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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 21

Genesis 24:1-41   -   Isaiah 51:1-2   -   Psalm 19   -   Ephesians 5:15-33
 

 

Av 29, 5761 / Aug 18, 2001 

Av 27, 5764 / Aug 14, 2004

Av 27, 5767 / Aug 11, 2007

Av 27, 5770 / Aug   7, 2010

Av 27, 5773 / Aug   3, 2013

Av 30, 5776 / Sept  3, 2016

 

V'Av'raham zaqen / Now Av'raham was old   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

Avraham is now old – 140 years, Sarah died three years ago, and Yitzchak is forty. Avraham – the Father of Many Nations – has no grandchildren by his son of promise.

 

Sixty years earlier, Eliezer had been Avraham’s most trusted servant (v.15:2). Now Eliezer is the elder of Avraham’s household (v.2). His job now is to find a suitable wife for Yitzchak, a worthy successor to Sarah to be the matriarch of the promised great family. Eliezer is sent to the birthplace of Avraham and Sarah, to seek a wife from their family.

 

Avraham did not expect to live much longer. Through Yitzchak the land was to be populated. Avraham did not want Yitzchak to leave the Promised Land to find a wife, nor to marry a morally degenerate Canaanite. Therefore, in case Avraham did not live until Eliezer returned, He required Eliezer to swear, by the sign of the Covenant – his circumcision, that his instructions would be fulfilled.

 

(V.10) Avraham sent with Eliezer a will, to show prospective in-laws that all of his wealth went to Yitzchak. Eliezer was not looking for a wealthy girl with servants, but one who would be drawing her own water. Rivqa fulfilled his character test, agreeing not only to give him water, but freely offering water for his camels as well. (V.20) Rivqa would run to fulfill a mitzvah, displaying a character like Avraham’s. Eliezer gave Rivqa two bracelets, weighing ten shekels: this is seen as representing the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments.

 

(Eph. 5:15-17) “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because these are days of wasteful toil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Av'raham was 140 years old. He was uncertain of living much longer (though he lived another 35 years). He had learned to trust and walk with God

Having the promise of becoming the “father of many nations” through Yitzchak (Isaac), he (prophetically portraying our Heavenly Father) would now seek a wife for his only son (portraying Yeshua). Being old, he did not go himself, but sent his servant Eliezer (representing Moses) to find a willing bride (the church in the wilderness). (Eph. 5:32) “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Messiah and the church.”

(Eph. 5:18-19) “ . . . be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs”, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord”. “Psalms” refers to Book 1 (Psalms 1-41) and Book 2 (Psalms 42-72); “Hymns” refers to Book 3 (Psalms 73-89); “Spiritual Songs” refers to Book 4 (Psalms 90-106) and Book 5 (Psalms 107-150). We are instructed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and with God’s inspired Psalms (all 5 books) – singing them in our hearts, and even speaking to others in their words. This is repeated in Colossians 3:16, which says that we should teach and admonish in their words. It was not until the fourth century AD that songs other than the inspired Psalms were used in worship services (except in the most liberal/unorthodox groups). Being “filled with the Spirit” would seem to relate to using God’s inspired words/songs.

(Eph. 5:20) “Always giving thanks for all things – in the name of our Lord Messiah Yeshua to God, even the Father”. (Genesis 24:26-27) “Then the man bowed low and worshiped Yahweh. And he said, ‘Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Av'raham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, Yahweh has guided me in the way to the house of my master's brothers.’ ” We see how Eliezer gave thanks – “Blessed be Yahweh . . .”

We bless God for His provision, rather than blessing what He provides. Saying a blessing over something (such as food or drink) is pronouncing God’s Name over it: “Blessed are You, ‘ - - ’ our God, King of the Universe, who (created fruit, gave us Torah, etc.).”

Therefore the rabbis teach that after saying a blessing, we should immediately use that thing, so that the pronouncing of His Name is not in vain. "You shall not use the Name of Yahweh your God in vain" (Exodus 20:7).

We are instructed, by both Biblical command (Matthew 6:9) and Biblical example, to pray only to our Heavenly Father.

All prayer is to be for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are instructed to pray "in the Name of Yeshua" (John 14 :13), that is, as His ambassador or representative. We should ask our Father for those things that Yeshua would want in order to enable our service for Him, not things to "consume on our lusts" (James 4:3). Such prayer changes our perspectives and attitudes about life.

Praying in the name of Yeshua excludes praying to Yeshua (Jesus), since we thereby represent Yeshua praying (to the Father).

We are instructed (Luke 11:13) to ask Our Father for the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of the Holy One). Never does the Bible indicate prayer to the Holy Spirit.

What kinds of things should we “Bless Yahweh” for? [Next lesson: Blessing.]

(Eph. 5:21) “And be subject to one another in the fear of Messiah.” We are not to “rule” over one another; we are to work together, under Yeshua, realizing how “undone” we are before Him, our speech being unclean at best. This is a reason to speak (and sing) “His Words,” and that with care. Paul goes on to explain that this is true in the church, and in the home (marriage) that typifies  Messiah and the church.

(Eph. 5:27 & 31-32) “. . . that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh: this mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Messiah and the church.

_________

Notes:

Rebecca is referred to as a nara (girl), a defective spelling of Narah (maiden), indicating that she was not fully developed (under 13), until Deuteronomy 22:19.

Av'raham  1948-2123   100 at birth of Yitzchak

Yitzchak   2048-2228   Yitzchzk 40,  Rebecca 14 at marriage               [or 40 and   3]

                                     Yitzchak 60,  Rebecca 34 at birth of Yaacov    [or 60 and 23]        

Yaacov     2108-2255   Yaacov 84 when he married Leah and Rachel

Readings:

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

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

Reader 1* Amen 1 Now Avraham was old, advanced in age; and Yahweh had blessed Avraham in every way. 2 Avraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, "Please place your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, 4 but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac." 5 The servant said to him, "Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?" 6 Then Avraham said to him, "Beware that you do not take my son back there! 7 "Yahweh, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, 'To your descendants I will give this land,' He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there. 8 "But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there."

Reader 2* Amen 9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Avraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10 Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master's in his hand; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 He said, "O Yahweh, the God of my master Avraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Avraham. 13 "Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the girl to whom I say, 'Please let down your jar so that I may drink,' and who answers, 'Drink, and I will water your camels also '-- may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master."

Reader 3* Amen 15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Avraham's brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. 16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin, and no man had had relations with her; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar." 18 She said, "Drink, my lord"; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels.

Reader 4* Amen 21 Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether Yahweh had made his journey successful or not. 22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold, 23 and said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to lodge in your father's house?" 24 She said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor." 25 Again she said to him, "We have plenty of both straw and feed, and room to lodge in."

Reader 5* Amen 26 Then the man bowed low and worshiped Yahweh. 27 He said, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Avraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, Yahweh has guided me in the way to the house of my master's brothers." 28 Then the girl ran and told her mother's household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. 30 When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister's wrists, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "This is what the man said to me," he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 And he said, "Come in, blessed of Yahweh! Why do you stand outside since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?"

Reader 6* Amen 32 So the man entered the house. Then Laban unloaded the camels, and he gave straw and feed to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 But when food was set before him to eat, he said, "I will not eat until I have told my business." And he said, "Speak on." 34 So he said, "I am Avraham's servant. 35 "Yahweh has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. 36 "Now Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master in her old age, and he has given him all that he has. 37 "My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38 but you shall go to my father's house and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.'

Reader 7* Amen 39 "I said to my master, 'Suppose the woman does not follow me.' 40 "He said to me, 'Yahweh, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father's house; 41 then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.'

 

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

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

______________________

 

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

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."

 

Isaiah 51:1-2

Reader 8* Amen 1 "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek Yahweh: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug. 2 "Look to Avraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him."

 

Psalm 19   (To be sung.)  For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; it rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens, and its circuit to the other end of them; and there is nothing hidden from its heat. 7 The law of Yahweh is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of Yahweh are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Yahweh, my rock and my Redeemer.

 

Ephesians 5:15-33

Reader 9* Amen 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to God, even the Father;

Reader 10* Amen 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Messiah. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Messiah also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Messiah, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Reader 11* Amen 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Messiah also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Messiah and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

 

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

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)