March 19, 2016 Shabbat Midrashic Bible Study
©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
March 19, 2016 – Year 3 Sabbath 49
Deuteronomy 32:1-52 – Ezekiel 17:22-24 – Psalm 146 – John 17:1-26
Devarim 32:1-52 (introduction) – This week’s Torah Parsha is ‘The Song of Moshe’ that we hear about in Paul Wilbur’s music and in
And they sing the song of Moses the servant of Elohim, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great, great and marvellous are thy works, Adonai El Shaddai; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, Y’hovah, and glorify thy name? for only holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. (Rev.15:3-4)
(Play the tune, Rip.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyUTqr2XbeQ . Those saints who are singing the song of Moshe are witnessing to the wickedness of the then present world system. By now, the entire world is likely of the physical seed of Avraham and quite possibly, due to world exploration and commerce as well as the various diasporas of Israel and Judah, of the seed of Yacov. As such, the whole world is subject to this judgment and the condemnation that it will bring. This is NOT capricious, but righteous judgment, since it is due to the idolatry of their intellectual Abbas and the general revelation given to all men of the existence of Elohim in the consistency of the physical creation, which proves his existence for anyone who is willing to look and consider. This righteousness will be shown without any kind of admixture in the end of days.
18 For the wrath of Elohim is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of Elohim is manifest in them; for Elohim hath shewed unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew Elohim, they glorified not as Elohim, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible Elohim into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1.18-23)
V.1-4 – In v.1 Moshe calls the heaven and the earth to bear witness to his admonition to Yisrael. Moshe knew that the Israel going into the land would not turn from Y’hovah en masse, nor even the generation that would follow, but that at least 1 future generation would, so he did not call anything else to witness than the things that would remain in that day to testify to Israel’s receipt of this message; Creation itself.
V.2 – How exactly would Moshe’s teachings drop as the rain and distill as the dew?
That ye may be the children of Avechem which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)
Precipitation is ubiquitous. Rain falls in the rainforests and the dew settles in the desert, there is no place on the earth that is not watered in some way. In that same way, Moshe’s words are ubiquitous; there is no place on earth where they are not heard, even if it is only through the general revelation of Y’hovah to all men. Everyone KNOWS that there is a Creator; even those who say it ain’t so; perhaps ESPECIALLY those who say it ain’t so. The saying is, ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’, and that is true. Even the most ungodly call out to him for his help when the chips are down and there is no other way out. Sforno tells us in Schottenstein’s Chumash, on page 204, the difference between the rain and the dew to B’nei Yisrael. This is the reason for the reading of the entire Torah during the Feast of Tabernacles in the year of release; that those who had received Torah as the dew during the 6 previous years might receive it as the rain in the 7th year, as they hear it and then talk of what they heard for the rest of the day. [There are 186 chapters in Torah and there are 8 days in Sukkoth, so 24 chapters the 1st and 5th days and 23 capters the rest of the days and you have read it through. Should take 1.5-2 hours to read aloud to the assembly.] Exactly WHEN is the year of release? I don’t know either. Perhaps we ought to read the Torah through EVERY year? You decide.
V.3 – Because the Torah is ubiquitous, when Moshe witnesses to the Name of Y’hovah in the rain and dew of Torah, we need to proclaim his greatness. When we do a Sabbath Service, we recite portions of the Amidah (the standing prayer) and Aleinu prayers. Here are a couple of excerpts, 1st from the Amidah in a Messianic synagogue:
Unto all generations will we proclaim Your greatness, and unto all eternity will we proclaim your holiness. Great and mighty is Y’hovah our Elohim, who in love gave us Messiah to atone for our sins.
And next from the Aleinu
It is necessary for us to praise the Master of all; to exalt the Creator of the world; for He has made us distinct from the nations and unique among the families of the earth. Our destiny is not like theirs. Our calling is our task.
We bow down* (<<this is said while bowing>>) and acknowledge before the King of Kings that there is none like Him. For he stretched forth the heavens like a tent and established the earth (YeshaYahu 51:13). Truly there is none like our Y’hovah and King.
As the Torah says, “You shall know this day and reflect in your heart that it is Y’hovah who is Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, there is none else. (Devarim 4.39)”
All the world’s inhabitants will recognize and know that to You every knee should bend, every tongue should swear (YeshaYahu 45:23). Before You Y’hovah our Elohim they will bend every knee and cast themselves down and to the glory of Your Name they will render homage and they will all accept upon themselves the yoke of Your kingship that You may reign over them soon and eternally.
For then shall the words be fulfilled, “Y’hovah shall be king forever” (Shemot 15:18) and “Y’hovah shall be king over all the earth; on that day shall there be one Y’hovah and His Name one.” (ZecharYahu 14:9)
When we get together to study his Torah, we need to proclaim his greatness. I think we do that every week here at FT.
V.4 is actually the end of the sentence from v.3. I think the KJV proofreaders sometimes applied punctuation while riding on the back of a mule with a short leg on the right front and another on the left rear. The period ending v.3 doesn’t belong there, nor do the opening words of v.4. It should read
2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3 Because I will publish the name of Y’hovah: ascribe ye greatness unto our Elohim, 4 the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: an Elohim of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
And just WHO is the Rock?
1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our Fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1Cor.10.1-4)
That Rock = Y’hovah Elohenu and that Rock = Moshiach, so as if a=b and a=c, then b=c and Y’hovah Elohenu is Moshiach. And so, Moshiach’s work is perfect (see note on v.4 in Chumash, pg.204), all his ways are judgment, his truth is without iniquity and he is both just and right in his judgment, which is to follow in vv.5-52. Q&C
Vv.5-9 – After Moshe acknowledged the rightness and perfection of Moshiach Y’hovah’s judgments, he began to show how Israel would descend into idolatry and wickedness, going their own ways and forsaking Y’hovah’s Way. He tells us that the corruption and wickedness in the world does not originate in Y’hovah, but in the hearts of men. Ohr haChaim says that when we act corruptly, it is our iniquity and we proclaim that we are not his children; but when we Fulfill Torah, he lovingly accepts us as his children – sort of like human parents will say, “Did you see what little Shlomo just did?” and the answer comes back, “Yep! That’s my boy!”
In this case, Moshe admonishes Israel about their iniquity and to guard against it. He says [Mark paraphrase], “Is this how you thank Y’hovah for all he’s done for you? Did he not redeem you from bondage? Did he not make you into a great nation and establish you as a people through the Egyptian exile and the Wilderness Adventure? Did he not deliver to you and your fathers the promise he made to Avraham? Recall your family and national history. He divided the earth to the nations of the earth according to the number of YOU as you went into Egypt. He honored Ya’acov’s 70 descendants before they were born by dividing the earth up into 70 primary nations, so that YOU could represent THEM to Him. He chose YOU as his personal inheritance, and this idolatry and iniquity is how you thank him!?” And the guilt trip had only begun! When Moshe told them to remember the days of old (v.7), he meant that their errors will repeat themselves if they keep on doing what they have always done – kind of like Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing as you have always done, but expecting a different result”; and Paul’s words in 1Cor.10.11
11 Now all these things happened unto them [Yisrael in the Wilderness Adventure] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come;
and as Shlomo said in Ecc.1.9
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9);
and in 3.15
15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and Elohim requireth that which is past.
We need to LEARN from our past mistakes, or they will just come up again. To get out of your rut, change your routine. To escape his curses and to garner Y’hovah’s blessings, change your ways.
Vv.10-14 – Speaking of Ya’acov, Moshe said that Y’hovah had found him in a ‘waste howling wilderness’. ‘Waste’ is from H8414, tohu. This is the same word used to describe what existed before Y’hovah’s initial creation in Gen.1.2 (1.1 is a thesis statement)
And the earth was without form (tohu), and void (v’bohu); and darkness was upon the face of the deep… (Genesis 1:2a&b)
Nothingness is the essential meaning of tohu. ‘Howling’ is from the root H3213, yalal, to howl (with a wailing tone). And ‘wilderness’ is from H3452, yeshimon, a solitary desolation. That ‘waste howling wilderness’ says to me that Ya’acov was spiritually so far off the Way of life that he was completely alone, crying out for deliverance to no one in particular and anyone who would help – he had reached the end of himself. And that is when Y’hovah began to use Ya’acov – when Ya’acov gave up: surrendered. And that was when Y’hovah took Ya’acov ‘under his wing’ (v.11).
I think the point in time to which Moshe referred was when Ya’acov wrestled w/the messenger [I think, with many rabbis, haSatan, Esav’s ‘guardian’] at the brook Jabbok.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’ thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. (Gen.32.24-27)
This was the truly transforming incident in Ya’acov’s life. He still didn’t live in the change for quite a while, but it was where he began to be more selfless and less selfish, AND when he became less afraid of the eventual outcome of the situations that presented in his life, specifically in his dealing with Esav the very next day. I think that had the messenger not ‘wrestled’ with Ya’acov the night before (and left him with a painful reminder), Esav would have killed Ya’acov when they met, as Esav had already purposed in his heart to do. This was when Y’hovah began to really prosper Ya’akov materially, not that he hadn’t done so before, but Ya’acov’s riches had come by his own initiative – selective breeding. Now, he was headed for his Abba’s home in Mamre. There was where everything he touched turned to his profit, as alluded to in the metaphors, honey and oil out of the Rock, the same one spoken of here in 32.4 AND in 1Cor.10, Moshiach. Q&C
Vv.15-29 – All the plenty that the nation of Israel experienced surely did exactly what Y’hovah had prophesied in ch.28-31, they got to thinking their blessing was their RIGHT; their DUE; and that it would never end (are you listening America?). Chumash has a good note on Yeshurun on pp.208. This is EXACTLY what has happened to these united States of America. If only Xian America had comprehended what we spoke of earlier, that what was written in Torah was ‘for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come’, we might have escaped what is about to befall the world system. But, alas, we did not. We did not believe, as Israel before us didn’t believe, that Y’hovah would judge us! Were we not conceived in the Liberty of our Moshiach? Were we not his children? Was not our national motto, “In God We Trust”? Unfortunately, we, like Israel before us, relied on our past successes and on the blessings that arose therefrom and we forsook the ‘ancient paths’, became complacent, and wandered to the right hand AND the left, depending on our own hearts’ leanings. We did not listen to Y’hovah’s warnings in Vayikra 26 or Devarim 28, and went after false gods. We thought and were taught, “God doesn’t work that way anymore. He will never judge a Xian the way he judged Israel. We’re bought by the blood of the Lamb!” Unfortunately, even if that is true, we STILL have to suffer the consequences of our actions; bear our iniquities in this life. The vulture of our national idolatry is coming home to roost, and he is VERY hungry.
We, meaning Israel in the land and American Xianity today, ‘lightly esteemed’ the Rock of our Salvation. The Xian will say, “Torah is done away with; it no longer applies to us.” Xianity largely claims to have replaced Israel. If that is true, this passage appertains:
14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; 15 But with that standeth here with us this day before Y’hovah Elohenu, and also with that not here with us this day: 16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; 17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:) 18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from Y’hovah Elohenu, to go serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; 19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: 20 Y’hovah will not spare him, but then the anger of Y’hovah and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and Y’hovah shall blot out his name from under heaven. Devarim (29.14-20)
If you replaced Israel, church, then YOU are included in that covenant and oath. If you are the ‘city set on a hill’ America, as your founders thought, then that applies to you, too. Y’hovah is serious about it. It is high time for national repentance, America. It is high time for personal repentance all you who name the Name of Y’hovah, Yeshua or even Jesus but who have gone your own way, perhaps following well-meaning men who were sincerely wrong. America is very close to her judgment and condemnation, but even at this late hour she can repent and turn back the wrath of our Master, in whom we PROFESS to trust. And if America will not repent as a nation, YOU individuals can still do it.
O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
‘Wise’ is the root chakam, from which is derived chochmah, wisdom. ‘Consider’ is the root biyn, from which is derived binah, understanding. ‘Understand’ is the root sakal, meaning to be circumspect. If one is wise, considering his ways and understanding how Y’hovah’s Word applies, he will be circumspect and see the possible outcomes. So, look at what Y’hovah says will occur if you turn away from him, and how he will deal with you. If you do not want that kind of misery in your life, turn back to the ‘ancient paths’ and observe to do Y’hovah’s Torah. Moshe tells us in this verse that it is Y’hovah’s will that we consider our latter end and take steps to avert the chastisement that he promises to his people if they pervert his Way.
Vv.30-35 – If we do not repent and return to the Rock of our Salvation, he will sell us into bondage until we DO repent. Count on it, folks. It’s a promise, and Y’hovah does not renege on his promises. How can one heathen chase 1000 ‘believers’, or two put 10,000 to flight? By us relying on another rock that is not our Rock, that’s how. Remember that a believer can be ‘in Moshiach’ and not be his talmid. Here is what Y’hovah has to say about this in YeshaYahu 1
7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and desolate [it], as overthrown by strangers. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except Y’hovah Tzavaoth had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of Y’hovah, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the Torah of Elohenu, ye people of Gomorrah. 11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith Y’hovah: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Y’hovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of Y’hovah hath spoken. [YeshaYahu 1.7-20]
‘Devoured with the sword’ speaks of physical death, not spiritual, so I think that those who are in Moshiach but are not learning of him will live their lives without reward and bear their iniquity; suffering the full consequences of their sins in the flesh. Q&C
Vv.36-43 (read through the end) – When Y’hovah judges his people, he will see that the ‘gods’ to whom they whored themselves have utterly abandoned them when they saw Y’hovah Tzavaoth personally enter the fray. They want nothing to do with Him. He’ll make the largest Nephil see himself as a grasshopper in comparison. Y’hovah will ask what had happened to the rock they’d build their house of cards upon. That rock had loved imbibing the blood of the offerings and drinking the wine libations, but ran with his tails between his legs when he saw Y’hovah Tzavaoth coming to fight for the ‘very small remnant’. Y’hovah actually talks ‘stuff’ to his people who went after other gods. “What happened to your homey? Did his mama call them for dinner? Did he suddenly remember that he had homework to do? Now, you look and see that I am Y’hovah, and there is no god beside me. I decide who lives and dies, not him. I allow disease and heal disease, not him. What were you THINKING!?!”
The idea of intoxication with blood is seen here in Y’hovah’s arrows (Ephraim? Zech.9.13). Is the woman riding the beast in Rev.17 a satanic counterfeit of verse 42? I do not think Ephraim gets drunk from drinking enemy blood, but I think we will be happily zealous in our service to Y’hovah Yeshua upon his return to deliver us from the evil that we had brought upon ourselves. I think that Y’hovah will offer peace to the individual enemy soldiers just before he unleashes Ephraim to take vengeance on their nations.
1 In that day Y’hovah with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. 2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 3 I Y’hovah do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 No fury in me: who would set the briers thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me. (Is.27.1-5)
Did you notice the change in number from v.4 to v.5? Those nations will be destroyed and condemned to destruction, but individuals FROM those nations shall enter the Shalom of his rest.
V.43 agrees with Is.27.1-5, that Y’hovah calls on the nations who have gathered against Yisrael/Zion, for whom he has come to fight, to rejoice WITH his people, for he has come to take vengeance against those nations who have fought and persecuted his people and caused them to suffer under their yoke of bondage. This is the last chance for the men of these ‘goat’ nations to turn to Y’hovah’s mercy and Shalom. And that is technically the end of “The Song of Moshe”. Cf. Ramban’s summary of the song in Chumash pp.216.
Vv.44-52 – Moshe is the one who actually ‘sang’ the song, but Hoshea was standing with Moshe as he told Yisrael what Y’hovah was going to do to and for his people. One reason Yehoshua stood with Moshe was that Y’hovah wanted him to be seen as his hand-chosen successor to Moshe as the leader of Yisrael and the prophetic mediator between Yisrael and Y’hovah. When Moshe concluded the song, he told Israel to set their heart on the words that Moshe had spoken that day – the restatement of Torah in Moshe’s own words and the song of warning to remain faithful to Y’hovah’s Torah – and to teach them to their children and admonish them to faithfulness. This word was their very life, if they remained faithful to it, and by guarding it in their lives they would prolong their days in the land into which they were going soon, to receive it in fulfillment of Y’hovah’s promise to Yisrael’s Abbas, Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov. I think it would be well to see the introduction to Devarim in Schottenstein’s Chumash’s notes on pg.2.
There are 3 references in Torah of the idea of the ‘selfsame day’; the 1st being that Avraham CCd his entire house on the very day that Y’hovah had commanded him to do so (he also CCd Yitzhak a year later, on the 8th day of his life – perhaps the 1st complete fulfillment of the command to CC male children on the 8th day); the 2nd being that Israel left Egypt on the same day that Y’hovah smote Egypt’s bikkurim, which just happened to be the 430th anniversary of Y’hovah’s promise of the land to Avraham and his seed (Ex.12.41&51, Gen. 17, esp. vv.21-23).
So, Y’hovah called Moshe to come up into the mountains of Aravim (on the east side of the Dead Sea and Yarden) to Mount Nebo so that he may see the entire Land of Promise at one time and then to die on that mountain and be ‘gathered to his fathers’, as Aharon had been a few weeks before. His sin at the 2nd Meribah rebellion of not sanctifying Y’hovah before Israel had been the catalyst for his exclusion from physically entering the Land. But his faithfulness at least got his physical eyes a complete picture of the inheritance. My opinion is that Moshe’s last sight was of the grandeur of Israel under Moshiach about 3500 years in his future, and the sight was what made his personal exile and death bearable. We’ll see the end of this day in Moshe’s life next week and the week after. Q&C
Ezekiel 17:22-24 – We looked at Ez.17.2-6 last week in our discussion of Psalm 144. The whole chapter is about the destruction of Babylon, which many of you know I apply metaphorically to America in these last days. Vv.22-24 seems to say that Y’hovah is going to take the great power of Babylon, led by whom I assume is referred to prophetically as ‘the Assyrian’, and will overthrow him and replace him with a ‘tender twig’ and plant that humble twig in the Mount of Elohim. This can only correspond in future history to one of the people of the nations that came up against Moshiach, who turned against his own nation and accepted Moshiach’s offer of Shalom. This may be a returning Ephraimite, or a ‘whosoever will’ of the nations. This, I think, will be the leader of the ‘sheep nations’ seen in Yeshua’s parable in
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Abba, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt.25.31-40)
Remember that trees signify nations, as the fig tree signifies Israel in unbelief and the olive tree signifies Yisrael in belief. Speaking of the fig tree, can you see the connection between Yeshua’s cursing the fig tree that signaled its fruit being ripe, but that had no figs for Yeshua to eat?
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! (Matt.21.18-20)
What follows is my discussion of this passage in my study of “The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach”.
184).Cursing the fig tree (Mat.21.18-22, Mk. 12-14, 20-26) – The fig trees in Yisrael have as many as 3 crops every year. The first crop is ready for harvest in July/August; the 2nd in Oct/Nov; and the third, if there is one, in Mar/Apr. The fig crop that sometimes comes in Spring is called ‘untimely’ because it is not a crop they rely upon. The untimely figs develop on the tree before the leaves, so it is reasonable to assume that if a fig tree has leaves in spring, it is ready to harvest.
This fig tree had all the trappings and appearance of being ready to harvest, but had no fruit. It pictured Israel’s ‘form of godliness’, but also it’s denial of the ‘power thereof’. We ought to take this lesson to heart in our own lives. Do we go through all the motions of playing ‘church’ but live after the flesh? When Yeshua comes to physically redeem and rule his Kingdom, will he find fruit on our tree? Will he find faith on the earth (Lk.18.8)?
No! The believers who saw the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Mat.24.15) will have departed the pattern in J’lem. The Jews that are left after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble that follows his appearing (and it will not be many) will call on Y’hovah for deliverance, but have no idea in whom they are relying until he actually steps foot on the Mount of Olives and they realize their sin in rejecting their Moshiach. After he redeems them anyway, despite their lifelong rejection of him and the time it took for them to call on him, they will exercise faith in their Moshiach ben David, who will rule them from David’s throne for 1000 years.
The fig tree withering in a day is illustrative of how quickly his judgment is visited on those who will not follow him. When I say quickly, I do not mean it will follow necessarily in rapid succession after the refusal to follow. Y’hovah is slow to act on his anger, allowing the vials to fill before pouring them out (Rev.15-16). The time it takes for the vials to fill is the time we have to repent and have peace with our Elohim. If we allow them to fill, there will be no room for any more wrath and the bowl will have to be poured out. This will be done immediately as the vial is filled to overflowing. This may take years in our reckoning. But when the judgment comes it will be sudden, quick and complete.
It is therefore obvious that Y’hovah’s wrath over the play-acting of the Jews was full. The Jews, like us, always – I repeat, ALWAYS – relied on their own righteousness, or a pagan god to get them through any scrape, and it was only when they saw that they could not prevail by their own wits or actions that they resorted to Y’hovah. Jer.14 & 15 are illustrative of this point. Y’hovah was tired of their play-acting, mouthing words of repentance while still harbouring their iniquities in their hearts.
In Ex.19-32 we see another illustration. There, Yisrael had accepted the covenant that Y’hovah offered. In the next few chapters they confirmed the covenant 2 more times. I would like you to notice that Ex.20-24 took place over a period of ONE DAY. Y’hovah had laid out the covenant requirements in Ex.19.3-6, to which Yisrael agreed in vv.7-8. Y’hovah then laid out the rules in Ex.20-23 and gave them a chance to rescind the covenant, but Yisrael accepted once again in 24.3. Then Moshe wrote down the covenant on paper and prepared a peace offering of blood of bullocks, placing 1/2 the blood in basins and 1/2 on the altar. Then he read the newly written book, Torah’s covenant, to Yisrael and gave them yet another opportunity at recision, but they agreed a third time. Well, as the saying goes, ‘Three’s a charm.’ That was when Moshe sprinkled the blood of the covenant on the people. Only then did the marriage supper commence. It took place on the plateau on the sides of Sinai, or possibly in the throneroom of heaven itself, on the sapphire sea as clear as glass (Rev.4.6), with Moshe, Aharon and his sons, and the elders of Yisrael (75 men, cf. Acts 7).
The Jews of Yeshua’s day (the leaders of the religion in J’lem) had filled the vial of Y’hovah’s wrath and the covenant they refused to follow was about to be renewed with Hebrews who would follow it, later to be joined by multitudes of Gentiles.
This is the covenant that was renewed in the blood of Yeshua. The covenant has not changed, it’s provisions are the same. We agreed to them when we yoked ourselves to Yeshua, when we decided to follow him and became his bride, as Yisrael had agreed to them when they decided to follow Y’hovah and became his bride.
Only after Yisrael had made the golden calf (Ex.32) was the trespass offering established, and that not for many days or months, for there was no trespass for which they could be guilty until after the covenant was established and subsequently broken. The sin offering was for unknown or inadvertent sins (Ex.29.14 – first mention, Lev.4.1-3 – definition) while the trespass offering was for knowing, presumptuous sins (Lev.5.5-6 – first mention & definition). The trespass offering is the basis of the ceremonial laws, the ordinances that were added as shadow pictures to lead them to a knowledge of Moshiach and the atonement he would provide. He is the fulfillment of the trespass offering, as well as the sin offering. This was the ‘law’ to which they were yoked, the one that was ‘added because of transgressions (trespasses) till the seed would come to whom the promise was made’ Gal.3.19. Once the seed of the woman, the seed of Avraham, came to fulfill the shadow-picture, the shadow was done away with and there is now no need of the sacrifice of bulls and goats to cover our transgressions (trespasses). In fact, resorting to the sacrificial system is now as wicked as it was for the people of Yehudah to resort to the pagan gods of the land (Jer.11) or for the gentile believers to resort to their pagan rituals, the ‘weak and beggarly elements’ of Gal.4.9 (in context). To resort to ceremony to cover our transgressions is to trample the blood of the covenant with which we’ve been sprinkled, the very blood of Yeshua, our Moshiach (Heb.10.29). The substance of which the ceremony was a shadow was completed in the atonement of our Saviour on the cross of Zion’s hill. It was truly ‘finished.’ Any sacrifice for atonement which is or has been offered since the murder of Yeshua is faithlessness, rank paganism and idolatry.
As the leaders of the religion in J’lem were shunted to a siding so that the faithful Netzarim (branches) could call their Ephraimite brethren out of the nations along with ‘whosoever will’, so will Moshiach ben David offer Shalom to the nations, even as they come against him to battle. Those who accept his offer will be set apart to him. Those who do not; Oh, well! Q&C
Psalm 146 – V. 1 says, הללו-יה הללי נפשי יהוה HalleluYah halleli naphshi Yhwh -You praise Yhwh while my soul praises Yhwh. The admonition is for us to praise Yhwh as a group and also the author’s personal commitment to praise Him. He says in v.2 that as long as he lives he will bring the proper praise and worship to his King. The root of the word translated ‘being’ is H5750 od, which is rooted in H5749 ood, to duplicate or repeat. He’s saying that as long as Yhwh continues to speak him into existence in this life, בעודי b’udi, “I will continue in”, אזמרה azamrah, making music of praise to Yhwh.
In v.3 the author says to not waste your time in trusting to men, when Yhwh is right there awaiting your request for his help. The man you want help from may croak the second after you ask, or even as the words are leaving your lips in v.4. Of what use is THAT!?
But if you rest your trust in Yhwh [v.5], he will ensure a happy outcome [even though you may not like the process], because [v.6] he made everything you see with the Words of his mouth, which are as faithful and true as He is. He will ensure that the oppressed will see His justice. Look at the references to the dispersed into exile in vv.7-9; the oppressed, the hungry, prisoners, the blind, the burdened; the tzadikim are His beloved in vv.7-8. He shamars the gerim, causes the orphan and the widow to be relieved of their need, but he makes the way of the wicked, rashim, twisted or contorted. Those [v.9] who would oppress the tzadikim will find it difficult to walk [or even find] their road to Avinu.
The psalm ends with a reiteration of the beginning. Yhwh, Zion’s Elohim, shall reign in the olam haba, which will be continuously expanding throughout all ‘generations’, which actually means through endless generations, each generation born in the olam haba will go on for eternity, as we have discussed countless times from
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of government and peace no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. [YeshaYahu 9.6-7]
Yochanan 17:1-26 – To get a little context, we ought to look at the final words of Yeshua before his prayer to Avinu;
24 … Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of Abba. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray Abba for you: 27 For Abba himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from Elohim. 28 I came forth from Abba, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to Abba. 29 His disciples [talmidim] said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from Elohim. 31 Yeshua answered them, Do ye now believe? 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because Abba is with me. 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Yochanan 16.24-33)
Next comes what OUGHT to be called “Y’hovah’s Prayer”. Here he is actually praying to glorify his Abba and for US, not laying out a template for prayer, like he gave us in Matt.6.
After that interaction with his talmidim, Yeshua lifted his eyes heavenward and prayed to his Abba in thanks for his power to fulfill his ministry, to glorify his Abba and for the tamlidim. Yeshua was about to cross Kidron and go up the Mount of Olives to the garden to pray and to be taken by the Temple guard for a kangaroo ‘Star Chamber’ trial. He knew that his time was short for life in that flesh he’d walked in for the last 30-something years. He asked first of all for the power to trust through the ordeal he was about to face, to bring glory to Y’hovah Avinu AS Abba had empowered him over all flesh and to garner and give eternal life for all who had trusted and who would trust him.
In v.5, Yeshua says something that just kills any argument that Yeshua never claimed to be Y’hovah. He asks to be returned to the glory he had with Abba in eternity past. Yochanan makes no bones about Yeshua being Y’hovah in the flesh; the verbiage is irrefutable. One may ask why he needs to make this supplication of Abba. In Philippians 2.4-8 Rav Sha’ul says
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let <<this<< mind [the mind of Moshiach in v.4] be in you, which was also in Moshiach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the tree.
This is a very deep, mystical teaching of the rabbis from WAY back. They call it “The Tzimtzum, or ‘contraction’, of the Ayn Sof. I am about to quote a kabbalistic text by Ramchal, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto entitled “138 Openings of Wisdom”, which is so deep I am unable to get much passed Opening 30.
“Opening 24 – the act of Tzimtzum
Note:The Hebrew word tzimtzum denotes the act of contraction, pressing, squeezing or forcing into a close confinement.
“In bringing back the creation as a work outside of Himself, the Eyn Sof, blessde be He, willfully set aside His limitlessness and adopted a path of limited action. This is called the Tzimtzum [contraction] of Eyh Sof, blessed be He.”
Yeshua, knowing that he was Y’hovah in the flesh, made a conscious decision to be exactly like you and me, giving up the independent use of his attributes as Y’hovah so that he could experience all that we experience, yet without sin (Heb.4.13), so that he could have a very real compassion for us, not just by intellectually ‘knowing’ what it is like, but by experientially knowing it. He has literally FELT what we feel and therefore KNOWS exactly what we go through and can identify with it. When Yeshua performed a miraculous act, he did so in complete submission to Ruach haKodesh and in Abba’s Name, not his own. He stayed in absolute submission to Ruach haKodesh right up to the moment of his death (which Y’hovah also experienced through Yeshua’s flesh).
Yeshua said he had ‘manifested’ Y’hovah’s Name to his talmidim. To ‘manifest’ Y’hovah’s Name, he had to reveal, demonstrate, prove or establish it. Yeshua not only USED Y’hovah’s Name, but he was the physical expression of it in time and space. His manifestation of Y’hovah’s Name was all the proof his talmidim needed to guard Y’hovah’s Word in their lives for they HAD been after Y’hovah’s heart before they ever laid eyes on Yeshua. They recognized how special a prophet he was immediately (largely due to Yochanan haMatbil’s witness in Yochanan 3) and came to recognize that he was who he claimed to be.
In v.9 Yeshua begins his pastoral prayer over them. He asks his Abba in light of the fact that he would be leaving the world and returning to him, to keep his talmidim through his Name and to make them one, as he and Abba are one. They had been kept by Yeshua, but now he was leaving and he asked Abba to keep them. He says that since they have heard Abba’s Word from him and believed it that the world hates them for the Word’s sake. So he does not pray that Y’hovah take them out of the world, but that he guard them while they are in it and protect them from being corrupted by it because they are not OF the world system any longer, any more then Yeshua was of it.
In V.17, he asks Abba to set them apart by and unto the truth of his Word because he was sending them out into the world as Abba had sent Yeshua into it. In v.20, Yeshua makes the same point that Moshe did in Devarim 29.10-20
10 Ye stand this day all of you before Y’hovah Elohecha; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, 11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: 12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with Y’hovah Elohenu, and into his oath, which Y’hovah Elohecha maketh with thee this day: 13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee an Elohim, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; 15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before Y’hovah Elohenu, and also with him that is not here with us this day: 16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; 17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:) 18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from Y’hovah Elohenu, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; 19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: 20 Y’hovah will not spare him, but then the anger of Y’hovah and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and Y’hovah shall blot out his name from under heaven.
Yeshua’s prayer, I think, had Moshe’s reasoning in it, that Abba guard his talmidim that they not go after other gods and have a root of bitterness spring up in their midst, or in the midst of their talmidim.
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of Elohim; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Hebrews 12:15)
Yeshua’s prayer is that his talmidim and theirs would all be one in and as Yeshua and his Abba are one. If you and I are one in Yeshua and Abba the world will know that Abba sent Yeshua into the world. So, shame on us for our factionalism that witnesses to the world that we are NOT wholeheartedly in Moshiach or in Abba. Our differences are obviously not due to differences between Abba and Yeshua. WE are not allowing Moshiach to live through us and to guide our lives or we would show a lot more compassion and forbearance with each other. And v.22 shows that it isn’t that Yeshua didn’t give us the unity or manifest it to us. It is the denominationalism and religious spirit that live in us that causes this. It is, I think, a leftover of the religious spirit that held (and holds) Rabbinic Judaism from taking Torah to the world; covetousness making that which was supposed to make us holy into that which merely makes us different. This spirit is rampant in the body of Moshiach, whether it is in Xians, Jews or Notzrim. Why would they WANT to be a part of something so contentious that masquerades as a part of the Creator’s plan to draw all to himself?
In v24, Yeshua makes another open statement of his eternal oneness with Abba. “That they may be with me where I am” has at least 2 applications; 1) that we may be in him spiritually from the moment he said it and 2) that we be physically together with him in the Nesuin portion of the marriage, which has a prophetic fulfillment in history – to us it is future history while to Y’hovah Yeshua it’s all the same; we look forward to it and he already lives in it and has forever. It shows that Yeshua is conscious of his inherent eternality of Ruach, and that he, as Y’hovah, is transcendent of the world. Then in vv.25-26 Yeshua says that the world doesn’t know Abba, but that Yeshua has, and that the love with which Abba loves Yeshua is the same love with which Yeshua loves his talmidim.
Making one’s Name known is another concept that is wrought with various shades of meaning. To make Y’hovah’s Name, Y’hovah, known was different enough for the time. But to make known the mysteries of Y’hovah to mere mortals was another thing, and that is what Yeshua did with his talmidim. All the kingdom parables had some aspect of the Name of Y’hovah revealed within it. For instance, when Yeshua revealed an aspect of the Malchut l’Y’hovah, he revealed something about Y’hovah’s character, which is one meaning of the phrase, ‘in the Name of’; and each Kingdom parable revealed another aspect of Y’hovah’s power over everything. These are just 2 of the things to look for in Yeshua’s parables. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study