Shabbat Bible Study for 20March2021

Shabbat Bible Study for 20March2021

©2021 Mark Pitrone & Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Shabbat 1 – March 27, 2021

Numbers 8.1- 9.21 – ZecharYah 4.1-14 – Tehellim 101 – Rev.11.1-19

B’Midbar 8.1-4 – KJV’s ‘over against’ means toward, so the light of the 3 left and the 3 right side lamps is directed toward the center. The Hebrew word is muhl, from the same root for mohel, which is the title of the Kohen who specializes in CC. The same idea is seen here of adjusting the appearance of the thing being addressed. Did I sufficiently circumlocute just then? Aharon was to adjust the lamps to illuminate the center stand as much as possible. If you look at the representation at of the tree of Sefiroth you may see the metaphor I am alluding to. The junctions within the ‘center stand’ represent the ‘knops’ of the menorah from which the arms extend and the sephirah (lamps) ends of the arms on the right (abba Y’hovah) and left (ima Ruach haKodesh) illuminate the center (ben – tzadik rebbe Yeshua). The menorah was of one piece of gold of a talent’s weight beaten into shape, including the knops, the tubes the flowers and cups – it was incredibly intricate. The malleability of gold made the thing possible, but it was still an amazing piece of craftsmanship, and, I think undoable by any man not filled with the Ruach haKodesh. 

Possibility that the 6 side-lights were surrounding the center light.

Vv.5-26 – The Levi’im are consecrated for service in the Mishkan by sprinkling them with the red heifer water. I’m curious how they knew what red heifer water was before the provision was made in Num.19. This supports the thought that Leviticus and Numbers are not necessarily laid out in chronological order. After they were sprinkled with the water of purification, they shaved their bodies and washed their clothes. Then they brought 2 young steers as a sin offering and the associated meal offering. When it says that the whole assembly laid their hands on the Levites, I don’t think it was all 2.5 million Israelites laying their hands on all 24,000 Levites. I think it was the elders of Israel in the presence of the whole congregation laying hands on the elders of the Levi’im, which represents their approval of this consecration. And Aharon offered the Levites as the offering of Israel for the tabernacle service. Then the elders of the Levi’im laid hands on the steers and Aharon slaughtered them and offered them on the altar in the place of the Levites’ sins. When Aharon (v.11) and Moshe (v.13) offered the Levites, it was as a wave offering – Stone’s Chumash has an interesting note on the wave offering (pg.777 on v.13). 

והנפת vahaynafta “And wave” – In v.11, Aharon had been instructed to lift and wave the Levites; now Moshe was told to do the same. The two wavings represented different missions that now devolved to them: a) Moshe lifted them to formalize their position as assistants to the Kohenim; and b) Aharon lifted them as a representative of the nation, to formalize the Levites assumption of the status of the zachanim/firstborn (Malbim).  

The Levi’im were effectively ‘living sacrifices’. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Now, usually the priest then ate the wave offering, but I don’t think that was actually done here. “Levite” is not one of things declared ‘clean to eat’ in Lev.11 or Dt.14. “Offering” the Levites here means to consecrate them to the service of Y’hovah. 

** Disclaimer for PETL (People for the Ethical Treatment of Levites): 

No Levites were harmed in the making of this offering. **

The Levites then moved right into their service of Y’hovah as the substitutes for all the 1st-born of Israel. The 1st-born still are Y’hovah’s, but the service they were to render fell to the Levi’im because of the sin of the Golden Calf and the faithfulness of Levi to Y’hovah. Aharon and his seed were given the rest of their tribe as servants of the Mishkan. As with the Mishkan and its furnishings and everything was done exactly as Y’hovah commanded Moshe, so it was with the Levi’im. Levites trained to serve until their 24th year was complete. Then they served Aharon and his seed in the Mishkan from the beginning of  their 25th year until the end of their 49th year and beginning in their 50th year they trained the trainees. In ch.4, we saw that the Levi’im were counted from the 30th year to the 50th year in the census as substitutes for the 1st-born and to serve in the Tabernacle. Chumash says that from their 25th year to their 30th they were in an apprenticeship. In reality, Levi’im were ALWAYS in service to Aharon and his seed as the Kohanim served Y’hovah. Q&C

9.1-14 – There are 3 major events in ch.9: the Pesach in the Wilderness, including the giving of the 2nd Pesach; Y’hovah’s acceptance of the Mishkan and his settling his Shekinah over it; and reiterating the commandment concerning breaking and pitching camp. 

Y’hovah commanded Moshe that Israel should keep the Pesach in the 14th day of the 1st month in the 2nd year out of Egypt. As we saw in Lev.23, this was to be done yearly. This Pesach in ch.9 is the only one that is recorded in the Wilderness Adventure, but that doesn’t mean it was the only one they kept. Torah is not meant to be an exhaustive record of everything Y’hovah’s people did for the 2500 years of history it covers and it seldom repeats itself. It is probably that THIS one is only mentioned because of the men who were defiled and therefore could not keep the Pesach, but WANTED TO. This provision is made for the faithful. 9 years ago, I needed to take part in a 2nd Pesach due to traumatic injury (I was kind of ‘on a journey afar off’), and Y’hovah blessed me and my family by providing a place where we could do so among friends. THEY were celebrating Pesach on a different calendar than we were, but that was not important to us. Y’hovah had them celebrate it on the proper day for the 2nd Pesach for me, which may be the reason he led them the way he did – just for me. I am uncertain if they are still following that calendar, but I am grateful they did 9 years ago. Y’hovah’s provision for those who would be faithful to him does not go unnoticed by those whose eyes are open. 

V.13 is pretty clear that if one is clean and not on a journey will either observe the Pesach in all the provisions that he had previously specified, or be cut off from Israel and shall bear his sin, that is, the physical consequences of it. If a ger who lives among us wants to keep Pesach, he is to be allowed. The ger may celebrate with us as long as he does so in accord with the Pesach instructions in Ex.12. It says there that the ger needs to be circumcised before he may partake in the Pesach. In Ex.12 this was definitely to be taken literally. But does it need to be still? If that were the case, I think it would have been specifically addressed in the Jerusalem Council. Now, I think that by the time the gerim had gotten through the Torah in the synagogues once or twice, they would have been moved on by the Ruach to want to be circumcised, but it was NOT required of them for acceptance into the fellowship in the synagogue, which I assume would include celebration of the Feasts of Y’hovah. It is clear to me that Rav Sha’ul was not going to be a ‘circumcision cop’ at Pesach, making the new gentile converts ‘drop trou’ to prove their worthiness to participate. 

Vv.15-21 – As soon as the Mishkan was erected, the pillar of fire/cloud covered the Mishkan proper. This was the sign to Israel that Y’hovah accepted the Mishkan and proved that the priests had rebuilt it properly. In Deut. we are told of 42 camps in the Wilderness Adventure. There MAY have been more, but these are the ones mentioned. When Y’hovah moved, the camp moved. When Y’hovah stopped moving, Israel pitched their camp and the pillar of Y’hovah’s presence [fire/cloud] covered the Mishkan. This calls to mind Ezek.1

20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. (Ezek.1.20-21)

As the living creatures of Ezek.1 moved when the Ruach moved, so b’nei Israel moved when Ruach moved. When He went, they broke camp; when he stood, they pitched camp; when Ruach lifted up, the wheels within wheels of the Israelite camp lifted up with him. If the pillar remained on the Mishkan, whether for a few hours or for a few years, camp remained, but when it went up from the Mishkan, Israel moved until the pillar stopped. Q&C

ZecharYah 4.1-14 – ZecharYah was not asleep. He was awakened ‘as a man is wakened from sleep.’ The most important words in prophecy are ‘like’ and ‘as’. ‘As’ means, ‘in the same manner’ as something else – not the same thing, but the same manner. ‘Like’ means, ‘having the resemblance or appearance of an event’ or thing. Being wakened ‘as out of sleep’ means he was awake, but unaware of his surroundings – in a trance or having a vision. The action never stopped from his vision of ch.3, but the subject and location of the visions did. He has left the Kodesh Kadashim and is now in the ‘plain old’ Kodesh Place. 

Y’hovah Yeshua who appeared in ch.3 as the angel of Y’hovah and Y’hovah of hosts now appears as the 7-lamp candlestick. The 7 lamps of the menorah correspond to the 7 eyes in the Stone of 3.9. Moshe Koniuchowski, in the footnotes of the Restoration Bible says this about the Stone in 3.9:

The Stone is Mashiyach, and the seven eyes are symbolic of perfection, and perfect spiritual vision.

Where else do we see 7 eyes? 

Rev. 5:6 (KJV)  

    And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of Elohim sent forth into all the earth. 

Where else do we see the 7 spirits of Elohim?

Rev. 1:4 (KJV)  

    John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 

Rev. 3:1 (KJV)  

    And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of Elohim, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 

Rev. 4:5 (KJV)  

    And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of Elohim. 

Are these 7 spirits enumerated any where? To whom are they given? 

Isaiah 11:1-5 (KJV)  

    And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: [2] And the spirit of Y’hovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Y’hovah; [3] And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Y’HOVAH: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: [4] But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. [5] And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 

There is a reference to the BRANCH in 3.8, just before the Stone with the 7 eyes. I think we can safely equate the 7 lamps to the 7 eyes and the 7 Spirits of Elohim, and the recipient of this 7-fold Spirit of Y’hovah is none other than Yeshua haMashiyach. 

The 2 olive trees represent the 2 houses of Ya’acov, Yisrael/Ephraim and Yehuda. Again, from the notes on Zech.4 in Moshe Koniuchowski’s Restoration Scriptures:

He saw two olive trees, both being congregations of Yisrael, both representing the Father, both sending forth an anointed witness, both producing an individual witness to prophecy and together both representing the whole people of Yisrael.

These two olive trees are the Two Houses (Isaiah 8:14, Jeremiah 31:31, Jeremiah 11:16-17), Two Nations (Ezekiel35:10), Two Chosen Families (Jeremiah 33:24), Two Backslidden Sisters (Ezekiel 23:2-4), Two Olive Branches (Zechariah 4:11-14, Jeremiah 11:16-17), Two Sticks (Ezekiel 37:15-28), Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:3-4), Two Lamp Stands (Revelation 11:3), Two Silver Trumpets for the whole Assembly (Numbers 10:2-3), Two Advents (Hebrews 9:28), Two Cherubim (Exodus 25:18-20), Two Spies from Efrayim and Judah (Numbers 13: 6, 8), Two Congregations (Rev. 1:20), based on the principle that one lampstand equals one assembly.

That’s a lot of 2s! I had (when I first wrote this) never before considered that the 2 witnesses of Rev. could be the 2 houses of Ya’acov, and not two prophets of Tanakh. It’s an interesting scenario. And it fits this interpretation of the identity of the two olive trees. 

When the Angel asked Zach if he knew what the olive trees were, Zach answered in the negative. When he asked, he got what seemed an answer to a different question. He’d asked ‘What are these?’ and got the answer ‘This is the Word of Y’hovah to Zerubabel…’ The angel had told Zach that the people would see Zerubabel keeping the building of the Temple after the will of Y’hovah (and of the people back into faithful sons of Y’hovah) with the plumb line of the Word and the eyes of Y’hovah keeping watch over their building efforts. Yah had their backs. Every little thing that got done brought them closer to the goal of a new Mikdash. Y’hovah would see them through it. 

Zach had to wade through that and after asking again (twice!) what the olive trees were, he got another question from the Angel (You STILL don’t know?), as if the answer he’d given should have opened Zach’s mind to the knowledge. The final answer was about the 2 anointed ones. In context, I think it refers to Zerubabel (ch.4) and Yehoshua (ch.3). Zerubabel was of the tribe of Yehuda and family of David, in the lineage of Yeshua (Mat.1.12-13). Yehoshua was the Kohen haGadol, a picture of the righteousness of Y’hovah. Kings and priests are both anointed, so they could very well be the 2 anointed ones Zach is being told about. I do subscribe to the 2 house doctrine, but this seems a plausible interpretation, as well. The kingdom, given to Yehuda, and the righteousness, given to Ephraim’s sons (represented here by the Kohen), was reunited in Yeshua haMashiyach. Yeshua is our MelechZedek, King and Righteousness. The lampstand being fed by the two olive trees is a very good picture of this. The 2 olive trees of Royalty and righteousness give themselves completely to, and lose their separate identities to Yeshua. Seems it’s all about redemption from exile, eh?  Q&C

Tehillim 101 (sounds like a freshman college course) – The mercy and judgment of Y’HoVaH ties this Psalm to our passages about the menorah. As discussed earlier, the menorah was of one piece of gold beaten into shape – as Y’hovah Yeshua was beaten for our transgressions. It also burns with the righteous judgment of Elohim, fed by the oil of the Ruach haKodesh of Y’hovah. 

V.2 makes this a psalm that points to the first advent of Yeshua haMashiyach, who behaved himself wisely (Lk.2.52), and walked among his own house (Yehuda) with a heart that was perfect (tamiym).

We need to beware of his saying in vv.4-5, 7-8, that we not have a froward – a perverted, false heart; a heart that says one thing in your face, but another when you’re not looking. When he says he doesn’t know them, he means that he doesn’t become intimately familiar with them. They will not be his family or friends. We also need to be careful to walk in a tamiym way before him so we can benefit from our service with and to him. Q&C

Gilyahna 11 – In light of the temple, see who the builder is in 

12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh YHWH Tsavaoth, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of YHWH: 13 Even he shall build the temple of YHWH; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (Zech.6.12-13).

There’s that BRANCH again. He not only builds the Temple, but then he sits on his throne and rules from there. Hmm!? Do you suppose this might be Y’hovah? But it is a man! How can that be? And how can a King also be a priest? Aren’t those separate offices that belong to separate tribes of Yisrael? Of course, we’ve already discussed this in our look at ZecharYah, but I just had to bring it up again, since there is confusion in Messianic circles about the person and nature of Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach. 

John was ordered to measure the temple and given a reed to do it with, but then doesn’t do the measurement. I have no doubt that he did the measurement, but the results are not recorded. The next measurement is of the New Yerushalayim in ch.21. I think we already have the measurements of the Temple John saw in Yechezkel 40ff. I COULD be wrong .… But I doubt it.

42 months/1260 days is used twice in this chapter, once to discuss the time that the Gentiles will control the outer court and once to discuss the ‘ministry’ of the 2 witnesses. The amount of time is the same, so I believe these are contemporary to each other. There is also a reference to 3½ days that the witnesses lie dead in the streets of Yerushalayim. 42 months and 1260 days each = 3½ years. Is there a connection? Could be, but I don’t know what it is. Any help from the peanut gallery would be appreciated. 

The 2 olive trees are not a problem to understand, as we’ve discussed earlier. But the 2 candlesticks are. There was only one candlestick in the tabernacle, there were ten in Solomon’s Temple and there is no record of how many were in the 2nd temple. Why 2 here? We have a possible answer in 

Rev. 21:22 (KJV)  

    And I saw no temple therein: for Y’hovah El Shaddai and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

That’s just a thought. It really COULD be wrong. Moshe Koniuchowski’s Restoration Scripture notes say this:

The two witnesses are Judah and Efrayim, as both houses are ordained to rise up and teach truth during the Day of Y’hovah, during Yisrael’s 70th week. We know that these two witnesses are the two houses, because they are called two lampstands, or two menorahs. The seven congregations in Asia are called seven lampstands in Revelation 1:20. So each congregation of believers is one menorah. Therefore two lampstands are two congregations, or groups of believers. This confirms the entire revelation to Zachariah in chapter 4 of the two anointed olive trees who stand before Y’hovah. From each of these two houses comes one witness, or two individuals who represent the two houses. Moses from Judah(?), since Lewi was part of [the nation of] Judah(?), and Elijah from Efrayim. They do their ministry for 3 1⁄2 years before being killed and then rising in Jerusalem. Y’hovah will never allow any true biblical witness in the earth without both Judah and Efrayim being the two chosen and faithful representatives of His truth.

That seems a plausible interpretation as well, except for 2 things, 1) that Moshe was not from Yehuda. I think it’s a bit of a stretch to include Moshe among Yehuda just because Levi sojourned more in Yehuda’s inheritance than Ephraim’s, especially after the division of the Kingdom 500-600 years after Moshe’s death. I guess I’m just a stickler for context. Also, 2) if the lampstands are two congregations and we are using Rev.2-3 as the basis for that interpretation, which 2 congregations are they? Thyatira and Laodicea? Smyrna and Philadelphia? It’s a stretch to use this scripture as the basis of your interpretation and then change the identities of the congregations to Yehuda and Ephraim, names that show up nowhere in the text. I am not saying it CAN’T be right, only that I see it as a stretch. I have no problem with the trees being Ephraim and Yehuda. Neither do I have a problem with the candlesticks being Ephraim and Yehuda. I have a problem with them being ID’d as Moshe/Eliyahu AND Ephraim/Yehuda. Especially since neither Ephraim nor Yehuda spouted fire. I know that they perform the same miracles that Moshe and Eliyahu did, but does that mean they are Moshe and Eliyahu? Is there anywhere in scripture that SAYS the two are M&E? Not that I recall. That has been an interpretation of the church for a lot of years – centuries, even; and it may even be right (blind squirrel?). But it ain’t certain. Let’s not make our interpretations into certainties. We may be disappointed and lose faith, as WILL happen when the pre-trib rapture turns into a bust for those expecting it.

The 2 witnesses are killed by the beast that ascends from the pit – Abaddon. 

Rev. 9:11 (KJV)  

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 

The beast and false prophet have no such power, and are foiled throughout the Great Tribulation until this destroying angel kills them. It could well be that, if the two witnesses are Ephraim and Yehuda, all of us (IF we are the 144K) will be killed and lie in the streets of Yerushalayim 3½ days, only to be resurrected and called up to meet Y’hovah in the air. This date will be Yom T’Ruah, the day of trumpets, some year soon. 

While we are lying around the city awaiting our awakening, everybody who has had to endure the judgments are throwing parties and sending gifts all over the world in celebration, watching us lie there on worldwide HDTV, taunting us (as if we could hear – or CARE). FEDEX, DHL and UPS will be making a ‘killing’, pun intended, on our deaths. The party will end abruptly when we all stand up and are called audibly, taken up into heaven and disappear from their sight – all in vibrant living color for everyone to see. Everyone will say in unison, “Ooo! THAT can’t be good!”

At that exact moment there will be an earthquake like there never was before in Yerushalayim. 7000 die in it. That number is unthinkable in a modern, first-world, western city. It prompts the remnant to give glory to Y’hovah. This remnant cannot be unbelievers who lived through the quake, they MUST be the believers who are left after the 2 witnesses were killed. Imagine the depression that might come over believers when their champions are killed and left in the streets for 3½ days. Then, suddenly they are resurrected and at that exact moment a 10.0 quake strikes to punctuate the event! If you were one of those believers, I think you would sing praises to Y’hovah just to let the pagans know who is REALLY in charge.

And just to make the point that much clearer to us, v.14 tells us the last woe is coming quickly. And what does the angel say? He ALSO gives glory to Y’hovah, telling the inhabitants of the earth that all the kingdoms of the earth are in HIS control, not theirs. The believers were elated. The pagans must go into a funk. Even their champion can’t kill the witnesses and make them stay dead. Despair must abound.

Meanwhile in heaven, the 4 and 20 are worshipping and announcing the glory of Y’hovah, which is about to be revealed in his wrath – the 10 days of awe before Yeshua’s final return to the Mount of Olives to defeat the world’s armies at Har Megiddo. Reward and punishment are on the horizon.

Why is the ark exposed in heaven? I think it’s because all the judgment that’s about to come down on the inhabitants of the earth, all the wrath that Elohim has been storing up for all these millennia, will be tempered by the compassion shown at Y’hovah’s mercy seat. Even as wicked as the earth has become, and as much worse it will become in the Great Trib, Y’hovah’s mercy is going to temper his wrathful judgment, and the pagans will not receive even a small fraction of the wrath they’ll deserve – even as we haven’t received a miniscule fraction of the wrath we deserve. Q&C  End of Shabbat Study

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