March 14, 2015 Shabbat Bible Study
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Sabbath 52 – 24 Mar 2012
Numbers 5:11-6.21 – Hoshea 4:14, Judges.13.2-5, 1Shmuel 1.7-11 – Tehellim 96-99 – 2 Kefa 2:1-22, Luka 1.8-17
^^This link no longer works^^
B’Midbar 5.11-31 – This is the passage about the jealous husband/the wife he suspects has been unfaithful. Schottenstein’s Chumash will be a valuable resource in seeing the pashat of this passage, the ‘whys and hows’ of the of the whole process. Its overview on p.35h is very good. My question had always been, what is it that made the husband jealous? Basically, what does the KJV mean by ‘commit a trespass against him’ in v.12? Vv.13 and 14 make it clear that there is NO WITNESS to any adultery. V.14 says that she may be defiled or she mat NOT be defiled – noone has any clue except the wife and the suspected ‘other man’, if he exists.
Rashi, according to the Chumash notes, says that she was seen with another man and that they were alone for a sufficient time that adultery COULD have occurred. When, this questionable activity came to the husband’s attention, he warned her to not do it again. But THEN she was seen with the other man again, and again they were alone for a long enough period of time that adultery could have occurred. NOW, the husband had ample reason to be jealous and the procedure he was to put himself and his wife through was designed to either prove or disprove the accusation.
Beginning in v.16, we see the ordeal of the bitter water. I take inference that she may have been brought into the sanctuary, the Holy place, for this procedure because 1). She was brought ‘before Y’hovah’ and 2). the priest put some ‘holy water’ (laver or red heifer water of purification?) in an earthen vessel and added dust from the ground of the Tabernacle. How would she know that the dust was actually FROM the Tabernacle if she didn’t see him take it from there? Either she was taken into the sanctuary, or perhaps, only to the outer veil of the Kodesh place. If that’s the case, they probably used water from the laver and the priest could just reach in and grab a handful of dust from the floor. After working that one out in print here, I lean toward the latter, but still see the possibility of the former.
In v.18, the priest uncovered her head. The head covering symbolized her husband’s protection from the wrath of Y’hovah, as she symbolized the Bride of Moshiach. Uncovering the woman’s head symbolizes the removal of that protection, leaving her vulnerable to personal judgment and condemnation. If she is innocent, she has nothing to fear. The priest explained what the water’s purpose was and what would befall her if she were guilty, but that, if she was innocent, she had nothing to fear. If she was guilty, however, the priest had explained the horrific suffering she would endure on her way to death.
Now, here’s the kicker. IF she was guilty of adultery and confessed, she would be divorced for cause (setting up Dt.24.1-4), but since there was no judicially acceptable evidence against her, she would have no judgment or penalty imposed on her by the court. So, confession was the logical way for her to go if she were guilty. And, if she was innocent, she had nothing to fear. The innocent woman would drink it down and the guilty woman would probably confess, not wanting to die the horrendous death described by the Kohen.
Quoting Chumash, pg.35,
“This is the only halachic procedure in the Torah that depends on a supernatural intervention…. The purpose of the ordeal was 2-fold, 1). To punish adultery and help uproot immorality in Yisrael, and 2) to foster trust between husband and wife. Once a husband has come to suspect his wife, he will not trust her, even if a court rules that he is wrong… Only Eloha’s own testimony would be convincing enough. Eloha permits the blotting out of his Name and performs a miracle to set the suspicious husband’s mind at ease.”
I wonder if this was the circumstance that confronted Yeshua in Jn.8.1-12? If it was, where was her husband? And were the accusers acknowledging Yeshua’s authority to judge as the tzadik rebbe, Moshiach? I seriously doubt that, but that this MAY be the circumstance that brought the incident to bear I do not doubt. It explains why the man is not there, and it’s just a small stretch from the ‘alone together’ causing jealousy to the jealousy ‘creating’ the sin in the minds of the accusers. Perhaps she had been brought to the priest and had refused to drink the water, all the while maintaining her innocence of this crime.
If you would like to see an excellent presentation of the penalty of the adulterous wife being paid in full in the events of Pesach and the death of Yeshua on the tree, see Eddie’s excellent treatment of it at http://www.hebroots.org/yeshiva/ShavuotMarriageMessiah/ [This link no longer works]. He discusses the water of jealousy, all the curses involved and also the inability of a man to remarry a divorced wife who had been married to another man (which symbolizes a believer slipping into idolatry). Q&C
B’Midbar 6.1-21 – A Nazarite was to swear off all grapes and grape products, whether fresh or fermented, and any type of vinegar, because vinegar is a fermented product of whatever fruit it is made from. A Nazarite therefore has sworn off all fermented products – anything that has or has ever had alcohol in it. If you remember Eph.5.18:
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)
That MAY have to do with a Nazarite vow, but I infer from this verse that drunkenness is a cheap counterfeit of the filling of the Spirit. It does not say that being drunk is a sin, but it reinforces the idea that habitual drunkenness is decidedly foolish.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
29 Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. (Proverbs 23.29-32)
The Nazarite not only swears off anything that can intoxicate, but he does not cut his hair, so that people will know that he has the vow. The one who has taken the Nazarite vow is to be acutely aware of the testimony of his lifestyle and guard his heart and mind so that people will see and glorify Y’hovah. Not cutting or trimming his hair would set him apart from the average Israelite. So, that stuff about Yeshua having long hair is probably a lie foisted on us by the church of the Middle ages. V. 7 says ‘consecration’ in the KJV, but ‘crown’ in Stone’s translation. The unshorn hair could certainly be likened to a crown.
The vow was for a set time, during which he may not defile himself in any way – even due to the death of his parents or siblings. If the Nazarite is inadvertently defiled with a dead body, the days of his vow are forfeit. If he vowed a year-long vow and 359½ days go by and then a guy walking down the street in the opposite direction suddenly dies and brushes the Nazarite on his way to the deck, the Nazarite forfeits those days and has to begin again. When the purification week ends (cf.19.19) and he is clean, he must shave his head and on the 8th day bring two turtledoves or pigeons, one for his sin offering and the other for his burnt offering. Chumash’s comment on v.10’s turtledoves says they represent the renewing of the Nazarite’s vow and his readiness to start again, kind of like the mythological Phoenix rising from the ashes and soaring toward the heights. The 8th day symbolizes new beginnings for the Nazarite vow, as well. His head is once again hallowed and his days of consecration begin anew.
When the Nazarite fulfills the days of his vow, he brings an offering to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation consisting of a sheep of the 1st year, an ewe of the first year and a ram, all without blemish. The priest offers the sheep for a burnt offering, the ewe for a sin offering, and the ram for a peace offering. Burnt and peace offerings are freewill offerings, but the sin offering is for sins committed inadvertently or without the sinner’s knowledge – so in this case it’s a ‘just in case’ offering. He also brings a basket of unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil and the associated meal offerings and oblations. Once all the offerings are accomplished, the Nazarite shaves his head again and places the hair on the fire that’s burning his ram peace offering. Then the priest takes a wafer and a cake from the basket, along with the cooked foreleg of the ram and places them on the hands of the Nazarite and waves it all before Y’hovah as a wave offering. The foodstuffs of the wave offering are for the priest to eat in addition to the regular priest’s portion of the peace offering.
Now the Nazarite may partake of grapes and anything fermented, once again. Why is he still called a Nazarite after his vow is complete? Probably for the same reason that a military officer retain his title after his retirement. He’s EARNED it! (I am Mark Pitrone, AT1 USNR-R, Ret.) The Nazarite took a vow and honored it. Imagine if he took a vow for a year, and then there was inadvertent defiling of that Nazarite 3 different times. He is not released from the vow until it is successfully completed. He may have served that vow for 3½ years to finally finish it. No matter how long the term of his vow was, he saw it through to the end. That faithfulness will be recognized forever. Q&C
Hoshea 4.14 – (In light of Num.5) The curse that Y’hovah puts on Israel is as a result of his observation in v.6.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy Eloha, I will also forget thy children. 7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: will I change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. (Hosea 4.6-8)
Y’hovah’s people are damah, made dumb or silenced, not destroyed. Our lack of da’at -knowledge – is not due to unavailability, but refusal to see or hear it. We reject da’at. And so, he turns us over to our desire, which is to be fooled. Is that not what has been going on for 1800+ years of Constantinian religion in the West? It’s gotten to the point that he doesn’t even chasten us when we go a-whoring after other gods. He just lets us go. Y’hovah will never pressure us to obedience and faithfulness to him and his Word. He will send chastisement for a while, but the more we refuse to acknowledge it, the more we reject it, the less he expects our repentance and the more he gives us over to our lusts. I have just described the United States of America and the whole Xian world. He has all but given up on this world as a result of the ‘church’ a-whoring in public, and he is about to allow us to reap what we’ve sown. I sincerely hope y’all who are listening can understand, and that you will repent and turn to his Way.
Shophtim 13.2-5 – In light of Num.6, Manoah’s wife is told by a prophet that she would bear a son and that they were to ensure that he never tasted grapes or grape products , and that his hair was uncut because he was to be a Nazarite from the womb. Shimshon never drank wine or ate a grape, nor did he cut his hair until Delilah browbeat him to find out the source of his strength. Although he didn’t have a heart after Y’hovah, as can be seen in his manner of life, he at least kept to the letter of the Nazarite vow, and Y’hovah honored that.
1 Sh’muel 1.7-11 – Hannah gave her son, Sh’muel, to Y’hovah; made a Nazarite vow unto Y’hovah on behalf of her son. The difference between Shimshon and Sh’muel, I think was in their training as children. It looks like Manoah and his wife indulged Shimshon, while Elkanah and Hannah raised Sh’muel to fear Y’hovah and prepared him for service. Q&C
Tehellim 96 (w/Num.5) – I love vv.1-3 here. Do you see how there are 6 phrases that work together to bring glory to Y’hovah’s Name, and that it all centers on the Hebrew word Y’shuato, which means His Salvation or Deliverance? We are to witness to Y’hovah’s Deliverance from day to day to day to … You get the picture. Remember the little monk named Frank who said, “Always preach the gospel! When necessary, use words.” That’s how we are to preach Y’hovah’s Salvation, by our manners of life that will make us stand out like sore thumbs while maintaining a verbal witness, as well. If our lifestyle does not reflect our words, we will witness only to our hypocrisy, not the glory of Y’hovah.
V.4 speaks of the fear of Y’hovah. Now we have discussed the fear of Y’hovah before, and I have said that it is not just ‘reverential awe’, like the Constantinian majority loves to say, but includes the abject terror that his disfavor can inspire. But we’ve also discussed the idea that ‘fear’ of Y’hovah is the opposite of ‘despite’ of Y’hovah. To despise is not to hate or dislike something, but to think that it is without value, worthless and of no consequence or power. So, to fear Y’hovah in this sense is to think of him in all we do, which will show in the way we live. What ought to be despised in v.5 is the gods of the nations which are adept at counterfeiting what looks to the eyes like power but in reality is no power. They have no real power, only sleight of hand. Fools are ‘fooled’ by the counterfeit. But Y’hovah made all that is by the Word of his mouth.
All honor and majesty belong to Y’hovah Elohenu, the Tzadik Rebbe, Yeshua haMoshiach, who is the beautiful blending of the righteous power of Y’hovah’s Spirit and the merciful love of Y’hovah, our Father. It is Y’hovah whom we must honor, glorify and worship in the beauty of holiness. Vv.8-9 speak of offering Y’hovah worship in the beauty of holiness. An offering was made to set us apart unto Y’hovah so that he could look upon us as beautiful. THAT is, I think, the beauty of holiness.
We will be called upon, if things keep trending as they are, to glorify Y’hovah before the heathen and declare his sovereignty over the earth and all things therein. Be prepared to glorify Y’hovah before men, and he SHALL judge the people of the earth, who judge us unrighteously because we are set-apart unto him. Notice that the world is judged in Y’hovah’s righteousness, and the people are judged according to his Truth. His Torah is the expression of is righteousness, according to which all shall be judged. If you are his, you have already been judged righteous in him, and receive no condemnation
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Moshiach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [Rom.8.1]
Tehellim 97 – No matter how bleak the circumstances look, there is always reason the rejoice, because Y’hovah reigns. We need to stop trusting our lying eyes and fully trust the Truth of Y’hovah. Clouds and darkness speak of the inability of our eyes to see Y’hovah. It is through his Word, his righteousness and judgment that are revealed therein, that we can clearly see that Avinu rules over the affairs of men. Our physical eyes and emotions see and react to things in the world, but our spirits know that it is Y’hovah’s Truth that rules over all. The enemy does everything he can to usurp Y’hovah’s position, but he is allowed to go only so far and no further, and THAT for his elect’s sake. They who are a part of the conspiracy against Y’hovah try to point people away from their plans to establish their power, saying that if there were really a conspiracy of a tiny cabal to rule the earth, it would certainly have been accomplished by now. And, if it were only THEY who were working, they might be right. BUT Y’hovah is allowing only so much of their effort to pay off with the intent of getting his people to repent and start going HIS WAY. He is allowing them to see some progress toward their goal now, but just as they think they are about to take complete control, he will come through the clouds to stop them and bind their spirit leader for 1000 years.
The hills refer to the kings of the earth, who will literally melt like wax at his return
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the Y’hovah will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. (ZecharYah 14.12)
Not exactly a nice way to go, IMO. They would be much better off to accept his offer of Shalom. The heavens DECLARE his righteousness and his glory, so that noone has an excuse. There must be more than just points of light out there, for them to be a clear “Declaration of Righteousness.”
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)
Even the ‘gods’ that foolish people worship will bow the knee to him. How much more the people who worship those false gods?
Wherefore Eloha also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua HaMoshiach Y’hovah, to the glory of Eloha the Father. (Phil.2.9-11)
The psalm opens talking about the darkness and clouds, and ends with his light and gladness. We have come from darkness to light, from clouds to gladness by thinking on the power, glory and righteousness of Y’hovah. And all within 12 verses. Q&C
Tehellim 98 – Every time Tanakh says ‘new song’ the Hebrew words are identical – shir chadash (H2319). The root word for ‘new’ is chadash (H2318), which is vowel pointed differently than the word we are using, H2319, though the pronunciation is the same. H2318 is the root verb, an action word, meaning to renew or rebuild. When Yeshua returns to the earth he will renew the Covenant he made with Avraham and give it as a new thing to Avraham’s seed, which, in the Gal.3.16 sense, is all who believe and put their trust in Y’hovah. When we have that New Covenant where we can actually see it with our eyes and feel it in our hearts is when we will see Yeshua as he is, the strong right hand and set-apart arm of Y’hovah and sing his praises to the housetops so the new song will spread out over his whole creation.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face-to-face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Corinthians 13:12)
Y’hovah’s salvation is shown when his righteousness is shown before the heathen. That is, when we walk in his righteousness, his salvation is on display in and through us. Yochanan the Immerser was teaching his talmidim one day:
And looking upon Yeshua as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of Eloha! (John 1:36)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (I John 2:6)
In v.3, his salvation is also seen as Y’hovah’s remembrance of his mercy and truth toward the whole house of Israel. When Y’hovah ‘remembers’ he is not just recalling something he temporarily forgot. Hebrew is a language based on action, not concept. Every Hebrew word has a verb root, every word is based in action. ‘Remember’ for Y’hovah is to consider something and act on it in a positive manner, to work to fulfill what he is remembering – in this case his mercy and truth. How does one ‘act’ truth? The root of emunah is emun – established, which engenders the adjectives trusty and trustworthy. I will go out to do something and get sidetracked and stay busy all day doing stuff and completely forget to do what I intended to do when I started out. And I sometimes won’t remember it until the next time I’m at the place I needed to go to do that thing, Y’hovah will bring it back to mind for me and THEN I’ll do it, while I’m thinking about it. If I don’t do what I’m thinking of doing immediately, I may just space it out of my mind. Y’hovah does NOT forget. Y’hovah does NOT get sidetracked. He is an action kinda guy. He doesn’t have to remember, as in RECALL to his mind, like we do. When he remembers something, he is acting on it IN HIS TIME, the perfect time for it to come to be.
All of history can be likened to a chess game with Y’hovah as one of the players (or perhaps BOTH of the players). He has his game planned down to the individual moves. The pieces on the board do not move themselves and Y’hovah’s opponent cannot make a move that Yah has not anticipated and already countered. Y’hovah is right this minute finishing the set up for his end game. In the not too distant future, you will see it begin. I pray that we will see his ‘checkmate’ with our physical eyes so that we can praise him and glorify him as he gets the victory in time and space and move into his Kingdom on earth. He judges righteously, using his truth as the standard, and noone is ignorant of his Truth. Once more
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)
That word, ‘Godhead’ is from G2305, theoteis, rooted in G2304, theos, literally ‘divinity’ or divine nature. It refers to the immutable and unknowable, in our flesh, Almighty Ayn Sof, the very essence of Y’hovah Elohenu. This psalm is prophetic of that day of righteous judgment and how Y’hovah’s people will respond. Q&C
Tehellim 99 – Y’hovah malach = Y’hovah has reigned, is reigning and will reign. The root verb is used and is past tense, as all Hebrew roots are (because Hebrew word roots always refer to completed action – if this were greek, it would have the aorist tense, timeless action). I think it is for this reason that there are 3 different ways that he is proclaimed to be kadosh. First he is ‘high above all the people.’ This isn’t just a position above us in space, but a condition in time, space and energy/matter (different aspects of the same thing – matter is condensed energy). He sits on the kheruvim, so his great and awesome Name is declared kadosh, for which reasons the people tremble before him.
The King’s strength is Moshiach and Moshiach’s footstool is the earth and his enemies thereon.
Y’hovah said unto Adonai, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalms 110:1)
Thus saith Y’hovah, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith Y’hovah: or what is the place of my rest? (Acts 7:49)
Moshiach ha Melech is kadosh, as well.
Moshe, Aharon and Samuel were all men of Y’hovah, whose lives were generally in conformity to his will and plan, but each had their lapses into sight-walk. Y’hovah forgave all their sins, though he chastised them for it with the intent and also the total triumph of making them (and us, when he does it in our lives) conformed to his own image. Y’hovah’s Ruach brought their shortfalls to mind every time they were tempted to go that way again, I am sure. I’m sure because he does that with me. And I am sure he does the same to y’all. Just another way he remembers us, by recalling it to our memory when we are tempted to repeat a sin that he’s already forgiven a few hundred times. Q&C
2Kefa 2.1-22 (w/Num.5) – This whole chapter is about false prophets. The ‘damnable heresies’ Pete speaks of are a result of ‘private interpretations’, using something other than scripture to interpret scripture. That is not to say that there is no other source of truth. All scripture is true, but it is not ‘all truth’. By that I mean that in order to know what an author is referring to, you may need to know historical and cultural context. As an example Sha’ul says;
But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Kefa before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (Galatians 2:14)
He wasn’t admonishing Peter for keeping Torah, as our Xian brethren like to interpret, but for compelling the Gentiles to live according to the oral law of the Pharisees. (BTW, I think that the incident Paul refers to in Gal.2 may have been the spark for the Jerusalem Council in Acts15, because this is the very issue they discussed then.) The incident was early in Sha’ul’s Netzari ministry while they were in Antioch of Syria, probably between the 1st and 2nd missionary journeys. The Jerusalem council was near the end of the 2nd.
False prophets, past, present, and future, twist truth to their own ends and draw even the elect away from the narrow Way. The number of followers a man has does not determine his godliness or lock on truth. Witness Benny Hinn, for example. False prophets are after your money, your stuff or your life. False prophets of the past have received judgment on everything around them, while the faithful have been delivered, either by miracle or by personal preparation for the judgment to come. Noach prepared for the judgment to come. Lot was delivered miraculously out of the judgment against Sodom. It would have been so much better if Lot had been prepared to get his family out and to keep his personal witness intact, like Noach did.
V.5 speaks of Noach as the 8th preacher of righteousness, which I think speaks of the MelechTzadik priesthood. I don’t know for sure who the 1st 7 were (though I think among them were Adam, Seth, Enoch and Methuselah), but the 9th, IM[not so]HO, was Shem, 10th was Ya’acov, 11th was split between Yehudah (Melech Gen.49) and in Ephraim, Yoseph, (Tzadik Gen 48). The 12th and ultimate MelechTzadik priest IS Yhwh Yeshua haMoshiach, who will be manifested as such on his return to rule and reign in righteousness.
Vv.7-8 speak of Lot’s being vexed with the wickedness of Sodom. Lot kinda spiraled down in a 6-step process towards his citizenship in that city, beginning in Gen.13
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Y’hovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of Y’hovah, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (Genesis 13:10-12)
In vv.10-11 he was 1) desensitized by his choice to leave the only godly man he knew and walk by sight and 2) fed the lust of his eyes in v.11. Then in v.12 he chose to 3) dwell in the cities of the plain and 4) pitched his tents so he could look on them, further feeding his evil inclination. Then in 14.12, he was actually 5) living IN Sodom (the choice he’d made long before he moved in), not in a tent outside of town. Then he 6) became an elder of the city because the Sodomites knew that position and wealth were the driving forces in his life, and that he would decide according to his lust rather than righteousness.
Lot did not have the personal commitment to Y’hovah to be delivered THROUGH the trial, as Noach did. He needed to be delivered FROM it. In the judgment to come against the whole earth, those who have prepared both spiritually and physically for it will be delivered through it – the 144K come to mind. Those who are NOT prepared spiritually and physically will be delivered from it, probably through physical death. Y’hovah will not allow his elect to suffer the judgment coming against all flesh.
There will be those who feign godliness who will suffer in the judgment and dare to say, “Master! Master! Have we not….” These are the ‘natural brute beasts’ of v.12, who ‘utterly perish in their own corruption’ – the false prophets of v.1. These natural brute beast false prophets are exposed in v.15 as prophets for hire, like Ba’alam. Now not all false prophets will exhibit all of the characteristics of vv.12-17, but if you see a teacher or a ‘prophet’ who exhibits any of them, SERIOUSLY consider going the other way. Q&C
The ‘mist of darkness’ sounds like darkness that can be felt, like the Egyptian plague. And that could be, since the words ‘mist’ (G2217 – zophos) and ‘darkness’ (G4655 – skopos) BOTH mean darkness – ‘to whom ‘DARK DARK’ is reserved forever’ is how it CAN be translated. ‘Dark dark’ is where the light does not exist. This is not a shadow, because for there to be a shadow there HAS to be light, and some matter to block it to form the shadow. Therefore a shadow is not ‘utter darkness’ because there is necessarily light all around the shadow. The holy of holies might illustrate this, because there is no outside source of light within the Mishkan proper. Y’hovah is the light of it. If he is not there, it is ‘dark dark’ inside it.
I love the phrase ‘great, swelling words of vanity’ that describes the speech of the false prophets. Calls to mind the commercial from the “Crystal Cathedral” back in the 90s and 00s, Bobby Shueller saying in his most stilted, oracular and oratorical tones, “DON’T just sta-a-and ther-re. DO-O-O-O something!” Made me want to vomit. False prophets play to people’s flesh, promising, “God wants to make you RICH!”, when all he’s really promised us in this life is food and clothing, like the sparrows and the grass of the fields. Yeshua didn’t have the proverbial pot, no place to rest his head. These are NOT things we need to strive for. He may give us more than we need when we are content with what we have.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, the words of our Master Yeshua haMoshiach, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. (I Timothy 6:3-6)
‘They’ in v.18ff = the false prophets. ‘Them’in v.19ff = those who were clean escaped, but are now captured by something even worse – idolatry. This is very much the same idea as Paul [or one of his close talmidim] touched on in Heb.10
23 Let us hold fast the profession of faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some; but exhorting: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb.10.23-29)
Let’s also not forget that the grafted in branches can be broken off again according to Rom.11.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.Q&C
Luka 1. 8-17 – ZecharYah (Y’hovah remembers), husband of Elisheva, Miriam’s cousin, was working his course (AbiYah – Y’hovah is my Father) in the priesthood as the acting High Priest, whose duty it was to trim and clean the Menorah, and offer the incense offering on the Golden Altar every day at the morning and evening sacrifices.
7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before Yhwh throughout your generations. (Ex.30.7-8)
I think that ZecharYah was praying for his and Elisheva’s greatest desire – a son – while he was offering the incense. The people were also praying outside the Temple at the same time. They were probably praying for Moshiach to come and set up his Kingdom and throw off the rule of Rome. The combination of the two at this time would be too cool not to imagine it. While ZecharYah is praying a messenger appears to him in the Holy Place of the Temple at the right side of the altar of incense. The right side speaks of strength, but it also is the side where the Bread of the Presence is and that gives my speculation even more credence. This angel is carrying the people’s prayers into Y’hovah’s presence.
Zach said to himself, “Self?! Where did this guy come from?” The angel said, “Your prayer is answered, Zach.” Zach WAS praying for a son. V.15 shows that Yochanan was a Nazarite from the womb, like Samson and Samuel. Yochanan’s ministry was 3-fold: 1) To turn Ephraim [children of the northern kingdom, Israel?] back to Y’hovah Elohechem, 2) To turn the hearts of the Fathers in Yehudah to the returning repentant Ephraimites, and 3) To turn the disobedient in Yehudah back to Y’hovah and Torah obedience (wisdom of tzadikim) – all with the purpose of making the people ready for Moshiach’s arrival.
Kind of a nice way to have your prayer answered, eh? Q&C
End of Midrash notes.