Shabbat Bible Study for 2Jan2021

Shabbat Bible Study for 2Jan2021

©2020 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Leviticus 22:1-23:44 – (No Prophet) – Psalm 86 – Colossians 2:1-3:6


Vayikra 22.1-16 ­– This is a very long and involved Torah portion today, so keep a pen and paper handy to write down questions that arise while reading the passages and listening to my notes so that you get them addressed at Q&C time. 

There is a triple redundancy in this verse: 1) “And he, Y’hovah, said” – vayomer; “to Moshe, “Say” – emor; “to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and tell them” – v’amartha. Y’hovah tells Moshe to speak and tell – When he repeats himself, Y’hovah is letting us all know how important what he is about to say is. ‘Three’s a charm’, as it were.

The Kohen Gadol is to sanctify Y’hovah, and to do so by staying aloof from what only Israel calls holy, because the Kohanim sanctify Y’hovah’s Name, and if they sanctify what he has not, they are profaning his Name. An example of this would be to not set apart, as unto Y’hovah, traditions of men that Y’hovah did not set apart. Yeshua came against this throughout his ministry with stuff like 

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto Y’hovah thine oaths: (Matthew 5:33)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: (Matthew 5:38)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. (Matthew 5:43)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of Torah, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Matthew 23:25)

That’ll do for now. The Kohen Gadol sanctified Y’hovah’s Name and to exalt anything other than what Y’hovah exalted was forbidden.

He gives some specifics in vv.3-6. If a Kohen ate of the food set apart unto the Kohanim while in a tamei/defiled condition, he would be exiled from his position of service until he became tamim/cleansed or complete. The tamei Kohen MUST perform a mikvah and remain tamei until sundown, when he became tamim, whole or holy. Then he may eat of the sanctified food of the Kohanim. This was ultimately a self-policing thing, as he may have been made defiled by something only he and Y’hovah knew – w/o human witnesses.  V.7 revisits ch.19, where the Kohen is to marry only a Levite woman “in her virginity”, or the widow of a Kohen (presumably as a kinsman-redeemer). He is set-apart to Y’hovah and must adhere to the strictest holiness. An average, run-of-the-mill Yisraelite was allowed to marry a divorcee, but not a Kohen. He represents Y’hovah to Yisrael and must show Yisrael Y’hovah’s sanctity in his life and practice.

V.8-9 is in effect, because there is a GOOD chance that an animal that died of itself or was killed by other animals was not properly bled, and the Kohen would become abominable. He must not allow any but the Kohanim to eat of the food that is sanctified to them in v.10. Even fellow-Israelites were strangers in this case. It looks like, in v.11, that a purchased slave came under the Kohen’s family covering, because he got to eat the food sanctified to the Kohanim. When the Kohen’s daughter marries any man other than another Kohen in v.12, she can no longer eat of the sanctified food, because she is no longer under the Kohen’s authority/covering. But if she is widowed or divorced without children (a widow indeed in 1Tim.5.5), or otherwise comes back under the Kohen’s covering in v.13, she may again eat of the Kohen’s sanctified food. Vv.14-16 address a non-Kohen eating the food sanctified to them and a Kohen eating what is sanctified to the man offering it. The one who inadvertently eats part of the Kohen’s portion must make restitution as if he had stolen it, repaying what he took and adding 20%. By the same token, the Kohen is not to partake of that portion of a man’s offering that is sanctified to the man. The Kohanim were sanctified by Y’hovah, and must guard against all this stuff. 

Vv.17-25 – Anyone who lived in Israel, even a stranger, could offer a freewill offering at any time and MUST offer an unblemished male sheep, goat or bull/bullock (steer) to complete a vow. If there is any evidence of physical imperfection, it is to be rejected by the Kohen. The bullock, sheep or goat of the freewill offering is kinda like the Kohen with a club-foot, flat nose or other physical imperfection – not allowed to be offered for service. The Kohen still got to partake of the hallowed food, since this was a matter of inheritance. But he had to represent Y’hovah and his MelchiTzadik High Priest. 

A new calf, lamb or kid must be allowed to feed on his mother’s milk for at least the 1st 7 days of its life. From the 8th day it could be offered on the altar. But it could not be offered on the same day as its mother. I think this has to do with the prohibition against seething a kid in its mother’s milk, which was a practice of the Canaanites and the Egyptians. 

In 1195 CE, Maimonides suggested:

“As for the prohibition against eating meat [boiled] in milk, it is in my opinion not improbable that – in addition to this being undoubtedly very gross food and very filling – idolatry had something to do with it. Perhaps such food was eaten at one of the ceremonies of their cult or one of their festivals” (The Guide to the Perplexed 111:48).

Maimonides offers no proof, only the enlightened speculation. However, I found this, also:

Apparently it was a common pagan sacrificial practice to offer a foetal or newborn goat boiled in the milk of its mother, and this was considered an abomination for the Israelites. While this sacrificial practice may have ceased, the item is still on the menu today. On a Mediterranean cooking web site, I came across a recipe from Syria/Lebanon called “Lamb Cooked In Its Mother’s Milk.” Oy. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Obviously the practice existed, or the Torah would have no reason to prohibit it.

Other reasons were also suggested for this prohibition. Ibn Ezra connects the law against boiling a kid in its mother’s milk with the Torah’s injunction against slaughtering a cow and her offspring on the same day (Leviticus 22:28) and the edict not to take a mother bird from the nest along with her eggs (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). For Ibn Ezra, it was clear that all three of these mitzvot draw their inspiration from a single idea: to kill a mother and its offspring at the same time reflects a lack of sensitivity to life that is inexcusable. Ibn Ezra supports this idea with a passage from the Prophet Hosea that describes an extreme act of destruction:

…Therefore shall a tumult arise among your people, and all of your fortresses shall be plundered, just as Shalmon conquered Bet Arbel on the day of battle, when the mothers were dashed to pieces with their young (Hosea 10:4).

So, if you must seek a rationale for the Torah’s disdain for Lamb and Milk stew, then either of these reasons is as good as the other: the Torah seeks to distance Israel from a practice that was common among the idolatrous peoples, and/or, the Torah was emphasizing the sanctity of life and denigrating those who devalue life by destroying mothers along with their children.

So, Ibn Ezra does me one better. I’ll accept that. By the way, ‘destroying mothers along with their children’ sounds a lot like abortion to me. I’m just saying.

Vv.29-30 – A thanksgiving offering was to be eaten on the same day it was offered. I assume that one would celebrate the thing for which he was thankful and ‘par-TAY’ with his buds. He would invite at LEAST enough folks to eat all that flesh. I assume that what was not eaten was burned with the morning offering, like the Pesach, etc.

In vv.31-33 Y’hovah gives yet another commandment to guard and do all that he commands and to hallow his Name thereby, as Y’hovah has hallowed Yisrael. 4 times in the last 3 verses, Y’hovah uses that enabling clause, “I am Y’hovah” which brought you out of Egypt’s bondage. The meaning is clear – “Don’t go back to what I have delivered you from.” 

We are not to return to our own vomit, as dogs are wont to do. Q&C

23.1-3 – I am not going to go into great detail on the Moedim in my study today, but will leave it to the Q&C time, as I think we are familiar with the Feasts of Y’hovah. I will attempt a brief overview of each Moad as we go through the chapter.

The first of Y’hovah’s Feasts, both in inception and in importance, is the Shabbat. It has become a real controversy among Messianics over the last few years, because people just can’t comprehend how, with all the calendar changes over the millennia, Y’hovah kept it straight. I know this: in the year 325 CE, at the Nicene Council of what became the Roman Catholic Church, all Xians who were under the authority of Rome were told that anyone who kept the 7th day Shabbat was anathema – accursed by the hierarchy.

“He [Constantine] also enjoined the observance of the day termed the Lord’s day, which the Jews call the first day of the week, and which the pagans dedicate to the sun, as likewise the day before the seventh, and commanded that no judicial or other business should be transacted on those days, but that Elohim should be served with prayers and supplications. He honored the Lord’s day, because on it Mashiyach arose from the dead, and the day above mentioned, because on it he was crucified.” Sozomon, Ecclesiastical History, 1:8 (A.D. 443).

“Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible” (Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society, 1975).

And now, within the Sabbath-keeping community there are various and sundry ‘shabbats’ that people are keeping. As to the 7th day being Shabbat is not so much in question as when the first day of the Shevua is. As far as I can tell, in scripture there is no question but that the 1st day of next week follows the 7th day of this week, but now there are some who do not see a never-ending cycle of 7s. I say that we ought to look at Exodus 16 to see what Y’hovah wanted us to know. Israel had been in Egyptian bondage until only a month or so ago, working 7 days a week and 365 a year for only Y’hovah really knows how long. They hadn’t kept a Shabbat in decades, at least; perhaps as much as 100 years. So he had to retrain them in Sabbath-keeping. Let me quote from our study on Ex.16:

Now, let me venture an educated guess here, the 15th day of the 2nd month was a weekly sabbath day. I derive this from the passage in Shemoth 16. Y’hovah told Moshe that beginning tomorrow, they were going to get a bunch of quail dropping out of the sky in the evening and bread from Y’hovah in the morning with the dew. Y’hovah gave the plan to Moshe who then told Aharon to call the congregation to attention, because Y’hovah was about to speak. The Shekinah appeared in the cloud for everyone to see and Y’hovah spoke to Moshe in everyone’s hearing. He was going to send quail this evening and bread in the morning with the dew. And it happened just as Y’hovah said it would. 

Notice evening and morning – the evening and the quail came first, setting the pattern, I think, for the day of the week. Then he sent the bread the next morning. On the 1st day, when the dew burned off, the bread was lying there. It was something they had never seen before, so they said ‘mahn’ – “What?!” (This was said in their best ‘Tim Allen’ quizzical manner.) Then when they tasted it, they grunted like Tim Allen, “ugh! ugh! ugh!” (My wife makes great manna, by the way. Quite often even SHE doesn’t know what it is, but it always tastes great – woman cooked food is always great). 

They were told to go out and pick up the bread every day, an omer (about 2 liters) per person per day. They were not to keep any overnight, but were not told why (a chuk). Y’hovah was using the manna to teach them to obey him. Some kept some overnight and it bred worms and stank to high heaven. I don’t think it took more than one of two times and they were broken of that. They were also told to go out everyday to gather their manna, one omer per person per day – except on the 6th day, when they were to gather a double portion two omer per person – and hold one portion overnight so they would not have to go out on the 7th day, for it was Y’hovah’s shabbat, a day given to them by Y’hovah so they could rest from their labors. When they went out on the 6th day and gathered two omers per person, keeping one until Shabbat, the manna did not breed worms nor did it stink.

So, Y’hovah gave them the pattern for reckoning the day – quail in the evening, manna in the morning so that evening and morning comprise a biblical calendar day. He also gave them the pattern to reckon the Sabbath – 6 days you gather manna, the 7th day you rest from your gathering. He set apart the Sabbath in at least 4 ways: 

1) The manna was given in a certain quantity for 5 days, and double on the 6th day;

2) The manna bred worms and stank if kept over the first 5 nights, but didn’t ‘go bad’ when the double portion was gathered on the 6th day and kept over for the shabbat;

3) The manna did not arrive with the dew on the 7th day;

4) The manna reappeared on the next 1st day to start the pattern over again.

The 2 greatest controversies among Messies today are 1) When does the day begin? and 2) When is the 7th day? Y’hovah answered and gave an object lesson for both in Ex.16. Then comes this:

So now Moshe said (in a Mark paraphrase of) vv.25-26, “Eat what didn’t spoil overnight today, because there won’t be any out there today. Y’hovah is setting us a pattern for the Shevua/week in that 6 days you will go out and gather manna, but the 7th day Shabbat is your rest day. Don’t go out looking for manna. It will be a manna-less effort.” But, of course, in v.27 we just HAD to be Missourians and say ‘Show me! I won’t believe Y’hovah until I see it with my eyes.’ We see this same attitude in Num.15 when the guy went out to gather sticks for a fire on Shabbat. In vv.28-29 (in another Mark paraphrase), Y’hovah addresses the nation through Moshe, “How long will you continue to despise what I say? I’ve given you the Shabbat for a day of rest. Did you like being slaves so much that you can’t take off the day I set aside for you? I gave you a double portion on the 6th day so you could rest on the Shabbat. WORK WITH me here!” So, in v.30, they did, finally.

So, He showed by His object lessons of the quail and the manna that the calendar day begins at evening and that the Shevua begins at sundown that ends the 7th day/begins the 1st day. The 7-day cycle is the basic time period in determining the Feasts of Y’hovah. And there is NOTHING anywhere in scripture that changes those patterns. Q&C

Vv.4-14– I’ll include everything that occurs during Pesach week here. There is a 7-day convocation. The first and seventh days of ULB are mikra kodesh – holy convocations. Please notice that Y’hovah is careful to NOT call the 1st day of ULB or the 7th day of ULB Shabbats. The convocations are to be held in their seasons and the people are to do no laborious work. The Shabbat is the Shabbat. The Mikroth (?) are days of rest from everyday labors LIKE the Shabbat, but are not the Shabbat (unless they actually fall out on the Shabbat). This will be an important distinction beginning in v.9. I am emphasizing this because it is so important. Genesis 1.14 is a key verse,

And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: (Genesis 1:14)

‘Seasons’ in Gen.1.14 is the same root word, moed, as Feasts in Lev.23. Nothing there about weeks because weeks are determined by the 7 day cycle, while the seasons, months and years are not determined by when the weeks begin or end. They are, all but 1, determined by the day of the month they fall within, regardless the day of the week. Pesach/Passover is the 14th day of the 1st month and is a preparation day, when everything is made ready for the day of no laborious work. ULB1 is on the 15th day of the first month and is a mikra, like a national holiday. ULB 2-6 are regular days of the week, including the Shabbat, if it falls on one of these 5 days. ULB7 is also a mikra in which there is no laborious work done. There are special offerings made everyday of the Pesach week of ULB, which are enumerated elsewhere.

Vv.15-21 – Another special day happens during the week of ULB, which is NOT a mikra. That day is Chag haBikkurim, the Festival of Firstfruits, when the people would bring the firstfruits of their barley harvest to wave before Y’hovah. It is the first day following the weekly Shabbat during chag haMatzoth. On Firstfruits there is a special service with a male lamb of the first year with the attendant meal and drink offerings. 

It is also the first day of the 50-day ‘counting of the omer’, which ends with the Feast of Shavuoth/Pentecost. The 50 days begins on the 1st day, from which you count 7 Shevua – weeks. After 7 weeks, the 1st day following is Chag haShavuoth – the Feast of Weeks. This time is similar in its count to the Yovel, or Jubilee years. The Jubilee cycle is just like the Bikkurim/Shavuoth count. The 1st day of the week following the 7th (sheviyith) weekly shabbat (shabbat) is Shavuoth as well as the 1st day of the next Shevua, just like the 1st year following the 7th ‘week of years’ is Yovel or Jubilee as well as the first year in the next cycle of Shavuot haShanah, weeks of years. There are also some special offerings for Shavuoth (and Yovels, too) – 7 lambs, a bull, 2 rams, + 1 he-goat and 2 additional lambs for peace offerings along with their meal and drink offerings. This is a mikra, as well, the 3rd of the year and the last of the spring feasts. 

Vv.22 – In conjunction with the Feast of Shavuoth is another Firstfruits offering, this time of the wheat crop. Remember that during the Egyptian plagues when the hail fell, it destroyed the barley crop because it was ‘in the ear’ nearly ready for harvest, but the hail didn’t destroy the wheat because it was less mature, it was just grass with no grain stalks yet. So the wheat waited for the NEXT plague to destroy it – the locusts that ate the leftover greenery to the ground. It would have taken about another month and ½ to be in the same stage of development as the barley – right about Shavuoth time. Now, in conjunction with this firstfruit wheat offering comes the instruction to not harvest the corners of the fields or to glean what the harvesters dropped, so that the poor would have some provision (and, I think, so that there would be a way for Ruth to meet and impress Boaz with her virtue). Again, Y’hovah uses the enabling clause. He wants them to know how serious he is about this command. Remember ch.19’s general command;

9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I Y’hovah Elohechem. 11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. 12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of Elohecha: I Y’hovah.

Those commands are in close proximity because they are closely related. To reap the corners or glean the leftovers after harvest is to steal from the poor, to deal falsely and to lie to them about Y’hovah’s provision through you. That’s never a good idea. Q&C

Vv.23-25 – There is about a 3½ month parenthesis as we jump to the 7th month. The only New Moon that is specifically set apart as a Feast of Y’hovah is the 7th month’s. It is called Yom Teruah, and it is a Shabbat on steroids. Gesenius’ Lexicon says on shabbaton;

“A great sabbath, a solemn sabbath; Ex.16.23, Lev.23.24; especially in this connection, shabbat shabbaton, in Ex.31.15, 35.2, Lev.16.31.”

All the weekly shabbats are shabbatons, according to Ex.16.23, 31.15 and 35.2. Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and both the 1st and 8th days of Sukkoth are Shabbat Shabbaton. Yom Teruah, what is erroneously called Rosh Hashanah, is also a Shabbaton Zikron Teruah, a great Shabbat of Remembrance with shofars. We are to remember to blow the shofar on this Rosh Chodesh if not every other one. There is a good comment on this in Schottenstein’s Chumash on pg.164, left column. 

A remembrance through shofar blasts; According to Rashi, remembrance alludes to the verses recited in conjunction with the shofar blasts, which call upon God to remember Yisrael for good. The shofar blasts recall the supreme loyalty of Avraham and Yitzhak at the Akeidah [Gen.22]. The shofar, a ram’s horn, symbolizes the ram Avraham offered in place of Yitzhak. Ramban explains that a remembrance before God is needed before Rosh HaShanah inaugurates the 10 days of judgment and repentance.

The shofar not only represents the ram caught by its horns in the thicket of thorns on Mount Moriah as Yitzhak submitted to his father Avraham, but also Mashiyach Yeshua who, submitted to Avinu as the substitute for me and you, had his own head pierced by the same kind of thorns and in the same geographical area (I think in exactly the same place). It isn’t a shabbat of ‘no work’, but one of no occupational work. 

The next miqra is the only Shabbat of absolutely NO WORK – Yom haKippurim vv.26-32. Traditionally, there is no work at all – not even eating, as that is considered a delight, and we are to afflict our souls on this day. It IS a kadosh miqra – an holy convocation; a large formal gathering of people. Only the High Priest worked at his regular job on Yom haKippurim. But even this was not his regular job, for it was the most set-apart – ‘Kadoshiest’, if you will – day of the year. There were very special offerings to be made on this day, made in the Most Set-Apart place and in the most set-apart manner. For example, the Kippurim itself is the only offering in which a goat is specified. The Pesach offering can be either a sheep or a goat, which qualifies Yeshua’s once for all offering as BOTH Pesach and Kippurim, and tells us that the ‘lamb of Elohim’ is a kid of the goats. In Ex.12 we see this:

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (Exodus 12:5)

Why is the Lamb of Elohim always portrayed as a sheep? Perhaps it’s because of the traditional misapplication of the parable in Mat.25?

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25.31-33)

The sheep are not intrinsically good and the goats intrinsically evil. It is the nations that are good or evil. He is differentiating the nations “as a shepherd divideth sheep from the goats”. Mashiyach will remove the good nations from among the evil nations AS the shepherd removes the sheep from among the goats. The word ‘as’ denotes a simile – a similarity between the one and the other, in this case the separation of the nations and of the different flocks. The differentiation is what is juxtaposed, not the ‘sheep’ nations and the ‘goat’ nations. ‘Context is king’ in biblical interpretation.

The priest had to enter into the Throneroom, ‘Spiritual Space’ in which time does not exist. He had to offer special offerings for his own sins before he could enter into Y’hovah’s presence within the veil, and if he entered in any way unprepared for his transportation into that presence he would die from the intense sublimity. The bull of his personal sin offering was done immediately before he offered the goat for the nation’s sins. He would have no way to actually commit a personal sin in that time, unless it was in thought. If he kept his focus on what he was doing, which had to be done in precisely correct fashion, that could not happen either. And in the 1500 years between the Exodus and Titus’ destruction of the 2nd Temple, no priest died in the Yom Kippur service, so they must have all done OK, even the Edomites appointed by Rome as Kohen Gadol. 

Vv.33-36 gives the general information about Sukkoth. It begins on the 15th day of the 7th month and is 7 days long, just like Matzoth. The 1st day is a kadosh miqra and the 8th day is a kadosh miqra. But I thought it was a 7-day Festival? Whence comes the 8th day? I would suggest that perhaps the 8th day is added to balance Sukkoth with the Spring Feasts of Matzoth and Shavuoth, 7+1 = 8. This is just a thought, not a doctrine. If you include Chag haBikkurim on the weekly shabbat of Pesach and Rosh Chodesh Sheviyi (Yom Teruah) there are 9 Festival days in the Spring and 9 in the Fall plus Yom Kippur, which is NOT a Feast, but a fast. 

Vv.37-38 summarize the moedai Y’hovah which are miqrai kodesh. All are days to gather together either for celebration of the Feasts or support in our affliction of soul. Each festival has its own special offerings in addition to the regular daily offerings and the freewill offerings of the people. 

Vv.39-44 command some special features of celebrating Sukkoth. The ‘4 species’ are given, for which the rabbis have made some suggestions of meaning. Nothing is commanded in scripture without a purpose, so I have to agree that there is some spiritual meaning to each of the 4 species. What the rabbis have seen is valid, and I will hold to them until a better explanation comes to light. 

The Midrash finds many symbolisms in the commandment of the 4 species. The 2 best known teach the importance of unity – unity within oneself and unity of Yisrael;

The etrog (citron) resembles the heart; the lulav (palm branch), the spine; the hadasim (myrtle leaves), the eyes; and the aravos (willow branches), the lips. By holding all 4 together, we symbolize the need for a person to utilize all his faculties in the service of God.
The etrog [both taste and a pleasant aroma] symbolizes one who possesses both scholarship and good deeds; the lulav [a date branch, whose fruit has taste but no aroma] symbolizes a scholar who is deficient in good deeds; the myrtle [which has no taste, but has aroma] symbolizes a person who is deficient in Torah but does possess good deeds; and the willow, which lacks both, symbolizes a person who has neither. The 4 species must be held together because all sorts of people must be united in the community of Yisrael.

However, the Chofetz Chaim calls attention to the fact that only while the mitzvah is being performed is the etrog joined to the other 3 specie. This suggests that the Torah leaders, who, with both scholarship and good deeds, are represented by the etrog, are to unite with the rest of the people only for mitzvah purposes and only during performance of the mitzvah.

Vv.42-43 specify WHY chol Yisrael is to dwell in Sukkoth for 7 days – to remember that Y’hovah protected them in their Wilderness Adventure. And IF he did it then, he will do it again when he calls us out from the 4 winds and corners of the earth.

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moshe in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Mashiyach. 5 But with many of them Elohim was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Mashiyach, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Elohim is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear. (1Cor.10.1-13)

An example is something used to illustrate a general rule. An ensample is a SAMPLE of what’s to come, like the pink spoon at Baskin Robbins Ice Cream – just a taste. The real thing comes afterwards. Paul says it comes at ‘the ends of the world’ so we’ll have a clue about the proper response to the things that are coming. Y’hovah ends his instructions to Moshe with the enabling clause – “I am Y’hovah Elohecha.” Q&C 

Tehellim 86 – V.1 uses 2 metaphors for exile, poor and needy. Vv.2-4 uses parallelisms to show how the poor and needy of v.1 are in exile, but are keeping themselves set-apart unto him. The supplications are all parallels – “Preserve my soul = save thy servant = Be merciful = Rejoice the soul of thy servant.”  The reasons that the supplications should be granted are also parallelisms – “I am holy = I trust in thee = I cry unto thee = I lift my soul unto thee.” In v.5, he exalts Y’hovah for all his goodness to him. He has been forgiven, he has experienced Y’hovah’s mercy, so he exalts his Adon. Then in vv.6-7 he opens his heart to make specific supplications, knowing that his Elohim, Y’hovah, will hear and respond in his righteous power. 

Vv.8-10 – We have gone to other Elohims and have found that they are vanity and the product of our own minds. They do not really exist as Elohims and cannot deliver us from trouble. In fact, they will deliver us inTO trouble. We have come to know by experience that there is but one Elohim and that he is Y’hovah. So in vv.11-13 we call directly upon Y’hovah to unite our hearts in his way so that we can walk in his truth and be delivered from hell and death unto life eternal.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto Avinu but by me. (John 14.6)

In vv.14-17 David laments that wicked men have turned against him, but contrasts them to the gracious and merciful way that Y’hovah has and will deliver him from them. Remember 85.10 from last week, where mercy and truth met together and righteousness and peace kissed each other in Mashiyach Yeshua? Here is the same mercy and truth being poured out upon David in his need. He calls upon Y’hovah who responds with Yeshua. This same thing will happen in the time of Yacov’s trouble, when Y’hovah’s people will cry out for Y’hovah’s salvation – “Hosheanu! Save us, NOW, Y’hovah!” and he will respond by sending his Yeshua. Then those who persecuted Y’hovah’s people will be confounded, dismayed and ashamed when Y’hovah shows himself as his people’s deliverer – One Elohim against the combined forces of the world’s system. He will rout them with a Word from his mouth. Q&C

Colossians 2.1-3 – Already in ch.1, Rav Sha’ul has revealed one mystery, 

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of Elohim which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of Elohim; 26 the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom Elohim would make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Mashiyach in you, the hope of glory: (Col.1.25-27)

Mashiyach in you = Ruach haKodesh in you, as the Spirit of Mashiyach = Ruach haKodesh 

But the Comforter, which is Ruach haKodesh, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave me, is greater than all; and noone is able to pluck out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him… 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself Elohim. (John 10.27-31a, 33)

The Jews understood exactly what he was saying. Even I could have made that connexion – He was claiming to be Y’hovah Elohenu in human flesh. Rav Sha’ul revealed these things to his mostly gentile audience in Colosse (and Ephesus and Corinth and Rome, as well as to his talmid, Timothy, whom I suspect already knew it).

14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of Elohim, which is the kahal of the living Elohim, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: Elohim was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (I Timothy 3:14-16)

Wherever 2 or more believers meet, that is the kahal, the assembly or house, of the living Elohim. 

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)

Yeshua was speaking to his talmidim when he said this, and he was standing in his flesh and blood body. How could he be in the midst of two or three people in Corinth while he stood in Capernaum? He MUST be making a spiritual point that his Spirit was there. He could NOT be speaking of a human spirit, for only the Spirit of Y’hovah can be in more than one physical place at a time, namely everywhere. Omnipresence is solely an attribute of the Creator who spoke the universe into existence. And that Ruach indwells you and me, each individually, as well as corporately; both us and our fellowship. 

That is the mystery Paul revealed in Col.1 and 2 – Elohim the Father and Mashiyach are one and the same Spirit in whom ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge can be found. One mystery of Elohim AND of Abba AND of Mashiyach – all are One and the same Ruach manifesting different divine attributes to our finite minds and hearts. The mystery of Col.2.2 is that Elohim, Abba and Mashiyach are all hid in Master Yeshua in Col.2.3. Q&C

Vv.4-23 – If all the treasures of chochmah and da’ath [wisdom and knowledge] are found in Mashiyach Yeshua [and they are], it would be stupid to believe anything contrary to what he reveals to us, wouldn’t it? So, no matter how enticing the words that would lead you away from Mashiyach may sound, do not entertain them. If one would lead you away from the Mashiyach, as he is revealed in the scriptures, ignore the guy, regardless how good his words sound. You received Mashiyach by grace through faith. Live in Mashiyach by grace through faith of and in the ‘Root’ and Foundation that he provides. A tree needs a deep and wide root system to stand through winds that buffet and try to uproot it. So we need to stay attached to the Root, who is Mashiyach. Only by doing so will you be established in the faith of Mashiyach and abound in the thanksgiving that comes through it. 

Be careful to not fall into the trap of men’s traditions, or philosophies, which are deceitful and useless. A ‘rudiment’ is something that is rough, crude or unsophisticated. It is usually true, but only ELEMENTAL truth. Mashiyach is the WHOLE truth, which includes the fact that all the attributes of Elohim abide in Mashiyach – ‘the fullness of the Godhead, bodily.’ They were there in his earthly life, but he’d divested himself of his independent use of those attributes (made himself of no reputation: basically, contracted or tzimtzum’d himself so that we could begin to grasp his fulness in our minds) while in the flesh;

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let <this< mind be in you, which was also in Mashiyach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation (emptied or contracted), and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the tree. 9 Wherefore Elohim also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiyach is the Master Y’hovah, to the glory of Elohim the Father. (Philippians 2.4-11)

He who, in Col.2, was the vessel of the ‘fullness of the Godhead’, ‘emptied himself’ in Phil.2. And we are ‘complete’ in him. The Greek word is pleroo, which is how the Hebrew word tamiym is often translated into Greek in the LXX. It means full, perfect, whole. So he emptied himself of independent use of his attributes so that we could be full of his Spirit. 

Not only are we complete in him, we also have our hearts CCd in Mashiyach and are able to put off the sins of the flesh, as he put off the use of his attributes for us while he was in his flesh: buried with him in Mikvah and raised in him to eternal life. On that CC, look at excerpts from the AENT’s appendix on CC, pp 751-753. 

When He CCd our hearts making us able to obey his commandments He also took our death warrant and nailed it to His tree. When He was on the tree, Pilate put the indictment on the tree above his head – the accusation for which he was being punished. He wrote, Yeshua Hanotzrim V’melech Hayehudim, which has the acronym, YHVH. The Iuaidois/Jews, the leaders of the Israelite religion, told Pilate to make it say that he SAID he was Y’HOVAH – for THAT was what he’d been indicted for – blasphemy. As he had the accusation nailed to his tree by his executioner, so he personally nailed our accusations, “the handwriting of ordinances against us”, to his stake and paid the price for us. 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of Elohim is eternal life through Yeshua haMoshiach, our Master. (Romans 6:23)

The Colossians were mostly gentiles who had come directly to Mashiyach from the pagan religions of Asia Minor. In those pagan religions were many holidays and practices that were forbidden in the synagogues to which the new believers came for Torah instruction. They also started keeping biblical Feasts, like we read about in our Torah portion today, and were catching some flak from their buddies who were still steeped in their paganism. Some of the flak was about clean food, some the Shabbat, some Yom Teruah. Paul is telling them not to listen to the pagans about their new lifestyles, but to observe the commandments of Torah and let the assembly judge their walk. As we are not to judge the pagan for his paganism, we are not to listen when the pagans judge our new lifestyles. Don’t let a pagan trick you out of your inheritance with false humility or worship of ministering spirits – which is your basic demonism and idolatry. See excerpt from AENT, pg.904 on ‘Messengers’, or angels. Paul goes on to say that the great heresy of the day, Gnosis or Gnosticism, is among the rudiments of the world. There is no reason the Colossians should subject themselves to Gnostic ordinances. It is much simpler to shema the mitzvoth of Elohim. Those ordinances LOOK good, but they leave too much to be desired.

Tanakh speaks of the law, testimonies, ordinances and precepts. While all are a part of the revealed Word of Y’hovah, all are different in application. Ordinances are those things that we have been ordained to do. Torah  = instructions. Testimonies are recounts of things Y’hovah has done. Precepts are things he taught that are not doctrinal, like dietary laws. The ordinances Paul speaks of in Colossians are those pagan practices that we ought to leave to the pagans, while advocating for obedience to Y’hovah’s Word.

Ch.3.1-6 – Our citizenship is in the heavenlies, not on earth. We are ambassadors to the earth’s system from Y’hovah’s throne. That is where our minds ought to be focused, not on things of earth. We are risen IN Mashiyach and will be raised from the dead, so we ought to mortify, or make as dead, the deeds of the flesh, oughtn’t we? This is NOT to say that we ought to kill our bodies, but to take metaphorical charge of our bodies. The deeds of the flesh in v.5 are ALL sexual in nature, so it must be a fertility cult that the Colossian believers had come out of, and Y’hovah is going to judge it and condemn those who are partaking in its rituals. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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