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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 30

Genesis 31:3-32:2   -   Jeremiah 30:10-16; Micah 6:3-7:20   -   Psalm 26   -   James 4:1-12
 

 

Heshvan 3, 5762 / Oct 20, 2001 

Heshvan 1, 5765 / Oct 16, 2004 

Heshvan 1, 5768 / Oct 13, 2007

Heshvan 1, 5771 / Oct   9, 2010

Heshvan 1, 5774 / Oct   5, 2013

Heshvan 4, 5777 / Nov  5, 2016

 

Shuv El-eretz / Return to the Land   SCRIPTURES should be read first  

(V.3) Yahweh said to Jacob, “Return (Shuv) to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” Yahweh, the Eternal Gracious One promised protection in the Land – safety from Esau, and provision for his appointed life’s service.

Shuv – return, is the root word of teshuva – repentance, which means “return to God”; we are all commanded to return to our creator, whose ways we have left. God has promised us protection and answered prayer, only if we are walking in His place – acting “in His name” (as an ambassador). This does not mean everyone should be missionary (in the common sense of the word). A father or mother is acting in God’s name when raising children for the Kingdom of Heaven, in contrast to raising them for their worldly gain and pleasure. An employee is working in God’s name when he or she is faithfully laboring for that which God supplies so that he or she can serve God.

As SABBATH was God's goal in six days of creation, so worship on Sabbath is to be our goal in working the other six days, a day to look forward to; this applies to both weekly Sabbaths and our final rest.  Sabbath should give us part of the spiritual strength we need for the week, but is not just a day to rest toward better performance of worldly cares.

Isaiah 6:9-10 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand.'  Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed."

(Yeshua) Matthew 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I should heal them.'

(Paul) Acts 28:26 (Isaiah) saying, 'Go to this people and say, "You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 27 For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes; Lest they should see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I should heal them."' 28 "Let it be known to you therefore, that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen."

Acts 3:19 "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

Gen 32:9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Yahweh, who didst say to me, 'Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,' 10 I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to Thy servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. 11 "Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 "For Thou didst say, 'I will surely prosper you, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'"
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Jacob’s manner of leaving Paddan Aram with great wealth was prophetic of his descendants’ leaving Egypt with their earned wealth.

(V.4) So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field. Before leaving, Jacob called them to a private place and explained the situation to them. (V.14-16) And Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house? “Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also entirely consumed our purchase price. “Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.” Presumably, they dealt with the handmaids and the children.

Laban: a type of the world – not fair (just).

Laban dealt unjustly with Jacob, changing his wages ten times. But each time he tried to reduce Jacob’s share of the herd, God caused the remaining portion to thrive more.

Laban dealt unjustly with his own daughters. They said that he reckoned them as foreigners: rather than giving them a dowry, he had sold them (for fourteen years’ labor), and had also entirely consumed their purchase price.

(V.17-18) Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels; and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had gathered, his acquired livestock which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. (V.20) Jacob deceived “Laban the Cheat (Aramean)” by fleeing without notice. He crossed the Euphrates River and rested the seventh day in the fertile pastures of Gilead.

Laban, who had been three days away from home shearing sheep, caught up to Jacob, with intent to kill him (See Deuteronomy 26:5). But God came Laban in a dream, telling him to speak to Jacob of neither good nor evil: God wanted Jacob to leave, so Laban was neither allowed to entice Jacob back with rewards, nor to threaten him to force him back. He did, however, accuse Jacob of leading his daughters away captives of the sword – meaning like prisoners of war. Note Laban’s cruelty: he told his grandsons that it was in his power to do them all harm!

Rachel took idols from her father’s house. Recent archaeological finds have shed interesting light on the significance: these idols represented title to property. The reason that Laban chased after Jacob, was that the deed to his property was at stake. This would fit with Rachel’s statement about all her father’s wealth belonging to them. It might help explain the severity of Jacob’s offer: “The one with whom you find your gods shall not live.”

Laban’s attitude is typical of the world: “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine,” also inferring that Jacob had taken them by fraud.

Since Laban was untrustworthy, and therefore trusted no one else, he proposed a permanent, tangible, recognizable symbol – a monument, as an open witness to all that neither would harm the other. Laban called it Yegar-sahadusa (Aramaic), but Jacob called it Galeed (Hebrew) – both meaning “The Mound is a Witness.” “Mitzpah” means watchtower – “May Yahweh watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.”

(V.32:1-2) Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. And Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s camp” – an assurance of peace and safety, in contrast to the fear of encountering Esau’s camp. So he named that place Mahanaim – “A pair of camps.”

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. 3 Then Yahweh said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you." 4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, 5 and said to them, "I see your father's attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 "You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7 "Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to hurt me. 8 "If he spoke thus, 'The speckled shall be your wages,' then all the flock brought forth speckled; and if he spoke thus, 'The striped shall be your wages,' then all the flock brought forth striped. 9 "Thus God has taken away your father's livestock and given them to me. 10 "And it came about at the time when the flock were mating that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which were mating were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11 "Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am.' 12 "He said, 'Lift up now your eyes and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 'I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.'"

Reader 2*  Amen. 14 Rachel and Leah said to him, "Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father's house? 15 "Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also entirely consumed our purchase price. 16 "Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you." 17 Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels; 18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had gathered, his acquired livestock which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 When Laban had gone to shear his flock, then Rachel stole the household idols that were her father's. 20 And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose and crossed the Euphrates River, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

Reader 3*  Amen. 22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 then he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days' journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night and said to him, "Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad." 25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 "Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre; 28 and did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly. 29 "It is in my power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Be careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.'

Reader 4*  Amen. 30 "Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house; but why did you steal my gods?" 31 Then Jacob replied to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 "The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself." For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. 33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel's saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. 35 She said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is upon me." So he searched but did not find the household idols.

Reader 5*  Amen. 36 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, "What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37 "Though you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 "These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 "That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 "Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 "These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 "If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night."

Reader 6*  Amen. 43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne? 44 "So now come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me." 45 Then Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 Jacob said to his kinsmen, "Gather stones." So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Now Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me this day." Therefore it was named Galeed, 49 and Mizpah, for he said, "May Yahweh watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. 50 "If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between you and me." 51 Laban said to Jacob, "Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between you and me. 52 "This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 "The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." So Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac.

Reader 7*  Amen. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his kinsmen to the meal; and they ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.

32:1 Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. 2 Jacob said when he saw them, "This is God's camp." So he named that place Mahanaim.

 

"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."

 

Jeremiah 30:10-16

Reader 8*  Amen. 10 'Fear not, O Jacob My servant,' declares Yahweh, 'and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar and your offspring from the land of their captivity. And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease, and no one will make him afraid. 11 'For I am with you,' declares Yahweh, 'to save you; for I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, only I will not destroy you completely. But I will chasten you justly and will by no means leave you unpunished.' 12 "For thus says Yahweh, 'Your wound is incurable and your injury is serious. 13 'There is no one to plead your cause; no healing for your sore, no recovery for you. 14 'All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the punishment of a cruel one, because your iniquity is great and your sins are numerous. 15 'Why do you cry out over your injury? Your pain is incurable. Because your iniquity is great and your sins are numerous, I have done these things to you. 16 'Therefore all who devour you will be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity; and those who plunder you will be for plunder, and all who prey upon you I will give for prey.

 

Micah 6:3-7:20

Reader 9*  Amen. 3 "My people, what have I done to you, and how have I wearied you? Answer Me. 4 "Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt and ransomed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam. 5 "My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and from Shittim to Gilgal, so that you might know the righteous acts of Yahweh." 6 With what shall I come to Yahweh and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? 7 Does Yahweh take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Reader 10*  Amen. 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does Yahweh require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? 9 The voice of Yahweh will call to the city-- and it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: "Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time? 10 "Is there yet a man in the wicked house, along with treasures of wickedness and a short measure that is cursed? 11 "Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? 12 "For the rich men of the city are full of violence, her residents speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. 13 "So also I will make you sick, striking you down, desolating you because of your sins. 14 "You will eat, but you will not be satisfied, and your vileness will be in your midst. You will try to remove for safekeeping, but you will not preserve anything, and what you do preserve I will give to the sword. 15 "You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; and the grapes, but you will not drink wine. 16 "The statutes of Omri and all the works of the house of Ahab are observed; and in their devices you walk. Therefore I will give you up for destruction and your inhabitants for derision, and you will bear the reproach of My people."

Reader 11*  Amen. 7:1 Woe is me! For I am like the fruit pickers, like the grape gatherers. There is not a cluster of grapes to eat, or a first-ripe fig which I crave. 2 The godly person has perished from the land, and there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; each of them hunts the other with a net. 3 Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, and a great man speaks the desire of his soul; so they weave it together. 4 The best of them is like a briar, the most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you post your watchmen, your punishment will come. Then their confusion will occur. 5 Do not trust in a neighbor; do not have confidence in a friend. From her who lies in your bosom guard your lips. 6 For son treats father contemptuously, daughter rises up against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own household.

Reader 12*  Amen. 7 But as for me, I will watch expectantly for Yahweh; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. 8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, Yahweh is a light for me. 9 I will bear the indignation of Yahweh because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, "Where is Yahweh your God?" My eyes will look on her; at that time she will be trampled down like mire of the streets. 11 It will be a day for building your walls. On that day will your boundary be extended. 12 It will be a day when they will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, from Egypt even to the Euphrates, even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain. 13 And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, on account of the fruit of their deeds.

Reader 13*  Amen. 14 Shepherd Your people with Your scepter, the flock of Your possession which dwells by itself in the woodland, in the midst of a fruitful field. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. 15 "As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles." 16 Nations will see and be ashamed of all their might. They will put their hand on their mouth, their ears will be deaf. 17 They will lick the dust like a serpent, like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their fortresses; to Yahweh our God they will come in dread and they will be afraid before You. 18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham, which You swore to our forefathers from the days of old.

 

Psalm 26    (To be sung.)  A Psalm of David.

Vindicate me, O Yahweh, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in Yahweh without wavering. 2 Examine me, O Yahweh, and try me; test my mind and my heart. 3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth. 4 I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders. 5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. 6 I shall wash my hands in innocence, and I will go about Your altar, O Yahweh, 7 that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders. 8 O Yahweh, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. 9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners, nor my life with men of bloodshed, 10 in whose hands is a wicked scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on a level place; in the congregations I shall bless Yahweh.

 

James 4:1-12

Reader 14*  Amen. 1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of Yahweh, and He will exalt you. 11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

 

"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)