August 15, 2015 Shabbat Midrash
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
August 11, 2015 – Year 3 Sabbath 22
B’midbar 35:9 – 36:13 – Yehoshua 20:1-9 – Tehellim 119b – Yochanan 4:1-45
B’midbar 35:9- – In this chapter, Yehovah gives Israel instruction about the cities of refuge and the conditions under which they were to be used. He says, when you have come over Yarden into Canaan you shall appoint cities. I infer that they were to be designated after the land was taken and the 2½ tribes were settled in their inheritances on the East Bank, because there were to be 3 cities of refuge on each side of Yarden, and those on the east bank would be useless until then. This is borne out in that the cities were not designated until after the conquest of the land was more or less complete (Jos.20 – The 48 Levitical cities were assigned to the individual families of Levi in Jos.21). As we discussed briefly last week, these were cities to which a person who killed another person could flee for his (or her) life until inquiry could be made as to the type of killing it was.
The cities of refuge were to be chosen so that it would be a relatively short trip to the one designated for your tribe – basically not more than a long, concentrated day’s journey on foot. There was no time to lose for the manslayer, because the avenger of the dead man’s blood would be absolutely guiltless if he caught the manslayer before he arrived at the refuge. These cities were for ANY manslayer to use; Israelite, ger toshav (a gentile living, doing business and voluntarily subject to Torah in Israel) or goy.
Yehovah laid down the general guidelines by which the judges would decide. He didn’t cover EVERY contingency, but gave clear enough instruction that right judgment could be made. Yehovah makes a clear distinction between a murderer and one who killed through negligence or accident. If the killing was found to be a pre-meditated murder, the person was given to the avenger of blood be executed. If it was found to be accidental, he was freed to go back to his inheritance/business, or if it was found to be inadvertent or merely negligent the man was returned to the city of refuge and exiled there until the death of the presently anointed high priest. As you may remember, there were only 18 high priests in the nearly 900 years from Exodus to Babylon, so the stay in the city of refuge COULD be as long as ±50 years. Chumash has a salient note on v.25 concerning the judgment on the manslayer (pg.242-43).
The manslayer sentenced to exile in a city of refuge had better not even go outside the gate of the city, or he was fair game for the avenger of blood. An avenger who thought the judgment was a travesty might camp outside the city awaiting his quarry’s departure. After the Kohen Gadol died, the slayer was free to return to his land inheritance. The murderer could only be executed at the corroborating testimony of at least 2 witnesses to the offense. A single witness is not valid before the court – especially in a capital offense. “Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer (KJV)” means you will not allow anything to substitute for or be used as a cover for a murderer. The word xlated ‘satisfaction’ is H3724 kopher, from the root (H3722) kaphar from which is derived (H3725) kippur. A man who murders another cannot be ‘covered’ [kopher’d]for in any way. Murder is not pardonable.
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Eloha made he man. (Genesis 9:6)
That is not to say that a man who is guilty of murder cannot make true teshuvah and Yehovah forgive him of the eternal consequence of his sin. But the sinner MUST receive the just physical consequence of his sin – death. The sinner shall bear his iniquity. By the same token, a man who is guilty of blood, but killed unintentionally or due to negligence must also bear his iniquity by exile in the city of refuge to which he fled until the death of the sitting High Priest. No substitute can be made, no ransom paid to mitigate his exile. That innocent blood shed defiles the land and only the blood of the one who shed that innocent blood can cleanse it.
B’midbar 36.1-13 – The sons of Machir, son of Menashe, discovered a hitch in the deal Moshe had made with Zelophehad’s daughters and proposed a fix. If Zelophehad’s daughters married outside the family of Machir there could be a loss of Menashe’s tribal inheritance to the husband’s tribe. To protect the inheritance, the sons of Machir proposed that Zelophehad’s daughters be restricted to marrying within Menashe’s tribe and Machir’s family. Thus, the inheritance must be kept in mind when the kinsman redeemer statute was brought into play. The widow or woman with no brothers MUST marry within her father’s own tribe and family. This was carried out in the case of Ruth marrying the closest kin of Machlon and Chilion, the sons of Elimelech and Naomi, Boaz. And it also happened in David’s line during the Babylonian exile. We see the names of Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in BOTH genealogies of Yeshua
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; (Matt.1.12)
27 Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, (Luke 3.27)
Zerubbabel, as the son of David and rightful ruler of Judah, was the governor of Judah and Jerusalem under the authority of Darius, the Persian king.
In the second year of Darius the king (of Persia, Ezra 4.5), in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of Yehovah by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Yehudah, and to Yehoshua the son of Yehotzadik, the high priest… (Haggai 1:1)
Yehoshua 20:1-9 – Here we see the actual choosing of the cities of refuge, some number of years after the giving of the instructions. The cities appointed as refuge cities were Kedesh of Galilee, Shechem in Ephraim and KiriathArba, which became Hevron in Yehudah on the West bank of Yarden. On the east bank they appointed Ramoth Gilead, Bezer in Reuven and Golan in Bashan. It is once more mentioned that these cities were for refuge for the man who killed unwittingly, not premeditatedly. Q&C
Still looking at the acrostic ‘octrains’ of
Tehellim 119.89-176– (LAMED) L’olam is a Hebrew word xlated as ‘forever’ (better until or unto forever). In the old west, cowboys on a cattle drive were said to work “from can see to can’t see”. The Hebrew word olam doesn’t really mean ‘forever’ so much as ‘concealed’ – can’t see. What is yet to come is concealed from us. What has been already is ‘revealed’ to us. Olam speaks of what is yet to be clearly revealed. From this perspective we can see that Yehovah’s Word cannot be affected by us, we cannot have any effect on it. It is natzav, appointed or standing where it cannot be affected or changed (b’shamayim), outside of time/space. It is the prime building block of everything that exists, since even the basic building block of matter – light energy – was spoken into existence from nothing except the mind of Yehovah, who condensed that energy into matter and now sustains it by that same Word of his power. Yehovah’s faithfulness is that which guarantees the continued existence of all that is until ALL of his will is accomplished. The natural laws, like the laws of motion, thermodynamics and gravity, are all ordained by him, are every bit as immutable, and they all work together to accomplish his will. If it were not for knowledge of Yehovah’s immutable Word we would have no firm foundation on which to base our trust, our faith, or our ultimate hope. He has appointed [piqud] his precepts and it is the surety of their being settled in heaven that inspires our hope. It is by seeking after Yehovah’s appointed things that we have liberty (yasha– safely free). Yehovah’s enemies lie in wait to destroy me, but the witness of Yehovah’s Word will vindicate me. While what we see has defined boundaries, there is no limit to Yehovah’s word.
Vv.97-104 – (MEM) Torah is all David can think about, like a Young man thinking about the girl he loves, like the Prince and the Shulamite (and the Shulamite and her Prince) in Shir haShirim. David’s meditations on Torah make him wiser than all who oppose him. The word xlated as understanding in v.99 is H7919, sakal, meaning circumspect. Because he considers every eventuality and prepares to meet them all, he is wiser than those ‘teachers’ who annoy him. The word xlated ‘teacher’, H3927 (lamad) refers to a goad, that teaches by its niggling annoyance. He understands (biynah) more than the elders because he guards Yehovah’s pikkudiym, appointed bounds. Biynah is the innate, intuitive understanding of Elohim, not that which comes by circumspection, as we saw before. Having the biynah innate in him helps him to consider the various possibilities, or sakal. David applied self-restraint by hedging himself about with the things of Yehovah. He has not turned from Yehovah’s mishpatim that Yehovah pours out (yara – flow, like a stream) on him. Yehovah’s imrah (or memra) is sweeter than honey in David’s mouth. This is the feminine form of the root amar to say or speak, which many sages liken to Moshiach.
The Word, in the sense of the creative or directive word or speech of Eloha manifesting his Power in the world of matter or mind, a term used, especially in Targum as a substitute for ‘Y’hovah’ when an anthropomorphic expression is to be avoided.
By Yehovah’s pikkudiym David gains binah and he therefore hates false ways. These false ways are well-traveled roads, the ways of the masses, not of the Way of the remnant.
Vv. 105-112 – (NUN) Yehovah’s Word lightens our Way. As we keep it shining on our Way, we are able to keep ourselves in it and from the wickedness of the world system. When he says he is afflicted, he means that he knows his sins because he knows Yehovah’s Word and tells Elohim to quicken (chayah) him, or give him life, as Yehovah has promised. He offers spontaneous praises to Yehovah and wants him to teach him his mishpatim. Even though my life is continually at risk (I take in my hands), I remember your Torah. The wicked set traps for me, but I have not sinned (erred) in your pikkudiym (mandates). This one refers, in our day, to laws that are enacted for the specific purpose of making us guilty and making us FEEL guilty, playing on our basic honesty, like the Chaldees did to Daniel. We know (because we’ve been told since we were kids by people who we respected and admired, including our parents, teachers, priests, and pastors) that people who break laws are criminals. So when we get charged with a misdemeanor, we get all worked up and worry on what the black robed priest (the judge) will decree against us. A common [natural] law crime is something that causes injury to another person or his property. If no one or thing is harmed, there is no crime. If an injured party doesn’t exist, no crime has been committed. Producing laws for the purpose of creating new crimes and therefore new criminals is wickedness in the extreme. And human governments all over the world are doing so today. The wicked set traps for us. If you have not erred from Yehovah’s mandated instructions, you have not committed a crime of any sort. If you just live your life according to Yehovah’s Torah, you have not committed a crime, regardless the protestations of your local governments and their wicked magistrates. If we regard Yehovah’s testimonies as our heritage, as our inheritance, we will not be guilty of any crime. If we incline our hearts to his chukim – the commandments that don’t make any logical sense to us, but we do them anyway – we will have good reason to rejoice with him l’olam eikev – to the end of forever.
Vv.113-120 – (SAMECH) “Vain thoughts” (KJV) speaks of skeptical, divided or double-minded thoughts, wavering between our ways and his Way. When we have these kinds of thoughts, we need to retreat back into Yehovah’s Word as our hedge against them and to reinforce our expectant understanding of Yehovah’s will. We need to banish the wickedness and make a conscious effort to live in Eloha’s mitzvoth. Yehovah will empower us to live godly and unashamed before him. When we expect him to support us and we continually consider his Word before our own ways, he will not let us down. Those who feign respect for his Word, but do not truly live in it will Yehovah crush under his feet. He treats the false prophet, like the false prophet treats his own Son.
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Eloha, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto Ruach l’chesed? (Hebrews 10:29)
Yehovah ‘puts away’ the wicked. The word xlated ‘putteth away’ is H7673 shabath! He stops (rests from) drawing those who despise his Word. Like Paroh, he gives them over to their contempt and then contemns them. He treats those who refuse to regard his Word like the scum that rises to the surface of smelted metals, or the chaff that gets carried away by the wind when wheat is winnowed. David fears that end, and so he reveres Yehovah’s Word.
Vv.121-128 – (AYIN) For the last couple of ‘octrains’ David has been speaking of the oppression that the world system tries to put on those of us who want only to be left alone to obey Avinu Yehovah. He continues in this same vein in v.121, where he tells Yehovah about the righteous judgment (or justice and righteousness) that he has exercised and to not forsake him to his oppressors. He wants Yehovah to be his ‘surety’ against the oppressors. ‘Surety’ is xlated from H6148 arav, which means to ‘entwine’, the idea being that Yehovah’s life is entwined with ours, giving us support and strength to obey his word. The oppression can get so strong that we can’t see (eyes fail) his promised salvation (y’shuatecha) and tzidkechah – his promised righteousness. He tells Yehovah to work in him according to his chesed or gracious mercy and to prod him with his chukim. He wants binah so that he may know Yehovah’s witness. David said it was the time for Yehovah to bring his judgment on his oppressors, because they had made Yehovah’s Torah to be useless in their system. Our oppressors include those in the system’s government who make rules that void Torah, and also those in the mainstream religious system that forsake Torah for their tax-deductible, state-approved, religious opiate that keeps people in a satanic stupor. David loves Torah’s mitzvoth, chukim and pikkudiym above the most precious of metals and gems, while hating every false way the state and her opiate throw at us. Q&C
Vv.129-136 – (PE) The first word in the Hebrew text is pele, which means miraculous or wonderful. Do you remember the Brazilian football [soccer] star, Pele? I think he was very well named, because the things he did on a soccer field were well nigh miraculous. But I digress. Wonderful testimonies of Torah inspire us to guard and obey them. The numerous works of Yehovah during the Wilderness Adventure build our trust and hope in his working the same ways with us. If he could bring Israel out safely from Egypt while simultaneously destroying the only superpower of that time, is he not also able to deliver us from our oppressors and wipe out the only superpower of this time? Now would be an appropriate time to smile with joy and nod in agreement. He IS able! We SHALL be free and it SHALL be soon! Yehovah’s Word entering our innermost being brings light to us which gives us who are not so bright understanding of his works and Way. V.132 is one of the 3 (KJV) verses that doesn’t actually mention Yehovah’s Word, but makes allusion to it (by mentioning those who love his Name). The word xlated as ‘usest to do’ is H4941, mishpat, so that verse could read ‘as you have judged those who love your Name.’ David doesn’t want to transgress Torah and tells Yehovah, who has ultimate control, to keep his feet in the Way of his imrah (or memra, of which we previously spoke). David weeps over his brethren who will not guard Torah in their hearts.
Vv.137-144 – (TSADE) Tzadik atah Yehovah! V’yashar mishpatecha! You are righteous, Yehovah, and your judgments straight (true). Your directed witness (aydotecha) is also righteous and very faithful. Yehovah’s faithfulness and righteousness causes us to be zealous to imitate him, especially when we see the end of his enemies. His word is purifying, which moves us to do it. I am small and insignificant, so I cling to your Word. Your righteous Torah is the truth. Remember Yeshua’s words in Yochanan 14
Yeshua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
If Torah = truth and our Tzadik rebbe, Yeshua = truth, then does not Yeshua = Torah? I have had trouble and anguish, but I delight in your mitzvoth. Your witness is righteous and my understanding gives me life everlasting.
Vv.145-152 – (KUPH) In his distress (above) David heartily calls out to Yehovah that he will continue in his chukim. He calls out, Hoshieni, save me now! I will keep your testimonies. He gets out of the rack before dawn to shouts of his liberty in Yehovah’s Word. He looks into Yehovah’s word before he goes on duty so that he can ruminate on it as he keeps watch over his people. He tells Yehovah to graciously hear his voice as he calls out to him and to give him life as he judges. David’s enemies are drawing near and he tells Yehovah that they despise Torah. But Yehovah is near those who love his mitzvoth. David says that he has known that Yehovah’s witness has been established from before time.
Vv.153-160 – (RESH) Yehovah takes notice of those who do not forget his Torah and delivers them from or through afflictions. Noach and Lot are examples of those the delivers through afflictions, though the type of deliverance and situation after the deliverance may be very different. Noach lived in accord to Torah and overcame, while Lot lived as close to the world as he could and did not overcome, though both are redeemed. Perhaps this is the difference between the wise and unwise virgins (Mat.25)? He will take our side if we do not forsake his Word and will deliver us to life. The wicked are far from Yeshua because they do not try to understand his chukim, the instructions that at first don’t make a lot of logical sense. Perhaps we need to see something happen in the future that the chuk refers to, like the serpent in the wilderness, the brazen serpent on a pole and Yeshua on a tree. Just looking at a bronze snake on a pole does not save a person from a deadly snake bite, but the willingness to obey a stupid sounding decree based on another person’s word would be evidence of a live faith in the actor’s life. Yehovah gives life to those who exercise biblical faith. At least 3 times in this ‘octrain’ he tells Yehovah to quicken him, to give him life according to Yehovah’s attributes (not David’s just recompense of reward for obedience). He takes notice of how we treat his Word and he rewards us in response thereto. His Word is true and righteous from its first utterance and until the very olam.
Vv.161-168 (SHIN) The first verse of this octrain will tell you what will befall you in the future and how you can live through it, at least spiritually speaking. The government will persecute Torah keepers for no good reason. As we said earlier today, new rules are made for the express purpose of making the least criminal in society into criminals. It is the creeping tyranny of the industrial/state partnership, called Corpocracy in the book, “Cloud Atlas”, but your basic fascist socialism today. Rule by corporation requires that state-created monopolies be set up, so that all televisions are made by Sony, all cars are made by Ford, all coffee sold through Starbucks, to the point that the trade name takes the place of the common name. Everyone drives a Ford, drinks a Starbucks and watches a Sony. Everyone is a criminal and maintains his life and liberty by going along to get along. That’s kind of like the typical sheep in the world system today. It is the Daniels that stand out and draw attention and who are imprisoned or worse by the system. I think it is these who will be given the strength to endure what the system unleashes on them as were the martyrs like Stephen or who will be miraculously delivered through the ordeal unscathed like Daniel and his 3 buds. Biblically, to stand (natzav) is to remain faithful without wavering. If we stand in awe of his word, rejoice in it, love it and hate deceit and lying that are its antithesis, Yehovah will provide what we need to be his witnesses to this world. We will constantly praise him for his tzadik mishpatim and we will live through whatever Yehovah allows us to experience because of our love for him and Torah. If we keep our eyes on him and his Word and expect his Yeshua, he will give us the power and strength to be great witnesses for him for all our ways are before him (nagad) – conspicuous, in his face.
Vv.169-176 – (TAV) David wants his shout (rinnah) and his supplications to be before Yehovah’s face, where Yehovah can’t miss them and that Yehovah would give him binah and deliver him from ignorance in accord with Yehovah’s Word. He promises Yehovah that he will lift up praises once Yehovah has taught David his chukim. Remember that chukim are the commands of Yehovah that make no logical sense, like wearing the tzitzioth on the 4 corners of our garment or being sprinkled with the water of cleansing is a necessary step to rectification, but the priest sprinkling that water is defiled until the evening offering. I think the chukim are unintelligible to us in the pashat, but have deep meanings that we can only grasp after something happens that makes it clear, as we discussed earlier in connexion to the brazen serpent and the shadow picture it was of Yeshua on the tree. Yehovah’s righteous commandments inspire us to speak his Word. ALL of Yehovah’s commandments are righteous, and it our righteousness when we obey them. Both doing those commandments that apply to us and not doing those commandments that do not apply to us are righteous acts. Yehovah will help us if we chose to guard his pikkudiym. If we crave y’shuatecha – your (Yehovah’s) salvation – his Torah will be our delight, for it is the Way of righteousness, the Way of Salvation. Merely walking in Torah does not save us, but we who are saved will walk in it. The life spoken of in v.175 is life eternal. We who have this eternal life will naturally praise him and his judgment of our righteousness in Moshiach will help us to naturally walk in obedience to Torah. It isn’t difficult for a sheep to go astray. He may put his head down to graze or to get a drink of water and look up to a landscape empty of both sheep and shepherd. The way we need to go when we are in that situation is obedience to his commandments, because THEY are the path we need to walk to arrive at our ultimate goal of eternal Shalom with Yehovah. When we walk in his Word, he will have no trouble finding us. It is for this purpose that it is imperative that we hide his Word in our hearts so that we will not sin against him (v.11).
Here are some of the words that David used to refer to Yehovah’s Word in this psalm. David uses these words in almost every ‘octrain’;
KJV law = Hebrew Torah
Testimonies = edah
Way = Derech
Precept = pikkud
Statutes = chuk
Commandment = mitzvah
Judgment = mishpat
Word = devar or imrah
Yochanan 4:1-45 – From my study in “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach”. Yeshua learned that the Pharisees heard of his attracting more disciples than Yochanan, and left for Galilee. But he took an unusual, direct route for a Jew. The Jews wanted no contact with the Samaritans and so went the long way round, through trans-Jordan, to Galilee. He went through Samaria, rather than around it. We know that he had a divine appointment, but the disciples were in the dark as to why he took the direct route. When once we have this biynah we can’t get enough and want to inhale Yehovah’s mitzvoth like an airborne agent.
The Water of Life, Jn.4.4-26 – It says that “He must needs go through Samaria.” Why? They could have used the normal route and circumnavigated Samaria altogether. But Yeshua had a divine appointment to keep. Yeshua must have walked like a trucker drives. If you draw a straight line from Jerusalem to Nazareth, Sychar is not more than 2 miles off the line. The most direct route went right past Sychar, where there happened to be a well [Yacov’s well] and a nearby town to which he could send his disciples to buy chow.
So, he leaned on the well waiting for the woman to show. The time is about noon. It is a good bet that most of the women came out to the well in the morning or the evening, or both, to draw water, not in the middle of the day. In the desert, one stays out of the sun as much as possible when it is at its zenith. This woman was not associating with the other women of Sychar, because she was a strumpet, as Yeshua would tell her in a bit. Notwithstanding his knowledge of where he was and to whom he spoke, Yeshua asked her to give him a drink. Did he do this to initiate the conversation, or because he was thirsty? Yes!
She was amazed that anyone would talk to her, especially a Jew! Jews wouldn’t speak to an upright man of Samaria, much less a wayward woman. But here is a Jewish man engaging a Samaritan woman of less than sterling character in conversation. There are several social strata being bridged here, but Yeshua does it as a matter of course. There was no class or caste system as far as Yeshua was concerned. He saw a lost soul who needed a Saviour. She asks why he would talk to her, and he replies, “If thou knewest the gift of Elohim, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” How’s that for a curiosity approach? He was telling her that he had something she needed, and she was nibbling the bait, cautiously. She asks if he is greater than Jacob. Now, in the middle east there is noone greater than his father – it is a patriarchal society, and Jake was a patriarch. If this man is greater than Jake, he must be Moshiach, the Son of Elohim. But her question is more a jibe, as if to say, ‘you’re not greater than Jacob.’
Yochanan 4:13-14, “Yeshua answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
All she heard was ‘never thirst’ and in her mind that meant ‘never have to humiliate myself and come out here to draw.’ She did like we do, she selectively heard what she wanted to hear and disregarded the rest. Like us, when we hear Philip. 3:10a, – “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,” but we forget to hear the rest of the verse, “b, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” so is the woman at the well. She didn’t hear the really good news and understand the real point because she was thinking on one plane – she was totally inside a box of her own creation, so Yeshua takes another approach. That does the trick of getting her outside the box. Yochanan 4:16-19,
“Yeshua saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Yeshua said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.”
No duh! Now she’s starting to think. In fact, I think she’s thinking, ‘What did I get myself into now? I’ve never seen this guy before and he’s telling me things about myself that noone knows, or could know, except Elohim.’ Good for her. She’s knows she’s defying Elohim’s law and it does bother her, for she immediately tries some religious argument to defer the conversation another way.
She tries the old argument that you need a special place to worship Yehovah, and that the argument has raged for years. Yeshua parries the thrust of that seeming rapier with real wisdom, rather than getting in a few licks for his side. He went immediately for the truth (another Mark paraphrase), ‘It won’t be long before men will worship Elohim the Father in Spirit and in Truth, not in some man made building that is but a figure of the true one in heaven (Heb.9.24), but in the body of Moshiach,’ who is the reality from which the figure was taken. Where any two are gathered in the name of Yeshua, there is his Spirit in the midst of them, and they three are the body of Moshiach. We in this room are the body of Moshiach – his called out assembly – every bit as much as the largest congregation on earth. Never forget, that when you and any other believer are together in the name of Yeshua, you are in the body.
The woman says, ‘Moshiach is coming soon to tell us all things.’ That’s when Yeshua drops the bomb. He says, “I that speak unto thee am.” There’s nothing more to be said. This is one of the ‘I AM’ statements of Yeshua in Yochanan’s gospel (6.35, 41, 48, 51, 8.12, 23-24, 58, 9.5, 10.7, 9, 11, 14, 36, 11.25, 13.19, 14.6, 15.1, 5, 18.5, 6, 8,). He told anyone who would listen that he was Elohim in the flesh and a lot of folks listened, but very few believed. The woman at the well did.
Just at that time (v.27) is when the disciples show up to put a damper on the conversation. It wasn’t what they said, for the scripture says noone said anything, but what they were thinking that damped the situation. Scripture says they “marveled”, using the same word that’s used in Rev.17 about Yochanan’s reaction to the whore, whom he ‘marveled’ about with great admiration. Both wonder and admiration are from the root trauma and it means that what they saw was a shock, totally unexpected, like when Yochanan saw the woman, who was ostensibly a leader of the kahal, drunk on the blood of the saints.
Yochanan tells us just what was in their hearts. Some wanted to ask what this lowly Samaritan woman wanted, while others wanted to rebuke Yeshua for talking to her. None were arrogant, or dumb, enough to say it to him, for he’d have taught a major lesson to them for which he was still preparing them. Q&C
Revival (or, rather, vival) in Samaria, Jn.4.28-42 – (Many ‘Mark Paraphrases’ to follow – Beware) The woman didn’t even take time to pick up her water pot (do you suppose it was the same type in which Yeshua had just made wine?) before running into town to spread the news. Remember the last thing Yeshua said to her was, ‘I am Moshiach’, confirming her suspicions. She must have wanted the Moshiach to come even more fervently than the Jews, for she was off like a shot. And to whom did she go? The only people who would talk to her – the men of Sychar. The women would have nothing to do with her, she being of ill repute. She said, Yochanan 4:29, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Moshiach?” While she was running to town she must have been thinking, ‘He told me about my sin, and true worship, and what Elohim is looking for from men (and women), and knew all about me and my life, and he talked to me like I was somebody who mattered – he loves me like no one has ever loved me, and he claims to be the Moshiach. I believe him. I want him to be who he claims to be. Let me go tell whoever will listen. I want everyone to know him.’ She must have been convincing, because the next thing she knows she’s leading the whole town out to see Yeshua. Being convincing is easy. All you have to do is believe in your “product”, and she believed in Yeshua.
Meanwhile, back at the well, the disciples are trying to get Yeshua to eat. After all, he’d sent them to buy food and now that they were back they were probably hungrier than he was, for Yeshua had been witnessing at the well, feasting on Ruach ha Kodesh while they were gone. When we witness or do anything else, and Ruach ha Kodesh is involved, we seldom think of anything except the task at hand, even our need for chow. In fact, when Ruach ha Kodesh is involved we are witnessing. The disciples had no idea what Yeshua and the woman had been discussing and thought that maybe she’d given him something to eat, but Yeshua said, “I have meat ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (This is the earliest mention of the finished work of Elohim)” Yeshua was being sustained by Ruach ha Kodesh. He could eat later.
Yeshua started teaching his point to the disciples right away (much MP to follow). He said, ‘You say that harvest time is 4 months off (it was April/May, shortly after the Passover), but look up and see that our field is ready for harvest right now.’ Of course he was referring to the group of men being led to Yeshua by the ‘loose’ woman of Sychar. Yeshua likened people to things in nature all the time. Here a group is likened to a field of wheat or barley, ripe for the picking. The only thing keeping the disciples from harvesting was that their attention was somewhere else. They could not yet grasp the spiritual application of the situation at hand. They were thinking, ‘You sent us off for food, so we went and got some. We came back to find you actually conversing with a loose gentile woman at the well. We offered you some of the food we just bought and you told us you had food we don’t know about. And now a crowd of men are following the hooker out to you, for what reason we can only imagine, and you tell us to look at the field?! We don’t understand.’
But Yeshua continued, saying, ‘When you reap this harvest, you get paid by picking fruit to eternal life so that both you who gather and he that planted can rejoice together.’ He drew the spiritual parallel in this sentence. They were not to reap wheat, but souls to eternal life. Yeshua was just about to show them how to do that, for in this situation he would reap what the Holy Spirit had sown. And not only that, but, as we will see, the woman had already reaped some of the harvest. The first gentile (Ephraimite) convert led many more to Moshiach. She had already picked more fruit (v.39) than the disciples had who accompanied Yeshua. But the majority of the fruit was yet to ripen. She’d sown the seed (with the power of Ruach ha Kodesh on her) and now the disciples would help pick the soon to ripen fruit (v.37-38).
Those who believed the woman’s report and knew that Yeshua was the Moshiach, asked him to stay, to which he agreed to tarry 2 days. Does tarrying 2 days w/ Ephraim bring anything to mind? Like the so-called ‘church-age’? When the 2 days were done, most who heard him believed on him. V. 39 tells us many believed her report, but v.41 says ‘many more’ believed because of his own words. They would not believe just on the woman’s testimony, for they knew her life. They needed the Word of Elohim to change their lives. There are many more people who will not believe our report without confirmation from the Word of Yehovah than who will. We need to have the scripture in hand (or at least in memory) when witnessing in order to be effective, especially with those who know our human side best. They said, ‘We could not trust your word alone, but now that we’ve heard him ourselves we believe that he is Moshiach, the Saviour of the world (v.42).’ The Word of Yehovah is essential as the standard or foundation on which we build our witness. It alone is true, and more people than you think recognize that fact. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study.