Shabbat Bible Study for 11 December 2021
©2021 Mark Pitrone & Fulfilling Torah Ministries
11Dec2021– Year 3, Sabbath 40
Devarim 22:6 – 23:9 – Micah 5:1-6 – Tehellim 137 – MatithYahu 22:1-14
Devarim 22:6 – 23:9 – Devarim 22 is a list of minor chukim, ‘the least commandments’ that Yeshua speaks of, and I have heard that the very least is the first one we see in our passage, today.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)
The Ramban says that this commandment is meant to inculcate a sense of mercy toward the lower creatures, which should then be ever greater toward higher orders of creatures, culminating in a very high order of mercy towards our fellow men. Chumash has a good note for v.7 on pg.1051, dealing with the midrashic principle of ‘light to weighty’ or ‘lesser to greater’;
The Sages comment thatif God gives success and longevity in reward for a simple commandment that involves no financial loss, how much greater will be the reward for the commandments that involve hardship? [Rashi]
v.8 – BaAretz, in the land, the rooftops are usually flat so that the cooking can be done on it during the day and the socializing at night. And so the reason for the chuk in v.8 is readily apparent, even if it were not spelled out. It is a safety feature that Yah requires of his people. We need to be mindful of our brother’s safety. Life under Torah is about ‘strict liability’, there was no ‘limited liability’, or ‘insurance’, like we are used to these days in the west. If one caused an injury to his neighbor, HE was responsible to make reparations and cover the damages.
18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: 19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. (Shemoth 21.18-19)
This principle applies in all situations, and would tend to make one more circumspect. There were no ‘insurance’ companies to ‘lessen the blow’ to one’s finances or lifestyle. You are responsible for your own actions and those of all your servants and livestock, as well as your negligence to properly maintain your property, as in Devarim 22.8.
V.9-11 – I think v.9 is dealing with genetic holiness in our food. They weren’t engaging in genetic modification, like we are today, but there might be a problem with cross-pollination of species. To mitigate that possibility, this chuk is given. The reason for the flood was to remove the Nephillim from the gene-pool. Some of the DNA came through the flood via Ham’s wife (I think, it may also have been Noach’s wife – not the sons’ mother; Gen.9’s “uncovered nakedness”), but it was diluted over the years, so that the Nephillim-tainted offspring were fewer and of lesser stature than the originals. I think that Yah was trying to keep our food ultimately nutritious and healthy for us through this chuk. Chumash refers us to its note on Lev.19.19 (pg.662-663),
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee. (Leviticus 19:19)
V.10 is definitely a chuk, because I can’t understand why this is forbidden, unless it’s due to the different sizes of the animals. An ox and a donkey could not possibly produce a hybrid, like a horse and a donkey or a buffalo and an ox, so I think it’s just a chuk designed to see if we’ll obey, even when we don’t understand the reason for it.
V.11 – The only specified prohibition for mixed fibres in a garment are linen and wool, and it refers specifically to them being woven together, I infer in a loom. IOW, taking Torah for what it says, cotton/polyester and other mixtures are perfectly fine. If we were to take it to mean that no 2 different things could be mixed, that would also include alloyed metals and such. The only thing in which Torah says to mix wool and linen is in the Mishkan and the High Priest’s ephod. I think that this is the reason that noone was to wear this mixture; it was reserved to separating Yah and his representative on earth from the wicked world system. When the Priest went into the Most Holy place, he was stepping into spiritual space; the very throneroom of Yah, which resides outside of physical time and space. Aharon actually stepped ‘out of time and space’ in exactly the same way as Moshe did whenever he was in the Tent of meeting or up on Horeb, where he was able to fast from both food and water for 40 days at a time. The Mishkan proper, which was the ‘roof’ of the Kodesh Kadashim, the curtains and the veil were all made of the same woven material, as was Aharon’s ephod. Each was 3 parts wool (blue, purple, and scarlet), and 1 part each fine twined linen and metallic gold. I think this chuk is to keep Israel from making anything that was designed for access to this spiritual space.
V.12 – This is a reiteration of the tzitzit chuk from Numbers 15.38-40
38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it (techeleth) shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Yah, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto Elohechem.
Vv.13-21 – Don’t bear false witness, especially against your wife. If you do, you get to give her papa 100 pieces of silver, saddle yourself with a woman who will likely be contentious, and you will have no recourse, but will have to stay married to what you’ve made into a shrew for the rest of your natural life. However, if your accusation of fornication is true, she will be stoned at her father’s doorstep. This was the situation Yoseph found himself in when he found Miriam to be pregnant with Yeshua.
18 Now the birth of Yeshua haMashiyach was on this wise: When as his mother Miriam was espoused to Yoseph, before they came together, she was found with child of Ruach haKodesh. 19 Then Yoseph her husband, being a tzadik, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Master appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Yoseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Miriam thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of Ruach haKodesh. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name YESHUA: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mat.1.18-21)
Vv.22-27 – If a man takes a woman who is betrothed to another man and engages in sexual relations with her in a town and she doesn’t cry out for help, then both the man and the woman are to be stoned outside the city gates to remove the evil from the town. Since it was in a town it is assumed that if the girl raised her voice, someone would come to help her. This is what Yeshua dealt with in
2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Yeshua stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground (YirmeYahu 17.13?, or did he write “Where is the man?” per our chuk, or is the answer, Yes, he wrote the man’s name in the earth.). 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard, being convicted by conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, unto the last: and Yeshua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (Yochanan 8.2-9)
If she was taken and forced outside the city, only the man is stoned, since it is assumed that she raised a call for help but was not heard. It is obvious to me that the girl has brought the accusation against the man in either instance. In the 1st case, it may have been found out when she began to ‘show’ her resultant pregnancy. In the 2nd, she would bring the charge and then a diligent inquest would be done.
Vv.28-29 – If the situation above is done with an unbetrothed woman, the man pays her father a settlement, has to marry the girl, and may never divorce her. Rape was not a wise thing for an Israelite man to engage in. It was costly to his pocket AND his future life’s comfort, having had to marry without recourse to a woman he may have made into a shrew.
The next 10 verses deal with forbidden marriages. V. 30 (Heb.23.1) does not say that he is not to marry his mother; that is a no-brainer to my mind. This basically codifies Ya’acov’s decision about Reuven, his first-born. Chumash says that ‘his father’s skirt’ speaks of the father’s brother’s wife, which is another forbidden relationship.
And if a man shall lie with his uncle’ wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’ nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. (Leviticus 20:20)
That could mean that even if a child results, he is not entitled to inherit in Israel.
Ch.23 is about prohibitions to membership in the congregation, or family. I suppose 23.1 is about proselytes. Would a man who was already a member of the kahal be thrown out because of an injury? I don’t think so.
V.2 talks about mamzerim. KJV translates mamzer as ‘bastard’. Strong’s says this is a child of an Israelite man and a pagan woman, but Stone’s Chumash says it is a child from a union that could never be a valid marriage; like the above man marrying his uncle’s wife, or a full brother and sister (IOW, I don’t think Yitzhak was a mamzer). The children of these unions were not recognized as Israelites for 10 generations. In vv.3-6, Neither an Ammonite nor a Moavite could enter, unless they converted to Yehudism, because their people did not remember their uncle Avraham had saved their father, Lot, in the battle of the 9 kings. And, for the same reason, Israel is not to seek the shalom and well being of Ammon or Moav, l’olam, forever. This is the one exception to the commandment to offer Shalom to a city before making war on it, but the prohibition against taking Lot’s inheritance away (2.9, 19) was not lifted. Israel could not take possession of Lot’s lands, beyond Sihon’s land, who had been offered Shalom with no strings attached and refused it. “Oh, Well!”
In vv.7-8, Israel was not to intermarry with Edom or Egypt for at least 3 generations after entering haAretz. Israel was not to ‘abhor’, or reject, them even before the 3rd generation, but they were forbidden intermarriage for that long. In v.9 they are commanded to stay away from ‘wicked things’, which may explain a little better what happened when Achan took the god from Yericho and hid it in his tent, causing the defeat at Ai. Q&C
Micah 5:1-6 – Let’s look at the context of this portion of Micah’s prophecy:
6 In that day, saith Yah, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and Yah shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. 8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there Yah shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. 11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. 12 But they know not the thoughts of Yah, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto Yah, and their substance unto the Master of the whole earth. (Micah 4.6-13)
‘In that day’(v.6), refers to the time of Ya’acov’s trouble which immediately precedes Yah Mashiyach’s Kingdom. Her that ‘halteth’, whom Yah ‘drove out’ and ‘afflicted’ is, I think, Yisrael, of both the whosoevers, Ephraim, and Yehudah, in the diaspora. V.7 shows that the ‘halt’ and ‘driven out’ = being afflicted and the ‘afflicted’ will be called to Zion by Mashiyach for his appearing. In vv.7-8, Yah says that Yah Yeshua will reign over them in mount Zion. This is an obvious reference to the Millennial Messianic Kingdom. Yah, in Mashiyach, will be the ‘tower of the flock’ and the ‘stronghold of bat Zion’, the Chief Shepherd, as it were, and he shall have dominion as the Davidic King over bat Yerushalayim. In v.9 Yah asks if Zion’s/Yerushalayim’s counsellor has perished; could that be when the 2 witnesses lie dead in the streets of Yerushalayim (Rev.11.7-10)? It certainly looks as though the daughters of Yerushalayim/Zion cry aloud for Yah’s deliverance. I take that to mean that Yehudah’s backs are up against a hard place (v.11) and there is no physical escape open to them, which is when they resort to their LAST resort, calling on Yah’s Name. Vv.11-13 show what the nations of the earth will think to do and what Yah will do to them. Which brings us to our passage in 5.1-6.
I think it is possible that ‘the judge of Israel’ refers to the aforementioned 2 witnesses, who I think will judge Israel during their years of ministry. For sure, they shall be ‘smitten upon the cheek’ by the satanic power of that ‘son of perdition’, Anti-Mashiyach (Rev.11.2ff) AFTER their ministry is accomplished. Also, the soldiers that struck Yeshua on the face may be seen here, their closed fists likened to the rod.
BethLechem Ephratah is contrasted against the troops of the world’s power, who are the ‘smitors’ of the ‘smitee’, Mashiyach Yeshua, the judge of Israel. Vv.2-5 have been recognized for at least 2500 years as a Messianic prophecy. It is immediately where the priests and scribes went when Herod asked them where the King Mashiyach would be born
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Mashiyach should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Mat.2.2-6)
That old reprobate Edomite, Herod, knew the prophecy was Messianic, but didn’t know it well enough to know where Mashiyach would be born. And the priests and scribes directed them to Yeshua without even knowing he was there. Any rabbi, Jewish or otherwise, who says otherwise is a deceiver. The old reprobate Edomite, Herod, believed it, but they didn’t (or WOULDN’T). There is no record of the priests of Israel sending an embassage to the newborn King Mashiyach of Israel, only the wise men of Parthia (Ephraim) and a few Yehudi shepherds of the Temple flock. Official Israel either missed or attempted to wipe out Yah in the flesh. Please notice that the priests and scribes gave a midrash of the prophecy, not a quote. Had they quoted it verbatim, they’d have been without excuse in their own eyes, and that would never do, would it? They would just deal with Yah when they came before him in judgment; IF they came before him (I doubt that they actually thought he would judge them, IF they thought he truly exists).
Notice in v.3, ‘she who travaileth’ refers back to 4.9-10. Those of us who are in travail during the time of Ya’acov’s Trouble will see the 2-house’s remnants called out of 4 corners of the earth
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (YeshaYahu 11:12)
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)
And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (Mark 13:27)
V.4 is a reference to Yah as King Mashiyach, also, as he stands in the strength and the Name of Yah. And then v.5 says that King Mashiyach is THE Shalom, which refers to
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (YeshaYahu 9:6)
It is King Mashiyach who will bring Shalom when Yerushalayim/Zion is attacked by the Gog uMagog alliances at both the end of this world system AND at the end of his Millennial Kingdom.
I think that Gog uMagog and the Assyrian are basically the same entity in the prophecies of the end of days, the one that we can see taking shape in the Middle East. As we speak, Iran (Assyria, Babylon, and Persia which was later Parthia), Russia (Gog uMagog, or historical Scythia), and world Islam or China (Kings of the East) look to be allying against the Western powers, presently (maybe not for much longer) led by NATO and the US. They will ultimately join forces to the end of destroying Israel. That will be precursor to the above outlined prophetic events of ch.4&5. Q&C
Tehellim 137 – Whenever Yehuda remembered Zion while in captivity in Babylon, she sat and wept. This same idea is restated in v.2 where she hung her harps on the willows. She was so deep in mourning that she could not bring herself to sing, even when ordered to do so by her captors. Vv.3-5 remind me of the cowboys in the opening scene of Blazing Saddles demanding a “good old blanker work song” from the black railroad workers, and their immediate response. (Do you suppose Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder had this Psalm in mind while they wrote this screenplay? “Wie gesind! Cop a walk.”, Mel, as the Indian chief, told the black family who had had to make their OWN circle of wagon to protect themselves, as the white folk in the wagon train wouldn’t let them join their circle. I think “Wie gesind” means ‘We understand’ or something similar due to the context of the movie’s theme – the stupidity of racism and racists.) In vv.6-8, captive Israel vows to remember Yerushalayim/Zion until they return thither. They also vow to remember Edom, who called for the razing of the city to its foundation, leaving virtually no stone above grade. They vow to remember the way Edom relished the destruction of Yehudah’s children during the conquest by Babylon. This is not the same way Yah wanted them to remember Edom in our Torah passage today. Edom did not take part in the dashing of the children’s heads against the stones. We are only to not allow Edom to intermarry with us for 3 generations, and then we are to remember that we and Edom are family, distantly related as we may be. In the Kingdom Age, 3 generations will go by quickly – perhaps 50 years. There will be 950 years left for us to remember our close family ties. The Edom that goes into the Kingdom will not be the Roman/Greek/Arabic idolaters, but Yah fearers who had accepted Yah’s offer of Shalom to them (Is.27.4-5). Q&C
MatithYahu 22:1-14– Parable of the wedding feast (Mt.22.1-14) – Remember that the most important words in bible interpretation are ‘like’ and ‘as’. Webster’s 1828 has ‘like’,
“2. Similar; resembling; having resemblance…. I saw three unclean spirits like frogs. Rev. 16.”
He has ‘as’,
“1. Literally, like; even; similar. “Ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil,” or “As Jonas was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.”
So when Yeshua says the kingdom of heaven is LIKE something, it is not exactly the same, but resembles that thing.
The kingdom resembles a king giving a wedding feast for his son’s marriage. He has invited all the important people in his kingdom and they at first despise the invitation, then beat up the messengers, then kill them. This is LIKE the way Yisrael treated all her prophets (with the possible exception of Daniel) who were attempting to awaken Yisrael to her impending destruction and calling them to repentance. Yah was not pleased with them, like the king was not pleased with the invitees. The reason I do not use the word ‘as’ here is that Yah is very much more displeased with us and Yisrael than this king was with his invitees. If that king destroyed the invitees and their property and their cities, what do you suppose is in store for us and Yisrael when we refuse his invitation, when we despise his commands? We have a LOT more light, and for that reason he will demand more of us. To get his blessing, we must follow his commands. Torah is not about salvation; it is about gaining blessing or losing a blessing/receiving a curse.
And command is the meaning of the word ‘bid’ in v. 9, as well as ‘bidden’ in vv.3 & 4. I have no idea why the king had to command attendance at his son’s wedding feast, but that is the case. Perhaps they didn’t think the king would do anything, as our nation, and especially the church, doesn’t think YHVH will bring judgment against us. They, and we, are fools to think that way. He is longsuffering to us-ward, but not forever-suffering. He will deliver on his promises to us, and he has promised that he will bring cursing if we do not obey his word. The choice is ours.
Deut. 30:15-20, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16In that I command thee this day to love Yah Elohecha, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and Yah Elohecha shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20That thou mayest love Yah Elohecha, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which Yah sware unto thy fathers, to Avraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
In Gal.3.13, ‘curse of the law’ is talking about death, which curse Yeshua took on himself for all of humanity.
The original invitees despised the king’s commandment to come. Did you notice that the king never requested anyone to do anything? Every statement he made was exclamatory, with an implied subject. The only question he asked was to the man without the wedding garment, and that was to ascertain whether he was unprepared in innocence or snubbing the king’s command. The speechlessness was all the answer the king needed. The man had been offered the wedding garment and refused it, as the Mexican bandits in ‘Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ – “Wedding garments! We don’t need no stinking wedding garments.” This guy found out different.
He was bound and thrown into ‘outer darkness.’ …Ekbalete eis to skotos to exoteron, literally, ‘out throw him into the darkness the outer (or outside)’. Of what was this darkness outside? I think it was outside time and space and the presence of Yah. I think it is speaking of what has come to be thought of as Hell. The weeping and gnashing of teeth may be from the suffering and despair of those found there, or from the mourning of those who are left here and miss him, or both, or perhaps more than this. The weeping and gnashing of teeth is a fact, who is weeping is anyone’s guess. I lean towards all of the above.
Chosen is from the greek word eklektos from which we get the word ‘eclectic’, which Webster has as,
“[Gr. to choose.] Selecting; choosing; an epithet given to certain philosophers of antiquity, who did not attach themselves to any particular sect, but selected from the opinions and principles of each, what they thought solid and good. Hence we say, an eclectic philosopher; the eclectic sect.”
With the raging denominationalism and ‘sectarianism’ we suffer from today, ‘eclecticism’ in our walk with Yah should be the standard. We need to choose that which stands up to the scrutiny of scripture, not necessarily what we’ve been taught by fallible men. For men have taught us lies for centuries, though they have been, in many cases, unaware of the lies they’ve taught. Such things as Sunday-keeping, Child-mass (name changed to ‘Christ-mas’), and Ishtar/Easter, which are the most common, but by far not the only pagan inspired church holidays that got their impetus from the compromise of the church’s true worship with Roman sun-worship in the days of Constantine, have been unquestioningly handed down to us from our fathers as if they were commandments from Yah. We need to question our spiritual heritage as it applies to scripture, keep that which we’ve been taught that lines up with scripture, and discard the rest. In the ‘Christian climate’ in which we find ourselves, eclecticism is a good thing if it uses the Word of Yah as its standard. Our choice to repent and follow Yah and his ways is the basis of his choosing us, the basis of our covenant with him. Q&C
End of Bible Study