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Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 7

Numbers 14:1-45   -   2 Chronicles 36:5-23   -   Psalm 106   -   1 Corinthians 10:1-17
 

 

Iyyar 15, 5763 / May 17, 2003

Iyyar 15, 5766 / May 13, 2006

Iyyar 15, 5769 / May   9, 2009 

Iyyar 13, 5772 / May   5, 2012

Iyyar 13, 5775 / May   2, 2015     The twenty-eighth day of the Omer.

 

Vayibchu haAm / The People Wept    SCRIPTURES should be read first


Commentary:

Note:|
For those who were unavoidably detained from bringing their Passover, tomorrow night will be their “second chance”. The Passover (Lamb) was required to be prepared according to all of the rites required for the previous offering; it was to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. This is not a second Feast of Unleavened Bread, and it is not necessary to have leaven removed from our homes.

The end of the Apostolic portion concerns the Passover: it speaks of “the Cup of Blessing – the first cup of the Seder, and the “one bread” – the Afikomen, which represents the crucified body of Messiah. “We who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (v.17).
___________________

Setting:
The people had wanted spies sent to explore the Promised Land, and Yahweh gave Moses permission to send them. After forty days of exploration, ten of the spies said that the people of the Land could not be conquered.

Numbers 14
(V.1-4) “Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; . . . they said to one another, ‘Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt’.” This would have compounded the spies’ sin of faithlessness. Such a “leader”, to take them back to slavery, would have been an idol.

[Sing Grumble song]

GRUMBLERS

 

In country, town or city some people can be found

Who spend their lives in grumbling at ev-‘ry-thing around;

O yes, they always grumble, no matter what we say,

For these are chronic grumblers and they grumble night and day.

 

CHORUS:

O they grumble on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,

Grumble on Thursday too,

Grumble on Friday, Saturday, Sunday,

Grumble the whole week thru.

                        (Repeat)

 

They grumble in the city, they grumble on the farm,

They grumble at their neighbors, they think it is no harm;

They grumble at their husbands, they grumble at their wives,

They grumble at their children; but the grumbler never thrives.

 

They grumble when it’s raining, they grumble when it’s dry,

And if the crops are failing they grumble and they sigh,

They grumble at low prices and grumble when they’re high,

They grumble all the year ‘round and they grumble till they die.

 

They grumble at the preacher, they grumble at his prayer,

They grumble at his preaching, they grumble ev-‘ry-where;

They grumble at God’s people and say ‘tis all display;

But holy folks don’t grumble, they have only time to pray.

 

If you don’t quit your grumbling and stop it now and here,

You’ll never get to heaven, no grumblers enter there.

Repent and be converted, be saved from all your sin;

You know that grumbling Christians find it hard a crown to win.

This night, of weeping without a cause, became a night of weeping for future generations: God had both Temples destroyed on this date – Tishah b’Av (9th of Av).

Psalm 127:1

Unless Yahweh builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless Yahweh guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.

(V.5) Moses and Aaron fell on their faces, which some interpret to represent giving up their positions of leadership. God was angry with Moses also, possibly for asking to send the spies.

This response of Moses was recorded later (Deuteronomy 1:29-40):

Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. Yahweh your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how Yahweh your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked, until you came to this place.’ But for all this, you did not trust Yahweh your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go. Then Yahweh heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed Yahweh fully.’ Yahweh was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them, and they shall possess it. But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’

 

(V.6) Joshua and Caleb tore their clothing, as a sign of mourning for the peoples’ lack of faith. God tells us that they were among the twelve spies, showing that they were qualified to witness against the other spies.

 

(V.11) God threatened Israel with extermination. But Moses acted as Priest, and interceded for the people. He pleaded Yahweh’s reputation before the nations of idolaters. God agreed, saying that His glory would fill all the earth. But none of the present generation would see the Promised Land, save Joshua and Caleb. Their children, whom they said would “become plunder” (v.3), would enter the Land. Caleb would receive the portion that he explored (v.13:22), Hebron, and his family would rouse the giants that frightened the other spies.

 

(V.34) For each of the forty days the people had the spies explore the land, God visited upon them a year (forty years) of wandering, so that they would comprehend the magnitude of their sin.

 

It is of gravest importance that we understand the magnitude of the sin of faithlessness! There comes an end to God’s patience, and then it’s too late!

 

The people realized their sin too late, then many died, upon attempting to enter the Land in their own strength.

 

2 Chronicles 36:14-21

In this portion, we see the similarities of another Tishah b’Av:

Furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of Yahweh which He had sanctified in Jerusalem. And Yahweh, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against His people, until there was no remedy. Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king and of his officers, he brought them all to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its fortified buildings with fire, and destroyed all its valuable articles. And those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete.

 

Psalm 106:21-27 (Again, the Psalm perfectly fits in this Sabbath seder.)

They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt, wonders in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Red Sea. Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them. Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe in His word, but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of Yahweh. Therefore He swore to them, that He would cast them down in the wilderness, and that He would cast their seed among the nations, and scatter them in the lands.

 

1 Corinthians 10:7-13

And do not . . . grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

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."

1 Amen* 1 Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 And why is Yahweh bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”

2 Amen* 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 "If Yahweh is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us-- a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against Yahweh; and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and Yahweh is with us; do not fear them.” 10 But all the congregation said to stone them with stones.

3 Amen* Then the glory of Yahweh appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. 11 And Yahweh said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? 12 I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.” 13 But Moses said to Yahweh, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Thy strength Thou didst bring up this people from their midst, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that Thou, O Yahweh, art in the midst of this people, for Thou, O Yahweh, art seen eye to eye, while Thy cloud stands over them; and Thou dost go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if Thou dost slay this people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Thy fame will say, 16 'Because Yahweh could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.' 17 But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as Thou hast declared, 18 ' Yahweh is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.' 19 Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, just as Thou also hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

4 Amen* 20 So Yahweh said, “I have pardoned them according to your word; 21 but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of Yahweh. 22 Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23 shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it. 25 Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys; turn tomorrow and set out to the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”

5 Amen* 26 And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. 28 Say to them, 'As I live,' says Yahweh, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; 29 your corpses shall fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. 30 Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

6 Amen* 31 Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey-- I will bring them in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your corpses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they shall suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you shall know My opposition. 35 I, Yahweh, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they shall die.' ” 36 As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, 37 even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a plague before Yahweh. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.

7 Amen* 39 And when Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly. 40 In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which Yahweh has promised.” 41 But Moses said, "Why then are you transgressing the commandment of Yahweh, when it will not succeed? 42 “Do not go up, lest you be struck down before your enemies, for Yahweh is not among you. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you, and you will fall by the sword, inasmuch as you have turned back from following Yahweh. And Yahweh will not be with you.” 44 But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of Yahweh nor Moses left the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah.

"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."

 

2 Chronicles 36:5-23

5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and he did evil in the sight of Yahweh his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the articles of the house of Yahweh to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

And Jehoiachin his son became king in his place. 9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of Yahweh. 10 And at the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon with the valuable articles of the house of Yahweh, and he made his kinsman Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 And he did evil in the sight of Yahweh his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for Yahweh. 13 And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. But he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to Yahweh God of Israel. 14 Furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of Yahweh which He had sanctified in Jerusalem. 15 And Yahweh, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; 16 but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against His people, until there was no remedy. 17 Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand. 18 And all the articles of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king and of his officers, he brought them all to Babylon. 19 Then they burned the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its fortified buildings with fire, and destroyed all its valuable articles. 20 And those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete.

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia-- in order to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah -- Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may Yahweh his God be with him, and let him go up!' ”

Psalm 106

1 Praise Yahweh! Oh give thanks to Yahweh, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. 2 Who can speak of the mighty deeds of Yahweh, or can show forth all His praise? 3 How blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times! 4 Remember me, O Yahweh, in Thy favor toward Thy people; visit me with Thy salvation, 5 that I may see the prosperity of Thy chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory with Thine inheritance. 6 We have sinned like our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly. 7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders; they did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. 8 Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known. 9 Thus He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up; and He led them through the deeps, as through the wilderness. 10 So He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 11 And the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left. 12 Then they believed His words; they sang His praise. 13 They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, 14 but craved intensely in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. 15 So He gave them their request, but sent a wasting disease among them. 16 When they became envious of Moses in the camp, And of Aaron, the holy one of Yahweh, 17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and engulfed the company of Abiram. 18 And a fire blazed up in their company; the flame consumed the wicked. 19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped a molten image. 20 Thus they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt, 22 wonders in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Red Sea. 23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them. 24 Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe in His word, 25 but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of Yahweh. 26 Therefore He swore to them, that He would cast them down in the wilderness, 27 and that He would cast their seed among the nations, and scatter them in the lands. 28 They joined themselves also to Baal-peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. 29 Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds; and the plague broke out among them. 30 Then Phinehas stood up and interposed; and so the plague was stayed. 31 And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to all generations forever. 32 They also provoked Him to wrath at the waters of Meribah, so that it went hard with Moses on their account; 33 because they were rebellious against His Spirit, He spoke rashly with his lips. 34 They did not destroy the peoples, as Yahweh commanded them, 35 but they mingled with the nations, and learned their practices, 36 and served their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, 38 and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood. 39 Thus they became unclean in their practices, and played the harlot in their deeds. 40 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against His people, and He abhorred His inheritance. 41 Then He gave them into the hand of the nations; and those who hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were subdued under their power. 43 Many times He would deliver them; they, however, were rebellious in their counsel, and so sank down in their iniquity. 44 Nevertheless He looked upon their distress, when He heard their cry; 45 and He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness. 46 He also made them objects of compassion In the presence of all their captors. 47 Save us, O Yahweh our God, and gather us from among the nations, to give thanks to Thy holy name, and glory in Thy praise. 48 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise Yahweh!

1 Corinthians 10:1-17

1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved. 7 And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play." 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Messiah? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Messiah? 17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.

"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."


 

© 2003  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)

 

 

 

 

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