Shabbat Bible Study for 25Sep2021
©2021 Mark Pitrone & Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 3 – Shabbat 29
Dev.8.1-20 – Yirm.9.22-24 – Tehillim 126 – Luka 4.1-14
Devarim 8.1-9 – The word that KJV translates as ‘commandments’ is a singular in Hebrew – כל המצוה – chol hamitzvah, the whole commandment. Schottenstein’s Chumash has a very good comment on this on pg. 58. The rabbis say that Israelites are to keep the WHOLE of the Toroth, not pick and choose which are for them. They are ALL for us all to guard to do, either in a positive or negative manner. If the positive commandments apply to us, then we are to guard them by doing them. If the commands do NOT apply to us we are to guard them by NOT doing them. Every command of Torah applies to us all in either a positive or negative sense. We strengthen our own lives, our ETERNAL lives [or deaths], by the proper [or improper] application of the commandments. You do yourself well to observe to DO those commands that apply to you and do yourself dirt by observing to DO what does NOT apply to you. For example, if you are a Levi, you do yourself well to observe to do those commands that apply to the Levi’im; If you are NOT a Levi, you do yourself dirt by arrogating to yourself to observe to do what applies only to Levi’im. Rav Sha’ul tells us pretty much the same thing in
4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by Yah Yehoshua, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please Eloha, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by Yah Yeshua. [1Thess.4.1-2]
I think what I said about Levi’im above also goes for those who call themselves “Messianic Rabbi” when they have not spent the time and done the studies that are required for a rabbi to gain that title in traditional Yehudism. I consider it arrogant, and so do Yehudi rabbis, which is a terrible witness to them. Rabbi [root = Strongs H7227 – rav] means ‘my chief’ or ‘my great one’. A rabbi is the leader of a congregation and got the title by studying Torah and Talmud for a decade or more under the tutelage of senior rabbis. IOW, PLEASE do not call me rabbi, especially in public, unless you really want a public dressing down.
V.2 sets up the rest of the chapter, as Yhwh tells Israel through Moshe to זכרת zacharta, thou shalt remember, how Yhwh led me through the last 40 years to humble and test me so that he could see what was in my heart, to see if I would do what he commanded or not. This command is individual, not corporate. There is not one plural word used in this chapter until v.19. If I remember I’ll comment on that then. Right here he even calls himself Yah Elohecha, thy Eloha. If Israel is listening intently, they are hearing these as personal commandments.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Moshiach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Eloha in the world: [Eph.2.11-12] remember
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. [Lk.18.14] humble
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [Yacov 1.3] prove
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yeshua haMashiyach: [1Pe.1.7]
9 The heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I Yhwh search the heart, try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. [YirmeYahu 17.9-10] know
The rest of the chapter shows Israel just how Yhwh humbles and tried them, both individually and corporately with the emphasis on the individual.
V.3 begins to show how Yhwh humbled and tried us, beginning with the provision of the manna when we murmured against him, showing us that our individual lives, physical and spiritual, are sustained by HIS provision, whether we had anything to do with bringing it forth from the ground or not. He also makes the point that they, as well as Moshe and Yehoshua, COULD have been sustained more by attending to the Word of Yah than by attending to the manna. He proved THAT by providing for the Shabbats for forty years on the 6th day so they would not have to go out to gather the manna on Shabbat. He further showed his provision for them [v.4] by not letting their clothing go to tattered rags or their shoes to wear down to nothing for the whole 40 years. Here’s what Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says about this verse
Many have attempted to give the following meaning to this text – “God so amply provided for them all the necessaries of life, that they never were obliged to wear tattered garments, nor were their feet injured for lack of shoes or sandals.” Now, though the Israelites doubtless brought out of Egypt more raiment than what they had upon them; and they might manufacture the fleeces of their flocks in the wilderness; and also might be favoured by Providence with other supplies from the neighbouring nations or travelling hordes of Arabs; yet, when we consider their immense numbers, their situation and long continuance in the wilderness, and the very strong expressions made use of in the text, why should we question the extraordinary and miraculous interposition of God in this respect, as well as in others, not less stupendous in their nature, or constant in their supply?
5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. [Deut.29.5]
In vv.5-6, he tells us not just to remember, but to consider, to know [yada] or to think about how he treated each of them individually as his own beloved children, not as red-haired step-children.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. [Yechezkel 18.28]
He corrected them when they needed correction and rewarded them with blessing when they obeyed, and the ultimate blessing is right over the river they are getting ready to cross over [vv.7-9]. Israel’s crossing of Yarden is a shadow picture of our crossing from death [exile] into life [inheritance].
13 But now in Mashiyach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiyach. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition, 15a Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, 15c for to make in himself of twain one new man, 16 And that he might reconcile both unto Eloha in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. [Eph.2.13-17]
Vv.10-20 – V.10 is where we get the idea that we thank Yah for his provision that has satisfied us AFTER we have eaten, while we bless Yhwh for his provding that of which we are about to partake.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to the talmidim, and the talmidim to the multitude. [Matt.14.19]
31For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? [1Cor.10.31]
We are to remember to bless him both before and after our meal, when we look out at the land that he has given us as an inheritance in fulfillment of his promise to Avinu Avraham and when we harvest the crops and milk our cattle and go up for his feasts to give him back the tithe and in everything that he has provided to us and for us.
7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny and say, Who is Yah? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my Eloha. [Pro.30.7-9]
How would we bring reproach on Yah’s Name? V.17 tells us, by ascribing the good of our land, crops and cattle to ourselves and not to his provision. Chumash has a good comment on vv.14-17 on pg.61. In the middle of v.19 Yhwh changes from speaking to the nation as individuals [thee. thou, thy] to speaking to them as a whole [you, ye, your]. I think that when they started thinking as individuals and ascribing their success to themselves and NOT to Yah that he started to bring about the national slide into hedonism and idolatry which eventually led to their being carried off into Assyria and Babylon and after a short return to the land, the Greco-Roman diaspora.
16 But they mocked the messengers of Eloha, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of Yah arose against his people, till no remedy. 17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave all into his hand. [2Chron.36.16-17]
Exile prophetically signifies death. We are still in exile, we are still manifesting our rebellion and resultant death. Q&C
YirmeYahu 9.22-24 – English v.22 opens [it’s v.21 in Hebrew Tanach] with the word d’bair דבר, ‘to combine separate items into one’, like letters into a word (דבר, dabar, primitive root, word). Yah is expecting YirmeYahu to speak what official Yehudah may hear but will not accept. But Yirmeyahu does so, as the faithful prophet he has always been, basically thinking like Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay “Damn the torpedoes! Full Speed ahead!”. “Ko amar Yah”, “Thus says YAH”. Watch out Yehudah. He’s laying it out in no uncertain terms. The army’s men are going to drop like lifeless corpses, since that’s what they will be, in the same way animal dung drops to the ground, and they will be as ubiquitous. You won’t be able to take a step without landing on a bloated, squishy corpse of the Yehudi army. They will be like the aforementioned dung and the gleanings left by the harvesters. The word KJV translates, ‘handful’ is from the root H6014, עמר gamar, to gather or collect from an inappropriate place’ [like a battlefield], and there will be noone available for the collection.
Here’s Azamra on English bibles’ vv.23-24 –
Vv 22-23: There is a natural tendency for people to be particularly proud of three main endowments that God gives: (1) wisdom and intelligence; (2) strength and power; (3) wealth. Yet for those who possess them, there is truly nothing to be proud about since they are all gifts of Eloha, and in any case, they are all worthless in the end without the pursuit of the knowledge of Eloha and the concomitant practice of kindness, justice and charity that this entails. Verse 23 [English v.22] concludes the Tisha B’Av Haftara, which began in Ch.8 v.13.
V.23 again begins with “Ko gamar Yah”. If you didn’t like the LAST ‘ko gamar’, you are REALLY not going to like this one! You are not ready for it in the least. “Don’t glorify your so-called wisdom [חכמ chochmah], nor glorify your strength [גבר gabar, to overcome by superior strength] neither the rich in his money [עשר, asar], like United States’ FaRTs [Federal Reserve Tokens]. None of that will help you in the situation you have forged for yourselves. If you want to glory in something glorious v.24, glory in your Knowledge (da’ath) and understanding (binah) of Yah, who exercises [strengthens] us through his chesed selflessness/goodness/“lovingkindness”, his mishpat order/harmony/“judgment”, and tzedekah, objective justice/“righteousness”; basically, glorify Y’hovah’s entire being. Look at the illustration of the Tree of Sephiroth again . YirmeYahu is relating to Yehudah EXACTLY what is illustrated there, the fullness of YAH, and is advising them to eschew Ba’al/Asherah/Tophet and to emulate Mashiyach. Q&C
Ps. 126 – A song of ‘degrees’ or ascent. Degrees is from the Hebrew 4609 מעלה, magalah, from the root עלה, to rise up or develop. The “songs of ascent” are Ps.120-134, there are 15 in all. On the way to the Huldah Gate of the Temple are a series of 42 steps, beginning with the platform at the base of the steps and ending with the platform at the top of the steps. Beginning with reaching the first riser the ascenders stop and sing Ps.120. After finishing that psalm they go up to the 3rd step, which is wider than the 1st and 2nd steps, where he and the people ascending with him sing Psalm 121. Then they climb the next 3 steps and at the 6th step, the group sings Psalm 122, and so on with the 9th step/Psalm 123, the 12th step/psalm 124, the 15th step/Psalm 125, the 18th step/psalm 126 (our psalm for today), the 21st step/psalm 127, the 24th step/psalm 128, the 27th step/psalm 129, the 30th step/psalm 130, the 33rd step/psalm 131, the 36th step/Psalm 132, the 39th step/psalm 133, and the 42nd step, which is the top platform/psalm 134. Chumash says that there were only 15 steps, but I think that they have this one wrong, and having never been there I could be wrong. But the symbolism of the number 42 and the further symbolism of both the numbers 3 and 5 [3×5=15] is enough to have me lean that way. Whichever is correct, when the pilgrims ascended the mount, all singing their psalms at the same time [technically they are NOT in unison] there is a veritable cacophony of praise lifting up to Yah, which I think is REALLY cool.
On v.1, Chumash’s note is quite excellent;
When the long awaited return to Zion finally comes to pass, the recollection of past oppression of the exile will swiftly fade away and seem like a bad dream. [RaDaK]
I fully understand that sentiment. Alternatively, it could be that the deliverance is so wonderful to the returnees that they may think they are asleep in their exile and only dreaming of the end of their bondage. V.2 is when it has finally registered that they are truly FREE! The relief and the realization of their LIBERTY in Y’hovah causes laughter like they haven’t experienced in decades, and they rejoice in the greatness of their Y’hovah. An American of today cannot truly fathom the relief and the joy of bing released from the kind of bondage Yehudah Yisrael had experienced after their 400 plus years of self-rule/Liberty. Q&C
Luke.4.1-14 – 48). The temptation of Yehoshua – Mat.4.1-11, Mark 1.12-13, Lk.4.1-13 – In Mark, Yehoshua is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness, while in Matthew and Luke, he is led by the Spirit. The whole tone of Mark is different from the other gospels. He shows Yehoshua as a tireless servant, having at times no time to eat, working miracle after miracle to prove the divinity claimed by the author in 1.1. Relative to the other gospels, it seems as if the author is just getting the preliminaries out of the way so he can get to his main point. The audience is probably Roman or gentile believers, who would not know the OT prophecies and for whom they would be superfluous. Mark does not refer to anything close to the number of prophecies that Luke, Matthew, or Yochanan do. He is trying to show the suffering Son of Eloha. As usual, any minor differences in the fine points of the narratives are matters of perspective of the author or of the intended audience.
Luke and Matthew both mention the 40-day fast, Mark only that Yehoshua was in the wilderness 40 days. All the writers say that he was tempted of Satan for the entire time, Matthew even says the temptation was the reason for his going there. The details are very similar in Matt and Luke. The third last temptation has to do with Yeshua’s hunger for food, his need to feed his body. First haSatan questions Yehoshua’s divinity, ‘If thou be the Son of Elohim’, as if he could get him with the same ploy with which he’d gotten Eve. Then he worked on physical weakness, or rather, was depending on it and the lust of the flesh to defeat the Elohim who’d created him. But, as anyone who’s fasted any length of time can tell you, the body may be weak, but the spirit and mind are sharp as a well honed knife at that time. Yehoshua answered him with the Word of Elohim, Deut. 8:3,
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yah doth man live.”
The word that’s added in Dt.8.3 is ‘word’. The implication is that every utterance of Yah has creativity and power behind it. The lesson for us is obvious. When confronted with sin we should rely on the scriptures to pull us out. Rom.6 says we are dead to sin and alive to Mashiyach. If we reckon ourselves dead to sin we will have an easy time defeating it in our lives. This battle is constant, because our sin nature is and will be still with us until the resurrection. But reckoning ourselves dead to sin must be done every time we are tempted to sin, and, I confess that I often forget this simple way to avoid sin. But Elohim has made provision for us in this as well. 1 Yochanan 2:1,
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua haMashiyach the righteous (tzadik):”
The next 2 temptations are given in opposite order in the accounts of Matthew and Luke. The details of the temptations are nearly identical, but the order is switched. Why? Look to the purpose for writing and the intended audiences. Luke first goes to the mountain top to show the kingdoms of the world, and he adds a detail that Matt leaves out. The gospel was written to a gentile government official, ‘most excellent Theophilus’ and the appeal to power and glory would be more personal to him. Also Luke points out the fact that haSatan is the prince of this world system in which Theo is a leader. Of course, being the Word of Eloha, Yehoshua answers with the word of Elohim – Deut. 10:20, “Thou shalt fear Yah thine Elohim; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.”
In order for us to be able to answer the temptations in our lives with the Word of Elohim, we must have it readily available. We can’t safely open a bible and search for a passage while driving on the road, or in any number of circumstances in which we may find ourselves. For this reason we must memorize scripture. It is not that difficult to do. We could try the 3X5 card with a passage written on it, kept in a pocket or on the visor of the car and work on that one until it is solid in memory. Then start another. In this way, it will not be difficult to memorize 1-2 passages a week. It is by the renewing of our minds that we are transformed into the image of Mashiyach. Yehoshua said that we speak what we think about. What kind of words escape your mouth on a regular basis? Philip. 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things lovely, whatsoever things of good report; if there be any virtue, and if any praise, think on these things.” The only source for true, honest, just, pure, lovely things of good report that are virtuous and praiseworthy is the scripture. When you memorize, meditate – think about what you’re memorizing. Ask Elohim to illuminate your mind so that you can see what he wants you to see in that passage.
Matthew, on the other hand, goes directly to the pinnacle of the temple. He is writing to Yehudim to try to convince them that Yehoshua is haMashiyach. HaSatan here quotes a well known Messianic prophecy from Psalm 91:11-12, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” HaSatan says, “Well, I know the scripture every bit as well as you, better in fact! If you’re the Mashiyach, jump! Elohim has promised to protect you! Don’t you trust Him?” That was a Mark paraphrase, in case you didn’t know. HaSatan was leading Yeshua to ‘presume’ on Y’hovah’s protection. Yehoshua did not ‘fall’ for this one either (do you suppose that’s the source of that idiom?). He wanted Yeshua to misapply scripture, just like he wants, and often gets, us to do. But Yehoshua knew the CONTEXT of the verse (Ps.91), and that haSatan wrested it, as usual. The Psalm refers to how Elohim will protect us as we walk in him, but the main subject of the Psalm is haMashiyach. Noone else fulfills the description of the one who completely trusts in Eloha. Yeshua wasn’t fooled for a minute, because he knows the scripture.
At times each of us realizes this kind of protection and guidance from Eloha. Though we are always under his wings, we do not always experience, feel the wonder of, his providential protection. He has been protecting us all our lives, to bring us to this day and hour for his service. The better we understand this, the more humble we become. Elohim is my personal protection. No president, no king, no Mafia don has ever had security like we have in Mashiyach. The Secret Service doesn’t know security like Eloha does. He keeps us because we walk with him. And vice-verse.
Did you notice what haSatan left out of the quote? “To keep thee in all thy ways” is prominent by its absence. What more proof do you need that haSatan may know the scriptures, but does not believe them? If he believed them he never would have tried using this passage against Yehoshua. For it says, “in all thy ways.” Since Yeshua is the fulfillment of this verse there’s no way he’ll apply it improperly, for ALL his ways are kept, that is guarded, by Eloha.
HaSatan’s next temptation in Matthew is designed to give the world over to the Mashiyach out of due time. He offers the kingdoms of the world that have been promised to Yehoshua, he just offers them a bit early. It’s as if haSatan is saying, “They’re going to be yours soon, anyway. Why not take them now?” Remember Avram and Sarai? Eloha promised that they would have a son, from whom would come a great nation, but they were both old and ‘well stricken in years’. So Abe and Sarai decide to help Eloha out by way of Hagar. Now you don’t suppose haSatan had anything to do with that, do you? Eloha is teaching the lesson of waiting on Yah, and deferring gratification until His time. Yehoshua is still waiting for the fulfillment of a bunch of prophecies – more in fact than were fulfilled during his life on earth. But he is waiting on the Father’s timing and not on his own, or in the case of this temptation, haSatan’s.
You make the application to your own life.