Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 35

Genesis 38:1-30   -   Isaiah 37:31-37   -   Psalm 31   -   Romans 9:22-29


Kislev 9, 5762 / Nov 24, 2001

Kislev 7, 5765 / Nov 20, 2004 

Kislev 7, 5768 / Nov 17, 2007

Kislev 7, 5771 / Nov 13, 2010

Kislev 6, 5774 / Nov   9, 2013

Kislev 10, 5777 / Dec 10, 2016

Kislev  9, 5780 / Dec  7, 2019


VaYered Yehudah / Judah Departed   SCRIPTURES should be read first  


Today’s subject of God’s sovereignty is not well accepted doctrine. Many of Yeshua’s followers left Him over it. It is not so much hard to understand, as it is hard for ego-centric man to believe.


(Yeshua) was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.’ As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore” – John 6:65-66.


Before we “leave” over it, we should take a hard look at what God says about it, and not look for excuses. We should look for the total Biblical picture, and not ignore some passages while trying to interpret others as “contradictory”. [ While much discussion and question is anticipated, time constraints will only allow touching on this subject here. ]


God is sovereign, and He rules through various means. He rules over all of His creation. In every blessing, we start with: “Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe” – acknowledging that He is ruler of all creation. God is neither sovereign only over some things, nor only when He chooses to overrule someone else. He has His way with kings and commoners, and no one can thwart His purposes. We “worms” do not even have the standing to question what He does!


I am Yahweh, and there is none else.  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Yahweh do all these things” – Isaiah 45:6-7.


The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of Yahweh; He turns it wherever He wishes” – Proverbs 21:1.


The mind of a man plans his way, but Yahweh directs his steps” – Proverbs 16:9.


(The Most High) does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ – Daniel 4:35.


Job said that Yahweh was the first cause of disastrous weather, destruction by enemies, and disabling disease. Job did not thus lie, nor misunderstand God.


After Satan brought all of these calamities to Job, we read: “ ‘Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away; blessed be the name Yahweh’. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” – Job 1:21-22.


Think about the terms predestination and free will:


Predestination means predetermination of one’s destiny. It is an unpopular Biblical term. God has predetermined our destinies. That is unpopular Biblical doctrine.


Whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” – Romans 8:30. [ Foreknowledge, in the previous verse, refers to a relationship before creation; it does not refer to God choosing on the basis of foreseen action by man. ]


He predestined us to adoption as sons through Messiah Yeshua to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will . . . we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” – Ephesians 1:5, 11.


The idea that man’s will is free is never mentioned by a Biblical writer. The term “free will” is never found in the Bible (excepting where some translations call variable offerings “free will offerings” – these are required offerings, but amounts are not specified). A common great misunderstanding here seems to come from people hearing “Man does not have a will”, when we are really saying “Man has a will that is not free”. Man’s will is determined by many factors – seen and unseen; genetic, environmental, and spiritual; but ultimately, God is the first cause of all.


Responsibility is not predicated upon free will. That is, we are responsible for our actions, in spite of God’s sovereignty. This seems to be the major stumbling block.


God chooses whomsoever He wills, for His own purposes: He does not choose according to man’s works, neither actual nor foreseen. Man does not choose to believe because of his heritage, nor because of his own “free will”, nor because of persuasion by someone else.


Yeshua said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” – John 15:16.


But as many as received Him, to them He had given the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” – John 1:12-13.


Man is proud, and wants to be in the place of God – in control. Man wants to make God in his own image, and put God under his rules.


A common response is, “We are not robots”. The Bible does not speak about robots, pro or con. This is a catch word for excusing faithlessness.


God says that He hates sinners – “all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5). But do we understand that God creates that which He hates? He creates vessels of dishonor, for the purpose of destroying them. He created Satan for the purpose of his being a destroyer.


Paul said (even anticipating the reaction) “So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’ On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory” – Romans 9:18-23.


Yahweh said, “I have created the waster to destroy” – Isaiah 54:16.


Yeshua came to Israel, offering salvation. But many could not respond.


Yeshua said, “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” – Matthew 23:37.


Yeshua knew from the beginning who they were that would believe not, and who should betray him” – John 6:64.


But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand” – John 10:26-29.


For this reason they could not believe, because Isaiah said again ‘He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; so that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them’ ” – John 12:39-40.



Now, we are to hate sin; we are required to repent and overcome sin. We should care that sinners face punishment. Nevertheless, in our future glorified state, we will see the punishment of the wicked, and still be at total peace.


Sin crouches at the door, and desires to overcome you, but you must overcome it” – Genesis 4:7.


Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” – Matthew 3:2, 4:17. Repentance means turning from sin to God.


Brethren, my heart’s desire  and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation” – Romans 10:1. Salvation is from sin (Matthew 1:21).


Moses (Exodus 32:32) and Paul (Romans 9:3) cared enough that they would have offered their own lives as a ransom for other sinners, but only Yeshua could and did so (John 10:15).


You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked” – Psalm 91:8.


From our perspective, we are responsible to repent and believe. From God’s perspective, He has made the determinations from before the foundation of the world. So, why are we told this? So that we will recognize Him as sovereign, and be humble and thankful.



>       See slide, “Priesthood of the Firstborn.”


The commandments were taught from Adam, through the priesthood of the firstborn: Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Hanokh, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah (#10), Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Adam’s lifespan overlapped Methuselah’s by 243 years, Methuselah’s overlapped Shem’s by 98 years, and Shem’s overlapped Jacob’s by 50 years! Shem’s lifespan completely covered Abraham’s. There were few required transmissions of the original commandments, and those were available through multiple concurrent witnesses. 


Herein we see in action positive commandment number 216 of the 613, before being given to Moses (Deu 25:5): a deceased man’s brother shall raise up children for his deceased brother by the deceased’s wife. Judah took a wife, Tamar, for his firstborn son, Er; because Er was evil, God killed him. Judah then gave Tamar to his second son, Onan; because Onan practiced abnormal sex, to avoid raising up children for his deceased brother, God killed him. Judah then feared to give Tamar to his third son, Shelah: this initiated the sins between Judah and Tamar.


(V.26) We also see acknowledgment of violating negative commandment number 343 of the 613, (Leviticus 18:15) a man shall not have relations with his daughter-in-law.


(V.1) “And it came about at that time, that Judah went down from his brothers.” This always implies going down spiritually, as well as geographically.


Judah had three sons by an unnamed Canaanite (the daughter of Shua), then twin sons by his daughter-in-law, Tamar: David, and thus Yeshua, came through one of the twins.


Genesis 46:12 “And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 49:8 “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.”

Numbers 1:5-7 "These then are the names of the men who shall stand with you: of Reuben, Elizur the son of Shedeur; of Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai; of Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab;

Matthew 1:3-16 “And to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram; and to Ram was born Amminadab; and to Amminadab, Nahshon; and to Nahshon, Salmon; and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse; and to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah; and to Solomon was born Rehoboam; and to Rehoboam, Abijah; and to Abijah, Asa; and to Asa was born Jehoshaphat; and to Jehoshaphat, Joram; and to Joram, Uzziah; and to Uzziah was born Jotham; and to Jotham, Ahaz; and to Ahaz, Hezekiah; and to Hezekiah was born Manasseh; and to Manasseh, Amon; and to Amon, Josiah; and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel; and to Zerubbabel was born Abihud; and to Abihud, Eliakim; and to Eliakim, Azor; and to Azor was born Zadok; and to Zadok, Achim; and to Achim, Eliud; and to Eliud was born Eleazar; and to Eleazar, Matthan; and to Matthan, Jacob; and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Yeshua, who is called The Messiah.”


What if God, willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, (Reprobation – 2 Thess 2:11-12) endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so in order that (Election – v.8:33) He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

As He says also in Hosea, ‘I will call those who were (lo ami) not My people, (ami atah) “My people,” And her who was (lo racham) not beloved, (racham) “beloved.” And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, “you are (lo ami) not My people,” There they shall be called (benei El-chai) sons of the living God.’

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, ‘Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly.’ And just as Isaiah foretold, ‘Except the Lord of Hosts had left to us a posterity, we would have become as Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.’ ” – Romans 9::23-29.


So we can clearly see, it was not because of the merits of Judah that he was given high position by God: it was altogether by the election of Grace – Judah’s sin is atoned for by Yeshua, and he will one day be finally redeemed, completely whole. Concerning Judah and Israel, Jeremiah 31:34 reads, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”


And salvation is not only for the physical descendants of Abraham: there will be a remnant of Israel, and people of all nations. “For thus says Yahweh, ‘Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chiefs of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “O Yahweh, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel” ’ ” – Jeremiah 31:7.  “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” – Genesis 12:3.


"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 And it came about at that time, that Judah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her. 3 So she conceived and bore a son and he named him Er. 4 Then she conceived again and bore a son and named him Onan. 5 She bore still another son and named him Shelah; and it was at Chezib that she bore him.

Reader 2*  Amen.  6 Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah's firstborn, was evil in the sight of Yahweh, so Yahweh took his life. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother." 9 Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. 10 But what he did was displeasing in the sight of Yahweh; so He took his life also. 11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Remain a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up"; for he thought, "I am afraid that he too may die like his brothers." So Tamar went and lived in her father's house.

Reader 3*  Amen. 12 Now after a considerable time Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died; and when the time of mourning was ended, Judah went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 It was told to Tamar, "Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep." 14 So she removed her widow's garments and covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gateway of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and she had not been given to him as a wife.

Reader 4*  Amen. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, for she had covered her face. 16 So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, "Here now, let me come in to you"; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, "What will you give me, that you may come in to me?" 17 He said, therefore, "I will send you a young goat from the flock." She said, moreover, "Will you give a pledge until you send it?" 18 He said, "What pledge shall I give you?" And she said, "Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand." So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and departed, and removed her veil and put on her widow's garments.

Reader 5*  Amen. 20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman's hand, he did not find her. 21 He asked the men of her place, saying, "Where is the temple prostitute who was by the road at Enaim?" But they said, "There has been no temple prostitute here." 22 So he returned to Judah, and said, "I did not find her; and furthermore, the men of the place said, 'There has been no temple prostitute here.'" 23 Then Judah said, "Let her keep them, otherwise we will become a laughingstock. After all, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her."

Reader 6*  Amen. 24 Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry." Then Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned!" 25 It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, "I am with child by the man to whom these things belong." And she said, "Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?" 26 Judah recognized them, and said, "She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah." And he did not have relations with her again.

Reader 7*  Amen. 27 It came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb. 28 Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This one came out first." 29 But it came about as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, "What a breach you have made for yourself!" So he was named Perez. 30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.


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 37:31-37

Reader 8*  Amen. 31 "The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 "For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will perform this."' 33 "Therefore, thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, 'He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege ramp against it. 34 'By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come to this city,' declares Yahweh. 35 'For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'" 36 Then the angel of Yahweh went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh.


Psalm 31    (To be sung.)   For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

1 In You, O Yahweh, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your righteousness deliver me. 2 Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me. 3 For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me. 4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. 5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O Yahweh, God of truth. 6 I hate those who regard vain idols, but I trust in Yahweh. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, 8 and You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place. 9 Be gracious to me, O Yahweh, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body has wasted away. 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. 13 For I have heard the slander of many, terror is on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they schemed to take away my life. 14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Yahweh, I say, "You are my God." 15 My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. 16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; save me in Your lovingkindness. 17 Let me not be put to shame, O Yahweh, for I call upon You; let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt. 19 How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! 20 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be Yahweh, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city. 22 As for me, I said in my alarm, "I am cut off from before Your eyes"; nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried to You. 23 O love Yahweh, all you His godly ones! Yahweh preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. 24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in Yahweh.


Romans 9:22-29

Reader 9*  Amen. 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’  26 And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”  27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28 for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” 29 And just as Isaiah foretold, “Except the Lord of Hosts had left to us a posterity, we would have become as Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”


"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)