Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 34

Deuteronomy 15:7 - 16:17    -   Isaiah 61:1-3   -   Psalm 131   -   Luke 4:14-30


Heshvan 27, 5764 / November 22, 2003

Heshvan 27, 5767 / November 18, 2006

Heshvan 27, 5770 / November 14, 2009

      Kislev  3, 5773 / November 17, 2012


Ev-yon / A Poor Man   SCRIPTURES should be read first


We are still on the subject of holiness / sanctification: being set apart for God’s service.


First we look at alms and servitude.


(V.7-11) If a “brother” is in need, we are to freely lend to him. A loan is less embarrassing to the recipient than charity, but we are not to base our lending on the expectation of receiving it back. Therefore, if the Sabbatical year (of which we learned last week) were near, that was not to influence one’s lending to the poor.


If we recognize that we were created to serve God, and that He provides all of our needs to serve Him, then we can understand that it is in His plan that there are poor for us to help and this is not detrimental to us. God has ordered this as the way of blessing for us (v.10).


An order is derived here: first the destitute person, next a relative – closer ones first, then in your cities – one’s own city first, and finally in the land – one’s own land first. The Hebrew wording (v.8) means again and again.


(V.12-18) If a poor person is sold as a servant, the servant must be freed on the seventh year, and sent away with liberal sustenance – enough to raise his self-esteem and reputation. Six years of labor is twice what a hired hand could obligate himself to do (Isaiah 16:14). The master is to remember his own prior slavery, and be compassionate.


Next we look at consecration of the firstborn.

The firstborn of all the herds and flocks are sanctified by God (Leviticus 27:26) to be set aside, not worked or sheared. They are to be eaten at Jerusalem by the priests, and may not be sanctified by man for any other purpose. But, if they have any defect, they are to be eaten at home, the same as a non-sacrificial animal.


Lastly, we have an outline of Yahweh’s Feasts (see FEASTS).

We are commanded to observe the Biblical calendar: “Observe the month Nisan” (Aviv – v.16:1).


(Hag haMatzot) The Feast of Unleavened Breads:

(V.16:1-7) In the month Nisan, each family must choose a lamb on the tenth day and slay it on the fourteenth day between noon and sunset – at Jerusalem, the place where Yahweh placed His Name. It must be cooked and completely eaten by midnight (that being the fifteenth). Then in the morning, upon returning to our dwellings, we continue to eat unleavened bread for the remainder of the seven days of the feast (a positive command – v.3) and no leaven may be present. The first and seventh days are Holy Days.


The Passover Lamb represents Yeshua, previously prophetically, now as a memorial. Yeshua was crucified according to all of the rites and times for the slaying of the Passover Lamb.


Counting the Omer and Feast of Weeks:

From the day after the Passover Seder, we count the weeks and the days: seven weeks and one day, fifty days. Hag Shavuot means Feast of Weeks; Pentecost means fiftieth. It is also called Yom haBikkurim – the Day of Firstfruits. We are to celebrate at Jerusalem, waving two leavened loaves each made from an omer of the first of the wheat crop.


Note that servants and sojourners are included (v.11): we are made part of the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12-13). We are to remember (v.12) that we were slaves to sin, but we were delivered, and now should take care to observe these memorials.


This symbolizes our betrothal to Messiah, with the (Shitre Erusin) betrothal contract being the Torah (given at Pentecost 3300 years ago) and confirmed by the earnest of the Spirit (given at Pentecost 2000 years ago).


We are taught to celebrate (Hag Sukkot) the Feast of Tabernacles. It follows (Yom Teruah) the Day of Trumpeting on Tishrei 1, and (Yom haKippurim) the Day of the Atonements on Tishrei 10. This feast lasts seven days, from Tishrei 15 through 21. We are to rejoice, bringing in the final firstfruits – including tree fruits and nuts. This feast is immediately followed by the Eighth Day assembly. The first day and the “Eighth Day” are Holy Days (like Sabbaths).


The Day of Trumpeting is a rehearsal of blowing the shofar (ram’s horn trumpet): at the last trump, which follows the shout of the archangel, “Tekia Gedolah!” (the Return of the Great One), Yeshua will return and the righteous dead will be raised.


The Day of the Atonements (always plural in Scripture) rehearses our sins being transferred to Yeshua (the “scapegoat”), and Yeshua’s righteousness being imputed to us – like the goat burned on the altar, ascending as a sweet aroma to God. As two goats are the symbols, so we must have two atonements.


The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles represents the seven-day wedding feast of Messiah. It is the time of the downfall of the nations. The “Eighth Day” represents the time following the seventh millennium / the thousand-year reign of Messiah on this earth: it represents the final fulfillment of Torah, when righteousness reigns forever.


The last two verses (v.16-17) reiterate that the three Feasts of Yahweh are to be celebrated where Yahweh places His Name – temporarily that was at Shiloh, then permanently at Jerusalem. There are seven Holy Days associated with the three feasts. (Scripture refers to the Feast of Hanukkah, but that is not called one of the Feasts of Yahweh.)


Referring back to last week’s lesson on tithing, no one was to come to the feasts empty-handed. The offerings had to be brought and prepared before the Holy Day. We should not deal with money (or the slaying of sacrificial animals) on Holy Days – including weekly Sabbaths.


All of this is part of our holiness / sanctification – being set apart for God.


(Luke 4:14-30) The haftarah portion, Isaiah 61:1-3, was read by Yeshua as He attended a synagogue in Nazareth (v.15-20). We may assume from this that it was fall – late during the third year of the Temple Triennial Cycle – and He was reading the haftarah portion.


The reading concerned freeing captives and preaching good news to the poor – relating to the subject of the Torah portion. He concluded with, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (v.21). All were marveling at His gracious words, but apparently they had little real heart for His teaching.


Yeshua then said (v.23), “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well.’ ” What followed seems to say that He would not be performing healings in Nazareth, because He was not honored in this His home town (paraphrased): “There were many widows in Israel during the three-and-a-half year famine of Elijah’s time, but he only provided for a gentile widow in Sidon! There were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet, but only a gentile in Syria was cleansed!


They were so filled with rage that they cast Him out of the city and would have killed Him, though He only spoke what their prophets had said!


So, as we saw in last week’s lesson, we are to Sh’mar and Sh’ma we are to learn and review Torah, so that it becomes part of us, to keep us from stumbling. Then “it will be well with us and our children forever, when we do what is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh.


May we securely “hope in Yahweh from this time forth and forever” Psalm 131:3.


Moadim (Appointments) for Prayer – the Heavenly Picture


God has made appointments (Heb. plur.– moadim {moe-a-deem’};  sing.– moed {moe-ed’}) for us to keep. They began with Adam at creation. They were detailed through Moses. They were loved by the psalmist. They were cried for by the prophets. They were kept by Yeshua. They were promoted among gentiles by the apostles.


They are appointments for special meetings with our creator – specific times and places. They keep before us God’s design for our lives. They strengthen our relationship with our savior, and open up our understanding of His word.


God’s Calendar


We are given God’s calendar to meet His appointments – years, months, weeks, days, and hours.


Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons (moadim) and for days and years;”


Firstly, we have Biblical years based upon the solar seasons; the New Year for Festivals begins in the spring. Then we have Biblical months based upon lunar cycles (month means moon), though the world’s tradition has obscured that. Next we have weeks by counting seven day periods. We are given days from sunset to sunset, and hours by dividing the dark times and light times each by twelve – again obscured by modern tradition.


God has given us moadim – three annual feasts, with seven annual holy days, to show us His redemptive and sanctifying acts and eternal promises (see FEASTS). He made the Sabbath holy for man’s sake, and instructed us to keep it holy (see SABBATH). These too are obscured today, by the world’s traditions and by religious traditions.


Leviticus 23:1-2  Yahweh spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘Yahweh’s appointed times (moadim) which you shall proclaim as sacred assemblies – My appointed times are these:’ ”


Seventh Day – Holy Sabbath

[Annual Holy Days]

First and Seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Breads

Day of the Firstfruits / Pentecost (Feast of Weeks)

Day of Trumpeting (Rosh haShannah)

Day of the Atonements

First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles

Eighth Day (following seven days of Tabernacles)


Genesis 2:3 (After creating man at the end of the sixth day) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Mark 2:27  Yeshua said to them,The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath’ ”

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”


Now, let us consider our daily appointments with our creator and savior.


Remember that the earthly Temple at Jerusalem represented the heavenly Temple of Yahweh. The fire from God burned continually on the brazen altar. On each annual holy day, special animal offerings were burned with incense, their aroma ascending from the brazen altar. On each Sabbath afternoon, the aroma of two lambs with incense ascended from brazen altar. Every day of the year, the aroma of a lamb with incense ascended from the brazen altar in the morning, and again in the evening; all personal sin offerings and thanksgiving offerings were performed between these morning and evening communal offerings. This is the picture we are given, in order to understand! Consider how much time and effort and how many lives have been given, just for us to understand!


The Prayers of Morning and Evening


During the communal offerings, twenty-four courses of priests, representatives of the twenty-four provinces in Israel, stood in for the people before God at the Holy Temple. At the same time, the people were in the synagogues for the hour of “the prayers” – morning and evening.


Morning and evening are appointed times for “the prayers” – communal at the synagogue for those who can attend, otherwise wherever one is able.


Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:12 “My House shall be called a house of prayer for all people”


Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering.


The incense offerings, from Temple times, have always been seen as representing the prayers.


Revelation 5:8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.


These are the prayers for which we are given a pattern: the Shemoneh Esrei or the Disciples Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). With this pattern, we begin by approaching Yahweh as the Sovereign God who has the power to fulfill our requests, and the One who is to be praised. We come as penitents, seeking His will. Then we present personal petitions, and communal petitions. Finally, we acknowledge that all should be for the sake of His Kingdom, for His glory.


In the morning, we may bless God for bringing us to another day, and seek His guidance for the day. At evening, we may bless God for His grace during the day, and seek forgiveness for our failures.


This is a commandment! (It is known as commandment #5 of the 613 commandments of the Torah.) It is called “the service (abad) of the heart.”


Exodus 23:25 “But you shall serve (abad) Yahweh your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.”


Deuteronomy 6:13 “You shall fear only Yahweh your God; and you shall serve (abad) Him and swear by His name.”


David practiced this in Tabernacle times.


Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, O Yahweh, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”


Psalm 55:16-17 “As for me, I shall call upon God, and Yahweh will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice.


Daniel practiced this after the First Temple was destroyed; he was thrown to lions for doing so.


Daniel 6:13 Then they answered and spoke before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.”


Yeshua and His apostles, and Hebrew and gentile believers in Yeshua, practiced this.


Mark 1:35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.


Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the ninth hour, the (evening) hour of prayer.


Acts 2:41-42 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers (Gr. tais proseukais – this is specific).


Acts 10:1-4  Cornelius was a God-fearing gentile; his prayers ascended to God and were answered at the ninth hour – the hour of prayer.


The pilgrims who came to this country (USA) practiced this. Commonly, the father got up early to read the Bible and pray, then the mother got up to prepare breakfast, then the family together was taught by the father, and they all discussed what they planned to do that day to serve God.


Praying During the Day


Between the morning and evening hours of “the prayers,” the time of personal offerings at the Temple, personal prayers of any kind may be made. We should bless Yahweh for each thing that He provides for us, as we are about to use it. We should seek God’s leading for every undertaking. We should seek forgiveness and correction continually. Every thought, word, and action should be considered prayerfully!


To Whom we Pray


We are instructed, by both Biblical command (Matthew 6:9) and Biblical example, to pray only to our Heavenly Father.


All prayer is to be for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are instructed to pray “in the Name of Yeshua,” that is, as His ambassadors or representatives. We should ask our Father for those things that Yeshua would want in order to enable our service for Him, not things to “consume on our lusts” (James 4:3). Such prayer changes our perspectives and attitudes about life.


John 14:13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”


2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


Praying in the name of Yeshua excludes praying to Yeshua (Jesus), since it means praying to our Father as Yeshua’s ambassador.


We are instructed to ask Our Father for the (Ruach haKodesh) Spirit of the Holy One (Luke 11:13). Never does the Bible indicate prayer to the Holy Spirit.


(To be expanded and continued. DDD – Heshvan 26, 5767)



"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 7 "If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which Yahweh your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 9 "Beware, lest there is a base thought in your heart, saying, 'The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,' and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to Yahweh against you, and it will be a sin in you. 10 "You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing Yahweh your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. 11 "For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'


Reader 2* Amen 12 "If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. 13 "And when you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. 14 "You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as Yahweh your God has blessed you. 15 "And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 "And it shall come about if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; 17 then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And also you shall do likewise to your maidservant. 18 "It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has given you six years with double the service of a hired man; so Yahweh your God will bless you in whatever you do.


Reader 3* Amen 19 "You shall consecrate to Yahweh your God all the first-born males that are born of your herd and of your flock; you shall not work with the first-born of your herd, nor shear the first-born of your flock. 20 "You and your household shall eat it every year before Yahweh your God in the place which Yahweh chooses. 21 "But if it has any defect, such as lameness or blindness, or any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to Yahweh your God. 22 "You shall eat it within your gates; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as a gazelle or a deer. 23 "Only you shall not eat its blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.


Reader 4* Amen 16:1 "Observe the month of Aviv (Nisan) and prepare the Passover (Lamb) to Yahweh your God, for in the month of Aviv Yahweh your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 "And you shall slaughter the Passover (Lamb) to Yahweh your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where Yahweh chooses to establish His name. 3 "You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), in order that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 "For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 "You are not allowed to slaughter the Passover in any of your towns which Yahweh your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where Yahweh your God chooses to establish His name, you shall slaughter the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 "And you shall cook and eat it in the place which Yahweh your God chooses. And in the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 "Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to Yahweh your God; you shall do no work on it.


Reader 5* Amen 9 "You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 "Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to Yahweh your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as Yahweh your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where Yahweh your God chooses to establish His name. 12 "And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.


Reader 6* Amen 13 "You shall celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 "Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to Yahweh your God in the place which Yahweh chooses, because Yahweh your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you shall be altogether joyful.


Reader 7* Amen 16 "Three times in a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Tabernacles, and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty-handed. 17 "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Yahweh your God which He has given 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."


Isaiah 61:1-2


1 The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; 2 to proclaim the favorable year of Yahweh, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that He may be glorified.


Psalm 131A Song of Ascents, of David.


1 O Yahweh, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. 2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. 3 O Israel, hope in Yahweh from this time forth and forever.


Luke 4:14-30


14 And Yeshua returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit; and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 18 "The Spirit of Yahweh is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, 19 to proclaim the favorable year of Yahweh." 20 And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. 21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." 22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son?" 23 And He said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well.'" 24 And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his home town. 25 "But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 "And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." 28 And all in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29 and they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, He went His way.

"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)