Temple Triennial Cycle - Commentaries
Sabbath Forty-three (Jan 19, 2002)
(In the Beginning):
Amen* 28 Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. 29 And Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time. 30 Then Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive." 31 And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; 32 and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.' 33 "And it shall come about when Pharaoh calls you and says, 'What is your occupation?' 34 that you shall say, 'Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,' that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians." 47:1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, "My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen." 2 And he took five men from among his brothers, and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, "What is your occupation?" So they said to Pharaoh, "Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers."
Amen* 4 And they said to Pharaoh, "We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, therefore, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen." 5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 "The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock." 7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How many years have you lived?" 9 So Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning." 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence. 11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 And Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father's household with food, according to their little ones.
Amen* 13 Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14 And Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. 15 And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone." 16 Then Joseph said, "Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone." 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18 And when that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord's. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands. 19 "Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate." 20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh's.
Amen* 21 And as for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt's border to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the people, "Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land. 24 "And at the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones." 25 So they said, "You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's slaves." 26 And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh's. 27 Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob's life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
Amen* 29 When the time for Israel to die drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, "Please, if I have found favor in your sight, place now your hand under my thigh and deal with me in kindness and faithfulness. Please do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place." And he said, "I will do as you have said." 31 And he said, "Swear to me." So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed. 48:1 Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, "Behold, your father is sick." So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 2 When it was told to Jacob, "Behold, your son Joseph has come to you," Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed. 3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 and He said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.' 5 "And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. 6 "But your offspring that have been born after them shall be yours; they shall be called by the names of their brothers in their inheritance.
Amen* 7 "Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)." 8 When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, "Who are these?" 9 And Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me here." So he said, "Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them." 10 Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well." 12 Then Joseph took them from his knees, and bowed with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right, and brought them close to him.
Amen* 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the first-born. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, 16 The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." 17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim's head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father, for this one is the first-born. Place your right hand on his head." 19 But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people and he also shall be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel shall pronounce blessing, saying, 'May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!'" Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 "And I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow."
1 Kings 2:1-4
As David's time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 "I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. 3 "And keep the charge of Yahweh your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4 so that Yahweh may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'
2 Kings 13:14
When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!"
Psalm 39 For the choir director, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1 I Said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle, while the wicked are in my presence." 2 I was dumb and silent, I refrained even from good; and my sorrow grew worse. 3 My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4 "Yahweh, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am. 5 "Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah. 6 "Surely every man walks about as a phantom; surely they make an uproar for nothing; he amasses riches, and does not know who will gather them. 7 "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee. 8 "Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the foolish. 9 "I have become dumb, I do not open my mouth, because it is Thou who hast done it. 10 "Remove Thy plague from me; because of the opposition of Thy hand, I am perishing. 11 "With reproofs Thou dost chasten a man for iniquity; Thou dost consume as a moth what is precious to him; surely every man is a mere breath. Selah. 12 "Hear my prayer, O Yahweh, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with Thee, a sojourner like all my fathers. 13 "Turn Thy gaze away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more."
Revelation 21:1-10, 22:1-10
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." 5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6 And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." 9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
22:1 And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; 4 and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever. 6 And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." 8 And I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book; worship God." 10 And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.
The original title of this portion, Now Judah: (V.46:28) Now Judah (is the one) Jacob sent before him to Joseph, to prepare before/teach ahead the way to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
Reuben, the first-born, lost his position through the sin concerning Bilhah. Simeon and Levi, the next two in line, lost the position through their impetuous ways with Shechem. Judah was fourth in line, and had earned some trust with his standing up for Benjamin.
Judah was sent ahead to prepare for a family that would not live like the Egyptians, but needed a community setup for purity and worship and teaching God’s way to others – Torah observance before Moses.
(V.29) And Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.
Joseph, who had not seen his father for 22 years, came to him, not as “Viceroy of Egypt”, but as a respectful son. Joseph, it is taught, did not live a long life because he previously dishonored his father, allowing him to be called “your servant” (v.43:28; see also Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which Yahweh your God gives you”).
(V.30) Then Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive."
In other words, Israel could now die in peace, because he knew that Joseph was doing well before God. (Israel/Jacob would live another 17 years.)
(V.47:8) The Pharaoh asked the elderly man, “How many are the days of the years of your life?” Israel answered, “The days of the years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.” Israel’s answer implies that he had not really “lived”, but only “sojourned” temporarily in lands not his own. Also, he had not had peace, but one evil circumstance following another (his brother Esau desiring to kill him, Laban tricking him concerning marrying Rachel, then cheating him of his wages, Rachel dying, his sons creating havoc for him, then Joseph being lost for 22 years).
(V.13) Israel came down to Egypt in the second year of the famine. In the third year, Joseph collected all of the Egyptian’s money for grain. In the fourth year, he purchased all of their livestock for grain. In the fifth year, Joseph obtained title to all of their lands for grain. In the sixth year, the Egyptians became indentured servants in return for grain. In the seventh year of the famine, Joseph gave the Egyptians seed to sow for the next year’s crops. Joseph moved the Egyptians around (moving all of City A to City B, City B to City C, and City C to City A) so that the people would not feel connected to certain lands as owners.
Thus Joseph purchased everything for the Pharaoh, picturing how Yeshua would purchase everything for his Father.
After the famine was over, Joseph required the Egyptians to return one-fifth of every crop to the Pharaoh’s treasury.
(V.28) The length of Jacob’s life was “seven and forty and one-hundred years”. This indicates that he only considered the last part of his life “living”: it was the only part that was peaceful, and with all his children.
Israel and his family came to Egypt to “sojourn” (v.4), but they obtained ownership of land and “settled” (v.5). However, Israel did not give up the desire for the Promised Land, and instructed Joseph to bury him in Canaan (v.29).
In chapter 48, we see Israel prophetically blessing his sons, and counting Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons in inheritance (Joseph thus receiving a double portion).
In the Apostolic portion, we see the promise and description of the ultimate Canaan: the New Jerusalem on a renewed earth. There is no more hunger, no more unpleasant life, and no more shortness of days. We will worship and serve God in spirit and in truth, and no one will have to teach another to “know God”, for all will perfectly know Him, from the greatest to the least (Jeremiah 31:34).
Sabbath Forty-four (Jan 26, 2002)
(In the Beginning):
Yaacov (Then Jacob summoned),
commonly called Genesis 49:1 – 50:26 (*Divided
for seven Torah readers)
Amen* 49:1 Then Jacob summoned his
sons and said, "Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what shall befall you in
the days to come. 2 "Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob; and listen to
Israel your father.
3 "Reuben, you are my first-born; my might and the beginning of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power. 4 "Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it-- he went up to my couch.
5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are implements of violence. 6 "Let my soul not enter into their council; let not my glory be united with their assembly; because in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed oxen. 7 "Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Amen* 8 "Judah, your brothers shall
praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons
shall bow down to you. 9 "Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you
have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse
him up? 10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from
between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the
peoples. 11 "He ties his foal to the vine, and his donkey's colt to the choice
vine; he washes his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes. 12
"His eyes are dull from wine, and his teeth white from milk.
13 "Zebulun shall dwell at the seashore; and he shall be a haven for ships, and his flank shall be toward Sidon.
14 "Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds. 15 "When he saw that a resting place was good and that the land was pleasant, he bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, and became a slave at forced labor.
16 "Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 "Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the path, that bites the horse's heels, so that his rider falls backward. 18 "For Thy salvation I wait, O Yahweh.
Amen* 19 "As for Gad, raiders shall
raid him, but he shall raid at their heels.
20 "As for Asher, his food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 "Naphtali is a doe let loose, he gives beautiful words.
22 "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; Its branches run over a wall. 23 "The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him; 24 but his bow remained firm, and his arms were agile, from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 from the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26 "The blessings of your father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
27 "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he divides the spoil."
Amen* 28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one with the blessing appropriate to him. 29 Then he charged them and said to them, "I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site. 31 "There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah-- 32 the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth." 33 When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
Amen* 50:1 Then Joseph fell on his father's face, and wept over him and kissed him. 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Now forty days were required for it, for such is the period required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days. 4 And when the days of mourning for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, "If now I have found favor in your sight, please speak to Pharaoh, saying, 5 'My father made me swear, saying, "Behold, I am about to die; in my grave which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me." Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.'" 6 And Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear." 7 So Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 and all the household of Joseph and his brothers and his father's household; they left only their little ones and their flocks and their herds in the land of Goshen.
Amen* 9 There also went up with him
both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company. 10 When they came
to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there
with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed seven days mourning
for his father. 11 Now when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the
mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, "This is a grievous mourning
for the Egyptians." Therefore it was named Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the
Jordan. 12 And thus his sons did for him as he had charged them; 13 for his sons
carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of
Machpelah before Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field for a
burial site from Ephron the Hittite.
14 And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him to bury his father. 15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph should bear a grudge against us and pay us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!" 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father charged before he died, saying, 17 'Thus you shall say to Joseph, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Amen* 18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." 19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? 20 "And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. 21 "So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. 22 Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 And Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim's sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph's knees. 24 And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you, and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob." 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here." 26 So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.
Psalm 40 For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
1 I Waited patiently for Yahweh; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. 3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in Yahweh. 4 How blessed is the man who has made Yahweh his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. 5 Many, O Yahweh my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with Thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count. 6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; my ears Thou hast opened; burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required. 7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me; 8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart." 9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Yahweh, Thou knowest. 10 I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation; I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation. 11 Thou, O Yahweh, wilt not withhold Thy compassion from me; Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me. 12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; they are more numerous than the hairs of my head; and my heart has failed me. 13 Be pleased, O Yahweh, to deliver me; make haste, O Yahweh, to help me. 14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together who seek my life to destroy it; let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt. 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, "Aha, aha!" 16 Let all who seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; let those who love Thy salvation say continually, "Yahweh be magnified!" 17 Since I am afflicted and needy, let Yahweh be mindful of me; thou art my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.
John 19:39 – 20:9
39 And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night; bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 And so they took the body of Yeshua, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Yeshua there. 20:1 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 And 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 Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb.4 And 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 Simon Peter therefore also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld 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 entered then also, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
12 Yeshua said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Yeshua came and took the bread, and gave them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Yeshua was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had finished breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Yeshua said to him, "Tend My sheep. 18 "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!"
(V.1) JACOB called for his twelve sons and said, “assemble yourselves”. The immediate generation was to be told what their calling would be for the Messianic Age (Last Days).
(V.2) ISRAEL (your father) said, “gather yourselves and listen”. All spiritual descendents should gather to learn of these words to obey them.
REUBEN was the firstborn: with him Jacob’s primary purpose in life should have been carried on. He inherited the natural right to the “lifting of hands” of priesthood, and the authority of kingship. But he was impetuous, making rash decisions, like in the incident of Bilhah. So he lost his birthright to Joseph, he lost his kingship to Judah, and he lost his priesthood to Levi.
We should carefully consider the end of our actions, and our purpose before God; we should avoid making quick, emotional decisions.
Messiah would come through Joseph and Judah-David, not Reuben. Messiah’s priesthood, however, is not through Levi, but goes back to that of the firstborn (Malchi-Tzedek), though not through Reuben. This is why we read in Hebrews 6:20 that Yeshua is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
SIMEON and LEVI were comrades in deed. They conspired against Shechem (v.34:25) and against Joseph (v.37:19). Their kinship was based on violence (Rashbam). Jacob previously denied knowledge of their plotting (v.34:13), and now, for his descendents, desired no part in their conspiratorial ways. This may be applied to such matters as the spies who slandered Israel (Num 13:4), and the uprising led by Levi’s descendent Korach against Moses and Aaron (Num 16:1). (V.6) “At their whim they maimed an ox” may refer to their attempt to unseat Joseph, who is likened to an ox (Deut 33:17).
Jacob desired the annihilation of their fierce rage and harsh wrath (this curse is actually a blessing to the brothers). So he prophesied of their separation and dispersion within Israel (v.7). Simeon’s cities were scattered throughout the south of Judah’s territory (Joshua 19:1). Levi was not numbered among the tribes (Num 26:62), though he held the position of priest, and received no territory, but forty-eight cities dispersed among the tribes.
Our anger and wrath does not fulfill the purposes of God. We need to overcome such ways for our own good.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20). However, this in no way detracts from the righteousness of God’s wrath: we cannot put God under our laws!
JUDAH is a lion cub. In Messianic prophecy, his brothers will ascribe majesty to him; they will prostrate themselves before him (v.8). “His hand will be at his enemies’ nape” was fulfilled in David (2 Samuel 22:41) – “You have given me the nape of my enemies”, and will see greater fulfillment in the future when all of Yeshua’s enemies are put under his feet.
(V.10) “The scepter shall not depart from Judah . . .” means that Judah will be the tribe providing Israel’s sovereign ruler, from David all the way to Messiah Yeshua; it does not mean that there would always be a Judean king. Judah has had preeminence in leading Israel even in exile and other times when they had no king: Judah led the Sanhedrin even under Roman domination.
The ancient sages, and even most rabbis in modern rabbinic Judaism, see this as referring to the coming King Messiah ben David. Modern rabbinic Judaism has rejected the already-come suffering-servant Messiah ben Joseph. “To him will be the assemblage of the nations” (see Isaiah 18:7 and Psalm 76:12), ultimately fulfilling Jacob’s preface – “gather yourselves and listen” (v.2).
“He will tie his donkey to the vine” indicates the future abundance of the land, where the vines would be strong enough to restrain one’s animals. So Yeshua’s coming on a donkey represented his proper place of kingship in a prosperous land.
“He will wash his garments in wine” is seen by ancients as a Messianic prophecy concerning the blood of His enemies: (Isaiah 63:1-6) – Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? "I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. "For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come. "And I looked, and there was no one to help, and I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; so My own arm brought salvation to Me; and My wrath upheld Me. "And I trod down the peoples in My anger, and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."
ZEBULUN and ISSACHAR, the next to be blessed, are not the next of Jacob’s sons in age, but complete the list of sons by Leah. The remaining sons are blessed in birth order.
“DAN will be a serpent on the highway (v.17).” Dan represents the Messianic judge: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). We, in this life, are to judge righteously: the quotations that we commonly hear against “judging” are really against “condemning” others (there being several Biblical words that are commonly translated “judge” in various versions).
GAD and ASHER are the two sons by Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid.
Dan (mentioned previously) and NAPHTALI are the two sons by Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid.
JOSEPH is the only son not mentioned first by name, but as “a charming son” (v.22), which is repeated. He is treated as the firstborn insofar as he was given a double portion of inheritance – through Ephraim and Manassah. (He was the firstborn of Jacobs intended only wife Rachel.) He displayed an upright walk, even in great tribulation; and through him would come the suffering Messiah, to bring righteousness to Israel.
BENJAMIN is the second son of the beloved Rachel, who died giving birth to him.
Year by Leah - Zilpah ; Rachel - Bilhah
4 Yehudah* Dan
5 Gad Naphtali
6 Issachar Asher
7 Zevulun Yoseph*
(V.28) Israel “blessed each according to his appropriate blessing.” They were blessed according to their respective spiritual attainment, their ancestors fulfilled their prophesied futures, and their Messianic positions are for us to see.
In the Haftarah, we see an allusion to these blessings: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you” – Isaiah 43:2.
In Psalm 40, Joseph’s life is pictured; ultimately, it is Yeshua’s life that is pictured. “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction” (v.2). “I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation” (v.10).
In today’s portion, we see the burials of both Jacob and Joseph. In the Apostolic portion, we see the burial of Yeshua. Then, as Jacob said, “Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father”, so after Yeshua was raised, he said to Peter, “Follow Me!”
Our congregation is named “Followers of the Messiah”, and we are to gather to learn Torah, and we are to follow Yeshua.
Sabbath Forty-five (Feb 2, 2002)
(These are the names),
commonly called Exodus 1:1 – 2:25 (*Divided
for seven Torah readers)
Amen* 1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 And all the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. 7 But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
Amen* 8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. 10 "Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us, and depart from the land." 11 So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.
Amen* 15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah; 16 and he said, "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live." 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?" 19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them." 20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.
Amen* 21 And it came about because
the midwives feared God, that He established households for them. 22 Then
Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you are to cast
into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive."
2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. 4 And his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.
Amen* 5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." So the girl went and called the child's mother. 9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water."
Amen* 11 Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 And he went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, "Why are you striking your companion?" 14 But he said, "Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid, and said, "Surely the matter has become known." 15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
Amen* 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 When they came to Reuel their father, he said, "Why have you come back so soon today?" 19 So they said, "An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds; and what is more, he even drew the water for us and watered the flock." 20 And he said to his daughters, "Where is he then? Why is it that you have left the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat." 21 And Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses. 22 Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, "I have been a sojourner in a foreign land." 23 Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. 24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.
In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout; and they will fill the whole world with fruit.
The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of Yahweh came in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month. 4 Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." 6 Then I said, "Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth." 7 But Yahweh said to me, "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. 8 "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you," declares Yahweh. 9 Then Yahweh stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and Yahweh said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 "See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant." 11 And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" And I said, "I see a rod of an almond tree." 12 Then Yahweh said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it." 13 And the word of Yahweh came to me a second time saying, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north." 14 Then Yahweh said to me, "Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 "For, behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north," declares Yahweh; "and they will come, and they will set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah. 16 "And I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 "Now, gird up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 "Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city, and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. 19 "And they will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you," declares Yahweh.
1 Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2 "Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, 3 and say, 'Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem, "Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 "As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. 5 "No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born. 6 "When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, 'Live!' I said to you while you were in your blood, 'Live!' 7 "I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall, and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare. 8 "Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine," declares Lord Yahweh. 9 "Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil. 10 "I also clothed you with embroidered cloth, and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 "And I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands, and a necklace around your neck. 12 "I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 "Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey, and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 "Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you," declares Lord Yahweh. 15 "But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing. 16 "And you took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors, and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor happen. 17 "You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them. 18 "Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them. 19 "Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil, and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened," declares Lord Yahweh. 20 "Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me, and you sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter?
Psalm 41 For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
1 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; Yahweh will deliver him in a day of trouble. 2 Yahweh will protect him, and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. 3 Yahweh will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, Thou dost restore him to health. 4 As for me, I said, "O Yahweh, be gracious to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee." 5 My enemies speak evil against me, "When will he die, and his name perish?" 6 And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood; his heart gathers wickedness to itself; when he goes outside, he tells it. 7 All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt, saying, 8 "A wicked thing is poured out upon him, that when he lies down, he will not rise up again." 9 Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. 10 But Thou, O Yahweh, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 By this I know that Thou art pleased with me, because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. 12 As for me, Thou dost uphold me in my integrity, and Thou dost set me in Thy presence forever. 13 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain-- 2 for He says, "At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you"; behold, now is "the acceptable time," behold, now is "the day of salvation "-- 3 giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
The 400-year Egyptian exile is counted from the birth of Isaac in AM 2048, to the exodus in AM 2448. Jacob’s family went down to Egypt, during the famine, in AM 2238. Moses was born in AM 2366. Today’s portion covers almost 200 years, late in the 400-year exile.
(V.6) And Joseph died, and all his
brothers and all that generation.
Heb 11:13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
In verses 8-11, we see a forerunner to Hitler’s “final solution”. The Pharaoh didn’t want to lose the benefits of Hebrew labor, but he wanted to make certain that the Hebrew’s couldn’t become a power against his authority. His first stage was to commit them to hard forced labor. When they only increased more rapidly, he ordered the midwives to kill any boys as they were born. When that failed, his third stage was to have every baby boy cast into the Nile – that is, given to their major god. Perhaps this appeasement of their god would make this plan work?
The Haftarah fits here: In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout; and they will fill the whole world with fruit (Isaiah 27:6).
For several chapters of Genesis, we saw how Joseph prophetically pictured Yeshua. Now we will see how Moses takes up the prophetic picturing. (We say that Moses was a prophetic type – he typified Yeshua.)
As a baby, Moses lived to fulfill God’s plan, though the Pharaoh of Egypt had ordered all the sons of Israel to be killed at birth. Moses was raised in an Egyptian household.
Likewise Yeshua, as a baby, lived to fulfill God’s plan, though King Herod ordered that all the male children around Bethlehem be killed. Yeshua was secreted away to Egypt.
God called Moses out of Egypt (v.3:10). God said of Yeshua, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son” (Matthew 2:15).
(Chapter 2) Moses means “drawn from water”, yet Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan because of a sin involving water!
And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "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." So Moses took the rod from before Yahweh, just as He had commanded him; 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?" 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. 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." (Numbers 20:7-12)
At the end of this chapter, we read familiar words: “Elohim zachar” – the Creator-Judge remembered – He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This does not imply that God forgets, as a man does, but that now the time had come for Him to act upon His promise.
We presently live in exile in “Egypt”, the world of sin. But we are partakers of the Abrahamic Covenant (Ephesians 2:12-3:9). Therefore, we are to look forward to, and prepare for, the heavenly city, which will come down to a renewed earth. There Yeshua will dwell with us.
Psalm 41 readily fits both Moses and Yeshua: (v.1-2) How blessed is he who considers the helpless; Yahweh will deliver him in a day of trouble. Yahweh will protect him, and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth. Moses was willing to give his life for God’s helpless people; Yeshua did.
Paul quotes God, saying, (2 Corinthians 6:2) “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you”; behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation.”(V.4) In everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses . . .
Moses was coming to “the day of salvation” – this is the prelude to the Passover. This was his “acceptable time”. He would have to endure afflictions and hardships.
This is our “day of salvation”. Now is “the acceptable time”. We must learn to serve God, though it be through affliction and hardship. We must be willing to give up the “pleasures of sin for a season” and hold the ultimate goal before us.
We should maintain purity, the Word of Truth, and genuine love (v.6-7). Maintaining purity is about being holy to God – separated from the world for His service. The Word of Truth is not subject to “private interpretation” (1 Peter 1:20): not denominational dogma or personal feelings; we must seek the historical truth. Genuine love is not just being lovey-dovey, condoning freedom-of-choice, one-religion-is-as-good-as-another, or accepting false worship “to gain converts”; it is doing what will lead others toward Godliness, to repentance from dead works.
Sabbath Forty-six (Feb 9, 2002)
commonly called Exodus 3:1 – 4:17 (*Divided
for seven Torah readers)
Amen* 1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
Amen* 4 When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." 5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." 6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 7 And Yahweh said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 8 "So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 9 "And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Amen* 10 "Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" 12 And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain." 13 Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" 14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" 15 And God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
Amen* 16 "Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 "So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey."' 18 "And they will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt, and you will say to him, 'Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God.' 19 "But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. 20 "So I will stretch out My hand, and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. 21 "And I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. 22 "But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians."
Amen* 4:1 Then Moses answered and said, "What if they will not believe me, or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'Yahweh has not appeared to you.'" 2 And Yahweh said to him, "What is that in your hand?" And he said, "A staff." 3 Then He said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 But Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail "-- so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand-- 5 "that they may believe that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."
Amen* 6 And Yahweh furthermore said to him, "Now put your hand into your bosom." So he put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. 7 Then He said, "Put your hand into your bosom again." So he put his hand into his bosom again; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8 "And it shall come about that if they will not believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe the witness of the last sign. 9 "But it shall be that if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground."
Amen* 10 Then Moses said to Yahweh, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." 11 And Yahweh said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh? 12 "Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say." 13 But he said, "Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever Thou wilt." 14 Then the anger of Yahweh burned against Moses, and He said, "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 "And you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. 16 "Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and it shall come about that he shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be as God to him. 17 "And you shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs."
11 "And I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up. 12 "Behold, these shall come from afar; and lo, these will come from the north and from the west, And these from the land of Sinim." 13 Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For Yahweh has comforted His people, And will have compassion on His afflicted. 14 But Zion said, "Yahweh has forsaken me, And Yahweh has forgotten me." 15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16 "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. 17 "Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you. 18 "Lift up your eyes and look around; all of them gather together, they come to you. As I live," declares Yahweh, "You shall surely put on all of them as jewels, and bind them on as a bride. 19 "For your waste and desolate places, and your destroyed land-- Surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants, And those who swallowed you will be far away.
Psalm 42 For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. (A maskil is a contemplative poem.)
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" 4 These things I remember, and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. 6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me; therefore I remember Thee from the land of the Jordan, and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Thy waterfalls; all Thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over me. 8 Yahweh will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my rock, "Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" 10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, while they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" 11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God.
Romans 9:1 – 10:1
1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "through Isaac your descendants will be named." 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9 For this is a word of promise: "At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son." 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, "The older will serve the younger." 13 Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea, "I will call those who were not My people, 'My people,' And her who was not beloved, 'beloved.'" 26 "And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, 'you are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God." 27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28 for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly." 29 And just as Isaiah foretold, "Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity, We would have become as Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah." 30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, a1`he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."
10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
As prophecy ceased for many ages prior to the coming of Yeshua, so too did vision and prophecy cease for a time prior to Moses (Matthew Henry).
The years of Moses seem to be divided into three forty-year periods. Moses spent the first forty years as a prince in Pharaoh’s court. Here, Moses was a “somebody.” His second forty years was as a shepherd in Midian. Moses, thus, became a “nobody.” His third and final forty years was as God’s prophet sent to redeem God’s people from slavery. At last, Moses has grown to be a leader and an example to “everybody.” (Matthew Henry, Jon Courson)
Likewise, Yeshua was a “somebody.” Yeshua was with God in the beginning and through Him all things are made (John 1:3). Yeshua became a “nobody.” In speaking about Yeshua to the synagogue at Philippi, Paul said, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7).” Like Moses, Yeshua grew to be the leader and example of “everybody.” “Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Yeshua haMashiach is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).”
The Tenach and the Apostolic writings are replete with examples of God’s patience and the patience of God’s people. Moses must have felt God’s calling early on. A prince in Pharaoh’s court doesn’t usually kill an Egyptian to protect an Israelite slave. Moses must have thought that forty years was long enough to begin his calling. But, Yahweh was thinking eighty years (guess who won). Yahweh’s great patience toward the development of his people forces His people to realign themselves to that patience. Even Yeshua had to wait some thirty years before beginning His calling.
In our reading, Moses is finishing his second forty-year period. Moses has been employed by his father-in-law (a relationship not unlike Jacob’s experience). Tending a flock is a rather lowly position for someone of Moses’ Egyptian education and experience. Here, Moses learns meekness and contentment (Matthew Henry). Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12-13).” We are not to be idle in our patience for what Yahweh has for us, but industrious. Even if our employment is lowly, it pleases Yahweh to see His people working while they wait on Him. Paul said sternly to the synagogue of the Thessalonians, “In the name of the Lord Yeshua haMashiach, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us (2 Thessalonians 3:6).” To a large degree, idleness separates us from Yahweh and from Yahweh’s people. Was Moses more industrious as a Prince in Egypt, or tending flock for his father-in-law? As a prince, Moses ran away from Egypt in defeat but, as a hard working Shepard, Moses met with God.
Who was Moses’ father-in-law; this priest of Midian? This land is in the northern part of the Arabian peninsula. Midian himself was the son of Abraham by Keturah and progenitor of the tribe of Midianites or Arabians. Midian means “strife.” So, Moses’ father-in-law was the priest of strife. Perhaps at this time, there was strife between
Moses and Yahweh? Perhaps Moses felt let down; that Yahweh’s calling had taken too long to develop. We with little patience can succumb into believing Yahweh has forgotten us. When in fact, Yahweh is diligently and patiently making preparations for us.
At Yahweh’s timing, the Angel of Yahweh appeared to Moses in a flame out of the midst of a thorn-bush that was not being consumed by the flames. “Thorns’ is part of the original curse (Genesis 3:18). In judgment, these thorns are aflame, and in grace, they are not consumed. These Egyptians, a “thorn in the flesh” of enslaved Israel, were about to experience Yahweh’s flaming wrath. But this wrath would not consume Egypt but, would allow Egypt to continue thereafter. Also, there is the idea that this type of thorn-bush has the appearance of a many-sided Menorah (Doug Dolly). If true, this many-sided Menorah could also be depicted in the book of Revelation’s description, “Seven golden lamp stands (Revelation 1:12).”
Moses is wooed and drawn by this fiery site. In the same way, the multitudes were drawn in to listen to John the Baptist; to witness the miracles of Yeshua; and to a lesser extant, to be drawn by the good news of salvation through repentance and faith in Yeshua haMashiach. It is man’s compulsion to respond to God’s call, and it is God’s sovereign choice to decide whom He calls. God is orderly and respectful of His Word. He does not unnecessarily repeat Himself due to man’s preoccupation. God first gets His subjects attention. Here, it’s a burning bush. It can be a visit from an angel or a blinding light that knocks one from their donkey. After attention is attained, God makes “an offer one cannot refuse.” These intimate biblical encounters with Yahweh are not requests of prophets, but commands from the King of the Universe. Moses failed to persuade Yahweh to choose someone else through excuses and Jonah failed to escape his calling in traveling great distances.
The burning bush was not set directly in front of Moses. Rather, it was placed in such a position that Moses had to “turn” to examine it. This turning is symbolic of repentance; to turn from one’s course and turn back to Yahweh. As soon as Yahweh sees that Moses has turned aside to examine the burning bush, Yahweh speaks saying, “Moses, Moses!” The repetition of Moses’ name communicates Yahweh’s excitement. In typifying repentance, Yahweh is excited at initiating communication and fellowship. Yeshua’s parable about the prodigal son also shows the Father’s excitement to reconcile with a repentant child. Also, the duplication of Moses’ name could allude to another Moses yet to come, namely Yeshua haMashiach.
Moses was not to come too close to the burning bush, and he was to remove his sandals. This relationship Moses would have with Yahweh would have parameters. Moses would learn reverence and obedience for Yahweh. Presumably, at this time Moses would have acquired some possessions. Removing one’s sandals was a sign of transferring one’s property to another. In essence, Yahweh purchased Moses and all that he owned (Ruth 4:8, Amos 2:6; 8:6). Likewise, the book of Acts records “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had (Acts 4:32).” “Remember the people you purchased of old… (Psalm 74:2).” “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God… (Revelation 5:9).”
And He said, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:6).” Yahweh states three times that He is God (of the patriarchs) but, first He states He is the God of thy father (singular). Here, and elsewhere, the Torah is communicating the oneness of a triune God. Moses hid his face from this revelation because complete comprehension of the triune God remains hidden from man.
The Lord is now slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance
(2 Peter 3:9).” Though Israel has been in bondage for some time, Yahweh says that He has now come down to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians to bring them up unto a good and spacious land. This is because He has seen and heard and known their afflictions (Exodus 3:7-9). It’s not that Yahweh is slow in responding to Israel’s captivity. Israel originally stayed in Egypt out of necessity (famine) and remained out of comfort. Here, Yahweh doesn’t want to leave any Israelite behind. He doesn’t want any to “perish” in Egypt, but all to “desire” to leave Egypt. Cruel captivity over time ensures all of Israel will want to leave Egypt. Likewise, the “chosen in Yeshua since the foundation of the world” are given trials of various kinds to ensure their affixed desire for redemption.
“And now come, I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10).” Yahweh doesn’t conclude with a final command to “Go, I will send thee unto Pharaoh.” Instead, Yahweh says, “Come, I will send thee unto Pharaoh.” Yahweh is telling Moses that Yahweh Himself is joining Moses on this endeavor. Moses is not being given a pep talk and told to “go get ‘em.” Moses is being told to join Yahweh in returning to Egypt to redeem God’s people.
But this divine invitation to join Yahweh on His mission seems overwhelming to Moses. Forty years ago, Moses presumably would have jumped at the chance. Now, in learned meekness Moses tries politely not to accept the invite. “Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh (Exodus 3:11).” God’s repetition that “He will be with Moses” (Exodus 3:12) forces the unwilling prophet to reason his way out of this. Unlike the many named gods of the Egyptians, Moses may have assumed the true God did not have a personal name. So, the unwilling prophet says, “When I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, ‘The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you,’ and they shall say, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say unto them? There!---that should put the matter to rest. Without a name and amidst the other named Egyptian gods, Israel was sure to disbelieve Moses’ story. But God replies with a revelation…the tetragrammaton, “I am that I am.” Four Hebrew consonants Y,H,W,H. thought of to this day as being so holy that substitutes are given so as not to error when speaking or writing it (i.e., Hashem, Lord, etc,..).
“I AM THAT I AM” denotes God’s unchanging character, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Also, it communicates God’s totality. Name anything, and I AM. In metaphor’s God is everything. God is a rock. God is a tall mountain. Also, Hebrew names have meanings. But meanings carry limitations. God has no limitations to His nature. If we call Him something that denotes His grace, we invariably exclude things like His love, judgment, power and so on. Therefore, I AM THAT I AM truly encompasses the eternity that is God, and the futility of the human mind in comprehending it. “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding (Judges 13:18).”
Moses is told to repeat to the elders of Israel what Yahweh is telling Moses. In this, Moses is to become God’s prophet. Yahweh repeats the description of the promised land by naming 6 peoples who currently reside there (Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites). Why name six when elsewhere in scripture, more peoples are added? These six peoples may represent six-thousand years of allotted world history followed by one-thousand years of the messianic kingdom (Yeshua’s 1000 year reign), “A land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:17).”
Moses is instructed to further tell the elders of Israel what Yahweh will do, “and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…” Yahweh emphasizes his spoken Word. He doesn’t merely communicate what He will do, Yahweh says that He has already spoken what He will do. Yahweh gives the integrity of His Word to console Israel and to build up her faith. God does not lie.
Moses remembers a time when in the course of “saving” his people (killing the Egyptian), he was asked a question that he could not answer (Who made you judge over us?). That time, the Israelites did not listen to Moses nor view him as a redeemer. Yahweh alleviates these memories in promising to Moses that this time “they shall hearken to thy voice (Exodus 3:18).” When Moses played the role of King in redeeming his people, Israel did not listen. Later, when Moses played the role of Priest in redeeming his people, they listened. Moses’ impatience in attempting to save Israel prematurely (by killing the Egyptian) thwarted his own typology as Messiah. We know now the reverse to be true. When Yeshua came down as Priest to redeem his people, they did not listen. When Yeshua returns as a conquering King, they will listen.
Yahweh gives Moses a thorough prophetic briefing. Moses has been told Pharaoh will not let the Israelites go and Moses will survive the experience in Pharaoh’s presence. Moses has not forgotten that a previous Pharaoh tried to kill Moses for his crime in murdering the Egyptian. After forty years, Moses must have been taken off the Egyptian FBI’s 10 most wanted poster.
Yahweh further briefs Moses that Yahweh will unleash many wonders against Pharaoh. “Do not be afraid or terrified…for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 1:6).” In Yahweh’s timing and after much preparation, when one of his own is finally called for active duty, Yahweh promises to be with him on the endeavor. One is not called for service and left alone. Moses remembers the loneliness as a fugitive when he first tried to save Israel on his own. Yahweh promises this time will be very different.
Moses is further told that Pharaoh will ultimately acquiesce and allow Israel to go. In addition, upon exiting Egypt, every Israelite woman is to ask her Egyptian neighbor and house mate for many Egyptian material items. In this way, Israel will leave Egypt with much spoil. As Yahweh is handing out assignments for this great movement, women are not excluded. Everyone has a role to play. “Now you are the body of Yeshua, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27).”
Does it not seem strange to take all kinds of spoil into the wilderness for a short three day journey to make a sacrifice to Yahweh? Apparently, Pharaoh is not going to be told all of Yahweh’s plans. To Pharaoh, Moses will request a three day journey into the wilderness for a festival. To Yahweh, Israel is leaving Pharaoh forever to live in a land flowing with milk and honey. Yahweh never told Moses to disclose or request the complete release of Israel. Likewise, Yeshua did not disclose his plans to Satan. “We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).” Just as God kept Pharaoh in the dark about His plans, so too did Yeshua keep Satan in the dark about His plans. Yeshua said to his disciples, “I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming (John 14:30).”
The parallels abound. Just as Moses antagonized Pharaoh with multiple plagues, so too did Yeshua antagonize Satan by casting out thousands of demons, curing multitudes of people, and speaking out against the kingdom of Satan. And just as Moses and the Israelites took spoil from Egypt, Yeshua took spoil from Satan, “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8; Psalm 68:18).”
With each moment of this conversation with Yahweh, Moses is reduced to the core issue of his hesitancy; his lack of faith. After many assurances, Moses still says, “But behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice, for they will say, Yahweh has not appeared to thee (Exodus 4:1).” At this, Yahweh does not yet become angered. After all, Yahweh always backs His new Word with signs and wonders: “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles… (Hebrews 2:4).” Moses is about to be given signs and wonders as Divine evidence to back his words. The staff is thrown to the ground and it becomes a snake. Startled, Moses runs away from the snake. But something happens to Moses. Moses’ training has already begun. God commands Moses to pick up the snake by it’s tail (a dangerous maneuver) and Moses does not even hesitate. Moses first ran from the snake, and now he picks it up by it’s tail; overcoming layers of fear and faithlessness. The lesson continues. Moses obeys Yahweh and puts his hand into his bosom. But when his hand became leprous, the panic that overtook Moses with the snake never materialized. Further obedience and faith healed his hand of the leprosy. Yahweh’s instruction and patience continue.
In regression, Moses argues that he is handicapped in two areas. One, he has never been eloquent and two, he is a slow speaker. Against those who say Yahweh only does positive things, Yahweh declares that He created the mouth, and that He makes some dumb, makes others deaf, gives sight and makes blind. Yahweh declares by this resume that He will be with Moses’ mouth, and will teach Moses what to say, resolving Moses’ two handicaps. Moses’ faith seems strong enough only for one of Yahweh’s two promises; namely, to teach Moses what to say. This was the last straw and Yahweh was noticeably upset. He gives Aaron to Moses to be his mouthpiece, and like a parent finally loosing patience, Yahweh sells Moses on the idea that Aaron would be like a prophet to Moses and Moses would be like a god to Aaron. Persuaded, Moses is told to take his staff which will be used to perform signs. The greater Moses, Yeshua haMashiach, would not need such a crutch to perform His signs. Yeshua’s faith is perfect and His authority is perfect. But, even in Yahweh’s anger, it’s good to know He provides for our weakness. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, haMashiach died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Yahweh’s anger can have consequences. Aaron became the source for many troubles Moses would face. Aaron aided the worship of the golden calf, fashioning the calf and building the altar himself (Exodus 32:1-6). Aaron’s sons blasphemed God with impure offerings (Leviticus 10:1-7), and Aaron openly revolted against Moses (Numbers 12:1-8) (David Guzik).
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.”
The Isaiah passage gives an example of Yahweh’s leadership of His chosen people both through Moses and ultimately through Yeshua haMashiach. The Israelites following Moses were fed miraculously in the wilderness, Yeshua miraculously fed multitudes in the wilderness, and continues to feed his flock spiritual nourishment through His Word. Yahweh gathered Israel and gently led them to the promised land. Even fighting for them in their battles. Yahweh draws His chosen to faith in Yeshua haMashiach who’s yoke is light. Yeshua will return, fighting our battles by a sword that comes from His mouth. For now, the pace is patient and slow, allowing for the weakest to complete the journey to the promised land; paradise.
“And all the elders and all the people said to him, "Do not heed or consent.”
(1 Kings 20:8)
The passage in 1 Kings speaks of the people of Israel disobeying an unjust request from a gentile King and being delivered by Yahweh as a result. The Israelites disobeyed Pharaoh when he ordered them to kill all male babies at birth. Israel was ultimately freed from Egyptian bondage. Yeshua disobeyed a Roman Governor when he requested the true identity of Yeshua. Through Yeshua, Yahweh freed His chosen from the kingdom of darkness and brought them to the kingdom of light.
When obeying man means disobeying Yahweh, the choice is clear. “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial (2 Peter 2:9).”
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God.”
The purpose of these redeeming acts through Moses and ultimately in Yeshua, is to be reconciled in relationship to Yahweh. Instead of desiring the comforts or familiarity of Egypt, Israel is to desire Yahweh. Where Egypt’s false gods gives many sufferings---Yahweh gives new life. Likewise, this world of sin gives many sufferings but, Yahweh gives new life through Yeshua. We are not freed to go our own way. We are freed in order to walk in union with Yahweh through Yeshua.
(Romans 9:1 – 10:1)
In the Romans passage, Paul is making the case for Gentile and Jewish inclusion into true Israel through faith in Yeshua haMashiach. He does so by distinguishing between the “Israel of the flesh,” and the “Israel of the spirit.” Paul contends that the true definition of an Israelite rests with Yahweh’s choice, and not strictly by ancestry. Paul refers to the Torah, to the beginnings of Israel to prove his point. “Through Isaac shall your descendants be reckoned (Romans 9:7; Genesis 21:12).” Isaac was Abraham’s promised child. So, it’s not the children of the flesh, but the children of the promise (spirit) that are reckoned as descendants.
Next, Paul indicates that Isaac’s children also signify an Israel within an Israel. Esau the first born (Israel of the flesh) ought to have received the blessing as the first born. Yet, due to God’s sovereign choice, the younger brother, Jacob (Israel of the spirit) is chosen by Yahweh to be given the blessing. This indicates that Yahweh is not bound to honor traditional norms, nor man’s way of thinking. Yahweh has always maintained His sovereign right to choose whom He will bless. Anyone, Jew or Gentile, who like Abraham, believe in the promises of Yahweh are considered true Israel and are given the rights of citizenship. Inclusion into the “Israel of the flesh” was by a circumcision of the flesh. But this rite of passage was only a shadow of the spiritual circumcision of the heart. Gentile and Jewish believers in Yahweh through faith in Yahweh’s ultimate promise, Yeshua haMashiach, receive the fulfillment---circumcision of the heart, and are thus, grafted into true Israel. The two previously separate groups (Jew and Gentile) may now worship together in a synagogue on Shabbat, they may eat together, they may learn Torah together, and celebrate “new moon” and the festivals together. These “Shadows” have always taught anticipated spiritual truths. Upon their continuing fulfillment (Yeshua), they remain as eternal instructional memorials: “Your Word, O Lord, is eternal (Psalm 119:89; see also Exodus 28:29, 30;16, 31:17; Joshua 4:7; Acts 10:4).”
Through the imperfections of both Jew and Gentile, Yahweh’s perfect law could not bring righteousness. Instead, “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4). This righteousness with the “Israel of the spirit” has always existed alongside the “Israel of the flesh.” Throughout the Torah and the hafTorah we see Israelites with faith, and Israelites without faith. The distinctions are only made more clear with the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise (Yeshua) coupled with the invitation of the gentiles to faith.
How can Moses speak so clearly to twenty-first century Gentile and Jewish believers in Yeshua? Because Moses is not only the patriarch for the “Israel of the flesh,” Moses is also the patriarch for the “Israel of the spirit.” In fact, we are privileged to be his intended audience.
Shalom in Yeshua haMashiach,
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