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Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 16

Numbers 26:52 - 27:23  -   Joshua 17:1-7   -   Psalm 114   -   Ephesians 1:3-23
 

 

Tammuz 19, 5763 / July 19, 2003 

Tammuz 19, 5766 / July 15, 2006

Tammuz 19, 5769 / July 11, 2009

Tammuz 17, 5772 / July   7, 2012

Tammuz 17, 5775 / July   4, 2015

 

L'eleh / To These   SCRIPTURES should be read first

Setting:

A census showed 601,730 able men over age twenty. This was 1820 fewer than in a census about thirty-nine years prior (Numbers 1:1 & 46), in the second year of the Exodus. The notable difference is in the tribe of Simeon, which dropped from 59,300 to 22,200. Simeon was the tribe that apparently lost the most to death for becoming involved with Moabite women and bowing to their gods: the only named leader involved was Zimri, a Simeonite.

Commentary:

God’s sovereign choice for the estate of men is demonstrated in today’s reading.

(V.52-56) The Promised Land was divided to the tribes by lots. This could be something like the leader of each tribe picking out a similar-looking block which, when turned over, would have the description of a portion of the Land. God instructed this way of indicating His choice. The portions may have been increased or decreased, after the lots were drawn, according to the size of teach tribe.

(V.57-62) The Levites were also counted. Though they did not receive a portion of the Land, they shared forty-eight towns (Numbers 35:1-8).

(V.27:1-11) A certain man of the tribe of Manasseh died leaving five daughters, but no sons. The daughters came before Moses and the High Priest and the leaders, requesting that their father be given a portion of land through them. So, Yahweh gave a “decree of justice” covering all in such case: when a man dies with no sons, his inheritance shall pass through his daughters, or next through his brothers, or next through his uncles – through his closest relative. This was given as a permanent law.

The Haftarah portion (Joshua 17) relates the giving of the inheritance to the five aforementioned daughters.

(V.12-14) Yahweh told Moses that, when the day of his death came, he should go up a certain mountain and view the Promised Land; however, he would not enter it because of his rebellion against God’s Word at the waters of Kadesh.

(V.15-23) Moses asked God to appoint a shepherd over the people. Yahweh told Moses to take Joshua before the High Priest and the entire assembly; Moses was to lay his hands upon Joshua and instruct him, so that Joshua would stand before the High Priest to receive judgments of the Urim and Tummim, and lead the people.

Psalm 114 

This Hallel Psalm relates some of the miracles of Israel’s journey up to Canaan.

(V.1) “When Israel went forth from Egypt, the household of Jacob from a people an alien language . . .” Israel retained the Holy Language for 210 years in Egypt.

(V.2) “. . . Judah became (fem) His sanctuary (betrothed), Israel became His dominion.” Through Judah (Praise), God had an intimate relationship with Israel, likened to marriage. Through the anointed King David, of the tribe of Judah, Israel became God’s dominion.

(V.3) “The sea looked and fled”, referring to the parting of the Red Sea; “the Jordan turned back”, reversing part of its natural flow, when Joshua led Israel into Canaan. (V.4) “The mountains skipped like rams”, when Yahweh descended upon Sinai, “the hills, like lambs.”

(V.5-8) “What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? Tremble, O earth, before Yahweh, before the God of Jacob, Who turned into rock a pool of water (Red Sea), the flint into a flowing fountain of water” (Ex 17:6). God can work either way, turning the place of a sea into dry stone, or turning a solid stone into a fountain of water.

Ephesians 1:3-23

The Blessing:

(V.3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah.

The Explanation of the spiritual blessings:

(V.4) “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” We were not chosen to be free to sin – missing the “point” of Torah, but to be free of sin – “holy and blameless”.

(V.5-6) “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Yeshua the Messiah to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” God made us sons – adopted as Israelites – in order to display His attribute of grace.

(V.7-10) “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us.” Through the blood of God’s Passover Lamb, we are redeemed. Through His grace – no worthiness of our own, we have forgiveness.

(V.9-10) In His wisdom and insight, in time He made known to us the mystery of His will, that we would be part of the Kingdom of Messiah.

(V.11-12) In Numbers, the inheritance of the Promised Land was divided by lots, to show God’s will. In Yeshua “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”

(V.13) In God’s plan, we heard the Gospel of salvation, we were granted faith, and we were given the earnest of the Holy Spirit, promising a final redemption when we will be God’s possession.

(V.15) Therefore, Paul blesses God.

Ephesians 2:11-13 (condensed)

Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, – remember that you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.” Gentile believers are not a new, separate group with different rules and a different future: we are partakers of the covenant and inheritance of Israel.

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 1*  Amen. 53 "Among these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. 54 "To the larger group you shall increase their inheritance, and to the smaller group you shall diminish their inheritance; each shall be given their inheritance according to those who were numbered of them. 55 "But the land shall be divided by lot. They shall receive their inheritance according to the names of the tribes of their fathers. 56 "According to the selection by lot, their inheritance shall be divided between the larger and the smaller groups."

Reader 2*  Amen. 57 These are those who were numbered of the Levites according to their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites. 58 These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. Kohath became the father of Amram. 59 The name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram: Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam. 60 To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange fire before Yahweh.

Reader 3*  Amen. 62 Those who were numbered of them were 23,000, every male from a month old and upward, for they were not numbered among the sons of Israel since no inheritance was given to them among the sons of Israel. 63 These are those who were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. 64 But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For Yahweh had said of them, "They shall surely die in the wilderness." And not a man was left of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

Reader 4*  Amen. 27:1 Then the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came near; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah. 2 They stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, saying, 3 "Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against Yahweh in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. 4 "Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father's brothers." 5 So Moses brought their case before Yahweh.

Reader 5*  Amen. 6 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 7 "The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father's brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them. 8 "Further, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. 9 'If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 'If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 'If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his nearest relative in his own family, and he shall possess it; and it shall be a statutory ordinance to the sons of Israel, just as Yahweh commanded Moses.'"

Reader 6*  Amen. 12 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. 13 "When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; 14 for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water." (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) 15 Then Moses spoke to Yahweh, saying, 16 "May Yahweh, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, 17 who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of Yahweh will not be like sheep which have no shepherd."

Reader 7*  Amen. 18 So Yahweh said to Moses, "Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. 20 "You shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey him. 21 "Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before Yahweh. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation." 22 Moses did just as Yahweh commanded him; and he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. 23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as Yahweh had spoken through Moses.

 

"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."

 

Joshua 17:1-7

1 Now this was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a man of war. 2 So the lot was made for the rest of the sons of Manasseh according to their families: for the sons of Abiezer and for the sons of Helek and for the sons of Asriel and for the sons of Shechem and for the sons of Hepher and for the sons of Shemida; these were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families. 3 However, Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. 4 They came near before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the leaders, saying, "Yahweh commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers." So according to the command of Yahweh he gave them an inheritance among their father's brothers. 5 Thus there fell ten portions to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan, 6 because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh. 7 The border of Manasseh ran from Asher to Michmethath which was east of Shechem; then the border went southward to the inhabitants of En-tappuah.

 

Psalm 114    (To be sung.)  

1 When Israel went forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, 2 Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled; the Jordan turned back. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills, like lambs. 5 What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? 6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob, 8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of water.

 

Ephesians 1:3-23

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Yeshua the Messiah to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Messiah, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Messiah would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. 15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Yeshua which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Messiah, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

 

"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)