Shabbat Bible Study for 31 August 2019
©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 1 Sabbath 22
Genesis 24:42-67 – Isaiah 12:3-14:2 – Psalm 20 – James 4:13-17
Genesis 24:42-60 – Elazar, the servant is so excited over how Y’hovah has blessed his mission that he can’t wait to tell about it. So Lavan, ever mindful of the need to not offend this bearer of valuable stuff, allows him to speak (though I am relatively certain it miffed him to have to do so). The servant dove right in. The first words probably disappointed Lavan some, since he’d just washed the feet of a servant and his servants and was not entertaining the master. But the next sentence may have brightened him up some, for now he knew that this was the elder servant of his uncle Avraham who had become quite RICH, perhaps the richest man in the world, in Canaan. I suspect that he became even happier when he found out that this servant’s mission was to find a wife for Yitzhak, and that Rivkah had become the object of the man’s mission. I think he was angling for a piece of the Bride price. Let’s try to remember this about Lavan when Ya’acov comes around 80 or so years from now to find his own Bride and visits Uncle Lavan. Uncle Lavan will STILL be looking for a freebie and will work all manner of subterfuge to get Ya’acov to stay around and bless him and his properties.
When the servant finished the story, there was no denying that Y’hovah had answered his prayer (as there is no denying that he also answered all y’all’s prayers for me) and I suspect that the selfless character of Rivkah was beginning to grate on their nerves, so they said in effect, “Take her and good riddance. Her righteousness is a bother to us. Now, at least we know why she was late getting back with the water tonight.” The way they said, ‘Take her and go’ gives me the impression they didn’t want the servant around much, either. But next morning they all tried to get him to stay 10 days longer (Chumash’s x-lation says a year or ten months) so they could squeeze him of all the valuables in his possession. The servant had by now understood the less than sterling character of these people. He begged off staying any longer, as he understood that this was more than just an assignment to find Yitzhak a wife. It was also a rescue mission to redeem Rivkah out of her bondage to the worldly family of which she was a part. Vv.57-58 tell me the truth of this. She could not wait to get away. Her one word [aylaych – Hebrew, “I will go”] answer to their question shows me that she could not wait to get away; she wasn’t wasting any more breath than necessary. It was not that she didn’t love her family; she just knew that if she stayed with them she might become like them in character. And she knew that her family was trying to bleed the servant for all he had. After her answer, they seem in v.59 to have just thrown her out. Their blessing that she become the aimah of thousands of millions has come true by way of the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles. Meanwhile, with all that Rivkah was taking with her, the servant probably had to leave quite a bit of stuff behind, so Bethuel, his wife and Lavan all still profited from the deal. Q&C
Vv.61-67– The servant, remember, [representing Ruach haKodesh], had narrated to Bethuel and his family [representing the world system] the circumstances of his arrival at their home. In his narrative he arrived at the well just at the time the women are coming to draw for the evening’s needs. He told of his ‘laying out his fleece’ and approaching the most beautiful virgin of the bunch. The woman he chose to speak to was Rivkah [representing chol Yisrael – all believers of all time]. He told of how he asked Rivkah for water to drink and her unhesitatingly lowering her vessel so he [and, I assume his servants] could drink and, after or as they drank, that she offered to water all his camels, too; fulfilling the fleece that he’d laid out and proving to his whole audience that Y’hovah had provided all in answer to his prayer. The attitude of the servant and of Rivkah stood out in marked contrast to those of her family, IMO. Eliezer and Rivkah are all about service to Y’hovah through their service to others, while her family seems all about what they can take others for. Do you notice that in Charan at this time there were 2 servants of Y’hovah, 2 Yisraelites; Eliezer and Rivkah [and possibly some or all of Eliezer’s servants]?
The servant had by now understood the less than sterling character of these people and why Avraham left them behind. He begged off staying any longer, as he understood that this was more than just an assignment to find Yitzhak a wife; it was also a rescue mission to redeem Rivkah out of her bondage to the worldly family of which she was a part. After her answer, they seem in v.59 to have just thrown her out. Their [I think] LESS than heartfelt blessing that she become the ima of thousands of millions has come true by way of the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles. Meanwhile, with all that Rivkah was taking with her, the servant probably had to leave quite a bit of stuff behind, so Bethuel, his wife and Laban all still profited from the deal.
Rivkah had never seen her bridegroom, but on the word of his representative she left all she knew, as had Avraham, to go to another country. This is like chol Yisrael, who have left all for the promise from Ruach haKodesh of a waiting bridegroom, Mashiyach Yeshua. Yitzhak came from his home at Beer La Chai Roi [the well of the Life (or Living One) who sees] in the south to meditate on Y’hovah’s Word, which IS the well of the Water of Life.
Yeshua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Those direct objects in Yochanan 14.6 refer to the Word of Y’hovah, the very Word of Life. Yitzhak was immersed in the Word when Rivkah first appeared in the distance. Yeshua will be performing the Word when we first appear in the distance at the leading of Ruach haKodesh to gather to the land from all the nations of the earth. When Yitzhak looked up, he saw the caravan coming from Charan. At the same moment, Rivkah looked up and saw Yitzhak coming toward them (can you hear the dramatic music in the background?). When she asked the servant who this man was and found that he was her bridegroom, she lighted off her camel and covered herself with a veil. This pictures Yeshua coming in clouds and his Bride making herself ready to meet him. He is our covering, as a man is his wife’s and daughter’s covering. That Yitzhak took her to his mother’s tent pictures the resurrection, in that Sarah was dead and is raised in type by Rivkah taking her place. This also pictures the acceptance of the engrafted branches into the vine/olive tree. Q&C
YeshaYahu 12:3-14:2 – Is.12.3-6 – Read the whole chapter. [V.2 has a double use of the covenant Name of Y’hovah – Yah Y’hovah. I think the Name ‘Yah’ is a contraction or diminutive of Y’hovah in the same way that Yeshua is a diminutive of Yehoshua. I do not consider that to mean that the Names of Y’hovah or Yeshua must necessarily begin with the diminutive pronunciation, Yah, though I don’t see a problem with using it that way. If that is your belief, that’s wonderful – have at it. It is not mine. Please do not condemn me because we have a minor disagreement over this issue.] V.3 looks like Rivkah joyfully drawing water for the servant and his camels. Vv.4-6 looks like the servant praising Yah for the immediate and specific answer to his prayer for Yitzhak’s bride. This is chol Yisrael [Rivkah] singing the praises of the Holy One of Yisrael [Y’hovah Yeshua] for his deliverance by the mighty power of his Name [Yah Y’hovah]. That his power and deeds are known in the earth tells me the timing of this is either Armageddon or the Messianic Kingdom.
Is.13.1-2 – Babylon fulfilled this prophecy partially soon after Isaiah’s vision. But in these days, it is more likely the US, UN, EU, Israel or all the above. Babylon is prophetically the world’s system, not just a physical nation.
My question is this, Is Babylon the conqueror or the conquered? The high mountain (v.2) is Jerusalem, where Babylon is to raise her banner by way of a political agreement. I see this as the agreement to divide Jerusalem [and this really COULD be wrong], allowing the Plishtim (Philistine/Palestinian) Canaanites to dwell in J’lem and raise their flag – J’lem as the Plishtim capital city. It will be a day of celebration among the pagans and the Israelis because hostilities are ostensibly ended. People will be crying, “Peace! Peace!” But there is no real shalom. (Jer.6.14, 8.11) Babylon will be the ‘keeper of the peace’, so-called. Of course, those who know scripture also know better.
V.3-5 speaks of Babylon as Y’hovah’s ‘set-apart ones’, for they are his mighty tool to bring about his plan. He’s called them for his anger. In v.4 Y’hovah brings a multitude to challenge the brokered (forced) ‘peace’. I think this is Russia and/or China, along with the Arab nations that were left out of the final deal. They will come up against the combined forces of the US and Israel (perhaps the EU/UN also), IMO. They are coming as the weapons of Y’hovah against those who divided his land and Jerusalem. Y’hovah regularly uses the nations to judge both his people and any others he wants to influence to repent.
In Vv.6-8 – This is a tribulation event – possibly the end of the tribulation, and all it will take to happen is for someone to force the sides to talk. Sound familiar? Like in the recent news? It will take some time to work up the nations’ indignation and gather all their armies together. It may even take some time for the individual nations to conclude that it is in their interest to attack Syria and then Israel and the US/EU/UN peacekeepers. When they do, the destruction will be so quick as to astonish them all. ‘Their faces [shall be as] flames’ translates more exactly as ‘their faces gleam, like a flash’ – nuclear weapons used?
Vv.9-13 – It isn’t Y’hovah who directly does all this to haAretz, but the nations of the world. They (an intermediate fulfillment of Gog u’Magog? The Northern/Eastern coalition of Russia/China/Iran/Syria?) will be using nukes against the Western coalition (US/UN/Mos Bro’hood?), and probably getting nuked back. Usually ‘the land’, haAretz, means Israel, but it can also mean the earth. This could become WWIII [Ps.83?]. The smoke and dust will be dragged into the upper atmosphere and block out the light of the stars and the moon, and will darken the light of the sun (v.10). Yah could also use volcanic activity, either by itself or in conjunction with nukes to do this. V.12 says he’ll make a man [adam] scarce on earth. IOW, few males left because of the war against eretz Israel. Have you ever seen the movie The Postman? Kevin Costner in a post Armageddon thriller? In it, Costner’s character is recruited by a married couple to father a child for them because the war’s radiation has sterilized the young husband. Could that be the scenario in Israel and the surrounding nations, or may this trigger a worldwide exchange? In v.13, the earth is moved from its place. The mechanism could be the same as the darkness – nuclear explosions in conjunction with some natural phenomenon (an asteroid strike or something else) could cause the earth to shift its position in relation to the sun or just cause a pole shift or change in tilt on the axis. Will the earth actually move closer to the sun in its orbit, and the heat/radiation become enough to do this? Rev.16.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of Eloha, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. Q&C
Vv.14-16 – The ‘it’ in v.14 is the earth. IT is like a ‘chased roe’ – it will run away like a deer being stalked or shot at. When the earth moves away from whatever it’s running from, the soldiers will all likewise run for home, possibly to die with their loved ones, rather than on the battlefield for their political masters. But their masters will not like the deserters in their desertion and will hunt them down to kill them (v.15), while those who do NOT desert will be killed by the sword in battle. And when the masters find the deserters, the masters will kill them only after the deserters have witnessed their family’s destruction. Like what Tzedekiah got to endure; his last sight on earth will be to watch his children killed and his wife raped before his eyes just before his eyes are put out.
Vv.17-19 – Who are the Medes? They are the people who immediately fulfilled this prophecy in YeshaYahu’s times – they were what is now northwestern Iran/northern Iraq and Syria and a bit of southeastern Turkey [Kurdistan]. The ultimate fulfillment is yet future, and the pieces seem to be being put in their places and the end game about to be sprung. When it is, latter day Babylon will be made as Sodom and Gamorrah – burnt until there is no fuel left to burn. It will approximate in human weaponry terms what I believe the Lake of Fire will be 1000 years later – complete destruction by thermonuclear fission. The difference is THIS will be by human weaponry, while THAT will be by Y’hovah removing his sustaining Word. Yeshua will cease to speak his creative Word and the atoms will simply cease to defy the laws of electromagnetic physics – the nuclii will fly apart and the electrons will be attracted naturally to the protons and all electrically charged particles will cancel each other out. There will be total annihilation, literally in a matter of moments – atomic moments. That’s the time it takes a hydrogen electron to travel around the hydrogen nucleus – WAY less than a second.
Our MarYah is merciful, even in judgment.
Vv.20-22 – Billy Graham once said (or was it his father-in-law) that if Elohim didn’t judge San Francisco, he owed Sodom and Gamorrah an apology. Well, guess what? He won’t stop at San Francisco. He’s going to make end time Babylon (the US) uninhabitable, noone will live here in the Millennium. It will go entirely wild. The Babylon of history has been more or less uninhabited since its destruction 2500 years ago. End time Babylon will be so marvelously destroyed and irradiated that no man will be able to live here. I can only imagine the genetic defects/mutations that will ensue. And this part of the earth will NOT be healed by MarYah. Isn’t it wonderful that Y’hovah set his world up like this, with the land of end-time Babylon separated from the rest of the nations by vast oceans? IMO and if I am right, The glow of the continental US will be astonishing.
14.1-2 – MAN! Does v.1 sound like 2 houses + whosoever will! It looks to me like the Israelites; the whole house of Ya’acov, will have the whosoevers as servants? Those who had oppressed Zion will be servants in Zion, and they will enter into Zion willingly AS servants. The people of Y’hovah will take their oppressors in when they ask for their lives, and will make them servants under Torah’s (Yeshua’s) protection. Sounds a little like dhimmitude. IOW, they will not oppress them as they had been oppressed, but will treat them equitably under Torah; unlike dhimmis under Koran. Servants who are NOT believers are to rest on Shabbat, as well as the b’nei b’rith. They are to be judged equitably under Torah, as well. These will be bond-servants, who ask to be made such because it is better for them to live as servants under Torah than to die.
This is spoken of again in ch.27.4-5;
4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
The choice seems entirely theirs. I think Yeshua, when he arrives to destroy the forces of the world system will offer peace to anyone who will make peace with him. Most will turn him down, but some will accept his offer. And these are the ones who will gladly be servants in Zion. Q&C
Psalm 20 – This psalm absolutely fits with the haftarah portion. As we saw the remnant called home to the land in YeshaYahu 13-14, perhaps to witness the Master offer shalom to the nations gathered against him both corporately and individually, and SOME of the individuals accept and be delivered from the destruction that he will meet out coolly and systematically without any anger or vitriol [anger and vitriol was poured out in the Days of Awe leading up to this final Yom Kippur (Ps.27.4-5)], so David speaks in his psalm of the deliverance of his anointed remnant. The religio-political leaders of Israel will have their backs up against the wall, quite probably with the Western powers on one side and the Eastern powers on the other, and, remembering who they were originally called out of Charan to obey, they will cry out to Y’hovah for deliverance. And he will answer in the most remarkable fashion – according to Torah and the prophets. Q&C
James 4:13-17 – Our ONE Torah giver is able to save or to destroy,
22 For Y’hovah is our judge, Y’hovah, our lawgiver [chakakenu, root – chuk] Y’hovah, our king; he will save us. (Is.33.22)
and he uses the same standard in his righteous judgment of the sinner’s motives and the rightness of his action. Chukim are those commands that don’t seem to make sense in our human minds. He uses the same Torah chukim to judge the hearts of all who stand before him – and that is EVERYONE, saint or sinner, Yisraelite or Gentile. For those who trust him, Torah and its chukim is the Way of Life, Derech Chaim; for those who do not, it is the way of death, derech maveth.
Behold therefore the goodness [Chesed] and severity [Gevurah] of Eloha: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22)
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love Y’hovah Elohecha, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and Y’hovah Elohecha shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deut.30.14-16, 19)
22 For Y’hovah, our judge, Y’hovah, our lawgiver, Y’hovah, our king; he will save us. (Is.33.22 Gevurah, chesed and tifereth seen here and in that order.)
The closing verses are not admonitions against making plans. We are certainly to make plans and goals for our lives. But to announce them as if we are the Eloha of our life is foolishness, since we are not assured of our next breath, much less the plans Yacov speaks about. We ought to be constantly aware of our standing before Y’hovah, and that our lives are bound up in HIM, not in us. We can’t truly change the color of one hair on our heads. We ultimately have no control of our lives. We are utterly dependent on Y’hovah. So we need to make our plans around his will for us, not OUR will for us. And his will is that we obey him.
8 I delight to do thy will, Elohai: yea, thy Torah [Torahtecha] within my heart. (Ps.40.7-8)
Notice, please, that Yhwh’s Torah in our heart is His will. We need to be circumspect, doing all in our power to obey his commandments as we trust his Ruach to empower us, to not be double minded and unstable. Especially teachers. Q&C End of Midrashic study.