April 20, 2013 Shabbat Midrash
©2013 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
April 20, 2013 – Year 1 Sabbath 6
Genesis 8:1-14 – Habakkuk 3:1-5 – Psalm 6 – Acts 1:1-14
Genesis 8:1-2 – Remember that Y’hovah does not remember in the same way that we remember. Remember that it is impossible for Y’hovah to forget, which it is implied that we do when we say that we ‘remember’ anything. Since he created and sustains everything with the Word of his power, if he forgot anything, it would cease to exist in that instant, and be as if it had never been. When Y’hovah says that he ‘remembers’ something, he means that he moves on or for that thing with a specific purpose. The purpose of the flood was to destroy the air breathing life that wicked men had corrupted, I think because of their unclean/‘traditions of men’ DNA; the DNA made tahor by ‘adding to’ or ‘taking away from’ the amino acids that make up the genetic DNA codes. Now that that purpose was well and fully completed, Y’hovah worked to return the flood-‘mikvah’d’ (1Pe.3) creatures back to their usual ‘camp’ from which they’d been exiled for the last 5 months. His work was via his Ruach which ‘moved’ upon the waters so they would assuage, which means to quiet or pacify, (root = H7918 – shakak). The rain stopped falling and the fountains of the earth stopped spouting and the waters on the earth calmed.
Vv3-14 – The waters returned back into the fountains from which they’d sprung forth and ran off into the rivers and oceans that were formed during the upheaval of the flood, so that on the 17th day of the 7th month, the 150th day after the rain started and the fountains of the deep broke open, the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. It was not time, yet, to disembark, for the ground would still be very mooshy (that’s a technical term). If the flood started in the 2nd month of the Anno Mundi (and I think it did), this would be the ‘pre-niversary’ of the day of Yeshua’s resurrection, the 17th day of the month that would be called either Aviv or Nissan after the Egyptian redemption.
But the window of the ark was not opened yet, perhaps so that the human passengers would not see what would have been very troubling to them, I think – a very small mountaintop island on a vast sea. For the next 70 or so days, the waters of the flood receded back into their places and on the 1st day of the 10th month (his would roughly correspond to the 1st of Av on the post-Babylonian exile calendar) Noach could see other mountaintop islands. On the 40th day after the first mountaintops were seen (roughly the 10th of Elul, Post Babylon), Noach opened the window to release a raven, which is an unclean and a more or less omnivorous bird, to see if there was a suitable place for it to alight. V.7 says that the raven just flew around outside the ark until it found a suitable place to alight. The dove went out on the same day, according to v.8 and returned to Noach. The dove would not alight on anything but a tree, according to the rabbis, while the raven would alight on anything that would hold him up. I think that the raven, being omnivorous, would land on anything it could eat. I infer that it stayed near the ark for awhile until it could find a place to build a nest, and then it didn’t return. On the Shabbat of the next week (roughly, 17 Elul Post-Babylon), Noach let the dove fly off again and when it returned to him it had an olive leaf in its beak, which told Noach that the trees were sprung forth from the earth. On the following Shabbat (@ 24 Elul PB), when Noach let the dove fly off, v.12, it did not return, which told Noach that it had found a place suitable for it to nest.
So, in the 1st day of the first month (1 Tishrei PB, or Yom Teruah) of Noach’s 601st year he removed the covering from the ark because the water was fully receded with no standing water to be seen and on the 27th day of the 2nd month of Noach’s 601st year – 1 year and 10 days after the fountains broke up and the rain began to fall) the earth, which I infer speaks of the soil, had dried sufficiently that he could open the ark to let the critters out. We’ll see that next week. Q&C
Habakkuk 3:1-2 – Habakkuk was written near the beginning of the Babylonian exile. V.2 has an immediate reiteration of the phrase, b’qerev shaniym, ‘in the midst of the years’, so I naturally wonder what the phrase means. ‘In the midst of the years’ is kind of ambiguous; it could mean smack dab in the middle, or sometime near the middle, or even just sometime in between the beginning and the end. Was it ‘in the midst of the years’ when he gave this prophecy? This prophecy was spoken about 600 BCE, which is about 2600 years ago. That’s pretty close to the middle of the years of the earth, if we are truly in the last days today, or about 6000 years Anno Mundi (AM). Or does it mean ‘during the years of this exile’? Perhaps Habakkuk had heard of YirmeYahu’s prophecy of the length of Yehudah’s exile from the land and was imploring Y’hovah to keep a remnant true to him while they were in Babylon, a remnant who would look forward to a revival of their life in Y’hovah’s land.
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. (Jeremiah 25:11-12)
There are other possibilities, as well. It looks as though Y’hovah is going to ‘revive his work’ by remembering his mercy in the midst of pouring out his wrath. That is like him. He was merciful, even as he poured out his wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah. As the burning sulphur fell on them it gave off a gas that incapacitated them and rendered them unconscious, so that as they were receiving their condemnation, they did not consciously suffer; in fact, the gas may have killed them so they didn’t suffer much at all. In this case, I think the suffering is on the part of Yisrael in exile, and Habakkuk is asking Y’hovah to show his mercy and return them to the land.
Vv.3-5 – That Y’hovah came from Teman is a reference to an area in southern Edumea (Edom, where Esau dwelt) near Mt. Seir that is separated from Paran (where Ishmael dwelt) by the Arabah hills of which Mt. Paran is the most prominent. We discussed these places (kinda) on March 2;
The same rabbis see the references to Mounts Seir in Edom and Paran in the land of Ishmael in [Devarim 33] v.2 to mean that Y’hovah had offered Torah to Avraham’s and Yitzhak’s other sons, but they refused it, supposedly because they didn’t want the requirements Y’hovah expected of them to cramp their wicked styles. I’d say that that is at least an imaginative concept, and may even be true. It certainly fits what little evidence there is in the pashat. Stone’s Chumash explains this on pg. 1113 top left column [look it up this week, to] …
Something we discussed that same week was Hillel’s 2nd Rule of interpretation, gezerah shavah. The idea there is that when disparate passages of scripture use the same phraseology those passages are connected, like these passages are connected by a thread of thought that appears briefly and then returns to the background. If you are following in the notes, notice the bold emphasis
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with Elohim and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him , and said, Tell me , I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen Elohim face to face, and my life is preserved. (Gen.32.25-29)
Ya’acov Yisrael noticed that this was Elohim. See what Manoah says about the angel of Y’hovah in this next passage
16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he an angel of the LORD. 17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? 18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it secret[emphases added]? 19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and [Y’hovah] did wondrously[emphases added]; and Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar [emphases added]. And Manoah and his wife looked on, and fell on their faces to the ground. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen Elohim. 23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these, nor would as at this time have told us as these. (Judges 13.16-20, 22-23)
That word ‘secret’ in v.18 is H6383 peliy, from the root H6381 pala meaning set apart, remarkable, wonderful or hidden. In v.19, the root is used for the word ‘wonderously’. The SAME word is used in connection to a Name in YeshaYahu
6 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 Elohim, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Is.9.6)
Wonderful is from H6382, pehleh, from the same root as the Angel of Y’hovah used in Judges 13. According to Hillel’s 2nd rule, these passages are connected by similar subject matter (the Names of Y’hovah) and phraseology. Does the mention of Paran and Edom have a gezerah shavah connection? Do Dev.33 and Hab.3 have that kind of relationship?
I take it that Habakkuk is seeing what Moshe described in Dev.33. Perhaps Habakkuk is referencing the idea that Y’hovah offered Torah to Esau and Ishmael, who’d refused it, but when Yisrael accepted it, he decided that no matter how far they strayed from it either as individuals or as a people, he would always leave the Covenant open to them, either as a people or as individuals, so they could repent of the sin that got them exiled and return to it. That same would be true of any ger who’d accepted Y’hovah’s yoke on him and then strayed. If he would show even a slight inclination to return, to make teshuvah, Y’hovah would be right there to accept his repentance and receive him back into fellowship, like a Prodigal Son.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
Confession implies repentance. Why confess if you have no remorse or desire to return?
When Yisrael entered Y’hovah’s land, they were led by the glorious light of Y’hovah which manifested as disease and pestilence for his enemies, like he’d done in the plagues of Egypt, and as strength and courage for his inheritance, the people of Yisrael. Q&C
Tehellim 6 – David acknowledges that he is a sinner before Y’hovah, and asks for his mercy in judgment, because he is a compassionate Elohim who is not like the elohim of the nations. The nations’ elohim did not take on human flesh and suffer the dichotomy of an absolutely righteous life while in a body of flesh. They could not have the kind of compassion Y’hovah has for our predicament. Those other elohim did not CARE to not sin. It is that desire to be ‘good’, to live life as our Creator wants us to live it, that manifests the ‘image of Elohim’ in us. The spirits are not made in ‘the image and likeness of Elohim’. I think they get one big decision to take; serve the Creator without question or serve self. Once they’ve taken their decision, there is no opportunity to repent, which may be ANOTHER source of the hate and jealousy haSatan manifests toward mankind. So David calls on the grace and compassion of Y’hovah in dealing with him. Radak’s commentary on v.2 is insightful
“Even if I deserve to be punished, do so gradually, not in anger, for then it would be beyond my endurance.”
David says that his soul is terrified at the prospect of having to endure Y’hovah’s righteous wrath and asks that he relieve his suffering, to cease his righteous rebuke and deliver him as befits his kindness/goodness (chas’decha root = chesed).
In v.5, David knows that the wages of the sin he’s committed and for which he is asking forgiveness is death, but reminds Y’hovah that if he were dead, he could not witness to his goodness or praise him. Does that imply that the soul ceases when the spirit leaves the flesh? In vv.6-7, David’s heart breaks over his sin and affects his physical senses.
Then, in vv.8-10, David gives warning to his and Y’hovah’s enemies, because he KNOWS that Y’hovah has forgiven him and that he is in right standing with him. If those sinners who are David’s enemies know that David has repented and is once again in Y’hovah’s favor, they would be wise to just not mess with him because, as Y’hovah fought for Yehoshua, Kalev and Yisrael in the Wilderness Adventure and the subsequent conquest of Y’hovah’s land, so he would fight for David and Yisrael now. Take Y’hovah’s Word as it proceeds out of David’s mouth, you Torahless people; just don’t mess with us, because it is Y’hovah who fights for us; it is HE that directs the battle.
Now, saints of Elohim, YOU remember that, as well.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17)
Let me share with you the cross-references from the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible Software on Isaiah 54.17
2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. (Deut.33.2)
3 Elohim came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. (Hab.3.3)
Is it just coincidence that had me choose Is.54.17 to illustrate the point of the last 3 verses of Ps.6? It amazed me! Q&C
Acts 1:1-14 – The Restoration Scriptures has a very good introduction to the book of Acts (pg.1099). Theophilus, son of Annas and brother-in-law to Caiaphas, was High Priest in the years 37-42 CE. There was a later High Priest, Mattathias ben Theophilos (who served @65-66 CE) to whom this account could have been written. He may have been a more righteous man than his predecessors and may have wanted to understand what the Way of Yeshua was about, especially in light of the withering contempt shown to it by the Pharisees (and the Sadducees from whose ranks all the HPs in the Roman times were) in the Sanhedrin, who were working to have the Netzarim excommunicated from the Temple and synagogues. I think Luke’s writings MAY have been evidence for the Sanhedrin’s use in making a righteous judgment. Luke’s first treatise (the ‘gospel’ named for him) to Theophilus was about Yeshua’s life, death, resurrection and the mention of his ascension, while Acts is about how the news of his death and resurrection had spread throughout the world.
This may be a stretch, but I think there may be a ‘mystical’ gezerah shavah going on in v.3. Remember what we said about the day the ark’s window was opened?
On the 40th day after the first mountaintops were seen (roughly the 10th of Elul, Post Babylon), Noach opened the window to release a raven …
On the 40th day after Yeshua rose from death (bringing a number of the dead saints with him, which may correspond to the first mountaintops seen from the ark’s perch on Ararat) he was received bodily (the body perhaps corresponding to the raven being sent from the ark) out of this world. During those 40 days that the resurrected Moshiach walked the earth was a “Kingdom of Elohim Seminar” on how the shlichim (apostles, sent ones) were to share the good news of Shalom w/Y’hovah. I think that vv.4-9 is a brief account of Yeshua’s final bread-breaking (AENT’s rendering) with the shlichim. Yeshua commanded them to NOT leave Yerushalayim until they received the gift of Abba; mikvah in the Spirit of Y’hovah.
After they had broken bread and Yeshua spoke of Abba’s gift, the shlichim, almost to a man, wanted to know if Yeshua would regather Yisrael right then. Restoration Scriptures has a good note on this, as well (note 2, pg.1099 – there’s another in a minute or 2). It is a well-known ministry of Moshiach to regather Ephraim to the land and reunite him with his brother Yehudah and rule from Yerushalayim. The main reason, to this day, that Yehudah does not recognize Yeshua as Moshiach is that he didn’t do that in his life here on earth. They wanted the physical deliverance from the Edomite bondage they were under; a political deliverer, as well as a spiritual one.
Yeshua’s answer to his talmidim/shlichim was kind of like his answer (in a Mark paraphrase) to Kefa in Yochanan 21.21 about Yochanan’s life; “That’s actually none of your business. You worry about doing what you’ve been told.” Pretty much the same here, “Why are you worried about when the re-gathering of the 2 houses of Yisrael is fully accomplished? You do what you’ve been told, because THAT is HOW it will be accomplished. Your business is the doing in the here and now. Abba’s is fulfilling HIS plan in HIS time, not yours.” We would be well to remember as we watch and give warning to the church and the world of Y’hovah Elohenu’s judgment and impending condemnation. It is not for us to know exactly WHEN he will restore the Kingdom to the 2 houses of Yisrael under the command of the King Moshiach in Yerushalayim. Our business is to give witness to the truth until and after he does.
Yeshua went on to tell them how they would be empowered by his and Abba’s Ruach to do their business and the order in which they were to go about their business. They were to remain in Yerushalayim until they would be “endued with power from ‘on high’” (Lk.24.49). And it seems that they did just that (Lk.24.53). After their mikvah and filling with Ruach haKodesh, they preached the besorah of the Kingdom first in Yerushalayim, next in Shomron and then to the 4 corners of the earth. Cf. Restoration Scriptures note 4, pg.1099.
12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord ELOHIM. (Ezek.34.12-16)
This is probably WHY Sha’ul went ‘to the Jew first, and also to the greek” (Rom.1.16, 2.9-10); he was under the same orders as the other shlichim to go first to Yerushalayim/Yehudah, next to Shomron/Ephraim and then to the whole gentile world.
In v.9, after those final instructions on HOW to work out the re-gathering of 12 Yisrael from the whole earth to which they’d been scattered, Yeshua ascended ‘on high’ out of their sight into the clouds of heaven. There is no mention of an offering being made to Y’hovah at this meeting, but I see another ‘mystical gezerah shavah’ here, where the same ‘angel of Y’hovah’ who ascended in the smoke of Manoah’s offering ascended into a cloud before the shlichim’s eyes. And in the instant that he was obscured by the clouds, they saw 2 messengers (1 for each ‘house’ of Yisrael?) in white, I infer ‘clothed in light’, who said, “Whatayadoinhere!? This same Yehoshua will come back in the same manner as he went away”, i.e.; bodily, for all to see and quite probably to the same place. And then they went back to town from Mount Olivet. V.12 says it was a Sabbath day’s journey (KJV), but in the AENT it says the distance is 7 furlongs, there being 8 furlongs to a mile. They seem to have repaired to an upstairs apartment in town, probably not far from the Temple, where they spent their days preaching the besorah l’Malchut haShalom. In the evenings, the talmidim/shlichim gathered to pray in one accord with Yeshua’s mother, Miryam, and her sons. This upper room was NOT a hiding place, for they were in the Beit haMikdash daily and probably from opening to closing preaching the Kingdom per Yeshua’s instructions. There is nothing that even implies that they were afraid to speak Y’hovah’s Word in public, even before Ruach was poured out. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study.