February 13, 2016 Shabbat Bible Study
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Exo 30:11-16; 2 Ki 12:1-17; Psalm 62; John 2:13-25
Shemoth 30.11-16 – The procedure for a census and reason for doing one is the 1st subject addressed this week. It was to be done so that a collection could be taken. Each male aged 20 years or more would give a ½ shekel ‘ransom’ for his soul. If there were a census without a collection or without a command from Y’hovah, there would be an accompanying plague. The census was not to be done just to do one or to satisfy the curiosity of the king, but only when Y’hovah commanded it to be done. David found out about this when he ordered a census without the command from Y’hovah in 2Sam24.1-4, 8-16:
1 And again the anger of Y’hovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 For the king said to Yoav the captain of the host, which with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. 3 And Yoav said unto the king, Now Y’hovah thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my Master the king may see: but why doth my Master the king delight in this thing? 4 Notwithstanding the king’ word prevailed against Yoav, and against the captains of the host. And Yoav and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel … 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Yoav gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10 And David’ heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto Y’hovah, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Y’hovah, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of Y’hovah came unto the prophet Gad, David’ seer, saying, 12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith Y’hovah, I offer thee three; choose thee one of them, that I may do unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of Y’hovah; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So Y’hovah sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, Y’hovah repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of Y’hovah was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Yevusite. (2Sam.24.1-4, 8-16)
Yoav AND the captains of the hosts of Israel brought warning before the king, who is elsewhere described as ‘a man after mine heart’ by Y’hovah himself. They knew this was in direct contradiction of the Word of Y’hovah, and SO DID DAVID, but his word prevailed over the objections of Yoav and David’s mighty men of valor. They did their job and brought warning.
17 Ben-adam, I have made you a watchman to Beit Yisrael: therefore listen [shema hear and do] to the words from My mouth, and give them warning from Me. [Yechezkel 3.17 Restoration Scriptures]
I do not think that the angel that smote Israel was Y’hovah himself, but that he used the Adversary for this plague. The angel of this pestilence was about to wipe out the entire population of Jerusalem before Y’hovah restrained him. THE Angel of Y’hovah stood at the threshingfloor of Arauna to stop the angel of the pestilence. HaSatan destroyed until he came face to face with Moshiach, and he dared not go further.
This threshingfloor, that was the site of the future Temple’s Kodesh Kadashim, was the geographical center of the earth’s landmasses, indeed, in my opinion, of the physical universe and, for that reason, has become the most desired and most conquered piece of real estate on earth. HaSatan wants it for his own throne. A few weeks ago I postulated that a line drawn north and south through the cornerstone of the Temple and extended through the poles would cross more land mass than any N/S line drawn anywhere else in the world; and that the same was true of an East/West line drawn latitudinally around the earth crossing the same cornerstone. It is indeed the center of the landmass of the earth. That is because this is the place Y’hovah would place his throne, for the ark that Israel was going to build for Him was to rest there. The Holy of Holies is ‘spiritual space’ in which there is no time. Believe it or not, Sir Isaac Newton (in his treatise on Optics in 1704) derived this theory from scripture and the Zohar, which is the Book of Lights. In his quest to discover the deep things of Elohim, Newton had developed the scientific method of investigation.
As an interesting note, exactly 25.20 statute miles due east of the Temple’s cornerstone (which is exposed through the pavement on the NW corner of the Temple Mount under the ‘Dome of the Spirits’, NOT the Dome of the Rock) lies the north peak of Mt. Nebo, from whence Moshe looked on the Promised land before he died. If you had a strong enough telescope, you could look through the East Gate and into the Temple from that point on Mt. Nebo, 25.20 miles away. The royal cubit of the Temple and its furnishings is 25.20 inches. 2520 = 360 (as in degrees of a circle and days of a prophetic year) x 7, ½ of which is 1260 (as in 3½ prophetic years). Make what you will of that tidbit. I have, and I find it absolutely amazing how MANY important end-of-days prophecies are influenced by these numbers.
The ransom (v.12) was to be a head tax, not an income tax. Every male aged 20 years or more, regardless his wealth, gave the ½ shekel tax for the maintenance of the Mishkan. The ½ shekel was to ransom them from the ‘appearance of evil’
Abstain from all appearance of evil. (I Thessalonians 5:22)
as they were NOT to trust to power in numbers, but to the Spirit and Power of Yeshua as the right arm of Y’hovah. Q&C
2M’lechim 12.1-17 – In the Torah portion we saw why Y’hovah required the ½ shekel atonement money. Here we see an application of it. But before we go there, I just have to wonder, “Why didn’t Yehoyada have Yehoash tear down the high places?” If I were the high priest, I would lobby hard for that. ChizkiYahu did it (18.3-5) a few years later. Why did it take so long for a king of Yehudah to do this? ChizkiYahu was the 1st king since David to have his land officially free of pagan altars. Shlomo had raised up his OWN high places! Where was the High Priest for these hundreds of years? While Yehudah was a monarchy, it was a theocratic monarchy – the religion was intimately connected to the government, or should have been. Whenever David asked the Priest to enquire of Y’hovah, he prospered. When he failed to enquire of Y’hovah, he did not. ChizkiYahu seemed to get it, at least early in his reign.
What is spoken of in 2Ki.12 is probably the ½ shekel, but this passage is about the people bringing an offering to the temple and depositing it in a ‘chest’. I assume that Jehoash gave the order relatively early in his reign, so why did it take 23 years before the priests started to collect the shekels (v.6)? I think that it is PROBABLY the ½ shekel, but it doesn’t seem to be in conjunction with a census. It seems that everyone who came up to the Temple just dropped his ½ shekel into the treasury. Perhaps they used this as a sort of census, multiplying the total offering in shekel’s by 2, and thereby arriving at a good estimate. Yehoash gave the order to collect the ‘tax’ to YehoYada, but after 23 years, no repairs were being made to the Temple as he had ordered. Seems [to me, anyway] that the priests were using the money for their own purposes. Now he told the Priest to stop using the ½ shekel for his own use, but to apply it where it belonged. So the priests stopped using the money for their own purposes and began collecting it for the upkeep of the Temple, as it was commanded of Y’hovah in Ex.30. The word the KJV xlates as ‘chest’ is the same word it xlates as ‘ark’, as in ark of the Covenant, arown. It was just a box with a hole cut in the lid. When it got full they counted it into the treasury and hired repairmen for the work. I guess the priests were just human beings, after all, because they used the offerings for their own comfort, not their intended purpose for all those years. Kinda like the prosperity preachers of today. The contractors dealt faithfully with the priests, so faithfully that the priests didn’t account for the money. Perhaps it was guilt, because the grunt laborers seemed to be more faithful to Y’hovah than the priests had been. I think the ‘trespass money and sin money’ that v.16 speaks of is actually the ½ shekel of Ex.30 that was for atonement for inadvertent sins, as provided for in
If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: [Lev.5.15].
Tehellim 62 – Our Elohim is the source of my salvation, not any mere man, including me. I shall not be greatly moved means that I may sin, but my Rock and my salvation is my advocate before Elohim, the Supreme judge of the Universe, and I SHALL not be greatly moved from him. When we begin to go to the right or the left, our Rock will lead us back to the path of the tzadik. V.3 should be a comfort to us, as it is addressed to the wicked men who work against us, who want to draw us away from the Way of Elohim. They shall be slain in the end that act duplicitously to bring us to ruin because they are jealous of the tzadik’s promotion before Elohim. Stop and consider that! This reminds me of 2 BIG hit songs by “The O’Jays” back in the 70’s; “Smiling Faces, SOMEtimes” and “The Backstabbers”.
“They smile in your face,
All the time the want to take your place.
“Smiling faces, Sometimes
Pretend to be your friend.
Smiling Faces show no traces
Of the evil that lurks within.
Smiling faces, Smiling faces Sometimes –
Hey! They don’t tell the truth.
Smiling Faces, Smiling Faces, tell LIES –
Well, I’ve got proof.”
It is ours to trust Elohim Yeshua to carry us through the tough times the enemy throws at us, and the men he uses to try and discourage us will see great judgment against them.
In vv.5-8 we see that our trust is only in him – men may fail me; I may fail me; but Elohim is a bedrock foundation and sure fortress who will never fail me. I will not trust to myself or to any other man, for Elohim is my Rock and my salvation. Elohim is Yeshuati. He is not only MY refuge and strength; he is OUR refuge and strength. Stop and consider that! He has us ALL, as his bride, in his ‘covert’
2. Law (speaking of a woman) – married and under the authority and protection of her husband.
He can protect and strengthen us ALL at once. Elohim represents the Severity of the Almighty, but he is severe only to those who will not walk in his way.
In vv.9-12 we see the vanity and worthlessness of those who would make us fall. They will know what Belshazzar found out in Dan.5 – they have been weighed in the balances and have been found wanting. The tzadik is not to trust to his riches, nor is he to oppress the poor or the widow or the orphan. He is to provide all the compassionate help he can provide. Don’t let a rising personal economy lead you from the truth. Watch your soul, not your wallet, and always remember that Elohim is the only real source of strength you have. Power only belongs to Elohim, and he is also merciful (though that is not his primary attribute as Elohim) in that he judges those who come against his own and rewards each man according to his obedience to his Commandments. Had Adonenu Elohenu NOT tempered his righteous judgment with his mercy, we’d have all been toast before we were born, and he’d have been righteous in his judgment.
Did you notice that Y’hovah never appeared in this Psalm? But there was compassionate mercy shown to his tzadikim throughout. The idea that elohim has no mercy is not correct, nor is it true that Y’hovah is ALL mercy and compassion. Y’hovah will show his wrath before very long, assuming that we’re not experiencing it on this earth right now. Soon we will see the Day of Y’hovah’s Wrath, and believe me when I tell you, it will not be pretty to behold. Q&C
Yochanan 2.13-25 – [Remember that ‘the Jews’ in Brit Chadashah speak (and this commentary) = the political leaders of the religion, not the rank and file people; the ‘officials’] I find it fascinating that Yochanan calls this ‘the Jews’ passover’, as if it is different from Y’hovah’s Passover. Was it? Well, in Leviticus 23, Passover is one thing, and Unleavened Bread is another. On Passover, the 14th day of the first month, between the evenings – that is, I think, between the evening offering (around 3 o’clock) and sunset, each family’s Passover Lamb was slain. If they were in Jerusalem, this must be done at the Temple. If they were in their homes, it could be done by the bachor. Then the lamb was taken home (or to wherever they were encamped) and roasted whole on a spit to be eaten that night after sundown that began the 15th day of the first month, as it had been done in Egypt. While the Passover lambs were slain on the 14th between the evenings and his blood painted on the doorposts and lintels before sundown, the actual passing over of the houses with the chet painted on the door did not occur until midnight on the 15th. The Jews in Yeshua’s day called the whole deal – from the evening offering on the 14th until the end of the Feast of ULB at sundown of the 21st – Passover. Is there any real difference? I think. The Passover was an evening offering to morning offering deal, since the lamb had to be eaten or burnt by then. It was Unleavened Bread that extended for 7 days. There was a brief overlap, but they were separate moedim, according to Lev.23.5-6. Perhaps it was just convenient to call the 7 whole days Passover, but it wasn’t what scripture referred to as Passover. Scripture calls Passover the ‘14th at even.’ This year, that will be Monday, April 22nd between about 3PM and sundown. Seder begins @ 1830, very close to sundown in Ohio.
Yeshua never missed a presentation moad, Pesach, Unleavened Bread, Shavuoth or Sukkoth in Jerusalem. In fact, he never missed any Feast, not even the post-babylonian exile Feasts of Purim and Hanukkah. When he got to J’lem for Pesach in his first year of ministry, he found money-changers and sacrificial animal salesmen (guaranteed to NOT be the best of the lot) hawking their wares in the Temple itself.
Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith Y’hovah. (Jeremiah 7:11)
So he literally drove them out with a whip of cords. I think he was making himself known as a prophet of Y’hovah. He quoted Ps.69.9
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;
Of course, he was immediately challenged about his authority to do what he’d done. AENT has this verse and note:
“What sign do you show us that you do these things?” Note = an idiomatic expression meaning, “Prove to us that you have the authority to do these things.”
He told them,
“Destroy this house, and in 3 days I shall raise it up.”
Of course, he NEVER spoke to the Jews in anything but sod level of understanding, so they didn’t get it, that he was speaking of his own body, which he would raise from the death they would inflict on him. When he rose from the dead, his talmidim understood what he meant by this, but even they didn’t get it until they had the affective action to refer to. Until his resurrection they didn’t have the antecedent incident to give it meaning to them. His resurrection gave them understanding of TONS of scripture that was unfathomable to them before.
It says in v.23 that in the Feast day, many in J’lem ‘believed in his Name’. I think that means that many believed that he was what his Name said he was, Y’hovah’s Salvation, because they saw the miracles that he performed before them. Please note that the last word of v.24 in the KJV is supplied by the translators. The word is ‘men’. Without that word, the whole passage changes. It says that he knew ALL. Not all men, but ALL! And because he was omniscient, he had no need of testimony about men, because he knew what was in man – an evil inclination and a wicked heart that no man can know. Q&C
What follows is from my work, The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective,
51, 52). The first Passover/Cleansing of the Temple – Jn.2.13-17. The only mention of the Passover is in the first verse, and it’s just a passing reference at that. It was important to note that Yeshua went to the Passover in Jerusalem, but what he taught was less important than what he did. The whole rest of the passage has to do with the cleansing of the Temple. He made a scourge of cords and went to town. The people watching must have thought he was nuts, swinging a handful of cords and driving out the animals and the moneychangers and engaging in table-tipping and money spilling and just generally making a rather chaotic situation that much more turbulent.
He drove out the sheep and the oxen, but told the dove sellers to leave. Notice that they were; sheep, not lambs; and oxen, not bulls. Webster’s has,
“OX, n. plu. oxen. pron. Ox’n. The male of the bovine genus of quadrupeds, castrated and grown to his size or nearly so. The young male is called in America a steer. The same animal not castrated is called a bull. These distinctions are well established with us in regard to domestic animals of this genus. When we speak of wild animals of this kind, ox is sometimes applied both to the male and female, and in zoology, the same practice exists in regard to the domestic animals. So, in common usage, a pair of bulls yoked may be sometimes called oxen. We never apply the name ox to the cow or female of the domestic kind. Oxen in the plural may comprehend both the male and female.”
So the priests and Levites had decided that, rather than destroy such a valuable animal as a bull, they could substitute a gelding, a eunuch, a steer for a bull. This is not a perfect animal, as required in the Torah, and it paints a very bad picture of the sacrifice of Yhwh Yeshua haMoshiach, who is represented in the constellations as, among others, Taurus.
Sheep are any animal of the sheep kind, but a lamb is the young animal of that kind. Webster’s has,
“LAMB, n. Lam. 1. The young of the sheep kind. 2. The Lamb of Elohim, in Scripture, the Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who was typified by the paschal lamb. Behold the lamb of Elohim, who taketh away the sin of the world. Yochanan 1.”
The Jews had decided that any sheep would do, not necessarily a lamb of the first year as specified by the Torah. Again the picture of the Lamb of Elohim is marred by their insertion of that which was not of Elohim. The defiling of the Temple with the moneychangers and the merchants was but an outworking of the defiling of their hearts. They’d fallen for the same line Eve fell for in the garden, “Yea, hath Elohim said?” They’d changed the word of Elohim to suit themselves. Yeshua was ticked. He didn’t mess with the doves because they were the only animals there that the Torah specified to be used. If a person could not afford to offer a lamb or a bull, they could offer a pair of doves (Lev.5.7). Also, the dove is a picture of the Ruach haKodesh (Jn.1.32). So he tells the sellers of doves to get out of the Temple grounds to do business, for his Father’s house is not a storefront. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study