HOME          TEMPLE SEDARIM      < PRIOR WEEK      NEXT WEEK >

 

Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 33

Deuteronomy 12:20 - 15:6    -   Jeremiah 23:9   -   Psalm 130   -   Matthew 7:15-27

 

 

Heshvan 20, 5764 / November 15, 2003

Heshvan 20, 5767 / November 11, 2006

Heshvan 20, 5770 / November 07, 2009

Heshvan 25, 5773 / November 10, 2012

Heshvan 18, 5776 /     October 31, 2015

 

Ki-Yarchiv / When He Enlarges   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

(V.12:20) Kashrut: here we have God’s decree of kosher animals for meat, and the prohibition of eating blood. The mention of animals disallowed for offerings shows that personal use of animals for meat is the subject. Also, there is an ethical rule derived here, that we should not indulge in luxuries beyond what God has “extended our border” to afford.

 

While wandering in the wilderness, the people were disciplined for complaining about lack of meat. Now they were permitted to enjoy meat as God prospered them. The lesson is: we should learn to be satisfied with God’s provision, we are allowed to enjoy His prospering us, and we should not indulge beyond what He provides (what we can afford) or what He permits (as kosher).

 

(V.21) “You may slaughter . . . as I have commanded you” is taken to show that God gave Moses oral command concerning kosher slaughter. We occasionally see reference to instruction from God that is not explicitly written in Torah; such instruction is often promoted by Yeshua and His apostles: the “Cup of the Covenant” at the Passover seder (Matthew 26:27-28), and the “lamps” for havdallah (Acts 20:8), are examples.

 

(V.25) Our primary consideration for obeying God’s commands should be, not what seems good for us, but “doing what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.”

 

Sh’mar and Sh’ma.

(V.28) “(Sh’mar) Safeguard and (sh’ma) obey all these words which I command you, in order that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of Yahweh your God.

 

We are to learn and review Torah, so that it becomes part of us, to keep us from stumbling. The previous reasons (v.25) are repeated: then “it will be well with us and our children forever, when we do what is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh.

 

(V.32) “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” The Psalmist says, (v.3-4) “If You, Yahweh, should mark iniquities, O Yahweh, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.

 

Yeshua said (Matthew 7:23-27), And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.

 

You shall not Sh’ma.

(V.13:1-11) If a “prophet” or “dreamer” arises, though his words be accompanied by signs or miracles, if he says to follow another god or different commandments (v.5!) – you shall not (sh’ma) listen to him. You shall not pity him (even though he be a mate or offspring), but he is to be stoned to death. This means that a witness must testify before the judges, and subsequent to a guilty verdict, must cast stones upon the condemned. The death penalty is to cause all to fear following false gods: God teaches that capital punishment is a deterrent. Note how corrupt judges of the Sanhedrin justified condemning Yeshua (Matthew 26:65-66): “Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, ‘He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?’ They answered and said, ‘He is deserving of death!’ ”

 

Yeshua neither abolished Torah (Mathew 5:17) nor changed the commandments (Acts 6:14 – a false accusation, Hebrews 10:28).

 

Jeremiah says (v.23:16-18), “Thus says Yahweh of hosts, ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of Yahweh. They keep saying to those who despise Me, “Yahweh has said, ‘You will have peace” ’; and as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’ But who has stood in the council of Yahweh, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?

 

Yeshua says (Matthew 17:15-17), “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit.

 

Why are there false teachers?

The reason that false prophets are sent among us is that (v.3) “Yahweh your God is testing you to find out if you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul”!

 

We can expect to be tested, to see whether we will walk in God’s commandments, or follow false teachings; whether we will learn from those whom God has proclaimed to be His prophets, or listen to those who falsely claim to be His prophets (sometimes with miracles); whether we will submit to His Holy Word, or make ourselves judges over it – doing what is right in our own eyes (v.12:8).

 

Sanctification

Chapter fourteen concerns how we are to be set aside for God: this is called (kodesh) holiness or sanctification.

 

(V.14:1) We are not to mourn in the way the heathen do, by injuring or marking ourselves: they do so because they are without hope – death being final in their eyes. Paul emphasizes this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

 

(V.4) These are the animals that God has given us for food.

 

(V.9) These are the fish that God has given us for food.

 

(V.11) These are the birds that God has given us for food.

  

(V.14:22 – 15:6) The seven-year tithing cycle:

The first tithe (terumah / priest’s portion – not mentioned in this chapter: see Numbers 18:21-31) is taken every year.

The second tithe is taken the first, second, fourth, and fifth years: it is to be eaten at Jerusalem (Feasts).

The third tithe is taken the third and sixth years: it is for the poor. The portion lists those who are more likely to be poor: the Levite, the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow.

Remission of loans is required in the seventh year (Sabbatical Year).

The total of tithes may be seen as approximately 20 percent. Much of that is consumed by the tither. All tithes and offerings should not exceed thirty percent (rabbinic ruling) unless the giver is wealthy enough that such would not be neglecting his family.

 

We are promised a blessing, similar to that found in Malachi 3:10.

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. 20 "When Yahweh your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, 'I will eat meat,' because you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, whatever you desire. 21 "If the place which Yahweh your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which Yahweh has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates whatever you desire. 22 "Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 "Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 "You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 "You shall not eat it, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of Yahweh. 26 "Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which Yahweh chooses. 27 "And you shall offer your elevation offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of Yahweh your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of Yahweh your God, and you shall eat the flesh. 28 "Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of Yahweh your God. 29 "When Yahweh your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?' 31 "You shall not behave thus toward Yahweh your God, for every abominable act which Yahweh hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 "Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

Reader 2*  Amen. 13:1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for Yahweh your God is testing you to find out if you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 "You shall follow Yahweh your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against Yahweh your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which Yahweh your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you. 6 "If your brother, your mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods ' (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. 9 "But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 "So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from Yahweh your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 "Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.

Reader 3*  Amen. 12 "If you hear in one of your cities, which Yahweh your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that 13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods ' (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. 16 "Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to Yahweh your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt. 17 "Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that Yahweh may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers, 18 if you will listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of Yahweh your God.

Reader 4*  Amen. 14:1 "You are the sons of Yahweh your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead. 2 "For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 3 "You shall not eat any detestable thing. 4 "These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep. 6 "Any animal that divides the hoof and has the hoof split in two and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. 7 "Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these among those which chew the cud, or among those that divide the hoof in two: the camel and the rabbit and the shaphan, for though they chew the cud, they do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. 8 "The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.

Reader 5*  Amen. 9 "These you may eat of all that are in water: anything that has fins and scales you may eat, 10 but anything that does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you. 11 "You may eat any clean bird. 12 "But these are the ones which you shall not eat: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, 13 and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds, 14 and every raven in its kind, 15 and the ostrich, the owl, the sea gull, and the hawk in their kinds, 16 the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, 17 the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat. 19 "And all the teeming life with wings are unclean to you; they shall not be eaten. 20 "You may eat any clean bird. 21 "You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to Yahweh your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Reader 6*  Amen. 22 "You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. 23 "You shall eat in the presence of Yahweh your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always. 24 "If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where Yahweh your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when Yahweh your God blesses you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which Yahweh your God chooses. 26 "You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of Yahweh your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27 "Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you. 28 "At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. 29 "The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that Yahweh your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Reader 7*  Amen. 15:1 "At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. 2 "This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because Yahweh's remission has been proclaimed. 3 "From a foreigner you may exact it, but your hand shall release whatever of yours is with your brother. 4 "However, there will be no poor among you, since Yahweh will surely bless you in the land which Yahweh your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, 5 if only you listen obediently to the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today. 6 "For Yahweh your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

 

"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."

 

Jeremiah 23:9-22

Reader 8*  Amen. 9 As for the prophets: my heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine, because of Yahweh and because of His holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; for the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil and their might is not right. 11 "For both prophet and priest are polluted; even in My house I have found their wickedness," declares Yahweh. 12 "Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; for I will bring calamity upon them, the year of their punishment," declares Yahweh. 13 "Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: they prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray. 14 "Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah. 15 "Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts concerning the prophets, 'Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood and make them drink poisonous water, for from the prophets of Jerusalem pollution has gone forth into all the land.'"

Reader 9*  Amen. 16 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of Yahweh. 17 "They keep saying to those who despise Me, 'Yahweh has said, "You will have peace "'; and as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, 'Calamity will not come upon you.' 18 "But who has stood in the council of Yahweh, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened? 19 "Behold, the storm of Yahweh has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest; it will swirl down on the head of the wicked. 20 "The anger of Yahweh will not turn back until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; in the last days you will clearly understand it. 21 "I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. 22 "But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.

 

Psalm 130  (To be sung.)   A Song of Ascents.

1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Yahweh. 2 Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3 If You, Yahweh, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. 5 I wait for Yahweh, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. 6 My soul waits for Yahweh more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in Yahweh; for with Yahweh there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. 8 And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

 

Matthew 7:15-27

Reader 10*  Amen. 15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Reader 11*  Amen. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' 24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell – and great was its fall."

 

"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)