Commentary - Year 3
Numbers 19:1 - 20:13
- Ezekiel 44:29 - Psalm
109 - John 20:1-31
Sivan 14, 5763 /
June 14, 2003
Sivan 14, 5766 /
June 10, 2006
Sivan 14, 5769 /
June 6, 2009
Sivan 12, 5772 /
June 2, 2012
Sivan 12, 5775 /
May 30, 2015
Huqqat / Statute
SCRIPTURES should be read first
We have studied Judgments (Mishpatim), Ordinances (Edot),
and Statutes (Hukim), the three categories of Torah commandments.
Statutes are the category of which it is said, their reason is not obvious, but
they bond God and man. The Statute of the Red Heifer is considered, by the
sages, to be beyond human reasoning, as Solomon said, “I said I would be
wise, but it is far from me”.
The Midrash on this portion notes a paradox: one who has become
defiled (a niddah) is purified by the ashes of the red heifer, but one
preparing the ashes becomes defiled thereby. It further notes Job 14:4, “Who
can draw a pure thing out of an impure one? Is it not the One God?”
This paradox pictures a greater one:
a sinner is purified through the crucifixion of Yeshua, but one involved with
preparing His crucifixion – such as Judas – becomes condemned as a sinner. So
God draws a pure thing (a purified sinner) out of an impure (the crucifixion).
Because it is far above our understanding, God gives us many kinds of pictures,
called ordinances (such as baptism and the Passover).
It may be noted here, that preparation of the ashes is one of
several acts required by Torah, which nevertheless makes one unclean. Thus we
see that becoming defiled does not indicate one has sinned, but defilement
always relates to a result of the fall – such as death, disease, or unfulfilled
Yeshua did not die because of a sin
He committed, but because of results of the fall of Adam. “For since by a man
came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all
die, so also in Messiah all shall be made alive” - 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
The previous chapter was concerned with guarding the Tabernacle
against entry by defiled people. This chapter deals with purification of those
who have become defiled.
Psalm 109 relates to the crucifixion, and parts of it to Judas in
(V.2-5) Concerning Yeshua, “For they have opened the wicked
and deceitful mouth against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without
cause. In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer. Thus
they have repaid me evil for good, and hatred for my love.”
(V.8-10) Concerning Judas, “Let
his days be few; let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children wander about and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from
their ruined homes.” This is quoted by
Luke (Acts 1:16, 20): “Brethren, the
Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of
David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Yeshua. . . .
For it is written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be made desolate,
and let no man dwell in it’; and, ‘His office let another man take.’
So this Psalm, connected to Numbers 19 by the Temple Seder (Order
of Readings), shows a relationship between the Statute of the Red Heifer and the
crucifixion of Yeshua.
Now, considering John 20, let’s go back to Numbers 19 (v.16-19),
“Anyone who . . . touches . . . a grave, shall be unclean for seven days. .
. . on the seventh day he shall purify him from uncleanness, and he shall wash
his clothes and bathe himself in water and shall be clean by evening.”
‘Washing one’s clothes and
bathing in water’ is a reference to immersion in a mikvah – Biblical
baptism. Being “clean by evening” means on the eighth day.
Now, Yeshua was baptized, even though John the baptizer
questioned why Yeshua should have such a need: “I
have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
– Matthew 3:14. So then, in order to fulfill all Torah (Matthew 3:15, 5:17),
should He not be baptized seven days after leaving the grave? While we are not
specifically told that He was ‘untouchable’ until a seventh day baptism, Mary
was told to stop touching Him on the first day (John 20:17), but Thomas was told
to touch Him on the eighth day (John 20:27). Why is a special point being made
of this eighth day? Also, ascending from the mikvah represents ascending
to Eden / Paradise: this is especially represented be being baptized in the
Jordan River – Jordan meaning “Descender from Eden”. So, in instructing Mary to
stop touching Him, Yeshua said (v.17), “for I have not yet ascended to the
Paul (1 Corinthians 15:29) speaks of being “baptized for the
dead” – according to some English translations. A better rendering would be
“baptized because of death”. This may to refer to today’s subject, the baptism
on the seventh day after dealing with a dead body. Paul is speaking of
resurrection, and its relationship to baptism. Since baptism – specifically
coming up from the mikvah – symbolizes resurrection (Romans 6:4), if a
dead body could not be resurrected, what would be the significance of the
ritual: why would we picture “newness of life” after dealing with the results of
Furthermore, being clean on the eighth day symbolizes our being
holy – fit for the “eighth day assembly” (Leviticus 23:36) of the saints in
Paradise. That requires our cleansing from sin here, prior to resurrection.
Sadducees did not believe in resurrection. Therefore, Yeshua said
to them (Matthew 22:29-32), “You are mistaken, not understanding the
Scriptures, or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor
are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But regarding the
resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God,
saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Therefore, we are to
purify ourselves, showing that we are alive to God in holiness, and dead to sin.
A certain man wanted to take care of things of this life before
following Yeshua (Matthew 8:21-22): that is the meaning of his Hebraism, “Let
me first go and bury my dead father.” Yeshua responded, “Let the dead
bury the dead. You follow Me.” In other words, “Let the spiritually dead
care for the things of this world.” We should care for following Yeshua – being
Numbers 20 pictures crucifying Yeshua,
to bring forth the words of life. But Moses and Aaron messed up God’s picture,
and therefore were disallowed from the Promised Land!
God has given us many prophetic
pictures to observe, and this is a lesson: don’t mess them up! It is not for us
to take upon ourselves to perform them according to our feelings.
Marriage is an example of a picture
God gave with heavenly perspective in mind: Messiah and His church. When we mess
up our marriages, we mess up God’s picture.
Sabbath is a picture of the
Millennial Reign of Yeshua: we are to keep it holy! The Passover is a picture of
Yeshua as redeemer: we are told to keep it – as it was given (1 Corinthians
11:23) – in remembrance of Yeshua (1 Corinthians 11:24)!
"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
Amen. 1 Then
Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 "This
is the statute of the Torah which Yahweh has commanded,
saying, 'Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an
unblemished red heifer in whichis no defect and on which a
yoke has never been placed. 3 'You shall give it
to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be brought outside the
camp and be slaughtered in his presence. 4 'Next
Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his
finger and sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of
the tent of meeting seven times. 5 'Then the
heifer shall be burned in his sight; its hide and its flesh
and its blood, with its refuse, shall be burned. 6
'The priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet
material and cast it into the midst of the burning heifer.
Amen. 7 'The
priest shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in
water, and afterward come into the camp, but the priest
shall be unclean until evening. 8 'The one who
burns it shall also wash his clothes in water and bathe his
body in water, and shall be unclean until evening. 9
'Now a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the
heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place,
and the congregation of the sons of Israel shall keep it as
water to remove impurity; it is purification from sin.
10 'The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall
wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; and it shall
be a perpetual statute to the sons of Israel and to the
alien who sojourns among them.
Amen. 11 'The
one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean
for seven days. 12 'That one shall purify himself
from uncleanness with the water on the third day and on the
seventh day, and then he will be clean; but if he does not
purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he
will not be clean. 13 'Anyone who touches a
corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify
himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh; and that person
shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity
was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his
uncleanness is still on him. 14 'This is the law
when a man dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent
and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean for seven
days. 15 'Every open vessel, which has no
covering tied down on it, shall be unclean.
Amen. 16 'Also,
anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain
with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a
grave, shall be unclean for seven days. 17 'Then
for the unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of
the burnt purification from sin and flowing water shall be
added to them in a vessel. 18 'A clean person
shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it
on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons
who were there, and on the one who touched the bone or the
one slain or the one dying naturally or the grave. 19
'Then the clean person shall sprinkle on the unclean on the
third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he
shall purify him from uncleanness, and he shall wash his
clothes and bathe himself in water and shall be clean by
Amen. 20 'But
the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from
uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of
the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of
Yahweh; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on
him, he is unclean. 21 'So it shall be a
perpetual statute for them. And he who sprinkles the water
for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the
water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. 22
'Furthermore, anything that the unclean person touches shall
be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean
Amen. 20:1 Then
the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the
wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed
at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there.
2 There was no water for the congregation, and they
assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron. 3
The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, "If
only we had perished when our brothers perished before
Yahweh! 4 "Why then have you brought Yahweh'S
assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die
here? 5 "Why have you made us come up from Egypt,
to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of
grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water
Amen. 6 Then
Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to
the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces.
Then the glory of Yahweh appeared to them; 7 and
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 8 "Take the rod;
and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and
speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its
water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the
rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink."
9 So Moses took the rod from before Yahweh, just as He
had commanded him; 10 and Moses and Aaron
gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them,
"Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you
out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses lifted up his
hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came
forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts
drank. 12 But Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron,
"Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in
the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not
bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."
13 Those were the waters of Meribah, because the
sons of Israel contended with Yahweh, and He proved Himself
holy among them.
"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
"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
(To be sung.)
For the choir director. A Psalm
O God of my praise, Do not be silent! 2
For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against
me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3
They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and
fought against me without cause. 4 In return for
my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer. 5
Thus they have repaid me evil for good and hatred for my
love. 6 Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an
accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is
judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become
sin. 8 Let his days be few; let another take his
office. 9 Let his children be fatherless and his
wife a widow. 10 Let his children wander about
and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined
homes. 11 Let the creditor seize all that he has,
and let strangers plunder the product of his labor. 12
Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor any
to be gracious to his fatherless children. 13 Let
his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let
their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of
his fathers be remembered before Yahweh, and do not let the
sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be
before Yahweh continually, that He may cut off their memory
from the earth; 16 because he did not remember to
show lovingkindness, but persecuted the afflicted and needy
man, and the despondent in heart, to put them to death.
17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and he
did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him. 18
But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, and
it entered into his body like water and like oil into his
bones. 19 Let it be to him as a garment with
which he covers himself, and for a belt with which he
constantly girds himself. 20 Let this be the
reward of my accusers from Yahweh, and of those who speak
evil against my soul. 21 But You, O Yahweh, the
Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name's sake; because Your
lovingkindness is good, deliver me; 22 for I am
afflicted and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am
shaken off like the locust. 24 My knees are weak
from fasting, And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.
25 I also have become a reproach to them; when
they see me, they wag their head. 26 Help me, O
Yahweh my God; save me according to Your lovingkindness.
27 And let them know that this is Your hand; You,
Yahweh, have done it. 28 Let them curse, but You
bless; when they arise, they shall be ashamed, but Your
servant shall be glad. 29 Let my accusers be
clothed with dishonor, and let them cover themselves with
their own shame as with a robe. 30 With my mouth
I will give thanks abundantly to Yahweh; and in the midst of
many I will praise Him. 31 For He stands at the
right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge
Amen. 1 Now on
the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the
tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already
taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and came
to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Yeshua loved,
and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the
tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." 3
So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were
going to the tomb. 4 The two were running
together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter
and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and
looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he
did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also came,
following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen
wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which
had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings,
but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the
other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also
entered, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet
they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise
again from the dead.
Amen. 10 So the
disciples went away again to their own homes. 11
But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as
she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12
and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and
one at the feet, where the body of Yeshua had been lying.
13 And they said to her, "Woman, why are you
weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my
Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." 14
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Yeshua
standing there, and did not know that it was Yeshua. 15Yeshua
said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you
seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him,
"Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have
laid Him, and I will take Him away." 16 Yeshua
said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!"
(which means, Teacher). 17 Yeshua said to her,
"Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the
Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to
My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"
Amen. 18 Mary
Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen
the Lord," and that He had said these things to her. 19
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the
week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews, Yeshua came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 And
when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His
side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with
you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22
And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to
them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 "If you
forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them;
if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus,
was not with them when Yeshua came. 25 So the
other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint
of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails,
and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
Amen. 26 After
eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with
them. Yeshua came, the doors having been shut, and stood in
their midst and said, "Peace be with you." 27
Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and
see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My
side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28
Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Yeshua said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have
you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet
believed." 30 Therefore many other signs Yeshua
also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are
not written in this book; 31 but these have been
written so that you may believe that Yeshua is the Messiah,
the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His
"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
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."
(Followers of the Messiah)