Shabbat Bible Study for 20 August, 2022
©2022 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 1 Sabbath 21
Genesis 24:1-41 – Isaiah 51:1-2 – Psalm 19 – Ephesians 5:15-33
Happy 76th birthday Mac Pitrone, my eldest brother.
Gen.24.1-4 – In this passage, Avraham represents Avinu, Yitzhak represents Mashiyach (the Bridegroom), the servant (I think it was Eliezer, but Moshe didn’t name him here for a good reason) represents Ruach haKodesh (that’s the reason) and Rivkah represents chol Yisrael (the Bride), who came to love the Bridegroom having never seen him with her eyes. Ok! I guess we’re done with the Torah portion!
I think that Avraham having the servant to ‘put thy hand under my thigh’ speaks of him taking an oath by the covenant – circumcision – that he would not take a wife to Yitzhak of the heathen Canaanites and that he didn’t want Yitzhak to leave the land to which Yah had sent him [cf Chumash, note on v.2, pg.120].
His servant, the elder of his household. Even 60 years before, Elezar had been Avraham’s most trusted servant [15.2]; Now, he was not only most senior servant, but the elder of his household. (R’ Hoffman).
Under my thigh. Thigh is a euphemism for the male organ; offspring, too’ are described as, lit. “coming out of the father’s thigh” [46.26, Ex.1.5]. [Yotzei Yereth]
Rashi explains why Avraham chose it for use in certifying the oath. One who makes an oath must place his hand on a precious object, such as a Torah scroll or tefillin [Shevous 38b]. Because circumcision was the first precept given to Avraham, and because he fulfilled it through much pain, it was particularly precious to him, so Avraham asked Elezar to take his oath upon it. Targum Yonasan renders similarly. Tanchuma Yashan explains that the reason the Patriarchscherished the mitzvah of circumcision is that they knewthat through it their descendants would be saved from Gehinnom. It is therefore appropriate to invoke that mitzvahbefore the quest for the woman who, together with Yitzhak would forge the next link in Israeli identity.
THIS was the land Avinu had promised to raise Avraham’s seed in and he didn’t want there to be any possibility that Yitzhak would leave it never to return. Perhaps Avraham had a clue as to the character of his relatives in Charan, like what would be shown to Ya’acov by Lavan in a few [about 80] years?
In v.4, the wife Eliezer was to take for Yitzhak represents the redeemed of Zion. In YeshaYahu 62.1-5:
1 For Zion’ sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’ sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. 2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yah shall name. 3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of Yah, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy Elohim. 4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah [my delight is in you], and thy land Beulah [fruitful bride]: for Yah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy Elohim rejoice over thee.
And in Ps.126.1&2:
1 When Yah turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, Yah hath done great things for them.
Think through the entire episode and you will see Avinu sending his Ruach into the world to draw a bride out for his son. The bride is from his unbelieving kindred, but is looking for the same city Avraham was looking for, one not made with human hands, but one with foundations whose builder and maker is Elohim (Heb.11.10&16). Now, who is it that made this building? What is this building, if it isn’t the place Yeshua said he was going to prepare for his Bride so that she could be with him alway (Jn.14.6)? Do you suppose that while the servant was in Charan Yitzhak was preparing a dwelling place for his Bride (his mother’s own tent)? You betcha!
Vv.5-9 – This short passage is very important. In type, Ruach (repped by the servant) asks Avinu (repped by Avraham), “What if she says No? Do I then take Mashiyach to her in Charan [the world] so she can see him?” Avinu says, “Not on your life. Don’t you dare take my Son back into that world that he overcame through his submission to me. If they won’t accept him on YOUR word, what makes you think they’d accept him if they actually got to see him with their lying eyes?” (That was, of course, a ‘Mark’ paraphrase.) This is one reason that I am skeptical of people who say they have a ‘vision of Jay-ay-zuss’. This is not to say that Yeshua can’t appear in a vision today, but if someone is telling you that he appeared to them in vision, put your hands over your mind, heart and wallet until you get some corroborating evidence in scripture that the vision is real. Joel 2.28-29 gives us a template
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
In the days of this prophecy’s fulfillment, WHO will prophesy (teach Torah)? All believers. WHO will dream dreams? Elder men. WHO will see visions? Young men. Will ‘little children’ see visions or dream dreams? Look at Joel 2.28-29 next to 1Jn.2.9-14;
9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of Elohim abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
On whom will the Ruach be poured out in Is.62 and 1Jn.2 but all believers and their servants. Who will see visions and dream dreams in Joel 2 but Fathers and young men. BE CAREFUL when people speak of visions and dreams. Does this mean the daughters don’t see visions or dream dreams? Not necessarily, but they are suspect in my mind and here’s why. Every time someone dreams or has a vision in Torah, it is a man who dreams/sees visions and a man who gives interpretation of the dream/vision. The only woman who had a true dream or vision in all scripture (82 occurrences of ‘dream/s’, 97 of ‘vision/s’ – KJV) was Pilate’s wife – a pagan woman, not a believer. Try the spirits, whether they are of Elohecha (1Jn.4.1). You will know them by their fruits, whether they are of Yah. Sorry to get off on this tangent, but the issue is very important.
We were not given the opportunity to see Yeshua with our eyes before choosing to take his Name on us. We had to choose him sight unseen. Vv.6&9 show us that once we are set apart unto Yah, we are NOT to go back to the ways we lived before. We have been set-apart unto him and we need to act like it.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
You claim to be a believer, so act like one – obey Yah. Rivkah did.
Avraham proved his absolute trust in Yah in vv.7-9, when he told the servant that the messenger of Yah would go before him to prepare the way so that the mission would produce the desired fruit. He as much as tells the servant that the girl he is sent for will accept Yitzhak sight unseen and word unheard. She will accept him as her husband having only heard OF him from the servant, as chol Yisrael will accept Mashiyach having only heard OF him from the Ruach haKodesh. Q&C
Vv.10-28 – The servant took 10 camels (does this suggest the pagan nation of Israel’s 10 northern tribes?) in a caravan to the east (Assyria?) carrying victuals for the trip and the Bride price (to buy her out of the world system). The servant was traveling in the wide world, so he did not go alone. There were all kinds of marauders to defend against, and they would have been less likely to attack a well-armed group of this size. When Yeshua was a young boy, the Parthian Magi came by caravan also and for the same reason.
The servant got to the city, providentially, when it was time for the women to come and draw water from the well. He sent up a quick prayer to Yah Eloha of Avraham to give him good success right away. He laid out the conditions that would signify to him a great woman of Elohim – one whose character was like Avraham’s, one who is selfless in her service to Elohim. The servant was going to ask the girl to whom the Ruach led him for water for himself. If she offered to draw for all his camels, as well, that would be her.
I love the way Yah worked. Before the servant had spoken the prayer, the words still ‘dangling on the lips of his heart’, Rivkah came and drew water. The servant asked for a drink of water and she gave him some. Then she said, “Let me also draw for your camels until they are finished drinking.” I can only imagine how much water a camel can drink after a long trip across a desert wilderness, but she had just offered to draw enough for 10 of them. I’ve seen a horse drink 4 gallons of water in less than a minute. This was a selfless act of kindness for the old man before her. ONE camel can drink (according to Wiki) 26-40 US gallons of water at a time. Rivkah OFFERED to draw from 260-400 gallons of water for the camels. That’s a LOT of work to perform for an old man she’d never seen before.
The servant did not tell her his business. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t start telling her about his master and his son. The Ruach witnesses to us for as long as it takes to get our attention before he presents us with our choice to either accept our Mashiyach’s name or not. He gives us natural gifts when we show we are willing to listen, as the servant gave gifts to Rivkah. The 2 bracelets, weighing 10 shekels represent the commandments on 2 tables (according to the rabbis, and I don’t see anything wrong with that analogy – Torah was in effect long before it was codified and written in stone at Sinai). Her acceptance of the earring and the bracelets represents our acceptance of the covenant. He asked her who her father was and if there was room for his caravan to spend the night at his home. When she told him her father was Bethuel and that they had plenty of room, he bowed his head and worshipped Yah for his more than immediate answer to his prayer.
Can you imagine having a prayer answered so quickly and so specifically as this? If you were one of those who prayed for ME in my tree-felling incident, then you DO know about it. When a man has his skull crushed by a tree and his neck and back broken in 7 places, some ribs broken and numerous contusions, whom the doctors are very sure should not have lived more than a few minutes after the attack, but who never lost consciousness (though memory is erased for 3½ days), talked with numerous people on the trip to the hospital and at the hospital – and that lucidly, and who had no spinal impairment or lasting ill effects, it cannot be rationally explained EXCEPT that there IS a Master in Heaven who looks out for dumb animals and men who do foolish things, and that he does so for the purpose of getting glory to himself and building the faith and trust his people have in him. Remember this, you who prayed for me to be made well. You were answered by the same Yah who answered the servant, and in EXACTLY the same manner – before the words came off of your tongues. You [and I], of ALL people, have no excuse to not trust him. Q&C
VV.29-41 – Lavan means ‘white’, perhaps referring to the appearance of tzara’ath skin. Lavan was a guy who was out for himself. He saw the earring and bracelets his sister came home with and went to see if he could get a gift, too. I doubt that he even stuck around the house long enough to hear that the servant was from Avraham. He offers to house the servant and his camels, even invoking Yah’s name. The servant wasn’t anyone’s fool, so I doubt that he was taken in by Lavan’s ‘generous’ act. I know the way Lavan will treat Ya’acov, so I know his character, and I think the servant could see the lust in his eyes for valuables, as well. Lavan treated the servant the way one should treat a guest in a middle-eastern home, providing food and washing the feet of the servant and all the men whom he’d brought with him, as well. Remember the incident when the harlot washed Yeshua’s feet with her own tears and dried them with her hair, and how Yeshua rebuked the rich man whose house he was in because he had not offered to wash his feet himself? At least Lavan hadn’t gotten to that level of self-importance – yet.
Isaiah 51:1-2 – He who seeks Yah is one who follows after righteousness. Rivkah had followed after righteousness all her life, if the character she displayed in our Torah portion was any indication [and it is!], so she had been seeking after Yah all her life. She hearkened unto the voice of the servant [Ruach] of his Master [Avinu Yah]. As she approached Beer La Hai Roi, she looked upon her Rock [Mashiyach/Yitzhak] and the hollow of the pit [world/physical family] from which she had been removed. She looked TOWARD the life in Yah Avinu [Avraham], Ruach [Sarah, whom she was replacing in the family] and Mashiyach Yeshua that she was entering and gave herself completely to him [Yah] and it [life eternal in that Rock].
1 Come, and let us return unto Yah: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 3 Then shall we know, we follow on to know Yah: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. 4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Yehudah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 5 Therefore have I hewed by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments as the light goeth forth. 6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of Elohim more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6.1-6)
Rivkah looked at her former life and compared it to her future life of promise in Mashiyach and gave up all she HAD for the promise of what was to COME.
As the near future plays out, all you seekers after righteousness and MarYah, remember Rivkah’s example and have your minds staid upon your Master Yeshua and the promises he has given us and made known to us by his Ruach on our long journey to the home we’ve seen only in our spirits and in our mind’s eyes. It is the same promise to which Avraham looked – a city whose Builder and Maker is Yah Yeshua.
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is Elohim. (Hebrews 11:10)
The seed of Avraham is not merely the physical seed of his body, but the seed of faith in the Master Yah who is our Maker. It is the spiritual seed of which Rav Sha’ul writes that matters to Avinu, those who will trust him to deliver the promises he has made to those who will leave their former lives behind and seek him and his righteousness.
16 Now to Avraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Mashiyach. (Gal.3.16)
Psalm 19.1-3 – All of creation witnesses to the power, majesty, righteousness and authority of Yah Yeshua at every moment of every day. And it does so in every language under the sun. The names of the stars and constellations are similarly translated in every human language. For proof of this you can see the books; Mazzeroth by Rolleston, The Gospel in the Stars by Seiss and The Witness of the Stars by Bullinger.
Vv.4-6 – The tabernacle of the sun is as the Bridegroom [Yitzhak/Mashiyach] coming from his tent, presumably in the joy that comes after consummating the marriage, and who is now ready to take on any challenge.
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
When the Sun of Righteousness appears in his glory, he will bring fiery judgment upon the nations of the earth, because of the way they have treated his land and its people, his Bride. Therefore, take heed to his Word and live according to it that you may live BY it.
Vv.7-11 – To illustrate vv.4-6, Yah immediately inspired David to write these verses. Please notice that there is no mention of his ordinances. Ordinances (I think) were those things that he ordained as a result of our transgressing the covenant at the foot of Sinai – the Levitical priesthood and the laws pertaining to it. He mentions 6 aspects of Yah’s Word; Torah (instructions), testimonies, statutes, commandments, fear (awed reverence, as well as abject terror) and judgments. I think we see a descending progression there. If we live according to his Toroth [instructions], we will not need the other 5, which are given to illustrate and explain Torah. So, the 5 [like the books of Moshe] illustrate the first, Yah.
Vv.12-14 – The ‘great transgression’ is, I think, the blasphemy of the Ruach, which is perhaps typified by the apostasy Rav Sha’ul speaks of in 2Thes.2;
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom Yah shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of haSatan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause Elohim shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (iniquity). (2Thes.2.8-12)
David asks Yah to ensure that the words of his mouth and the meditations of his heart will be true and righteous, acceptable to Yah. Q&C
Eph.5.15-17 – The passage begins with ‘See then,’ so let’s get the immediate context of this passage before we try expounding on it, shall we?
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of Elohim upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For as ye were sometimes darkness, but now are light in Yah: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Ruach is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto Yah. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Mashiyach shall give thee light.
Paul has been talking about Torah [the Word of Yah] to the Ephesians, and he warns them that anything NOT of Torah is deceitful and vain (useless, worthless) and not to become as one of those who despise the Word of Truth and who will receive his wrath. We WERE like them and deserving of the same judgment and punishment, but NOW we are not.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye 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 Mashiyach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: 13 But now in Mashiyach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Mashiyach. (Eph.2.11-13)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind [sodomites – MP], 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of Elohim. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of Yah Yeshua, and by the Ruach of our Elohim. (1Cor.6.9-11)
So, Sha’ul exhorts us to ‘walk circumspectly’, basically keeping our heads on a swivel, staying aware of any instance in which we may go to the right hand or the left of the strait and narrow path towards our goal of oneness with Moshienu and thereby with Avinu. The will of Yah is that we walk in his light, which is nothing else than his Torah. We have an example of this in our Torah portion today in the witness of Rivkah’s character. She wanted to walk in righteousness, not the selfishness and iniquity of her family. Hers is an example for us to follow; one of service to Yah through service to our fellows; one of looking for a Way of escape from the world system into which we were born and toward the Way of righteousness and truth for which we long.
Vv.18-20 – It should be obvious to the most casual observer that the counterfeit of the filling of Ruach haKodesh is drunkenness. This passage does not condemn the imbibing of alcoholic beverages, but it does say the same thing Shlomo did
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Pro.20:1)
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. (Proverbs 23:2)
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Eloha in Mashiyach Yeshua. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, Eloha shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, the enemies of the cross of Mashiyach: 19 Whose end, destruction, whose eloha, belly [appetite], and glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.) [Phil.3.14-19]
That Sha’ul is NOT saying that the prudent use of alcohol is not a sin can be seen in
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (I Timothy 5:23)
It is the ‘excess’ that is not wise, and being given to that excess will lead to all manner of evil results.
But when we are filled with Ruach haKodesh, we will have joy in all circumstances and submitting ourselves not to each other, but to those whom Yah has placed in authority over us. Q&C
Vv.21-24 – PLEASE see that we are not to submit to one another, but one to another; to the one whom Yah has placed us in subjection by his Word. Many women dislike v.22, but what those women dislike is not important in the grand scheme of things. Wives are to be subject to their own husbands [unmarried women submit to their fathers] AS unto Yah, not to every man on the planet. The father is the unmarried woman’s covering. The husband is the wife’s covering and he receives that authority FROM her father when papa gives her to her husband in marriage. The only woman over whom I have any authority is my own wife, and this is spelled out in Torah (Num.30, on a woman’s vows). I have no power to dictate to Patti or Diane or any other woman except Devorah. I can advise them if they want it, but they are only subject to their husbands’ or fathers’ authority (I only use these women as examples). NO PASTOR OR RABBI has any business dictating to anyone on how to run his/her home. He may advise, and it is wise to seek godly counsel, but he has no authority in another man’s or woman’s home. Many pastors and rabbis usurp this authority to themselves. If you are a part of a fellowship with a pastor or rabbi who tells you how to order your home, do yourself a favor and RUN away from that Nicolaitan imposter.
Rivkah is, once again, a perfect example of the godly wife, who had decided on her right relationship with her husband long before she arrived at his home to consummate the marriage.
My lovely bride did the same thing, so much so that I need exercise little authority over her. She knows what is right to do, but in consequential things she still asks advice from me, as I do from her. We will see in a few weeks how Rivkah and Yitzhak worked together to ensure the bachor went to the godly seed.
Vv.25-33 – Husbands show their submission to Mashiyach by their love for their wives, as Mashiyach shows his love for the kahal, the assembly of his body. The husband cares for his wife as Mashiyach cares for his body. In the same way that Mashiyach gave himself for the kahal, so should the husband give himself for his wife. Mashiyach gave EVERYTHING for us, and so should the husband for his wife. The husband is no longer a free agent, because everything he does affects his wife and their children. He can’t ‘bach’ it without a possible adverse effect on his family. The husband MUST be circumspect, watch what he does with thought of his family’s well being. His godly wife is not just another human, she is in every sense a part of his own life.
If she is taken away, it is like a great chasm opens in his soul and he KNOWS he is the less for it.
They have been made one, as Mashiyach with his kahal.
Mashiyach washes us with the water of his Word for the purpose of presenting us to himself as a chaste bride.
10 And Yah said unto Moshe, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day Yah will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. 14 And Moshe went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. (Ex.19.10-14)
12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. (Ex.40.12)
We, as godly husbands, need to do this as well with our wives; bathing them in prayer, building them up with the Word; guiding them into all truth, so that WE may present THEM to Mashiyach in the Day of Yah.
If a man truly loves his wife, she will have no problem reverencing him and their children will be the proof of their love for each other. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study