January 24, 2015 Shabbat Bible Study
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Sabbath 43 – 24 Jan 2015
Vayikra 24:1-23 – (No Prophet) – Tehellim 87 – Yochanan 7:1-53
Vayikra 24.1-9 – The rabbis seem to think that Y’hovah is giving these instructions a second time because the original oil (Ex.27.20) is running out and they need more. I can see that possibility, but I don’t think that was why the repetition of the command. Ex.27 is a part of the Sinai covenant that the nation Israel transgressed in Ex.32. Lev.24 is a part of what many have termed ‘the Torah of Moshe’, which was the ‘law’ that ‘was added’ as a result of breaking that covenant in the Egypto/Canaanite golden calf worship in Ex.32;
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:19)
The commandments of the Covenant in Ex.19-31 are the Torah of Y’hovah. Leviticus’ commands are what I think is called ‘the Torah of Moshe’. This is the ‘book of the law’ that was placed in the side of the ark, not INSIDE the ark.
Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant Y’hovah Elohechem, that it may be there for a witness against thee. (Deuteronomy 31:26)
Stone’s Tanakh reads “at the side of the ark [31.26]”. See the prefatory note for Deut.31.19-30 on pg.1097, right column of Stone’s Chumash.
When Y’hovah says “Aharon shall order it”, he is speaking of Aharon and his heirs to the office of High Priest, much like the prophets refer to Moshiach when the say, “David shall be king” decades and centuries after David’s death.
But they shall serve Y’hovah Elohayhem (their Elohim), and David mal’cham (their king), whom I will raise up unto them. (Jeremiah 30:9)
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. (Ezekiel 37:24)
Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Y’hovah Elohayhem, and David malcham; and shall fear Y’hovah and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:5)
In that day shall Y’hovah defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as Elohim, as the angel of Y’hovah before them. (Zechariah 12:8)
I think that the references to ‘Y’hovah, their Elohim’ and ‘David, their king’ both speak of Moshiach, as he is the son of both and each, and the idiom of calling the heir by his father’s name is used throughout scripture. Think of how many times the entire nation is called “Jacob” or “Israel”, not because that is necessarily their name, but their father Jacob’s; or the tribes of Ephraim and Menashe are called Yoseph. Same principle.
When it says ‘order’, it means that the High Priest’s daily duty in the Mishkan or Beit haMikdash is to clean, dress, fill and light the Menorrah. Schottenstein’s Chumash has some interesting insights about this duty on pg.169.
It was also the High Priest’s weekly duty to ‘order’ the Table of Showbread, and this was done on the Shabbat. We saw last week the weekly Shabbat was a ‘shabbaton’. It was a day to rest from labors.
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? (Matthew 12:5)
They are ‘blameless’ (not innocent and not perfect – blameless) because 1) this is a direct command of Y’hovah and 2) they performed a sin offering, in part, to atone for having profaned the Shabbat in performing a duty that was of greater import than the one broken;
And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. (Exodus 29:36)
The showbread represented the physical blessings Y’hovah would bestow for obedience to his commands, while the menorah represented the spiritual ‘illumination’ received from Torah study. Q&C
Vv.10-16 – The blasphemer. These 7 verses seem to be a parenthetical narrative that on the surface doesn’t seem to fit, between the High Priest’s duties in the Kadosh place and some chukim and mishpatim concerning common crimes. An Israelite man whose mother was a Danite and whose father was an Egyptian, literally a member of the mixt multitude, got into an argument with a full Israelite and during the knock-down/drag-out that ensued cursed the other guy in Y’hovah’s Name. It seems to me that when he did that, everything just stopped, like everyone within earshot took in an astonished, corporate GASP – HUH! – like when Phil Rizzuto committed an error (think of 72,000 fans at Cleveland Stadium gasping all at once – you could literally hear it on the radio broadcast!). I think even the blasphemer knew he’d stepped in a great, big, gooey cowpie. What resulted was NOT going to be good for him. It also was not going to be good for Israel, because I think that what Y’hovah told the nation they had to do was a contributor to what cumulatively developed into the Korah/Dathan rebellion that we’ll see in a few months.
The people took the blasphemer in charge and brought him to Moshe for judgment, but since this is the first time blasphemy had actually come up, Moshe didn’t have the Word of Y’hovah on what to do about it. Everyone knew that Y’hovah had decreed that they were not to make his Name a vain thing, but noone had any idea what the penalty was for doing so. Well, they found out. They were to take the man who cursed in Y’hovah’s Name outside of the camp and those who heard the blasphemy were to lay their hands on his head, I assume witnessing that they had heard it and were innocent themselves, and then the congregation was to stone him to death.
We get an idea of exactly what it ultimately means, in the absolute WORST case, to ‘bear their iniquity’ from this passage. There was no opportunity to offer a sin offering, there was no atonement for the sin of blasphemy. He died in his iniquity. No entrance into the Olam Haba, the world to come. He would go to the grave to await the resurrection of the wicked, the GWT Judgment and the total dissolution of the Lake of Fire. He was toast. This was not the judgment for just a stranger or a son of mixture, but for the native born, as well. No questions asked. Do not pass go.
I think this may be the traditional source of saying Hashem instead of the Name, Y’hovah.
Vv.17-24 – Follows general rules for dealing with important torts and crimes. I say general, because there are exceptions to many of these. The first one mentioned is that if one man kills another, the killer is to be killed. But, as we’ll see later, that is NOT a hard and fast rule. There is provision for a near kin to a man slain avenging his brother on the manslayer with no penalty, unless he caught the guy IN a city of refuge and killed him (Num.35). The cities of refuge were designated as a place where the man-slayer could have refuge from the avenger. All cities of refuge were Levitical cities and probably had Beit Din in them, so the man-slayer could make his case that he had not murdered the other, but had accidentally slain him. If he was innocent of murder, he stayed in the refuge city the rest of his life or until the death of the High Priest. If he was guilty, he was put out of the refuge city and had to take his chances with the near kin avenger.
If a man killed an animal, he needed to make restitution, like for like. The same was due to causing an injury to another person. The restitution was to be like for like, and the eye for eye, tooth for tooth doesn’t mean that if he did something to cause you to lose an eye, you had the right to gouge out his eye. It means he has to make the loss good – ensure that the one who suffered the physical loss doesn’t see any loss of life, property or lifestyle. For instance, if a singer’s voice is injured due to someone’s negligence, the negligent one needs to provide a similar income as the singer earned before the injury. This shows the Torah standard of ‘strict liability’. So, guess where the idea of limited liability insurance came from. What was good for the Israelite – Torah – was good for the stranger. There is one law for both the Israelite and the stranger – v.22. And to make that point, Y’hovah invokes the enabling clause, “I am Y’hovah Elohechem.” And Moshe told Israel Y’hovah’s mishpat and they carried out the execution. The rabbis at Artscroll/Mesorah Publications say this about our parenthesis in Schottenstein’s Chumash, pg.169-170. I think they make sense. Q&C
Tehellim 87.1-3 – The ‘holy mountains’ are the mountains of Judea and Samaria, what the world system of today calls the ‘West Bank’ of the Jordan River. The holiest hill of those mountains and the city that is there is called Zion. The political State of Zion does not exist today, but it will in the not very distant future, when Moshiach calls out Yisrael from the 4 corners of the earth. Zion will be born after the birth pangs of Messiah, which I see as terror wars against Yisrael in ALL the lands to which we’ve been dispersed. I see these birth pangs beginning to take place as I type. There is a concerted effort by the world system to demonize and marginalize all real believers in Moshiach, regardless to which tradition or denomination they belong, whether Jew, Xian, Messie or without affiliation to any group. What will soon be the unifying influence is the persecution we will suffer due to our belief in Moshiach and refusal to deny him. It worked in Rwanda and Darfur, China and N.Korea. Persecution brought about the NEED to unify, if only to receive or provide support from or to people in the same kind of trouble. When you cry out to Y’hovah for deliverance, don’t be surprised if he sends a personal deliverer, perhaps an unlikely looking one, to help you through the hard days of persecution that are sent to both test your metal and build your faith – trial by fire will burn away the dross, if we endure it, and leave behind pure gold. Which brings us back to Zion, the New Jerusalem with streets paved with 1.0000 fine gold. He’ll purify us through the heat of persecution. Zion will be born in the hills of Judea and Samaria with people from all over the world who understand their heritage in Jacob.
Vv.4-7 – Rachav was the harlot (Josh.2.1) who protected the spies in Yir’cho, married Salmon and bore him Boaz who then married Ruth. She was an ancestor of Moshiach (Matt.1.5). When Yehudah was carried away to Babylon, many stayed faithful to Y’hovah and Daniel became the chief of the Chaldees who became the Magi of Parthia and looked for Moshiach’s sign in the heavens. Some Yehudim took Canaanites to wife, as Salmon and Boaz. Some went into captivity and taught the wise gentiles there about Y’hovah. Many in Israel, both houses were witnesses to Y’hovah in Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia (among others) through their business and exploration all over the world in the days of Shlomo and his sons. And from all these places are being born Yisraelites like you and me who will come to the mountains of Judea and Samaria when Moshiach sends forth his angels to draw us to himself. I think that ‘this (Zion) was born there). This is seen in v.5, where it speaks of ‘this and that man’; this man being nigh, that man being afar off
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 Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Eph.2.11-18)
This man, Yehudah, is nigh; that man Ephraim/Yoseph is afar off – for now. That’s changing. Y’hovah, again, will say, “This (Zion) was born there?” Secular Zion was born in exile and made aliyah. Spiritual Zion is being born of Ephraim/Yoseph, Yehudah and whosoever wills while in exile and we will make aliyah when Moshiach calls us. The reunited, redeemed Beit Ya’acov is being born, as we speak. Q&C
Yochanan 7.1- – After the events of ch.6 – the whole Bread of Life, eat my body/drink my blood misconstruction, Yeshua went back to the Galilee because the Jews, the leaders of the Israelite religion, were out to kill him, and it wasn’t time, yet. I’m going to quote my study in the Life of Moshiach that I prepared as a bible study guide in 2003/4 and edited in 2013-14.
145). Teaching at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn.7:1-53) – The Chapter begins with Yochanan telling us that Yeshua went down home to Galilee and would not walk in Yehudah because the Yehudim, the leaders of the religion, were out to kill him. Yochanan also tells us that Sukkoth was approaching. I take that to mean that that Yom Kippur was already finished and it was about time to make aliyah for Sukkoth.
In v.3. Yeshua’ brothers began berating him. It looks like they saw him as a charlatan, doing magic tricks with smoke and mirrors, a la Kreskin or Doug Henny. They would have nothing to do with him. In fact, they knew that the Jews were out to kill him and they wanted him to go where he could be taken. It reminds one of Yoseph and his brothers. It looks like jealousy rearing its ugly head. I don’t think the problem was quite the same as it had been with Joe and the boys. Jacob had an obvious favorite among his 12 children, as Isaac and Abraham before him had. I don’t think Yeshua’ parents made that mistake, at least not so you could tell, or there would have been some mention of it. The bible always points out the foibles of its heroes. No, I think Yeshua’s brothers were jealous simply because he never did anything wrong. Can you imagine a little goody-two-shoes like that to grow up with? But this is no Eddie Haskell type goodie-two-shoes, this kid really never did anything wrong. I am not afraid to admit that had Yeshua been my brother, I’d have disliked him, too. I would be constantly looking for some way to get him a good licking. I don’t think they hated him. In fact, I think they loved him dearly because he was not just obedient to his parents, he was probably always being of service to his siblings – which might have just thrown fuel on the fire. How do you live up to an eldest brother like Yeshua? You wouldn’t be able to be close to as good as he was. I imagine everyone would say, ‘Why can’t you be more like your brother, Yeshua?’ No, I don’t think I would like him much as a brother, though I’d love him like a brother. Do you get my drift?
So his bro’s tell him to skeedaddle for the Feast. But Yeshua said his time wasn’t yet come. He would go up, but not now. So, the bro’s leave for their trip. I don’t think they were any different from us, so I expect they left just in the nick of time to arrive in J’lem, erect their Sukkot, as the feast opened at sundown of the 15th of Tishri. Now the Jews had no dealings with Samaria and would take an extra day or two to walk around on the east bank of Yarden. This gave Yeshua time to rest peacefully for a day or so before going up to Jerusalem, for he intended to take the Samaria short-cut and did. That’s the ‘as it were in secret’ in v.10. No one would ever expect that a Jew would purposely cut through Samaria on the way to the Feast. Along the way he met our leprous friends and healed them.
The Jews were actively seeking him out, and I imagine they were frustrated in not finding him. This may be seen in the mood of the question, “Where is he?” The people were divided about him being good or a liar, but there doesn’t seem to be any discussion about whether he is Moshiach.
What follows is not an exhaustive recount of all that Yeshua taught at the Feast. He was there teaching for at least 4 days, so I’m sure he said more than 12-15 sentences. We have been given what Yochanan thought pertinent to his objective, to present the Son of Elohim to his people. Yeshua just shows up in the middle of the Feast. This tells me that it was not imperative that the men be there for the entire Feast, only that they show themselves before Y’hovah.
Deut.16:16, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before Y’hovah thy Elohim in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before Y’hovah empty:”
The two week-long feasts gave the men a certain leeway in their arrival time, but Pentecost was a single day and there was no give in that appointment. That was why Paul was in such earnest to get to Jerusalem after his third ‘missionary journey’ (Acts 21.16). These were the times that Y’hovah received the tithes of the people (Paul was carrying tithes from the gentile believers and the diaspora) for the administration of the temple and the national government and also for the widows, orphans, (I.e., the poor) and the Levites (De.16.16, 17).
Leviticus 23:34-36, “Speak unto the children of Yisrael, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Y’hovah.  On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.  Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Y’hovah: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Y’hovah: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.”
That eighth day is ‘the last day, that great day’ that Yochanan tells of in this chapter. More on that later. Servile work is the job by which one’s living is made, not necessaries like cooking and such. If the wife does that daily, she was not to do it on Sabbath. The father or the kids got to cook and such 1-day a week, at least. Mom was allowed her Sabbath as well.
There were 7 yearly feasts; Passover/Unleavened Bread, Early Firstftuits (the day after the 7th day sabbath during Unleavened Bread, the first day of the 50), Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. No servile work in any of these days, except Atonement, in which NO work was to be done. Atonement was a day of fasting and prayer and bible study, sanctified unto Y’hovah, with the end of seeing oneself as Y’hovah saw him. If this did not move one to humility and repentance, nothing would. But Tabernacles was for two purposes; to remember the 40-year Wilderness Adventure and to celebrate and praise Y’hovah for the abundance of the recent harvest. The last great day was the time for looking forward to the eternal kingdom of Elohim, when Y’hovah would make his dwelling with men – tabernacle among us, and when all the kingdom prophecies would see their ultimate fulfillment. This was to be a sanctified party before Y’hovah. Q&C
The Jews were amazed [v.15] at the understanding of the scripture that Yeshua had shown, knowing that he’d never been to seminary, or even bible school. His doctrine was in some ways unorthodox (not according to what most ‘scholars’ taught), but never heretical. Yochanan haMatbe’el [“from the ark of Elohim”?] had told the Prushim that he had been among them in 1.24-27
24 And they that were sent were of the Prushim. 25 And they asked him, and said to him, Why are you doing mikvot, if you are not the Moshiach, nor Eliyahu, neither Ha Navi? 26 Yochanan answered them, saying, I mikvah with mayim: but there stands One among you, whom you know not; 27 He it is, whose coming after me is preferred before me, whose sandals I am not worthy to unloose.
That was why I think Nicodemus was Yeshua’s secret disciple. He made sense when teaching from the scripture. Of course, who would better understand the Word of Elohim, and the Feasts of Elohim, than the Word of Elohim, Yeshua? Yeshua was not speaking some private doctrine of human origin (2Pe.1.20). He was giving Y’hovah’s own interpretation of the Word of Elohim (and the Feasts, as well). He told them that he was a sholiach, one sent from Y’hovah. For this reason, he said, his words were true and he was righteous.
When he made the accusations that the Jews had Torah but refused to guard it in their lives and were therefore going about to kill him, the people, or the rabble, said he had a devil. I think these were Jews of the diaspora who didn’t want to believe the Pharisees of Jerusalem were plotting against Yeshua. The Jews wished to kill him for defiling the Sabbath (Jn.5.1-18) and for calling himself the Son of Elohim, making himself equal to the Father. Yeshua pointed out that they circumcised on the Sabbath to be sure to do it on the eighth day and keep the Torah of Moses. But the Sabbath preceded the Law by at least 2500 years. Which should take precedence, Y’hovah’s Sabbath, which harkens to creation, or the Torah? The Yisraelites had seen that the Sabbath was about servile work (work for hire), and, therefore, necessary and good works, like saving a dying animal from a pit, or tending a man’s wounds, could be done on the Sabbath. So why were they out to kill him for healing a man completely on a Sabbath? He was challenging their human doctrine; their teacher’s interpretations of scripture; their traditions. [I can hear Tevye singing.] Traditions are important, as they help to stabilize our society, but when they can be shown to be false they should be abandoned or replaced. What traditions do you hold dear, that you will not give up without a fight? It is good that you will not let them go easily, but examine them according to the scripture and not human interpretations. The mind stretching that comes from examining your doctrines against the scripture’s simple teaching may astound you. And do it yourself, after asking the Ruach ha Kodesh’s help and guidance, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ve held to be true that was only men’s tradition. Then, if the Ruach teaches you that what you’ve held as truth was merely someone’s interpretation and tradition, repent and move on. The liberty of knowing the truth is awe inspiring.
For example, consider our Christian proximity to antinomianism when we say, ‘We are not under the Law, but under grace (Rom.6.14-15).’ Many Christians have given this as a reason for all kinds of sins they commit, though they may not think they are committing any sin because of the traditions they’ve been taught.
What is sin, anyway?
1 Yochanan 3:4-5, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also Torah: for sin is the transgression of Torah.  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
So is the Law done away because we are under grace? I think not!
Romans 5:20-6:2, “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Yeshua haMoshiach our Master. 6:1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2Elohim forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
It was NOT that the Torah CAUSED more sin, but that it made us aware of all the sins we committed. Our AWARENESS of our sin abounded to us due to our knowledge of Torah.
And what is grace?
1 Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of Elohim I am what I am: and his grace upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of Elohim which was with me.”
2 Cor. 1:12, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of Elohim, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”
Grace, then, is Y’hovah’s empowerment to live a righteous and godly life. The grace of Elohim is personified in the indwelling Ruach ha Kodesh, who makes us want to do what is righteous before Y’hovah. That is scripture truth.
What is righteousness?
Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in YHVH; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
To believe Y’hovah is righteousness. Belief is not just mental assent to the truth, but what we do with it.
Deut. 6:25, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before YHVH our Elohim, as he hath commanded us.”
We live in righteousness by the power of the Ruach ha Kodesh in our lives.
Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
In order for me to be led I must be willing to follow, to obey what’s been commanded. The righteousness that we live is rewarded by the righteous Judge.
1 Ki.3:6, “And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as this day.”
All this is done for us by the grace of Elohim. Grace definitely entails more than just the unmerited favor of Elohim in our forgiveness. It also includes the unmerited favor of Elohim in the power given us to live a righteous life. The only law that we need not follow is the law of sacrifices (Heb.9.19-10.1, 12), because that law is completely fulfilled for believers in the Sacrifice of Yeshua ha Moshiach, the Tzadik. Q&C
After Yeshua told the crowd why the religious leaders wanted him dead, the J’lem natives, who knew what their rulers wanted to do to Yeshua, started thinking out loud [v.26 Mp] ‘Do you s’pose the Pharisees know this guy is really the Moshiach?’ Yeshua is up in the Temple area preaching his heart out and the Jews who want to kill him won’t touch him for fear of the people. The regulars were beginning to question the Pharisees’ traditions. They’d seen evidence that Yeshua was actually Moshiach, ‘the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his wings,’ but some, probably disciples of the Prushim, also were skeptical because they knew him and his family. Do prophets grow up from little boys? But people were thinking their way through the dilemma, which is dangerous to the traditions of men.
Yeshua then let loose a salvo. He said [Mp], “Yeah, you Jews know me and you know where I’m from, but you refuse to acknowledge that Y’hovah sent me because you don’t really know him. I know him because I am from Him and He sent me.” This set them off. It really frosted their cookies, and they tried to grab him, but they couldn’t do it because there were people there who said out loud that only Moshiach could do the things he did. The Jews were worried about losing influence with the people. I think I have a godly hatred of politicians for this reason. Instead of doing what they believe is right, they do what will offend the least people. In this way they retain POWER. The Pharisees and Sadducees were extraordinary politicians, as are most pastors today, holding their power by deceit and subterfuge.
The Pharisees immediately got jealous of Yeshua’ influence over a large portion of the crowd. The people were asking if Moshiach would show more miraculous signs than Yeshua had shown. The political religionists were losing their grip on the people, even as the priesthood is losing its grip on lay Catholics over the recent sex scandals. (This is a time of great opportunity to witness to the truth of scripture and to preach the Yeshua of the bible to our Catholic friends.) So the Prushim tried to take him by force, sending temple guards to apprehend him. But he told the temple guards that he would soon be returning to his Father and they couldn’t get to him there.
The Pharisees, of course, didn’t understand what he was talking about, since he spoke deep, sod truth, not worldly. They figured he was leaving Yisrael to teach the diaspora and the gentiles [v.35], because they couldn’t go where he was going. They wouldn’t think of defiling themselves by consorting with goyim (especially with all the ritual washing they imposed on themselves)! The fact that Y’hovah expected them to be the light of the world didn’t seem to have any effect on them. They were so enslaved to the letter of their law that they refused the liberty that Torah brought. There are 613 ‘commandments’ in the Torah which, if followed, bring a remarkable freedom, and of which only a large fraction apply to any one man at any one time. The Pharisees, because they would not live by Torah, had added hundreds and thousands of new regulations and restrictions on the people, even as our government, because WE wouldn’t submit to Torah, has added MILLIONS of regulations and restrictions for us to follow on pain of fine or imprisonment or both. This is not the government Y’hovah wanted for his people. He kept it simple. We’ve complicated it in the same way as the Prushim had, only to a greater degree. But the S & P had no idea what he was talking about because they weren’t listening to Ruach ha Kodesh. I think they let him slide for now, thinking that he was going off to Greece or wherever and they wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore, or chance losing even more influence with the people by taking him and executing him. Besides, his time was not yet. Q&C
Then came the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles [vv.37-53]. This day prophetically corresponds to the time when Is.9.6-7 will get its ultimate fulfillment, when Yeshua’ government will extend to the furthest reaches of the new heavens from the new earth. In that day the river of life will flow continuously from the King’s throne in Jerusalem and split to run to the Salt sea and the Great sea, and the Dead Sea will be healed and produce an abundance of fish (Ez.1-12). It is this river of life to which Yeshua refers when he says [vv.37-38], “If any man thirst…” On the last great day the high priest went down to the pool of Sh’loam [sent, from the same root as Sholiach] and brought water to be poured out on the brazen altar. It was as the water was being poured on the brazen altar that Yeshua uttered these words;
37 On the last and greatest day of the moed, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirsts, let him come to Me, and drink. 38 He that believes on Me, as the Keetvay HaKadosh [scriptures] have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of mayim chayim. [Restoration Scriptures]
It was these words that were the cause of the division among the people and also the Sanhedrin. The Feasts were mikrah, or rehearsals, of the prophesied actions of Yeshua Moshienu.
The spring feasts and the atonement were fulfilled during his incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension. He became our Passover. He was the firstfruits of the dead and fulfilled the wave offering of the barley sheaves on the day after the 7th day sabbath during Unleavened bread before he would allow anyone to touch him, for the high priest must be ceremonially clean, free from the leaven of sin, to offer the wave offering. Then the Ruach ha Kodesh was given on the anniversary of the very day that Moses and the Yisraelites received the Law of Y’hovah on Mt. Sinai in Arabia.
The fall feasts will be fulfilled in the future during the time of Jacob’s trouble, the millennium and in the new heaven and new earth. The last trump (I think that’s the last feast of trumpets, but possibly the Yovel shofar on Yom haKippurim) will sound and the dead in Moshiach will rise from the graves and the remnant who are alive and remain will be transformed and never taste of death (1Thes.4.17). Does this correspond to the trumpets sounded by the angels in Rev.9? Perhaps, but that is a question open to debate, based on interpretation of the passages. Some hold the seals, trumpets, thunders and vials to be more or less contemporary; I.e., the first of each more or less corresponding to the first of the others, and so on, in time. For this to be right, the trumpets would have to sound, one each year for the 7 years of ‘tribulation’ time. In this scenario, the last trump would be 15-23 days shy of the return of Yeshua to liberate the earth. But if we look in light of the feasts, the rehearsals that Elohim set up of things to come, I think we’ll get as close as we can to the truth of the matter, for those are the prophetic seasons (see Gen.1.14 seasons, moedim) that Elohim foreshadowed in creation. The common calendar by which commerce is conducted throughout the world has NOTHING to do with what day or month or year it is in Elohim’s scheme of things. His Feasts tell us what day it is, that’s why he gave them to us at the creation of the world. Q&C
The Feast of trumpets is a day that no man can know in advance, because noone but Y’hovah knows when the new moon will first be seen over Jerusalem in ANY month. Guesses can be made, but even good guesses can be wrong. For the month of Tishri to begin the new moon must be seen above Jerusalem by at least two witnesses, not guessed at. Then that sighting must be reported to the priests who must authenticate the sighting. After the sighting is verified the priests sound the trumpets from the Temple mount and light a fire on the mountaintop to signal the beginning of the new year. Watchmen are on every hilltop in Yisrael when the new moon is ready to appear to watch for the fire from Zion so that they can light their own fires and sound their own trumpets, so that within minutes the new year is declared throughout the land by the sounding of trumpets. At the moment the fires are seen and the trumpets blast, every business must close and every Yisraelite must put off his daily clothes and put on his best and whitest garments, which have been cleaned and whitened and prepared days in advance, to celebrate the coming of a new year (cf. Mt.25.1-13 to illustrate preparation). With this in mind, consider the scripture in
Rev. 7:9-17, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our Elohim which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’ 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped Elohim, 12Saying, ‘Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, unto our Elohim for ever and ever. Amen.’ 13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ 15Therefore are they before the throne of Elohim, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters [mayim chaim]: and Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
These ‘tribulation saints’ have prepared their robes by washing them in the blood of Yeshua haMoshiach. If the Jews do not, as a nation, turn to Yeshua until they physically see him whom they have pierced (and they won’t, for Y’hovah said so and it is impossible for him to lie), these can’t be “Jews” who were saved during the ‘great tribulation’. They must be, then, ‘tribulation’ saints. In the body there is neither Jew not Greek, all are made one by the blood of the Lamb. The body is an assembly of people called out from among the Jews and the gentiles and sanctified, that is set apart, by Elohim. Remember that Yochanan was a Jew and thought in Jewish (“OT”) terms, not those of the western gentile assembly. Let us look to what the scripture says in its context, and not what men have said about it. We should not teach ‘for doctrines the commandments of men (Mt.15.9, Mk.7.7, Tit.1.14).”
Titus 1.14 speaks of sound doctrine. What was sound doctrine at that time? Yeshua says in Mat 15.4-8 and Mk.7.5-13 that it was the Word of Elohim. It must be the same today, mustn’t it? Sound doctrine in those days was found in the scripture, the Law and the Prophets. So it is today. NT scripture will NEVER contradict OT scripture, but MAY shed more light on it.
The Feast of Tabernacles and, especially, the last great day of the feast will be kept and celebrated in the millennium as a rehearsal for the eternal state, when Y’hovah will make his tabernacle with men in New Jerusalem. Then, everyday will be the last great day of the feast, with joyful celebration of the salvation of our Elohim and perfect fellowship with him.
But imagine being an observant Yisraelite (Jew or Gentile) during the 2nd half of the 70th week of Daniel, when Anti-Moshiach will rule the earth and hunt down all the children of Elohim. How does one go to Jerusalem and live in a tent before Elohim for 8 days without incurring the wrath of the Beast and his False Prophet by worshipping and celebrating before the true Elohim at the probable cost of his freedom and his life? The 3 companions of Daniel, Rack, Shack and Benny (to appropriate their names from ‘Veggy Tales’), were thrown into the furnace, and Daniel into the lion’s den, for exactly this reason, following after Y’hovah and not the elohims of Babylon or the unlawful orders of the king. It will be as bad or worse for anyone trying to keep Passover, Pentecost or Tabernacles in that time. I think that at that time many who would worship Y’hovah in obedience, as he would be worshipped, will not bow down to the idols of the Beast, and that is when they’ll be taken to suffer the martyrdom of the saints of Elohim. I think these are the ones spoken of in Rev.7. I think they will be taken in their obedience to Yeshua and their Father, and they will die a martyr’s death. Either that, or they will be protected through the trouble as Shack, Rack, Benny and Danny-boy were. May it be so for all of us who are reading or listening to this, because if it is so, we will be like Rack, Shack, Benny and Danny boy and fearlessly stand for Y’hovah Yeshua while heaping coals of fire on the persecutor’s heads.
Satan has not really learned the lesson of the Roman persecution. I think that the ‘kahal’, that called out and set apart assembly of all nations – including Yisrael (Eph.2.11-18), will grow by leaps and bounds as the saints (Ps.89.5, 7; 132.9, 16) die gloriously and joyously and peacefully in their sight (Ps.116.15), just as happened in Rome under the Caesar’s. The effect will be astonishing. Those who have not received the Mark of the Beast will be moved by the sight, or even just the stories, of the martyrs dying in such joy and peace, while those who have been ‘Marked’ will be all the more infuriated. The contrast will be re’mark’able. Those who live through the great trib, and there won’t be many, will go on to populate the millennium and eternity beyond.
Many who heard the Words of Yeshua knew him then as Moshiach, but many doubted, not knowing or perhaps ignoring the fact that he was the Son of David, born in Bethlehem. These were followers of the Pharisees who said in v.52 that no prophet comes out of Galilee. The genealogies and the circumcision records were kept in Jerusalem (Mat.1, Lk.2). They had access to all the pertinent information about Yeshua’s birth and presentation at the temple those 30+ years before, they just didn’t bother to check or ignored the evidence. It was even possible that there were some there who remembered the night that Herod asked about the prophecy. Here were the Pharisees again teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. The scripture didn’t necessarily say that Moshiach would LIVE in Bethlehem, only that he would be born there (Mic.5.2). The controversy arose because the people listened to their leaders and accepted everything they said as true, even if it added to, took away from or went against Torah and the Prophets. Many who take the name of YHVH today do the same. Let’s be careful we are not like this. Be Bereans, not just blindly credulous to your teachers, especially this one.
“Test the spirits, whether they be of Elohim. (1Jn.4.1)” Q&C
“There was division among them because of him” [v.43]. Is it not the same today? Yeshua said that he came to bring a sword, and not peace (Mat.10.34-36, cf.Mic.7.6). How many first generation Christians can attest to this? Your family may tolerate your eccentricity, but when you begin witnessing to them they get angry and storm about. They are trying with their whole being to shut out the truth, which will take away their comfortable, sinful lifestyle. And they watch with extra scrutiny as you live your life, looking for some reason to reject the Elohim who bought you. It has always been that way from Cain and Able right down to today.
If you are a 1st generation believer, try to remember how you reacted to anyone who preached the gospel of peace. You would scoff, and shout them down if you could. That is all your family is doing to you. It just hurts so much more when it’s someone you love naturally, because you know their fate if they don’t confess, repent and change their direction so that they can obey the truth of Y’hovah. The hurt may even keep you from continuing to witness, because we are all naturally inclined to avoid pain and confrontation. That doesn’t negate our duty to witness, it just explains the human tendency not to, especially with family. The motivation is to keep your family together for eternity. That should outweigh your desire to avoid confrontation.
From v.44 through the end of the chapter we see what the Sanhedrin wanted and how they reasoned. ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The officers were apparently influenced by Yeshua’ words. ‘Never man spake like this man.’ Their words must have betrayed what they were thinking about Yeshua, because the Pharisees went right for their throats. ‘Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?’ This is where the Pharisees get a rude awakening, because their question is answered by Nicodemus, who was a ruler and a Pharisee. He was an honest man among a bunch of self-serving politicians. He would follow Torah, and not the traditions of men (v.51). The rest of the Pharisees went after him as well, trying to shout him down. ‘Art thou also of Galilee?’ Are you from the backwaters of Yisrael? Remember Nathan’el’s response when Philip told him they’d found Moshiach, Yeshua of Nazareth? ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Galilee was to Jerusalem what everything from the east slope of the Appalachians to the West slope of the Sierra Nevadas is to Washington, D.C., fly-over country. So the rest of the Pharisees berated Nic, much like our family’s respond to us 1st generation believers.
I don’t know if Nic backed down or if he held his ground, demanding that they hear Yeshua themselves. I do know that the Sanhedrin were not pleased. There were factions in the Sanhedrin, some pro and some anti-Yeshua. When they went to their own houses, they were like boxers going to their respective corners. Minds were already made up and the fight was in a break between rounds. The bell for round 15 would sound 6 months hence, at the Passover. Yeshua went to the ‘neutral corner’ of the Mount of Olives [8.1]. Q&C
An italicized I think denotes an educated guess. I COULD be wrong … but I DOUBT it!