Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 17

Exodus 30:11-38   -   2 Kings 12:4-8   -   Psalm 62  -   Romans 5:1-21


Tammuz 26, 5762 / July 6, 2002

Tammuz 23, 5765 / July 30, 2005  

Tammuz 23, 5768 / July 26, 2008 see Y2-16/17

Tammuz 21, 5771 / July 23, 2011 see Y2-16/17  

Tammuz 21, 5774 / July 19, 2014 see Y2-16/17

Tammuz 28, 5777 / July 22, 2017 see Y2-16/17


Ki Tissa / When You Take a Census    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)


The Census

Three portions (terumot):

(V.13) This they shall give – a half shekel as a portion to Yahweh.

(V.14) Everyone . . . shall give the portion of Yahweh.

(V.15) . . . give the portion of Yahweh.


(V.11) [Pass around half-shekel for everyone to see.]


Census taking was allowed only by counting the required offering, not by head-count. Thus, only the faithful (over twenty years old) were counted – those who contributed their portion.


Everyone was to have an equal part in providing for the Tabernacle / Holy Temple. The rich and poor were to give the same “portion”. This may have a spiritual significance: we all are under the same requirement to provide place in our hearts for God – and time dedicated for worship and devotion.


The Laver

(V.17) [Hold up picture from Temple Institute of Brass Laver.]

Washing at the bronze laver was for sanctity, not physical cleanliness. Picture this: because of the Hebrew wording, that the hands were to be washed together with the feet, the priests would wash the right hand and right foot together, then the left hand and left foot together. They were required to portray holiness in their walk and actions in dealing with holy things, and they were required to portray holiness in their walk and actions when dealing with evil. This is a picture of Messiah Yeshua, and we should follow in holiness.


The laver is the basis for the rabbinic institution of washing the hands before prayer: we should have sin confessed and be dedicated to God to properly pray (James 5:16, 1 John 1:9).


“20 when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, that they may not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to Yahweh.”

If it were said that they would “die if they did not wash”, that would imply immediate death; but “washing so that they do not die” implies eventual death for the cause.


Anointing oil

(V.22) [Hold up bottle with hin of olive oil.]

For anointing, more than a gallon of olive oil was prepared by Moses, with the addition of myrrh and cinnamon and other fragrant spices.


This is called the oil of holy anointment. Olive oil does not mix with other liquids: it symbolizes separation – being holy / separated unto God.


It was to be used to consecrate the vessels of the Tabernacle / Temple. These vessels were of such a degree of sanctity that whatever touched them became holy. This does not refer to things that should not be placed in the vessels and could not attain holiness, but to their normal contents, such as oil or flour for offerings. Thus we are instructed to respect things that are consecrated for God’s service – things that God has instituted, not idolatrous things.


The anointing oil was used to consecrate the sons of Aaron, Kings of Israel, and High Priests. It is taught (in Orthodox circles) that Moses made the only batch, and that its remainder will be found only when Messiah comes.



(V.34) [Hold up pictures of golden censor and golden incense altar.]

[Pass around frankincense for everyone to smell.]

The previous Torah lesson dealt with prayer and the incense altar.

2 Kings

Joash was anointed with the special oil (2 Kings 11:12). He became King of Israel at seven years of age, and did what was pleasing in Yahweh’s sight (2 Kings 11:21-12:1). He had the “portions” brought in to repair the Temple.


Psalm 62 teaches against setting our hearts upon money; doing so is causative of dishonesty and oppression. (As James expounds, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.) We are to rely completely upon Elohim (the Judge of creation), Who will recompense every man according to his actions. We are to seek holiness, not riches. With this attitude, we will gladly provide the required portions (terumot) and freewill offerings for building and maintaining God’s sanctuary.


Money is like fire: either can be beneficial or destructive, depending upon how it is used. Ultimately, either can be beneficial or destructive to our eternal reward.


Romans 5

Perceiving ourselves as recipients of Yeshua’s righteousness.


Exodus 30:16 says “to make atonement for yourselves.” Romans 5:11 says that through Yeshua “we have now received the atonement.” Paul makes a well-thought-out explanation.


We have been justified by Yeshua through faith.


Through Adam, we all became subject to death – death for sin, even those who don’t commit the same sin as Adam, even those who had no law to instruct them otherwise. Thia is not teaching “Adamic sin – sin that is imputed to us from Adam, it is teaching that we all have inherited a sinful nature, and act contrary to glorifying God: we miss the mark.


Though Adam is a forerunner to Messiah Yeshua, there is a difference. Through Yeshua’s righteousness, we are accounted as righteous – that is the second atonement, the first being our sin accounted to Yeshua, who suffered for it.


Now, we are to grow in grace, and live in holiness.


It may be difficult for us, knowing that we are sinful beyond even our understanding, to view ourselves as righteous. But we should understand that God calls us the righteous, and we should live accordingly, displaying holiness, even as the priests were to do by cleansing at the laver.




[Portions 16 & 17 combined for this Cycle - begin with Y2-16 Blessing and Torah portion for this Sabbath]


Reader 3 Amen. 11 Yahweh also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 "When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to Yahweh, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 "This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to Yahweh. 14 "Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to Yahweh. 15 "The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to Yahweh to make atonement for yourselves. 16 "You shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before Yahweh, to make atonement for yourselves."

Reader 4 Amen. 17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 18 "You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. 19 "Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; 20 when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to Yahweh. 21 "So they shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they will not die; and it shall be a perpetual statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations."

Reader 5 Amen. 22 Moreover, Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 23 "Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, 24 and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. 25 "You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 "With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand. 29 "You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy.

Reader 6 Amen. 30 "You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. 31 "You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 'It shall not be poured on anyone's body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 'Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.'"

Reader 7 Amen. 34 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. 35 "With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. 36 "You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you. 37 "The incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for Yahweh. 38 "Whoever shall make any like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people."


"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."



[Portions 16 & 17 combined for this Cycle - begin with Y2-16 Blessing and Haftarah portion for this Sabbath]


2 Kings 12:4-8

4 Then Jehoash said to the priests, "All the money of the sacred things which is brought into the house of Yahweh, in current money, both the money of each man's assessment and all the money which any man's heart prompts him to bring into the house of Yahweh, 5 let the priests take it for themselves, each from his acquaintance; and they shall repair the damages of the house wherever any damage may be found." 6 But it came about that in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the damages of the house. 7 Then King Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the other priests and said to them, "Why do you not repair the damages of the house? Now therefore take no more money from your acquaintances, but pay it for the damages of the house." 8 So the priests agreed that they would take no more money from the people, nor repair the damages of the house.


Psalm 62     (To be sung.)    For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

1 My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. 3 How long will you assail a man, that you may murder him, all of you, like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? 4 They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; they delight in falsehood; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse. Selah. 5 My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. 9 Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than breath. 10 Do not trust in oppression and do not vainly hope in robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. 11 Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God; 12 and lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work.

(Note: This Psalm uses only Elohim and Adonai.)


Romans 5:1-21

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 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 – 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Yeshua the Messiah, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Yeshua the Messiah. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Messiah Yeshua our Lord.


"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."


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)