Shabbat Bible Study for 3 April 2021
©2021 Mark Pitrone & Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 3 Sabbath 3
Numbers 11:1-35 – Isaiah 50:2, 59:1 – Psalm 103 – 1 Corinthians 10:1-33
B’Midbar 11.1-3 – The kvetching begins in earnest. Israel was comfortable at the foot of Sinai, what with the daily supply of manna and quail, the Rock at Rephidim supplying all the water they could drink, and the familiar, if not homey, tabernacles they were living in, what was to be uncomfortable about – especially after over a year in one place? So when they got the preparatory command to move, the lifting of the cloud from the Mishkan to hover over the camp of Yehudah, their easy, familiar lifestyle was being disturbed. So they kvetched. And Y’hovah, like any good commander could not allow that kvetching to go unnoticed or unpunished. It was, after all, insubordination; as if they knew better than He what needed to be done about fulfilling His promise to them. If once they found they could get away with their kvetching, He’d never hear the end of it! So, judgment and condemnation started to fall on them.
Chumash’s note on v.1 says that “the uttermost parts of the camp” refers to the ‘erev rav’ or the mixt multitude that attached itself to Israel as if they were true converts, but were not faithful men. Erev = dusk or night. Rav = much, many or great. So erev rav = much or great darkness. Almost every use of H6153, erev = evening. There is but ONE verse in Tanakh, 1Ki.10.15, in which the word erev is transliterated as ‘Arabian’ in the KJV, meaning ‘foreign’ or ‘vassal’, and 4 more, Jer.25.20 and 24, 50.37, and Ezek.30.5, where it is translated “mingled people”. I think the idea is that ‘evening’ is a mixing of light and darkness. That “uttermost parts of the camp” refers to the mixt multitude may be true, but is not a given. I mean, why do the sages always seem to think that Israel was intrinsically different than the mixt multitude, that an Israelite would not lead a rebellion? Korach’s rebellion is going to show THAT idea to be false. Was Israel not saddled with the same flesh and as predisposed to the lusts of the flesh as was the mixt multitude? V.4 does say that the mixt multitude [Schottenstein’s calls them ha’spesuf האספסף, or ‘riff-raff”] took to lusting after flesh, but it also says that Israel was a part of the kvetching about the lack of variety in their diet. And there is nothing mixt about the sage’s ‘erev rav’ – they were , according to the sages, ALL gentiles. But the very words ‘mixt multitude’ speaks of a mixture of the holy and the profane, does it not? And is that not exactly what the Korach rebellion was, a mixing of the ‘set apart’ Kohathite, Korach, and the ‘common’ Reuvenite brothers, Dathan and Abiram, and their Reuvenite cousin, On (Num.16.1)? So, while the gentile mixt multitude may have been first to voice their lust, Yisrael took to it without missing a beat.
When Y’hovah brought his ‘fiery’ judgment against them, they cried out to Moshe, who interceded for them. Moshe called the place Taverah (H8404), which means ‘burning’, from the root ba’ar, meaning ‘to feed upon, eat up or consume’. Now, I think the fire of Y’hovah was not a physical fire that consumed their stuff, but a spiritual and emotional one that burned their hearts or consumed their bodies from within, perhaps a pestilence or an ‘inflammation’ in their joints or muscles. I think that because the Hebrew word translated ‘among them’ is bam, a combination of the bet prefix (in, on or among) and the root word heim (them), and can be as easily translated, “in them”, meaning in the ones actually kvetching and not necessarily every Israelite in the area, this was a localized judgment, the outer limits of the camp. Before Y’hovah brings judgment against an entire people, he brings it against the actual sinners first. Only when the nation tolerates what it knows to be sin does Y’hovah bring judgment against that nation.
ARE YOU LISTENING, AMERICA? ISRAEL? WORLD? CHURCH? Notzrei? We have tolerated sin in our midst. We have VOICED our concern, but have not done what we could to stop it, because we have been too comfortable in our lifestyles. Y’hovah is removing that comfort because we have NOT removed the sin from our camp. It’s not like he hasn’t given us ample warnings, what with the brush fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, awakening volcanoes, storms, attacks from terrorists, both governmental and non-governmental. The evidence is as plain as the nose on our face, but the vast majority, as was the case among the congregation in ‘The Wilderness Adventure’, has not taken heed. And now, the carrion pigeons are coming home to roost …. and FEAST …. on us.
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. (I Corinthians 10:11)
Since the end hasn’t come yet, there is STILL a chance, remote as it probably is, to redeem THIS generation. That begins with US turning from our own ways and repenting of our own sins, living a holy, set-apart, biblically righteous life in obedience to Avinu, and then showing that life to our local community, so they’ll see the results of a righteous life. Meanwhile we have to WORK to make known the coming judgment to give them warning, like good watchmen. Preaching with our words, without an accompanying righteous lifestyle will prove most unbeliever’s assumptions that we, like most ‘religious’ people, are just hypocrites. Taverah was the beginning of judgment against the camp.
Vv.4-10 – The mixt multitude actually DID begin the murmuring against the manna and that spread to the entire camp of Israel. The mixt multitude began kvetching about flesh food to eat. They had had quail in Rephidim (Ex.16) since they last complained about not having flesh to eat. They had been getting enough all the time they were camped at the foot of Sinai, I think, because there had been no kvetching about flesh until they were away from that camp for 3-4 days. Perhaps Y’hovah didn’t bring them quail during their journeying, but waited until they had established a camp for a few days or longer. Their kvetching about the manna not being nutritious enough for them was not true. It provided all their nutritional needs. The quail while in camp gave them a little variety, which I think was their real complaint about the manna. I’d guess that ‘manna-coated’ or ‘manna-stuffed’ quail was kinda tasty. Q&C
Vv.11-15 – Their kvetching was so intense that it started Moshe to kvetching about the burden they were to him. It sounds to me like Moshe took to ‘passing the buck’, a la Adam in the garden, right back to Y’hovah. He kvetched at LEAST as well at Y’hovah as the people had to him. They were complaining about their desire for the rich food of Egypt, and I have to admit that spices and veggies must have been missed – I know I’d have missed them and I’d probably been one of the kvetchers, myself. Hey, I understand the unrighteousness of it, but the flesh DOES scream for attention while the Spirit speaks in a still, small voice. You don’t have to listen intently for the flesh, but you do for the Spirit. That does NOT make the kvetching right, just understandable. I do love my spices. So Moshe finds himself in a despairing spirit, actually asking Y’hovah to just kill him if this is all he had to look forward to in his service.
Vv.16-17 – If you remember Ex.18, Yithro gave Moshe advice to appoint elders over Israel to remove some of the burden from his judicial shoulders and that Y’hovah approved of that plan. Now, Y’hovah was commanding Moshe to do it again, this time to create a kind of advisory board – what eventually, I think, became known as the Sanhedrin. This time, he commanded that he appoint 70 elders of the people to help him make decisions for the good of the nation, basically to advise him about the general validity of their kvetches. The number 70 corresponds to the nations of the earth and hearkens back to the 70 Ya’acovsons who went down to Egypt with Israel in Gen.46. Chumash has a good note on the 70 men Moshe chose to help him administer the nation – the Sanhedrin. See Chumash, v.16, on Shiv’iym Iysh.
Mishnah [Sanhedrin 2a, regards these 70 men as constitution the “Great Sanhedrin”. Rambam states that Moshe ordained the 70 sages, and the Divine Presesnce then rested on them.
This new court was not needed to perform judicial functions; that task was being done by the hierarchy of leaders and judges appointed in response to Yithro’s advice [Ex.18.13].Rather, the Sanhedrin was needed to assist Moshe in leading the nation. Similarly, although the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was the highest judicial authority, that was not its primary function, for there was an elaborate and authoritative system of highly qualified courts throughout the land. Rather, that Sanhedrin, like this one, provided guidance and leadership.
God’s heavenly tribunal is comprised of the 70 guardian angels of the 70 nations, presided over, as it were, by God Himself. Modeled after the Heavenly court, the Sanhedrin below included 70 judges, presided over by Moshe, and later by his successors, as nasi, or president. In a general way, the number 70 represents all the different aspects of human mentality, just as the entire human race is composed all possibilities and render just decisions. [Ramban; R’Bachya]
What the rabbis call ‘the Heavenly Sanhedrin’ was the 70 angels of the nations who were Y’hovah’s advisory council. They had no authority within the council – that was Y’hovah’s alone – but he told them about his plans. Part of the tradition is that Lucifer was on this Sanhedrin before his fall, and it was Y’hovah’s decision to make man a ‘little lower’ than Himself, but of greater authority than the angels, that caused Lucifer’s pride to overwhelm him so that he led a rebellion against Y’hovah and led ‘his’ host of angels away (Rev.12.7, 9).
Vv.18-29 – Y’hovah next told Moshe to tell b’nei Israel to sanctify themselves because Y’hovah was going to so fulfill their lust of the flesh, the ‘belly’ that they had made their Elohim (Phil.3.19), that they may never ask for flesh again. Even Moshe seems to question Y’hovah’s ability to fulfill this thing, what with Israel being 600K footmen, not to mention their families. But Y’hovah says (in a ‘Mark’ paraphrase), ‘Has my arm been shortened or weakened because of YOUR or Israel’s inability to understand the ‘hows’ of it?’
So, Moshe goes out to tell the people to sanctify themselves and to gather up the Sanhedrin to set up shop around the Mishkan. 2 of the 70 stayed in the camp, so only 68 actually went up to the Mishkan. A total of 66 of Ya’acov’s descendants accompanied him to Egypt in Gen.46. Yoseph, Asenath (his wife) and their 2 sons were already in Egypt, making a total of 70 Israelites, 1 for every nation listed in Gen.10. I think the 2 chosen by Moshe who stayed in the camp, Eldad and Medad, may represent Ephraim and Menashe. That may also explain why Moshe did not rebuke or stop E&M from prophesying in the camp when Joshua denounced them to him. Y’hovah put his spirit on ALL the Sanhedrin – even those who did not obey Y’hovah’s command to come up to the Mishkan. They had been set-apart by Moshe and Y’hovah had accepted and anointed them for their offices, as evidenced by their prophesying. He said, ‘Don’t be jealous for me. Rather be jealous for ALL Israel to prophesy.”
Moshe went into the camp and a wind arose to blow a few million quails into and around the camp, so the ground was covered with them 3-4 feet deep for at least 1000 cubits around the entire camp. I think they were eating the quail without properly cleaning and bleeding it, and THAT was the reason for the plague on the people. They allowed their lust for flesh to overcome their knowledge of Y’hovah’s decree to not eat the flesh with the blood. From my study of Lev.17:
Vv.10-14 is the Torah of NOT eating blood. This is a codification of the prohibition against eating blood that was given to Noach in Gen.9. The life is in the blood and it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul of the transgressor. (Take that PETA!) This does not mean that blood of an animal NOT for atonement is OK to eat. It isn’t. The use of the term כל־דמ – chal-dam, ALL or ANY blood, in v.10 makes this plain. We are to ensure that ALL the blood is removed from the animal. If we kill our own animals, they are to be bled completely and their blood poured on the ground and COVERED – same as excrement – or Y’hovah will not walk among us. Y’hovah says that he will put everything else aside to deal with the man who eats blood. This is why I think the people in Num.11 sinned by eating quail without bleeding, cleaning and cooking it first;
31 And there went forth a wind from Y’hovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’ journey on this side, and as it were a day’ journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Y’hovah was kindled against the people, and Y’hovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. (Num.11.31-34)
Looks to me like Y’hovah set everything else aside to bring condemnation against those who ate in their lust for flesh. Num.11.4 says that the ones who lusted were the mixt multitude. And in the instance of eating blood, Y’hovah is the one who cuts off the soul of that man from the people of Israel. Eating blood is SERIOUS business. It looks like there is no atonement for the sin of eating blood.
Kibroth-hattaavah means ‘graves of longing’, because the people died for feeding their lust for flesh, and thus their evil inclinations, by eating the flesh with the blood still in it.
So, in v.35, Moshe gave Ithamar a silver trumpet and Israel broke camp and marched to Hazeroth. Chatzeroth indicates a blowing of trumpets, as in pitching and breaking camp, as we discussed last week. Q&C
YeshaYahu 50.2 – Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? Has to be talking about Ephraim/Israel, the 10 northern tribes, whom Y’hovah gave a bill of divorce in Yirmeyahu 3.8
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (Jeremiah 3:8)
So YeshaYahu 50 is addressed specifically to Ephraim/Israel, for Y’hovah never gave a bill of divorce to Yehudah/Israel, though she was even guiltier than her faithless sister. The questions Y’hovah asks Ephraim remind me of Yeshua’s question
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not Elohim, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not Elohim, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And Y’shua said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not Elohim avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Lk.18.1-8)
The tie-in to the Torah portion is to Num.11.17-18
17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. 18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of Y’hovah, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore Y’hovah will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. (B’Midbar 11.17-18)
The unrighteous judge answered the righteous widow as the righteous judge answered the unrighteous kvetchers – they each granted their requests. He finds no faith in Yisrael of His ability to meet our needs or in His power to deliver us from our predicament, though the evidence is everywhere that He is faithful to deliver His people and has power to redeem and to destroy. The southwestern US is chock full of evidence to a worldwide flood, with deep river canyons that enter the canyons from a large mountain basin which is MUCH lower than the canyon rims (over a mile in the Grand Canyon), indicating a large inland sea that had been created by a high dam that somehow burst and released massive quantities of water cavitating through sedimentary earth that was still soft from the deposition of sediment settling to the water’s bottom.
Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. (Is.50.2)
YeshaYahu 59.1 – In answer to the questions of 50.2, Y’hovah says ‘My arm is not shortened or weakened, nor is My ear unable to hear’. But I answer in My time, when it is BEST for you and not necessarily when you WANT Me to. Ch.59 is all about our need to turn from our own ways and to His Way. Unless we do so, our generation is going to perish and it will have been in our power to deliver them. Y’hovah hears the world crying out for deliverance and sends us a redeemer. But our world rejects Him. Q&C
Tehellim 103.1-5 – David speaks to his soul about all that Y’hovah does for it. Y’hovah forgives all the souls iniquities and then restates that point by saying he also heals all its diseases. When Yeshua healed a disease, did he not usually then admonish the one he’d healed to ‘go and sin no more’? The physical maladies we suffer are at least illustrations of our soul’s iniquities, if not actual consequences of them. Our spiritual maladies are DEFINITELY actual consequences of them. The physical consequences of our iniquities is the oppression we suffer from outside. If we are being oppressed it is a direct result of NOT walking in Torah. Y’hovah’s benefits to his faithful are seen in vv.3-5; he redeems the soul’s life from destruction, which speaks of the resurrection promise through Mashiyach Yeshua’s finished work; he crowns it with chesed and rachamim; he satisfies it’s mouth with his Word and renews our strength like an eagle’s. The reason we need to have our strength renewed is that our iniquities sap it from us.
Vv.6-7 – Our oppressors will be righteously judged for their oppression. Y’hovah hates oppression as much as he hates religion, mainly because it is usually done ‘in his Name’ or in the name of a religion by religious men. Religious men do not know his ways. His ways are tzedakah, mishpat, and shalom. His acts are also righteous and good, but knowledge of his acts is a much less intimate relationship than knowledge of his ways. He says
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Y’hovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We cannot really know Y’hovah while in this physical frame. The closest we can get is to know his ways, to understand that he isn’t looking for human good in us, but his righteousness; that he wants us to judge according to his righteousness, not what we think is good; that he want us to have his peace and to live in peace with our brothers.
Vv.8-14 are a paragraph or stanza that shows how Y’hovah deals with us as sons, not strangers and why he does. We who fear him will always be under his wings. To fear him involves actual fear and also holding him in awe and reverence. But those two characteristics show when we consider him and his commandments in all that we do. If that is our heart attitude, he may rebuke and chastise us for our failure to obey, but he will not forsake us. His chastisement is ultimately for our good, to help us to learn his ways and begin to think his thoughts after him.
10 For thus saith Y’hovah, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Y’hovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith Y’hovah: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith Y’hovah; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. (YirmeYahu 29.10-15)
You can’t get further away from anything than ‘as far as the east is from the west’, but that is how far from us he takes our iniquity if we fear him. The physical picture of that is the scapegoat on Yom Kippur, which is taken into the wilderness by a fit man and released
21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Vayikra 16.21-22)
Barabbas filled that position in Yeshua’s trial. He was the goat that escaped, never to be heard from again. A human father knows what his children go through, because he went through it all himself. Y’hovah’s tender mercy, racham, is expressed 4 times in this psalm. His grace, chesed, is expressed 4 more times. Mercy and grace are actually flip sides of the same compassion coin. Y’hovah knows our frame because he has lived a human lifetime and death IN our frame. THAT is why he can be truly compassionate. Like a human father understands his children, he fully understands the demands the flesh places on a man’s soul because he fully experienced it in the flesh of Yeshua. It is not a mere intellectual exercise for Y’hovah. He KNOWS both intellectually and experientially.
Vv.15-18 show us the difference in Y’hovah’s understanding from our own. His is always based on the LONG view, one that sees the end from the beginning and well as the beginning from the end and all points in between. Our experience is a small remnant of all of history. If the world’s time is 7000 years (and I think it is), and our time is an average of 70 years, then we will experience 1/100th of all of history in this generation of time/space/matter. We subjectively see one play of a ‘chess game’ that he objectively sees from the outside. He knows the whole strategic plan, while we see only the tactical situation. Indeed, his thoughts are not our thoughts. We have no experiential knowledge of his plan beyond what he’s revealed in his Word, so how can we question either his reason or his motives in allowing or doing anything? And to whom is his chesed and tzedakah shown, but those who consider him and his Word in all that we do. Indeed
The fear of Y’hovah is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
Wisdom (chochmah) + understanding (binah) = knowledge (da’at) chabad. Our fear of Y’hovah manifests itself when we keep our end of his covenant and obey his commandments.
Vv.19-22 are the summation of the psalm. I can see the ‘chess game’ being played from the throne in v.19 – he controls the strategy and has every contingency covered. If we stray from the strategy by our handling of the tactical, he has it covered. His Kingdom rules over everything. The elohim who excel in strength are WE, when we keep covenant and obey his Word. We are also his tsava’ah host that ministers in doing his Word. We are also his works everywhere in the earth, and we need to individually and corporately “Bless Y’hovah”. 6 times David said “Bless Y’hovah” in this psalm, which shows that all mankind should bless him in everything we do, for that is how we manifest our fear of Y’hovah. Q&C
1Cor.10.1-4 – I think it’s safe to assume that any regulars to this study already know that this passage refers to the Egyptian exodus, and that Paul includes his believing gentile audience as those whose ancestors came out of Egypt. Speaking to a mostly gentile audience, he said, “All OUR fathers” went through the ‘Wilderness Adventure’ and drank of the Rock that followed them. If you were with me on May 21, 2011, you may remember this;
The rabbis speak of the rock following them throughout the Wilderness Adventure, for they didn’t kvetch about water again until MirYam’s death (Num.20.1). When Y’hovah instructed Moshe to speak to the rock, he instead struck the rock with his rod. The note to Num.20.8, on pg.843 of Stone’s Chumash [paraphrasing Ramban] is VERY interesting (read it). Now, you don’t suppose that Rav Sha’ul knew about what the rabbinic sages had said concerning this Rock that followed them, do you? Do you see that the sages said it was the same Rock as at Horeb/Rephidim?
That 2 rabbinic sages that lived about 1600 years apart knew of the same sod level application is enough for me to think that they probably had a similar or identical source, and I think that source was ‘oral tradition’ that was faithfully passed from rabbi to talmid for centuries and finally got written down in the Mishnah and Talmud and commented on by Ramban. And now by me via quotation of, not equation to. Paul said the Rock gave them drink, which I assume quenched both their physical and spiritual thirst, and that the Rock was Mashiyach. If Paul said it, I think we’ll find reference to it in Mishnah/Talmud, as well.
The background information in the Revelation book study at Yashanet has this (among LOTS of other stuff) on the ‘rock’, ‘manna’ and ‘living waters’
TZADDIK – SOURCE OF LIVING WATER
Yesod is considered to be one of the two primal sources of “living water,” the other coming directly from Eyn Sof via the highest Sephirah of Keter/Crown… The difference between the two is that which is from Keter flows freely, but that from Yesod-Tzaddik is subjected to certain predetermined laws and limits, based on the merited righteousness of those receiving it.1
This function of Yesod is often compared to Joseph, who represents Yesod on the Tree of Life. When Joseph did not control his ego (i.e., in his younger years antagonizing his brothers), things did not go so well for him (being sold into slavery, etc.) Only after going through this ordeal, and learning humility and keeping himself from temptation (i.e., rejecting the advances of his master’s wife), did he control his ego, become the Tzadik that Elohim wanted Him to be, and receive enormous blessings from the Source of blessings.2
Yesod-Tzadik is thus considered to be the “fountain of blessing” or, “fountain of living waters.”
Yeshua referred to Himself using this terminology:
John 4:10 – Yeshua answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of Elohim, and who it is that says this to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water.
The “limitation” in receiving blessings, based on a person’s merit, is also in accordance with that taught by Yeshua. One who follows Him will become a Tzadik, and source of living water:
John 7:38 – He that believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.
Note that to, “believe in Him,” (as we discuss elsewhere in this study and in our other studies), means to follow the path of Torah. Rewards (either in this life or the next) are related to Torah study and observance. Yeshua, being the Divine Tzaddik, represents the goal of the Torah for us, as Paul stated in his most famous epistle:
Romans 10:4 – For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Mashiyach, who offers righteousness for eveyone who trusts.” (Jewish New Testament).3
The Tzaddik is also considered “the living Torah,” as the hidden light of Elohim, found in the letters of Torah – the foundation of life4…
TZADDIK – ROCK
Another aspect of Tzaddik is that of “rock” – specifically the rock from which flow the living waters:
Bahir 193 – And what is the meaning of the verse (Genesis 49:24), “From there is the Shepherd. the Rock of Israel.” From “There” is nourished the Rock of Israel. What is the meaning of “from There?” We say that this is the Supernal Righteous One (Tzadik). What is it? It is (the precious stone called) Socheret. And the stone that is below is called Dar.
Paul associates this “rock” that provided nourishment (water) to Yeshua. (This verse shows Paul as having a deep kabbalistic interpretation of the “rock” (or “well”) that followed the Children of Israel in their desert wanderings):
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 – 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; And were all baptized unto Moshe in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Mashiyach.
In Psalm 42 we again see David seeking the “living Elohim.” In this case, associating this emanation of Elohim (Yesod) as a rock issuing forth water…
Another text containing various “stone” themes is Peter’s first epistle [1Pe.2]. He refers to Yeshua as the living stone and chief cornerstone, and His followers, who are to walk the path of the Tzadik, are called living stones, who build up a spiritual house.
The followers of Yeshua are “a royal priesthood” (alluding to the stones on the breastplate of the Kohen Gadol). Peter mentions that the Divine Tzaddik, Yeshua, suffered and died for the atonement of many…
Note that Peter also calls Yeshua the, “Shepherd and overseer of our souls,” a similar “caretaker” metaphor as given to the Sephirah of Yesod in the Bahir:
Bahir 180 – The “Righteous, Foundation of the world” is in the center. It emanates from the south of the world, and is officer over the other two. In its hand are also the souls of all living things. It is called the Life of Worlds.10
Gershom Scholem points out the Messianic connection between the Tzaddik being a custodian of souls:
The same idea with a Messianic thrust appears in another Bahir passage, which speaks about the Sephirah of Tsaddik, which is the “foundation of the world”: “In His hand is the treasure-house of all souls …” 11
The presence of these themes shows the same kabbalistic ideals found in the Zohar and Bahir, also underlie Peter’s writings.
Looks as though Paul and Peter were at least familiar with kabbalistic ideas, and wrote of them in their canonical writings. This is why I do not think it a good idea to give a new convert John’s gospel. He was, IMO, the most deeply kabbalistic authors of the Brit Chadashah. Q&C and I hope I can do justice to any questions about that stuff from Yashanet.
Vv.5-10 tell us particulars of what they did in the Wilderness that Y’hovah admonished and judged them for and Paul exhorts us to refrain from them. The lust they experienced was the lust for flesh that we looked at today in the Torah portion. I don’t think it was the flesh food that was so wrong, but their kvetching about the manna not supplying all their need. Here’s a bit of the 3rd part of that article I quoted from Yashanet on the Tzaddik – Manna.
TZADDIK – MANNA
The following section of the Zohar contains an interesting comment on the double portion of Manna taken up for the Sabbath. It states that this double portion was not so much twice the quantity as it was two types of bread – earthly and heavenly varieties.
This bread of heaven is said to come by way of the Tzaddik. The Zohar refers to this bread as, “the bread of vau.” The letter “vau” is directly associated with Tipheret, as discussed elsewhere in this study. Tipheret, as also mentioned earlier, is the “body” of the male, representing the heavens; therefore this is the “bread of heaven.”
The earthly bread is the bread of the Sabbath (Malchut). Again, the theme of the Tzaddik uniting Tipheret and Malchut is seen, this time in the idea of the heavenly and earthly breads being united: … the desire of the female to pour forth lower waters [from Malchut] to meet the upper waters [from Binah] is only aroused through the souls of the righteous. Happy, therefore, are the righteous in this world and in the world to come, since on them are established upper and lower beings. Hence it is written: “The righteous man is the foundation of the world” (Prov. x, 25). Esoterically speaking, the Zaddik is the foundation of the upper world and the foundation of the lower world, and the Community of Israel contains the Zaddik from above and from below. The righteous one from this side and the righteous one from that side inherit her, as it is written: “The righteous shall inherit the earth” (Ps. XXXVII, 29). The Righteous One inherits this earth, and pours upon it blessings every day, and furnishes it with luxuries and delicacies in his flow.
All this is hinted in the words: OUT OF ASHER HIS BREAD SHALL BE FAT, AND HE SHALL YIELD ROYAL DAINTIES. It is from the future world that the stream reaches this Righteous One, which enables him to provide luxuries and delicacies to this earth, thus transforming it from “the bread of poverty” into “the bread of luxury”… In the expression “his bread” the reference of the word “his” is not specified; but we may divide the word lahmo (his bread) into lehem vau, that is, “the bread of vau” (which signifies the heavens) [Tipheret]; hence it is written: “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Ex. XVI, 4). It is from thence that the tree of life is nourished and crowned, and when it receives this nourishment, then it “yields the dainties of the king”. This king is the Community of Israel, who is fed therefrom by the hand of the Righteous One, the sacred grade of the sign of the covenant [Yesod].
The manna DID supply all their soul’s need, as did the water from the Rock, the water and nourishment of both their bodies and their spirits were provided by Mashiyach. Again, quoting the same article from Yashanet
In John’s gospel, Yeshua discusses the theme of the manna, speaking of the earthly manna, eaten by the people, and a heavenly manna, which he describes as Himself… Note the reference to coming to Yeshua and never hungering or thirsting. This is an allusion to His other words about “eating His flesh” and “drinking His blood.” (John 6:53 – obviously highly metaphorical and kabbalistic ideas.) The theme of Torah (His words) equaling life is also present in this section. Note also that many of His followers did not understand this deep (kabbalistic) level of Torah understanding and departed from Him at this point…
John 6.31-33 – Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Yeshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moshe gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of Elohim is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
…The rectified sense of eating is the special sense of the tzadik, as is said: “The tzadik eats to satisfy his soul.” This verse continues: “but the stomach of the wicked is always lacking.” The soul-oriented tzadik feels “full” and happy with a little; the body-oriented rasha (wicked-one) never feels “full.”… In his rectified state of consciousness he [the tzadik] is continuously aware that “not on the [physical dimension of] bread alone does man live, but on each utterance of the mouth of G-d does man live.” The time of greatest pleasure in partaking of food is on the day of Shabbat.
All the Yashanet quotes are from the article YESOD – Part 3 – LIVING WATER, ROCK, MANNA, THE “WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE” at
http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev5gb.htm. As I said last week, I cannot recommend Yashanet highly enough, but the Revelation study is VERY deep and mystical, as is the book of Revelation itself. Therefore be sure to go through the book studies in order, Matthew, Romans and THEN Revelation. There is a lot to try to bend your mind around in the Rev study, and it may be difficult to grasp without a good foundation. I am not sure I do. But, Behanu does well in providing one.
Other sins that SOME of them committed were idolatry/fornication, which was done at least twice in the ‘play’ before the golden calf and the Balaam inspired sin of Ba’al Peor (Num.25) when the Israelite man took a Midianite woman into the tent of the congregation to fornicate with her in the Holy Place and Pinchas smote them through with a javelin to the tent floor, thus staying the plague that had broken out, killing 24,000 in the camp; and tempted (better xlated ‘tested’) Mashiyach, bringing the fiery serpents to plague the murmurers. Q&C
Vv.11-13 – We already all know that v.11 is addressed to us in these last days. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines ‘example’ (v.6) as
2. A pattern, in morals or manners; a copy or model; that which is proposed or proper to be imitated. “I have given you an example; that you should do as I have done unto you.” Jn.13.15
An ‘example’ is something we are to take action on, to either imitate or avoid. And W1828 defines ‘ensample’ (v.11) as
12. figure; in theology, type, representative. “Who was the figure of him that was to come.” Rom.5.14 (Speaking of Moshe)
An ‘ensample’ is a concept shown by the metaphor revealed in the historical events. So the ensample we got was a ‘type’ or ‘taste’ of what is to come for us, ‘on whom the ends of the world are come.’ For this reason we need to get closer to Y’hovah because, if they couldn’t withstand the ‘type’ or ‘taste’ in their flesh, it is going to be even harder for us to withstand the antitype and full reality in ours. But Y’hovah does not give us more of a test than we are able to bear; IF we are keeping our accounts short with and staying close to him, HE will strengthen us for the trials to come. The pink spoon at Baskin-Robbins is an ensample. – MP
Vv.14-17 – For this reason we need to flee idolatry, and anything that we allow to divert us from our pursuit of Shalom w/Y’hovah is an idol that we need to loose from us, while anything that brings us closer or keeps us on the narrow road leading to life is what we need to bind to us. Otherwise, we are in very deep and stinky Kimchee! V.15 gives us a clue that Rav Sha’ul is about to wax ‘mystical’ (wise men), so keep that in mind. “Judge ye what I say” means ‘think about this, it is deeper than the words I am writing’, as was Yeshua speaking of things much deeper than the literal words he spoke in Jn.6 and elsewhere. Yeshua said
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)
If all you can see is the words printed on the page, and no spiritual truth or application (like those believing Pharisees that left from following Yeshua over the ‘eat my flesh/drink my blood’ metaphor), you are blind spiritually even though you see physically. And in this, we who see the spirit of the words are ‘kosher’ kabbalists, whether we like the appellation or not. Sha’ul uses the same metaphor Yeshua used, body and blood of Mashiyach, and in the same way. He isn’t saying to eat his literal body or drink his literal blood, but to liken the Word of Y’hovah, Torah, to Mashiyach Yeshua’s life blood (Torah is life), and by extension, the body to the kahal of Yeshua ‘in him’. Do you see how many metaphors and spiritual applications we use every day and accept without question. Do you and I actually make up a single physical body? Of course not; but each of us, when ‘fitly framed together’ with our special gifts and blessing from Y’hovah, make for a strong spiritual ‘body’ and ‘building’ ‘in him’.
VV.18-33 – The table is sanctified by our actions and fellowship at the table. The ‘communion of Y’hovah’s table’ is when we are together at oneg, talking about the Torah/haftarah we read or heard. It is in this way that we come together as a body, and have one understanding of Torah and the other scriptures. We are engaging in Y’hovah’s table as we study together. We are being nourished by his Spirit through his Word and our thirst is quenched by his living water in the same way. There is less to worry about over flesh that may or may not have been sacrificed to idols than there is in NOT focusing our ‘hearts’ and minds on his Word in all that we do. How do we ‘provoke Y’hovah to jealousy’? Is it not by idolatry? Am I engaging in idolatry by eating flesh that MAY have been offered to idols? Or am I more likely engaging in idolatry by considering the idol a thing to be feared? If there is a brother there who knows the flesh was offered to an idol and is scandalized by me eating that flesh, then I should refrain for his conscience’ sake (Rom.14.15). But to me, it is a non-starter. I can eat that flesh without worry of breaking a Torah instruction – it is lawful. But, if my brother has a problem with it, I should forbear so my brother can be edified – present my ‘body a living sacrifice’. In that way I have the mind of Mashiyach Yeshua
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: (Phil.2.4-5)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Elohim, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim. (Rom.12.1-2)
I haven’t looked, but I am willing to bet, and without worry of loss, that Paul hit this theme at least once in each of his epistles. You have liberty in Mashiyach to do all that is lawful, but if exercising that liberty will cause another brother to stumble, you should refrain from exercising your liberty for his conscience’ sake. Q&C