaders, of course). Then Y’hovah exiled the 10 Ephraimite tribes to Assyria, followed by Judah’s 3 tribes going into exile in Babylon. When Judah repented and called on the Name of Y’hovah (in the person of Daniel haNavi – the prophet), he delivered them back into their land. And the cycle repeated itself. BTW, as had occurred in the Egyptian exodus, only about 10% of the people returned from captivity. The rest were, presumably, after the flesh.

Do you see his mercy in his patient, longsuffering endurance of their pride and willful disregard for his Word? Do you see his mercy in the fact that he hints, then cajoles, then warns with ever increasing severity to bring about repentance, not only in his people, but even in the heathen? Do you see his mercy in his willingness to forgive at the merest sincerity in turning toward him? Even in his wrath he shows mercy because he brings it quickly and with minimal suffering. Behold the goodness and severity of Elohim (11.22).

And what of us, who have softened our hearts towards him by our positive volitional decision to obey him? He further softens them so that his Word can take root in the good, soft earth of our hearts and bring forth fruit to his glory. He gives us what we want. As he gave Paraoh the hard heart he’d decided upon, so he will give us the soft heart of flesh that he can circumcise and hallow to himself when once we choose to obey him. Q&C

Vv.24-26 – Do you see how he juxtaposes all gentile believers in v.24 with the ten tribes in v.25? It’s there; you just need to go a little deeper into the scripture than what’s in the immediate context. You need to go from the peshat (literal) to the remez (hint, reference to Tanakh).

“…not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living Elohim.

That quote from Hosea is in Ch.1, which begins by specifying that he is speaking mainly to the House of Israel and not Judah. Y’hovah instructs Hosea to take a whore to his wife, to signify to the house of Israel that they have played the harlot and gone after other gods. For that reason, he allows Gomer to conceive 3 children, whose names are also symbols of how Y’hovah is going to deal with Israel. V.4 (blood of Yezreel) speaks of 2Ki.9.30ff, where Yehu rode into town and had Jezebel thrown down from the tower, where dogs licked up her blood as prophesied by EliYahu. Yehu instituted the revival of Y’hovah worship, after a fashion; i.e., Yerovoam’s mixed system of worship. His revival didn’t go far enough towards true Y’hovah worship. So Yah had Hosea call his 1st born son Jezreel to remind 10-Israel about her spiritual shortcomings. Hosea was then told to name his daughter Lo-Ruchamah – “No mercy” due to 10-Israel’s idolatry. Then he was told to name his son Lo-Ammi – “Not my People” due to 10-Israel’s idolatry.  

The good news is in verses 10-11 of Hos.1, which is the hinted at reference.

10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living Elohim. 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great the day of Jezreel.

Even though Israel is called “No Mercy” and “Not My People”, Y’hovah promises to enlarge their borders and numbers and to eventually rename them “The Sons of the Living Elohim”. I think this is a reiteration of the promise made in Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim in Gen.48, where he uses the Hebrew phrase ‘melo hagoyim’ – ‘multitude of nations’, which Paul alluded to in his passage in this same section of Romans in 11.25,

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

So, what Sha’ul has done in vv.24-26 is identified gentile believers (v.24) with the people of Israel, who WERE Lo-Ruchamah and Lo-Ammi, but have NOW obtained mercy and ARE his people. He makes the same reference in Eph.2.11ff, “aliens” (grk. apollotrioo – estranged – like a divorced spouse), “far off”, etc. IOW, whether literally or spiritually/metaphorically, gentile believers in Messiah Yeshua ARE the descendants of the 10 tribes of Israel, according to Sha’ul. And Yeshua HAS fulfilled his mission to bring Ephraim to repentance and brought the 2 houses together in him.

Vv.27-29 – Paul then quotes Isaiah to show that a remnant of Yisrael would be saved, while the majority would not. Y’hovah called his seed, not for the purpose of excluding any from his Kingdom, but to make it available to all, Jew and Gentile, Judah and Ephraim. If not for the remnant the entire earth would be as Sodom and Gomorrah lo-o-ng before its time. Ecc.3 tells us that there is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven, and the time of earth’s destruction by fire is not yet. 1004 years from now, perhaps; but not yet. Remember the goodness and severity of Elohim? There’s another example of it. If not for Y’hovah’s gracious provision of a remnant, earth would have been a burnt out cinder long since.  

Vv.30-33 – What shall we say then? Sha’ul uses a Pharisaic rhetorical device to make his point that the Gentiles have obtained righteousness by faith in the same way that Avi, Yitzy and Jake did, not to mention all the rest of the ‘Heroes of the Faith’ (Heb.11). But they do not replace Israel. The fact that Israel has not ‘attained to righteousness’ does not negate the faith walk, which is based in Torah obedience. The reason Israel did not ‘attain’ to righteousness is the same reason noone ever can – righteousness comes by the faith of and in Yeshua. 

The way Israel tried to attain to righteousness was by works of law (no definite article is ever attached to this phrase, which is only seen in Rom.9.32 and Gal.2.16, 3.2, 5&10), not by faith. Paul invented the term. Works of Law has nothing to do with observing Torah. It has to do with what the Pharisees called the ‘Oral Torah’, the traditions of the rabbis. An excellent source for this is Galatians, by Avi ben Mordechai. He explains the 1st C. historical background that has come down to the rabbinic Jews of today in the Mishnah and Talmud. While they may be good commentaries (well, some is), they are not scripture. So they are not a source of Y’hovah’s instruction in righteousness. 

V.33 refers to Isaiah 8.14 and 28.16, 

8.14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel [2-houses], for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

28.16 Therefore thus saith Adonai Y’hovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Paul jumbles the 2 verses, lifting a phrase from one and inserting it in a re-ordered other where he changed a word and said, “he that believeth on him shall not be ashamed”, not exactly a direct quote. But this is a 1st C. Pharisaic rhetorical devise called midrash, juxtaposing one scripture with another, even making a change in verbiage to make the point. It is how arguments are made throughout the Mishnah and Talmud. Midrash was and is common practice in the synagogue. If we were to try this in the church we’d be given the left foot of fellowship, thrown out on our ears (or worse) and called heretics. Midrash assumes either that the listener has some training in rabbinic thought and a thoroughgoing knowledge of Tanakh, as the elder or rabbi of the synagogue in Rome would, or a rabbi who could explain the passage to those without the training. It’s the reason some teachers think that Hebrews should not be in the canon. It’s why Martin Luther thought James should be scrapped. They’re ‘too Jew-ey’. It’s also why so many in the church can’t seem to grasp that, even though we are unable in and of ourselves to obey Torah 100%, it is still our standard and guide for right living before Y’hovah. Unlike the fool of Ps.14.1 and Rom.3.12, we believe there is an Elohim, and that he has given us a guide to live by – his Torah. 

As to the change in verbiage, I think it may have to do with the fact that whenever a patriarch ‘made haste’ or tried to hurry along Elohim’s plan by helping him out (Avi/ Hagar, David and the ark, etc.), they were always ashamed. It is therefore a warning to the Romans to be patient with each other and not to get ahead of Elohim. This is developed in ch.14. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: