March 22, 2014 Shabbat Bible Study
©2014 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Numbers 19:1-22 – Ezekiel 36:16-38 – no Psalm – 1 John 1:1-10
Num.19.1- – The Red Heifer is an interesting part of the Yisraelite religion. There is a good intro to this passage in the Chumash today, on pg. 838. Y’hovah told Moshe and Aharon to have Israel bring them a red heifer, without spot or blemish that had never had a yoke on its neck. The Messianic imagery is abundant; red = adom, signifying a man or a son of Adam; without spot = sinless; without blemish = faultless; never having yoke = not being a slave or under a yoke of bondage – all in reference to Moshiach.
The Hebrew word for ‘heifer’ is פרה parah. If you move the letter ‘hey’ from last to first, the word becomes הפר heifer. Adom is the word ‘dom’, blood, added to the letter aleph, which signifies first, chief or strength. So it means the chief blood or the first blood. The red heifer signified the blood of the firstborn of creation and the firstborn of the dead, Moshiach Yeshua. He had to be without spot, which speaks of the sinless Moshiach Yeshua. He had to be without blemish or faultless, which was the pronouncement of the high priest’s substitute that Pesach – Pilate, who on at least 4 occasions declared there to be no fault in Yeshua (Lk.23.4, Jn.18.38, 19.4&6). He had never been subjected to anyone save his father (Ps.40.7-8), though he has a yoke that he wishes to yoke US to (Mat.11.29-30), so that when we are yoked to him, he takes all the load on himself.
The rabbis say that Aharon didn’t get to do the service of the red heifer because he was the instrument that gave service to Apis and Hathor (“these be thy Elohims, Israel”) at the foot of Horeb. Aharon determined the eligibility of the heifer, and then was to take it to his son to slaughter and burn to ashes. They took the animal outside the camp to slaughter and burn, as the Moshiach was taken without the camp (J’lem) to be crucified.
There are those who say that Yeshua must have been crucified on the Mount of Olives, but I don’t see that as being necessarily true, (though it may be). It was the tradition in Jerusalem to kill and burn the Red Heifer on the Mount of Olives, but that is not the Torah command. Torah says outside the camp (or the city, once they’d taken it). But “a tradition does not a Torah mitzvah make.” There are those who say it must have been there, because there is no way to see the veil rend from the traditional site, which lies just outside the city walls. But there is no Torah that makes that a requisite, either, and the gospel account of the veil rending doesn’t say that the spectators at the tree saw it – only that it happened. The nearest thing to saying it is Matthew’s gospel that begins with the word “behold”. What it does NOT say is, “They beheld, and”. Yochanan had contacts within the high priest’s house, perhaps Nicodemus (?), who could have told him all that transpired in the Holy place that day at the evening offering. And what makes anyone think that the people on Olives would have seen the veil rend anyway? It is a couple of hundred meters as the crow flies from the one to the other, and the veil of the Holy of Holies was behind at least one other veil. So, while the death of Yeshua MAY have been on the Mount of Olives, it isn’t necessarily true. In fact, as far as I can see, it is only the tradition of killing the Red Heifer there that even makes the possibility exist. If there were a COMMANDMENT to kill the red heifer on the mount across the Kidron Valley that would be different. And just one more possible disqualifier – if Yeshua was crucified on the Mount of Olives, then how did the Akeida, the whole Gen.22 thing, prophesy of Yeshua?
The kohen, the man who gathered the ashes, all who took part in the burning of the heifer would have to rachats – wash by laving, wash (kavas – to stamp or fuller) his clothes and remain unclean until the evening offering. There are 5 mentions (grace) of washing (kavasing) one’s clothes in this chapter, which brings to mind Exodus 19, where the people were to wash (kavas) their clothes in preparation to receive Torah from Y’hovah, and Rev.7.14 where men washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (not given linen clothes, white and clean, as in ch.6).
As the rabbis say, the ashes that mix with water to purify a defiled man, defiled the men who offered the animal. If a man defiled himself with a dead body and neglected to purify himself with the water of purification on the third day, he would not be clean on the 7th day, and if he then went into the Tabernacle or Temple and defiled it, he was to be cut off from Israel – even if he mikvah’d 5 times a day, there could be no approach to Y’hovah without being sprinkled with this red heifer/cedar/hyssop/scarlet ash treated water on the 3rd day. I think this speaks of people who look pretty good to the kahal’s eyes, but weren’t sprinkled on the 3rd day (resurrection?) with the water of purification, that they would not be clean on the 7th day and would defile the tabernacle/Temple. There had to have been water of purification all over the land, or there would soon be a LOT of defiled people who could not go up to the Temple to offer freewill or sin offerings. Could this be saying that if you weren’t cleansed by the sprinkling of the water of the Word (Yeshua as the red heifer), you will not be allowed to enter the Sabbath Millennium and it’s Temple? The analogy isn’t perfect, but think of the Bride in Eph.5:
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Moshiach also loved the kahal, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious congregation, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Paul may have been making the analogy to the red heifer in those verses. Num.19.17 speaks of ‘running water’ (KJV) and ‘spring water’ (Stone’s Tanakh), but the Hebrew is mayim chayim- מים חאיים – living water (Jn.4.10-11, 7.38). The living water is added to the ashes in a vessel, not vice versa. The ashes are mikvah’d in mayim chayim. Cf.Mat.20.
22 But Yeshua answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Yeshua gave his life for the purification of men who were genetically in contact with the dead all the time. He is the living water that is added to the ashes of the red heifer in a vessel – his own body, of which we are each a member.
Vv.21-22 tell us that if anyone touched the water of purification for any purpose OTHER than for purification, he was unclean until the evening offering. If he transported it from one table to another and touched the water or just spilled it without getting any on him, he was contaminated until the next Ma’ariv. This water of purification was some heavy-duty stuff. It was not to be taken lightly or thought to be common in any way. There have been at least 2 red heifers bred in the last 20 years, but after initially qualifying, the kohanim found more than 1 non-red hair, which disqualified them. Keeping a yoke off a possible qualifier is the easy part, it’s the inspection and pronouncement that it is absolutely red that is the hard part, because THAT, even with all our genetic manipulations and effort, only Y’hovah can do or allow us to do.
There is a Xian ministry that has been breeding red cattle and sending them to Israel for the last 15 years or so, but the announcement of even just 1 perfect red heifer has eluded them. There is a website where you can go and see a picture of what looks like a pretty darned red cow, http://www.templemount.org/heifer.html , about 1/2 way down the page. Q&C
Ezekiel 36.16-17 – This prophecy deals with US – Ephraim/10-Israel. Application can be made to Yehudah, but it is primarily to US. While Yehudah went her own way, she also made periodic reversals and followed after Avinu about ½ the time, anyway. The description in the 1st half of this prophecy never mentions chol Yisrael or Beit Ya’acov, but Beit Israel, which is specific (I think) to the 10 tribes of the north.
Reference to the ‘removed woman’ in v.17 brings to mind the woman with the 12-year issue of blood in Mk.5.25-34. In Lev.12 (read it) we see what kind of issue this was. That woman had borne a child or entered into her menses 12 years previous and had never stopped bleeding. This is confirmed in Lev.15
25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean. 26 Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. 27 And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the even. 28 But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 30 And the priest shall offer the one a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before Y’hovah for the issue of her uncleanness. 31 Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them. (Lev.15.25-31)
As long as she was issuing, she had to live apart from her husband, or make him unclean, as well. There had to be separate chairs and bed just for her. There is a Jewish tradition that there was a special ‘red tent’ into which a woman with an issue moved until her issue was over.
In our modern culture, where feminism is always in the back of our minds, we may think that this was the chauvinistic ranting of a rabbi, but the commandment comes directly from Y’hovah. It doesn’t make rational sense to us, any more than did the red heifer and the stuff surrounding it on a physical level. Why would a woman be made unclean for something that she has no choice in doing? Niddah is niddah and, with exceptionally few exceptions, is the natural plight of every woman of child-bearing age. So why is she made tameh for something utterly beyond her control? Why is anyone who touches the water of purification made tameh by that which is sprinkled on him to make him Tamiym? Because it is commanded by Y’hovah is the only answer there is. It makes no rational sense if looked at by itself. This is the very definition of a chuk.
In the case of niddah, I think I understand. The woman is declared unclean when her flower begins and remains so for 7 days after it ends. The ‘flower’ begins on the first day of her cycle and lasts (usually) 7 days. She then mikvah’s and in 7 more days, she is clean – right in the middle of her most fertile time of month and when she and her husband are missing each other very badly. If those facts are combined with Y’hovah’s instruction to Adam and Chavah to “be fruitful and multiply”, you see the purpose. In the case of the water for purification, I think I understand, as well. If you just grab up the water carelessly, you may spill it, and that would be holding the life of that red heifer as a common thing, as well. And THAT would portray the Messianic believer in Yeshua as holding the blood of his covenant as a common or unclean thing. That cow gave its life so that we could approach unto Y’hovah at the next evening offering. Yeshua gave his life so that we could have immediate access to the Throne of Grace without the need of any other offering except sincere repentance. Q&C
Vv.18-38 – I think v.18 refers specifically to the red heifer, and I think 10-Israel had taken to doing their own thing at the pillars, groves and pagan altars they erected and then IF they decided to celebrate a Feast of Y’hovah or a Shabbat they’d just get sprinkled with some red-heifer water. If what I’m thinking is true, they’d have had to slaughter any number of the poor critters every year. And it is obvious, if it’s true, that they truly despised the life of the animals they killed on their altars of convenience. And Y’hovah was righteously ticked. V.19 proves it was 10-Israel and not Yehudah, which stayed pretty close to Babylon, at least at first, but Israel assimilated almost immediately and were dispersed throughout the nations of the known world. In fact, those who would become first the Khazars, and later the Ashkenazi Yehudi were possibly descendants of 10-Israeli who after generations away from the land accepted the Yehudi faith that they were taught by the rabbis who had left the Caliphate and Byzantine empires to escape persecution. V.20 is referenced in Rom.2.24. V.20 also confirms that Beit Israel means 10-Israel in that ‘whither they went they profaned my set-apart Name.’ That particular problem is mentioned again in v.21 and again in 22. Despite the fact that we have made his Name a common and profane thing, he is going to take pity on us – not for our sakes, but for the sake of his Name. Since we wouldn’t do it, in v.23 HE will sanctify his set-apart Name, so the heathen will know that HE is Y’hovah when we finally sanctify him in their sight.
When does it say that we sanctify him in their sight? V.24 says when we are gathered to him from all countries and placed in our land. After he’s brought us out from the 4 corners of the earth and every nation under heaven to our own land, THEN he will sprinkle us with the water of purification, being cleansed of all the filthiness and idolatry.
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Yeshua, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And an high priest over the house of Elohim; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10)
There is a progression shown in vv.26-27. After we’ve been 1) sprinkled and washed in the water of purification, he 2) gives us a new heart of flesh on which to write his Word, 3) he gives us his own Spirit to 4) enable us to walk in his way to do his statutes and judgments. Is this not what Yeshua promised his talmidim in Jn.16.13
when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew unto you.
Beginning in v.28, Y’hovah renews the Covenant he made with us at Sinai and restates all the promises he made then; the land will be ours, it will bring forth it’s fruit abundantly, and the heathen round about us will NOT speak against us for fear of our Y’hovah. When we are repented and confessed up to date, he begins to fill us with knowledge of him. When we come to grips with just how wicked we had become and return to Torah, we will hate ourselves and rejoice in the new man, heart and spirit he will have given us.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Moshiach. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Moshiach Yeshua my Master: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung, that I may win Moshiach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Moshiach, the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Moshiach Yeshua. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended but one thing; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Moshiach Yeshua. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, Elohim shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3.7-15)
While we are ashamed of what we were before Y’hovah recalled us out of the world, Y’hovah reminds us that he didn’t call us out for us, but so that the heathen would know that he is Y’hovah and that we SHOULD be ashamed of how we went our own ways.
Vv.34-35 have been partially fulfilled in modern Israel, but will find greater fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom. The Amalekite Plishtim want the land back because of what Israel has done with it, how fruitful it is under Israel’s care. They think that Y’hovah will continue to smile on the land when they take it over – like happened in Gaza. NOT! All the heathen will see for themselves that Allah is false and has no power, because everything the Amalekite Plishtim touch turns back to wilderness in a matter of weeks or months, while everything Israel touches blossoms like a rose. They can make the stones blossom, because Y’hovah is blessing them. Even the waste cities of Israel will be like J’lem at Feast times. J’lem gets pretty full at Feast times, and the whole nation will be like that ALL the time. The Feasts are solemn, but they are joyous. And they are joyous because Y’hovah is there. Q&C
1Yochanan 1.1-10 – Yochanan puts his own imprint on this letter immediately by saying ‘the beginning’ – B’reishith, as he did when he opened his besorah, ‘gospel’. The Aramaic primacy of Yochanan’s writings is very apparent, as Andrew Gabriel Roth makes abundantly clear in note 2 (on pg.650) of the Aramaic-English New Testament. The Word of Life is none other than Moshiach Yeshua, as Yochanan has pointed out both here and in his witness to the good news by which we know that we can be made partakers of the Shema and made one with Avinu through the shed blood of our Moshiach Yeshua. Yochanan tells us in v.2 that the eternal life of Yeshua was with Avinu and manifested in Moshiach to Yochanan and the other Shaliachim (is that right?), Peter, James, Sha’ul, etc – the ‘we’ of v.1. It looks as if Yochanan was writing for a group, or perhaps that what he wrote was checked or approved by a group, even as was the letter sent from Yerushalayim to the kahalim in the nations in Acts.15.19-28. Perhaps it was the same group of zechanim and shaliachim. The fellowship Yochanan refers to is the outworking of the echad nature of Y’hovah, the ultimate goal of our halacha, and the ultimate truth of the gospel – Y’hovah wants us to be echad with him, and has made the way himself in the life of Moshiach Yeshua (Gen.22.8 KJV). And even at that, the revelation that Yochanan had was only a small part of all there is to understand about our Master Yeshua haMoshiach. He said what we understand OF him, which tells me Yochanan knew he’d merely scratched the surface of the Truth that will unfold to us when we see him as he is.
Yochanan just loved the account of Creation, it seems, because he is always alluding to it. Here he goes to the first thing Y’hovah created ex nihilo – light. In fact, it CAN be said to be the ONLY thing he formed ex nihilo, if you want to, because it can be shown via Einstein’s famous equation e = mc2, that all matter is a condensation of light energy. To show this in reverse, think of nuclear fission, where a hydrogen atom is split in two by a charged neutron. The original atom has a known mass, or weight. When the atom is split in 2, the weight of the 2 resulting atoms is slightly less than the weight of the original. The difference is the radiated energy that is used to heat the water into steam to drive the turbines for electrical generation, or to sustain the reaction in an explosion. All radiation is light in motion, whether that light is visible or not. The visible spectrum is a very tiny fraction of the total light spectrum. And what does Yochanan say in v.5? Elohim is light and in him is no darkness at all. IOW, Elohim is the full spectrum of light. He makes everything manifest by his light, both in a physical and in a metaphorical sense. If we have no physical light, we are blind – in the dark. If we have no spiritual light, we cannot comprehend Y’hovah’s truth and our hearts are full of darkness. When his spirit is at work in us, we are able to ‘see’ or understand things in his Word that may not be apparent in the words written on the page, as I think I have with some of the inferences I’ve drawn in our Studies of his Toroth. That is not to say that light is Elohim, for it certainly is not. But when he formed light, he was manifesting and explaining himself in a way that we could understand, and by his light we can ‘see’ his truth. Look at Is.45.7;
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Y’hovah do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)
When he said he ‘formed’ light, he was saying that he gave it shape, as it were, or made it so it would be apparent to the matter he would shape from it, and as a consequence something came to be that had never existed before – darkness, or the absence of light. Before he ‘condensed’ the light into physical matter, there was no darkness because there was nothing physical to get in the way of the light to cast a shadow. As we remove our man-made traditions and dogmas from our thinking, it allows the light of his Truth to shine into us, through us and out from us.
In v.6 remember that fellowship with him is oneness with him, we internalize his Word in us and begin to let the Light of his Word shine through us. But if we walk in darkness, don’t do what his Word says (starve our inclination to good) OR do what his Word forbids (feed our inclination to evil), we make ourselves liars and prove that the truth has no place in us. I used to think this was right – that it didn’t matter how I lived my life, as long as I’d said the ‘sinner’s prayer’, I was going to be in the Kingdom. Look at how v.8 amplifies v.6. If we say our sins are gone, but have our halacha in darkness, we lie to ourselves and really care nothing for the truth. But even worse is how v.10 amplifies 6&8. If we say that we haven’t sinned we make HIM a liar, and the truth isn’t a part of us.
But if we walk in the spiritual light of his Word of Truth, as he IS that light, we will be echad with each other as Moshiach and his Abba are echad, and we will also be echad with Y’hovah. And that Word of Truth will enlighten our minds to any sin in our lives so that we can repent of it and confess it to Avinu, applying Moshiach Yeshua’s blood to it, washing it away as with the water of purification so we can get back to living in his True Light, and reenter the camp. Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study