Shabbat Bible Study for August 8, 2020
©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Shemoth 37:1-38:20 – 1 Melechim 8:8-22 – Tehellim 66 – 1 Yochanan 1.1-10
Links for this week:
Introduction – In the beginning of ch.31, Y’hovah called out Bezaleel as his chief artisan, and gave him a special anointing of the Ruach haKodesh. Bezaleel was probably quite young when Y’hovah called him to this task. He was the great-grandson of Kalev, the elder of Yehudah, as is seen in:
18 And Kalev the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon. 19 And when Azubah was dead, Kalev took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur. 20 And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezaleel. (1Chron.2.18-20)
Kalev was born a Kenizite [Kenaz being the grandson of Esav] and must have been a pretty old man by the time he went into the land from Kadesh, perhaps 100 or so (assuming each father being 20 years old when his son was born and Bezaleel was 20 when called). I think that Kalev was living in Egypt until he saw the folly of following any other so-called ‘god’ and trusted Y’hovah as his Elohim. His wife, by whom he had already begotten 3 sons, must have died shortly thereafter. He took Ephrath, perhaps a daughter of Yehudah, to wife, who bore him Hur, who may have been a friend of Aharon’s or Moshe’s while they were growing up in Amram’s and Jochebed’s house after Paroh’s daughter took Moshe from the Nile. All that about Hur being a friend of Moshe’s in his youth is purely speculation, but I think it makes sense, as they were pretty tight right from the get-go in the Wilderness Adventure, one of Moshe’s ‘inner circle’. Kalev outlived Yehoshua as well (early chapters of Judges). If my figuring is correct, he was well over 180 when he died, and, under his leadership at that advanced age, his was the only tribe to fully conquer its inheritance in the land. That proves to me his utter reliance upon Y’hovah.
Last week’s portion was from 34.27-36.38, 81 verses. In the portion from 2 weeks ago, Y’hovah told Moshe to hew him out 2 tables of stone like the one’s he’d broken the portion before. In last week’s portion, the first thing Y’hovah said was for Moshe to write what he told him to write, ‘after the tenor of these words’. ‘Tenor’ is a noun meaning “settled or prevailing character or direction”, or, in law, “the actual wording of a document”. Y’hovah wanted Moshe to write EXACTLY what he told him, and to not miss the sense in which it was given. When Ezra and Nehemiah read the Torah and ‘gave the sense’ in
So they read in the book in the law of Elohim distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading (Nehemiah 8:8),
they gave the ‘tenor’ of the Torah to returning Yehudah. Moshe was to ensure that they GOT it this time. In 35.30-33, Moshe told Israel how Y’hovah had called Bezaleel as the chief artisan of the Mishkan, and how he’d given him a special portion of Ruach to understand Y’hovah Elohenu – wisdom (chochmah), understanding (binah) and knowledge (da’at) AND in all manner of workmanship. If we take the 1st letters of chochmah, binah and da’ath as an acronym, we get the word chabad. And if you look at the Etz Chai, or Tree of Sephiroth, you will see that these 3 ‘emanations’ of El Shaddai are the top of the tree, corresponding to the wisdom of Y’hovah Avinu, the understanding of the Ruach of Elohim Aimainu and the combination of the 2 in the knowledge of the One Tzadik Rebbe, Mashiyach Yeshua ben Elohim. Bezaleel must have been a tzadik on the order of Yoseph, Yehudah, Daniel and Moshe, full of Ruach haKodesh. The chabad was given to him to work curious works in 5 separate media, working gold, silver, brass, cutting precious stones and carving and graving wood, AND that he would be able to convey what needed to be done to the rest of Israel in a manner that they would readily understand. For an interesting study of Bezaleel, have a look at Yashanet’s study on ‘Kaballah in The Matrix’ at http://www.yashanet.com/image/matrix/part6.htm. Beginning in 35.5 and continuing through 36.8 there are 14 mentions of willing or wise hearts in Israel. That is 2×7, or an abundance of divine perfection, in the artisans who built the tabernacle. They made the curtains of the Mishkan; the weaving of the techeleth, scarlet, purple, gold and fine linen that was draped over the Kodesh Kadashim, the Holy of Holies, that were for the eyes of Y’hovah and the Kohen Gadol only, and also of the curtains of goat’s hair that was made to cover the Mishkan and for the people to see. The Mishkan proper was lighted only by the Shekinah of Y’hovah – not even the light of the menorah would get into the Mishkan through the veil or the coverings. The menorah lighted only the Kodesh place where the Kohanim ministered at least 2x daily to burn incense and maintain the menorah. Within the veil was ‘spiritual space’, as we said before and, as shall be in the New Jerusalem, “Y’hovah is the light of it” (Rev.21.23). The polished gold walls of the Mishkan would reflect the curious work of the veil and the ceiling all around the ark and the mercy seat and would portray angels ministering unto Y’hovah in his throneroom, as is done in the heavens. Q&C
Shemoth 37.1-9 – Schottenstein’s Chumash, on pg. 274-77, has only one short introductory note to ch.37, which is truly outstanding. There are no explanatory notes on any details of Bezaleel’s work. There is also very little in the way of illumination on ch.38 in Chumash. Bezaleel was the actual artisan on the ark and the mercy seat, the table of showbread, the altar and the menorah. Aholiav was in charge of other things under the supervision of Bezaleel, but the furnishings of the Mishkan were all the personal work of Bezaleel. All Israel had to have been involved in gathering the materials and constructing the Mishkan, but in a very real sense it can be said that it was ALL Bezaleel, because he was the guy in charge of getting it done. Like the skipper of an aircraft carrier is responsible for anything that happens on the ship and is accountable for the actions of the lowliest seaman recruit under his command, so would Bezaleel have been.
He fashioned the ark of shittim (acacia) wood and overlaid it inside and out with pure gold. He made a ‘crown’ of gold all around it near the top, a moulding perhaps as a stop for the mercy seat, or something to make it blend with the rest of the ark. The rings for carrying the ark were cast of pure gold, 2 on each side, I infer near the bottom of the crown to make it easier to get the priest’s shoulders under the staves to carry the ark with the mercy seat attached. The staves were of shittim wood, as well, overlaid with pure gold and placed into the rings never to be fully removed, though they were slid out enough to make the ark’s presence known in the Kadosh Place by a slight bulge near the bottom of the veil (1Ki.8.8 in our haftarah for today).
The mercy seat (kapporeth, Str. H3727 – cf. the link to Blue-letter Bible at: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3727&t=KJV) was of pure gold. The cheruvim on the mercy seat were beaten out of one piece of pure gold. There is no description of their positioning other than on either side of the seat facing inward and with wings outstretched – no mention of whether they were standing to serve or kneeling to worship. Taking the whole passage (vv.6-9) together, it looks like the mercy seat and the cheruvim were ALL beaten out of one piece of pure gold. The two cheruvim and the kapporeth being made from the one piece of gold represents to my mind Yehudah and Ephraim as they shall be when Mashiyach sends his angels to the 4 corners of the earth to gather them on Resurrection day (perhaps Yom Teruah or Yom Kippur some year soon?) – Mashiyach’s 2 tzadik houses will be made one in his hand;
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Y’hudah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Y’hoseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. (Ez.37.16-17)
Vv.10-16 – After Bezaleel made the ark and the mercy seat, the only furnishing for the Kodesh Kadashim, he began to make the furnishings for the Kadosh Place, starting with the table of showbread. This was just an acacia wood table 2 cubits x 1 cubit in surface area and on legs of 1½ cubits high with a border of a handbreadth (about 4½ inches), one around the top that blended with the crown that bordered the top of the table, and one near the bottom of the legs to stabilize the legs and provide a solid area to which the gold rings could attach. Then he also made staves of acacia wood to use for carrying the table from camp to camp. The entire wood surface of the table was overlaid with gold, as the ark had been and probably for the same purpose; to hermetically seal the wood from the atmosphere and insects, as well as for its primary purpose; to represent the kavod of Y’hovah. He also made the rings and the utensils and their covers out of pure gold. The rings were CAST, while I infer that everything else was formed by hammer. Q&C
Vv.17-23 – The menorah was a piece of gold-smithing that could only be done by inspiration of the Ruach haKodesh, in my mind. It was to be BEATEN out of one piece of pure gold of a talent’s weight; variously said to be from 80-100 pounds. That would be 1400 gold ounces troy. In today’s US$ that would be about 2.6 million FaRTs (Federal Reserve Tokens – and noxious fumes actually have more value, though I digress). A typical year’s head tax (1/2 shekel of silver/man of the 20th year or older) would have been 640,000 x ½ dollar in pure silver = 320,000 silver US$. So, it would take just a shade over 7 years of ½ shekel offerings to gather enough silver to purchase the gold for the menorah.
Torah makes a distinction between the menorah/candlestick and the branches. The menorah’s branches and at least the top ½ of the menorah were hollow to allow the oil to flow through them. This is VERY reminiscent of the root (or vine)/branches of Yeshua (Jn.15.1, 4-5) and Sha’ul (Rom.11.16-18, 15.12), of which there is a very good explanation found in part 2, ch.4 of the Ramchal’s book, Derech Hashem (The Way of Y’hovah). When I read through this book the 1st time, I was amazed at how Pauline this Chabadnic rabbi’s systematic theology was. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so – WITH YOUR DISCERNMENT TURNED ON! There is much to glean, but there is also much to flush (such as the Jewish bent to saying ‘Jews’ instead of Israel, thereby restricting the ‘seed of Abraham’ to the nation of Yehudah – if he’d change ‘Jew’ to Mashiyach or Yeshua in the discussion of roots/vines, the problem is solved; cf. pp 133-143 hi-lites), as there is in ALL commentaries and theologies. This particular author has a knack for systematizing Torah, and is a very profitable read, IF you are aware that there is some stuff that is less efficacious than others, or that need to be seen in light of chol Torah [Gen.1.1- Rev.22.21].
The root (vine) of the menorah (Mashiyach) feeds oil (Ruach haKodesh) to the branches (seed of Avraham) of the menorah, which Mashiyach, as the MelchiZedek high priest, maintains in a ready state and lights during the night (exile/diasporah) so that Ohr haChaim, the light of life, shall not be completely extinguished.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify Avechem, which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
The menorah also equates to the Zohar’s Eytz haChaim, Tree of Life or Sephiroth (http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm). There you can see the Mashiyach in the center/menorah of the tree and the side-lights in the right and left hand branches. Mashiyach is both the root and the connector of the right and left hand attributes of El Shadai/Eyn Sof; his gevurah (power/severity) and his chesed (mercy/goodness, Rom.7). Mashiyach is the root, where mercy and truth meet and righteousness and peace kiss each other (Ps.85). Once again, Mashiyach is the root/vine from which – in this analogy – the oil flows. That is an incomplete analogy, but it helps us to visualize the root/branch idea in our minds. Q&C
Vv.25-29 – The Incense Altar was just a platform upon which to place the censer with the set-apart incense and a coal from the Brazen Altar. There is no mention of a grate of any kind, as there is for the brazen altar, so the coal and incense had to be held away from the surface of the altar somehow to keep the gold from melting and the wood from burning. This altar had the least surface area of any of the furnishings, and sat on this side of the veil directly in front of the ark, which sat on the other side of the veil. The veil represents Mashiyach as our advocate, through whom Avinu sees and speaks to us and receives our prayers, which are represented by the smoke of the incense itself.
The incense was a mixture of the aromatic gums, or saps, of 4 different trees, ground by mortar and pestle by the ‘art of an apothecary’. It was the same art used in mixing various medicinal herbs before the days of ‘Big Pharma’. The Hebrew word xlated apothecary here is raqakh and literally means ‘mixing’, either of spices, herbs or, as in this case, dried tree gums. In light of the previous discussion of roots and branches, I think we can see that the prayers of the saints include those of all men who will have Y’hovah’s heart to be their own and acknowledge their utter dependence on him.
38.1-7 – Bezaleel’s next project was the Altar of Burnt Offering. This was a relatively massive piece of furniture; 5×5 cubits on its sides and 3 cubits from top to bottom, with horns (square rises on the corners for holding portions of offerings, like an oblation or grain offering) rising above the brass grate on which the burnt offering was placed for burning. The grate was suspended on hooks made for that purpose 1½ cubits down from the top of the altar (or up from the base of it). The fire had to be built on the ground beneath (I think), and the ashes of the burnt offering must have fallen through the brass grate. This particular piece of furniture would have been heavy enough to make it hard for 4 men to carry, perhaps approaching the weight of the ark itself. I think that, as the priests put their shoulders under the staves and began to lift their charges, Y’hovah picked up the furniture and the priests and carried them himself on the same kind of surface on which they had traveled through the Red Sea, as they would the Jordan River 40 years later, and on which Yeshua walked on the Sea of Galilee.
The brass signifies the left side of the three of Sephiroth – the severity of Elohim, as the gold in the Mishkan signifies the right side of the tree – the goodness of Y’hovah. All put together, we see Mashiyach Yeshua. All the metalwork on the outside of the sanctuary is brass – gevurah. The metal overlaying the acacia wood of the altar, along with the utensils and dishes of the altar, were made of brass. The perfect justice of Elohim was meted out on the altar, so that the chesed of Y’hovah could be poured out on the sons of men who placed their trust in him. That within the court represented the righteous justice of Elohim, while all within the first veil represented the melding of El Shaddai/Eyn Sof’s mercy and justice in Mashiyach, and that within the 2nd veil represented the merciful forgiveness and loving kindness of Avinu.
V.8 – This verse stands out to me, for the laver and the footwash basin were made of the host’s mirrors (KJV has women, but the word is tzov’oth – host’s or legion’s), not from the brass that was gathered for GP (general purposes). For instance, the pegs for all the posts for both the Tabernacle and the Courtyard were made of GP brass (v. 20), as was the grate and utensils for the altar. Perhaps they had the conviction that the mirrors constituted a ‘graven image’. The laver was for washing hands and feet before taking the blood of the offering into the Mishkan or taking the offering to the altar. That it was made from highly polished brass made it likely a last look for the priest at his own life to ensure his worthiness to make the offering;
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of Y’hovah, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning Y’hovah’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (1Cor.11.27-31)
Vv9-20 – The Courtyard was 100×50 cubits, had 71 posts and 5 hangings, 4 of fine twined linen and 1, the gate that was 20 cubits in length hung on 5 posts across the opening of the courtyard to the camp that was made of Linen, techeleth, scarlet and purple – no gold, as in the Mishkan’s Veil and covering. Q&C
1Melechim 8.8-22 – The staves were pulled out just far enough to create a ‘bulge’ in the veil to witness that the ark was actually there. The staves were simultaneously seen to be there, but could not actually be seen with the eyes, only the evidence of them in the ‘bulge’. In the same way, the evidence of the Spirit can be seen in our obedience to his Word. The Spirit itself cannot be seen, but the evidence of his presence certainly can be.
If the idea of the placement of the ark and the drawn out staves could be ‘seen’ without actually seeing them due to a ‘bulge’ in the veil is correct, the cheruvim and ark had to be placed next to the veil at the eastern end, not against the western end of the Kodesh Kadashim. Either that, or the priest would be in danger of tripping over the staves every time he entered to make atonement. And since the Most Holy was 20×20 cubits, the staves would have had to have been about 20 cubits long to make a bulge in the veil, if the ark was on the west side of the Most Holy. Remember that the Temple is a different building than the Mishkan was and there were things built into it that could not be in the Mishkan. Like a floor and, if Michael Rood is right, an elevator system by which to carry off the Temple’s furnishings for safekeeping, Boaz and Yachin controlling it.
One of the reasons Monte thinks that Hebrews does not belong in the scripture is seen in v.9. The only thing in the ark was the tables of testimony. Heb.9 says the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod were in there, too. Torah tells us that Aharon’s rod and the pot of manna were put in the presence of Y’hovah, that which was temporal (like the ark) placed into spiritual space, not actually inside the ark. But Hebrews is midrash from ch.1 through ch.13 and was never meant to be taken literally in all its details, but metaphorically in the spiritual truths it conveys. The immediate audience of Hebrews and its author were Jews and understood the midrashic nature of the arguments made. Why Monte, a real bloodline Jewish believer in Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach, doesn’t see that is beyond me.
Vv.10- – The ‘thick darkness’ that Y’hovah dwells in is only ‘dark’ to our finite minds. Anywhere Y’hovah dwells is necessarily full of ‘light’ as he is the Light that cannot be overcome by darkness.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that Eloha is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yeshua haMashiyach his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1Jn.1.5-7)
The light of Y’hovah, the kavod of Y’hovah, filled the house so completely that the priests had to get out, or be overwhelmed by it. Remember the REFLECTED glory of Y’hovah in the face of Moshe was so great that he had to wear a veil over his FACE so that Israel could stand to be in HIS presence? Imagine what the DIRECT kavod of Y’hovah would have been like. Not so bearable, I’d say by way of understatement.
Shlomo, from outside the Holy Place, rehearsed the decision to build a place for Y’hovah to dwell permanently instead of in a tent. The kavod of Y’hovah filling the Kodesh Kadashim proved that Y’hovah had accepted it as his place to dwell on earth. Then Shlomo turned his face toward the people, not his front to them and back to Y’hovah, and the people all stood. Then he blessed Y’hovah, who deigned to dwell among them and then rehearsed the history of David’s desire to build this house. But Y’hovah would not allow David to do so, since he had been a man of war, but told him that his son, who would not know war himself, would do so in David’s stead. So David began gathering all the stuff for the Temple, as the people had done for the Mishkan. He sent ships in conjunction with this friend Hiram of Tyre all over the world to get enough gold, silver, copper and such to have as much more stuff as Bezaleel had told Moshe they had. Shlomo performed this building for Y’hovah and his father David. And Y’hovah blessed him and his house. Q&C
Tehellim 66.1-7 – According to www.messianic.ws commentary for this week, this is the Psalm traditionally read on the 6th day of Unleavened bread, the preparation day for the 2nd annual moad. As a part of the preparation for the 3rd moad in 7 days, there is understandably a (put on your best Jerry Lee Lewis impression) “whole lot of singing going on!” Considering the subject matter of the Psalm, why wouldn’t there be. From the commentary at http://www.messianic.ws/Commentary%20Y-2/Y2-21.htm;
If you have ever seen Elohim deliver you from a situation, by bringing calamity upon someone perpetrating a wrong against you (I have), then you have an inkling of what David means (v.3): How awesome is the work of Elohim – the creator who judges His creation! The rebellious should fear to exalt themselves – think on that (v.7)!
“The “sacred assemblies” (Lev 23) of Sabbaths and Holy Days were not times for using “contemporary songs” – that was sometimes done in outside or private settings; Psalms are to be our expression of joy (James 5:13b, “Is there any merry? Let him sing psalms”) and means of encouragement (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16) even outside of the sacred assemblies. This is a major area where believers reject Elohim’s instruction in deference to their own developed desires. This is so extreme that it is common for believers, even those who claim that Elohim’s Word is uniquely inspired, to act as though their contemporary songs are more inspired – by using them to the exclusion of Elohim’s inspired Psalms!
Part of Elohim’s holiness (His distinction) is: He is Truth. And we are told to “be holy, as He is holy” (Leviticus 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16): He “desires truth in our innermost being” (Psalm 51:6).
We are to love Elohim with all of our hearts, and all of our minds (Sh’ma). Yeshua said, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. Elohim is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” – John 4:23-24. Our spiritual worship must be based upon truth to be acceptable.
Too often our doctrine and practice is based upon feelings that are not based upon Elohim’s Word. We must learn to make our feelings conform to truth, and overcome basing our doctrine upon feelings. “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9), and we are told to not follow our hearts (Numbers 15:39); our feelings do not represent the Holy Spirit, but rather we are to make our feelings conform to the Holy Spirit. When we hear someone say, “The Lord has shown me . . . ”, it is most often either mistakenly attributing his feelings to the Holy Spirit, or a display of vain “spirituality.”
Today, sin is taken lightly. “White lies” are acceptable, even taught as appropriate “where the situation demands”. Consider: what if, every time we realized that something we had said was untrue, we would have to buy an animal, take it to the Temple, confess our sin over it, and slit its throat while a priest held it. And only then could we expect Elohim to accept our repentance as genuine. Would that not cause us to take truthfulness more seriously?
In a recent study in the news, the average person lied many times per hour. It is common in conversation to misrepresent parts of stories, and just make up stories, often for no identifiable reason. It is common to repeat gossip because of trust in the source. Doctrinally, people frequently assert ideas for which they have no basis, except that they believe such as “truth”. Unrepentant liars are going to have to account to Elohim for their lies – and we would know that if we were used to singing Psalm 66:3!”
3 Say unto Elohim, How terrible thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. 4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing thy name. Selah. 5 Come and see the works of Elohim: terrible doing toward the children of men.
The meaning of the word ‘terrible’ in vv.3&5 must have changed since 1611, because I don’t see how terrible it would be if Yah’s enemies submitted themselves to him because of the greatness of his power. We’ll see exactly that in the Millennium, when everyone will submit to his authority because justice will be swiftly and surely meted out (perhaps by us?).
6 He turned the sea into dry: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. 7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
Terrible MUST mean that which inspires awe in the believer, but fear in the infidel; that which engenders love or terror, depending on the heart of the subject.
In vv.6-7, David rehearsed just why Elohim is so terrible. In Ex.14.16, 21-22, Paroh started across the Red Sea on the same ‘platform’ (there is no mention of Israel walking across the sea bottom, they went on “dry”, both in Exodus and on this psalm) Israel walked on without getting their sandals wet or muddy. But when Paroh got ½ way across, Elohim removed the blessing that kept them above the muck. Paroh and his armies were stuck in the quagmire of the sea floor; their chariot wheels broke, their horses couldn’t move, men tried to run, but were stuck in muck at least knee high and then … the water rushed back to it’s natural place and Egypt was destroyed in a moment! That is what ‘terrible’ meant in the KJV! Egypt experienced absolute and abject terror while Israel experienced the elation of deliverance and absolute joy. The unnatural ‘natural disasters’ that we are experiencing in the earth today, even if they are ostensibly caused by the inventions of men, are from Elohim with the object of getting men to repent and turn to Y’hovah for deliverance. They are terrifying in their physical outcomes, but ought to be awe-inspiring to the believer who knows that this is Elohim’s judgment on this wicked world and Y’hovah’s plea for them to turn, to go his way and be blessed.
Vv8-12 – The terrible things that Elohim does in the earth have a wonderful outcome for those who trust him through it. These 5 verses tell us what we ought to be feeling when we see them happening – not terror, but awe at the powerful deliverance he is sending for us. The times that are coming are terrible in the 1611 sense. If we look only at the physical, we will be as terrified as Egypt was while caught in the quagmire; but if we look at the spiritual, see the prophecies unfolding and trust that Y’hovah will keep us through it all, we will rejoice that he has chosen us to be tried like silver through the fire. Keep ShMA,ChananYah Shadrach, AzarYah Meshech and Mishael Abednego in mind, who were thrown into Babylon’s burning, fiery furnace for their refusal to bow to the image of the beast. As Y’hovah brought them through the fire without a hair being singed or even the smell of smoke on their clothes, so he will bring you through, if you stand firm for him. To quote Job 13.15a, “Though he SLAY me, YET will I trust him.” And when we see his deliverance and blessing, we will rejoice.
VV.13-17 show us what our reaction should be and what Israel’s at the Red Sea was, and what AzarYah, ChananYah and MishaEl’s would be in Babylon. When one is delivered through a terrible trial, his natural reaction is elation. If he recognizes that it is Y’hovah who brought him through, his natural reaction is to praise Y’hovah with everything in his being and to want to extol his powerful deliverance to anyone who will listen. Been there. Done that. Still do it at every opportunity.
Vv.18-20 – We cannot truly pray in Yeshua’s Name if we are regarding iniquity in our hearts. We can tack on the words, in Yeshua’s Name, but they will be hollow. Adon WILL not hear our prayers if we are regarding iniquity. To regard iniquity is not only to not repent of it; but to look at it, study it, hold it dear, scrutinize it, worship it. Is Elohim hearing your prayers? Are your prayers being received and are the answers forthcoming? If not, it’s time to examine yourself and see if you might be holding onto something that he’s forbidden us to have or do. Iniquity = Torahlessness. When Elohim answers our prayers at the last minute (which is USUAL – so keep praying) the effect is dramatic and so should the response be in the believer.
1 Bless Y’hovah, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless Y’hovah, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good: thy youth is renewed like the eagle’. (Ps.103.1-5) Q&C
1Yochanan 1.1-4 – The way v.1 is worded makes me think that Yochanan realizes that even that which he perceives ‘of the Word of Life’ is just the ‘tippy-tip-tip’ of the iceberg. It is obvious that he knows who Yeshua is, ‘That which was from the beginning’ can only be one thing – The embodiment of Eyn Sof who is all there was or could have been ‘from the beginning’. Yochanan’s use of ‘the beginning’ in his writings is telling. In the Aramaic, the word used is ‘breshit’, as it is in 1Moshe 1 (Genesis). See note 2 on pg.650 of the AENT [it’s quite long and minuscule print].
Yochanan’s use of the plural pronoun ‘we’ gives the impression that he is either speaking for a group or is using it in the same way a king or queen would when referring to him/herself – the ‘royal’ we. I think that he did speak with that kind of authority, but he was also referring to all Yeshua’s talmidim, including, I think, Rav Sha’ul; those who saw, touched, heard and loved the man Yeshua in his physical presence, but also knew so much more intimately in the Ruach haKodesh. I think it is obvious from Yochanan’s writings that he was an Hebrew mystic, influenced by both Zohar and the Essenes. He seems to understand the Tree of Life we spoke of earlier and that Yeshua is our Tzadik, both our Strait Gate and our narrow Way to Y’hovah El Shaddai, Y’hovah Elohim Almighty – the eternal Ayn Sof. There is only 1 verse in all of Tanakh where the words ‘LORD’, ‘Elohim’, and ‘Almighty’ are used –
And when Avram was ninety years old and nine, Y’hovah appeared to Avram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty Elohim; walk before me, and be thou perfect (tamiym, complete). (Genesis 17.1)
That’s the chapter where the Y’hovah changed Avram’s name (and Sarai’s), and he gave the covenant with Avraham’s seed along with the evidence of circumcision (CC). From this time on, whenever a son of Avraham watered a tree he would see evidence of the promise of Y’hovah to bless him and give him an inheritance. By the way, the only other verses of scripture where the words ‘Lord’, ‘Elohim’ and ‘Almighty’ are used (and the ONLY verses in which they are used in that order) are in Yochanan’s account of the Revelation of Mashiyach Yeshua. In EVERY instance in Revelation, Yochanan refers to the Eyn Sof – the unknowable, endless One – as he is revealed in Yeshua haMashiyach. Yochanan is desirous that all believers be able to fellowship with him and with Avinu and Mashiyach Yeshua. He told us that the reason for his writing was so that we could understand what he does and thereby have that fellowship so that our joy can be complete like Avraham’s was. Q&C
Vv.5-10 – Yochanan goes right back to 1Moshe1 to tell us about Creation and relate all that he can about the Ain Sof, that he is light and in whom is no darkness. I think he refers to;
3 And Elohim said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And Elohim saw the light, that it was good: and Elohim divided the light from the darkness. (1Moshe1.3-4)
5 I, Y’hovah, and none else, no Eloha beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that none beside me. I Y’hovah, and none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Y’hovah do all these. (Isaiah 45.5-7)
Elohim made a distinction between the light and lack thereof, the same distinction he wants in us from the varying degrees of darkness around us. That is the essence of ‘holiness’ – a distinction between us and the rest of the crowd. Put in the vernacular, we’re weird – strangers in a strange land. When was the last time you thought of being weird as a GOOD thing? When the world and its system that thinks you’re weird, it IS! So, if we SAY we have fellowship with Yeshua but walk in darkness, we lie both to ourselves and to those around us because we don’t live out the truth. Yochanan separates (sets apart, makes a distinction, makes ‘holy’) the professors from the possessors. One can “say” anything he wants to about himself or others, but HOW WE LIVE determines whether what we “say” is true or a lie. A profession of faith that isn’t evidenced by a walk in truth is worthless – dead, as James tells us throughout his whole book, but states as plainly as can be in
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one Elohim; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Avraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Yitzhak his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed Elohim, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of Elohim. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2.15-26)
See the simile in that last verse? Flesh without spirit is similar to faith without works – flesh = faith, spirit = works. That is EXACTLY the opposite of what the church teaches, isn’t it? But is that not what Paul teaches, also?
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of Elohim: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiyach Yeshua unto good works, which Elohim hath before ordained that we should walk in them… 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of Elohim; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua haMashiyach himself being the chief corner;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in Y’hovah: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of Elohim through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2.8-10, 18-22)
The Spirit of Elohim is our power to do the truth in 1Yochanan1.6 and walk in the light in v.7. So if we are walking in the light and truth of Yeshua, who is the Torah made flesh, we have fellowship with each other AND with the Eyn Sof, as unfathomable an idea as that may be, BECAUSE we have been cleansed of all sin by Yeshua’s own life-blood. Truth = Light, Light = Torah, Torah = Truth; Torah, Truth and Light = Yeshua.
Sin = our natural propensity to disobey Torah, which propensity is powered by our flesh. We all have sin in our lives, because we have our flesh ever with us, fairly SCREAMING at us to pay attention to it. Our flesh is a Nazi, a bully – all he knows is force. If we SAY we have no sin we lie, both to ourselves and to others. Meanwhile the Spirit of Elohim is not a pain in the tukhis, but kind of a gentleman, speaking to us in our own spirits to gently get our attention and to empower us to do what he wants us to do, if we’ll submit to him. Y’hovah’s Spirit is NOT a bully, but persuades us to act in the light of Torah’s truth and leaves it to our own free will.
Sins = our actual instances of disobeying Torah’s instructions. Sin = disobedience to Torah’s instructions (cf. 3.4). Our sin was atoned for and our ransom paid for – all in one offering of Yeshua on the tree (Heb.9.27, 10.18, 26). In Yochanan 13.10 it is written
10 Yeshua saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, (Jn.13.10)
While we are clean, every whit, we still walk on this earth in a body of flesh. And while walking in that flesh we are likely at some point to transgress Torah and sin thereby. That is what Yeshua meant when he told Kefa that only his feet, those things that had actual contact with the world and its system, needed to be washed. As long as we keep our accounts short with Elohim we will only need to repent of one or a few sins at a time, because they are paid for already. But if we SAY we have NO sin, not only do we lie to ourselves and to others, but we MAKE Yeshua a liar and prove that his light is not in us. I sin less than I did when I was dead in my trespasses, but since my redemption sin has become both LESS frequent and less egregious (from our point of view – the wages of every sin is death). But I am NOT sinless – YET! But HalleluYah! One day I will be conformed into the image of the Son of Elohim
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29) Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study
BTW; August 19 will probably be the sighted New Moon of the 6th month, which begins the traditional 40 days of examining ourselves in preparation for Yom Kippur. The whole month of Elul is a traditional Jewish month of preparation for Yom Teruah, which, among other things, is traditionally considered to be “Resurrection Day”. It is the Day of Trumpets and shouting and also is called “the Last Trump”. In traditional Jewish thought, it was the day when Elohim said “Light” and light was; the beginning of the creation of this universe. It is also considered to be the day when he will create the New Creation ‘wherein dwelleth righteousness’. If there is going to be a ‘rapture’, this is the likely day for it. It is also traditionally considered Yom Keseh, the hidden day that no man knows. There are 2 months every year that are not known until the sliver of the new moon is sighted, Aviv and the 7th month. Once you know the day of the 1st month, you can predict the new moons that follow with very good accuracy through month 6. But with the 29.54 days between New moons, by the time you get to the 7th month you can easily miss. Elul COULD be 29 or 30 days long, which is the reason Rosh HaShanah is a 2 day celebration in Israel.
So, these are the days of introspection, when we examine ourselves and make ourselves ready for the Resurrection. If we are NOT ready, we will get to go through the “Days of Awe” that follow, i.e.; the Great Tribulation. Sukkoth will likely begin on the evening beginning shabbat of 2-3 Oct. – an early Sukkoth this year. Even EARLIER next year – Sukkoth will be during the last 2 weeks of Sept in 2021. Simchat Torah on 29 Sept, according to the rabbinic calendar.