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Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 2

Numbers 8:1-9:21   -   Zechariah 4:1-14   -   Psalm 101   -   Revelation 11:1-19
 

Nisan 10, 5763 / April 12, 2003

Nisan 10, 5766 / April   8, 2006

Nisan 10, 5769 / April   4, 2009  Today is the day of choosing the Passover (lamb): Yeshua is our Passover!

Nisan   8, 5772 / Mar   31, 2012

Nisan   8, 5775 / Mar   28, 2015

Beha alotekha / When you arrange    SCRIPTURES should be read first

Menorah

(Numbers 8:3) There are seven golden lamps, shaped something like teapots, that rest upon the branches of the golden menorah (lampstand). The three lamps on the left face right, and the three lamps on the right face left; so that all six branch lamps face the center lamp, which faces forwards. Each lamp has a hinged lid, which is opened for filling and cleaning; and each has a spout with a wick in it, which is lit with a flame.

 

 
Golden Menorah in Jerusalem, made for the anticipated Third Temple [Photo by DDD 2000]

 

(Zechariah 4) Here we see a vision of a golden menorah. There is a bowl at the top, with seven spouts to pour oil into the seven lamps. Then there are two olive trees, each with a branch toward the menorah. From these two branches are two golden pipes, from which the two olive trees pour, from themselves, golden oil into the bowl. We are told that the olive trees represent “two anointed ones”.

 

(Revelation 11) Here we see, in the future, the Temple of God. In it are two golden menorot (pl. of menorah), and two olive trees. We are told that the olive trees represent “two witnesses”.

 

From our previous Passover Seders, we may remember that men are anointed for three reasons: to be King of Israel, Prophet of Jerusalem, or Priest of the Most High God. From this, it may be deduced that the two olive trees of Zechariah represent Messiah (anointed) Priest and Messiah Prophet, standing next to the menorah, of which the shamish (the center lamp of the menorah) represents the Messiah King – Yeshua. The two “anointed ones”, or “witnesses”, may refer to Moses as Priest, and Elijah as Prophet, representing of the Torah and the Prophets. This seems to fit well with Paul’s statement that the Law and the Prophets witnessed to Yeshua (Romans 3:21-22).

 

The Passover Offering

(Numbers 9) “And they prepared the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, between noon and sunset, in the Wilderness of Sinai; according to all that Yahweh commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did.

 

The Passover (lamb) is to be slain and roasted on the fourteenth day of the month, between noon and sunset. It is then to be eaten between sunset and midnight, which is the first six hours of the fifteenth day of the month. It is to be eaten with unleavened breads and bitter herbs, at the beginning of the Feast of the Unleavened Breads. The Biblical name of this first feast is the Feast of the Unleavened Breads, not “Passover”. It is the first of the three “Feasts of Yahweh” (Exodus 20:22).

 

There are several reasons for confusion about this verse. Firstly, in Torah, “the Passover” (pesach) always refers to the sacrifice – the lamb, not to a festival. Secondly, Old English translations that use the phrase “keep the Passover”, instead of “prepare the Passover”, lead many to the misunderstanding of observing a festival on the fourteenth. Thirdly, people who are unaware that all of the sacrifices were performed at the Temple, partly by the priests, within a couple of hours, sometimes teach that Sadducees (or other groups) performed this at different times.

 

Not only was the time specified, but the preparation of the Passover lamb had to be “according to all of its rites”, which are found in various parts of Torah.

 

 

Hebrew explanation of Torah references – from Talmud

 

Pesachim 66a: (Soncino Talmud)

What is written in the Torah: Let the children of Israel PREPARE THE PASSOVER SACRIFICE in its APPOINTED TIME, . . .” (Emphasis added.)

 

Pesachim 58a

Mishnah: “The afternoon tamid (offering) . . . on the eve of Passover it is slaughtered at seven-and-a half hours (1:30 PM) and offered at eight-and-a-half hours (2:30) PM, whether it is a week day or a Sabbath. If the eve of the Passover fell on Sabbath eve (Friday), it is slaughtered at six-and-a-half hours (12:30 PM) and offered at seven-and-a-half hours (1:30 PM), and THE PASSOVER OFFERING AFTER IT.” (Emphasis added.)

Gemara: “Whence do we know it? -- Said R. Joshua b. Levi, Because Scripture saith, The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer between the two evenings, which gives two-and-a half hours before and two-and-a half hours after and one hour for ITS PREPARATION (2:30 - 3:30 PM).

                  

Yevamot 71b  Footnote 4: (Soncino Talmud)

. . . at the TIME of the PREPARATION of the PASCHAL LAMB . . .” (Emphasis added.)

 

Yevamot 71b  Footnote 10:

Between the PREPARATION and the EATING of the Paschal lamb.

 

 

Note that, while English versions may be confusing, the Hebrew, and the Temple practice, was very specific. So, just what was the point?

 

When Yeshua perfectly fulfilled every aspect of the Seder, and exactly at the prescribed time, everyone should have recognized who He was, and what was happening. The entire Seder is now to be performed “In remembrance of Me” (Yeshua). Each act teaches us, and reminds us yearly, of something we need to keep in remembrance about Yeshua.

 

(Numbers 9:6) Since one must be clean to offer at the Temple, a question arose about those who were unavoidably unclean, or detained out-of-town.

 

This is the only rite that is of such importance that one may have a "second chance". Without observing the Feast of the Unleavened Breads, no subsequent Temple festival may be observed – as one is excommunicated. This is a picture: redemption is foundational to all subsequent phases of salvation.

 

Nisan 14: Day of Preparation of the Passover Lamb

Date Yeshua was crucified

 

Nisan 15: First day of Feast of the Unleavened Breads (Holy Day)

Start day (in evening) with Passover Seder to celebrate the redemption of the Bride from sin

 

Nisan 16: Day to wave a lamb with an omer loaf of barley

   Start counting down fifty days to betrothal

 

Nisan 21: Seventh day of Feast of the Unleavened Breads (Holy Day)

 

Sivan 6: Feast of Weeks / Day of the Firstfruits (Holy Day)

   Celebrate betrothal of Messiah and Bride

 

Tishrei 1: Day of Trumpeting (Holy Day)

   Hear shout of archangel, last trump: rehearse Yeshua’s return for Bride

 

Tishrei 10: Day of the Atonements (Holy Day)

   Purification of the Bride

  

Tishrei 15: First day of Feast of Tabernacles (Holy Day)

   Marriage supper of the Lamb

 

Tishrei 21: Seventh day of Feast of Tabernacles

 

Tishrei 22: Eighth Day Assembly (Holy Day)

Celebrating the eternal dwelling of Messiah and Bride

 

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 1Amen. 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to Aaron and say to him, 'When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand.'" 3 Aaron therefore did so; he mounted its lamps at the front of the lampstand, just as Yahweh had commanded Moses. 4 Now this was the workmanship of the lampstand, hammered work of gold; from its base to its flowers it was hammered work; according to the pattern which Yahweh had showed Moses, so he made the lampstand.

Reader 2Amen. 5 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 6 "Take the Levites from among the sons of Israel and cleanse them. 7 "Thus you shall do to them, for their cleansing: sprinkle purifying water on them, and let them use a razor over their whole body and wash their clothes, and they will be clean. 8 "Then let them take a bull with its grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil; and a second bull you shall take for a sin offering. 9 "So you shall present the Levites before the tent of meeting. You shall also assemble the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, 10 and present the Levites before Yahweh; and the sons of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites. 11 "Aaron then shall present the Levites before Yahweh as a wave offering from the sons of Israel, that they may qualify to perform the service of Yahweh. 12 "Now the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls; then offer the one for a sin offering and the other for an elevation offering to Yahweh, to make atonement for the Levites. 13 "You shall have the Levites stand before Aaron and before his sons so as to present them as a wave offering to Yahweh.

Reader 3Amen. 14 "Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the sons of Israel, and the Levites shall be Mine. 15 "Then after that the Levites may go in to serve the tent of meeting. But you shall cleanse them and present them as a wave offering; 16 for they are wholly given to Me from among the sons of Israel. I have taken them for Myself instead of every first issue of the womb, the firstborn of all the sons of Israel. 17 "For every firstborn among the sons of Israel is Mine, among the men and among the animals; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for Myself. 18 "But I have taken the Levites instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel. 19 "I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the sons of Israel, to perform the service of the sons of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement on behalf of the sons of Israel, so that there will be no plague among the sons of Israel by their coming near to the sanctuary."

Reader 4Amen. 20 Thus did Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the sons of Israel to the Levites; according to all that Yahweh had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so the sons of Israel did to them. 21 The Levites, too, purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes; and Aaron presented them as a wave offering before Yahweh. Aaron also made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 Then after that the Levites went in to perform their service in the tent of meeting before Aaron and before his sons; just as Yahweh had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them. 23 Now Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24 "This is what applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall enter to perform service in the work of the tent of meeting. 25 "But at the age of fifty years they shall retire from service in the work and not work any more. 26 "They may, however, assist their brothers in the tent of meeting, to keep an obligation, but they themselves shall do no work. Thus you shall deal with the Levites concerning their obligations."

Reader 5 Amen. 9:1 Thus Yahweh spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 "Now, let the sons of Israel prepare the Passover at its appointed time. 3 "On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall observe it at its appointed time; you shall prepare it according to all its rites and according to all its ordinances." 4 So Moses told the sons of Israel to observe the Passover. 5 They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that Yahweh had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did.

Reader 6 Amen. 6 But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 Those men said to him, "Though we are unclean because of the dead person, why are we restrained from presenting the offering of Yahweh at its appointed time among the sons of Israel?" 8 Moses therefore said to them, "Wait, and I will listen to what Yahweh will command concerning you." 9 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to Yahweh. 11 'In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. 13 'But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of Yahweh at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin. 14 'If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to Yahweh, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.'"

Reader 7 Amen. 15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning. 16 So it was continuously; the cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp. 18 At the command of Yahweh the sons of Israel would set out, and at the command of Yahweh they would camp; as long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained camped. 19 Even when the cloud lingered over the tabernacle for many days, the sons of Israel would keep Yahweh'S charge and not set out. 20 If sometimes the cloud remained a few days over the tabernacle, according to the command of Yahweh they remained camped. Then according to the command of Yahweh they set out. 21 If sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning, when the cloud was lifted in the morning, they would move out; or if it remained in the daytime and at night, whenever the cloud was lifted, they would set out.

"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."

 

Zechariah 4:1-14

Reader 8 Amen. 1 Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. 2 He said to me, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; 3 also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side." 4 Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, "What are these, my lord?" 5 So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." 6 Then he said to me, "This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says Yahweh of hosts. 7 'What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"'"

Reader 9 Amen. 8 Also the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that Yahweh of hosts has sent me to you. 10 "For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel-- these are the eyes of Yahweh which range to and fro throughout the earth." 11 Then I said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?" 12 And I answered the second time and said to him, "What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?" 13 So he answered me, saying, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." 14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who are standing by Yahweh of the whole earth."

 

Psalm 101    (To be sung.)    A Psalm of David.

1I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, to You, O Yahweh, I will sing praises. 2 I will give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. 3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. 5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; no one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. 6 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. 7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. 8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, so as to cut off from the city of Yahweh all those who do iniquity.

 

Revelation 11:1-19

Reader 10 Amen. 1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 "Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. 3 "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Reader 11 Amen. 11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly. 15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever." 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, "We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18 "And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth." 19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

 

"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."


 

© 2006  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)

 

 

 

 

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