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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 4

Genesis 5:1-6:8   -   Isaiah 30:8-15   -   Psalm 4   -   Matthew 23:1-39
 

 

Nisan 28, 5761 / April 21, 2001

Nisan 26, 5764 / April 17, 2004

Nisan 26, 5767 / April 14, 2007

Nisan 26, 5770 / April 10, 2010 

Nisan 26, 5773 / April   6, 2013

Nisan 22, 5776 / April 30, 2016

 

Zeh Sefer Toldot / This is the Book of Generations    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

On this Sabbath (in 2016) we say:

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who has sanctified us by His Word, and instructed us to count the Omer.

Today is seven days of the Omer; it is one week of the Omer.”

"This is the Book of Generations" (v.5:1). It is important, for understanding Scripture, that one has a concept of the Biblical timeline.


Note: We suspect the current year to be actually a couple-hundred years later than rabbinic count of AM 5761.

Adam and Noah, in total time, lived about one-third of the world’s history! Methuselah, the longest living man at 969 years, died just before (the sages say the day before) the great flood. Adam and Methuselah's lives spanned the entire time from creation to the flood.

(V.6:1) When men from other sons of Adam began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them, the sons of the God – the priestly line of Seth, saw that the daughters of these other men were beautiful, and married them – corrupting the priestly line. Thus righteous leadership waned. Here we see the basis of negative commandments no. 158, 159, & 160 of the 613 (Lev 21:7), which apply to marriage within the substitute Levitical priesthood (Num 3:12).

GENESIS 6:2

Genesis 5:1 – 6:8 was originally the fourth chapter of Genesis, entitled Sefer Toldot – the Book of Generations. It is showing the priestly line from creation until the great flood, from Adam until Methuselah: that is the basic subject. When the Levites were taken for the priesthood in place of the firstborn (Numbers 3:12, 45), commandments were given that they were only allowed to marry Hebrew women – only women of the chosen line (Leviticus 21:14-15).

Genesis 6:2  (Bnei haelohim) The sons of God saw the daughters of man that they were pleasant, so they took themselves wives from whomever they chose.

“The sons of God” would be a proper designation for the priesthood – the firstborn descendants listed in this chapter – Adam through Methuselah. This priesthood is later referred to as “Malchi tzedek” – rulers of righteousness. Yeshua was a priest through this original order, not through the order of the Levitical priesthood (as He was a Judahite, not a Levite).

Matthew 22:30 & Mark 12:25  “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

This would seem to preclude heavenly angels from “taking wives”.

Jude 1:6  And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.

The context includes various sins that bring men to eternal darkness as some heavenly angels were brought to eternal darkness. There is no evidence here that heavenly angels married women: “abandoning their proper abode” logically refers to abandoning their rightful positions serving God. There has never been a commandment forbidding women from marrying heavenly angels – there is no such issue considered in Scripture.

Romans 5:12  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned,

If all sin entered the world through one man, then it follows that none entered through heavenly angels marrying women and having descendants inheriting a sinful nature through angelic fathers.

The chapter’s subject is the generations of the priesthood, and how it became corrupted so that the whole world was only sinful. In the next chapter, the tenth generation of the priesthood – Noah, would be a righteous priest. This position is presented as strictly Torah.

-  -  --  -  - 

(V.6:3) Life expectancy before the flood was somewhat short of 1000 years. Here God decreed that it would decrease to 120 years; that took about 500 years, until the time of Moses. Later, by David’s time, God would decrease that to 70 years (Psalm 90:10).

“Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (v.6:5).

Yahweh was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. And Yahweh said (speaking in terms of men), “. . . I am sorry that I have made man,” or (an alternate rendering of the Hebrew), “I am comforted in how I have made man (mortal)”. But Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of Yahweh. Noah, of the priestly line of Seth, was exceptional, being “righteous in his generation” (Gen 7:1).

Even the animals, which were made for man, would succumb to the judgment due for man’s sin. We may note here that, because of Man’s sin, the animals are not at peace with each other, as they were in Eden, and will be on the renewed earth.

So, how have we fared since? “We have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes’ ” (Rom 3:9-18, from Psalm 14 & 53).

And in the Gospel portion (Matt 23) we read, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up then the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?” (v.29-33).

Yeshua said, “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obligated.’ You fools and blind men; which is more important, the gold, or the Temple that sanctified the gold?” (v.16-17). If the gold were placed in the hands of a merchant for the purchase of goods, it would not be sanctified (set apart for God). Only because of the sanctity of the House of God is the gold offered there set apart for God. The earthly Temple was a picture of the heavenly, from Eden; when the priests corrupted the picture, the Temple was removed from them. We see it again in Eden in The Unveiling of Yeshua the Messiah / The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 21).

Herein is a common sin of leaders today. “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries, and lengthen the tzitzit (tassels) on their garments. And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (v.5-12). The problem here is pride, a special problem for men who lead or teach. This has nothing to do with calling your natural father “Father”; it has nothing to do with using earned worldly job titles such as “Doctor” or “Officer”. It is about seeking special honor in supposed service of God, as by using a title like “Father”, “Rabbi”, or “Pastor”, or wearing special garments to so distinguish oneself.

“The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses” (v.1). The Biblical synagogue was not to have self-appointed officers (see Synagogue Structure). It was not to have salaried officers, and this is not contrary to 1 Timothy 5:17-18. [See SYNAGOGUE]

Readings:

 

Reader 1* Amen 1 This is the Book of the Generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

 

Reader 2* Amen 6 Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7 Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 8 So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. 9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10 Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 11 So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died.

 

Reader 3* Amen 12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13 Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 14 So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. 15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. 16 Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. 17 So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died.

 

Reader 4* Amen 18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch. 19 Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died. 21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

 

Reader 5* Amen 25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. 26 Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. 27 So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died. 28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29 Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which Yahweh has cursed." 30 Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. 31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.

 

Reader 6* Amen 32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 6:1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then Yahweh said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

 

Reader 7* Amen 5 Then Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 Yahweh was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 Yahweh said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of Yahweh.

 

Isaiah 30:8-15

Reader 8* Amen 8 Now go, write it on a tablet before them and inscribe it on a scroll, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever. 9 For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of Yahweh; 10 who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; and to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions. 11 "Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel." 12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, "Since you have rejected this word and have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them, 13 therefore this iniquity will be to you like a breach about to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant, 14 Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter's jar, So ruthlessly shattered that a sherd will not be found among its pieces to take fire from a hearth or to scoop water from a cistern." 15 For thus Lord Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, has said, "In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength." But you were not willing,

 

Ezekiel 38:13

Reader 9* Amen “Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’ ”

 

Psalm 4 (to be sung)   For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. 3 But know that Yahweh has set apart the godly man for Himself; Yahweh hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in Yahweh. 6 Many are saying, "Who will show us any good?" Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Yahweh! 7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Yahweh, make me to dwell in safety.

 

Matthew 23:1-39

 

Reader 10* Amen 1 Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

 

Reader 11* Amen 5 But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Messiah. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

 

Reader 12* Amen 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

 

Reader 13* Amen 16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.' 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.' 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

 

Reader 14* Amen 23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

 

Reader 15* Amen 29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

 

Reader 16* Amen 34 Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39"For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF YAHWEH!’ ”


© 2003  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)